The Mutant Maggots walked back to the cabins; Brick and Jo were eyeing each other angrily whilst the others walked on nervously.

"Wow," Cameron whispered to Zoey. "You could cut this tension with a knife!"

Brick: My honorable discharge from the Mutant Maggots and enlistment in the Toxic Rats changes nothing! I am still here to do the best that I can do and establish honor.

Jo: Without Brick, my team is useless! Puffball, Bubble Boy, Pasty, and the Walking Disaster! I'll need a new strategy. I'm still Jovincible!

The Toxic Rats were waiting for them back at the cabins.

Sam noticed something amiss. "Um, hey, I'm a tiny bit confused. Shouldn't one of you, uh, not be here?"

Scott eyed them with suspicion. "Are you guys cheating or something? I won't take cheating!"

Scott: Except, of course, I'm the one cheating!

As Brick was about to speak, Jo interrupted. "Well, McLean decided that it would be more fair to enlist G.I. Joke with your team instead of eliminate him."

"What?" Lightning asked in exasperation. "Lightning don't need some has-been! Lightning carries this team! ShaLightning!"

Lightning: Chris McLean thinks that we need some other dude to win? ShaNo! Lightning has got all he needs in his muscles! Victory is imminent!

Scott: Hmm, new guy, huh? I'll need to figure out some way to bring him down…

The rest of the Toxic Rats moved to welcome Brick to the team. Shaking Brick's hand, Sam said, "Uh, forget Lightning. He'll grow on you. Welcome to the team."

"Thank you, sir!" Brick replied with a salute.

"Pleased that you could join us! Your aura is ripe with readiness!" Dawn said.

"Um," Brick commented, "Thank you?"

Scott didn't say anything, but merely nodded in acknowledgement.

Brick: Well, they might not be my ideal team, but beggars can't be choosers. At least I'm not eliminated!

"Well, I see this as a new chapter for the Mutant Maggots!" Jo cried triumphantly, ignoring the Toxic Rats angrily glaring at her. "That loss will be our only one! We've purged the weak link from the team!"

Anne Maria shook her head. "Brick may be attractive in no way whatsoever, but he's still a person! And he was our friend!"

Mike nodded. "Yeah! He was a real asset to our team. We'll probably suck without him. Right, Zo?"

"Just don't talk to me," Zoey said angrily, walking into her cabin.

"Was it something I said?" Mike asked questioningly.

"Let it be," Cameron replied. With a shake of his head at Jo, he went in after Zoey.

Mike: I just knew that Vito would mess things up for me!

Zoey: He still acts like he cares, but he's just like all of the other guys! Why'd I even bother… Falling in love sucks.

Cameron: I'm trying to help Mike and Zoey, but both of them are standing in each other's way! I'll be sure to document this. It can't be creepy to analyze your roommate's sleeping patterns and record them in a pad, now can it?

"Stop being such a… a Jo all the time!" Anne Maria yelled at Jo.

Feigning a feeling of offense, Jo countered, "Oh, but Tan! Your approval means so much to me!"

Rolling up her sleeves, Anne Maria growled, "I'm done with you!"

Mike held her back, however. "Anne Maria! She isn't worth it!"

"Mike!" Anne Maria said, instantly distracted from Jo. With a bat of her eyelashes, she added, "Or should I say, Vito!"


"If you want, we could go back to your cabin and Vito things up," Anne Maria whispered.

"Well!" Mike said, slightly sweaty and clearly awkward. "Um, I'm going to go talk to Brick now! So uh…"

Watching Mike flail, run away awkwardly, fall on his face, gracefully shoot up singing the praises of Svetlana, and prance over to the others, Jo shook her head, saying, "Men."

Anne Maria: Jo might be wrong about literally everything, but men, sheesh! That's one thing she can't be wrong with.

Mike: Anne Maria is making me slightly nervous. I haven't have a girl that wasn't my mom pay me that much attention! Um, I didn't just say that on national television. Never mind. Okay, bye.

Sam welcomed Brick into the Toxic Rats' guys cabin. Scott silently followed them in, leaving Lightning and Dawn talking about something or other.

Pointing to a bottom bunk, Sam said, "And that's where you'll be sleeping. But, uh, I'm sure you'll have your pick soon enough. We seem to be getting a lot of open seats here."

Brick patted him on the back reassuringly. "Don't worry, soldier! It's just a few.. uh… three consecutive losses and eliminations that um, happen to be the only eliminations this season… and you started off with more contestants than the Maggots.. um… well, it's not like you'll lose the next one!"

Sam: Wow, he really knows how to cheer a fella up. I sure do love new roomies.

Svetlana pranced over to Lightning and Dawn. "Hello from Svetlana! What is on the hip and haps, ya?"

Lighting waved his hand. "Quiet, awkward but graceful lady child! Weird girl was just telling me that there's meat without meat! What is this mystery substance called again?"

"It's called tofu!" Dawn said matter-of-factly.

Lightning: Tofu! It just sounds manly! I need to get my hands on some of that stuff!

"And there's protein?" Lightning asked, on the edge of his seat.


"ShaTOFU!" Lightning exclaimed, jumping into the air.

"Jumping competition, ya? Don't worry! Olympic gold-medal jumper, Svetlana, is up to the plate!" Svetlana exclaimed, leaping high into the air.

"Your Svetlana aura is really shining brightly, Mike!" Dawn cooed.

Mike: Really, Dawn? Who would've thought it.

Observing the interaction alongside Anne Maria, Jo commented, "It'd be useful if he could do the Svetlana thing all the time."

"Or Vito," Anne Maria replied dreamily.

"You and your men things," Jo said with disgust.

Jo: I can't have my girls falling in love! Love does not win competitions, steroids win competitions! And since I've got none of that, I'll use manipulation instead!

Anne Maria: Vito is a GOD! Jo better watch her mouth, I oughta…

Cameron walked in to the cabin. "Um, Zoey, are you all right?"

Zoey wiped a tear from her eye. "Yeah, Cam. Stellar."

"Don't mind the whole Mike-Vito thing," Cameron said, sitting next to her on the bed. "He's crazy for you! He just, uh, has some trouble showing it sometimes."

"So you mean he's awkward?"

"Why not? Um, I mean yes, very awkward."

Cameron: Awkward people for the win?


Author: Well, this is that and that is this! Mwahahaha! So anyways, I'm intending to use this arc to give reason to Scott's reasons in Backstabbers Ahoy! I mean, he just didn't come up with that in one episode. He clearly told me the events in the hopes I'd write this.

On a more serious note, readers, important question time! Opinions on veering from the official story? Changing eliminations? Relationships? Please feed me your ideas, little readers!

Hope to update soon!

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa – T.D.