Champion’s Cup

Episode Three

Recap

(Overhead shot of the seventeen at the immunity challenge.)
Arp: (VO) Last time on Champion's Cup...
(Shot of Blue House waking up to Brock's pancakes.)
Arp: (VO) The teams adjusted to life indoors pretty quickly.
Yukino: (VO) Last night was wonderful. We had a nice bed to sleep on, a roof over our heads, and the knowledge that we'd finally be indoors for awhile.
(Shot of Arp collecting the keys at the comfort challenge.)
Arp: (VO) But that was shattered at the Comfort Challenge, when they found out the losers would be stuck outside.

(Shot of Brock edging out Yukito in the final leg of the challenge.)
Arp: (VO) That honor fell to the Yellow House, the only team that had found a way inside on day one.
(Shot of Shinji, Yukari, Tenchi and Rika huddled over their fire.)
Arp: (VO) Despite a few early difficulties, they managed all right.
Yukito: (VO) We weren't expecting to be left outside, but while we're here we have to improvise.
(Shot of Red House having their disagreements at the market.)
Arp: (VO) But even the winning Red House had internal problems.
Tracey: (VO) This whole money issue is causing a lot of unnecessary fighting. We are dominating this game right now, but with all the bickering going on, we certainly aren't acting like it.
(Shot of Sana leaping over Yukari in the immunity challenge, sending the latter to the ground.)
Arp: (VO) Sana helped propel the Blue House to a victory, while Yellow fell behind and was forced to evict one of their members.
(Shot of Ruri confronting Rika during the water excursion.)
Arp: (VO) Recognizing Rika's effort to vote her out, Ruri fought back.
(Shot of Rika standing up after the last vote is read.)
Arp: (VO) She convinced Shinji, Tenchi and Yukari to vote for Rika, making the Digimon Tamer the second person eliminated.
(Arp and Rika walk out of the house.)
Arp: (VO) Now, sixteen remain. Who will be eliminated tonight?


***CHAMPION’S CUP***
Blue House-

Brock, Pokémon, The Mole- Mole 2: AE
Misato, Evangelion, 7th Place- Anime-zing Race
Sana, Kodocha, 4th Place- Animation Survivor 2
Tai, Digimon Adventure, Winner- Animation Survivor
Yukino, His & Her Circumstances, 3rd Place- Anime-zing Race

Yellow House-
Ruri, Nadesico, Runner-up- Mole: AE
Shinji, Evangelion, Winner- Pokéball Run
Tenchi, Tenchi Muyo, Winner- Mole: AE
Yukari, Azumanga Daioh, 4th Place- Anime-zing Race 2
Yukito, Cardcaptor Sakura, Runner-up- Anime-zing Race 2

Red House-

Akito, Kodocha, 4th Place- Mole: AE
Henry, Digimon Tamers, Runner-up- Mole 2: AE
Jessie, Battle Athletes, Winner- Anime-zing Race 2
Kari, Digimon Adventure, Runner-up- Animation Survivor 2
Mitsune, Love Hina, Winner- Mole 2: AE
Tracey, Pokémon, 3rd Place- Animation Survivor
***CHAMPION’S CUP***


Day Seven
Yellow House

(Yukito and Shinji are prepare breakfast. Ruri walks downstairs.)

Yukito: Good morning, Ruri!

Ruri: Food. I remember that.

Yukito: Thankfully, we had plenty left over from before to get a healthy breakfast.

Shinji: No sense saving up if we have a challenge today.

(Ruri nods and waits in the living room.)

Ruri: It's good to be back inside, but we're only here because we lost again. So we need to make sure we stay inside long enough to get ourselves back together.

(Tenchi comes downstairs next. He greets Shinji and Yukito, then heads into the living room. Ruri is sitting on one of chairs, and he sits opposite her on the couch.)

Tenchi: (nervous) Um... good morning, Ruri.

Ruri: Good morning.

(Tenchi forces a smile.)

Tenchi: I thought last night was going to be pretty predictable. Even after I switched my vote to Rika, I figured it would still be Yukari going. But Ruri had apparently also talked Yukari and either Shinji or Yukito into voting Rika. That really scares me. If she has the power to influence the vote like that, then that puts her in firm control of this team. I guess that makes her a threat, but I'd rather keep her around than Yukari. Heck, I'll be the first one cheering Ruri on if she wins. But figuring out this team is suddenly a lot more difficult than I thought.

(Once breakfast is ready, that's Yukari's cue to descend. She takes her ration, sits at the table, and starts scarfing with the rest of the team. But she occasionally looks up at the group, looking at everybody except Ruri with some suspicion.)

Yukari: Last night, the only one who ever approached me about the vote was Ruri, and she said everybody was voting off Rika. Well guess what? Everybody didn't. Somebody besides Rika voted for me, and I'm making it my job to sniff out who it was and make sure everyone knows that he's not on the same page as the rest of us.


Red House
(Everybody's pretty darn lazy at Red House. Tracey, Mitsune, Akito and even Jessie are lounging about in the living room. Tracey is taking up the entire couch sketching something. Mitsune and Akito are both reading manga- Mitsune on a chair and Akito on the floor. Jessie is in the other chair, reading Murder Game 3: The Novelization. Now approved for fanfiction.net! Her eyes are quite wide.)

Jessie: The similarities between Hinata and Anna-chan are even more uncanny...

Mitsune: And who didn't want to spend money on entertainment?

(Jessie puts the book down.)

Jessie: I'd rather save up for something else, but books I can tolerate. And since we have them, I might as well use them.

Mitsune: (smug) Yeah, just don't tell us what happens. I'm betting Tracey that I figure it out before him.

Tracey: Oh, give it a rest, Kitsune. I already figured it out. It's Duplica.

(Jessie and Mitsune smile knowingly at each other. Henry comes in from outside. Nobody seems to notice.)

Henry: Jessie, can you come help me outside?

Jessie: Don't know what you're doing, but sure.

(She sets the book aside and follows Henry out, stepping over Akito in the process. Henry leads her outside, where he has six sleeping bags laid out, along with the box they received on day one.)

Henry: What do you think?

Jessie: How long have you been working on this?

Henry: About an hour. If we have a challenge today, I want to be ready before then.

Jessie: (angry) Afraid we'll lose?

Henry: Don't want to take chances.

(Jessie sighs and looks at the set-up.)

Jessie: What's with the box?

Henry: I put the stuff for building a fire in there. I also figure we can store some spare money.

Jessie: Where's the food?

Henry: I don't know where to put it. We can't let insects get to it. And knowing these kinds of shows, Lord knows what animals are out in the woods.

Jessie: We'll work on that. What about clothes?

Henry: I'm not invading anyone's bedroom. We should tell everyone to have a change of clothes out here.

Jessie: Put them inside the sleeping bags. Keeps the moths from getting to them.

Henry: Yeah.

Jessie: What if it rains?

Henry: We'll have to work on that later. I wanted to get a tarp, but that got voted down.

Jessie: That thing was like six credits. You're lucky you got the sleeping bags. This is a lot of money for “just in case.”

Henry: What exactly are you so concerned about saving up for?

Jessie: Look, if we win this next challenge, we can start splurging. Then we'd really have an advantage because we'd have everything we need and don't have to worry about saving up.

(Henry leads her to the proposed fire pit and they start talking about that.)

Jessie: (VO) Henry spent all morning putting this elaborate camp together in case we end up outside again. I don't see the point of straining yourself for something when he could be concentrating on winning the challenge. I still ended up helping him though. Because it is still productive and he's doing a hell of a lot more than everybody else.


(Speaking of everybody else, they're still inside and heading to the kitchen. Akito, Mitsune and Tracey sit down as Kari hands them each a plate of eggs on toast.)

Kari: Hope you like it. It's been a while since I've made eggs.

Mitsune: They're not on fire and they're not clucking. Good enough.

Kari: Where's Henry and Jessie?

Tracey: Outside.

Akito: Working on their campground.

Mitsune: Yeah. I'm surprised they haven't come in yet. If they're not installing a hot tub, it's not worth the effort.

(They resume their eating.)

Mitsune: (VO) The cooking situation is pretty sad, actually. In other shows, kids who cook on the pro circuit can win Survivors. In other shows, Shinobu can make the final four even with Ukyo in the same damn tribe. Here, we don't have a single person that has any real clue what they're doing in the kitchen. We've been relying on Kari, but she's not anything to write home about.

(They haven't been having much of a conversation. Kari's almost finished.)

Kari: Well... how were they?

Mitsune: Edible. That's all we ask.

Akito: It sucks.

(Everybody freezes and stares at him. The piece of toast in Tracey's mouth starts to droop. Oblivious, Akito resumes eating, with the leopard ears and tail emerging. Kari takes a deep breath, but she's obviously offended.)

Kari: Does anybody else want to try making them?

(Tracey hurriedly finishes his slice and hands her his plate.)

Tracey: I don't know about Akito, but I could go for seconds. We have enough, right?

Mitsune: Better idea! Tracey, how about you make them?

Tracey: Why me?

Mitsune: Well, I know I can't cook. And it doesn't look like Jessie, Henry or Akito can either. So why don't you give it a shot? You're the outdoorsy survival type.

Tracey: I don't see how being an outdoorsy survival type equates to being able to cook on a stove.

Mitsune: Oh, give it a shot. And make some for me and Akito too. We'll be the judges.

Tracey: This may be the worst episode of Iron Chef ever.

(Tracey does so. While Mitsune and Kari watch him, Akito grabs the plate meant for Jessie.)

Tracey: I suppose I'm competent at cooking. By that I mean I've never caused a forest fire. I guess I've never really thought about it. I'm not as good as Brock... and Ash and Misty made sure I was aware of that. And at the research center... if it weren't for Ma Ketchum, Professor Oak and I would starve.

(Another round of eggs on toast. Our esteemed judges are Mitsune and Akito. Tracey and Kari have second helpings as well, but Henry's plate has also mysteriously vanished.)

Tracey: I bet they taste exactly the same. There's not much you can do with this.

(Akito chews for a second, swallows, then nods.)

Akito: These are better.

(Kari sweatdrops. Tracey takes a bite.)

Tracey: I can't tell the difference.

(Mitsune nods.)

Mitsune: Yeah. We declare Tracey the winner!

(Kari shrugs.)

Kari: Congratulations. I guess you can cook from now on.

(Kari stands up and walks away.)

Kari: I'm going to see what Henry's up to. Tracey, you might want to make a couple more for them.

(Tracey shakes his head. Akito waits until she's outside.)

Akito: She took that pretty hard.

(Mitsune and Tracey both stare at Akito, who just takes a drink of orange juice, oblivious once more.)

Kari: I'm not really that upset about it. I mean, I never set myself up as a great cook. I don't cook all that often. And if they ever knew how my Mom cooked, they'd never let me near the kitchen again. It could be just the way everybody turned it into some competition over who did a better job.

Mitsune: They're soft-boiled eggs for crying out loud. I don't know how it's done, but I'm sure it's not that big a deal. I'm not sure what Akito was thinking when he said what he did, but I definitely had strategy in mind when I gave the job to Tracey. I still don't know where Kari fits into everything, but I'm sure she'll be a lot easier to vote out if she's not making us food every day.


Blue House

(Misato is dragging three poles behind her as she returns to the house. Brock and Yukino run up to her, with Tai and Sana following.)

Yukino: My senses tell me we have a stretcher challenge.

Misato: Seems that way. We have three poles and a machete.

Tai: Okay, we can handle this. First we need someone to play the victim.

Yukino: I think we need to look no further than our professional actress.

Sana: Happy to be aboard!

(Sana jumps on the poles.)

Sana: Call me when you're rescuing me!

Yukino: Sorry, Sana. You and Tai have done this thing before, so you'll have to walk us through this.

Sana: Okay!

(Tai nods and quickly starts directing traffic, sending Brock into the woods to cut up some branches.)

Yukino: For today's Comfort Challenge, we're racing homemade stretchers or something. These kinds of projects would normally be a great opportunity for me to show what kind of a leader I am, but I don't have a damn clue about building these things. I'd rather let Sana and Tai steal the spotlight than look like an idiot under it.


(Using Sana for measurements, they have a basic triangle design set up. Yukino and Misato look impressed.)

Misato: That back side looks a big long though. Handles?

Yukino: I don't think that's a good idea.

Tai: When Brock gets back, we'll chop off half of that and stick it in the middle to give Sana more support.

Yukino: What do we use to hold it all together?

Tai: Hopefully Brock finds some vines.

Misato: Not bad. So did you two both help design the stretchers for your old teams?

Tai: No, that was, uh... Tracey.

Sana: Hayama designed ours!

(Misato and Yukino sweatdrop.)

Misato: Perfect.

Sana: At least we won't have to worry about Yellow!

Tai: I don't know. They'd carry Ruri. She's lighter than you.

Yukino: They might have voted her off last night. Bad physically, awesome mentally- she'd be the perfect choice.

Tai: That's true. So who'd be next lightest for them? Rika? Shinji?

Yukino: What do you think Shinji weighs?

Misato: (instant) 118.

(Yukino and Tai turn to Misato, astonished. Misato waves a hand.)

Misato: (dismissive) Yes, I knew that off hand and yes, it's important for what we do!

Yukino: Well, let's concentrate on our own race and worry about the other teams later.

(Brock returns with some vines and fronds, and they get to work finalizing the stretcher.)


Comfort Challenge
(The three team boats are heading to the pier on Ascension Island in the center of the lagoon. Upon docking, the teams remain on their pier, each with their own makeshift stretcher. Arp and Akane are waiting.)

Arp: Three things before we begin. I want to make sure Blue and Red notice that Yellow House is now without Rika. She was the game's second casualty.

(Henry and Mitsune raise their eyebrows in interest, but that doesn't get much of a reaction out of anybody on Blue.)

Arp: Secondly, I'm in a very giving mood today. Those boats you came in on? They're yours.

Mitsune: Ooh.

Arp: Yeah. While they can only spend the night on the docks by the beach, feel free to use your boat however you want. I certainly recommend using them to have fun, since entertainment is scarce at the moment. But there are also slips at the market, which will reduce your shopping hikes considerably.

(Everybody nods, fairly impressed.)

Arp: Finally- I giveth, and I also taketh away. Your house keys.

(Blue and Red turn their keys in.)

Arp: Now I see you all brought your stretchers. Good start. But before I start explaining the challenge, I need one person from each team to be the rescuee.

(Kari, Ruri and Sana step forward.)

Arp: Sana for Blue, Ruri for Yellow, and Kari for Red. You three can follow Akane to the other end of the island, where she will mess you up good. She'll give you the details on the way.

(Akane leads them to certain doom. Arp continues.)

Arp: Your job, obviously, will be to rescue them. Each team will run along the shoreline to your victim. How closely you follow the shore is up to you, but I will warn you that it's pretty impassable inland, so don't stray too far. Anyway, you'll reach your victim, who will be tied to a tree.

Tracey: Parachuting again?

Arp: No, we just wanted to tie them up and the network wouldn't let us use tentacle monsters. Anyway, once you get them down and on your stretcher, you'll have one more thing to worry about.

(Arp picks up two narrow plastic pipes, each about the width of a fine-point marker.)

Arp: You'll have to dress their wound. These plastic pipes will be fastened onto your victim's lower leg. The catch is that you need to make sure each piece holds together. They snap together, but they will come apart if they aren't secured properly. Bandage it right, and don't manhandle the victim on the ride back, and they'll be fine.

(Arp passes out a small first aid kit to each team.)

Arp: Once you have their injury taken care of, carry them back to your boat using the stretcher and load them on. From there, head back to the mainland, and take the victim to the nurse's tent on the beach. Kasumi will check the dressing, and the first two teams to arrive with their victim's pipe intact wins. And besides the money and staying in your house, I'm feeling extra giving today. The winning house can choose to receive the normal 50 credit prize... or 25 credits and an actual reward. We'll talk about that later. Red House, you have an extra person. Who's sitting out?

(Akito raises a hand and backs away as the twelve remaining line up.)

Arp: Akito. Okay, you've got your stretchers and your first aid kits. So get into position-

(Ready... set...)

Arp: Go!

(All three teams start charging around the island, with nobody taking a real lead. Yellow shoots for the inside path, with Blue on the inside of the beach and Red right along the shore. Blue and Red take a slight lead, as Yellow is forced to slow down due to the terrain. The teams run out of beach really quickly, however, and are forced to squeeze through a thicket of trees. The two teams remain even, but not far ahead of Yellow, who follow Blue's path. By doing this, Blue has already trampled the grass ahead of them, allowing Yellow to get right up behind. The teams arrive at a clearing on the other side of the island, where Sana, Ruri and Kari are each tied to the base of a tree, with Akane standing nearby.)

Yukino: There they are!

(On the inside track, and since Sana's the closest of the three, Blue pulls ahead and is the first to reach the tree. While Brock opens the first aid kit and Yukino prepares the stretcher, Tai and Misato start untying Sana. Red and Yellow arrive at almost the same time. Everybody on Red save Tracey unties Kari while Tenchi and Shinji do the honors for Ruri.)

Misato: Damn, Akane, what kind of knots are these?

Akane: I'd be surprised if they had a name. They're mostly original creations.

(Despite the complaining, nobody really excels at getting their captive free. With Jessie, Mitsune and Henry on the job, Red bumps into each other a lot. Finally, Misato and Tai get the job done and get Sana free.)

Sana: Yay!

Misato: Shut up, you're injured.

(Sana leaps towards the stretcher, where Yukino and Brock are waiting.)

Yukino: Have a seat.

(Sana sits on the stretcher as Brock approaches with their pipe and a roll of bandage.)

Brock: Okay, Sana, hold very, very still.

Tai: Can we tie her to the stretcher?

(Brock finds an appropriate spot on Sana's lower leg and positions the pipe there. Yukino holds it down and Brock begins to bandage it to the leg. As he does, Yukito watches carefully as his teammates free Ruri. They do so a moment before Kari is released. Both get to their stretcher at about the same time. Yukito wastes no time in mimicking Brock's first aid techniques. Tracey, however, doesn't have that ability.)

Tracey: Any suggestions on how we should do this?

Mitsune: I thought you knew first aid.

Tracey: I do, but I don't know the best way to keep this pipe in place.

Henry: Maybe wrap the bandage around a couple times as cushion.

Mitsune: Yeah.

(Tracey does so.)

Akane: All three teams busy with the bandaging.

(All three teams are pretty careful with the work, with Tracey putting an extra layer on.)

Henry: Okay, now put it on.

(Jessie holds it in place as Tracey continues wrapping.)

Brock: Almost done...

(Tai, Yukino, and Misato position themselves around Sana. Yukino leans over to Misato.)

Yukino: Misato, after we get into the woods, run ahead and start the boat.

(Misato nods.)

Brock: Done.

(Brock closes the first aid kit and gives it to Sana.)

Sana: Go!

(The entire team picks up the stretcher and continues along the shore.)

Akane: Blue House is the first to take off!

(The other two teams are still bandaging their victim's leg. Yukari takes the first aid kit and hands it to Ruri.)

Tenchi: Yuki, Ruri has the kit.

Yukito: Almost got it.

(Yukito pulls the bandage, Shinji cuts it, and Yukito throws the remainder to Ruri, who catches it and puts it in the box.)

Tenchi: We're off.

(Yellow is the next team to take off. Mitsune watches them go.)

Mitsune: Trace, hope you're finishing up.

Tracey: Yep, yep. How's this look?

Henry: I think we're good.

(Henry cuts the bandage. Tracey packs up and gives the kit to Kari. They are off, and not that far behind Yellow.)

Akane: Red House is right behind Yellow.

(But back to Blue for a moment. Tai turns around and sees nobody behind them.)

Tai: So far, so good guys.

Misato: I think we're getting close to the dock.

Yukino: Brock, think you can pick up for Misato while she runs ahead?

Brock: Yeah. Go for it!

Misato: Three... two... one...

(Brock takes the entire front end as Misato runs ahead.)

Sana: Good luck, Misato!

(She sprints forward to the dock and starts the engine. She also loosens the rope connecting it to the pier. The rest of Blue approaches, and they don't appear to have lost any time.)

Misato: We're clear! Get her on and let's get going! Last one on pull the rope.

(Brock hops on the boat as he and Misato gently lift Sana on and set her in the back. They sit down as Yukino and Tai board, with Tai releasing the boat. Misato guides them out of there as the other two teams draw near. Without much passing room along the shore, Yellow still has a slim lead over Red.)

Yukari: Damn, how did they get out of there so fast?

Tenchi: Shinji! Start the boat; the keys are in the ignition.

Shinji: Okay.

(Shinji runs ahead and the other three carriers have no trouble picking up the slack. Just behind them, Red sees that tactic.)

Jessie: Damn! Henry, run ahead!

Henry: Are you sure?

(Tracey moves to the middle.)

Tracey: I got it. Go ahead.

(Henry does so, running ahead of Yellow in the process. By the time he gets to his boat, Yellow has as well. Yukito and Tenchi guide Ruri into the back of the boat while Yukari helps Shinji with the rope. They get settled in, but are in a bad position to take their seats. Tenchi struggles to get into the driver's seat and Yukari almost knocks Yukito on top of Ruri while boarding. Yukito manages to avoid her, and they all sit down, but by that time, Red has already started getting Kari aboard. Henry and Jessie are instrumental to that, while Tracey hangs back to untie the boat and Mitsune gets into the driver's seat immediately. While Yellow and Red are in a dead heat, however, Blue has a pretty sizable lead.)

Yukino: Okay, Misato, when we get there, you shut her down and tie it up while we start getting Sana to Kasumi.

Tai: The important thing is to be careful. Looks like we have plenty of time.

(They arrive. Misato hangs back while Tai jumps onto the pier immediately as they gently lift Sana aboard. Brock and Yukino get on the pier, they lift her up and take off. Quickly tying a rope to the pier, Misato joins them and they all jog across the beach. Kasumi has a small nurse's tent set up on the beach, and in a gesture of fanservice is dressed appropriately. Despite taking their time, Blue gets there first and sets Sana down. Arp and Akito are waiting nearby.)

Kasumi: Okay, Sana, let's see this leg of yours.

(Kasumi carefully unwraps the bandage as the team looks on. Yukino and Tai are nervous. Brock is less so. The pipe is still intact, and Kasumi gives a thumb's up to Arp.)

Arp: Blue House wins the challenge!

(Party time! Hugs all around, and Sana is up and dancing, almost knocking Kasumi over in the process. Yukari sees this from the boat, as Yellow and Red are still neck and neck.)

Yukari: Damn, looks like Blue's done.

Ruri: Then we need to beat Red. Yukito's in the best place to tie up the boat, so everybody move the stretcher out while he does that.

Tenchi: Yukari, think you and Shinji can get Ruri up to the pier?

Yukari: No problem!

(Similar discussions are taking place on Red's boat.)

Henry: I'll tie the boat up while you guys get her on the pier. This is going to be a close one.

(Tenchi has just a slight edge on Mitsune as they dock. Yukito jumps out and strings the boat up immediately as Yukari and Shinji get ready to hoist Ruri up the moment Tenchi is ready. As soon as Red arrives, Henry has the rope around the post and Jessie and Tracey are guiding Kari up to Mitsune. Henry finishes in time to help her out.)

Henry: Careful!

(As they ease her up enough so that Jessie and Tracey can get on the dock, Ruri is on Yellow's pier. Tenchi takes the front end and Yukari takes the back, with Yukito joining her immediately. Shinji grabs the side and they start running to the beach a few seconds before Red.)

Jessie: Let's go!

(It's just Kitsune in front, with Jessie, Tracey and Henry in the back, until Henry moves to the left side. The beach sprint is on, but Red is not gaining any ground on Yellow.)

Mitsune: We have to go faster!

Henry: I'm going as fast as I can!

Jessie: I'm not!!

Tracey: Why not?

Jessie: I can't; you three are slowing me down!

(Ah yes, the “fast as the slowest member” conundrum. It's affecting Yellow as well, as Shinji begins to tire.)

Shinji: I have to slow down.

Yukari: No you don't! Push Shinji!

Tenchi: Let's go! We've got them!

(Summoning some extra energy, Shinji labors on as they near Kasumi's tent, as Blue House cheers them on.)

Tenchi: Get ready to set her down.

(Still with a slim lead, they lower Ruri, setting her down as soon as they reach the tent. Red didn't, and is forced to slow down to get Kari on the ground safely.)

Arp: Yellow's in, followed by Red.

(Kasumi starts unwrapping the bandage around Ruri's leg. Tenchi and Shinji watch nervously, and Red House crowds around as well. Finally, Kasumi reaches the pipe and makes her verdict.)

Kasumi: Good!

Arp: Yellow House finishes second!

(As Kasumi moves on to Kari, Yellow celebrates fairly modestly. Tenchi high-fives everybody and Yukito pats Shinji on the back; only Yukari's vocal about the finish. Henry and Mitsune are pretty disappointed over on Red, while Tracey doesn't really react much. Jessie's pissed, of course.)


----


(While Kasumi confirms that Kari was properly bandaged, Arp gives ten credits to Mitsune.)

Arp: Red, sorry, but only ten credits, and you're outside for at least a night.

(Now turning to Blue and Yellow, Arp returns house keys, but no money yet.)

Arp: Blue and Yellow will remain inside, but before we hand out the money, we have the special prize to talk about.

(Blue is eager to hear the news, and Yellow and Red make sure to stay in earshot.)

Arp: The normal bonus for first place is 50 credits. Blue House, you have the choice of taking that, or trading it for 25 credits and what's behind curtain number one. Nabiki?

(Nabiki comes in with a large tent, still rolled up.)

Nabiki: We have here a tent large enough to comfortably fit five people, although you can probably fit more. The deal also comes with sleeping bags for everybody and the tent does have some storage compartments for your valuables.

Arp: It certainly will make life outside easier. Easily worth the 25 credits, and the tent is not available at the market.

(Misato, Tai and Yukino are impressed.)

Arp: Here's the rub- the second place team will get whichever option you don't take. You may need to take that into consideration.

(Tenchi and Yukari perk up immediately.)

Yukino: May we discuss this for a moment?

Arp: Sure.

(Blue House huddles up.)

Tai: Sounds like a good deal to me.

Misato: That thing looks sweet. I don't see the problem.

Yukino: Look, I'd love to have that, but I think we should take the money.

Tai: Why?

Yukino: I don't want Yellow to end up with more money than us. We'd be better off with the 50 credits.

Misato: You sure?

Yukino: With Brock's cooking, I can tolerate being outside. And with the money, we can buy our own sleeping bags.

Tai: Yukino, it's guaranteed shelter. Do you have any idea how valuable that is?

Yukino: Not enough for me to hand over money to another team.

Misato: Brock? Sana? Any thoughts?

Brock: I don't mind sleeping outdoors.

Sana: Let's just not lose and get stuck outside again!

Misato: If you guys are okay with that, then that's fine.

(They come out of the huddle. Tai shakes his head.)

Yukino: We're going to take the money.

Arp: The 50 credits?

Misato: Can't go wrong with money.

Arp: Okay then. Yellow House, you get the tent and 25 credits. We'll have the sleeping bags delivered. Class dismissed!

(While Blue collects their money and shuffles out, Nabiki sets the tent on the stretcher. Tenchi tries not to laugh.)

Tenchi: We really could have used this a couple days ago.

Mitsune: We could use it now! Can we borrow it?

Yukari: I don't think so!

Tenchi: (joking) But we've got a tarp we don't need anymore!

Mitsune: Cool. How much do you want for it?

(Everybody in both Yellow and Red turns to Mitsune, surprised.)

Tenchi: What? You'd really buy it from us? Cost us six credits.

Mitsune: But you used it for two days, and I remember how much it rained that one night. I'll give you three.

Tenchi: How about four?

Mitsune: Deal.

Jessie: Hold on! Can we discuss this?

Henry: Sounds good to me. I told you we needed a tarp.

Akito: If we're outside anyway, it's not a bad deal.

Mitsune: Okay then, discussion over.

(Mitsune walks up and hands Tenchi the money.)

Tenchi: You have to come pick it up though. We've got enough stuff to lug back.

Mitsune: Fair enough.

(Mitsune turns around.)

Mitsune: Tracey! Come help me haul it back to camp.

Tracey: Sure!

Henry: We'll be back at the house, guys.

Kari: See you later!

(Jessie is still unhappy, but she, Akito, Henry and Kari head back to their house. Yellow, along with Mitsune and Tracey, head in a different direction.)


Yellow House
(Nobody's going inside yet. Everybody takes Mitsune and Tracey to their camp area, where the tarp is currently on the ground.)

Tracey: Good size. This is perfect.

Tenchi: Just hope you guys are more prepared for this than we were.

Mitsune: With this, we'll be fine.

(Yukito helps Tracey and Mitsune fold up the tarp as Shinji, Ruri and Yukari carry the stretcher with the tent in.)

Yukari: Okay, now let's set this guy up.

Ruri: There's really no need. We're inside for once.

Tracey: Well, we do have to get this up, so we'll see you guys at the Immunity Challenge.

Mitsune: And you're going down next time!

Tenchi: See you, guys.

(Tracey and Mitsune head out while Yellow looks at the tent.)

Shinji: You know, Ruri's right about us not being in any hurry.

Yukito: All in favor of taking an afternoon nap?

Yukari: Dibs on the couch!

(Yukari rushes inside. Everybody else smiles.)

Yukito: We are all in a very good mood after the challenge. We didn't win, but we did manage to stay inside, and we got a tent out of it in the process. We have a lot of work to do today and tomorrow, but we need to sit back for a moment and relax, because we've earned it.


(On the way back, Mitsune and Tracey do what they do best.)

Tracey: Now I know you didn't want me to go with because you wanted me to carry this tarp.

Mitsune: I'll take any chance to get away from the group. After that cooking debacle, I'm trying to figure out everybody's position.

Tracey: How did I know you were going to politicize that?

Mitsune: Hey, I'd rather have you as the provider than Kari. I still can't figure out if we should bring her in or vote her out.

Tracey: Well, if that showed nothing else, it's that we won't have much trouble convincing Kari to vote off Akito.

Mitsune: No. But what about Jessie?

Tracey: If it's time, I think Henry would see that.

Mitsune: I thought you didn't want to form an alliance with Henry.

Tracey: I'd prefer an alliance with Kari, but at this point, all we need to know is that when we choose whom to vote off, there's somebody else that will follow suit.

Mitsune: Yeah. We can basically take whoever's left when we merge and go from there.

Tracey: Uh huh.

Mitsune: You and I stick together, and we should be in good shape.

(Tracey smiles.)


Red House
(The rest of the house is waiting for the tarp. Fortunately, thanks to Henry, the team is well-prepared. Jessie is not sitting around, however. She's undoing the stretcher and chopping up the poles with an ax.)

Jessie: (VO) I am mad that we lost. The worst part is that it wasn't one particular thing that cost us. Maybe we took too long to dress the injury, maybe we didn't get the boat started on time, maybe something went wrong getting Kari out of the boat. But the fact is that we just got beat, and it really hurts.

(Meanwhle, Kari and Henry are, in fact, sitting around. Akito's snooping through the camp.)

Akito: Didn't you bring food?

Henry: No, we're going to have to buy some. We've got plenty of money out here.

Kari: Let's wait until Kitsune gets back. We may need some supplies to get this tarp up.

Henry: The sooner they get back, the better.

Kari: We've still got some time before the market closes. And we can take the boat too, remember?

Henry: That's not it. I'm just wondering what they're talking about.

Akito: You mean whom they're talking about.

Henry: Exactly. You know those two are plotting something.

Kari: Already? We haven't even come close to voting someone out yet.

Henry: Well, you know them. I think the best thing to do now is just to ignore it and focus on winning immunity. They can't do much with just two people.

Kari: Yeah.

(They resume their relaxing.)

Henry: It's pretty obvious to everybody that Kitsune and Tracey are thinking about who to form alliances with and who to vote out. Thing is, right now, our best strategy is to keep winning and staying together. I'd like to think that I'm not in any danger if we are forced to vote somebody out, but dividing ourselves into different factions won't help us in the long run.


Blue House
(Brock is fixing up some rice balls for dinner. Yukino is helping him make them.)

Brock: You know, you really don't need to help me.

Yukino: I know. I just feel so guilty leaving you to do all the cooking while they have a good time.

Brock: I just wish I could do something special to celebrate our win.

Yukino: We'll get something special for tomorrow.

(They keep packing that rice.)

Brock: (VO) After the challenge, Misato, Tai and Sana went out on the boat while I prepared dinner. Yukino stayed to help me, and I would have appreciated that a lot more if she didn't already have a boyfriend. Damn you, Arima.

(They're now chopping up some vegetables.)

Yukino: So what are your thoughts on the team so far? I can chat with Misato every night, but it's so rare that I get some one-on-one time with anybody else.

Brock: I can't imagine any other teams having as much fun as us.

Yukino: Yeah, it's been great.

(Yukino leans in and bats her eyes.)

Yukino: But I think you know what I'm talking about.

(Brock smiles, but leans back.)

Brock: Ah... thinking it's you, me and Misato all the way?

Yukino: Well, and one other person. Probably Sana.

Brock: Why not Tai?

Yukino: Sana's easier to get along with. At least in terms of an alliance. Tai seems to think with his heart more than his brain. Not a good idea in this game, and I'd rather have somebody that won't let us down.

Brock: Tai may think with his heart, but does Sana think at all?

Yukino: No, but that's okay. She's an actress; as long as she can read off our script, we're good!


(Misato is putting their new boat to good use, cruising along the water with Sana and Tai riding along. All three are having a great time.)

Sana: (VO) We totally kicked butt in the challenge, so we treated ourselves to a trip around the island in our new boat! It was super-awesome and we saw the island in a whole new way!

(They round a point and follow the shoreline for a ways before cutting straight down. Sana points to a house in the distance. There's a little smoke coming from outside.)

Sana: Hey, it's somebody else's house!

Tai: I bet that's Red's house. Looks like they've got their fire going.

Misato: Maybe we should invite ourselves over for dinner. I'm sure Kari wouldn't mind.

Sana: I don't think they'd like that. And I don't want to make Jessie mad.

Tai: Yeah, we need to save room for Brock's dinner.

(They keep going, eventually spotting another house farther south. This one is much larger than any of the team's houses. It also has three stories.)

Misato: Whoa, I want to stay there.

Sana: Is that Yellow?

Misato: If that is, I'm making Shinji let us in.

Tai: That can't be Yellow. They wouldn't make one team's house better than the others.

Sana: Must be where all the production guys and Arp and the wacko Tendo girls live.

Misato: Sweet.

(They spend more time going around the island, including a trip around the market as it closes up for the day. But with the sun setting, they make it a round trip and head back.)

Misato: The boat ride was absolutely wonderful. With all the stress going on about challenges and worrying about voting strategy, the one thing we desperately needed was a way to unwind and just enjoy the experience. Now that we have a boat to ourselves, we can accomplish that any time we want. And I plan to.

Tai: All disagreements aside, I really do like this team. I do have problems with Yukino sometimes, but even she knows that it's okay to sit back and enjoy the experience. I can't see the other teams understanding that as much as we do. We're a very close group, and we know how to come together and win, but the important thing is that we have fun doing it.


(Bedtime in Blue. Tai and Brock are chatting.)

Tai: You know, you really should have joined us. Dinner could have waited.

Brock: That's all right. Yukino was good company. Besides, I like cooking anyway.

(Tai smiles and stretches.)

Tai: Well, except for all that nonsense about the tent, I think it was a pretty good day.

Brock: Did you think we should have taken it?

Tai: Well yeah. Besides, I get the feeling Yukino only passed on it to keep the Yellow team from getting that money.

Brock: It's an interesting strategic move. And it's not like we're in trouble if we're outside.

Tai: It's just a bit mean-spirited. And Misato went along with her. At first, she wanted the tent too.

Brock: Seems like Yukino is really controlling the team. Misato's going along with it. I think they have a pretty strong alliance.

Tai: See that's what I wanted to avoid here. All those alliances and stuff. I really don't want to have to vote anybody else off, but if it comes down to it, at least I can live with voting off Yukino.

Brock: Problem is that it takes three to get rid of her.

Tai: Don't you think we should vote her out next?

Brock: Not sure. If you can talk Sana into it, maybe.

Tai: Well, I guess I could try. Like I said, I don't really like the idea of teaming up against somebody.

Brock: I hate to say it, Tai, but if you can't do that, then you're probably not going to last very long.

Tai: That's true. Well, it is for my own survival, and I really do want Yukino out next, so I suppose it's okay. So how does that sound? If I can get Sana on my side, can I count on you?

(Brock is hesitant.)

Brock: Sure. Good night, Tai.

(He turns off the lamp on the night stand.)


----


Day Eight
Yellow House

(The mailboxes for the three houses are actually all together back where everybody was introduced. Tenchi walks up to his, at the same time Kari reaches Red's.)

Kari: Good morning!

Tenchi: Hey, how did the tarp work out?

Kari: Very nicely. We chopped up the stretcher and used the poles to support it. Thanks for letting us buy it.

Tenchi: No problem. We needed the money anyway.

(They smile and open their boxes. Tenchi frowns.)

Tenchi: This can't be good.

(He and Kari each pull out a pokéball and a note.)

Kari: Hmm... I think I'll let Tracey figure this out.

(They head back home. Follow Tenchi as he returns.)

Shinji: (VO) Since we had a comfort challenge yesterday, we had assumed we'd get today off. Apparently, that's not the case. Seems we're having an immunity challenge today.

(When Tenchi gets back, Yukito, Ruri and Shinji are finally setting up the tent.)

Yukito: Anything interesting?

Tenchi: I'd say so.

(He shows them the pokéball.)

Yukito: See if anybody's inside.

Tenchi: Oh... uh...

(Tenchi throws it. It falls harmlessly to the ground.)

Yukito: Maybe you have to say something.

(Tenchi picks it up and throws it again.)

Tenchi: Pokéball... go.

(Same thing. It rolls over to the other three. Ruri picks it up.)

Ruri: Here, let me do it.

(Ruri walks up to Tenchi, gripping the device.)

Ruri: Ash showed me how to do this once. You need to grip it a certain way, in a certain position. As you throw it, you need to put enough pressure on the back of the ball in order to trigger the release mechanism.

(Ruri throws it. Upon contact with the ground, it opens and a Pokémon pops out.)

Ruri: It's surprisingly complicated. It's a small miracle Ash can do it so automatically.

(Tenchi, however, looks disgusted. Ruri quickly looks sick as well. Standing in front of them is the sheep Pokémon Mareep. It bleats.)

Tenchi: Oh no...

(Yukito and Shinji are less vexed.)

Shinji: At least it's not Chikorita.


Immunity Challenge

(A grassy field at the base of a hill on the southern end of the island. There is a pen holding about fifty Mareep, each with a black cover on its back. There are three smaller pens connected to the large one. In front of those, the three teams arrive. Arp and the Tendo sisters are there as well.)

Arp: If you couldn't tell by now, it's time for some Mareep herding. As anyone who's done this before knows, there's a lot of frustration involved. So I'm going to give you some help. Our official sheep herding mascot: Tenchi and Ruri got to know him very well.

Tenchi: Oh God no.

Arp: Quincy!

(Everyone's favorite 120-pound sheepdog, Quincy, is on the scene, with Kasumi holding his leash. And the first person that catches his attention is Ruri. He breaks free of Kasumi and charges toward Yellow's mat. Ruri runs for her life.)

Sana: Run, run Ruri-Ruri!!

(She has no prayer of outrunning the big puppy. Quincy tackles her to the ground.)

Ruri: Idiot.

Arp: Aw, Quincy's not an idiot. He just likes you. Come here, Quincy!

(Arp walks up to Quincy. Quincy bounces away. Repeat.)

Arp: Uh, little help?

Tenchi: No, you can handle him. He's your dog, right?

(Quincy dodges again.)

Arp: Cute... Quincy!

Mitsune: This is for locking us out. Karma, you know?

(Finally, Arp gets a hold of Quincy's leash and returns to position.)

Arp: Anyway, you're still herding sheep. Or should I say Mareep, which are only slightly more people-friendly. In Mole 2, you guys played tic-tac-toe with these, but as this is an all-star cast, you'll play something a little more complicated- baccarat. Everybody know how to play that?

Tai: No, actually.

Henry: Never heard of it.

Mitsune: I have. You bet money, the dealer deals some cards, they're flipped over, dealer takes your money away. Not my favorite.

Yukino: If you could enlighten us, please?

Arp: (nervous) Okay, uh... Nabiki, how do you play baccarat?

(Massive face fault.)

Jessie: You don't know either!?

Arp: Do I look like the casino type?

(Nabiki steps forward.)

Nabiki: The goal of baccarat is to get as high a total as possible with two or three cards. The catch is that you don't carry the one when adding, and tens and face cards are worth zero. So a king, an eight and a three is worth just one point. But a four and a five is nine points- the highest score you can get. Simple enough?

(Nods all around, including Arp.)

Nabiki: (to Arp) Maybe you won't sleep in and miss the production meeting next time.

Arp: Yeah, yeah. Basically, each team will go in and get two Mareep into your pen. Once they're in, you can peel off the cover on their backs and see what cards you have. If you're happy with your score, you can stop there. If you want to try for better, go in and get another one. Best score wins the round. Still good?

(More nods.)

Arp: Luck is a big part of this challenge, but getting those Mareep into your pen as soon as possible is important for a couple reasons. First off, once two teams are satisfied with their hand, the game stops. So if the third team doesn't have two Mareep yet, they lose the round.

Nabiki: Here's the biggie- in baccarat, if the first two cards total eight or nine, the player announces the score and the hand is immediately over. That only works if it's the first two cards, but if you do get it, it's almost a guaranteed win.

Arp: First two teams to take three rounds win immunity. The other team will be eliminating somebody tonight. Yes, it's only been two days, but who said we had to go on a three-day cycle? For the next few rounds, it's a two-day cycle with a challenge every day. Now who's sitting out for Red?

(Jessie raises a hand. Arp is surprised.)

Arp: Jessie?

Jessie: I don't do Pokémon.

Arp: Understood. Everybody get to your pen!

(They all take a pen and quickly formulate a game plan. Each of the sisters monitors a pen as well- Kasumi for Blue, Nabiki for Red, Akane for Yellow. Jessie stays outside, holding Quincy's leash. Arp climbs a riser nearby so he can get an elevated view of the game. He picks up an airhorn.)

Arp: Ready?

(Arp blasts the horn. Quincy barks at it, but more importantly the teams charge for Mareep. Yukino, Yukito, Akito and Mitsune hang back at the pen, but everybody else tries their best to force a Mareep into the pen. Tenchi and Yukari team up to corner one Mareep, while Ruri and Shinji keep the rest away. Blue goes for the “both at once” approach, but has little luck as they can't get two away from the group.)

Sana: Come on, sheep!

(She drives a few towards Brock, and he manages to tackle one, which gives him a thunder shock for his troubles. Red is taking things slowly, with Tracey, Henry and Kari working together to pin Mareep in a corner. Tracey starts leading it back. Yukito opens the pen for a Mareep Tenchi delivers, while Ruri, Shinji and Yukari are already working on a second.)

Arp: Yellow has one!

(Tracey gets one in as well, but Blue is having no luck. By the time they get one in, Yellow already has a second in their pen.)

Arp: Yellow has two; see what your score is.

(Yukito lifts the covers on both the Mareep. He has a King and a Queen. Taking a page from AR, we'll use brackets to indicate on-screen captions.)
[Yellow: K+Q = 0 points]
Yukito: Get another one.

(While they do that, Red gets their second one. While Mitsune shuts the gate, Akito is more discreet, lifting the covers just barely. Akito motions for Tracey to get a third.)
[Red: 7+7 = 4 points]
Arp: Yellow and Red going for a third.

(Blue is just a mess at this point, with Sana yelling and neither Misato nor Tai having any clue what to do. Yellow gets a third Mareep in by the time Blue gets its second. After shutting the gate, Yukino checks her sheep.)
[Blue: 6+7 = 3 points]
Yukino: We've got 3, get another one.

Arp: Blue going for a third. Yellow already has a third Mareep.

(Blue has no chance of getting a third Mareep before Red does. Mitsune slams the gate shut.)

Nabiki: Done.

(Arp blasts the airhorn.)

Arp: Yellow and Red are through! Blue, you have to stop. Let's see your hand.

(Yellow: Q, J, 6. Red: 7, 7, 5. Blue: 6, 7.)

Arp: Yellow has 6, Red has 9, Blue has 3. Red House takes the round.

(Tracey high-fives Mitsune and Henry as the Mareep are released back into the large pen.)

Arp: Okay... round two!

(Another blast of the airhorn and round two begins. In a more condensed edit, Blue has just as much trouble this time, while Yellow and Red remain neck-and-neck. By the time Blue manages to get one in, Yellow and Red are again working on their second. Mitsune and Yukito both have the pen open, with Yukito also keeping the first Mareep in. Akito's handling that job for Red, and Mitsune is free to shut the pen as soon as Tracey gets the second one in there. Akito checks the two immediately.)
[Red: 2+10 = 2 points]
Akito: We need another one.

(Tracey climbs over the fence, but Kari and Henry are already on the job. Meanwhile, Yellow's first Mareep tries to sneak out, but Shinji dives towards it, scaring it back into the pen as Tenchi leads the second one in. Yukito shuts the gate, and he and Shinji check the covers.)

Yukito: I have a 9.

Shinji: So do I.

(They look each other for a moment and turn to Akane.)

Yukito / Shinji: Eight!

(Akane raises her hands.)

Akane: Eight!

(Arp blasts the horn.)

Arp: Yellow has an 8! Red?

(Akito lifts the covers.)

Arp: Only a 2 for Red, and Blue only has one Mareep in the pen. Round two goes to Yellow!

Tenchi: All right Shinji!

(Everybody in Yellow gives their props to Shinji for his move. Blue is looking exhausted, especially Brock.)

Brock: Yukino, you run. I need a break.

Yukino: Okay.

Arp: Blue switching gatekeepers. Let's see if Yukino has better luck.

(Arp blasts the horn for round three. This time, Blue splits up into pairs and Misato and Yukino nab one right away. It shocks Misato, but Yukino manages to keep control of it and lead it into the pen, just as Yellow and Red do. While Yukino and Brock get that one in, Misato helps Tai and Sana corral another one. Ruri and Shinji start leading a second Mareep back, while a visibly tiring Tracey is not having much luck. Sana hustles Blue's second Mareep into the pen, and Yukino and Brock check the numbers.)
[Blue: J+3 = 3 points]
Brock: Three.

Yukino: Damn jack.

Brock: Try again.

(Yukino climbs the fence and joins the others as Ruri and Shinji get their second and Yukito pulls the covers.)

[Yellow: 6+4 = 0 points]
Yukito: Go again.

(Both Blue and Yellow have a third picked out by the time Kari gets number two in for Red.)
[Red: 2+2 = 4 points]
Akito: One more.

Tracey: (exhausted) You guys go.

(Kari and Henry do their best, but both Blue and Yellow get back in time. Arp sounds the horn.)

Arp: Time's up, Red. Pull 'em!

(Blue: J, 3, A. Yellow: 6, 4, 5. Red: 2, 2.)

Arp: Blue and Red have 4, Yellow has 5. Yellow wins their second round!

(While Yellow is very pleased, Blue is really disheartened by the loss.)

Yukino: Come on guys, we're getting there. We've got this one!

Tai: Yeah, we've got this figured out now!

Arp: Round four- a couple people running out of gas. Shinji and Tracey taking over gate duty for now.

Jessie: Come on, Kitsune!

(Quincy barks. Jessie pets him.)

Jessie: (to Arp) I like your dog.

Nabiki: Tracey's about to collapse and Jessie's having a Sakaki moment.

(The signal is given and round four begins. Mitsune rushes out immediately and gets a couple running back towards the pen.)

Mitsune: Hee chai, hee chai, hee chai!

Tenchi: That's my bit, Kitsune!

(Whoever's it is, it works for her as two Mareep head towards the pen. Kari and Tracey try to get them inside. One gets away, but Tracey gets the other in. Henry drives one toward the pen, and with Kari's help gets it under control. As Blue and Yellow get one, Tracey guides the second one in. Akito checks the numbers as Mitsune goes for number three.
[Red: 4+3 = 7 points]
Akito: We're good. Stop here.

Tracey: Kitsune! We don't need a third!

(Mitsune raises a hand and turns around. Blue and Yellow get their second, but both decide to go for more.)
[Blue: 5+Q = 5 points | Yellow: J+5 = 5 points]
Arp: Red's stopping, but they don't have an eight or nine, so Blue and Yellow go after number three.

(Yukari and Yukito manage to get one in a far corner of the pen, just as Tai and Misato do. Both rush to get theirs back.)

Yukino: Hustle up! We need to beat Yellow!

(While Shinji struggles to open the gate and keep the first Mareep in line, Sana leaps over the fence and controls her first while Yukino opens the gate. This lets Blue sneak in first.)

Arp: That's it! Pull 'em!

(Already with a 5 and a Queen, Blue pulls their third. It's a worthless 10.)

Yukino: Damn it!

Arp: Blue and Yellow have 5, Red has 7. Red pulls even!

(It's Round 5. Tai and Misato have been active every round, so they're really wearing out. Kari and Henry are limiting any needless running, letting Mitsune do the dirty work. She gets the first one easily while they go for number two. Yellow gets their first, and Blue does a few moments later, but Kari and Henry come in with number two and again Red is the first to two Mareep. Akito looks at the numbers, but remains silent.)
[Red: 2+3 = 5 points]
Mitsune: Do we need another one?

Tracey: What do we have?

Akito: Five.

Henry: Only a fifty-fifty chance of improving. Let's take a break.

Kari: Yeah.

(While they do that, Yellow gets its second.)
[Yellow: A+K = 1 point]
Shinji: Off again.

(With two depleted runners, Blue takes a while to get its second in, but as soon as she rips off the covers, Sana jumps for joy.)

Sana: Nine!!

(Arp sounds the horn as Sana proudly reveals a King and a 9.)

Arp: Blue finally takes one. They're back in this.

(Tai, Ruri and Kari stay home for round six. Tenchi and Yukari continue to push hard for Yellow, and that pays off as they just beat out Mitsune and Henry to get the second Mareep in. Ruri and Kari check the numbers.)
[Yellow: K+4 = 4 points | Red: 8+3 = 1 point]
Ruri / Kari: Keep going.

(While they do, Yukino and a fairly refreshed Brock land their second.)
[Blue: 4+2 = 6 points]
Tai: Six. Let's stay.

Yukino: No argument here.

Arp: Blue's staying with two Mareep!

Kari: We need to beat Yellow, guys!

(But being inside the gate for most of the challenge has left Akito with no clue how to handle the Mareep outside of it. Tracey makes up for it, and he and Henry guide a Mareep back to the pen. Tenchi sees that and guides the whole herd towards his.)

Tenchi: Let's go! Hee chai!

(Despite a virtual stampede, Yukito and Shinji manage to get one in and lock the door, moments before Tracey arrives with his. Arp sounds the horn. Ruri pulls the cover, revealing a 4.)

Arp: Blue has 6, Red has 1, Yellow has 8. Yellow House wins immunity!!

(Celebrate good times, come on! Tenchi and Shinji hug excitedly, with Yukari joining in. Neither mind. Ruri is a bit more reserved, but manages a smile herself.)

Arp: Let's make this interesting. Yellow- keep playing. For every round you win after this, I'll give you 15 credits. Okay, round 7!

(Yellow calms down enough and returns to their original formation. Akito's back in the pen for Red, along with Misato for Blue. The horn sounds and it's back to work. This round is very even between all three teams. Mitsune and Tracey lead Red to get two Mareep first, but with only a Jack/2 combo, Akito sends them back for a third. Yukari steps up and gets two in the pen just as they hear the call from Blue.)

Misato: Eight!!

(Arp sounds the horn. Misato reveals her pair of fours and high-fives Sana.)

Akane: Yellow had their two in on time.

Arp: Okay- Yukito?

(Yukito uncovers his Mareep, but has a King and a 7.)

Arp: Yellow keeps it close, but Blue ties it up! Round eight- fight!

(Now that they have it tied, Blue has an energy burst. With Yukino back at the gate, Misato and Tai quickly get one in the pen. Red and Yellow are quick to follow suit, but Sana delivers a second well before the other teams. However, they slump as soon as Yukino gets a score.)
[Blue: 7+3 = 0]
Yukino: Let's go, guys!

(Brock is already trying for another one, and is joined by Misato, who trips over a speeding Mareep and falls down. Red and Yellow have gotten their second Mareep in. Red stays on two while Yellow pursues one more.)
[Yellow: 4+A = 4 | Red: 9+8 = 7]
Yukino: Get up, Misato! One more!

(Misato gets up and helps Brock and Sana corral a second Mareep- just as Tenchi and Yukari get a second one for Yellow. Sana and Yukari lead the charges for their teams, while Tenchi and Brock try to maintain control. Suddenly drained by the fall, Misato slows down. Unfortunately, Sana was going a bit too fast, and Brock has to tackle the Mareep to keep it from going out of control. He gets another thunder shock for that. Tai keeps Mareep from getting away, but Ruri and Shinji guide their Mareep in and Arp sounds the horn.)

Arp: Red has a 7. Yellow?

(Yukito pulls the cover- Queen.)

Arp: Red House takes second!

(Red House is far too tired to do any extreme celebrating, but all are happy with the result. Even Jessie smiles and applauds her team's effort. Arp takes Quincy and goes into the pen. Blue is completely floored. Even Sana is leaning on the gate and staring blankly. She pets Quincy as he trots up to her, but her heart's not into it. Arp walks up to Brock, Tai and Misato, who have congregated around that last Mareep.)

Arp: Just out of curiosity...

(Arp pulls the cover on the Mareep. It's an 8. Brock bends down.)

Arp: That would have put you ahead of Red. Instead, I'll see you tonight.

(Misato sits down on the grass as Tai lets the Mareep go.)


----


Blue House
(The team is drudging their way back to the house.)

Yukino: (VO) That challenge was absolute hell. It was the most demanding challenge we've had so far, and we all put everything we had into it. But in the end- nothing.

Misato: (VO) The worst part is that our house is on the far corner of the other end of the island. So not only are we totally exhausted and totally bummed that we lost, but we have a ridiculously long hike back.

(If nothing else, they're inside. Brock falls into the couch. Yukino crashes into it, sprawling out and setting her bare feet on Brock's lap. Misato and Sana take the chairs. Tai doesn't even bother.)

Tai: I'm taking a shower.

(He drags himself upstairs. A moment of silence in the living room, then...)

Sana: That... sucked.

(They sit around, silent.)

Sana: It's like all of the happy in the team suddenly vanished. Now we're tired and we have to vote somebody off.


(Tai finishes his shower and after dressing, heads into the hallway.)

Sana: (OS) Blue House is blue 'cuz of stupid Mareep-oo!

(A digitized echo repeats her statement. Tai sees that her room's door is open.)

Sana: (OS) Now we gotta vote and now we don't know what to do!

(Tai pokes a head inside, where Sana is lying on her bed, rapping into her Nori Nori.)

Sana: All the laughter out to pasture, someone's leaving way too fasture!

Tai: Sana?

(Sana is startled for a moment. She drops the Nori Nori.)

Sana: Hi Tai.

Tai: Mind if I talk to you?

(Tai sits down on the other bed, which he notices is just as untidy.)

Tai: Why is this bed messy? You don't have a roommate.

Sana: When I'm in a happy mood I like to bounce from bed to bed.

(Sana demonstrates, bouncing off of each bed a couple times before falling back onto her own.)

Sana: But I'm not in a happy mood. I have to vote someone off tonight.

Tai: I know. I'm leaning towards Yukino.

Sana: Yukino?

Tai: Yeah. She may act like the leader, but I don't think she contributes enough. That, and I'm afraid she and Misato have an alliance against the rest of us. So I'm trying to get you and Brock to help me vote her out.

Sana: Okay.

Tai: Okay? You'll do it?

Sana: (smiling) Sounds like a plan.

(Tai stands up quickly and hugs Sana.)

Tai: (relieved) That means a lot to me. Thank you, Sana.

(He rushes out the door. Sana remains on her bed, staring blankly at the ceiling. She looks dead serious.)

Sana: Thank you, Komawari.


(Out in the hallway, Tai passes Brock.)

Tai: Brock- quick meeting.

(They go into their room. Tai shuts the door.)

Tai: I talked to Sana. She's in. It's Yukino tonight.

Brock: Sana said she'll vote for her?

Tai: Yeah. You said you would too, right?

(Brock looks around nervously for a moment, then back at Tai.)

Brock: Right. We're all set.

(Tai smiles. Brock follows suit and they shake hands.)

Brock: Welcome to the dark side, Tai.

(Tai shakes his head.)

Tai: Sometimes self-preservation brings the worst out of people.


Elimination
(Everybody is quietly sitting in the living room- Tai and Sana on the couch, Misato and Yukino on the living room chairs, and Brock once again with the kitchen import. All five of their bags are packed and lying in front of the staircase. Someone knocks on the door.)

Yukino: It's unlocked.

Sana: For once!

(Arp lets himself in and opens the door to the voting terminal.)

Arp: Sorry to barge in again, but we're right back where we were five days ago. Misato- do you think you've grown as a team since the last time you had to do this?

Misato: You bet. We really came together and started having fun. And we did win two straight challenges. You have to give us that.

Arp: Does that make it okay to be here again?

Brock: Makes it worse actually. We all worked really hard during that challenge, and the only reason we lost was because we were simply outplayed. But we're still a strong team. I think that we'll prove that in the long run.

Arp: So what do you have to do to prevent getting outplayed? Yukino, does that factor into the vote tonight?

Yukino: No. Because we all have strengths, and we all brought them out at one point or another. Tonight's vote is about keeping the team unified and strong so we don't have to do this again.

Arp: We'll see about that. It's time to vote. Sana?

(With a straight face, Sana stands up and walks into the voting room. Aerial shot of her vote, followed by a voter's shot of Tai and his vote for “YUKINO.”)

Tai: A true leader is somebody who looks after the entire team and does what's best for them. You seem more concerned with inhibiting other teams and helping yourself.

(He leaves. Aerial shots of Brock and Misato voting, followed by a voter's shot of Yukino returning the favor with a vote for “TAI.”)

Yukino: Tai, you're a nice guy, a hard worker, and just a good person in general. But I'm looking at the long term, and in the grand scheme of things, you just don't fit.

(She returns to her seat and Arp retrieves the voting machine.)

Arp: Whoever has the most votes will have to get his or her bag and leave with me. He or she will no longer be able to win the game.

(Arp pushes a button on the screen. The first display shows “TAI”)

Arp: First vote is for Tai.

(Tai takes a deep breath.)

Arp: Second vote... Yukino.

(Yukino smiles and nods.)

Arp: Third vote- Tai. Fourth vote... third person eliminated from the game...

(Tai's name appears once more. The final tally is completed- Tai 4, Yukino 1.)

Arp: Tai. That's enough.

(Tai shakes his head and looks at Sana, who still stares at the screen. Tai hugs her and smiles before standing up.)

Tai: See you guys.

(Tai stands up and retrieves his bag before standing next to Arp.)

Arp: So far unity doesn't seem to be a problem. But that doesn't change the fact that you're down to four. We'll see if you can keep one while making up for the other tomorrow.

(Arp turns to Tai.)

Arp: Tai? You're out of the running.

(Arp opens the door and the two walk out.)

Tai: Well, we've come a long way. I can't say I was surprised to get voted out, but I really hoped I had gotten Brock and Sana to take my side. I'm not angry at them because they didn't, just amazed that they could pretend to play along like that. I guess I'm disappointed that I didn't go farther, but this game is only going to get nastier, and maybe it is something that's best left to the professionals.


End of Episode Three


Voting
Tai (4): Sana, Brock, Misato, Yukino
Yukino (1): Tai


Author's Notes
This episode is dedicated to the memory of Quincy, who passed away in January of 2007. He is missed by everybody except Ruri.

I seem to be getting into a trend of referencing other reality ports. The reference to Chromus's Murder Game 3 is obvious, but the novelization joke is a subtle nod to Gomamon, who actually did adapt his Mole port into a story format so it could be posted on ff.net. That segment also featured a discussion on the lack of good chefs in Red House. It seems that with the exception of Brock in Mole 2, my stories are immune to having good cooks do well, as demonstrated by both Ukyo and Shinobu making the final four in AAVGS2 and the Chuuka Ichiban protagonist winning DotD's Anime Survivor 5.

The talk of Sana having experience with stretcher challenges is from Animation Survivor 2. The edit didn't mention who actually designed the stretcher, but it's worth pointing out that Sana didn't ride it: Sakura did.

Only Blue and Red returned their keys before the Comfort Challenge. This isn't an oversight- although Arp let Yellow back in before their eviction, they don't actually get their key back, and if they're all caught outside would be locked out once more. On that note, Red is still outside at the end of this episode.

While Sana is right in thinking the large house on the south end is for Arp and the Tendos, it will play a much larger role in upcoming episodes. Stay tuned.

For those just joining in, Shinji's reference to Chikorita is a reference to a Chikorita wrestling challenge in Pokéball Run, which Shinji absolutely sucked at. That series is also probably where Ash taught Ruri pokéball mechanics, as they were teammates.

Yes, I actually do know the fundamentals of baccarat, but I ended up researching the rules anyway to get some of the nuances down for the challenge. Mitsune isn't far off with her summary- while you bet on every hand, you don't usually play the cards yourself, and the game is so luck-intensive that the *only* time there's a decision involved is if the first two cards total five (staying on four or less is considered a major no-no in casinos). I chose baccarat since they played blackjack with sheep in Celebrity Mole (and who would want to copy that?), the instant-stop on eight or nine makes speed an issue, and the game's so damn frustrating that it fits right in with any sheep-herding challenge. Oh, and while I obviously planned out who'd win each round, I did use cards to help determine what each team would get. And Blue really did have an 8 on that third card in the last round.

Komawari is the name of the acting school Sana attended. That should pretty much summarize that scene for you.

Next Time on Champion's Cup:

* A roster shuffle almost proves disastrous for Red House.
* A simple Q&A session leaves some criticized for their lack of commitment.
* One team finds a creative way to spend the night outdoors.