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Endurance: Mexico; It's started!
Topic Started: Feb 10 2013, 09:24 PM (1,928 Views)
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In a remote spot in Mexicos Sea of Cortez, an 82 foot schooner was approaching the drop spot. Apart from its crew, sixteen high school students were in attendance, each one in a varying state of excitement or nervousness. About half a mile from shore, the boat stopped. The looks of apprehension on the faces of the teenagers were understandable, but unnecessary. There were no problems with the boat. They had simply reached the drop point. Quickly, the crew tossed the surprised cast members various flotation devices and ordered them off the side of the boat they were to swim to shore, following the boat that was headed over to their destination. Gradually and reluctantly, the contestants jumped into the water, and started swimming behind the schooner towards land.

Meanwhile, at the shore, the two hosts, one guy and one girl, looked out to the ocean, as they received a call from the boat crew. The contestants had disembarked, were on their way to shore. As the camera started, the hosts nodded to each other, and the male started.

Hello, everyone. Im Zubin Wadia

And Im Claire Monaghan. Right now, eight guys and eight girls are swimming here to the desert of Baja Mexico. Its hot, its dry, and its miles away from any civilization. They will be isolated here and have their willpower, strength, and stamina tested.


  • I'm Aileen, I'm 17 years old, and I come from Seattle, Washington.
  • My name is Aria, I am 18 years old, and I live in Seattle, Washington.
  • I'm Gwen, from Seattle, Washington, and Im 18 years old
  • I'm Nina, I'm 18 years old, and I'm from Seattle, Washington. I'm an athlete and a leader, and I won't let anybody stand in my way.

  • Craig, 17 years old, from Highland Beach, California
  • Matt, 18 years old, from Seattle, Washington.
  • My name is Maxim, I'm 16 years old and I come from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Simon, 17, St. Paul, Minnesota. I'm very confident in my ability to win. There might be people stronger than me physically, but there's nobody stronger than me mentally.

  • Im Stephanie, Im 18 years old, and Im from St. Paul Minnesota
  • Joey, 18, Seattle, Washington.
  • My name's Theodore, I'm 18 years old, and I live in Seattle, Washington.
  • Jaq, Seattle, Washington, 18 years old. I am here to kick ass. If I go home, bet your ass it'll be my partner's fault.

  • Cassidy, 17, Seattle, Washington.
  • I'm Cammy, I'm 17 years old, and I'm from Seattle, Washington.
  • Yumi, 17 years old, from Milwakee, Wisconsin.
  • Jake, 17, Seattle, Washington. I want to prove that I can actually be, y'know... good at something.

Zubin continued. Once they get here, they will be isolated here, with no TV, Internet, or music. They will have to face the climate, the competitions, and each other, until one team proves they have the greatest ENDURANCE.

The sixteen contestants finally stepped ashore and were able to doff their life preservers as they approached the hosts of the show. One was a short mustachioed young man wearing glasses, a collared shirt and a fedora hat, the other was a young woman wearing a T-shirt and a beret.

Hello, everyone. Im Zubin Wadia

And Im Claire Monaghan. Welcome to Endurance and congratulations. You are the final sixteen out of a pool of thousands of contestants to be here. But just be mindful of this: in order to make it to the end, you will have to beat fourteen of the people standing alongside you, and thats the start of it. I mean, no version of Endurance has required anyone to swim half a mile from the start. Her chuckle elicited some laughs from the crowd. Once youve dug deep and faced down the challenges in your path, then youll know what it means to have true Endurance. But where are my manners? Lets start this game.

The eighteen people walked over to the two huts by the beach.

These right here are your living quarters. Zubin motioned to the huts. Now just to note, were out here in the middle of nowhere, so we had to make things a little basic. Theres no running water, no electricity, and your bed is a sleeping bag on top of a wooden slab. In short, youre living the life. Lets keep going. They left the huts for the time being and walked over to eight colored poles by a sawhorse with fourteen triangular pieces on it.

These here are the fourteen pyramid pieces of Endurance. Claire stated. Each of them represents a quality youll need to show to win this game. They are:
Posted Image HEART
Posted Image LUCK
Posted Image COURAGE
Posted Image TRUST
Posted Image STRENGTH
Posted Image KARMA
Posted Image KNOWLEDGE
Posted Image TEAMWORK
Posted Image INGENUITY

The team that collects all fourteen pieces will be Endurance champions. Theres two types of missions: ENDURANCE MISSIONS, that will be for these pyramid pieces, and TEMPLE MISSIONS, where one team will be sending two teams over there. Claire pointed to a structure some distance away, floating in the sea, in the shape of a tetrahedron. The TEMPLE OF FATE. Two teams will paddle out there, but only one team will come back. So a hint of advice: if you want to win this game, youd better stay as far away from there as possible. Claire and Zubin moved on, the contestants in tow, stopping at the beach, where some distance away in the ocean, there was a trebuchet anchored to a platform.

Now, Endurance is full of surprises. You like surprises? Zubin asked.

Yes! Nina shouted.

You do? Well, youll love this one, then. Normally, this is the part where I would tell you that four of you would be going home today, as a result of our Right to Stay game. Weve decided to change it up a little: there will be no Right to Stay game. At all. You will all get to participate in the team portion of this game. A palpable aura of relief washed over the contestants as Zubin grinned, a devilish look in his eyes. Now, I hope youve made a good first impression, because you will be picking partners right now.

Claire pointed to the trebuchet out in the ocean as the contestants did an immediate double take. That trebuchet over there is going to launch balls numbered from one to sixteen in that order. Your job is to catch the first ball you can, because the lower the number of your ball, the better the chance that youll get the partner you want. Get the first ball, and you will get the partner of your choice. Get ball number sixteen, and youll have to hope and pray that you get who you want. Lets get started!

OOC: Thats right, I kinda misled you there. Anyways, PMs will be sent out to you for your characters picks. Please answer promptly. And one more thing: because you are doing this challenge immediately, there is to be NO in-game communication. Your characters will have to go based on what they know already, and nothing more.


Female #16: Jaime Schanbacher; Status: ACTIVE 0
Female #42: Sabrina Luz; Status: ACTIVE 0

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The sixteen contestants stood behind a wooden plank, representing the furthest towards shore they could go. All of them were staring intently at the catapult, which contained a very important ball.

All right, Ball #1 is in position. Everyone ready? Zubin asked. Everyone answered in the affirmative. Okay, then! On your mark, get set, LAUNCH! The catapult launched its payload towards the mob of contestants, each of them fighting to get the first ball and first pick. The ball landed to the right of the contestants, directly into the hands of one lucky contestant.

NINA has it! Nina has Ball #1, the most important ball! Zubin called. Nina walked to Zubin and Claire, smiling widely.

But the rest of you still have a job! Ball #2 is up! Not as big as Ball #1, but still very powerful! LAUNCH! The catapult launched the ball, this time going short and to the left, where two people went flying for it, but there was only one victor.

CAMMY has the ball! Cammy has it! Cammy stood up, holding the #2 ball and walking to the hosts.

Okay, Ball #3 is coming up! Ready, LAUNCH! The ball flew short and to the right of the contestants. It came down to two people who leapt onto the ball and started twisting, finally ending up in the possession of

JAKE has got Ball #3! Jake jogged over, as Theodore got back up to his feet and Maxim punched the air angrily. Jake! You hustled it, you muscled it, and now you have third pick! Zubin congratulated.

Ready for Ball #4? Claire asked, to no answer. She shrugged and gave the order. The ball went high, as the entire crowd moved back to catch the ball, which deftly landed in the hands of CASSIDY.

Cassidy has Ball #4, but were still only a quarter of the way there! Claire called out. LAUNCH!

STEPHANIE ended up being the lucky one, having been the first to run back to tackle the ball before a couple more contestants got there. Stephanies got the ball! She can get over here! Zubin nodded to the remaining eleven. LAUNCH.

This time, the catapults aim was perfect, landing right in the center of the group, and into a heap. As the pile of teenagers was cleared away, the ball was seen, surrounded by SIMONs body, which Claire was able to help lift up so that he could join the others.

Ball #7 was launched on Zubins command, and it flew high and far, where it landed in the arms of MATT. Matts caught Ball #7! Matt, get over here! Zubin waved Matt over to the line.

Claire gave the command to launch Ball #8. The remaining players had to dash to the right to intersect with the ball. MAXIMs got the ball! Were halfway there!

Ready, set, LAUNCH! Zubin called out. The trebuchet launched Ball #9 long, as THEODORE ran and caught the ball. All right, Theodores got Ball #9, and that leaves six very hungry people. Claire nodded and called LAUNCH!

The number 10 ball flew into the air, landing just in front of the line as three people all leapt onto the ball, fighting to grab it. Claire was able to break up the fight to see the ball in JAQUILYNs hands. And after a huge fight, Jaquilyn has cleared herself with Ball #10. Aria and Craig just got up, watching Jaquilyn walk over to the line.

Zubin gave the command to launch Ball #11. Amazingly, JOEY was able to get his hands on the ball before it even touched the ground, and jogged over to the line.

Ball #12, once again, landed short, forcing the five remaining contestants to race to the ball. AILEEN was fastest, grabbing the ball as it bounced off the ground and taking her place in the line.

Ball #13 went long, landing on the ground as three people piled up on it. Craig stepped back as Zubin stopped the proceedings to rule that GWEN had beaten Yumi and Aria to the ball.

Okay, we have three balls left! Ready, set, LAUNCH. The ball was released on Claires go, landing in front of the three scrambling players, allowing ARIA to jump onto Ball #14, and clear himself.

Okay, this is Ball #15. This is the last ball going out, so the one who doesnt catch this ball will have Ball #16. Zubin explained. Ready, set Craig and Yumi both fought for position as Zubin yelled LAUNCH. The ball sailed up high, bouncing in front of the two as they ran for the ball and both ended up on it, fighting for the ball. Everyone watched as one person was able to wrench the ball away from the other and finally, CRAIG stood up, with Ball #15 in hand, leaving YUMI with Ball #16.


After all the balls were launched, the sixteen contestants stood in a line, in order. Claire approached Yumi, holding Ball #16.

"Alright," said Claire. "Over there, are eight colored mats, each representing one of the team colors. When its your turn, you will either pick a color or a partner. Now we're going to start with the highest number, #16, and then work our way down. So Yumi, youre first. Right now its empty, so you can pick any one color you want."

Yumi stepped up to the square mats. She looked around at the colors. Red, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple, gray, and brown. Finally, Yumi stepped onto the gray mat.

"Yumi has chosen Gray," Claire said. "Next is #15, Craig. Please pick a mat."

The large boy made his way over to the colored mats. After some debate, he stepped onto the purple mat.

"Craig has chosen Purple. Aria, you have #14, so please pick one of the mats other than purple."

Aria stepped forward. He could team up with Yumi, or pick a different colored mat. Finally, he chose to step onto the orange mat.

"And so Aria picks the orange mat. #13, Gwen, please make your choice."

Gwen stepped forward and began to look around. The girl then looked at the purple mat Craig was standing on and smiled. She stepped onto the mat and took her place next to Craig, shaking his hand.

"Gwen chooses Purple. Should've known because of her hair. Ha ha. Now they may be shaking hands now, but that doesnt mean that theyre partners. Remember how I said that you would be guaranteed your choice if you had Ball #1? Thats because the lower numbered contestants may bump out anyone of their gender to get the desired partner. That is why Nina, with Ball #1, is the only person guaranteed her partner of choice. So Aileen, at #12, you are the first person who has the ability to bump Gwen and claim Craig as a partner. Otherwise, you can choose Aria as a partner, or any of the empty mats. Its your choice."

Aileen stepped forward and made her way over to the Brown mat. No one else had chosen that color yet, and she looked determined to make it hers.

"Aileen has chosen Brown. #11, Joey, please pick a color."

Joey made his way out into the area and began to look at the colored mats. Gwen and Craig were on purple, Aileen was on brown, Aria was on orange, Yumi was on gray, and the red, yellow, blue, and green mats were free. After a moment, Joey grinned and waddled over to the gray mat, standing next to Yumi.

"So Joey has chosen Gray. Just like with Craig and Gwen, Joey and Yumi are not a team just yet. Any one of them can be replaced by one of our other contestants. So, #10, Jaquilyn, you're up."

Jaquilyn looked over the colors. She noticed that no one was standing on the green mat, so she walked over and took her place there."

"Jaquilyn is the first to claim the green mat. Will that be her team color? Let's continue. #9, Theodore, please step on a mat."

Theo stepped out and looked over the mats. He paused for a moment, trying to analyze whether or not he wanted to work with anyone already on the mats. He decided to step onto the blue mat instead, forcing the remaining girls to decide if they'd want to work with him or not.

Zubin went over to Maxim. Okay, Maxim. Heres where it stands. Red and Yellow are empty. Aileen is open on Brown, and Jaquilyn is open on Green. You may also select Gwen on Purple and bump Craig, or you can select Yumi on Gray and bump Joey. Youre up. What do you want to do? Maxim thought for a moment and made his decision:

I pick Jaquilyn. Zubin nodded as Maxim walked over to the green mat. Alright. Maxim and Jaquilyn are now the Green team. Zubin walked over to Matt with Ball #7. Big Matt. How ya doing? Matt laughed. As #7, you have Red and Yellow open. You also have Aileen open on Brown. Otherwise, you can select Jaquilyn on Green, Gwen on Purple, or Yumi on Gray and bump somebody. What do you want to do?

I choose Red. Matt said, walking over to the red mat. And Matt starts off the Red team.

Simon. You went in big for Ball #6. Now, its getting a little bit full over there. Matt is on Red and Theodore is on Blue. You can take Aileen on Brown. Otherwise, you can select Jaquilyn on Green, Gwen on Purple, or Yumi on Gray and bump somebody. You also have one other choice, and that is to take the last open spot and start off the Yellow team. Do you want to do that, or is the partner that you want already on the field?

She is. Simon answered.



You sure? Simon nodded. Then off you go, which means Maxim, you have been bumped. You may either choose Aileen on Brown, or you may start off the Yellow team.

Really, man? God, youre killing me over here. Maxim chuckled and shrugged as he went over to the yellow mat. And Maxim starts off the Yellow team. Zubin then walked over to Stephanie.

Stephanie. At Ball #5, and we are now at something slightly different. Every color is now occupied by at least one person. Right now, you can pick Matt on Red, Maxim on Yellow, Theodore on Blue, or Aria on Orange. Otherwise, you can select Simon, Craig, or Joey, and bump someone off. Who would you like to pick? Stephanie smiled.

Matt. Stephanies choice was almost instantaneous as she walked over to the red mat.

Matt and Stephanie are now the Red team. Zubin turned his attention to the next woman in line. Cassidy. You now have three open spots: Maxim on Yellow, Theodore on Blue, or Aria on Orange. You may also bump somebody for Matt, Simon, Craig, or Joey. Who do you choose? Cassidys reply was similar to Stephanies, not only in speed, but also in

Matt. Cassidy walked over to the red mat.

Cassidy chooses Matt, which means that Stephanie, you have been bumped. Right now, you may choose Maxim on Yellow, Theodore on Blue, or Aria on Orange. Zubin explained. Stephanie looked down in irritation and walked over to the blue mat. Stephanie joins Theodore to create the Blue team.

Jake. With Ball #3, youre the only guy whos got a really good pick. Right now, we have Aileen open on Brown. You may also bump one of the men to get Cassidy on Red, Stephanie on Blue, Jaquilyn on Green, Gwen on Purple, or Yumi on Gray. Who do you want? Jake looked at the six women currently on the field.

Stephanie. Jake walked over to the blue mat.

Theodore, that means that Jake has bumped you. You must now take an open spot, and the only one left is Aileen.

Oh, come on, man, Theodore muttered. Zubin shrugged his shoulders as Theodore joined Aileen on the brown mat.

So, Cammy, you have Ball #2. Youre almost set to get the person you want. You have Maxim on Yellow, Aria on Orange, or you can bump any of the women currently in to get the partner you want.

I pick Matt. Cammy was rewarded with a bevy of shocked expressions, the two biggest coming from the red mat. Alright, Zubin replied. Cammy picks Matt, which means that Cassidy, you have been bumped. You have to go to an open spot, which is either Maxim on Yellow or Aria on Orange.

Cassidy raised her eyebrows for a second, then looked at Matt for a second before walking to the orange mat.

So now we hit you, Nina. At Ball #1, you are the only person in this game guaranteed to pick the partner you want. You can either join Maxim on Yellow, or you can choose any of the other guy and bump the woman to Yellow. What do you want to do? Nina thought for a second.

I pick Maxim. Nina walked over to the Yellow mat.

So Nina joins Maxim to form the Yellow team, and with that, we have our eight teams of Endurance. Before we end this, I just want you to take a look at the person youre sharing a mat with. That person is the only person who can help you win this game. Well meet by later, where we will award you your first piece and reveal what youre playing for. Claire said, and with that, the players walked back to the huts.


The eight teams walked to the pieces, where the hosts waited.

So, we have our first look at the eight teams of Endurance, finally rocking out their team colors. Our game has started, teams have been formed, and each of you will be receiving your first piece. Claire walked over to the pieces and removed the fifth one from the right.

The Blue Team, Jake and Stephanie. Your piece is COMMITMENT. Claire gave the piece to Jake. Jake, what does commitment mean to you?

Commitment is ... not giving up on something once you put your mind to it, and I I think that its something that we will definitely display. Jake answered.

Maxim and Nina. The Yellow team. Your piece is HEART. In order to get what you want, youll have to give everything you have to achieve your goal. Zubin gave the second piece on the left to Nina. Claire, meanwhile, took the third piece from the left and gave it to Cammy.

The Red team. Matt and Cammy. Your piece is FRIENDSHIP. Claire took the second piece from the left and handed it to Cammy. In this game, you will come to rely on your ally to see you through challenges and survive to the end. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the company of each other or the people around you. Get to know each other, find some similarities, and see if your relationship can be strong enough to survive the game. Claire took a piece from the middle and handed it to Jaquilyn.

Simon and Jaquilyn, the Green Team. Your piece is TRUST. Jaquilyn, does Simon look like the type of guy you can trust?

Hes given me no reason to not trust him. So far so good, Jaquilyn replied.

The Orange Team, Aria and Cassidy. Your piece is KNOWLEDGE. Cassidy, your decisions came from the fact that you knew who would take you far in this game. Zubin removed the fourth piece from the right and handed it to Cassidy.

Theodore and Aileen, the Brown Team. Your piece is LEADERSHIP. Sometimes, a leader needs to emerge. Someone with the best interests of the group on their mind and a willingness to see that everyone survives. Here, you're going to have to understand that this is a partnership. Even if that means one of you has to take a more dominant role, let it be one out of mutual trust. You're both trying to win, and you should use your role to make sure that your partnership is one that works coherently and without issues. Do that, and you could beat this game. Claire took one of the pieces in the middle and handed it to Theodore.

Joey and Yumi, the Gray Team. Your piece is COURAGE. Zubin took the fifth piece from the left. Yumi, what does that mean to you? Can you overcome any fears you may have in order to win this game?

After a second, Yumi said Courage is ... important because you can't let life keep you down, no matter what difficulties you have to face. I hope I can over come my fears and win.

Well, it looks like your doing that right now. Heres your piece, Zubin replied, handing the Courage piece to Yumi.

Last, Zubin removed the third piece from the right and displayed it. And last, the Purple Team, Craig and Gwen. Your piece is TEAMWORK. The two of you, upon becoming a team, actually seemed pretty happy about it. Gwen, how is teamwork important in a game like this?

Well, this is a team based game, so team work is pretty important. I think me and Craig can work together to make a strong showing. Gwen replied.

Alright, everybody. Place your pieces on your poles, Claire directed. The sixteen players walked over to their team colored poles and placed their pieces on their poles.

Youve now taken your first step towards winning this game. But your piece isnt enough. In order to win this game and the grand prize, youll have to display all of the qualities these pieces represent, Claire continued.

The prize this year is incredible. Were not just having you play for the giggs. No, each member of the team that gets all fourteen pieces will receive fifty thousand dollars. I can already tell by some of your expressions that you want this. Zubin noted.

So right now, you get the rest of the night off. Id take some time to get to know your partners. For example, women, one of you is partnered with somebody who can bench press over 350 pounds, and one of your partners has only one leg. Men, one of you has a partner who has written fifteen stories. Claire finished off. Tomorrow, youre going to face your first mission as a team, and although I cant tell you what it is, what I can tell you is that it will take a lot of ENDURANCE.


RED TEAM: Matt Masters/Cammy Davidson Piece: Friendship
YELLOW TEAM: Maxim Senders/Nina Clarke Piece: Heart
BLUE TEAM: Jake Mordetsky/Stephanie Reid Piece: Commitment
Simon Telamon/Jaquilyn Locke Piece: Trust
ORANGE TEAM: Aria Samuels/Cassidy Kant Piece: Knowledge
PURPLE TEAM: Craig Hoyle/Gwen OConnor Piece: Teamwork
GRAY TEAM: Joey Caputo/Yumi Nunes Piece: Courage
BROWN TEAM: Theodore Fletcher/Aileen Aurora Abdallah Piece: Leadership

OOC: Alright, this thread is now open to roleplay. Anyone who wishes to have private conversations or confessionals may shoot a PM to me or Laurels. Also, your players are now wearing the clothes of their choice of style, but the color will be primarily by team color (Red team wears primarily red clothes, Yellow team wears primarily yellow, etc.).
Female #16: Jaime Schanbacher; Status: ACTIVE 0
Female #42: Sabrina Luz; Status: ACTIVE 0

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(and now the downside to handling three characters)


Cassidy's ears pricked up at the mention of a writer. Somebody else who loved literature was sure interesting, she looked around at the other teams wondering who looked creative. Gwen and Yumi both looked booksy. Aria might even be the one.

The challenge would require endurance? What did that even mean? Running? Holding onto something? Going a long time without using the bathroom?

Wait. No bathrooms.

She drummed her fingers thoughtfully on her chin as she surveyed the group for anybody who might excell in a stamina based contest.

More than that, she wondered who in the group would be willing to work with her and Aria.

Red and blue seemed unlikely. She'd seen the look on Stephanie's face when she picked Matt, and Cammy had probably seen her make the same.

Nina seemed nice though. Despite having top pick of partners, she'd picked the partnerless Maxim rather than the hot-comodity Matt. Whether she'd picked him strategically or out of kindness, she'd made him feel welcome.

She looked over at the boy in the orange shirt beside her, wondering what his secret facts were and if he'd share them with her. He didn't seem like the type to be overly social, so she decided she'd talk more personally with him later.


Jaq grinned at her green clad partner. Her eyes occasionally drifted down to where his leg ended and the prostetic began, but he was probably used to it. He'd had it for awhile, after all.

They were definately off to a good start. He'd saved her from Captain America, and he seemed athletic enough. He'd been one of her top three previously, so his picking her meant they already wanted to be a team.

They were both fit, for sure, and the chemistry was off to a good start. Even if his handicap was somewhat of a.. handicap, she was anxious to get to the first challenge.

She sized up the other teams. Blue looked sporty. Red looked at least half sporty. Purple and brown had athletic potential too. It would be pretty competitive, it would be fun.

She smiled and pushed Simon with her shoulder just a little bit, holding her open palm near her knee for a low-five.


Joey grinned realizing the games were finally beginning. He and Yumi were the clear darkhorses of the group, and he was ready to see how it all played out.

Hopefully she was smart. He took a gamble picking the frail girl, but he also hadn't bumped anybody or put a target on his back. Joey was capable of strategy.

Another huge advantage was that he and Yumi clearly had differet skillsets. Joey was big and he was... big. That was pretty much all he had. Yumi's abilities were unknown, but strength was probably not among them.

He looked at the builds of his opponents. He could probably overpower both members of yellow and brown on his own. Maybe orange, too. Craig's body fat made his musculature hard to determine. That Matt wasn't small either.

He smiled and leaned over towards his partner while lifting his fist towards her. He hoped she'd understand the side-fist-bump he was attempting.

He summoned a confident but calm voice, "You ready for this?"
It's kiss or kill and shoot to thrill when you do what you do.
I would not die for anyone, but I would kill for you.

G009 Cassidy Kant
A contestant, a seeker, an abstainer, a klutz, a case of survivor guilt, a repenter, a star crossed lover, a star crossed lover, a damsel in distress, a hot mess, an inspired dreamer, an unwanted ally, a pawn
B034 Joey Caputo
A scout, a follower, a tracker, a rebel without a cause, a slaughtered guinea pig
G017 Jaquilyn Locke
A victim, a survivor, a team player, a doubter, a hunter, a person, a schemer, an instructor, a nomad, a deserter, a self-appointed savior, a repenter, a failure, a hypocrite's scapegoat

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She saw the faces on people's face when she made her decision. Cammy was guessing her actions did not impress anyone. However, she managed to get the partner she wanted and she managed to complete the goal that she was set out to do when it came to deciding the teams. The problem was it came at the cost of a possibly pissed off Cassidy, and therefore one team that has the potential to be against them.

That was not what she wanted. They had the Friendship pyramid piece and Cammy reckoned that she really should abide by it. That required talking to a potentially annoyed Cassidy. She wondered if Stephanie was annoyed at her too. It seemed like she wanted Matt as well. She probably should consider talking to her later.

"Hey Cassidy!" Cammy remarked happily as she wondered over towards them, looking towards her partner who was right beside her. He seemed frail and not really social. If she couldn't get the Orange team on her side through Cassidy, she might consider pursuing Aria.

"I just want to say sorry for taking Matt as a partner. I really don't want to be your enemy and I'd hate for you to be resentful towards me because of my actions. Are you willing to forgive me?" Cammy apologized genuinely, putting on a sad face as she talked to Cassidy.

What was her tactic? Make friends. No need for any enemies to emerge. She was out here to have fun and get to know a lot of people as well as possibly win money. There was nothing that could go wrong with a combination like that.

- - - - - - - - - -
Aria sat quietly next to his new partner Cassidy, thinking about the proceedings of the Partner selection game. He wished things would've gone better on his part. He lost the ball twice, both times were to girls. It really just hammered in the fact that he was not as strong as many of the other boys and girls here. He wondered whether or not he would actually be able to win this thing. He didn't want to drag Cassidy down with him.

He sat quietly as he watched what was going on with the others. He watched how Cassidy, Jaquilyn and Joey were sizing up the competition. Aria didn't really see the point. Sure you can size someone up, but all that really counted was the performance in the end.

While musing to himself about how to proceed, he noticed Cammy approaching the two of them. While Cammy did flash him one of her smiles, Aria realized that she was practically ignoring him. Of course, Cassidy was more important than he was. No doubt about it.

He listend to the drivel that Cammy was spewing out, rolling his eyes at the whole proceeding. Was she for real? To him, it just reeked of fakeness in his ears.

"W-Why do you care about how she feels. A-after all, you took the partner she wanted. T-that was pretty low. W-why did you do it?" Aria spat out venomously, glaring at her.

- - - - -
"Why did you do it Nina?" Maxim found himself asking his partner. By this point, Maxim was still confused about how Nina, out of all of the possible guys in the game, picked him. It just seemed very odd to him. Surely she should've picked someone who did better in the challenge. Maxim came 8th. He was sure that she would pick Matt, like practically half the girls did. Yet she picked him.

"I'm not annoyed about it. I'm just confused is all." He quickly added, letting out a sigh as he rested against a tree. Looking over at the partner he originally selected, he noticed how she seemed happy about her new partner. Part of that irritated him and he visibly frowned. Maxim could only guess that she was happy that she wasn't with Maxim. That just annoyed him.

However, he was more preoccupied with his partner, Nina. She came first in the challenge. She must be somewhat decent in sports. After all, she wouldn't have been able to win if she wasn't.

He sighed to himself again as he rested against the tree. It was a very comfortable tree. Sure there was no music or internet, but sitting underneath this tree was still relaxing. He might as well enjoy himself while he was here.

"I guess this is the time where I go, "It's time we kick ass" or something like that, right?" Maxim commented rather amusedly. Part of him was expecting everyone to be high-fiving or fist-bumping like in those high school tv shows. It wasn't really Maxim's cup of tea to do that stuff, so he was happy to give Nina a amusing smile and then continue relaxing against the tree, hoping to make conversation with his new partner.
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The eight teams approached the challenge spot, where the two hosts were waiting. Behind them stood a contraption, filled with what suspiciously looked like weapons.

Hello, everybody. How was your first night? Claire asked. There was nervous agreement, along with some looks around. The stated answer: great. The actual answer: pretty uncomfortable. Well, dont worry about it. Are you ready for your first Endurance mission? This question was met with much more enthusiastic agreement.

Good. Heres how its going to work. You see that rack over there? Each of you is going to stand there and hold one of these, Zubin showed up a handheld buzzer to everybody. Your job is simple: you will press the button and you will keep it pressed for as long as you can. The last team to have one member still holding his or her button will win this piece. Zubin held up the piece in his right hand. The DISCIPLINE piece, as well as this, Zubin showed the clay jar in his left hand. The Samadhi. Whichever team wins this mission will be able to give this to any team they choose, giving that team a significant handicap during tomorrows Temple mission. Lets get started.

Ten minutes later, the eight teams were lined up in a row. They had been placed by team color and were holding their buzzers in their hands. They had been further briefed on the rules: they could use only one finger to keep the button down, and nothing else. They could not change fingers, and they could not intervene in the performance of any other player.

On your marks, get set, GO! Claire called out. The sixteen players each pressed their buttons, setting their shotguns to the ready. Everybody was in deep concentration, doing their best to keep themselves from releasing their buttons. This mission is all about concentration and willpower. So long as you can prevent yourselves from getting distracted, you are still in this game. Nobody moved. Good. This was going to be a nail-biter.

Okay, youve been there for five minutes! Five minutes! Lets see if - Zubin was interrupted by a loud


And just like that, NINA is out of the game! Claire called out. What? she asked the other fifteen contestants, some of whom were slightly shaken. Theyre shotguns. Theyre supposed to be loud. The other contestants didnt look too happy about it, but they kept their buttons pressed all the same.


And a minute later, MAXIM is out! YELLOW is the first team out of the mission! Zubin called out. Maxim just took his place beside Nina, shaking his head. We are now down to seven teams at six and a half minutes. The remaining seven teams just kept their fingers down, some attempting to tighten their grips, others attempting to zone out. It even worked for a while, until

CASSIDY lets go! Claire looked at the app on the phone, which was connected to the sensors in the buttons. And it causes JAQUILYN and THEODORE to let go, too, at the nine minute mark. Hey, we said these things were loud. Your focus has also got to take that into account. The other eleven contestants just held down their buttons as long as they could.


AILEEN has let go of her button. BROWN is out, after a little more than ten minutes. Zubin noted. Six teams are left. Twenty minutes passed. Everyone was doing what they could to keep their buttons pressed, until


CAMMY is out for Red, a little bit past the half hour mark. Zubin called out. A few people had flinched, but aside from being a little shaken, nobody still in was really reacting, or at least, they were making the conscious effort not to.


YUMI is out! At a little short of thirty-five minutes. Claire stated as Yumi looked at the gun behind her, and then walked to the side.


STEPHANIE has just let go of her button, at thirty-eight minutes, leaving Purple as the only team with both members still in. Claire motioned to Craig and Gwen, both of whom still seemed pretty calm. It stayed like this, with little conversation, for a while, until someone barely let go, but still enough to set his shotgun off.


And SIMONs out a little bit past the hour mark, taking out GREEN. We are down to six people. Aria, Craig, Gwen, Jake, Matt, and Joey. How you guys feeling? Various statements came in from most of the remaining players, each representing various states, from doing fine to please, please, let this be over, please. The only person not to respond was Joey. In fact, he had been quiet for the past half hour, his eyes closed and his head and hands down. Hey, Joey. You okay? Zubin asked, walking towards him. As Zubin approached Joey, the only thing that could be heard was a low snore.

Is Joey asleep? Claire asked. This revelation, as well as the sight and sound of the blissfully slumbering man, caused a surge of laughter to roll through the eliminated contestants, and they werent the only ones who reacted.


A snort came from Joey. Huh? What happened?

Well, sunshine, CRAIG let go of his button, so hes out of the challenge. Zubin replied. Craig had also joined in the laughter, but unlike most of the other people, he had been holding down a button for over an hour. For just a second, his concentration had lapsed just enough for his finger to rise slightly, causing his gun to fire. Also, it seemed that when you awoke from you slumber, your finger jerked. Youre out, too, and by extension, GRAY is out. Joey looked at the shotgun behind him, and waddled over to the eliminated contestants, disappointed. It is now an hour in, and we are now down to four people: Aria, Gwen, Jake, and Matt. They have hardly moved since the mission started. The remaining players were now starting to show some signs of strain. For some, it was pretty subtle. For others, the next twenty minutes was a clear struggle, especially for


JAKE is out. We are down to three teams. Orange, Purple, and Red, Claire called out as Jake walked back. All three looking very solid. Indeed, the only words that had come out of them for most of the last half hour were requests for water to combat the 100-plus temperature. While sweat was pouring down their foreheads, they all kept going, until


MATT is now out at an hour forty-five, and it is now down to two people: Aria and Gwen. The Discipline piece and the Samadhi are now either going to Orange or Purple, Claire reminded the two remaining players. Matt went and sat down by her partner, regretting that he had used his buzzer hand to wipe his forehead.

Some time later

How long have we been standing here? Gwen asked impatiently, to ignore the stiffness in her hand. Zubin looked at the timer wearily. Even he had to fight off the urge to take a nap.

Its been over two and a half hours, he replied. Yeah. Its been a long time. Gwen seems to be having a little trouble, and even Arias moving his finger around a little.

It is between Orange and Purple to see who will win. Whomever can hold onto his button longer will win the Discipline piece and the Samadhi. And so it went. Both Gwen and Aria, for their parts, were relatively calm. But as time had worn on, things became harder and harder. Aria was taking it pretty well, remaining relatively composed throughout, and having in fact to outright signal that yes, he was in fact awake. On the other hand, Gwen, who had been pretty tranquil throughout most of the mission, was starting to strain, her teeth grinding on themselves to block out the pain, until


GWENs out! ORANGE team wins! Claire called out. Aria breathed a sigh of relief as he released his button and dropped his buzzer to accept a high five from Cassidy.

That was amazing. The two of you went for two hours and forty minutes, but Orange is now on top. The two of you now have the lead with two pieces, Claire handed them the Discipline piece, as well as power. Claire handed the Samadhi off to the Orange team. Well meet up later to find out which team youll be giving this to.

OOC: So the Orange team wins the first Endurance mission. Laurels and I will be sending out questions to each of you for when you meet up later. Nuggets and jimmydalad, you two must come to a decision ASAP over which team Orange will be giving the Samadhi to.

Also, the part about Joey falling asleep during the challenge? Each roll represented one minute. Joey succeeded at 104 rolls (actually, 97 he was able to skip a few of the rolls) before his first failed roll. So I figured if he was doing that good, he might as well be asleep had he not failed the special roll when Craig let go of his button, he would have lasted almost two hours.
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The sixteen contestants all walked along a path and soon found themselves standing at The Rock. Claire was standing in the center of the area and watched as the contestants all sat down next to their partners on several benches.

"Welcome to The Rock," Claire began. "After every Endurance Mission, we will gather here to prepare for the next phase of the game. We're going to first talk a bit. We're very interested in what you guys have to say about the game, so we're all going to be open about it."

Claire sat down on her post. She then turned to the Green team.

"Simon, tell me a bit about your camp life. How has the camp life been treating you so far?"

"Yeah, camp life's cool," Simon said. "It's like a camping trip, really. The people are nice. Only thing that could be better is these MREs you gave us."

Claire chuckled.


"Camp life is not great, I can't lie," Jaquilyn replied bluntly.

"Wow," Claire responded.

"But I'm sure over time everybody's standards of living will lower and we'll just suck it up."

"Good luck with that," Claire said before turning to the Red team. "Matt and Cammy, has the camp life affected your team dynamic in any way?"

"Things are going pretty well with me and my partner," Matt began. "I don't think that anything at camp is really going to change that."

"Yeah, I don't think much has changed really," Cammy responded. "We're all just doing our best to live out here and play the game. Nothing much has happened with regards to team dynamics."

"That's good to hear," Claire said before continuing. "Alright, let's talk a bit about the challenge. Yellow team," she said, turning to Maxim and Nina, "you were both the first contestants eliminated from the Endurance Mission. What do you think went wrong?"

"Things just weren't going our way today," Maxim replied. "I don't mind though. We'll always have a chance to rebound back. After all, it's only one challenge. Not like it's going to happen again."

"Good attitude," Claire said. "Nina?"

"I'm pretty angry that that happened. I think I overestimated us, to be honest. We weren't prepared for other people to do so well," Nina said.

"Okay then. Aileen, you and Theodore were eliminated back to back as well. Do you feel that you were lacking concentration in the challenge?" Claire asked the Brown team.

"I guess so," Theo began, "I got distracted, the cannon explosion of death startled me, and I got wiped out. It was pretty dumb of me, you know. I need to get my head in the game."

Theo then raised a fist in the air.

"Uh, so yeah," he concluded.

"Interesting. Aileen?"

Aileen shrugged her shoulders.

"Clearly, we just have been unlucky. That happens to the best of us. Like me."

"Well, let's hope you don't lose your concentration so easily next time," Claire said. "Speaking of concentration, Joey, you fell asleep during the challenge. What was that all about?"

Joey grinned sheepishly.

"Yeah. Dunno what exactly happened there. Guess I just kinda got bored n' dozed off."

"So, Joey, Yumi, do you think something like this in later challenges?"

"Mmm I dunno, hopefully we do something a lil more exciting for the next thing," Joey said.

"I'm really proud of how Joey did in the ch-challenge," Yumi said. "I think that if he's that good when he's asleep, he'll pr-probably be better when he's awake."

Claire chuckled. "Yeah, let's see if you become the first person to win by sleeping in every challenge."

She then turned towards the Blue team.

"Jake, I think you surprised everyone by placing fourth in this challenge. Do you think this will change how people look at you?"

"Um... to be honest, I kind of surprised myself in the challenge," he quietly responded. "I just hope that people don't see me as a threat because I, um, managed to get lucky in, y'know, one challenge."

Claire turned to Stephanie.

"Stephanie, has your opinion of your team partner changed because of this challenge?"

"A little. I mean, he's not exactly Hercules, but Jake can't be half bad if he lasted for, what, over an hour like that?" Stephanie responded.

"I guess we'll just have to see," Claire said. She then turned to Gwen and Craig.

"Gwen, you were so close to winning the challenge. What went wrong?"

"Honestly, I was just incapable of continuing," Gwen said. "I wanted to keep going, but my body wouldn't let me. I think I did my best, though, so there's some gratification."

"Craig? Same question."

"It was a battle of wills in the end, and sadly, Gwen ended up on the losing side. Still, second place is pretty good!"

"That's a good spirit to have," Claire said.

Claire then turned to the Orange team.

"Lastly, we come to Aria and Cassidy. Aria, you managed to last the longest in the challenge. Do you think this puts you and Cassidy on a pedestal that the others will judge you for?"

"I-I'm not sure," Aria stuttered. "I'm not the most social person out there, and I guess the challenge just suited what I was good at. C-cassidy is an amazing partner, so I guess people might judge her. As for me, n-not really..."


"Yes! And I'm so proud to be Aria's partner, he was awesome today. As for threat, I don't think this challenge was really vigorous enough to establish any team as stronger than another, but then again I'm probably just bitter to have been out so early."

"Alright, well I'm glad to see you two get along so well," Claire said. "Now, we move on to the important part of our meetings here at The Rock. Aria and Cassidy, because you won the Endurance Mission, you won the Samadhi. I'm going to ask that you two please hand the Samadhi to one of the seven other teams in the competition. Whoever receives the Samadhi will receive a disadvantage in the next challenge. So who's it going to be?"

"We're going to give it to the Green team," Cassidy said.

Simon and Jaquilyn looked a bit distressed.

"Any reason why?" Claire asked.

"They look dangerous and giving them a disadvantage seemed to be the best course of action," Aria said.

"Alright, Green Team has received the Samadhi."

Aria passed the Samadhi over to Simon, as both members of Green walked to Claire.

"Simon, you and Jaquilyn have the Samadhi. Just break it open and lets see whats inside," Claire instructed Simon.

Simon tossed the jar on the ground, shattering it. He then knelt down and picked up the objects inside: two small wooden bricks.

"Alright, this means that the Green Team will have a disadvantage in the next challenge. What the two bricks symbolize will be revealed soon, but it means that Simon and Jaquilyn will have two more blocks to deal with than the rest of you. I want you to know that this won't make victory impossible, but it's going to be a lot harder."

"Okay, we're done here. You can return to your camp and rest. The Temple Mission will be tomorrow, so you better get ready. I'll see you all there."

The team members all stood up and made their way out of The Rock. How the Green Team would be affected had yet to be revealed, but the big question was whether it would lead to their elimination.

OOC: Okay, so the Green Team has received the Samadhi and will be handicapped in the Temple Mission (which is being written up now). There will be some questions for confessionals coming up, based on the Endurance Mission, the Temple Mission, and their respective results, to be given after the Temple Mission.
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Day 3

The eight teams gathered at the challenge area, where they were greeted by Zubin, Claire, and the water about a hundred feet ahead.

Hey, everybody! Zubin greeted. Its Day 3, and today is our first Temple Mission. That means that whomever wins this will be sending two teams up to the Temple of Fate, where one team will be going home tonight. Zubin let that sink in for a second. This mission is called the TOWER OF POWER. On our go, youre going to race across the water and through the sand, picking up and stacking blocks as you go. If your blocks fall, you need to pick them up before you keep going. In order to win, youll have to stack all ten of your blocks and reach the finish line. Now, this mission will take a lot of teamwork, which coincidentally, belongs to the Purple Team. Craig, Gwen, maybe that piece will help you. Craig and Gwen simply nodded.

Now, Green Team, Claire continued. Orange Team gave you the Samadhi yesterday. What was in it?

Two blocks. Jaquilyn answered, showing the two miniature blocks in her hand. Claire nodded.

That means that you have two extra blocks to control. The other seven teams will be starting with no blocks and end up with ten. You will start out with two blocks and end with twelve. Lets get started.

Five minutes later, the eight teams were in position at the starting line. Everyone was now wearing, along with their team shirts, a swimsuit of some sort some of the women had doffed their shorts so they wouldnt come off in the water, and Simon had reluctantly removed his pants to reveal his prosthetic leg from underneath his trunks.

On your marks, Claire called out. Everybody bent down slightly. Get set, Simon and Jaquilyns hands were almost touching their blocks. GO!

The sixteen players broke into a run towards the water, with Simon and Jaquilyn grabbing their respective blocks before sprinting ahead. Almost everybody ran full tilt as they crashed into the small river.

It looks like Purple is falling behind! Claire called out. More specifically, while everyone else was able to maintain a decent running speed, Gwen was unable to maintain a decent speed for more than two or three seconds at a time, causing her to hit the water when about five people had already reached the other end and exited to the first checkpoint.

Simon! You have to wait for your partner! Simon had quickly reached the first checkpoint, but since Green had the Samadhi, he already had a block in his hands, requiring him to wait for Jaquilyn to get out of the water and to his position before they could start their tower and continue. Aileen, on the other hand, had reached the first checkpoint at about the same time as Simon, and was able to run forward with her first block, followed closely by Cassidy, Theodore, and Stephanie. Soon after, Jaquilyn reached Simon, and they stacked their four blocks and started moving their tower just as Maxim reached the first station and grabbed his block as fast as possible to catch up with Nina.

Greens started their tower, but they still have some ground to make up against Red, Yellow, and Brown! Zubin announced, noting the three teams that had completely cleared the first checkpoint.

Soon, though, everybody save Gwen had reached the first checkpoint, and gathered their blocks, although three teams had already gained a decent lead.

Green is now at their second checkpoint and is starting their tower, but Red is not far behind! Claire called out as Green reached the second checkpoint with Cammy, Aileen and Stephanie in hot pursuit. Cammy reached there a second before Aileen and Stephanie, but Matt was the only guy there, leaving Aileen and Stephanie to wait for their partners as Red started their tower.

Soon though, it seemed to be a four-team race, between Green, Brown, Red, and Yellow, with Green in the lead.

Green is first to the third checkpoint, but it is still anyones game! As you get more blocks, they become harder to balance! Zubin announced, mainly to motivate the only three people who had not reached the second checkpoint: Aria, who had just gotten his first block, and both members of Purple, with Craig actually running back to Gwen, leaving his block about halfway to the second checkpoint.

As that was happening, the first spot of trouble appeared. Green had nearly reached the fourth checkpoint when a stray movement by Simon caused their tower to tip over, requiring them to restack their tower for a moment before moving forward to the checkpoint.

Yellow and Green reach the fourth checkpoint at the same time, but it is still anybodys game! Red and Brown are right behind! Claire yelled as Greens tower toppled over again, forcing Simon and Jaquilyn to restack, causing Yellow to take the lead over Green.

In the meantime, Aria had caught up to Cassidy and they were making steady progress towards the third checkpoint, which Gray and Blue had just left. The only team really struggling was

Craig has run back and is now pushing Gwen as much as he can! Craig had been unable to watch his partner struggle and had gone back to give Gwen a little push and encouragement as needed. Look at that teamwork, they are still in this! Zubin bellowed before turning to Claire and whispering They dont stand a chance. As much as Zubin wanted to encourage the two, the fact still remained that Gwen was exhausted as she and Craig reached the first checkpoint.

Orange has reached the third checkpoint! Claire called out. Red, Green, and Yellow have dropped their towers, one after the other!

Crap, Gray team, you dropped yours, Zubin called out to Joey and Yumi, who continued forward. Theyre down, you have to get them. GRAY! Joey and Yumi finally took notice to Zubin who pointed at the two blocks which had fallen about twelve feet behind them. Theyre down! Bring the whole thing back with you! Joey and Yumi complied as fast as they could.

Meanwhile, Green had finally reached a happy medium. Although they were going at a slow pace, that pace was consistent going into the last checkpoint. However, it was no match for Maxim and Nina, who were now about midway between them and the finish line and quickly closing in. Even as they dropped their tower twice, they still seemed to move rapidly towards the finish line, where they slowly set their tower down. It swayed slightly, righted itself, and stayed there.

NICE! YELLOW TEAM WINS THE TEMPLE MISSION! Claire congratulated as she walked over to the victorious team. You showed the best teamwork, and now you have the safety and the power. This afternoon, you will select two teams to go to the Temple. Enjoy it. Nina and Maxim just high-fived each other.

OOC: Yellow has won the first Temple Mission. As such, Maxim (jimmydalad) and Nina (Espional) need to pick two teams to go to the Temple of Fate, where one team will be eliminated. More details in the PM. While Yellow has the final say, other teams are allowed to give their two cents in to Yellow.

Also, to visualize what this challenge is like, here is a link to the challenge (this one had no Samadhi and as such all teams were on equal footing).
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Zubin stood with the victorious Yellow Team at the huts, with everyone else sitting around them in some form of semicircle.

"Okay, Yellow Team. You won the Temple Mission. You displayed the best teamwork out there, and now you're safe from the Temple. That's the good part. The bad part, however, is that by winning the Temple Mission, you now have to send two teams to the Temple of Fate, and only one will come back. So, who's it going to be?"

Maxim took a deep breath "We really hate doing this. I really do. However, we want to stay in the game. This means eliminating the strongest competition there is. Right now, it's GREEN and RED."

"GREEN and RED. You have been chosen to make the journey to the Temple of Fate. You'll have to pack your things and say your goodbyes. You leave at sunset, which is about an hour from now."

OOC: Okay, so Green Team and Red Team are going to the Temple of Fate. I'll be sending you all PMs to update you on what's going down.
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The Red Team and the Green Team paddled in their canoes to the Temple of Fate. The Temple in question was tetrahedral, with a large triangular entrance where they docked, and a smaller triangular hole operating as a window of sorts on the other two sides. Green docked first, followed closely by Red, and walked into the Temple, where Zubin was standing. On each side sat a row of three cauldrons: one containing a small fire, one containing a small bonsai tree, and the last containing a pool of water. Simon placed the Green Team's Trust piece on the pole behind the row on the left, while Matt placed the Red Team's Friendship piece on the pole behind the row on the right.

"Green Team, Red Team, welcome to the TEMPLE OF FATE, in Mexico's Sea of Cortez. In a few minutes, one team will be leaving the beach forever. Each of you has pyramid pieces that represent qualities you have needed to make it this far. Red Team," Zubin turned to Matt and Cammy. "Your piece is FRIENDSHIP. Maybe the friends you have made here will be the driving force to your return. Green Team," Zubin turned to Simon and Jaquilyn. "Your piece is TRUST. Let's see if you trust each other enough to make the journey back."

"Those qualities helped you make it this far, but here, FATE may be the deciding factor in whether or not you will stay. In front of you are three cauldrons. One contains fire, another contains water, and a third contains wood. You will write one of these elements on a rock, and I will place them into the Kettle of Fire. As you know, fire burns wood, wood floats on water, and water puts out fire. Your job is to outthink your opponent by picking the dominant element. There is nothing physical here. All you need to do is read your opponent's mind. The team that wins two times will return to the game. The team that loses will leave Endurance, never to return. You guys ready?" All four contestants nodded. Zubin nodded in response.

"Then pick up your first rock."

The two teams each grabbed a team colored rock and started whispering to each other and furtively trying to sneak a peek at what the other team was writing before coming to their decisions. Green was finished first, with Jaquilyn handing her rock to Zubin, who accepted it before Cammy did the same for Red. Zubin dropped the rocks into the Kettle.

Will the two chosen elements, please rise now. One cauldron in each row rose.

Green Team, you picked WATER, Red Team, you picked FIRE. Water puts out the fire, Green Team has one win. One more win, and youre going back. Red Team, you need to win this round to stay in the game. Pick up your next rock.

The two teams picked up their second rock. The discussion was more tense this time Red needed this one to stay in.

Think we should change it up?

Yeah. I dont think theyre going to go the same way twice. Both teams wrote down their elements. This time, Simon gave the rock for Green, while Cammy gave Red Teams rock. Zubin accepted them both and dropped them into the Kettle.

Will the two chosen elements, please rise now. Once again, one cauldron in each row rose.

Green Team, you picked WOOD, Red Team, you picked FIRE. Fire burns wood, we are now tied at one each. Whichever team wins this next one stays in the game. Please pick up your third rock. The teams each picked up a rock and started writing.

You think theyre going to pick the same thing again? After about thirty seconds, Jaquilyn gave in her rock for Green, followed closely by Matt for Red, which were subsequently placed in the Kettle.

Will the two chosen elements, please rise now. Both teams watched with baited breath as the two cauldrons rose ...

Green Team, you picked FIRE, Red Team, you picked WOOD. Fire burns wood. Green Team, you have won. Red Team, Jaquilyn jumped and hugged Simon as Cammy just smiled sadly. Zubin turned to Matt and Cammy. Im sorry to say that you have been eliminated from Endurance. Its been great having you here, and Im sure that there will be a lot of people down at the beach who will miss you. For now, though, I need you to place your piece on the Pillar of Endurance and step in front of the Kettle of Fire.

Matt placed the Friendship piece on a pillar with a bowl on it, as he and Cammy shook hands with the Green Team and walked in front of the Kettle of Fire. The flames rose and the Red Team faded from view. Zubin turned to the only two people remaining at the Temple.

Green Team. Your reward for winning this game is simple: youre still in it. Take your piece, and head back to camp. Im sure the others are waiting for you. Green Team picked up their Trust piece, went to their boat, and paddled back to the beach.

Meanwhile, twelve anxious teenagers were waiting on the beach when they saw two people walking towards them. They looked closely, but it wasnt a visual clue, but an auditory one that told them who was back.

"Guess who's baaaack!" Jaquilyn called out as she raised her arms in the air as the twelve other players came up to congratulate her and Simon.

OOC: So Green Team has returned. I still have a couple more things to go before the next Endurance Mission, but once those are done, we can move on to the next mission.
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Day 4 ...

The remaining seven teams gathered at the Rock, which was weird because there hadn't been an Endurance Mission yet. When they got there, Zubin and Claire were already there waiting for them.

"Hey, everybody," Claire started off. "As you know, the Red Team was eliminated at Temple yesterday, and they left this behind." Claire raised her right hand, which held the Friendship piece. "However, they also left behind a note, and they wanted Cassidy to read it." Claire handed the note to Cassidy, who read it aloud for everybody.

Matt and Cammy
Well guys, since you're reading this, I guess I'm out of the game. If I could give you one word of advice, it would be to never get too comfortable in the game. Heck, I thought that I was on top of the world after the first day, and look where I finished. You guys have all been great, and I wish that I could have stayed longer. One more thing... Green Team, you guys had better not get eliminated right after you beat us in the temple! Seriously, that would be humiliating! Love you guys, and I wish you all the best of luck.

"This part's from Cammy," Cassidy paused her reading to point out.

Matt and Cammy
"Hey guys! We hate to be leaving this early, but we guess things turn out the way they did for some reason. There's no use crying over it. We've been so blessed with this opportunity and totally wish the best for the rest of the teams. Orange Team, you were great allies and I totally hope the best for you. Yellow Team, I have no animosity towards you guys. You had a tough decision to make and the only thing we could do was roll with the punches. Green Team, congrats for winning the Temple. Though we wish we won, we still hope for the best in you guys. Now we need to give the piece. We're giving it to the Orange Team since they were our allies and the people we were closest to. Don't give up hope and be sure to do your best. Love you guys~

Matt and Cammy, the RED TEAM

Aria and Cassidy, looks like making friends with Red has paid off. You now have three pieces, giving you a commanding lead over the other teams. Claire handed the Friendship piece to Aria, who accepted it.

Now, you might be wondering why youre here at the Rock. Well, its time for your second Endurance Mission, where youre playing for this Zubin raised the Luck piece in his left hand. and these. Zubin walked to a nearby table and whipped a cloth off, revealing seven numbered clay jars. Its the ENDURANCE AUCTION, where you are each bidding for a Samadhi. The thing is, we dont know whats in them, except that they could help you or they could hurt you.

Each team has $700 to start with. Each of you will write down, in private, how much you want to bid, and which Samadhis you are bidding on. You may spread your money however you like.

OOC: Okay, so heres how it is going to go each team has $700. You will PM either me or Laurels to bid on Samadhis 1 through 7. You may split the money however you like, so long as either of us gets an answer from you. You have three days.
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About ten minutes after the mission was described, Zubin and Claire had received the bids and were able to determine who got what.

Alright. Here is the list of the winning bids. Well go in numerical order, starting with Samahdi #1. The winning bid was $700 by the Green Team. Claire read off. Green Team, crack it open and lets see what you got. Simon took the Samadhi and threw it onto the ground and picked up the note inside and read.

"Congratulations, you have received this note." Simon and Jaquilyn both looked incredulous at this news.

Green. You just spent $700 on a piece of paper. Lets see if that was worth it. Zubin said. Samadhi #2 was won by the Gray team with a bid of $349. Gray, well, you know what to do. Yumi took the Samadhi and broke it open, reading the contents.

"You will be going to the Temple of Fate tomorrow."

Gray Team. As it said, you are going to the Temple tomorrow. There is one good thing, though. If you win the Temple mission tomorrow, you will be immune as usual, and you will pick two teams to go to the Temple, so this isnt a total guarantee that youre going to the Temple, or even going home. Green Team, suddenly that note you have doesnt seem so bad. Jaquilyn could only smirk at that. Samadhi #3 was won with a bid of $350 by the Purple Team. Zubin handed Samadhi #3 to Craig, who got up with Gwen and smashed their Samadhi on the ground. Gwen picked up the note.

"Congratulations, you have Immunity from Temple tomorrow."

And the opposite of what Gray got, you will be staying in the game tomorrow, no matter what happens, Claire exposited. Samadhi #4 well get back to that. Nobody bid on that. Samahdi #5 was won by the Orange Team with a bid of $500. Cassidy took Samadhi #5 and broke it against the ground. Aria picked up the note and read aloud:

"Congratulations, you have received the Luck piece."

Orange Team, you have yet another piece to add. Youve just received the Luck piece, putting you up to four pieces. Claire handed the Luck piece to Aria. Samadhi #6 was won, once again, by the Gray Team with a bid of $351. Here you go Claire handed Joey the sixth Samadhi, which he forcefully threw to the ground, causing it to shatter as if it had exploded. Joey picked up the note and read the piece of paper that had been enclosed.

You will have a disadvantage in the next Temple Mission?! Needless to say, this news did not please Joey. He just frowned.

Gray Team. Im sorry to say that you will have it harder tomorrow. It wont be impossible for you to win, just harder, Claire reassured. And now the weird one. Samadhi #7. There was a tie for this one both Blue and Brown bet everything on it. So heres what were going to do well give you one chance to go for this instead. Claire held up Samadhi #4. Is either of you willing to go for -

Well do it! Jake interjected, saying it as if he had only been given a second.

Alright. Blue Team gets Samadhi #4. So first, well see what you gave the Brown Team. Zubin gave Samadhi #7 to Aileen, who smashed it on the ground and read the note:

"Congratulations, you have each received $1000. This is yours no matter how you do in the game."

Brown Team. You each have received a gift of $1000, payable to you after this game ends. Blue Team. We know what you gave up. Lets see what you got in return. Zubin handed Stephanie Samadhi #4. She accepted it by throwing it on the ground and picking up the note that had been inside.

Blue Team, youre going to have an easier Temple Mission tomorrow. We dont know what it is, but you will start off with an advantage over the other teams. Claire explained. Switching Samadhis seems like a good idea now, huh? Jake smiled at that. Either way, thats the end of the Endurance Auction. Well be seeing you tomorrow.

OOC: Okay, so in game terms, Blue will have an advantage in the next Temple Mission, Purple cant be sent to Temple, and Gray will go to Temple if they dont win the Temple Mission, in which they have a disadvantage.
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The teams assembled at a field at the next Temple Mission: first Gray, then Green, Purple, Orange, Brown, and Blue, with Yellow at the back.

Hey, guys. Welcome to your second Temple Mission. Claire started off. Todays challenge will take quite a bit of LEADERSHIP, which, coincidentally, is in the hands of the Brown Team. Heres how this mission will work: you and your teammate will each take the end of those boards over there. Youll be guiding a ball through some obstacles and into a basket by tilting the handles on each side. If the ball falls off the side of the board, then youll have to start over. First team to get two balls into the basket wins the mission and is safe from Temple. Theres to ways to go through this: slow and steady, or quick and accurate.

Gray Team, you got a disadvantage at the Endurance Mission yesterday, so we made your board a little narrower than the others, making it that much harder to keep your ball on the board. Also, if anyone else wins the mission, you go up to Temple automatically. Lets get in position.

Two minutes later, the teams were in position, and ready to go.

Okay, you all have to get two balls into your basket. Gray Team, you have a narrower board, Blue Team, you have a wider board. Lets see if that affects anything. On your marks! Zubin called out. Everyone at the end point grabbed their handles while everybody at the start grabbed a ball. Get set, GO!

The boards were lifted up and the mission started. Progress was made by every team until Purple, Orange, and Gray all dropped their balls and had to restart. The other teams were making good progress, however, as they all had a steady hand, keeping their balls moving towards the end, but still on the track. Within a minute, though, the first marker of progress was scored by three teams.

Yellow, Blue, and Green have gotten their first ball! Claire announced. Jaquilyn just smirked as Jake looked around to the other teams. Orange seemed to be doing okay, but the Brown, Gray, and Purple were having problems. Tensions was mounting as even those teams dropped their balls from their boards, and no real progress was made for about a minute, when a shout came from the end point.

We got one!

Orange is now in this! They have one! Zubin announced. Orange, Blue, Yellow, and Green going for their second ball, Brown, Purple and Gray still at zero! In spite of their disadvantage, Gray was actually keeping up with Brown on a couple occasions, although neither had gotten to the point of scoring. This difficulty was not lost on any of the other teams.

Okay, left, keep it there-other way! Simon called out from the end point.
Stephanie, keep the basket down, itll be -

Your other right!

Keep your hands - Nina picked up another ball. So far, nobody was making much headway, as noted by the calling out, shouting, and in some cases, unprofessional language as each team, over and over again, especially from Joey, who was definitely not liking his narrow beam.

Soon, though, there seemed to be two main contenders, right next to each other. Both Jake and Nina were frantically tilting their boards from the start, while Maxim and Stephanie were doing the same at the end point. Jake watched Yellow with one eye, nervously, as Yellows ball hit the edge of the boundary surrounding the basket, and rolled

onto the ground. Nina swore as she quickly loaded up another ball, quickly trying to make up time, but it was too late, as Stephanie was able to tilt the end of the Blue Teams board just enough to guide their second ball in.

BLUE TEAM! WINS THE TEMPLE MISSION! Claire raised her hands as she announced the end of the mission as Jake breathed a sigh of relief and Stephanie jumped up and down at the news.

Blue Team, youve won the Temple Mission. That means you have safety, and power. You will be choosing the team that will be going to the Temple along with Gray. Claire congratulated the pair. Well meet in a few hours, where well find out what your decision.

OOC: Blue Team has won the Temple Mission. Together, Aura Master Fox and I will decide which team will be sent to Temple along with Gray. Confessionals will be coming soon as well. Input from other teams to either myself or Aura are allowed.
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Zubin stood with the Blue Team at the huts, with everyone else sitting around them by the fire pit.

"First order of business: Gray Team. You were in an okay position at the start of yesterday. Nobody was ragging on you that badly. But then you got the two bad Samadhis in the Endurance Auction, making it harder for you to win the Temple Mission, and sending you to Temple if you did not win. Blue Team won, and so you are going to the Temple of Fate. Now, Blue. You won the Temple Mission, so now youre going to send a team to the Temple of Fate along with Gray. Have you come to a decision? Jake nodded. Alright Stephanie, who is going to the Temple tonight?"

Stephanie started it out. "Okay. Weve gone through everything well, mostly Jake did, but anyway. The team that we are sending to the Temple is the BROWN TEAM."

BROWN TEAM. You have been selected to go with the GRAY TEAM to make the journey to the Temple of Fate. You'll have to pack your things and say your goodbyes. You leave at sunset."

OOC: Sorry for the delay. Gray Team and Brown Team are going to the Temple of Fate. I'll be sending you all PMs to update you on what's going down.
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The Brown Team and the Gray Team paddled in their canoes to the Temple of Fate. Gray docked first, and then Brown, and walked into the Temple through the triangular entrance, where Zubin was standing. Joey placed the Gray Team's Courage piece on the pole behind the row on the right, while Aileen placed the Brown Team's Leadership piece on the pole behind the row on the left.

"Brown Team, Gray Team, welcome to the TEMPLE OF FATE, in Mexico's Sea of Cortez. In a few minutes, one team will be leaving the beach forever. Each of you has pyramid pieces that represent qualities you have needed to make it this far. Brown Team," Zubin turned to Theodore and Aileen. "Your piece is LEADERSHIP. Gray Team," Zubin turned to Joey and Yumi. "Your piece is COURAGE. These qualities helped you make it this far, but here, FATE may be the deciding factor in whether or not you will stay. In front of you are three cauldrons. One contains fire, another contains water, and a third contains wood. You will write one of these elements on a rock, and I will place them into the Kettle of Fire. As you know, fire burns wood, wood floats on water, and water puts out fire. Your job is to outthink your opponent by picking the dominant element. There is nothing physical here. All you need to do is read your opponent's mind. The team that wins twice will return to the game. The team that loses will leave Endurance, never to return. You guys ready?" All four contestants nodded. Zubin nodded in response.

"Then pick up your first rock."

Both teams picked up a rock, and turned around to shield it from the other teams.

What do you think? Water?

Dont know.

Theodore handed his rock over to Zubin, followed by Yumi for Gray. Zubin placed the two rocks into the Kettle of Fire and then said:

Will the two chosen elements, please rise now. One cauldron in each row rose.

Gray Team, you picked FIRE, Brown Team, you picked WATER. Water puts out fire, thats one win for you, Brown. One more and youre going back to camp. Gray Team, you have to win this one to stay in the game. Pick up your next rock.

Should we change it up?

Sure. What do you think?

Both teams wrote down a word, before Theodore, and then Joey, handed their rocks in, which were placed into the Kettle of Fire.

Will the two chosen elements, please rise now.

Joeys hands went onto his head as he sighed.

Brown Team, you picked FIRE. Gray Team, you picked WOOD. Fire burns wood, and Brown Team is staying. Gray Team, its been great having you here, but I need you to put your piece in the Pillar of Endurance, Zubin stated. Joey patted Yumi on the back as he shook hands with Theodore and Aileen, before Gray Team stood in front of the Pillar of Fire. The flames rose, and just like that, they vanished, leaving six teams in the game.

Soon after, the other five teams were at camp, waiting for the results of what had happened. It was then that they heard We won! from a very familiar voice. They looked to see Theodore waving his arms with a smile on his face, and everyone went to show support for Brown for the moment.
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DAY 6 9:00 AM

Hey, guys, come on out!

Claire approached the six teams who were still hanging around. As they came around, they noticed the triangular piece that she was holding in her left hand: COURAGE. When they were sitting around the fire pit, Claire started once again.

As you know, another team left last night. Gray Team left behind this piece, the Courage piece, and this note. Yumi actually insisted that you read it, Maxim. She gave the note to him. Maxim cleared his voice and started reading.

Joey and Yumi
Hey, everybody!

Congrats to the Brown Team for surviving the Temple of Fate. No hard feelings, we understand that this game is just as much up to luck as it is to skill. Unfortunately, the auction granted all of the Luck to the luck and deserving Orange Team. (Cause you know, they won that piece ) Anyway, while we wish luck and success to all the teams, we are giving the Courage piece to the Yellow Team. For the courage and friendship they demonstrated to us.

Good luck, everybody!
Joey and Yumi, the GRAY TEAM

So, Yellow, it seems like the two of you really wowed the Gray Team. You now have two pieces, putting you in second place right now. Claire handed the piece over to Nina, who smiled at the news.

Now we have another mission today, and youll be playing for another piece today, as well as the Samadhi. Get yourselves ready, well be starting in a couple of hours.

OOC: Alright, so Yellow now has two pieces. I've got the results of the Endurance Mission ready, so I'll just need a while to write up the results.
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