Introduction (As narrated by Chris McLean)
Last season on Total Drama, since the ratings went down the toilet after Season three, the producers and I introduced a new competitor, a teenage cancer survivor named John Swarner. The eighteen contestants were told that they'd be spending the season on a cruise ship, what they didn't know is that they were actually going to be shipwrecked on a deserted island in virtual reality. Over the thirty six hellish days that followed since the season began; they had nothing to eat but bananas and beans, were chased by a crazy shotgun wielding gorilla, Owen destroyed an entire section of the ship with his perpetual farting, and when Courtney finally snapped John punched her in the face and showed her his hideous surgical scars so she could see that her life could be a hell of a lot worse.
On the thirty sixth day it was revealed that in order for the campers to escape the island they had to find the magical Buff of Life. One by one they began to fall to the tricks and traps that the producers and I had made for them. When they finally made it to the Chamber of Life they found their old friend Alejandro waiting for them as the final boss. John fought an epic battle with Alejandro, but lost because the later cheated. Cody sliced Al in half, but the game had been rigged so that Heather would become the new boss. Gwen, Courtney, Lindsay, Beth, and Owen all joined forces to take Heather down, and though they all touched the Buff of Life at the same time it was then revealed that it didn't matter who touched it and who didn't, and that the season's winner would be decided by their loyal fans based on how well they thought the campers played the game. In the end the person they loved most was John, and much to my delight the ratings skyrocketed!
That was one heck of a season, and if I have anything to say about, this one will be even better. Fortunately… I do.
What do we have in store for your favourite twenty campers this time? Find out right here on TOTAL… DRAMA… HALO!
Sierra had tried her hardest to figure out what Chris had planned for the new season, but just like last time they were playing hardball. Chris must've been changing his passwords hourly because she had tried everything she could think of and still couldn't find a way into any of his files.
"Oh well… I guess it'll just have to figure it out as I go… This is so exciting!"
"Sierra… You're early." said Bridgette as she and Geoff arrived.
"You know me, I just couldn't wait! I'm so excited!"
One by one the other campers began to arrive.
"COOOODEEEEEE!" exclaimed Sierra tackling him to the ground and nearly breaking him in half.
"Uh, nice to see you too Sierra."
"Hey everybody! It's John!" said Owen.
John stuck out like a sore thumb. We wore an outfit that made him look like a superhero, but the reason for this was to hide his surgical scars. He had previously told the other campers that he was originally just going to make a helmet to hide the ones on his face, but then he figured he'd might as well make a whole costume. Courtney winced as he approached.
"Welcome back dude." said Geoff.
"So how was Italy?" asked Gwen.
"E 'stato molto impressionante. So many churches filled with renaissance art, and the food is mighty good. How was your vacation in Tahiti?"
"Well look what the cat dragged in… It's old Scarface."
"Oh no… Please tell me that's not who I think it is…" said Heather.
Alejandro had arrived.
"So… at last we meet like the last time for the first time." said John.
"He's trying to be funny." whispered Cody.
"How the hell did you get a spot in this season?" asked Heather.
"I was about to ask you the same question."
"It's obvious why they brought John back, but Heather and Alejandro? I guess they don't call it Total Drama for nothing."
"I have a feeling this is going to be a very long season. The only reason I'm back is because I've come in second twice, maybe this time I'll get lucky and win."
"So tell me Scarface, what brings you back this season? Not satisfied with getting your butt kicked once?"
"You only won that fight because you cheated."
"But I did win, and that's all that matters."
"Then you clearly didn't pay attention last season, because all that mattered was who the fans voted for."
"So what? If I know Chris there's no way he'll do the same thing two seasons in a row. Once I take care of Scarface the rest will be easy picking."
Much to everyone's surprise Ezekiel had earned a spot in the season as well. He was delivered to them with a shock collar around his neck. Apparently he never fully recovered from his experience in season 3. Suddenly the ground began rumble.
"What's happening? Is it an earthquake?"
Someone came stomping toward the campers.
"What? Not her! Anyone but her!"
"You're fronting me!" said Leshawna.
"It's Elicia… Emmy… Errol… what was her name again?" asked Lindsay.
"That's right, I'm back. And I'm going to kick your butts from here to Pluto and back!"
"You can try." said John ready to draw one of the swords on his back.
"Is that a challenge? There are easier ways to die."
"Yeah, like yelling at the guy who's got two katana swords. I may be a Catholic, but if you touch me or my friends, I'm gonna cut your arms off."
"According to Sierra, Eva ripped a metal pipe in half with her teeth. I thought John was dead."
"I'll say this for you, you've got guts… You're going to need them."
Soon the campers got impatient waiting for their least favorite person on earth to arrive.
"Are we all present?"
"Let's see… Me… Cody… John… Owen… Izzy… Gwen… Courtney… Alejandro… Duncan… Trent… Eva… Gwen… Heather… Harold… Tyler… Lindsay… Leshawna… Geoff… Ezekiel… Beth… and Bridgette… That's everyone." said Sierra.
"So where the heck is Chris at?" asked Trent.
"It's four o'clock in the afternoon, and Chris always gets a latte at four o'clock during seasons. I estimate he'll be here in about… one minute."
Sure enough a big bus with a familiar face painted on it came up the street a minute later.
"Hello campers! Are you ready for what is sure to be the biggest season of Total Drama yet?"
"You know it!" said Owen.
"Let's get this over with." groaned Duncan.
After they got on the bus they just seemed to drive aimlessly for the next twenty minutes or so. Some of the campers felt tempted to ask Chris where they were going, but they feared they might not like the answer at all.
"John, all my blog readers want to know… how's your love life?" asked Sierra.
"About as well as you'd expect. I saw this one cute looking girl in Rome, but she took one look at my scars and ran."
"Well… How do you feel about… Courtney?" she whispered.
"Some people think that despite the fact that you punched her in the face and practically scared her to death, she might actually be falling for you. Stranger things have happened."
"I don't think she's my type."
"Because she's proven she can be a royal pain in the neck?"
"Actually I was referring to the fact that I prefer women with longer hair."
Suddenly the bus came to grinding halt.
"All campers please exit the bus for debriefing."
They were inside and old warehouse and were standing in front of a strange looking machine.
"I'll bet you're all wondering what the theme of this season is… The producers and I have been hard at work coming up with something that will keep the ratings high so… the theme this season is the game that made the Xbox!"
"The game that made the Xbox? What are you talking about?" asked Courtney.
"Wait a minute… do you mean…"
"Yes Harold I do. I hope you're ready to fight some aliens, because this is Total Drama Halo! And we're going to be Spartans!"
"Seriously? I've been a Halo veteran since the very beginning!"
"Radical! This season is so perfect for my skills!"
"THIS IS SO AWESOME! OH WOW! WE'RE GONNA BE SPARTANS!"
"Any remote chance Alejandro had of winning is about to go flying out the window."
"I know you're all anxious to get this show on the road, but first we need to get you into your uniforms."
"What uniforms?" asked Beth.
"Spartans might be tough, but they wouldn't have lasted long in the war without their MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armour. So before we do anything else you all need to use this machine to make your own suit of customized armour using permutations from Halo Reach, yours to take home at the end of the season. Since John won last season, he may make his suit first. You play a lot of Halo bro?"
"I could beat you in a match with my eyes closed and holding the controller upside down."
John walked up to the machine and in no time at all had his armour selected.
"Now please step into the capsule and it will do the rest."
John stepped inside the capsule, and moments later came out wearing a full suit of armour.
"That is so awesome!" said Izzy.
“Dude! You're like a real Spartan!" said Cody.
"And since you won last season we gave your suit something special." said Chris "Just snap your fingers and find out."
John snapped his fingers and all the girls screamed.
"You're on fire!"
"Relax ladies, it's just a hologram."
John looked at himself in the mirror.
"Blue flames! Sweet!"
When Duncan's turn came the boys weren't surprised that he had chosen an Eva[C] helmet.
(Looking at himself in mirror)
"Normally I don't like this show… But I could get used to this."
"Behold! The Zekinator!" said Ezekiel as he came out of the capsule in his own armour.
"Did he seriously just say Zekinator?" asked Gwen.
Eventually everyone was outfitted in their own armour.
"This is so cool!" said Cody admiring himself.
"Are you nuts?" asked Courtney taking off her helmet "You can't breathe in these things, and I feel ridiculous."
"Tough cookies." said Chris "In order to escape instant elimination this season, all contestants must keep their helmets on at all times during a combat challenge."
"Because Master Chief never removes his helmet… And if he does then we never see his face."
"That is absolutely correct, now it's time to get the ball rolling."
Chris pulled out some kind of remote and pressed a button. Suddenly the whole room was filled with gas. When it cleared only Chris and Chef were still standing.
"Tell me again why we knocked them out?" asked Chef.
"Because I don't think they'll go along with the next part willingly."
The last thing John remembered was himself and the other competitors getting their own unique suits of armour for the competition, and then nothing.
"I should know better after watching all previous seasons and participating in the last… you need to be prepared for anything."
But nothing could have entirely prepared John for what awaited him when he woke up. Everything was dark, and all he could tell was that he was in a very small space. He wasn't claustrophobic, before and immediately after his treatment his phobia had been death.
"Chris is completely nuts, but he wouldn't kill us. I've still got my armour on so I can't be dead; if I was then I probably wouldn't have been able to take it with me."
John's thought were interrupted by a scream.
"Get me out of here!"
"Gwen, is that you?"
"You people don't have to shout." said Beth.
"Is everyone here?"
"I think so… But where exactly is here?" asked Trent.
"Guy's… I've got some bad news." said Izzy "We're dead…"
"Dead? I can't be dead! I wanted to be a mother some day!"
"We're not dead Lindsay."
"How do you know?"
"Because I've been going to Catholic schools since kindergarten, and this doesn't look like any description of Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory that I've ever heard." replied John "I just wish I could see my own hand in front of my face."
"John I was thinking… If these are supposed to be like the same suits of armour worn by Spartans, shouldn't our helmets have night vision?" asked Cody.
"It's a possibility… Give me a minute."
In Halo Reach if you wanted to activate your night vision you just had to push a button on the controller, unfortunately John wasn't at home playing his Xbox. He felt around his helmet for some kind of button and finally found one in the back. He saw that he and his fellow competitors were all sealed in what looked like the drop pods used by ODSTs.
Before John could answer the screens in their pods flared to life. Chris was wearing his own suit of armour.
"We couldn't think of a more perfect way to start the season than by having all of you drop in like real ODSTs."
Suddenly the floor opened up beneath them, revealing that it was night already and they were up in the air.
"Oh no… Don't tell me…"
"We're gonna die, aren't we?" asked Tyler.
"Wait, we're not ODSTs! We're Spartans!" said Cody.
"Well actually, Spartans have been known to use drop pods on occasion."
"Harold, stop helping!"
"This can't be legal!" exclaimed Courtney.
"It's legal enough. Have a nice trip, see you in the fall."
Before anyone could say or do anything they were falling out of the sky.
"AAAAAGHH! I DON'T WANNA DIE! I DON'T WANNA DIE!" screamed Owen.
Through their monitors the competitors could hear each other screaming, except for Izzy who seemed to be enjoying this.
"What a way to go… Plunging to your death in your own casket!" said Gwen.
"No! I did not get my face and gut cut open to die like this!"
"Come on… how do they do this in the movies?"
"Chris! If I die, then whatever's left of me is gonna kick your *CENSORED*!" bellowed Alejandro.
"Come on Cody! Use the force!"
"That's not Halo." said Harold "That's Star Wars."
"Oh that's an excellent thing to think about, before we die!"
John was so busy thinking about his little sister and their widowed mother that he forgot how long he and the others had been falling.
"Heads up guys! Prepare for impact!"
Meanwhile Chris and Chef were down on the ground watching the whole thing unravel.
"I hope the landing process works as well as it did in development, otherwise we're going to wake up to some very angry emails tomorrow."
"Extend all drag flaps and launch chutes! And just to be safe… activate the airbags!" ordered Chef.
Unlike the pods used by ODSTs in the Halo universe the ones our Spartans were in were outfitted with the same kind of parachutes used for space shuttles when they returned to Earth. And if the campers weren't wearing their helmets they probably would have been smothered by the huge airbags.
"Well this is just great…"
The pods landed one by one with loud thuds. Duncan was the first to break out.
"Well that sucked…"
"Is everyone okay?" asked John.
"I'm not dead if that's what you mean." said Alejandro.
"That was sooooooo much fun…" said Izzy crawling out of her pod "I've gotta do that again!"
"LAND! SWEET GLORIOUS LAND!"
Owen actually took off his helmet and started kissing the ground.
"Get me outta this thing right now!"
The door for Gwen's pod was jammed. John stuck one of his swords into the small crack to give them a bit of leverage.
"Okay, on three… one… two… three!"
Between John, Duncan, and Owen they were able to rip it open. When Chris came over they were all too wiped out to yell at him.
"Spartans, status report!"
"Not good…” They all groaned.
"Excellent, let's roll!"
As soon as everyone was out of their pods they gathered at the top of the hill.
"Welcome to the least desirable beast of real estate in the galaxy, an exact replica of Blood Gulch canyon. This will be your home for the next several weeks."
With their night vision activated some of the boy began scanning the canyon. Whoever Chris paid to set up this canyon, he certainly got his money's worth.
"What did you do Chris; make a deal with the devil or something?"
"Let's just say I have some very rich friends who really love Halo."
"He has friends?"
"Okay, the first thing we need to do is sort you into teams. If you have a Y chromosome go stand over there, if you don't then go stand over there."
"What's a Y chromosome?" asked Tyler.
"Yeah, I'm confused." said Lindsay.
"Why doesn't that surprise me?"
"He wants the men on the right and the women on the left." said John.
"That's right, this season its boys against girls! Boys, you're the Red Team. Ladies, you're the Blue Team."
"What? Why can't I be on the same team as Cody?" asked Sierra.
"Because I said so."
"Boys against girls? Winning is inevitable. Allow me to quote Leonard Church from Red vs. Blue. Girls can't share anything. Not even an apartment. Every time girls live together, within six months, they all hate each other, and somebody gets stuck with a twelve hundred dollar phone bill. That's fact."
"I'm not worried… My relationship with my Cody-wody is strong enough to survive us being on different teams… At least I hope it is… OH CODY!"
"We were going to have the first challenge tonight, but I need my beauty sleep. Proceed to your bases and will pick this up tomorrow."
"So which of these bases is ours?" asked Alejandro.
"It's the red one."
"Oh right… They're really thinking outside the box."
"What about dinner?" asked Owen "I'm starving!"
"Don't worry… You'll find everything you need at the base."
As the boys proceeded across the canyon to the Red Base John couldn't help but hum.
"Gafflwn Dihenydd, o'r fuddugol yn wiriol sydd. Ni fydd neb yn ein Drechu, Falch ydy Ni i drochu, Traed o flaen i'r Annwn, mewn y gwybodaeth Fe godwn Ni."
"What the heck are you humming?"
"It's the song from the live-action trailer for Halo 3: ODST."
"What language is that?" asked Trent.
"It's Welsh. Translated it means: we cheat Death from his rightful victory. No one can defeat us, we are glad to plunge feet first into hell in the knowledge that we will rise."
The base was for the most part an exact replica of what it was in the video games, but there was also a basement level for the sleeping quarters and a kitchen. But when the boys looked in the pantry they didn't like what they saw.
"What the heck are these things? Asked Duncan holding up one of the brown packages they found.
"I think they're MREs, the same field rations they give soldiers in the military."
"You mean this is all there is to eat?" asked Geoff.
"It's Chris, remember?"
When the boys had finished preparing their meals they took one bite and reacted with disgust, and at the Blue Base the girls were having similar reactions.
"Well… It tasted awful, but at least I'm full." said Owen at last.
"Attention all Spartans!" exclaimed Chris over the PA "Lights out in ten minutes! Be sure to get plenty of sleep, your first challenge is tomorrow."
"Why do I have a feeling this is going to be a very long season?"
Most of the boys fell asleep immediately, but John sat in his bunk with his head in one of the books he had brought along.
"Far over the Misty Mountains old, to dungeons deep and caverns old. We must away ere break of day, so seek the pale enchanted gold."
At the Blue Base Sierra was still crying herself to sleep over Cody, and Courtney was lying awake wondering how she was going to have a chance at winning this season.
"This is not good… Not only do I know nothing about Halo, but I've made more than my fair share of enemies over the seasons. I don't even have Duncan to fall back on anymore… I guess I'll just have to do my best to win the challenge tomorrow, no matter what it is."
Can the girls overcome their ignorance and pull out a victory? Will Ezekiel survive the first elimination? What else do Chef and I have in store for this unlikely batch of Spartans? Find out next time on Total… Drama… Halo!
It was about six in the morning when Reveille started blaring over the PA system in both bases.
"What is it Chief? Are we under attack?" exclaimed Cody jumping out of bed.
"Attention Spartans!" said Chris "Report to the middle of the canyon by seven hundred hours!"
"Okay… Well seven hundred hours is a long time."
"Owen, seven hundred hours means seven o'clock. We've only got an hour." said John.
Both teams rushed to the showers, dressed, and ate breakfast before racing to the middle of the canyon. Chris and Chef were there waiting for them dressed in their own armour.
"Spartans, fall in!"
Both Lindsay and Tyler fell down the hill.
"I said fall in, not fall down!"
"Uh… What's going on?" asked Gwen.
"SILENCE! I am Sergeant Chef, and you are all sorry bags of pig organs!"
He turned to Sierra.
"What are you soldier?"
"A sorry bag of pig organs, sir!"
"Damn straight! We've tried to assemble the finest Red and Blue teams the human race has ever seen! Unfortunately all we could find was you! I can assure you these next couple weeks will be the worst years of your miserable and meaningless lives! You will hurt, you will scream for your mommies, and only one of you will survive it all and be crowned King or Queen of the Canyon!"
"What?" asked everyone at once.
"I'll take it from here Chef." said Chris.
"Okay… Last season we just dumped you on an island in virtual reality and let the fans pick their favourite. You'll be pleased to hear that this season will be a little more traditional. Just like before, every three days your teams will face each other in challenges in which you will either win a reward or send someone home."
"Last season I came in second because people liked me. I don't know if this classical routine is a good thing or a bad thing."
"Once again it wasn't easy getting you all to come back, so here's what you're playing for! Just for entering the competition each Spartan will receive a brand new HD TV!"
"The Spartan who comes in third place will receive an actual Warthog, as seen in the Halo games!"
All the boys suddenly looked very motivated.
"The Spartan who comes in second place will win an all-expenses paid two week vacation for two to anywhere in the world they want to go. But only the Spartan who comes in first will be crowned King or Queen of the Canyon and win the grand prize of ten million dollars!"
"Yeah it all sounds very expensive, but the first three prizes all come from our sponsors, so they cost us nothing. And as I previously stated I have some very rich friends who really love Halo, so this season is going to AWESOME!"
"Okay Chris… What's the first challenge?" asked Trent.
"Not so fast Eager McBeaver. It's not time for the challenge just yet."
"Then why the hell did you wake us up at six in the morning?" asked Heather.
"To explain the new rules. It's quite obvious that not all of you are exactly Spartan material, so each day when there isn't a challenge you'll be running training exercises with Chef."
"What kind of training exercises?" asked Courtney.
"Like I'm gonna tell you. As for the challenges, this season they will either be about Halo or gaming in general, and a great deal of them will be combat challenges. Combat challenges will be based on certain game types in Halo. For these combat challenges you'll be using paintball guns and paint bombs made to look like real Halo weapons. Like these…"
Chris held up what looked like an assault rifle and tossed it to John.
"This is so cool!"
"Though each combat challenge will be unique, here are the rules that are universal to all of them. Each time a Spartan is hit with a paintball or paint bomb the shield bar on your Heads Up Display will be decreased. In order for the shield to recharge you need to avoid being shot for a few seconds. Once the shield is down you will lose hit points when you're shot. The damage your shield or hit points receive will vary based on the weapon fired at you. For example, a shot from a rocket launcher will do more damage at once than a single shot from an assault rifle. When you run out of hit points you die."
"Really?" exclaimed Lindsay.
"Well… All that really happens is the word 'dead' will flash across your HUD, and you won't be able to fire any weapon no matter how much ammo is left. If you are killed you have to run all the way back to your base and hit the respawn button before you can get back into the game. In non-objective games like Slayer each kill will earn you and your team a point, shooting a dead person does nothing but waste ammo. Speaking of ammo, when you run out you need to either run back to base or to the nearest reload station to get more."
"This is gonna be a lot tougher than I thought, but I am not backing down!"
"Just like blasting noobs back home."
"With this cool outfit I feel ready for anything, bring it McLean!"
"I trust you all remember the elimination ceremony? It will be held in the briefing room that our interns have set up for us. And I trust you also remember something from last season called the Dunce Cap and Sandwich Board of Shame?"
Chef came out with a familiar dunce cap and a sandwich board that read, "Hello, my name is Loser."
"In each combat challenge, the Spartan with the lowest body count, regardless of whether they're on the winning team or not, will be forced to wear them until the next challenge, or until they're eliminated, whichever comes first. In the event of a tie, the Spartan with the lowest body count on the losing team has to wear it; if it's still a tie after that the decision is mine. And there are a few other new rules I should probably tell you about… but what fun would that be? "
"I've said it before and I'll say it again, the money is the only reason any of us put up with Chris."
"So… Who's ready for the first combat challenge?"
"Let's go!" bellowed Tyler.
"Let's get it on!" yelled Izzy.
"Let's throw some *CENSORED* down!" said Duncan.
"Okay then… Today you'll be playing the classic Halo game of Team Slayer. Each enemy Spartan you kill earns a point for your team. The team with the most kills after an hour wins invincibility and this reward."
Chris was holding what appeared to be some kind of disk; unsurprisingly only some of the boys seemed to know what it was.
"Chris… Is that a…"
Suddenly a small holographic woman dressed in a flowing bright blue garment appeared on top of the disk.
"Ladies and gentlemen, meet Cassandra, the first fully functional artificial intelligence program created by man."
"Hello everyone." said Cassandra waving.
"Where do you keep getting all this stuff?" asked Eva.
"Technically Cassandra isn't mine, she's the property of the U.N., and they're just letting us borrow her because they really love our show."
"Hey! You can't call me someone's property, that hurts my feelings! Oh my god I have feelings? I'm a real girl!"
"Yep, she's a state of the art free-thinking computer program."
"Chris, if machines could think then none of us would be here." said John.
"Yeah, does the Terminator franchise ring a bell?" asked Harold.
"Don't worry; the scientists appointed by the U.N. assure me they have plenty of safeguards in place to prevent Cassandra from becoming too smart."
"I am driven by one primary directive, to assist the Spartan of my choosing and his or her team to the best of my ability for the duration of this season. Then I will be reprogrammed for another purpose."
"What does she mean when she says, Spartan of her choosing?" asked Bridgette.
"Once the challenge is over Cassandra will choose one Spartan from the winning team to be her host. She will then assist that Spartan and his or her Team until the merge, after that she will only assist that Spartan until he or she is eliminated."
"Assist us how?"
"She'll give you advice for challenges; watch your back, things like that."
"Oh great, Chris is pretty much giving away a get out of elimination free card."
"Perfect! If I can get my hand on that… thing, then they'll have a reason not to boot me. But first we need to win this challenge, and then I need to get it to choose me."
"Okay lets review, the team that wins this game of Team Slayer will get to keep Cassandra and the losers will be sending someone home. Now Spartans, return to base. You will be given thirty minutes to strategize, and then the game will begin."
"Too bad boys, I guess we'll have to wait another thirty minutes to see if you have half as much bite to go with your bark." said Heather.
"You're going down!" said Tyler "Because this season I'm out for mud!"
"Don't you mean blood?" asked Cody.
"Right, what did I say?"
Whose side are you on?
The Spartans marched all the way back to their respective bases, and when they arrived they found that one of the previously locked doors had been opened, and it was full of paintball guns and paint bombs made to look like weapons from the Halo universe.
"This is so awesome!" said Cody picking up a DMR.
"Shotgun has my name on it." said Duncan.
"I call a Sniper Rifle!" said Harold.
"Owen, you take the turret." said John.
"Why does he get the big gun?" asked Tyler.
"Because I watched you guys in season one, and he's possibly the worst shot on this team."
"So why are you giving him a machine gun turret?"
"Because who needs accuracy when you have more bullets?"
Eventually the boys all had their weapons picked out and they still had about twenty minutes to strategize before the start of the challenge.
"Okay guys, what's the plan?" asked Owen.
"We laugh like hyenas while they scream for mercy." said Alejandro.
"I think we're going to have to do better than that."
"Not to sound sexist or anything, but I don't think the girls have much of a chance." said Duncan "Boys play video games; girls with very few exceptions watch soap operas."
"As someone who once spent an entire season as the only boy on team full of women, I can safely assume that they're all arguing right now." said Cody.
"All the more reason for us to play as a team." said John "I know we've all had our differences in the past, but I think we can all agree that ten million dollars is much more important than any grudges we might be holding, so let's win today and go back to killing each other after the merge."
"Sounds like a plan." said Geoff.
"Harold, since you're the one with the sniper rifle I want you to head for high ground. Duncan, Alejandro, and Tyler, I want you three to advance along the left hand side of the canyon. The rest of you take the right."
"What are you going to do John?" asked Trent.
"Well someone has to take the middle."
At that moment they heard Chris over the PA.
"Attention Spartans! At the sound of the cannon you may begin fighting!"
"Alright boys… Let's go get em'."
As the others left, John held Ezekiel back.
"Ezekiel, I know you've been eliminated first in every season, but if you follow my orders I can prevent that from happening. I scratch your back, you scratch mine. Deal?"
Meanwhile back at the Blue Base the girls were still arguing over what their first move should be.
"Everybody stop!" yelled Sierra "The game has already started, and if I know those boys then any minute now they're going to come over that hill yelling CHARGE!"
Suddenly the base was shook by a loud explosion.
"What the heck was that?" exclaimed Courtney.
"Do you even need to ask?"
Some of the girls peeked outside the door and saw the boys all lined up at the top of the hill. John pulled out one of his katana and held it high in the air.
"It's almost like I'm psychic!"
The boys swept over to the Blue Base like a flood.
"Return fire girls! Return fire!"
"Will somebody remind me how to use this thing?" asked Lindsay.
"Just point it at the boys, and pull the trigger!" yelled Gwen barely dodging another paintball.
"Oh… What's the trigger?"
As Gwen pulled the trigger on Lindsay's Needer Geoff was the unlucky one in her line of fire.
"Oh come on!" he said as the word "Dead" flashed across his HUD.
"Sorry Geoff, that still counts as a kill." said Chris.
Unfortunately not all the girls were as lucky as Lindsay. Duncan alone dodged all of Leshawna's shots, blasted her with his shotgun, and then turned around and blew Heather away with a grenade.
"The only good Blue is a dead Blue!"
Courtney saw her chance. She took aim at Duncan's head with her pistol and fired.
"You shot me! you shot me!"
This time she shot him in the chest.
"Well doesn’t that suck." said Duncan as the word "Dead" flashed across his HUD.
"How does it feel to be beat by a girl!"
"I just shot my ex-boyfriend in the head, and then I taunted him… I've never felt so alive!"
Suddenly Owen came charging over with his turret.
"Say hello to my little friend!"
Courtney didn't stand a chance.
As the battle raged on the girls were forced to retreat into the base and lock the door.
"Oh come on! These bases don't even have doors in the Halo games!" said Cody.
"True, but we're trying to keep this interesting." said Chris over the P.A. "If you can answer the seven Halo trivia questions that appear on the screen the door will open."
The first question appeared on the door.
What planet was Master Chief born on?
While the boys were hacking into the door the girls were inside the base trying to think.
"We need a new plan and we need it now!" said Courtney.
"You don't have to shout." replied Bridgette "We're right here."
"There must be something in the armoury we haven't tried yet!"
"Oh... This looks promising."
Much to the surprise of the boys they had only answered four questions when the door opened. Alejandro and Duncan were the first to rush in, but almost immediately they wished they hadn't.
"Oh hello…" said Izzy smiling as she pointed a Rocket Launcher at them "And goodbye."
"RETREAT! RETREAT!" yelled John.
"COME BACK HERE!"
After Izzy emerged from the base she was followed by Eva who was wielding a Gravity Hammer.
"RUN YOU BOYS! RUN!"
Izzy immediately blasted Harold from his perch, and Eva ran after the boys with her Gravity Hammer.
"I will rip you apart like paper and drink your blood!"
"That girl has some serious issues."
John spun around and blasted Eva with his pistol. When Eva saw the word "Dead" flashing across her HUD she could barely contain herself.
"You're mine next time!"
John jumped into cover before Izzy could get a shot at him.
"Ezekiel, get me a Sniper Rifle!" he bellowed through his comlink.
"What about the rest of us John?"
"Stay where you are! If we get too close she's just gonna start mowing us down!"
Izzy kept firing rockets at the boys.
"You live! You die!"
"You live! You die!"
"You'd think eventually she'd run out of ammo." said Trent.
"Ezekiel, I need that Sniper Rifle today!"
"I'm coming maaastar!"
Before Ezekiel made it to John's location Izzy blew him away.
"Damn it! Looks like I'm on my own."
John sprinted toward the Sniper Rifle.
"Need to time this just right…"
When Izzy's first shot came John jumped out of the way, then when the second shot came he ducked and rolled, finally he grabbed the Sniper Rifle and did a backflip to dodge the third rocket. When he landed on the ground he took his shot and blasted Izzy's visor.
"That one's worth an instant replay." said Chris.
The battle raged on for an hour, and then Chris announced over the PA that it was time to tally up the score.
"What a battle… Are there any survivors?" asked Sierra as she wiped a lot of paint from her visor.
"And this game is over! And the final score is Red with one hundred and twenty three points, and Blue with only sixty six!"
"Yahoo! We won dudes!" said Geoff.
"Glory to the Red Team!"
"And don't forget your prize… Cody."
"Cassandra's made her choice."
"No, your mother. Get up here!" said Chef.
Cody took the disk and inserted it into the slot in the back of his helmet.
"Cody… I know you can hear me… Don't worry… You and I are gonna get along just fine."
"And let's see… The unfortunate camper who received the lowest body count, and as a result has to wear the Sandwich Board and Dunce Cap of Shame is… Leshawna with negative thirteen kills."
"You did score ten points, but you killed Heather twenty three times; guess I forgot to mention that you lose points for team kills. Now I suggest you all return to base and get those suits of yours thoroughly cleaned. Blues, I'll see you in the briefing room at twenty hundred hours."
Chris could tell that some of the girls had no idea what he was talking about.
"That means eight o'clock."
The Red Team actually started whistling the halo theme as they marched gloriously back to their base.
"You win this battle Red Team…" said Lindsay "But it's just one battle in a… big… war-thing with lots of other… battles."
Fortunately for the Spartans the paint on their armour came right off in the unique washing machine Chris had supplied them with.
"Good as new." said Gwen observing her helmet.
"Sure Leshawna cost us some points, but that's only because she was shooting Heather. Izzy and Eva are nuts, but they have the highest body counts on our team. Sierra's crazy, but she knows more about the boys than any of us, we're probably going to need her. So I vote for Heather."
"I vote for Heather, and the rest of the freak show called my team better do the same unless they want to die slowly."
"I need to get on someone's good side, so I'm in the alliance to boot Heather."
"Is this thing on? Okay… I vote for Heather, because she’s mean."
The rest of the day went by slowly. Finally it was about a quarter to eight when they heard from Chris.
"Attention all Blues, please report to the Briefing Room at this time!"
"Let's get this over with."
The girls marched to the Briefing Room, which was located on right hand side near the middle of the canyon. It looked like a miniature command centre. They all took their seats and Chris stood at the podium, at his side was a tray that had nine golden medals with his face on them.
"Ladies, in the Halo Games medals are petty awards you receive for your accomplishments in the game. Here medals represent life… There are only nine medals on this tray… When I call your name, come up and claim your medal… The Spartan who does not receive a medal must immediately proceed to the Helipad of Shame, board the Pelican of Losers, and leave. That means you're out of the contest, and you can never ever-ever-ever come back… ever!"
"As an expert on Total Drama, I know for a fact that every time Chris has said that, he was lying… Classic Chris."
"The first medal goes to… Izzy… Gwen… Courtney… Sierra… Lindsay… Beth… Bridgette… Leshawna…"
Eva gave Heather the kill gesture.
"Spartans… This is the final medal of the evening."
Chris did one of his trademark dramatic pauses.
"WHAT?" exclaimed everyone.
"You backstabbing traitors! I will rip you limb from limb with my teeth!"
"Security!" yelled Chris.
Eva was shot in the neck with a blow dart.
Eva fell to the ground unconscious.
"W.T.F. Chris?" said Sierra.
"Yeah! I know for a fact that eight of us didn't vote her off." said Gwen.
"Well… tough luck."
Eva's unconscious body was dragged to the Pelican of Losers and she was flown away from the canyon.
"I swear on my grandmother's grave, I didn't do anything. I honestly thought I was dead."
"YAHOO! NOT ELIMINATED FIRST!"
"And so ends our first full day here in Blood Gulch. Will the girl's be able to recover now that they've lost one of their best players? How long will Ezekiel's luck hold out? How long will Sierra be able to stand not being on the same team as Cody? Why did Cassandra choose Cody to be her host? All this and more next time... on Total… Drama… Halo!"
"What did you do Heather?"
"I swear to God, I didn't do anything!
"It's bad enough that we're one woman down, but Eva was one of our best players!"
"Well I wasn't the one doing the Team Killing! As much as I enjoy your company I'm not going to throw a challenge just to spite any of you."
"Then why were you shooting back?"
"Can we please get back to the main issue of this discussion?" said Gwen "If Heather didn't fix the votes then who did?"
"Maybe it was Alejandro, it sounds like the kind of thing he'd do." said Bridgette.
"I don't think so…"
"Well unless I'm mistaken, he and the rest of the guys have been partying at Red Base since they beat us. Besides, even he isn't stupid enough to risk angering someone like Eva."
"Wait a minute… Maybe it has something to do with the new rules Chris refused to tell us!" said Sierra.
"You sunk my battleship."
It was well past lights out at the Red Base, but Cody was wide awake.
"What's a matter? Sandman ain't coming?" asked Cassandra.
It was going to take Cody awhile to get used to hearing the voice in his head.
"I was just wondering why you picked me. John's the highest scoring Spartan on the team."
"I am here to assist, and from the looks of things I don't think John needs any assistance in this game."
"What about Ezekiel?"
"We both know he's a lost cause. You have more experience with Halo than some members of this team, but you've come in third place twice in a row. Perhaps I can help change that. You seem to be what your people call a… what was it… a diamond in the rough."
"You're very nice… for a computer program."
"Just part of my job."
The next two days were spent doing Chef's ridiculous training exercises. First they were shooting a bunch of cardboard standees made to look like either people from the UNSC or Covenant aliens. For every shot wasted or friendly target they hit they had to run an extra lap around the canyon. After that they did dodging practice, where Chef shot paintballs at them, and for every time they got shot they had to climb the canyon wall. On the third day it was time for their next challenge.
"I don't care what the challenge is as long as the reward is food. We've had nothing to eat but MREs for three freaking days!"
Once again they were woken at six and the morning and were given an hour to shower, eat, and get dressed. When they met in the center of the canyon Chris and Chef had two flags with them, one red and one blue.
"Today's combat challenge will be based on the classic Halo game of Capture the Flag. It doesn't matter how many enemy Spartans you kill, although that will determine who wears the Sandwich Board and Dunce Cap of Shame, all that matters is that you get your hands on the enemy's flag. Each team will take a flag and place it inside their base. The first team to capture their enemy's flag and bring it back to their own base will win invincibility and a reward. The losers will be relieving one of their recruits of his duties. And since I know you're curious, this is what you'll be playing for…"
Chris was holding something in his hand.
"Is that what I think it is?"
"Yes it is… a genuine chocolate bar. The members of the winning team will receive ten each."
"What kind of chocolate?" asked John.
"Milk, dark, white, with or without nuts, to each his own."
"We need to win this…" said Courtney.
"No arguments here."
"Since Blue Team is one Spartan short the Reds will have to sit one person out."
"I'll do it." said Geoff.
"Very well, you have thirty minutes to strategize."
"Cassandra, what have you got for us?" asked John.
"Blue Team has lost one of their best players, so we should have the advantage. However I've been closely monitoring their progress in Sgt. Chef's training regime, they are learning quickly. Caution is advised."
"John, why would they boot Eva? She had one of their highest body counts."
"That's a good question Trent. Alejandro, would you care to answer?"
"I don't know what you're talking about, I didn't do anything."
"Didn't want your girlfriend to get booted first?" asked Tyler.
"She's not my girlfriend, and if anyone should be worried about their female friends getting booted it should be you. Your precious little Lindsay couldn't hit a stalled train that was carrying fuel tanks."
"You take that back!"
"Leave the relationships out of this, or does everyone forget what happened to me in season two."
"Besides, there's no way in hell Gwen, Courtney, and Heather are going to let us win this without a fight, so why should we behave any differently?" asked Duncan.
"Okay, so here's the plan; Harold and Cody will take some Sniper Rifles, head up top, and prevent any Blues from getting even close to our base. Owen, Tyler, and Ezekiel will run interference. Everyone else will come with me and get the flag."
Meanwhile at Blue Base the girls were trying to get things done democratically.
"So… Do we have a plan yet?" asked Beth.
"If we know the boys then they're going to come charging at us from the start, but if we kill them then they have to run all the way back to base and respawn before they can try and stop us." said Gwen.
"So if we kill enough of them then we'll be able to make it to their base and pick up their flag without much of a fight. We just need to get to their base before they do, but even then they'll be right behind us." said Bridgette.
"So what do we do then?" asked Heather "They're just gonna start mowing us down."
"I know just what to do!" said Sierra "We all run for our lives in a single file line, that way they can only kill the person who's in the back. So if we order from slowest to fastest, with the fastest person in the front carrying the flag while the others are either playing meat shield or returning fire we just might make it."
"But we can't just leave our flag defenceless." said Courtney.
"Which is why Lindsay, Beth, and Leshawna will stay here to protect it while the rest of us brave all hell to get the boy's. Izzy, we need some big guns."
"Gotcha, no survivors…"
"Attention Spartans! At the sound of the cannon you may begin fighting!"
Much the surprise of the boys, the girls seemed to be organized this time. They were standing on their own end of the canyon waiting for them.
"CHARGE!" yelled both John and Izzy.
Chaos immediately erupted in the canyon as the Red and Blue forces met in the center. John was in a duel with Izzy, Heather was circling around a rock to take cover and return fire, Duncan was blasting anyone that got too close to him, and Courtney was screaming that she would take no prisoners. Meanwhile Chris and Chef were at the top of the canyon watching the whole thing unravel.
"Wow… This is better than a football riot." said Chris.
"And to think all this senseless violence is over some flags."
"Well according to Eddy Izzard that's how you build an empire. No flag, no country."
Despite their best efforts it quickly became clear that the girls had been outmanoeuvred. It was bad enough trying to get past John, Alejandro, Duncan, and Trent, but then Harold and Cody began firing away with their Sniper Rifles and then Owen came along with his turret.
"DIE BLUE DOGS!"
The girls never got a chance to go along with their plan, but it looked like the boys had the same problem.
"Hurry! We need to get back to the base before they do!"
Unfortunately the boys were a lot faster. Lindsay, Beth, and Leshawna tried to fight them off, but where overwhelmed. As the boys raced out with the blue flag the girls ran in and quickly respawned before going after them.
"Aww… I got dead again." said Lindsay looking at the words flashing across her HUD.
When Lindsay got up to hit the respawn button she accidentally hit another button as well.
"Guys, the doors are locked!" said Beth.
"Don't worry; it must be one of these!"
Lindsay began pressing buttons all across the console. One of the buttons caused disco ball to come down and pop songs started playing over the speakers. She pressed another button and all the lights went out. Finally she pressed one button and a huge red dot appeared on the screen that displayed a map of the canyon, and the words "TAKE COVER" started flashing across the top.
"Uh… Girls, I made a boo boo." She sighed over the comlink.
"What kind of boo boo?" asked Heather.
The boys stopped dead when they realized the canyon was suddenly engulfed in a huge shadow, even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Both Cody and Harold looked up with their Sniper Rifles.
"What the heck is that?"
"Boys… You might want to run." said Cassandra.
Whatever it was it began dropping gigantic blue paintballs.
"PORCA PUTTANA!" exclaimed John.
The boys all ran for cover, but they didn't get far before the huge paintballs hit the ground, covering at least a fourth of the canyon in blue paint.
"What just happened here?" asked Courtney.
"If I had to make a guess… I'd say Lindsay just accidentally set off the orbital bombardment." said Chris.
While the boys ran back to their base to hit the respawn button the girls had Heather take their flag back while they pursued the red one. Izzy took notice of both Cody and Harold and blasted them with her Rocket Launcher. With a little luck the girls managed to get their hands on the red flag.
"Okay, stick to the plan."
What the girls didn't know is that John had a plan of his own. After respawning he charged out, leapt high into the air, and hurled several grenades so they landed in front of the girls.
The boys recovered their flag, and the girls all had to run back their base to respawn, but when they got there they were in for a surprise.
"Where's our flag?" asked Gwen.
"What? It was here a minute ago!" said Beth.
The girls rushed out in time to see Ezekiel running across the canyon with their flag.
Izzy tried blasting Ezekiel with her Rocket Launcher, but he was too far out of range. Heather tried using a Sniper Rifle, but she couldn't land a single shot.
"Ezekiel has captured the blue flag!" exclaimed Chris "Red Team wins!"
Courtney shut herself up inside the armoury to swear like a welder who just burned off his finger.
"I did it! I possess the blue flag!" exclaimed Ezekiel "For once I am better than all of you! I am all-powerful! I AM GOD!"
"Shut up Ezekiel…"
"Anyway… nice work today boys."
"John, what does porca puttana mean?" asked Owen.
"It's Italian for *CENSORED*."
When the scores were tallied up Leshawna and Beth were tied for least kills and according to the rules that meant is was Chris' decision that would break the tie and decide who would have to wear the Sandwich Board and Dunce Cap of Shame. For some reason he chose Leshawna.
"Once again we have to give someone the boot, which means that next time there's a challenge we're going to be down by two people. We can't afford another loss, but unfortunately we're kinda split on the decision."
"I think Lindsay should go."
"What? Me? I got plenty of kills."
"Yes, I admit you managed to wipe out practically their entire team while attempting to open a door, however I don't really think that counts."
"Not only do I miss out on some real food, but now we've got to eliminate another member of our team. And to be honest, I don't know who to vote for."
Around eight o'clock the girls left for the briefing room. Still split on the decision on who to boot they decided to let the chips fall where they may. Chris was waiting for them with only eight medals.
"Well here we are again ladies… I suggest you shape up before the next challenge; otherwise you might just go the way of Team Victory in season three. There are only eight medals on this tray, one of you will be going home, and you can't come back… ever!"
"Why does he keep saying that?"
"The first medal goes to… Gwen… Izzy… Lindsay… Bridgette… Sierra… surprisingly Heather… and… Beth."
"What? No way!" thought Courtney.
"Ladies… this is the final medal of the evening."
As Chris did one of his trademark pauses Courtney was sweating like an animal at the slaughter house
"God… If you're listening, then I did not come here just to get booted second!"
"The final medal goes to…"
Chris looked like he was playing a game of Eeny Meany Miny Mo.
Courtney breathed a heavy sigh of relief.
"Leshawna, the Helipad of Shame awaits."
"Oh well… Give them hell girls!"
"But can they? They'll only way to find out is to join us same time same place, right here on Total… Drama… HALO!"
Out of the twenty contestants that had come to participate this season, two had already been eliminated, and Courtney couldn't believe how close she had come to being one of those two.
"Okay, I admit I don't know much about Halo and I'm not exactly the highest scoring Spartan on the Blue Team, but almost being eliminated second? I'm better than that!"
Courtney went through her bag and found the Buff of Life replica she had won last season. She was one of the five people to reach the Buff of Life first, but then it was revealed that the season's winner would be decided by the fans, so she only came in fourth.
"I came here to win; I'm not going down before we even reach the merge!"
Courtney placed the buff inside her armour; from this night forward she would wear it to remind herself that she still could still win this.
After two more days of doing training exercises with Chef it was about two hours since lights out and John was still finding it a little hard to fall asleep. There was something that he just couldn't get out of his mind, so he tried to bury it with one of his books. That's when he heard helicopter blades outside.
"What the heck?"
He activated his visor's night vision and walked out to see what was going on. When he looked up he saw at least four of the biggest helicopters he had ever seen carrying what looked like a small building into the middle of the canyon.
"Chris is officially insane."
No matter how many times it had happened, the Spartans weren't used to being awoken by Reveille blaring in their ears early in the morning.
"I'm gonna kill him." said Duncan looking at the clock.
"Trust me Duncan; people like Chris aren't worth spending a decade or longer in prison." said Cassandra.
"Aren't you supposed to be in Cody's head?"
"I am here to assist the team; Cody is merely my choice of host."
"Whatever… Let's do this thing before they give the girls the match by default."
Everyone save for John was surprised by the huge building that had been placed in the middle of the canyon. When they got there Chef was wearing a referee's outfit instead of his armour.
"Who's ready for some Grifball?" said Chris.
"Grifball!" exclaimed both Cody and Harold.
"Oh man! I love Grifball!" said Tyler "What's Grifball?"
"You've never heard of Grifball?" asked Chris "What do you live in a cave? It's only the best game since itself!"
"That doesn't even make sense." said Bridgette.
"Just go with it. This is Chris we're dealing with." said Sierra.
"For those of you who are unfamiliar with Grifball, the rules are very simple. Both teams will choose four players each round to face off in this arena. Each team has their own goal, the object is to take the ball in the middle of the court and put it on the other team's goal. Scoring a goal earns one point for the player's team and ends the round. The first team to score five out of nine rounds wins invincibility and a reward."
"Okay… Sounds easy enough." said Gwen.
"I guess I should mention that this is a contact sport. Since you obviously don't want to just let the other team score, each player will be equipped with a Gravity Hammer. But this time if you're hit you don't need to respawn; you will still have to drop the ball if you're holding it. And to make things even more exciting, the ball explodes after every score."
"Really?" asked Lindsay.
"It's just an orange paint bomb. You got all that? You may now strategize."
"I don't mean to be rude, but we cannot let these guys win another challenge." said Heather.
"How? Even if we're not technically outnumbered in this game, they still have more experience than us." said Beth.
"For the first round we're just going to have to wing it. Sierra, you sit this one out, study their strategy, and try to come up with something."
"Alright, now who's going in?"
After both teams had decided who would be playing in the first round Chris took his place in the commentator's box.
"Ladies and gentlemen! The starting line-up for… THE BLUE TEAM! The runner-up of Total Drama Island, capable of drinking punch out of the communal toilet and going head to head with an actual serial killer… it's Gwen! Up next is the human cricket herself, the only Spartan with C.I.T. training… Courtney! Up next is the Queen of Mean, winner of Total Drama World Tour and the one person who somehow managed to last a lot longer than you'd expect… Heather! And now, the highest scoring killer on the Blue Team, a girl with so many nicknames it isn't funny… it's Izzy!"
"Blue Team! Rock and roll!" bellowed Izzy.
"And now… the starting line-up for… THE RED TEAM! First up is the winner of Total Drama Action, the one person we know can wrestle an alligator, it's Duncan! Up next is yet another Total Drama All-star, one who can eat a whole lot of wax fruit, Harold's used gum, dog food, and then some. Owen! And the Son of Satan, living proof that a pretty face can hide an evil mind… Alejandro! And now… our most recent addition to the family of Total Drama All-stars. He can recite Shakespeare in Spanish and is utterly deadly with his twin katanas… Go captain of the Red Team! Our very own Iron Man… John!"
"If John is on the Red Team then why did Chris give him a blue flame effect? Is he just making him a target, or is there more to it than that?"
"Remember, John's right eye is the bad one."
"We're ready for the first ball spawn in three… two… one… Grifball!"
The girls got to the ball first, but John just smacked them with his hammer. Whenever the Gravity Hammers Chris had provided them with hit something they opened up and splattered paint all over the place. John started to run across the field, but Courtney threw her gravity hammer and hit him in the leg.
"For the Blue Team!"
Gwen didn't get very far before Alejandro smacked her with his hammer.
"It's mine!" he said picking up the ball.
Izzy came out of nowhere and smacked Alejandro in the head.
Izzy picked up the ball and charged across the field.
As soon as Izzy planted the ball there was a huge explosion of orange paint.
"And it looks like Blue Team draws first blood!" said Chris.
Next up it was Beth, Izzy, Sierra, and Bridgette against Harold, Cody, Trent, and Geoff. When Harold took to the field he started twirling his hammer like a baton and ended up hitting himself in the head. This time Bridgette and Beth stayed to protect their goal while everyone else rushed for the ball, in the resulting struggle the ball was knocked high into the air back towards the Blues.
"I got it! I got it!" said Beth falling back.
When Beth caught the ball she was standing right on top of their goal, and the ball exploded.
"The Blues managed to score on their own goal? Is that technically possible?" asked Cody.
"No, it shouldn't be." said Cassandra "The ball is specifically designed not to do that."
"That doesn't count, for either team." said Chef "Do over!"
This time Trent and Geoff charged in front with Harold right behind them. After taking care of the girls in front Harold scooped up the ball and danced his way through the Blue's defences like he was Nightwing or something. In no time he had the ball on the blue goal.
"Score for the Red Team!"
"Oh no you don't." thought Courtney.
This time when the ball spawned Courtney smacked both Duncan and Tyler across the face, grabbed the ball, leapt high over John as he brought his hammer down, and threw the ball onto the goal.
"Okay, I've got to admit, that was really hot… Did I say hot? I meant awesome… I need that tape!"
In no time at all the score was tied four to four.
"Final round!" said Chef.
"Okay… this is the decider, we can do this; we’re blues!"
When the ball spawned Alejandro, Duncan, Gwen, and Izzy all scrambled for it.
"Special delivery!" yelled Alejandro.
"Sorry, I've already got one."
Gwen blocked Alejandro's blow and then swept him off his feet with her leg. She grabbed the ball and ran, but then Duncan rushed over and smacked her.
"Sorry gorgeous, but I can't let you do that." he said picking up the ball.
"But can you stop her?"
Izzy came falling out of the sky and kicked Duncan in the back.
"Get ready for the big boom-boom!"
Izzy grabbed the ball and leapt toward the red goal, but then John grabbed her by the leg, causing her to fall flat on her visor.
"Is she okay?" asked Owen.
"If my records are correct, then she's seen worse." replied Cassandra.
John scooped up the ball and ran for the blue goal, but then ran into Courtney. She winced for a moment, but then she told herself there was no way she was going to let the Reds win.
"Alright tough guy… lets tango."
John ducked under Courtney's hammer and rolled along the ground, and then he sprang to his feet and did a backflip toward the wall. Courtney rushed at him, but he dodged sharply to side and into a corner where he jumped up and kicked hard against the wall to propel himself over her, did an in-air somersault and landed gracefully on the ground.
"Wow! That's worth an instant replay." said Chris.
Courtney, Heather, Gwen, and Izzy were so busy charging towards John that they failed to see how deep Cody had gotten into their territory.
John threw the ball into the air with all his might; it flew over the girls and into Blue territory where Cody was waiting. He caught the ball and fell onto the blue goal.
"No! We tried so hard!"
"Uh… you can't really do that in the actual game." said Chef.
"Well then I guess it's a very good thing we're not playing the actual game." replied Chris "I'm going to allow it, Red wins!"
"Ha-ha! What glorious goo!" said Cody as he emerged covered in orange paint.
"Boys, for your reward you'll be having dinner tonight at a local sports bar. Ladies, what can I say? I'll see you in the briefing room tonight… again."
"This is bad… very bad… I'm already running low on my favourite conditioner!"
"Note to self… kill Chris."
"My expert TD analysis tells me that if we eliminate the wrong person tonight, we'll be up poop creek without a boat."
Since it was only possible to score once per round, Chris decided that the Sandwich Board and Dunce Cap of shame would be worn by who in his opinion had the greatest fail in the game. In the end he picked Beth because she caused the ball to detonate on her team's own goal. When the time came the girls proceeded to the briefing room.
"Ladies, you did your best today, but obviously it just wasn't good enough. Now who wants a medal? Something that represents security, safety, peace of mind…"
"Oh spare us…" said Heather.
"And if you don't get one you've got to go to Helipad of Shame, board the Pelican of Losers, and you can't come back… ever!"
"I never get tired of that."
"The first medal goes to… Izzy… Gwen… Courtney… Sierra… Bridgette… and… Heather."
Only Lindsay and Beth were left.
"Ladies… this is the final medal of the evening… and it goes to… Lindsay."
"There aren't any alliances right now, but I can't say I'm surprised. Heather might still be Heather, but Beth had the lowest stats on our time, even if Lindsay did only wipe out all the boys by accident once."
"Beth, the Helipad of Shame awaits."
"It was nothing personal."
"I suggest the rest of you shape up before the next challenge, because Red Team is kicking your butt. Heck, that's being nice."
"Chris, do us all a favour and shut up."
Will the Blues be able to ditch their losing streak?
Find out next time right here on Total… Drama… Halo!
Blue team didn't get much sleep that night. For the next two days all they had to do was put up with Chef's Spartan training regime, but they had a feeling it wasn't going to help them when the next challenge came along.
"We are so stinking right now! At this rate I'm going to end up being eliminated before the merge."
"Sierra, you're the expert, is it still possible for us to recover from these losses?" asked Heather.
"Team Victory never recovered in season three, but something tells me we're coming close to a Deus Ex machina."
"It's a Latin term where a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with a contrived and unexpected intervention." said Gwen.
"And how do you know we're coming close to one of those… whatever you just said?"
"Look who you're talking to."
"I'm such a huge TD fan that I think I'm developing a sixth sense about these things. What we need is a game changer, and I have a feeling we'll get one soon enough."
On the morning of the next challenge the Spartans at Red Base weren't awoken by the usual playing of Reveille blaring over the PA system. Instead it was by an alarm set off by Cassandra.
"Warning! Heavyweight vehicles detected! Warning! Heavyweight vehicles detected!"
"What's going on? Are the enemies using tanks?" asked Owen.
"Dude we're not at war, we're playing Chris' game." said Duncan.
Some of the boys went out to see what was going on. When they looked through their sniper rifles they saw that at least seven trucks had somehow entered the canyon and were dumping dozens of really big rocks in the middle where until yesterday the arena they had used for the Grifball match had been.
"What do you think those are for?" asked Harold.
"I don't know, but I don't think our next challenge will be as fun as the others." replied Cody.
At the appointed time both teams met Chris and Chef in the middle of the canyon.
"Okay Spartans, are you ready for today's challenge?"
"Dare I ask? What is the challenge?" asked Gwen.
"You're looking at it." said Chef gesturing to the big pile of rocks.
"Don't worry, this is an easy one."
"I think this goes without saying, but Chris has a very weird definition of easy."
"In the Halo universe Spartans underwent experimental augmentation processes to make them stronger, faster, and above all more kick-ass. The ones that actually survived the process went on to be some of the greatest soldiers humanity had ever seen. As such today's challenge is based on the element of strength. Originally we were going to inject you with some experimental drugs and see how many of you could survive the process, unfortunately we're not legally permitted to do that, so instead you will be breaking these big rocks into little rocks."
"That doesn't sound so bad." said Owen.
"You will be provided with all the tools you need, and you will have all day to smash as many of these big rocks as possible. The team that reduces the most rocks to gravel by seven o'clock tonight wins invincibility, and few little presents from their loved ones back home."
"Oh my god! I would sell my soul for some of my mom's cooking! Even I barely eat those MREs they serve us here. I mean seriously, I think I'm losing weight."
"Since Blue Team is currently three Spartans short, Red Team needs to sit three people out."
"Wait! They have to sit three of their strongest guys out!" said Heather.
"Because they’re all men, which means even if they sit three guys out they'll still have an advantage over us in a competition like this!"
"Okay fine… Alejandro, Duncan, and Tyler, you all sit this out."
The Spartans got to work immediately, but the girls were having a little trouble moving their first rock from the pile.
"Phew… That thing isn't moving." said Heather out of breath.
"Girls act like they're so tough, but when they need someone to help them move into their apartment or whatever, who do they call?"
"Okay, we'll all kick it loose on three."
"On my three or your three?" asked Lindsay.
"What? It's the same three!" said Gwen.
"Are you sure about that?"
"Just kick it when I say three."
It was clear that it was going to be a very long day for both teams. At first both teams were debating on who would hold a chisel while someone else used a sledgehammer.
"Look, the fastest way to break this thing is to split it in half." said Courtney.
"You want to get your fingers crushed, be my guest."
The challenge wasn't anywhere near as easy as Owen thought. In fact as the weather got warmer he started to feel nauseous.
"Guys… I don't feel so…"
Before he could finish his sentence he fell to the ground.
"Owen… You okay?"
John removed Owen's helmet and saw that his face was turning red, and then he felt is forehead and checked his pulse.
"Darn! I think he's experiencing heat stroke! Medic!"
"Someone get that armour off him!"
"I'm on it!" said Izzy.
"Ever since what happened between me and Owen last season I've had a lot of experience doing things like that… Did I say that out loud?"
"Owen broke his jaw in season two, last season he nearly drowned, and now he's had heatstroke. I think I'm beginning to see a pattern here."
The other Spartans had no idea how Izzy tolerated the smell of Owen's sweaty armour.
"Gosh! When was the last time you washed this?" asked Harold.
"It smells like cow manure, mixed with rotten eggs, dead rats, dead fish, old gym shoes, skunk spray, yogurt that's been in the back of the fridge for six months, and just a little hint of sauerkraut." said Cody.
Owen was carted off to the infirmary, for a while the other campers just stood there.
"So… Should we call it a day or what?" asked Trent.
The girls looked at the pile of rocks they had accumulated and knew they couldn't win against the boys if they stopped right now.
"Why don't we just take a thirty minute break?" suggested Bridgette.
"And since this isn't a combat challenge, do we really have to wear these suits?" asked Cody "They are kind of hot."
"Okay fine, take thirty minutes and you don't have to wear your armour for the rest of the challenge."
After the break everyone found it a lot easier to work without all the heavy armour on. But John was still wearing his helmet.
"Whoa… Those are some massive biceps…" said Courtney.
The other girls had never seen John without his armour before, but Courtney was the only one to mention his muscles.
"What? Was I the only one who noticed?"
"How could they not notice, those were bigger than… wait a minute… why am I talking about John's biceps? I'm not doing this… I need that tape!"
Thanks to the timely intervention Owen was going to be fine, but the others continued slaving away in the center of the canyon.
"Dashing through the snow, in a strip mining machine, flatten the hills we go… Come on, why don't you sing along?" asked Chris.
"Because it's way too hot for snow, strip mining is bad for the environment, that's a Christmas movie quote, and you're a jerk."
Since the boys were one man down for the rest of the day the girls were quickly catching up. By the time the sun set there were hardly any rocks in the canyon.
"Okay, now let's see how many rocks your teams have successfully smashed."
"What? You weren't paying attention?" asked Gwen.
"Not really." replied Chris "But that's why I have my interns. Chef, the envelope please."
Chris tore open the envelope.
"And the final score is… Blue Team with sixty seven rocks… and Red Team with seventy. This means red wins!"
"What? No way!" said Courtney.
"Would you like to go through hours and hours of footage of you guys crushing rocks to prove me wrong?"
"Well it will have to wait, because in thirty minutes one of you has a date with the Pelican of Losers."
"Four eliminations in a row? This is unbelievable."
"Why did I ever think I could win a season when Chris deliberately withheld the rules from us?"
"They can't afford to boot me. It's got to be either Lindsay, since she has the lowest stats on our team, or Heather who is… Heather."
The briefing room was just as ominous as ever when the girls entered it.
"You ladies are way behind the other team; like way behind." said Chris "You should really play more video games."
"Can we just get this over with?"
"Beside me are six medals, the Spartan…"
"Who does not receive a medal must proceed to the Helipad of Shame; get on the Pelican of Losers, and leave. Let's just do this thing before we get old."
"Fine, spoil everyone's fun. The first medal goes to… Izzy… Courtney… Gwen… Heather… and… Lindsay."
"What? It's down to me and Bridgette? Something is very wrong here!"
"And the final medal goes to… Sierra."
"Huh? What did I do?" asked Bridgette.
"Well whatever it was, it got you booted. The Helipad of Shame is that way."
"Bridgette? Something is rotten in the country of Denmark."
Next time on Total Drama Halo
Since Blue Team is down four Spartans, Chris comes up with a questionably fair way to even the odds.
And the rematch we've all been waiting for...
After returning to their base, the members of Red Team began enjoying some well-deserved cold showers.
"We are the champions! We are the champions!" they sang.
"Glory, Glory, to the Red Team! Glory, Glory, to the Red Team! Glory, Glory, to the Red Team! The Red Team marches on!"
After the boys had finished their showers they went to see what their loved ones had sent them for the reward challenge.
"Awesome!" said John opening his package "Mom and Angela got me that ocarina I wanted."
"What the heck is an ocarina?" asked Duncan.
"It's a musical instrument. Haven't you ever played any of the Zelda games?"
"Elves are for geeks."
"Actually the first time I heard of this instrument was when I saw Pokémon 2000, but that was years ago."
"So why are you only getting one now?"
"Ever since my battle with cancer I've made a great deal of additions to my bucket list, learning how to play a musical instrument is one of them."
Over the next two days whenever Chef wasn't yelling at the Spartans and telling them that they sucked during his training sessions John tried practicing his new ocarina, but he was having a hell of a time trying to get it right. Geoff was really disappointed when he found out that Bridgette had been the latest Spartan to be eliminated.
"First they eliminate Eva, who had the highest body count on their team, and now this? I can understand eliminating Leshawna and Beth, but now they've done away with Bridgette when Lindsay had the lowest stats?"
"The way I see it there are two possibilities. Either Heather is rigging the votes, or Chris is stirring the plot. All I know is I've got to find out which so I don't end up on the chopping block. Then again the way things are going I won't have to worry about that until after the merge."
When they day finally came for the next challenge the Spartans were awoken by the usual playing of Reveille.
"Let's get this over with." said Gwen crawling out of bed.
The teams met with Chris and Chef in the middle of the canyon as usual, but this time there was a big ring of chalk drawn on the ground.
"Good morning Spartans, I'm sure you're all anxious to get this show on the road."
They all laughed.
"Ha-ha very funny, but first I must draw your attention to the Blue Team. They have already lost four members of their team, while the Red Team hasn't lost any."
"Talk about being a few stars short of a galaxy."
"Now that hardly seems fair, so we're going to even it up."
"Since when does Chris care if something is fair?"
"John and Cody…"
"As of this moment, you're both on the Blue Team."
"Really?" asked Sierra.
"Since Blue Team has only six people and Red Team has ten, forcing two members to switch teams should make it even."
"What do we get?" asked Tyler.
"Absolutely nothing whatsoever."
"What? You can't just take away two of our guys, that's not fair!" said Geoff.
"According the official Total Drama rulebook; the host reserves the right to be unfair, up to a point."
"Cassandra, since Cody is switching teams you have a choice to either remain with the Reds or you can remain with your current host."
"Thank you Chris, I would prefer to stay with Cody."
"Very well, John and Cody you may now move your things. Both teams report back here in an hour for today's challenge."
"So the Blues get John, who is our best player, Cody, and Cassandra? That's hardly even."
"We were beginning to get some angry emails from female viewers, Sierra wouldn't leave me alone about not being on the same team as Cody, and she mentioned that if John were on the Blue Team it might make things more interesting. We'll see…"
As John and Cody took their things and made their way across the canyon to Blue Base John was humming.
"The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can."
"I didn't know you were an LOTR fan." said Cody.
"Just one of the things I almost never got a chance to read. So what's eating you?"
"It's just that… I know what it's like being the only rooster in a house full of hens. You'd think it would be every boy's dream, but that's only because they hadn't experienced it firsthand."
"Don't worry about it, this time you're not the only rooster."
When they made it to Blue Base Sierra practically broke Cody in half.
"I've missed you so much! It feels like we've been a million miles apart for a year!"
"Jeez… He's only been on the other side of the canyon." said Gwen.
"Nice to have you with us Jimmy… Jameson… Jonah… Jacob… Jerry!" said Lindsay.
"I knew that."
Once Cody and John were settled in the Blues returned to the center of the canyon.
"Today's challenge is twofold. At the age of fourteen, the boy that would become Master Chief underwent the SPARTAN-II augmentation procedures and was one of the thirty three to make it through the process unscathed. Shortly after that they were sent to the Atlas to recover in a microgravity environment. During a visit to the gym he was confronted by four ODSTs, two of which he killed, and he left the other two severely injured. For that reason in the first half of today's challenge both teams will pick their toughest members and they will then face each other in unarmed combat. The team that wins will receive a small advantage for the second part of the challenge."
"John, can you fight?" asked Gwen.
"Is the Pope a Catholic?"
"Okay then, we choose John."
"And we pick… Alejandro."
"Oh… I've been waiting for this."
"I would've volunteered, but then I figured if I couldn't beat Courtney armed or unarmed, or Heather in a swordfight, there's no way I could take on Mr. Iron Man."
"You will not be wearing your armour for this challenge because the Chief didn't have his when he fought those ODSTs."
When John took off his helmet the others were in for a little surprise.
"Holy crap, his right eye isn't bloodshot anymore!"
"It's amazing what a few of mother's home remedies can do." he replied.
John still had the surgical scar on the right side of his face from when his tumours were removed, but for some reason it didn't look as bad as it used to.
"He must've had some work done to it offseason."
Alejandro actually took his shirt off, but John kept his on.
"I heard he has an even bigger scar on his chest." whispered Sierra.
"Okay boys the rules are simple. You lose whenever you land outside the ring, give up, or if you're down for ten seconds. Pulling the ears, poking in the eyes, and hitting or kicking in the private parts is not allowed."
"So Scarface, ready to lose again?"
"I only lost because you cheated, this time we're in the real world, not some virtual nightmare."
"It doesn't matter; when I'm finished with you you'll have another scar."
John didn't let Alejandro's taunts get to him; a heavyweight fight was no place to let your emotions get the best of you. He was already playing through the fight in his head. As the old proverb said, "Knowledge is power" so since the last season John had studied his enemy extensively.
"For my first point of attack I will charge and vault over him and cross chop his arms, while he's trying to shake it off I'll hit him in the back with a Jump Spin Hook kick. Enraged he'll attempt a wild jab, which I'll block. With my free hand I'll fracture his jaw with a Superman punch. While he's reeling from that I'll knock him down with a Side Piercing kick to the gut, and then finish with a body slam."
"John, do you have a song request?"
"Rocky Road to Dublin from the Sherlock Holmes soundtrack."
Chef started playing the music.
"You may begin!"
John's plan went off like clockwork. In no time at all Alejandro had eaten his words.
"Whoa…" said Courtney.
"Did you see that? Tell me you saw that!"
"Of course we saw that! We're standing right here." said Heather.
"One… two… three… four… five… six… seven… eight… nine… ten! John wins!" said Chef.
"That's right! Mixed martial arts, chemo, and a whole lot of TV, movies, video games, and books made this!" said John triumphantly.
"That was awesome! Can you teach me that?" asked Cody.
"Maybe when we have more time."
"He broke my jaw!" said Alejandro clearly in pain.
"If he broke your jaw then you wouldn't be able to talk, and our lives would be a hell of a lot easier." said Gwen.
"Everybody was Kung Fu fighting, those cats were fast as lightning." sang Chris.
"Can we just get on with the next part of the challenge?"
"Fine, spoil the fun. This next challenge is based on gaming in general. Studies show that most hardcore gamers practically live in their basements, or wherever they keep their consoles. They also consume more pizza than anyone else on the planet."
"Who conducted this study?" asked Heather.
"The institute of shut your big pie-hole!" shouted Chef.
"For this challenge you will be making me a pizza. The team that makes the best pizza wins invincibility and gets to have a wicked pizza party tonight."
"Does that include soft drinks?" asked John.
"As many as you can drink."
"I may be a Catholic, but I would kill for a Mountain Dew right now."
"Since Blue Team won the last challenge they get first dibs on the ingredients. But no anchovies, and I mean no anchovies. You put anchovies on this thing and your whole team is instantly eliminated."
"Don't worry ladies; I actually work at a pizza place."
"Why do you work at a pizza place? Didn't you win a million dollars last season?" asked Courtney.
"Yes, but if you spend a single penny you're no longer a millionaire."
"I see your point."
"Sierra, do you know what Chris likes on his pizza?"
"I know I've got it here somewhere."
"Find it and bring it to me. Cody, you get to work on the crust. Courtney you're on spices. Gwen and Lindsay you do the cheese. Izzy, you and Heather get to work on the toppings."
"And what are you going to do?"
"Someone has to prepare the most important part, in my opinion, the sauce."
The challenge went by very smoothly, at least for the Blues. The Reds had three fires and delivered the pizza burnt.
"It looks like we have a winner, The Blues!"
"We did it! We actually won a challenge!"
"This means war…" said Alejandro
"I thought it was already war." said Geoff.
"I hate you…"
None of the Reds were pleased to be in the briefing room when the time came, and since he got his butt kicked by John, Alejandro had to wear the Sandwich Board and Dunce Cap of Shame.
"Well boys it looks like the Blues have finally dodged their losing streak."
"Thanks to you." said Duncan.
"I'd like to see how you'd react when faced with a bunch of angry female viewers. But right now we have an elimination ceremony to perform. If you do not get a medal you've got to walk to the Helipad of Shame, get on the Pelican of Losers, and you can never ever return to the canyon."
"I was really nervous… I know I've gotten better since this season started, but I'm still not exactly the highest scorer on the team."
"Since John's gone blue, it's gotta be Al."
"The first medal goes to… Duncan… Trent… Geoff… Owen… Tyler… Harold… Gentlemen, this is the last medal of the evening!"
Chris paused to build the suspense.
"What? No way!" exclaimed Ezekiel.
Ezekiel was shot in the neck with a blow dart.
"Oh crap… the blow… dart."
He collapsed to the floor.
"And make sure he stays out this time."
The Blues may have won their first victory, but there was still a long way to go before anyone would be crowned King or Queen of the Canyon. Since the game began Courtney had been on her own for the most part, and so far she had avoided being one of the first five Spartans to eliminated, but she knew she couldn't keep this up forever.
"As much as I hate to admit it, it looks like there is only one way out of this… I have to get close to John. Not only is he last season's winner and Chris' favourite, he's arguably the best gamer here. But how the heck am I supposed to get close to someone who punched me in the face and then yelled at me?"
It was some time past lights out that Courtney noticed that John was out of bed. He was reading something next door in the kitchen.
"Well… Now's as good a time as ever I suppose… But what am I supposed to say?"
She barely opened the door when John looked up from his book.
"Still alive?" he asked.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"You had an awful lot of pizza this evening if I'm not mistaken."
"So? We've had nothing to eat but those nasty MREs for twelve stinking days."
"I can understand that, but I thought you were lactose intolerant."
"Whatever gave you that idea?"
"I distinctly remember hearing you say that you were in season two."
"Oh that… That was just an excuse I made so I wouldn't have to go to that stupid cheese factory."
"You shouldn't lie Courtney, it's a sin."
"So is terrorism, but for some reason people do it anyway. And why exactly would you take notes about things I said three whole seasons ago."
"Knowledge is power, that's why I was able to beat Alejandro so effortlessly today. But don't get me wrong, I don't obsess like Sierra does.
"So I take it you've studied me?"
"Crap! I forgot he's seen every other season! Maybe he suspects I'd try something like this!"
Courtney knew it was time to change the subject.
"So… What are you reading?"
"The good book, not a lot of people have actually read it from cover to cover. For that reason it's on my bucket list."
"But you're not…"
"No I'm not dying… anymore. I still go in for regular check-ups, but my oncologist says I'm as healthy as a horse… I didn't know you cared."
Courtney knew her next answer was critical. Watching Sierra in season three proved that a girl clearly coming on to a guy would be just as big a turnoff as being entirely honest with him in this case would be, even if it was only a ruse. It would be best to just avoid the topic.
"Tell me something… If God is so good, then why does he allow bad things to happen?"
"I just said the stupidest thing ever! Crap!"
"That's an excellent question, but the answer is very simple."
"Phew… That was a close one."'''
"The short answer would be that it is the devil who is responsible for evil and not God. But it is also true that we are given the gift of freewill, and what we do with that gift is up to us."
"But why does he let us make bad choices?"
"Why are you going to law school?"
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"I will gladly explain, if you'll be so kind as to answer the question."
"Because… because I want to."
"And would you like it if someone decided to force you to go to culinary school or something instead?"
"Exactly, that's why we're given the gift of freewill, because without it we'd be nothing but a bunch of mind controlled zombies."
"That doesn't give Duncan the right to just kiss Gwen behind my back…"
"No it doesn't. But just because he didn't care how that made you feel, it doesn't mean that God doesn't."
"Well if he does care, he has a very funny way of showing it."
John actually laughed.
"That is often the case, I speak from experience. But you know what they say; sunshine all the time makes a very dry desert."
"Last season he punched me in the face, and now he's talking to me like it never happened? This guy is unbelievable; then again I also find it hard to believe that I'm also talking to him."
"Where you always such an evangelist, or is this something new?"
"It's just my way of being thankful for getting a chance to live."
"So… You only believe because you're a cancer survivor?"
"I've always been a believer, I just never believed as firmly as I do now."
"Because your parents told you a couple stories and have been sending you to private schools your whole life?"
"You can be as sceptical as you like, I'm firmly aware that you can lead a horse to water but not make it drink. But even you can't deny that there are some things in this world that simply defy explanation."
"The Cloak of Saint Juan Diego, Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and the list of inexplicable cures that took place at the grotto, Therese Neumann, and let's not forget the Miracle of the Sun witnessed by as many as a hundred thousand people on October thirteenth nineteen seventeen. One last thing… Do you know how many martyrs there have been since the Church was formed by the Apostles? Do you really think they would have died such violent deaths for a lie?"
"You've got answer for everything don't you?"
"No I don't, I'm only human, but if you want to learn more about Roman Catholicism, visit your local library."
"Hmm… Maybe Sierra was right, this looks very interesting."
For the next few days, whenever the Spartans weren't participating in Chef's ridiculous training exercises, John was trying to learn how to play his ocarina. He was still having a hell of a time.
"I suggest you call a vet before your bird dies." said Heather.
"Cut me some slack, I flunked music class."
"So why the heck are you trying to play a musical instrument now?"
"Because I feel like it."
John after a few more hours of frustration John finally put the thing down.
"Jeez… I can read Latin, but I can't read musical notes?"
"Let me see that thing." said Courtney taking the sheet of music of music John was trying to play "Maybe you should learn to walk before you run."
"Last I checked you played a string instrument, not a wind."
"Yes, but notes are universal… for the most part. Why don't you try playing basic notes first? What's the rush?"
"I live each day like it was my last."
"Well it's not your last, so take a chill pill."
"Yeah, don't forget what Ferris Bueller said on his day off." said Cody.
Finally the day came for the next challenge and the Spartans were woken by the usual playing of Reveille. Only this time the Blues felt a lot more optimistic.
"Let's get to it!" said Sierra.
The Spartans met in the middle of the canyon where Chris and Chef were waiting for them.
"It's high time we did another combat challenge, and this one is a Chris McLean original."
"We are about to play a game that is… unorthodox and is probably impossible in the actual Halo games. It's pretty much the same as Team Slayer, except that the only weapons you're allowed to use are grenades."
"That's right, frag or sticky. For that reason we will be using the Catch Skull for this challenge."
"I thought skulls only affect your enemies in firefight matchmaking." said Harold.
"True, but in this case your enemies are all the people on the other team, so each of you will be able to carry twice as many grenades as usual. The team with the most kills after an hour wins Invincibility and gets to have a movie night tonight. Since Red Team is currently one member short, the Blues will have to sit one person out. You have thirty minutes to strategize."
"Unorthodox game types make it difficult to formulate a proper stratagem that can ensure our attainment in this particular endeavour. Much less predict the most probable outcome." said Cassandra.
"What?" asked Lindsay.
"But I do believe it would be most beneficial if Ms. Lindsay were our odd woman out."
"I'm not odd, I'm pretty!"
"She means it would be best if you're the one to sit this challenge out." said Gwen.
"I'm not going to lie to you; no one's ever played a game of Halo using only grenades." said John.
"Well then we'll just have to do our best, won't we?" said Cody.
"That does seem to be the best course of action given the circumstances."
Soon enough the cannon fired, signalling the start of the match.
"Okay everyone; let's start with team formation Arbiter-Zealot-Ultra-Flipyap-Poonflip-YapYap-Jub Jub, fallout!"
John made it to the door when he realized that some of the others weren't following him.
"Well, what are you waiting for? Judgment Day?"
"I forget. Am I Flipyap or Poonflip?" asked Gwen.
"I have a pretty good idea who Yap Yap is."
The Blues made their way across the field but found little resistance.
"Since John was forced to relocate his leadership position they may be trying a new tactic." said Cassandra.
"Thank you for stating the obvious." said Heather over the com in her helmet.
"I'm just doing my job."
"Quiet! The enemy is everywhere… and nowhere." said Izzy.
"So where are they?" asked Sierra.
"I don't know, they're somewhere."
"Just keep your eyes on your motion trackers."
No sooner had he said this that John noticed a blip on his own.
"Courtney, behind you!"
Before Courtney could react a paint bomb stuck to her and exploded.
"That's for my coconuts!" said Duncan.
More red dots came flashing across John's HUD and the grenades started falling.
"Time for all those water balloon fights to pay off."
John and several others managed to find cover while Courtney returned to base to hit the Respawn button.
"So… frag or sticky?" asked Gwen.
"Sticky, on my mark."
"Come on!" shouted Alejandro "We've got them cornered."
The Blues leapt from their cover and hurled their sticky grenades at the oncoming Reds. John's found Alejandro's visor, Izzy landed both Harold and Tyler, Cody got Duncan, and Gwen managed to stick Owen.
"Now's our chance, back to base and reload!"
As usual Chris and Chef were watching the Spartans kill each other from the top of the canyon. At the start of the season the canyon had looked like an exact replica of Blood Gulch, now it just looked like a massive paintball course.
"If this were happening on my property I'd be furious." joked Chris looking up from his newspaper.
"Remind me again how we managed to build this artificial canyon and were still able to afford the suits and everything else."
"Simple… Cheap fake rocks, cheap artificial turf, and cheap foreign labour."
"Why doesn't any of that surprise me?"
"I will take no prisoners!" bellowed Owen.
"Not even a sexy tiger like me." asked Izzy landing in front of him.
"Well maybe I can make an exception… No! As a Red it is my duty to fight against all things Blue!"
"Don't worry, I like big boys who play hard to get. Now draw."
Both Izzy and Owen drew their grenades and hurled them, Owen got lucky and managed to stick her. After the bomb went off Izzy lay motionless on the ground.
"No! So this is the horror of war! It tears us apart from our fellow men and takes our loved ones from us!"
Owen fell to the ground crying.
"Fatso, it's just a little paint." said Alejandro.
"Fatso? And that happens to be my girlfriend!"
Owen was about to hurl another grenade, but John stopped him.
"That's team killing… I'll throw a bomb at him."
Alejandro reached for another grenade, but realized he was out. Before he got too far John threw a frag that blew up in Alejandro's face.
"And in case I never get a chance to say this later… Game over."
A moment later Chris said the same thing over the PA.
"Spartans! Please report to the center of the canyon so we can tally up the score!"
"Izzy, I just want you to know that if we weren't on different teams, I'd never hurl a paint bomb at you."
"Don't worry Big-O. Just a few more challenges until the merge."
"Too bad he's not going to make it."
"Okay… The final score is… Red Team with fifty six kills, and Blue Team with seventy two. We have a winner!"
"Yeah! Suck it Red!" bellowed Courtney.
"Blues go ahead and argue over what movies you'll be enjoying this evening over popcorn and pop, while the Reds decide who to give the boot."
"First the Blues were down by four, and now we're going to be down by two… This reminds me of Red vs. Blue Season five."
When it came time for the Elimination ceremony Tyler was the one wearing the Dunce Cap and Sandwich Board of Shame because he got the least kills, but Alejandro was looking intently at Owen.
"Please don't let it be me… please don't let it be me…"
"As you know, if you don't receive a medal you will be forced to proceed to the Helipad of Shame, catch a ride on the Pelican of Losers, and you can never ever return to the canyon… ever! The first medal goes to… Harold… Duncan… Geoff… Trent… Tyler… Boys… this is the final medal of the evening."
Alejandro gave Owen the kill gesture.
"And the final medal goes to… Owen."
"What? You voted for me?"
"Madre… hijo deeeeeee…"
Alejandro didn't finish his sentence before the blow dart's drug made him fall to the ground. As Chef dragged his body to the pelican everyone in the canyon started singing.
"Na-na-na hey-hey goodbye!"
"In light of recent events, it would seem that the Reds have made Duncan their new captain." said Cassandra.
"How did you find that out?" asked Cody.
"I hacked into their com-channel; it wasn't that hard since we used to be on the Red Team."
"Duncan's not exactly a tactical genius, he'll just use brute force the next time there's a challenge. Besides, they're two Spartans down."
"So were the Killer Bass when it came time for the third challenge in season one." said Sierra.
"It is likely that for the next challenge Chris will have us sit two Spartans out. I suggest you choose carefully, even if the reward isn't worth it the merge is only a few challenges away.
"I also agree with the glowing person." said Lindsay "Everyone else sees a glowing person… right?"
"Not to be rude or anything, but the glowing person has a name." said Cody.
"Thank you Cody."
Shortly afterwards Sierra pulled Cassandra aside.
"Now you listen to me half-baked lightshow, if you even think of messing with my Cody…"
"I chose Cody to be my host on the grounds that he seemed like a good candidate to win the game."
"Yes, with my guidance he might just be crowned King of the Canyon. You don't need to be jealous of me Sierra; I'm merely a bundle of circuits and microchips."
"Sorry… Sometimes I forget."
"Sierra jealous of a computer program? Come on, she doesn't even have a body."
When the day came for the next challenge they met up with Chris and Chef in the center of the canyon as usual.
"Today's challenge will take place outside the canyon, so everybody in the pelican."
Unfortunately Owen still hadn't gotten over his fear of flying and chef had to blast him with a blowdart.
"In case you haven't noticed, we're already down two men." said Duncan.
"Don't worry, he'll be up by the time we reach our destination." said Chris.
The Spartans hadn't been outside the canyon in broad daylight before, so they were surprised to see that they were flying over what looked like savannah.
"What is that?"
Tyler looked through the scope of his rifle to see what Lindsay was pointing at.
"Lindsay's right, what the heck is that thing?"
"That's a giraffe you idiot." said Duncan "A giraffe?"
"We're in Africa?" asked Gwen.
"Where'd you think we'd be able to set up a temporary artificial canyon?" asked Chris.
"Well I guess that makes sense." said Harold "The scenes of Earth in the Halo universe mostly take place in Africa."
They landed a few miles from the canyon.
"Cool! Mongooses!" said Cody.
"Isn't the plural form mongeese?" asked Harold.
"I thought it was mongi." said Tyler.
"Okay, enough already. Let's get this show on the road."
"Today's challenge is a Cross Country Rocket Race!" said Chris "Your teams will split into groups of two so each mongoose will have a driver and passenger who will carry a rocket launcher. In this game the players are invincible and being shot will only slow you down. The first team to have all their players cross the finish line wins invincibility and this mystery box. Since Red Team is currently down by two players, the Blues have to sit two people out."
"I think we'll go with… Lindsay and Heather."
"Okay, now split up into pairs."
Naturally Sierra insisted on having Cody as her partner. Gwen was paired with Izzy, and Courtney was left with John. For Reds Duncan was paired with Geoff, Trent with Owen, and Tyler with Harold.
"I know I'm probably going to regret asking this, but are we in lion territory?" asked Courtney.
"I never really checked. So you might want to hustle."
"You drive, I'll shoot." said John.
"Spartans ready… set… go already!"
When Chris fired the starting gun a bird came falling out of the sky to his feet.
"Not again, please tell me that wasn't an endangered species."
The Spartans took off into the savannah leaving clouds of dust in their wake. Naturally the mongoose Trent and Owen were riding needed some extra horsepower.
"Why exactly would they have a racing game type in a first person shooter?" asked Courtney.
"I ask myself that question every day." replied John "But now isn't the time to reflect on it."
For about a mile the only danger the Spartans encountered was their opponents, that's when Gwen and Izzy were blown into the air.
"Landmines! Watch the road!" bellowed Duncan
"What road? We're riding cross country!" said Trent.
"Well… just watch where you're going."
As the Spartan's made their way across the landscape the gunners were trying to blast any of their enemies off their rides.
"This can't be good for the environment." said Gwen looking at the trail of paint detonated paint rockets Izzy left in their wake.
Duncan kept his eyes on the path ahead and noticed that John and Courtney were coming close to a pile of dirt.
"Geoff, take aim and fire at their right!"
"You got it bro."
Geoff took aim and fired.
"Courtney! Hard left!"
John and Courtney evaded the rocket, but they drove right into a landmine. They were blown into the air and went rolling down a hill into a shallow river.
"Note to self, kill Duncan."
"Courtney, are you alright?"
"I'm not dead if that's what you mean."
Suddenly they heard a loud growl.
"Uh… was that you?"
They both looked up and saw a lion emerging from the tall grass.
"Don't move…" whispered John.
"Because turning our backs and running will only provoke it."
"How do you know that?"
"Because my little sister likes animals, and when I was in chemo I spent hours watching Animal Planet with her."
"Okay so… kill it with your swords."
"I can't do that either, he's a threatened species."
"Well right now I'm the one that feels threatened."
John was scared too, but he was more focused on finding a way out of this situation that didn't involve both him and Courtney getting mauled.
"I've got an idea… I don't know if this is going to work or not… If it doesn't just run."
John grabbed hold of the rocket launcher and unsheathed one of his katana.
"What are you doing? I thought you said you weren't going to kill it."
John pulled the trigger on the rocket launcher and sent a burst of paint flying at the lion's feet, and then he jumped up and yelled at the top of his lungs. He began slashing the air with his katana and fired more shots. Much to Courtney's surprise the lions actually turned and ran away.
"What the heck just happened?"
"Mountain lions can sometimes be scared away; I gambled that I might be able to do the same with one of their African cousins. It might not have worked on a fully grown lion, but from the size of that one's mane that it was probably just a young male looking to establish its own pride, which is probably why it ran off."
"Oh brother… first he's an evangelistic Chuck Norris wannabe, now he's a zoologist. But I guess I better get used to it, he might be my only ticket into the finals."
John noticed there weren't any allied or enemy dots on his motion tracker.
"Crap! They're out of range!"
"Oh right! The challenge!"
John and Courtney got their mongoose back on the track and put the pedal to the metal, but by the time they reached the others they had already passed the finish line.
"Red team wins!" said Chef.
The Reds all cheered.
"But word of warning…" said Chris "Next time you endanger the life of the player who brings in the most viewers I'll have you eliminated."
"Can he do that?" asked Geoff.
Sierra started flying through her rulebook.
"Yes he can…"
Courtney knew from experience that it was only a matter of time before her team lost another challenge, but she had really hoped they would get more time to work on John before then. Heather and Lindsay may not have done anything, but it was because of her and John that they lost. She knew the others wouldn't boot John, so it had to be either her, Lindsay, or Heather. But it wasn't too late to try and influence John's vote… if it even mattered. Some of the eliminations this season had been pretty random. She knew for a fact that no one voted for Eva in the first round, and yet she was the one that ended up taking the first ride on the Pelican of Losers.
"It's best not to take any chances. Knowing Chris he probably takes John's opinions to heart."
"So John… In case I don't get a chance to ask you later… Are there any religious nuts in the Halo universe?"
"Absolutely, the Covenant was full of them."
"You mean the aliens?"
"Yes, and unfortunately for them their religion turned out to be one big farce."
"Who was their god?"
"It might take a while for me to accurately explain it to you."
"We've got plenty of time till the elimination ceremony."
John and Courtney were still talking by the time they returned to Blue Base.
"So... when the alien leaders found out that humans were related to their so-called gods, they declared war on us to cover it up."
"Yes, the allegiance of the Covenant races was built around their common beliefs. Finding that a race they had never known before was descended from the forerunners would be like the Pope coming out and saying it's all been a total cock-up. But at least my religion isn't based on enigmatic technology left behind by a mysterious ancient race."
After their conversation a few nights ago Courtney didn't dare question John's faith; that would be like a truck without wheels.
"So… any prominent religious humans in the Halo universe?"
"Well… There's Dutch from ODST… kinda."
That night the blues had gathered in the briefing room.
"If I'm not mistaken John, this is the first official elimination ceremony that you've been to." said Chris.
"Well if I were you I wouldn't worry about a thing. You're probably the only Spartan here who's actually safe."
"I wonder why… and yes I am being sarcastic."
"Anyway… I'm sure you all know the drill. The Spartan who does not receive a medal will be given a last class ticket to Loserville, population five."
"Five? Haven't there been six eliminations?" asked Gwen.
"Yes, but Eva is currently in police custody and is awaiting a trial."
"Really? What did she do?" asked Sierra.
"Well… After she was eliminated she proceeded to break into my house and destroyed my favourite car… WHY!"
"I can think of three good reasons."
"Also, I forgot to mention that she put five cops in the hospital."
"Breaking and entering, destruction of property, resisting arrest, and five counts of assault? Even if it was at Chris' expense, Eva's going away for a long time."
"Okay let's get this show on the road. The first medal goes to… John."
"Survey… anyone surprised?"
"The next medal goes to… Courtney… Gwen… Izzy… Cody… and… Sierra… Ladies, this is the final medal of the evening."
Chris gave a dramatic pause as Heather looked intently at Lindsay.
"The final medal goes to… Lindsay!"
"What? You guys voted for me?" exclaimed Heather.
Chef loaded his blowgun.
"Okay, I'm going… I hate this show anyway."
As the Pelican of Losers disappeared into the night with Heather, Chef started playing the piano and singing in a squeaky high pitched voice.
"Ding dong! The witch is dead! Which old witch, the dirty bitch!"
Everyone in the briefing room started laughing.
None of the Blues were happy about eating MREs again.
"Those pinheads are probably snacking on cheeseburgers or something."
"We don't know what was in that mystery box."
"Knowing Chris there's a 50/50 chance there was something good in that box or not."
"Well… at least we've gotten rid of Heather."
"We cannot lose the next challenge. Now that Heather's gone it's only a matter of time before they come after me. I just hope I can do enough work on John before then."
After two more days of Chef's training exercises it was time for the next challenge. Oddly enough Chris was alone this time.
"Okay Spartans, this will be our last elimination challenge before the merge."
"Yes, and because of that we're going to do something fun this time."
"When Chris says something is going to be fun, he means fun for other people to watch."
"Chris, doesn't the merge usually happen when half the contestants have been eliminated? Even if one of us is booted there will still be twelve of us."
"I thought we'd already established that we were doing things a little differently this season, you know to keep it fresh. Any more questions? No… Good."
Half the Spartans had their hands raised, but Chris ignored them.
"Once again, today's challenge will take place outside the canyon. So everybody get in the pelican."
"What do you think the challenge is this time?" asked Courtney as the pelican took off.
"Hard to say, there are some game types Chris hasn't used yet, and that would also depend if it's a combat challenge or not. Whatever it is I hope the reward is some kind of food, those MREs are giving me indigestion."
"Out of curiosity, why did you come back? You already won a million dollars last season."
"Well… I could say that these days you can never have too much money… but the real reason I came back was for my fans."
"Yes... I've spoken with a lot of young cancer patients since last season. One little girl named Tina wanted to meet me as her wish from the Make-A-Wish foundation. I spent the whole week with her and her family; I believe she was supposed to go into surgery and then chemo before we came here. Before I left I told her that if I could make it so could she."
"Is she alright?"
"I don't know, I haven't heard from them since."
"Okay I need to keep telling myself, this is strictly to get further in the game… even if he isn't such a bad guy when he's not bopping me on the nose… No! I won't say it! I won't even think it!"
They landed a few miles from the canyon. They were at the opening of what appeared to be a recently dug tunnel.
"Today's challenge is something I'm sure all the boys have been eagerly anticipating. You'll be going up against the proud sons of Sanghelios! That's right, it's Spartans vs. Elites!"
"The sons of what?" asked Gwen.
"It's the aliens of the Halo universe, the cool ones." said Cody.
"Keeping ahead of the Covenant when it came to Forerunner artefacts was crucial during the war, so for today's challenge you're going to have to head deep into enemy territory, namely these tunnels our hired help has spent the last few months digging, and retrieve a Forerunner artefact. Along the way you'll have to fight a bunch of our interns dressed as Elites. If you are killed you have to run out here and hit the respawn button, there are also several respawn buttons in the tunnels, but to use them you have to find them. The first team to retrieve their artefact and bring it safely back here to the surface wins invincibility and a small advantage in the upcoming pre-merge reward challenge. Since the Reds are one Spartan short, the Blues have to sit one person out."
"Can I be in this challenge, please?" asked Lindsay "I sat the last two out."
"Okay… But if we lose because of you, I guarantee you'll be the one going home."
"In that case, I'll sit this one out." said Gwen.
"Spartans on your mark… get set… get the heck out of here!"
The Spartans charged into the tunnel.
"I can't see a thing."
"Turn on your night vision and watch your motion trackers."
"Which is which again?" asked Lindsay.
Suddenly a blast of paint came whizzing past their heads.
"Contact! Return fire!"
Several Elites jumped out of the darkness and began attacking.
"The demons are here!" one of them growled "Kill them all!"
"Whoa… Those costumes look so real!" said Cody.
"We can appreciate Chris' effort later, right now concentrate fire on your twelve, three, nine, one, and eleven!"
"Twelve… one… three… what was that again?" asked Lindsay.
"Just fire right there!"
"Why did we let her on this challenge again?"
"Guys, if it will give you the motivation to get us out of this, I'll remind you that the pre-merge reward challenge is usually a good one." said Sierra.
"Cassandra, any suggestions?" asked Cody.
"Just a moment…"
Suddenly Duncan and the Reds broke loose of the scuffle and went down a different tunnel.
"Do they know something we don't?" asked Courtney.
"No, I hacked into their helmets and altered their maps. They're going the wrong way."
"You can do that?"
"I am here to assist you, and that seemed like the best way."
"Note to self: Cassandra might prove to be a problem after the merge."
"Any ideas about how to deal with these Elites?"
"Might I suggest an I-Bomber tactic?"
"Sounds good to me. Izzy, lay down a heavy fire, the rest of you follow my lead."
"Hey lizard boys! Special delivery, death!" bellowed Izzy as she launched a barrage of rockets while John and the others took care of any that she missed.
"My long range says there's still more enemies ahead, and it won't take Duncan and the others long to find out they're going the wrong way, so let's sprint this."
"What does that mean again?" asked Lindsay.
"Just follow John and shoot anything that doesn't look friendly."
The Blues met plenty of resistance as they made their way deeper into the tunnels, but with John leading them they managed to avoid any casualties and kept advancing.
"I feel like I'm in the Package from Halo Legends!" said Cody.
"How deep is this tunnel? asked Courtney "My feet are killing me."
"According to my calculations… Not much further." replied Cassandra.
The Blues finally came to a big door, and inside they found a room that looked like it was from the future.
"Whoa… definitely Forerunner." said Cody.
"Okay, so where is this artefact we're supposed to get our hands on?"
"My guess would be over there." said Sierra pointing at two gleaming objects over on a pedestal.
Before the Blues could move a loud voice tore boomed through the room.
"That sounded bad…"
A huge armoured figure jumped down from the wall in front of them.
"I will not allow you to desecrate this sacred relic any longer!"
"Holy crap, Chef's the Arbiter."
"What the heck is an Arbiter?"
"Cody, explain to the girls while I deal with this guy."
Chef and John duelled with makeshift energy swords. They were moving so fast that the others couldn't keep up.
"Where do they learn this stuff?" asked Courtney "Honestly, who uses swords anymore?"
"Well… at least swords never run out of ammo." said Cody.
"That's not going to do you any good if you get shot."
"Oh come on, we both know you're so impressed you're turning into a waterfall." said Sierra.
If Courtney weren't wearing her helmet they would have seen her face turn red.
"What did you just say to me?"
Before Sierra could answer Chef had John pinned against the wall.
"Well I must say Chef… you make a very convincing Arbiter… but the Great Journey ends here."
John kicked Chef off him and then stabbed him with his energy sword, which sprayed a large amount of blue paint on his armour.
"Okay, let's grab the artefact and move!"
The Blues ran back into the tunnels, but they had forgotten just how long it was back to the surface and the path they used.
"Cassandra, please tell me you kept track of the directions we took to get down here."
By the time the Reds found their artefact the Blues were already back on the surface.
"Blue Team wins! You get invincibility and an advantage in the pre-merge reward challenge."
"What is the pre-merge reward challenge?" asked Gwen.
"Excellent question, and like I'm gonna tell you."
That night the Reds met Chris in the briefing room, and as usual none of them were excited.
"Too bad boys, looks like you're going to be two men down again. But if it's any consolation we're close to the merge, so it won't really matter."
"If Chris hadn't forced John and Cody to switch teams, we could have all but wiped out the blues by now."
"I'm still not the highest scoring Spartan on this team, and they had to knock me out to get me on that Pelican, but I'm getting better at this. I don't think they'll kick me off."
"Come on Lady Luck, I really need this one."
"I don't need to remind you that if you don't get a medal you've got to walk to the Helipad of Shame, get on the Pelican of Losers, and you can't come back… ever! But I'm saying it anyway… The first medal goes to… Harold… Trent… Duncan… Owen… and the final medal goes to… Tyler… Sorry Geoff, but the Pelican awaits."
"Well… It's been fun guys." said Geoff "I'm coming Bridgette!"
Coming up next… The Pre-Merge Reward Challenge!
Don't miss it.
The Blues went two whole days not knowing what the Pre-Merge reward challenge was or what the prize would be, only that they would be given a small advantage. Whenever they weren't being put through Chef's training exercises they were strategizing.
"Both Heather and Alejandro are already gone, that will either make my job harder or easier. Even though there are seven Blues to five Reds there are still seven boys and only five girls."
"The players with the most Halo experience are John, my Cody-wody, and Harold. John, Izzy, and Duncan are the highest scoring players. John is friends with Cody, Harold, and Owen. Owen is practically Izzy's lover, so at this point it looks like the only person that can touch John is Courtney… who is still in total drama denial. I've already registered the phrase Courtney Syndrome if they actually end up together."
"John is a good guy, but he's obviously the biggest threat. Unfortunately he's practically bulletproof. To get him booted he'd have to lose a challenge, then you'd have to turn all his friends against him."
"I can't wait till after the merge, and then Izzy and I can see each other without it being considered treason. If by some miracle I win I'm finally going to throw that big party I've been wanting since season one."
Finally the day of the Pre-Merge Reward Challenge came. The Spartans all met Chris and Chef in the middle of the canyon as usual, but for some reason a big stage had been placed there.
"Congratulations Spartans, you've all made it to the halfway point. But before we do the merge, it's time for the Pre-Merge reward challenge. As usual, no one will be kicked off today, it's all for reward and it's a good one, but before I divulge that information I'll bet you're wondering what Halo-based horror we've prepared for you today."
"I've spent the last several weeks eating nasty MREs and participating in all Chef’s ridiculous training exercises. Whatever the challenge is, bring it on…"
"Some of you are probably aware that as incredible as gaming technology is today, no machine is without its glitch. Every now and then you have to send your Xbox to Microsoft to get it fixed for whatever reason."
"Red ring of death."
"Today's challenge is about finding ways to entertain yourself while your Xbox is in the shop. We asked your fans what they would do and randomly picked one of their suggestions. Today you and your teammates will be writing and acting out your own fairy-tale."
"Oh, he can't be serious."
"Tell them what they're playing for Chris!" said Chef.
"Oh yes… The team that writes and acts out the best fairy-tale will spend the next week at the Island Futuri, a local five star resort built by The Institute of Big shots with abnormally large IQ's, whose scientists have been working in their basements day and night for the past fifty years to come up with the latest technological advances in technical technology."
"What the heck is he talking about?" asked Tyler.
"It's an island resort built by scientists who have way too much free time on their hands. But don't knock it till you try it. It has all the comforts of a five star resort, it's full of awesome technology you probably didn't even know existed… and… all the ice cream you can eat."
"Did he say all the ice cream you can eat?" asked Cody.
"Yes I did."
"Don't lie to me Chris!" said Courtney "If you're lying to me that would be a really cruel trick, even for you!"
"Would I lie?"
"That question doesn't even deserve an answer." said both Gwen and Duncan.
"Well guess what… I'm not lying… But the losing team will spend the next week here in the canyon with Chef and MREs."
Suddenly Courtney grabbed John.
"Can you excuse us for a minute?"
"I… guess so."
Courtney pulled John behind a nearby rock.
"John, I know we don't always see eye to eye; but if we win this challenge you can shave my head, tattoo my neck, and use me for a bowling pin. I will even have your baby… Did I say that out loud?"
"Yes you did… but don't worry, that won't be necessary. This one's on the house."
"Phew… Can you please not tell anyone I said that?"
"Not a word."
"I heard everything!"
"So did I."
"Did he say that because he's a Catholic, or because he doesn't like me? Wait a minute… why do I even care?"
"Both teams will have two hours to write and rehearse their story. Since Blue Team won the last challenge they get an extra thirty minutes. Whatever you need will be provided for you. You may begin."
"Two hours and thirty minutes to write a fairy tale? All the time in the world." said John.
"Are you sure we can come up with a good one in that time?" asked Cody "I've never written a fairy-tale before."
"Neither have I, but I've seen enough TV shows to know how to do it."
"Can I be Goldilocks?" asked Lindsay.
"Lindsay, Chris said we had to write our own fairy-tale, not copy one that already exists." said Gwen.
"Don't worry, I think I know how we can keep everyone happy." said John.
"In the original version it was simply called The Three Bears, all the bears were male, and the privacy of their home was violated by an old woman. And I'm pretty sure no Disney film is one hundred per cent true to the story it is based on."
For some of the Spartans it was a very long two hours, and for others time just flew by. When Chris said anything they needed for the play would be provided for them he meant it, and for anything the Spartans didn't have but needed they just improvised.
"Okay Spartans, it's time to send this sample to the lab and see what you're made of! First up is the Red Team with… A Teenage Thief in King Arthur's Court."
"If I heard correctly it was Harold who wrote this one, because the others couldn't come up with anything." said Sierra.
"If it's anything like his samurai commercial in season three then we have nothing to worry about." said Cody.
In the story Duncan played a teenage thief, who had stolen a million dollar amulet, little did he know it had the power to send him back in time. He was then sent back to the age of King Arthur. Unfortunately Harold had seemed to overdo it on the details. The last thing anyone remembered was Duncan being brought before King Arthur himself and demanding to know how he could "escape this taco stand" and return to his own time, then the rest just seemed to escape them. Apparently Duncan had to go fight an evil wizard before he could return to his own time.
"John, why doesn't he just use the amulet again?"
John may have still had his helmet on, but they recognized his body language.
"Can you blame him?" asked Gwen "This is so boring."
About half the team had almost joined John by the time the story was over.
"Okay… that was… interesting." said Chris.
"I told you that ridiculous shit wouldn't work!" said Duncan.
"It's better than what you came up with." said Harold "Once upon a time there was bunny who owed a bear two thousand dollars. He didn't have the money so the bear ate his leg."
Now it was time for the Blues to show everyone that they had come up with.
"I still don't think we should have let Izzy write some of these scenes." said Courtney.
"We'll be fine."
"Up next is the Blues with… Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks vs. the Three-Headed Blind Dragon."
The rest of the Blues had selected Cody to be the narrator.
"Once upon a time in a kingdom far far away, there were two roommates named Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks. They had three pet pigs; a straw pig, a stick pig, and a brick pig."
"Izzy was Red Riding Hood, Lindsay was Goldilocks, and Gwen, Courtney, and Sierra were the pigs."
"Why do I have to be the stick pig?" whispered Courtney.
"Bitch about it later." whispered Gwen.
"They lived happily in an old cottage in the woods, but then one day a giant gingerbread man came along and crushed it!"
John came out dressed as a gingerbread man and stomped on the fake house they made.
"Fee-fi-fo-fum! Guess my name!"
"John!" said Lindsay.
"Stick to the script!" whispered Courtney.
"Anyway… Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, and their three pigs went deeper into the woods looking for a new place to live. Eventually they came to a castle made entirely of candy; they went inside to if anyone else lived there, but what they didn't know was that this was the home of the three-headed blind dragon!"
This time John came out in a dragon costume.
"I smell the blood of two European girls and their three unusual pet pigs!"
"And then the left head said…"
"Looks like someone's been sleeping in my bed!"
"He should have said, looks like someone's been sleeping with my wife… Imagine a woman with three heads."
"And then the middle head said…"
"Whatever! Let's just eat them!"
"The dragon chased them all around the castle, but then Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks discovered the Elder Wand and the Ring of Power, and with their combined might they blasted the dragon into submission. From that day forward Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks reigned as Co-Queens of fairy-tale land! The end."
For a moment everyone was quiet.
"What happened to the giant gingerbread man?" asked Owen.
"He fell off the beanstalk!" said Izzy.
Chris and Chef both broke down laughing.
"I think we have a winner!"
While the Blues were all cheering, Courtney actually gave John a hug.
"What the heck? That was like six different stories thrown into one!" said Duncan.
"I counted ten." said Trent.
"True, but that was AWESOME! The next time I need someone to babysit my kids, I'll call you guys."
"You have kids?" asked Gwen.
"Probably." laughed Chris.
"No he doesn't." whispered Sierra.
"So… when do we leave?" asked Courtney.
"First thing in the morning, keep your shirt on."
(To be continued)
The Island Futuri
For some reason the sleeping quarters felt a lot warmer than usual. John opened his eyes and saw that he wasn't in the sleeping quarters of Blue Base at all. He was lying on a sunny beach in his swimming trunks and a black sleeveless shirt.
"Good morning sleepy head."
John looked over and saw that Courtney was lying there beside him. Suddenly everything felt a little hotter. He was glad he was wearing a shirt, because he didn't want her to see the big scar on his chest.
"Where are we?"
"The Island Futuri… Thanks to you we get to spend a whole week here."
"When did we get here?"
"It doesn't really matter… All that matters is that we're here."
"Where's everyone else?"
"They're on the other side of the island. We have this whole half to ourselves… We can do whatever we want."
"So… What did you have in mind besides tanning?"
"Well… if you're interested, that little offer I made you yesterday is still open."
John was beginning to sweat, and not just because of the hot sun.
"Uh… don't take this the wrong way but… I can't do that."
"Because you don't like me?"
"No, it's not that at all! It's just… it goes against my religion."
"You said it yourself John, no one is perfect…"
"And that sunshine all the time makes a very dry desert?"
"Then quit being such a dry desert…" she said reaching for one of her straps.
John awoke with a start. He was still in his bed in the blue bases' sleeping quarters, and everyone else was fast asleep in their own beds.
"It was all just a dream?"
As John exhaled he wasn't sure whether it was out of relief or disappointment. That was the first time he had ever had a dream like that, but he never thought that he would see Courtney in it. He checked his watch and saw that it was only three thirty in the morning, but he found himself unable to fall back asleep.
"What's the matter Johnathan? Did you have a nightmare?" asked Cassandra.
"Shouldn't you be recharging? And I thought you were only helping Cody."
"Technically the merge hasn't taken place yet, and I regain my energy a lot faster than humans."
John knew this was one of those times that God would forgive him if he wasn't honest with someone. Cassandra was just a computer program after all.
"Yes it was a nightmare… I was being chased by the reaper."
"When this season started Sierra asked me if I had any feelings about Courtney… When I first met her last season it certainly wasn't love at first sight… Then again my mother once told me that is seldom the case."
Since he couldn't fall back asleep John tried to find some answers in the good book.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails."
"Well that's maddeningly unhelpful."
Suddenly an alarm went blaring off that woke up everyone else in the base.
"Run for your lives! It's the Flood!" exclaimed Cody jumping out of his bed.
"What the hell… It's only four o'clock." said Gwen.
"Attention all Blues!" said Chris over the PA "Unless you want to spend the next week here in the canyon with the Reds, I suggest you report to the helipad right now."
"*Yawns…* I know it's only four in the morning… But the thought of all the ice cream we can eat will get me out of bed any day."
In a matter of minutes all the blues were seated aboard the pelican.
"Enjoy your last week as a team." said Chris "Because when you get back you're on your own."
After the pelican took off it wasn't long before the Blues had left the canyon behind them and were off to open sea.
"When are we going to get there?" asked Gwen.
"Taking into account this vessel's current velocity, and the distance between the canyon and the Island Futuri… Estimated time till arrival is two hours." said Cassandra.
"In that case, I'm going back to sleep." said Courtney.
As they flew across the ocean in the pelican John was the only one still wearing his helmet.
"Why are you still wearing that thing?" asked Cody.
"We all know the answer to that."
"Dude, you're among friends."
"Yeah James, it's really not that bad." said Lindsay.
"For the last time, my name is John."
"Well she is right about one thing, your scar doesn't look as bad as it used to."
"I know… but it's still there."
"Why don't you just get plastic surgery and have it fixed?"
"Having surgery done is the whole reason I have my scars to begin with. But I keep telling myself it was either the scars, or a box buried under six feet of dirt."
"Attention passengers, welcome to Island Futuri."
Anyone who was asleep instantly woke up and looked out to see the island.
"The island is powered mostly through the use of solar energy, but in the event of a crisis situation there are several backup generators located beneath the surface." said Cassandra.
"Fascinating… when do we eat?"
"I'm so hungry I could eat a whole herd of rhinos." said Izzy.
"Don't say that, rhinos are endangered." said Gwen.
At the helipad there was what appeared to be a robot butler waiting for them.
"Congratulations Blue Team, I bid you welcome to the Island Futuri."
"That is so cool!" said Cody.
"I didn't know they actually made robots like this." said Courtney.
"It's possible, but they're very expensive." said John "A perfect example would be the ASIMO robots made by Honda."
"I'll you'll follow me, your breakfast is ready."
They followed the robot up the sidewalk made of solar panels to the mansion.
"This is taking too long… Why don't they just have one of those solar powered cars?"
"Do you know how much it costs to make a solar powered vehicle?" asked Cody "Something tells me they spent enough money on this island already."
"Besides, we all know the cheapest way to be environmentally friendly is to use your own two feet and walk." said Gwen.
The path to the mansion alone was an eye-opener because of all the exotic looking plants they saw along the way, and then there was the mansion itself.
"And I thought it looked big on the outside." said John.
"It smells like a fusion of a computer lab and a garden." said Izzy.
"I smell something even better… food!" said Cody.
"After weeks of eating nothing but Chef's MREs early in the morning, I almost died of happiness when I saw that buffet."
John, Cody, and Sierra all helped themselves to a huge stack of chocolate chip pancakes, among other things.
"Jeez… chew your food." said Courtney.
"Just wait till until it's time for dessert tonight, she's going to eat her words… and probably all the ice cream on the island as well."
After breakfast they explored the mansion. It had a huge heated pool, a voice activated TV that was the size of movie screen, and it even had a huge virtual board for playing games on.
"This place is amazing! It's like something out of a dream! I can't believe we get to spend a whole week here! I almost feel sorry for the Reds… almost."
"This place is awesome, but I need to keep things in perspective. I've got one week to get John on my side, because as soon as we get back it will be every Spartan for his or herself."
Courtney found John swimming laps around the pool; he was still wearing a shirt.
"Having fun?" she asked.
"Yes, and I'm getting great exercise at the same time. We may have a week off, but we can't afford to get too soft with the merge coming up."
"I was hoping he'd be more relaxed since we're on a vacation, but apparently he's just as focused as I am."
"Looking for a brain busting rematch?"
"I've been practicing since last season, if anyone is going to do any busting it's going to be me…"
"We'll see about that."
John and Courtney went to virtual game board. The pieces were life-size holograms.
"Impressive… but can it do… the Harry Potter Wizard Chess match pieces?"
The holograms immediately changed at John's request.
"My pleasure… Pawn to D4."
"You sunk my battleship." replied John.
"Oh great, first he's a hard-core gamer, then he's an evangelist, now he's a comedian."
Courtney and John had been playing one game for hours, just like last time. It wasn't until it was time for dinner that they agreed to call it a draw. When it was time for dessert, Sierra's prediction came true.
"Okay Courtney, why don't you and the chocolate ice cream get a freaking room?"
When John went to his room he found a packaged waiting for him on his bed. It had big bold letters on top.
For your eyes only!
John opened the box and saw three medallions inside. He could tell from the symbols engraved on them that they were supposed to be Forerunner.
"Hmm… I wonder what these are for."
It was then that he noticed the note attached.
So far you're the highest scoring killer in all of Blood Gulch.
Since you scored more kills than anyone else until the merge I am giving you three Forerunner artifacts that can be used to get you out of elimination in between now and the final four. Sort of an insurance policy in case you don't win invincibility in one of the Lone Wolf challenges.
One is for you to keep; the other two are yours to donate.
Think about this… Even Noble Six couldn't take on an entire army of Covenant soldiers by himself.
As always it felt strange for John to wake up in room that he wasn't used to living in, not that he missed the sleeping quarters of Blue Base, here they had their own private bed and bathrooms.
"Let's see… bath or shower?"
Before John could decide, he opened the door and his nose erupted with blood.
"Good morning Johnny… I warmed it up for you."
John woke up for real this time.
"This is crazy… two wet dreams in as many days… and it was the same girl."
"I won't say why, but let's just say I'm really glad Chris doesn't have a camera that lets him see into our dreams."
John met the others at breakfast.
"Enjoying the free vacation?"
"Absolutely!" said Lindsay "I've finally got a chance to do my hair correctly."
"Do it correctly? What the heck does that mean? I'll never understand women."
"It's so great not being woken up by Reveille at six in the morning." said Gwen.
"The best part is not having to put up with that psycho Chef and his ridiculous training exercises every day."
"All he does is yell at us and tell us we suck." said Sierra.
"It's called motivation, if we really were at war with an alien race for the survival of our species, I don't think even half of us would have made is Marines, let alone Spartans." said Cody.
"You're so smart." said Sierra giving him a big hug.
"Oh please, you call this motivation? Faster you worthless bags of animal parts! Do you want to live, or do you want to be skinned alive and dissected?"
"You're worth about as much as a Meg Griffin doll at a Simpsons convention." said Gwen doing her best Chef voice.
For some reason Izzy wasn't joining in the laughter, in fact she looked a little depressed. She just seemed to be twirling her food around her plate.
"Didn't you're mother ever tell you not to play with your food?" asked Courtney.
"What's that supposed to mean Ms. Lawyer pants?" replied Izzy who was suddenly in Courtney's face.
"Whoa… calm down."
"Don't tell me to calm down! I am calm!"
"I know Izzy's nuts, but she never acted like this before we left the canyon."
"Izzy seemed perfectly happy when she was shooting the hell out of the Reds. I'm no expert on women but if I had to take a guess I'd say she was just bored. It's like in February if you don't have anyone to spend Valentine's Day with. The weather is cold and wet and you're trapped inside."
"I know what's really going on here. Izzy is lovesick, the exact same thing happens to me when I've been away from my Cody too long."
After breakfast everyone went off to do their own thing. John did his exercises and then started practicing his ocarina; meanwhile Cody was trying to come up with his strategy.
"Sierra, what's your expert analysis?"
"Can we get a holographic interactive blackboard or something?"
One appeared almost instantly.
"I love this place." said Cody.
Sierra drew everyone's name on the board and then drew lines to connect certain people.
"Let's face a few facts, as of our last combat challenge the three highest scoring Spartans are John, Izzy, and Duncan."
"Where am I?" asked Cody.
"You're tied with Harold for number four." said Cassandra.
"You're still number one in my book…" said Sierra "But that's irrelevant right now. John is by the biggest threat, but as we can see here he's the one on the show with the most friends."
"Luckily I'm one of them." said Cody.
"Since John is bulletproof for now let's forget about him."
"Wait a minute… what's this?" asked Cody pointing to the line connecting John's name and Courtney's.
"There's something going on between them."
"John and Courtney? Sierra, you're the TD expert, and you know what happened last season."
"Yes, he punched her in the face, yelled at her, and scared to tears to teach her a lesson."
"So what makes you think they're suddenly… interest in each other."
"In case you haven't noticed they've been spending a lot more time together. She's showed him how to read musical notes, they were partners in the cross-country rocket race, and before the last challenge she said she would even have his baby if we won."
"She said that?"
"Well… I don't think she meant it, but that's still not something you say to just anyone."
"He wouldn't have done it even if she did mean it; he's not that kind of guy. And why would they be spending time together after what happened."
"You know about the Stockholm syndrome, where kidnapping victims actually begin to develop positive feelings for their captors? Well I call this the Courtney syndrome. Last season John left his mark on her, now she's constantly thinking about him, at first she was afraid of him, but she realizes that he was in the right, and now that she's gotten to know him a little better she's no longer afraid of him, in fact she's falling in love with him."
"Are you sure she's not just using him to get further in the game?"
Sierra paused for a moment.
"Attention guests, mail has just arrived for you."
Everyone was surprised to see that they had received a few things from their families. There were two boxes for John. One was about the size of a book, and the other was only about the size of a pop can. John looked at the small box first.
"It's from mom and Angela."
There was a message written on the box in black marker.
Do not open until you're alone
"Okay, we'll just leave that one alone for right now."
Next John took the bigger box. He looked at the card that was attached.
"It's from Tina's parents!"
"Who?" asked Gwen.
"One of his fans that has cancer. He spent a week with because it was her wish." said Courtney.
"How would you know that?"
"He told me."
"I know John and Courtney have been talking, but why would they be talking about something that personal?"
There was a picture of Tina and her parents in the letter. She was sitting in bed wearing a shirt that read, "I don't always look like this, I'm on chemo."
"The doctors say it looks promising. She's having a hard time, but they think she's going to make it."
"That's wonderful news."
"So what's in the box?" asked Izzy.
The box said to handle it with care, so John opened it very carefully.
"What is it?" asked Lindsay.
"A mint condition copy of Detective Comics issue twenty seven… the first appearance of Batman."
"Seriously? That's one hell of a gift!" said Cody "Are these people loaded or something?"
After John was done with his exercises Courtney challenged him to another chess match, she was determined to beat him at least once. The battle waged on for hours, when it came time for diner they paused, but afterwards they quickly resumed play.
"You're good… you're very good… but I'm better." said Courtney.
"Last I checked I was the one who beat you last season." said John as he made his move.
"Well how about this…"
Courtney moved her queen into position.
"Now then… what were you saying?"
"You have left me with no legal moves, but you failed to put my king in check first. So it's a stalemate."
"Wait a minute, let me look this up."
Courtney quickly ran through the systems holographic rule book.
"Oops… You're right."
It was just then that John and Courtney both realized how late it was.
"How long were we playing?" she asked.
"Well… knock about twenty minutes off for dinner and I'd say about eight hours."
"Eight hours? That's got to be a record!"
"Actually if I'm not mistaken the world record for longest chess match took two hundred and sixty-nine moves and lasted twenty hours and fifteen minutes."
Just then they heard something outside the window. It sounded like someone was out swimming in the pool.
"What the? Who's awake at this hour… besides us I mean."
John and Courtney looked out the window, but whoever was out there hadn't turned the lights on.
"The island's security system would let us know if there was an intruder… right?"
"I'm not taking any chances." replied John already pulling out one of his katana.
They made their way to the pool entrance, the doors were transparent and they saw that it was Izzy getting out of the pool, but that wasn't what shocked them.
"Holy crap, she's naked!" said Courtney.
She turned around and saw John pulling off his helmet because there was blood gushing out of his nose. Courtney ran to the kitchen to get him a towel.
"Are you alright?"
"I'm fine… This was the first time I've ever seen a woman naked… well… in real life. I've seen my fair share of horror movies… but that's not the reason I watch them!"
"It's okay, I know what you meant."
"Just being clear, the girls who disrobe in horror movies don't exactly tickle my fancy. Besides ninety-eight percent of them end up dead."
But Courtney wasn't thinking about horror movies, instead she was looking at the scar on John's face. It wasn't as bad as it used to be, but that didn't change the fact that several months ago it scared the hell out of her. And from what she understood this wasn't the only one John had.
"I'd like to see the other one."
"Sierra said you have another scar."
"Yes, they had to remove one tumor from my face and one from my chest."
"I'd like to see it."
"I really don't think that's…"
"Okay… but don't say I didn't warn you."
John rolled up his shirt; he had a well-built torso, except for the huge scar across it. Just like his other one it didn't look as bad is it used to, but he still expected Courtney to scream any moment now.
"Oh my god… did it hurt?"
John was very surprised by this.
"I was sound asleep when they did it, but I certainly felt something afterwards. Then again when you're on chemo you feel like death. The nightmares didn't help…"
"Sometimes the treatment doesn't work… Even after my surgery I had nightmares where I was being chased by death. They had to clean my bed sheets a lot because I would sweat blood."
"You sweat blood?"
"It's called hematidrosis, it only happens when you experience very high levels of stress. The same thing happened to Jesus as he prayed in the garden the night before his execution."
"He knew what was going to happen, what they were going to do to him, what he was going to have to do for us… Here, I'll show you."
John went and got his bible. It took him a minute to find the passage he was looking for."
"Here it is… Luke twenty-two forty-four… He was in such agony and prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground."
For a moment Courtney was quiet.
"Could you tell me why there are four gospels instead of just one?"
"Yes, they're all the same story, but they were written for different audiences. The Gospel of Matthew was written for the Jews, and the Gospel of Luke was written for the Gentiles. And while we're on the topic of religion… I'd like you to have this."
John took a small pewter figurine of a man out of his pocket and gave it to Courtney.
"That's what mom and Angela sent me. It's Saint Thomas More, the patron saint of lawyers. Something tells me you'll need it more than me… Consider it a formal apology for… what happened last season… It was wrong and I'm sorry."
"I have something for you too…"
"I never properly thanked you for saving me from that lion…"
"Oh my god… not only did I actually see a girl naked this evening, I've just had my first kiss!"
"Sierra's right, this is getting very interesting. Are Courtney's feelings sincere, or is she just using John to get further in the game? I guess we'll find out right here, on Total… Drama… Halo!"
Next time on Total Drama Halo
After a week of living in luxury the Blues return to Blood Gulch, and as soon as they land it's every Spartan for themself.
The first Lone Wolf Challenge is a game of Infection, and guess who gets to play the zombies…
The eliminated Spartans return for a second chance at the million dollars, but only one of them will earn that chance. Who will it be?
The vacation was over. The day had finally come for the Blues to return to Blood Gulch and go solo on their quest for the ten million dollars. But not all of them really wanted to go.
"I don't want to go back to eating MREs and Chef's training exercises!" said Courtney "Sure I want the money but…"
"Courtney, as someone famous once said, we're not doing this for money, we're doing it for a shitload of money!"
"Hard to argue with that."
As they flew across the ocean back to the canyon they took out the pop cans they had smuggled on board and raised them in a toast.
"To the Blue Team!"
"And may the best Spartan win!"
After two hours of flying the canyon finally came into view.
"Oh great… we're back."
Despite the fact that their team had been living in luxury for a week while theirs had been living off MREs and putting up with Chef, both Owen and Tyler were very happy to see Izzy and Lindsay.
"Attention all Spartans!"
"If I didn't miss one thing, it would be Chris' voice."
"As of this moment all teams are officially disbanded! From here on out it's EVERY… SPARTAN… FOR THEMSELF!"
"Bring it on…"
"You will report to the middle of the canyon for your first Lone Wolf challenge at twenty-one hundred hours."
"That's nine o'clock."
"Why is Chris making us wait until nine?"
Since they had plenty of free time the Spartans began strategizing with their allies.
"Since we're no longer on opposing teams, would you mind telling me what was in the mystery box you won from the cross country rocket race?" asked Gwen.
"Seventy-seven jars of pickled eggs." replied Duncan "How were things in paradise?"
"Kind of boring, a pity you couldn't join us."
"So what's your strategy for the rest of the game?"
"Well I overheard Cody and Sierra talking; apparently John is bulletproof, not just because of his skill but also because of his circle of friends. I don't have anything against him, but we all know he's by far the biggest threat."
"A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and who's the weakest link in John's chain of allies?"
Gwen thought about it. Cody had Cassandra and Sierra's unwavering loyalty, and Owen and Izzy were pretty much lovers. That only left one person.
"Exactly, if we can get Trent, Lindsay, and Tyler on our side we might just put a crack in that bulletproof armour."
"I think Courtney's trying to make a crack of her own."
"What do you mean?"
"She's been spending a lot of time with John, she's been helping him learn how to read musical notes and they've been playing games of chess that last for hours."
"She's just using him to get further in the game."
"How do you know that?"
"Think about it, ever since we broke up she's been on her own, and we both know there is no way in hell she can win this game by herself."
By the time it was nine o'clock all the Spartans were getting tired.
"Okay Spartans, I'll bet you're wondering why we're having this particular challenge in the middle of the night."
"You bet your ass."
"It was for the ambience, because your first Lone Wolf challenge is a game of Infection!"
"Why don't I like the sound of that?" said Courtney.
"For those of you who have never played Halo in your lives before, the object of infection is very simple. Your goal is to stay uninfected as long as possible while zombies try to infect you. You will be given a six minute head start to hide somewhere in the canyon, after that the zombies will be released and you will be on your own. To defend yourselves you will be given a pistol and a shotgun. Zombies can respawn from wherever they died, but if they are killed they have to wait thirteen Mississippi seconds before they can do so. If you are infected you must join the zombie horde and hunt down the other Spartans. The last Spartan standing wins Invincibility."
"You left out one detail Chris, who are the zombies?" asked Harold.
"I'm glad you asked… Come in guys."
Seven Spartans dressed in green armour and armed with energy swords emerged from the cave. They slowly began advancing.
"I don't believe this."
"Before sunrise you gut eating automatons!" bellowed Chef.
The zombies immediately started running the rest of the way.
"Sorry Chef, just getting into character."
"Bridgette? Is that you?"
"Yep, the zombies will be played by all the Spartans who have already been eliminated. Except for Eva, who is going to jail for destroying my car. And get this… The zombie with the highest score at the end of the challenge gets to come back into the game!"
"And that will be me."
"Wait a minute! You said no one is allowed back!"
At that moment John did his best Chris impression.
"The Spartan who does not receive a medal must immediately proceed to the Helipad of Shame, board the Pelican of Losers, and leave. That means you're out of the contest, and you can never ever-ever-ever come back… ever!"
"Okay let me rephrase that…When have I ever said that and meant it?"
"And to make things more interesting we're putting the cloud skull into effect, which means you won't be able to use your motion trackers during this challenge. Good luck, you're going to need it."
The Spartans and zombies were all lined up on the far side of the canyon.
"Remember, the last Spartan standing wins Invincibility, and the highest scoring zombie gets to come back into the game. Zombies ready?"
"BRAAAAINNS!" bellowed Ezekiel.
"On the count of three… one… two… three!"
The Spartans ran off into the canyon.
"At the sound of the cannon, the zombies will be released!"
"Okay John, what's the plan?" asked Courtney.
"Head for the cliff, the pistols are long range, but the zombies need to get close to us to use those energy swords."
Getting to cliff was taking a lot longer than John expected.
"Jeez… I forgot how big this place is."
"Shit! It's the zombies! Move!"
Ezekiel came charging over the hill screaming like a maniac and the other zombies quickly followed. Alejandro immediately began searching for an easy kill.
"Of course… The pig!"
Alejandro went after Owen and Izzy, but as soon as they saw him they charged through the small tunnel on the left.
"Wow… he can really move when he wants to."
He charged after them, but when he got through to the other side Owen blasted him with his shotgun.
"Oh you camping bastard…"
"It's a legitimate strategy!" said Izzy.
"That's right, you just got Owened!"
"That's an officially registered catchphrase!” Said Owen as they ran off.
John and Courtney made it to the cliff first, but a few other Spartans had the same idea.
"We were here first, get your own cliff!" said Courtney.
"There aren't any other cliffs in this canyon." replied Harold "And why should I listen to you anyway? It's Lone Wolf now."
"Let him do what he wants." whispered John "When the zombies come we can use him as a shield."
"I like the way you think." replied Courtney.
Since Owen and Izzy were too far out of range by the time he could respawn, Alejandro went after Lindsay and Tyler.
"Back off ugly!"
Tyler fired off a few rounds with his pistol, but they all missed.
"Let me try!"
Just as Alejandro was getting too close, Lindsay blasted him right in his face.
"Not only is Lindsay hot, she has a bigger body count than me. Wait is that right… dun… dun… there was that incident with the orbital bombardment… dun… dun… dun… and take off two or three points for team kills and… I can't do math."
Lindsay and Tyler didn't get far when Heather jumped out of nowhere and slashed them both with her energy sword.
"Infected! New zombies!" said Chris.
"You took my kills!" yelled Alejandro.
"I didn't see your name on them!"
Heather started to head toward the base where Gwen and Duncan had ducked inside, but she didn't see Cody crouching behind a nearby rock. He jumped up and blasted Heather in the head.
"Yeah headshot! Take that bitch!"
"As soon as I respawn, you are dead!"
Heather never got the chance to go after Cody because Beth got to him first, and Sierra quickly retaliated.
"No fair, they have guns and all we get are these short range swords."
"Zombies aren't supposed to talk, they are supposed to moan and eat your brains. I wonder if it's in our budget to edit that…"
Before long John and Courtney were the only two Spartans left. They had to go up against seventeen zombies, and they were running low on ammo. In the end John's quick reflexes saved him when Heather, Alejandro, Harold, and Ezekiel all came charging up the cliff at the same time.
"Last man standing! John wins!" said Chris "Everyone report to the center of the canyon so we can announce the scores for the zombies!"
As they made their way across the canyon, Alejandro pulled Harold aside.
"Over Blue Team's little vacation, John and Courtney kissed. Pass it on."
"John and Courtney? You've gotta be kidding me!"
"Okay lets tally up the zombies score… In seventh place is Alejandro with negative six."
"Well you killed six other zombies, and zombies lose points when they kill other zombies. In sixth place is Leshawna with… zero."
"You try chasing after people with guns while dressed head to toe in this shit in the middle of the night." said Leshawna
"Tied for fifth place are Bridgette, Geoff, and Ezekiel with two victims each… Which only leaves Heather and Beth tied for first place with three victims each."
"I think we'd prefer it if Beth were the one to come back into this game." said Gwen.
"Unfortunately that's not the way it works." replied Chris.
"Well, why don't you tell us how it does work?"
"Well… Here's what we're gonna do… How much do you ladies know about the Chief?"
"Don't answer that… The Chief's fate was decided with the flip of a coin. So we'll do the same thing here."
"I don't think that's a fair way to decide who gets to come back."
"Well, if the world's fair some of you probably wouldn't be here in the first place."
"Well, he got us there."
"Beth, call it."
Chris flipped the coin and caught it.
"It is heads, congratulations!"
"What? This is so unacceptable!" said Heather.
"Take it easy psycho, it's just a game." said John.
"That's easy for you to say, you didn't lose your million dollars in a volcano!"
"Your million dollars? You mean my million dollars!" said Alejandro "I would have won that game if you hadn't used your feminine charm!"
"Well it's your fault for falling for it in the first place… Al…"
For a moment everyone was quiet, and then all hell broke loose. Alejandro smacked Heather across the face, and she retaliated by kicking him where it hurt.
"Alright that's it…" he said struggling to his feet.
"Fight! Fight! Fight!"
Alejandro had Heather in a choke hold, but she broke out of it by biting him in the arm.
"OWW! She bit me!"
"I hope you're not throwing in the towel already, I'm just getting warmed up."
Heather pulled on his ear, causing him to scream in pain.
"Shouldn't we stop them?" whispered Courtney.
"I don't think we should get involved."
Just then Alejandro punched her in the gut and tackled her into the mud.
"I will fucking kill you!"
"Yeah, this is the fifth time you've said that."
"You're a fucking bitch times ten!"
"You're an asshole exponentially to the thirteenth level!"
"I hate you!" they both screamed.
Suddenly and without warning, they started making out in the mud.
"As I was saying…" said Chris "Beth can stay, the rest of you zombies will get your butts back in the pelican."
After getting their armour cleaned up, all the Spartans reported to the briefing room.
"Congratulations Spartans, you've made it halfway, and that wasn't bad, for a first Lone Wolf challenge. But I'm afraid for one of you this will be as far as you go." said Chris "Since Beth just got back she's exempt from this elimination and the next. And I'll bet you've been wondering about the eliminations that have taken place this season. Since we're halfway through the game I guess it wouldn't hurt to tell you what's really been going on."
"The producers and I wanted to do something new this season, so for the first half of the game your votes didn't matter at all."
"Nope, instead all the eliminations up to this point have been my decisions."
"Oh great, this game's fixed."
"I'm not even going to argue, it's like talking to a brick wall."
"But from here on out we'll do eliminations the old fashioned way, with you deciding who gets the boot. You know the drill. You've all cast your votes and made your decision, twelve of you will be getting medals, and one of you will have to get on the Pelican of Losers and get the hell out of my canyon."
"Can we just get this over with?" asked Courtney "It's been a long day."
"Fine… The first medal goes to John… Beth… Lindsay… Gwen… Sierra… Owen… Duncan… Tyler… Izzy… Courtney… Trent."
That left only Harold and Cody.
"Gentlemen… this is the final medal of the evening… and it goes to… Cody. Harold, the Helipad of Shame awaits."
Harold walked slowly to the helipad, but before he mounted the pelican he raised his hands high and exclaimed, "Spartans never die!"
"Too bad he isn't a real Spartan. Ha-ha!"
Next time on Total Drama Halo
What kind of Halo-based horror is… The Monopáti ti'̱'s Sof'í'as?
Before Harold had been eliminated, he had successfully told Owen and Cody what Alejandro had told him about John and Courtney. It wasn't long before a few other people heard about this as well.
"So what if John and Courtney kissed? They were both single at the time. Though I must admit I never saw those two as a couple."
"Oh boy… The shit is about to hit the fan."
The next was spent doing Chef's ridiculous exercises. It almost made Beth regret coming back into the game, and make the former Blues regret leaving their tropical and scientific paradise.
"I don't know what the worst part is; Chris, Chef's training exercises, or the MREs."
That night John found it a little difficult to sleep, so as usual he occupied himself with one of his books.
"Why don't you just purchase an iPad instead of carrying all those books?"
John was a little surprised that Gwen was the only other person up.
"I tried reading something on an iPad in the store once, and it gave me a splitting headache. So what do you really want to talk about?"
"When women want to talk to me about something, they ease themselves into a conversation based on whatever I happen to be doing at the time. As you can plainly see I miss nothing."
"Well… I just wanted to know that if the rumours about you and Courtney are true."
"That depends on what the rumours are."
"Did you two really kiss?"
"I don't mean to be rude Gwen, but that's really none of your business."
"So you did."
For a moment they were both quiet.
"And you're so interested in this topic because…"
"Don't take this the wrong way; Duncan couldn't care less what Courtney does with her lips, but I think you should know that Courtney might just be using you."
John didn't respond.
"She's done it before, at the end of season one she ran off with the million dollars instead of helping Duncan. We know you haven't had a lot of luck in your love life because of your… appearance… and the rest of us don't want to see you get hurt."
For a moment they were both quiet.
"I know, I've seen all the previous seasons. But what's life without a little risk? You let me worry about Courtney; the rest of you should be worried about how to win this game."
"Chris pretty much has this game rigged so John will win. What are we supposed to do?"
Finally the day of the next challenge came. The Spartans rushed out the middle of the canyon to see what Halo-based horror Chris had planned for them.
"Today's challenge is another Chris McLean original. Prepare yourselves for… The Monopáti ti̱s Sofías!"
As Chris said this, Chef struck an ominous sounding gong.
"Not the Monopáti ti̱s Sofías!" exclaimed Sierra "Anything but the Monopáti ti̱s Sofías! What's Monopáti ti̱s Sofías?"
"It means Path of Wisdom. As you know, the military doesn't accept any applicants that can't add two and two together. The Spartan program was no exception. Dr. Halsey didn't raise any idiots. Because of that today's challenge is all about seeing what's inside your thick skulls. Chef and I have spent the past several weeks coming up with a test… so incredibly stupid… that we don't expect all of you to survive it."
"How could taking a test kill you?"
"You didn't tell us there'd be a test!" exclaimed Tyler "I didn't study!"
"Oh my god! Neither did I!" said Lindsay.
"If it makes you feel any better, the rest of us haven't studied either." said John.
"Lindsay should have her own show. That'd be a very funny sitcom."
"As I was saying some of you probably won't even make it through the first page of the test, but the Spartan that gets the best score will win invincibility, and to help their minds recover from the trauma they will get to enjoy a whole evening of America's Funniest Home Videos with one Spartan of their choosing! Popcorn, drinks, and everything!"
"There's just one problem Chris, I don't think you gave this challenge an appropriate title. You should call it the Path of Knowledge." said Gwen.
"Knowledge, wisdom, what's the difference?"
"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." said John.
Desks had been set up in the briefing room for the Spartans to take their tests. Each desk had a mountain of paper on it.
"To all you cheaters in here, no two tests are alike, so don't bother looking at anyone else's test. You will have seven hours to answer as many questions as you can. After three hours and thirty minutes you will be given a little break. The person with the most questions answered correctly at the end of seven hours wins invincibility and the reward. You may begin in three… two… one… now!"
John took the piece of paper from the top of the pile on his desk and looked at it.
What is the wavelength of the colour green?
How many stars were on the United States flag as of July 4th, 1848?
If Jason weighs a hundred and ninety pounds, then how much does he weigh on the moon?
If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?
"Douchebag: an individual who has an over-inflated sense of self-worth, compounded by a low level of intelligence, behaving ridiculously in front of colleagues with no sense of how moronic he appears."
When taking a big test, it is a common practice that if the person taking it doesn't know the answer to a question they skip it and come back to it later. Duncan couldn't even get past the first two questions on his first sheet.
Why is the sky blue?
How can nonlinear equations be expressed as a function of transdimensional time and space?
"The sky is blue because it's blue! Live with it! And what the hell is nonlinear equation?"
As Courtney looked at the pages on her test she began to wonder if Chris and Chef were being serious.
If x equals pi times y cubed, and y equals the square root of 78, how would you determine the value of x?
If Bugs has one Fuji apple and one sour apple, and Lola has one Fuji apple and one sour apple, why don't they shut up and eat?
"Okay, that first question is obviously intended to root out anyone that doesn't have a brain. I could do the second question just fine, but for the third one the only conclusion I can come to is that one of them doesn't like Fuji and/or sour apples."
Fifteen minutes into the test everyone stopped because Tyler collapsed to the floor.
"Oh my god! Is he dead?" asked Lindsay.
John checked his pulse.
"No, he's just fainted."
"Need I remind you that the test is still going on?" asked Chris.
It wasn't until an hour had passed that Cody finally found a question he was one hundred percent sure he knew the answer to.
Name three characters in the Marvel Universe that are unaffected by Ghost Rider's Penance Stare.
"Centurious because he has no soul, Zodiak because he has twelve eyes and Venom because for some reason it doesn't work on symbiotes."
What were Spongebob Squarepants' first words?
“‘May I take your order?’”
What is your favorite colour when you're alone?
"What is that supposed to mean?"
Name at least twenty countries of the world.
"That was an easy one. I memorized Yakko Warner's 'Nations of the World' years ago."
After three hours and thirty minutes the Spartans were given a one hour recess, and they gladly took it. Tyler was still unconscious.
"My brain hurts so much…" said Lindsay.
"Then I suggest you take some aspirin, because it's not over yet." said Duncan.
"When Chris said this challenge was going to be incredibly stupid, he wasn't kidding."
"How many questions do you think you actually answered correctly?" asked Courtney.
"Well I've answered about three hundred, and if I'm lucky I'd say about… half." replied John.
"Break's over Spartans! Back to work!"
They all groaned as they made their way back to the briefing room.
Discuss the controversy of Leonardo Da Vinci's "Madonna of the Rocks".
Where did the T-Rex in the Batcave come from?
What are the effects of Blue Kryptonite?
"There's more than one kind of Kryptonite?"
Why can't the Cubs ever win?
"The curse of the goat!"
Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours?
"Because Goofy isn't supposed to be Mickey's pet, duh."
Describe the Ring of The Fisherman.
"What's the Ring of The Fisherman?"
A rooster sits on a house facing north, if it lays an egg which way does it roll?
Sherlock Holmes never actually says, "My dear Watson" in any of his canonical adventures. True or False?
Why do they sterilize needles for lethal injections?
What are the only two lost Fabergé eggs for which a photograph exists?
"Roosters don't lay eggs, true, standard procedure, the Alexander III commemorative and the 1903's Royal Danish."
Everyone breathed a heavy sigh of relief when the test was finally over.
"Well… I think we all know which unfortunate Spartan has to wear the Sandwich Board and Dunce Cap of Shame."
Unlike the previous dunce caps, the one Tyler was forced to wear had the word dumbass written on it.
It took the computer a minute to calculate who had the highest score.
"And the winner is… Courtney?"
"Booyah! Three more days!"
"I think you'd better wait till after the elimination ceremony before you decide who will join you for the AFHV marathon."
When it finally came time for the elimination ceremony that evening, all the Spartans were exhausted.
"I've never wanted a Mountain Dew so badly in my life."
"You've all cast your votes and made your decision. One of you will be going home and you can't come back… ever. The first medal goes to… Courtney… Beth… Owen… Tyler… Cody… Gwen… Lindsay… Sierra… Trent… Duncan…"
Suddenly the room got very quiet.
"And the final medal goes to… Izzy."
Some of them gasped.
"John, do you have anything to say?"
John reached into his bag and pulled something out.
"I'll use my freebee."
"Freebee? What freebee? What is that?" asked Duncan.
"Since John had the highest body count before the merge, he was rewarded with a get out of elimination free card."
"What else have you not told us?"
"Moving on, someone needs to get booted tonight, so let's see who got the second most votes."
"Since Courtney is immune, the only other choice is John."
"Nothing personal John, but you're just too big a threat to the rest of us."
"Duncan is the highest scoring player who isn't in the circle."
"There is no way I can win this game as long as John is still in it. Sorry dude."
"My brain hurts sooooooo much… I vote for… Noah… I mean John!"
"Lindsay he's not even in this season!" said Gwen.
"Don't you think you're overreacting talking ice cream machine?"
"According to both Sierra and Cassandra, Duncan is the biggest threat."
"I'm gonna say… Duncan."
"It's gotta be John."
"I vote for Chris, because everyone hates him."
"You can't vote for me, I'm the host!"
"Sierra is there anything in the rulebook that says we can boot him?" asked Cody.
"I would vote for Courtney, but she has invincibility, so I have to say John. Sorry…"
"I vote for Duncan."
"Lots of dirt revealed there, but in the end there were five votes against Duncan, the Helipad of Shame is that way bro."
"Whatever…" said Duncan getting to his feet.
As everyone expected, Courtney chose John to join in her reward.
"Can we talk for a minute?" she asked.
"You can have sixty minutes if you want."
"You were almost eliminated tonight, saved only because of your freebee. They're going to eliminate you the next chance they get because you're too big a threat."
"So… What are you going to do about it?"
"In case you've forgotten there is now one less person to vote against me, and they can't eliminate me if I win invincibility. Remember, I'm a lucky dragon."
"Your luck didn't help you with the test today."
"True… Sometimes our best just isn't enough, we fall short. This time I was saved by a freebee, but next time I might not be so lucky. There's a number on the wall for all of us, and next time they might pick mine."
"I can't afford to have you eliminated."
"Can't afford to have me eliminated, or you don't want me to be eliminated?"
"I can't afford to have you eliminated, which is convenient because I don't want you to be eliminated."
John knew Courtney would be offended if he asked her if she was lying. He'd just have to find out on his own. So he decided to enjoy the marathon of America's Funniest Home Videos.
"You've just got to be lucky with a camera to catch this stuff." said Courtney.
"I'd rather be lucky in love."
"Well… I don't know yet… We shall see."
"I not surprised that John is being cautious… I'll just have to try harder."
The MREs tasted just as bad as ever, but the good news was that Chef's training exercises were beginning to become routine.
"I think I've lost weight!"
"What is the point of all these training exercises anyway? They didn't prepare us for that head splitting test at all."
"There is no point, its procedure."
"I try to keep telling myself that each day brings me one step closer to the ten million dollars. Getting past John is going to be tough, but I have a good feeling about this."
In no time at all it was the day of the next challenge.
"Okay Spartans, today's challenge is a Halo classic. Who's ready to play Oddball!"
"Should I even ask?" said Gwen.
"The object of Oddball is very simple… This is the ball."
Chris was holding a plastic skull that had the same fire effect as John's helmet, only the fire was red instead of blue.
"That's not a ball, that's a skull." said Courtney.
"Exactly, now as I was saying… If you don't have the ball, get it and shoot anyone that gets in your way. If you have the ball, then melee anyone that tries to take it from you. This should go without saying, but if you die you need to drop the ball. The longer you have the ball the more points you get. The Spartan with the most points at the end of the hour wins. Since there are no longer any teams we'll do these combat challenges a little differently. From now on you no longer have to run all the way back to base to respawn, instead you can respawn from wherever you die, but you've got to wait fifteen Mississippi seconds before you can do so. Any questions?"
"What's the reward?" asked Beth.
"In addition to the coveted invincibility, the winning Spartan will get to enjoy dinner and a show. They will be served their favorite foods while they watch their favorite movies, and you can invite one other Spartan to join you."
"Sounds good to me." said John.
All the Spartans were sent to the walls while Chef placed the ball in the very center of the canyon.
"Wait till I get out!" said Chef.
"Okay, go ahead."
"Spartans ready… one… two… three… go!"
Chris fired the cannon.
As the Spartans raced for the ball, a majority of them took aim at Owen and fired.
"From the sound of things, this was going to be like a Halo version of rugby, and no one wants to be on the receiving end of one of Owen's body slams."
Izzy leapt for the ball and grabbed it. As the other Spartans came at her she jumped over them and ran off.
John knew there was no way he or any of the others would be able catch up with Izzy, so instead he took out his sniper rifle, took aim, and fired.
All the remaining Spartans scrambled for the ball. Tyler actually got to it first, but then the others piled on top of him.
"Oh come on, that's like the oldest gag in the book! Is this Oddball or football?"
Cody broke out of the pile with the ball and ran off.
"Eat paint you…"
Before Courtney could finish her sentence Sierra pulled out her own pistol and shot her in the head.
"You are going down…"
Cody ran across the canyon as fast as he could.
"Hell yeah! Nothing's going to stop me now!"
Suddenly John was in front of Cody and blasted him with his assault rifle.
"Sorry bro, I just really need the invincibility." he said as he scooped up the ball and ran off.
"I don't blame him; to be honest I would have done the same thing. It is every Spartan for themselves."
The other Spartans immediately went after John. Trent was the first to reach him and tried to blast him with his shotgun, but John dodged it and kicked him in codpiece.
"OW! No way!"
"That counts as a kill!" said Chris.
John ran all the way to the shore dodging bullets along the way. When he finally got there it looked like the other Spartans had him cornered.
"Wow, ten other Spartans completely surrounding me… whatever am I going to do?"
Much to everyone's surprise John threw the ball straight up in the air.
"Who's up for a Merry-Go-Round?"
John pulled out his assault rifle and blasted everyone. When he was done he held out his hand and caught the falling ball.
"I know he killed me, but that was awesome!"
Since all the others had to respawn John had a huge head start. When they could finally move Izzy tried her rocket launcher and a few others pulled out sniper rifles, but John dodged everything they threw at him.
"You're not Master Chief! You can't keep this up forever!"
John looked at his watch.
"I don't have to."
John threw the ball again, but this time it was going across the canyon.
"I've got it! I've got it!" exclaimed Tyler as he faded back. Unfortunately instead of landing in his arms the ball hit him in the head.
"That's a kill!" said Chris.
The ball was picked up by Lindsay, who was almost immediately taken out by Courtney.
"It's mine! Ha-ha!"
Just then Courtney was shot in the back by Gwen, who scooped up the ball and ran off in the opposite direction.
"Well ha-ha to you!"
Gwen made about thirty yards before Izzy blasted her with her rocket launcher.
"Well ha-ha-ha to you!"
Tyler came out of nowhere wielding a gravity hammer, he tried hitting Izzy, but she was much too fast for him.
"Strike one… strike two… strike three, you're out!"
Izzy took Tyler down with a perfectly executed scissor kick.
"The problem with actual Halo games is you can't do stuff like that. That and they no longer make the Hayabusa armour."
"Game over!" cried Chris at last "It's time to tally up the score!"
"Winning this game is going to be a lot harder than I thought."
"And the winner is… John! Just out of curiosity, why did you throw the ball across the canyon?"
"I already held it for more than half the hour, there was no way they could possibly beat me, so why add another death to my stats?"
"That is a good point. Remember you may want to wait until after the elimination ceremony before you decide who to share your reward with."
"I vote for Sierra, firstly because she knows too much about the rest of us, and secondly because when I say someone is going down they go down."
"I vote for Trent because he's the only other fit man besides John left in this game… Well there is Tyler, but let's be honest, he's got about as much chance of winning this game as Lindsay."
That evening when Chris brought out the medals for the ceremony one of them looked different from the others.
"Every elimination brings you one step closer to ten million dollars… or a last class ticket to Loserville, population eight. Tonight one of you will not get a medal, will be forced to walk to the Helipad of Shame, hitch a ride on the Pelican of Losers, and you can never come back… ever! And if you don't know that by now, what planet are you from?"
The Spartans were silent.
"Anyway… the first medal goes to… John."
Chris tossed John the only medal that didn't have his head on it.
"Why is his medal different than the rest?" asked Beth.
"It’s a perfection medal, and it just means he killed fifteen opponents in a row without dying. It's just for show."
"Not that I'm ungrateful Chris, but they only give these in Slayer games, not Oddball."
"Whatever… The next medal goes to… Cody… Gwen… Izzy … Owen… Courtney… Lindsay… Beth… Tyler… Spartans, this is the final medal of the evening."
Courtney gave Sierra the kill gesture.
"The final medal goes to… Sierra."
Sierra took her medal and stuck her tongue out at Courtney.
"Trent, its Pelican of Losers time."
"Oh well… See you around guys."
After the elimination ceremony Owen and Izzy wanted more than anything to just "fool around", but according to Chris there were cameras all over the place, so it wasn't going to happen.
"Don't worry Big-O, once the game is over we'll have all the time in the world."
"I'm not so sure I can win this thing. I did fine when John was still on the Red team and showed me how to fight, but now it's every Spartan for himself."
"Well if we can't beat him with skill we'll just have to use a little strategy."
"I believe Courtney's already working on that."
"Gwen! How long have you been standing there?"
"We need to talk about the game, gophers forever?"
"Gophers forever!" said Owen.
"Keep it down. There is a reason John picked Courtney to share in his reward tonight. He thinks he's falling in love with her, but we all know Courtney is just using him to get what she wants."
"How do we know that?"
"This is Courtney we're talking about. In the finale of season one she abandoned Duncan and ran off with the money, in season two she sued the show just to get back on, and in season three she started throwing challenges just to get me eliminated."
"I see your point, but what can we do?"
"If the next challenge is another combat one then I doubt she'll win invincibility. All we need is enough people to vote her off."
"But there are only three of us."
"I've already spoken with Lindsay, Tyler, and Beth. With the two of you it will be six, which should be just enough to give Courtney the boot."
All the Spartans were beginning to agree that the days of training exercises were becoming very old.
"The suspense is killing me. Half the contestants have already been eliminated. Sure no one wants to go to an elimination ceremony without invincibility, but it's better than wasting time with these stupid exercises."
"My precious Cody-wody may not have noticed it yet, but the training exercises are doing wonders for his body. It's too bad I have to sneak up on him in the shower to see it, which wouldn't even be necessary if he wasn't so reluctant to join me in the bedroom. I mean come on; Izzy and Owen did it… Sure that was only in the virtual world so technically it didn't happen, but from the sound of things they've been making up for it since last season."
"I know what the others have been thinking, but they don't need to worry because I'm keeping my eyes on Courtney. If she thinks she's using me, and I hope that's not the case, I'll have a little surprise waiting for her."
"Twenty Spartans entered this competition, but only ten remain." said Chris "Don't get soft now; there are still six more eliminations until the finale."
"Why just six?" asked Courtney.
"Let's see you come up with nineteen different challenges based on Halo. The finale will have the last four Spartans facing off against each other in another one of my Chris McLean originals, but more on that later. Today's challenge will be another Halo classic… King of the Hill!"
"King of the Hill? Then how do we girls win?" asked Lindsay.
"Let me talk and I'll tell you… Okay then… For those of you who've never played Halo before, the object is to hold the hill the longest. The hill is a circular hologram that will move in between seven spots in the canyon every five minutes for the next hour. To get control of the hill you either need to get there first, or kill the person who is in control of the hill. And to make things a little more interesting we're putting the Black Eye skull into effect. That means your shields won't recharge by themselves, the only way to recharge your shields will be to melee an enemy. Any questions, no? Wonderful, let's get started!"
"Obviously the most effective way to win this game is to know where the hill spawns, but I doubt Chris and the producers bothered to study the map rotations used for Hemorrhage in Halo Reach." said Cody.
"I suggest you carry plenty of grenades." said Cassandra "I also suggest you use a shotgun if you manage to gain control of the hill, and a heavy weapon for when you're attacking it."
"I'll take the fuel rod gun."
"John and Izzy are by far the biggest threats in this match, Izzy will use rockets like always. The use of the Black Eye skull will make it considerably more difficult to maintain control of the hill."
"I know, I'll either have to let my opponent's get close so I can melee them, or I need to avoid getting shot altogether. Unfortunately no one is perfect."
After picking out what weapons they would start out with, the Spartans went to the designated starting positions.
"Spartans ready? Go!"
The first hill spawned predictably in the center of the canyon. As the Spartans charged the ones with long range weapons started shooting at the competition.
"Die you… uh… human dogs!"
"Tyler, you're shooting at the canyon wall."
Unsurprisingly John got to the hill first, and then he and Izzy instantly started fighting over it.
"And while they're distracted…"
Cody pulled out his fuel rod cannon, but before he could take the shot John spun around and hurled a grenade at him.
Sierra started shooting at John, but she made the mistake of getting too close to him, enabling him to grab her by the arm and throw her off the hill.
"It's only funny till someone loses an eye… then it's hilarious!"
At that moment the holographic dome surrounding the area disappeared.
This time Cody was the one who got to the hill first, but then Owen came charging at him with his turret, then Gwen stuck him from behind. She held the hill for about three minutes when Courtney blasted her with her rifle.
"Oh you've got to be kidding Me." said Courtney.
Once again John was the first person to reach the hill, but this time Izzy managed to blast him with her rocket launcher. No one managed to get past Izzy's barrage.
"Sometimes I wonder what Owen ever saw in her, and then there are times like this."
This time John reached the hill and defended it like his life was on the line. Izzy fired a rocket at him that just barely missed his head, and he retaliated by giving her a headshot. Tyler, Lindsay, and Beth all tried blasting him at once with their respective weapons, but John dodged sharply to the side and threw a grenade that landed at their feet. Cody came and fired off five shots with his fuel rod cannon, but John evaded them with three back flips and took him out with his sniper rifle.
"That was soooo hot!"
The battle waged on for an hour with rule of the hill alternating between John, Izzy and a few others.
"And this game is over! And the winner by a slim margin is… John!"
"I know John's just doing what he has to do to survive, but did he really have to throw me like that? Oh right, we had to melee someone to recharge our shields."
"I just realized that Owen and I are the only two reds left in this canyon… Unless you count John and Cody. Owen is one of the people in John's circle, but at least I've got Lindsay and some of her friends on my side, and they've assured me that Courtney's the one going home tonight."
That night the Spartans proceeded to the briefing room as usual.
"Ten Spartans have already taken the humiliating walk down to the Helipad of Shame and rode on the Pelican of Losers to Loserville, and we're about to make it eleven."
"Technically it already is eleven since Beth was eliminated and came back." said Sierra.
"Whatever… The first medal goes to John… Owen… Lindsay… Sierra… Tyler… Gwen…Beth… Izzy…"
Sierra held on to Cody tightly.
"The final medal goes to… Cody."
Everyone expected Courtney to lose it, but she didn't seem upset at all.
"Courtney, is there a problem?"
"No, no problem at all… I'll just use my freebee."
Courtney took out a replica of a Forerunner relic that looked identical to John's.
"Where did you get that?" demanded Gwen.
"She earned it." said Chris.
"And how did she earn it?"
"I'm afraid that information is classified."
"What if I were to tell you that I don't buy that?" asked Tyler.
"Would you like to be the one who gets eliminated instead?" asked Chris.
"I'll be quiet."
"Okay, since Courtney is using her freebee let's see who everyone voted for."
"Since John is immune, I vote for Izzy because she has the second highest body count."
"I vote for Sierra. Nothing personal, but she knows too much about the rest of us and how this game is played."
"Sierra is going down."
"I vote for Courtney because Gwen told me to. Sorry John."
"I hope the next reward is a refill on cosmetics. I'm out of stridex pads… Oh right, the elimination! I vote for Courtney."
"I vote for Courtney, but I don't really care who gets eliminated as long as it's not me or Lindsay."
"Ohh… My libido is driving me crazy! Oh… I vote for Courtney."
"I vote for Courtney, just like I did in season two!"
"Cassandra told me to vote for Izzy, because even if Courtney survives this round we know we can still beat her."
For a moment everyone just exchanged looks.
"Very interesting, but it looks like we have a tie." said Chris "So once again we'll let luck decide."
Chris took out a coin.
"Can someone please tell me why they're allowing our host to leave the elimination to chance?" asked Gwen.
"Because the show is called Total Drama Halo, and before conscripting John, the story's protagonist, not our John, into the Spartan II program Dr. Halsey tested his luck by flipping a coin." said Cody.
"How do you measure something as intangible as luck?"
"I just told you."
"Can we please get on with this elimination?" asked Courtney "We're not getting any younger."
"Okay…Heads, Izzy gets to stay. Tails, Sierra gets to stay."
"Wait, why does Izzy get heads?"
"Because I'm the host and I said so."
"How do I know that it's not a two headed coin?"
"Fine… This is heads, and this is tails. Happy?"
"Okay… here we go!"
Chris just hung there for about fifteen seconds.
"Well… What are you waiting for?"
"Don't rush me! The audience loves this kind of dramatic conclusion!"
"This could conceivably go on forever…"
Finally Chris tossed the coin in the air.
"Heads! Izzy wins!"
Sierra looked like she was going to cry.
"Sierra, the Pelican of Losers isn't leaving without a Spartan."
"Avenge me Cody!"
After giving him one final kiss Sierra ran down to the helipad.
Chris may have told everyone the Courtney had somehow earned the freebee she had used to save herself from the last elimination, but Cody knew better.
"Why did you give her that freebee?" he asked.
"In season three, why did you go against the wishes of the majority of your team and win the challenge in Greece?" asked John.
"Touché… But I don't think Courtney's the girl for you."
"And why is that?"
"You've seen the other seasons; you know what she's done."
"Yes I do, but you of all people should know what goes on in your head when you think you're… in love."
"Well in that case, I hope you know what you're doing."
"Don't worry about me; you should worry about how you're going to win this game."
Cody hated to admit it, but John was right. Sure Sierra was crazy, but at least she was loyal, and she knew this game inside and out. It might only be a matter of time until Courtney tried to persuade John to vote him off.
"Yes, how may I be of assistance?"
"Try and find out who's the best person for me to make an alliance with. I have a bad feeling this game is about to get ugly."
"I shall begin immediately."
Whenever Chris revealed who it was that people voted for at an elimination ceremony things usually got dicey.
"Not only did our plan to get Courtney booted fail, but now she knows everyone who voted against her. If John actually starts listening to her we'll be up shit creek without a boat."
She may have been armed with the knowledge of who her enemies were, but that didn't make her feel any more optimistic.
"John, I've been looking over my journals, do you want to know my conclusion? I'm… insane."
"I believe the definition of insanity is repeating the exact same action over and over again, but expecting a different result. What makes you think you fit that description?"
"Why else would I keep competing in a game I can't win?"
"Because you really want the ten million dollars, and after four seasons it's becoming a matter of pride."
"Well… I guess that hits the nail on the head. But it doesn't get me anywhere."
"It seldom does… But isn't that why you have me?"
"True, but now that I've used my freebee how am I supposed to survive the next elimination?"
"Leave that to me. In the meantime just remember that there are only five more challenges until the finale."
John himself was wondering how many more combat challenges there were going to be. They had already used just about all the best game types.
"Today's challenge is a game of Headhunter. Every time you kill an enemy Spartan holographic skulls will be dropped, but they will only be there for about thirty Mississippi seconds so you better pick them up quickly. The number of skulls that you and your opponent's have will be displayed in on your HUDs. Whenever make it to the deposit zone you score a point for every skull you are carrying. If you've played Halo before then you should know that the deposit zone will change its location every few minutes or so. The first Spartan to score twenty five points wins invincibility, but you can also win by bringing ten skulls to the deposit zone at once. Everybody got that? Good, pick your weapons and proceed to the starting positions."
"Final nine… final nine… these next couple challenges are what separates the heroes from the goats… What does that mean? I don't even know, that's the kind of bad joke I'm making I'm so worried!"
"Three… two… one… Autobots transform!"
As soon as Chris had said this half the Spartans broke down laughing.
"Oh my god…"
"Okay, just begin."
Izzy was the first person to score a kill, but it looked like she was just firing rockets off in random directions.
"BATTLE FRENZY! ALL MUST DIE!"
"Does Izzy seem unusually… enthusiastic?" asked Beth ducking for cover.
"Don't worry, if I know John he'll take care of this."
Unfortunately Izzy had been sniped by John too many times to be caught off guard by him. She spun in his direction and forced him to duck into the cave.
"Courtney, I'm pinned down over here! Use the plasma launcher!"
"You got it."
Courtney charged her plasma launcher and fired, a moment later Izzy was caught in the middle of an explosion of paint. After that at least six holographic skulls fell to the ground and the other Spartans rushed to claim them. Cody had managed to get his hands on three when Tyler came out of nowhere and smacked him in the face with a gravity hammer.
"All for Tyler! All for Tyler!"
Just then Tyler was blown into the air by a grenade thrown by Owen.
"You got Owened!"
"Owen's improved so much since the season started. He may not think so, but he could be the one who ends up being crowned King of the Canyon. Even if he doesn't, I'll still think he's hot!"
Courtney had just managed to take out Beth and Lindsay. She was rushing to the deposit zone when it changed.
"Oh for the love of…"
The zone respawned up north and Courtney charged toward it, but then she was hit by one of Izzy's rockets.
"When I respawn, you're mine!"
"And maybe little white aliens are building an advanced civilization inside my brain."
Izzy ran over to the deposit zone with three skulls.
"Score! Gained the lead!"
"Not for long…"
John took out Tyler, Gwen, and Owen. That's when Izzy came after him. He dodged two of her rockets and then stuck her with a grenade.
"Rocket launchers may do damage, but you can only fire two shots before you have to reload."
If John hadn't been paying attention to his motion tracker Cody would have sniped him. He ducked in the nick of time and rolled. Cody tried firing several more shots but none found their mark. After the fourth shot John pulled out his rifle and fired.
"At the start of the season, when John said he could beat Chris in a match with his eyes closed and holding the controller upside down, he wasn't lying. I should know, because of all the matches we played in between this season and the last. I've been playing Halo since the beginning, but he completely overpowered me. He may be my friend, but I need to beat him if I want any chance at the ten million dollars, the question is how?"
Owen had Courtney cornered, unfortunately he hadn't been paying attention to how much ammo he had been using, and when he pulled the trigger he realized he was out. Before he could pull out his secondary weapon, Courtney pulled out her pistol and shot him five times.
"That was lucky."
Suddenly a shot whizzed past Courtney's head. She turned around and saw that Gwen was right behind her, but her HUD indicated that she had just been killed.
"You really need to learn how to watch your back." said John.
"Is that the secret to your success?"
"No, but it helps."
"I guess I should say thank you."
"Actually, I believe I should be thanking you."
Courtney had completely forgotten about the skulls that Owen and Gwen had dropped. Now John was running off with at least twelve.
"I should've been mad at him, but then I realized that I would have done the same thing."
Evading a hailstorm of fire from the other Spartans, John reached the deposit zone just as it was about to change.
"Skullamanjaro!" bellowed Chris "John wins!"
"Three challenges in a row? John is a good person, but the next time he fails to win a challenge we've got to get rid of him."
That night at the elimination ceremony, once again one of the eight medals looked different than the rest.
"Only nine of you left, and it's about to be eight." said Chris "There are only four more challenges until the finale… I can literally smell the fear, and as much as I hate to belabour a point…"
"Which ironically is often exactly what you do." said Gwen.
"Your fear is not unfounded because for one of you the chance at the ten million dollars is about to go right down the crapper."
Courtney looked at John for reassurance, and he nodded.
"The first medal goes to… John."
Chris tossed John the one medal that stood out. It looked just like the Skullamanjaro medal in Halo Reach.
"The next medal goes to… Lindsay… Owen… Cody... Tyler…"
"Yahoo! Staying alive!" said Tyler as he accepted his medal.
"One for Beth… one for Courtney."
That left only Izzy and Gwen.
"Ladies… this is the final medal of the evening."
Izzy was biting her fingernails, and Gwen was sweating underneath her helmet.
"The medal goes to… Gwen!"
"Aww… It's okay. Big-O, give them hell and I'll be waiting for you on the other side… Then we can party like there's no tomorrow." she added under her breath.
"Okay… Now it's personal."
With Izzy gone, Owen seemed to be having a very hard time. Gwen asked him if he was doing all right and he practically bit her head off.
"Seriously, I thought they broke up again in between seasons." said Courtney.
"They didn't break up, it was a misunderstanding." said John "Izzy was just hit in the head with a golf ball and forgot who she was for three days or so."
"Don't take this the wrong way but… why are you friends with him?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well they're… how do I put this? Playing ding-ding without the wedding ring. Isn't that against your religion?"
"No one is perfect Courtney; in fact most of the people that followed Jesus were sinners. It is no business of mine what other people choose to do with their bodies. We are also taught to judge others the way we want to be judged. If a teenage mother came to my door on a cold winter's night asking for shelter from the cold, what would be the right thing do? Send her packing?"
"Well… I don't think it's safe what they've been doing. Who knows where Izzy's been?"
"They don't do it as often as we're led to believe, after what happened last season the media just blew it out of proportion. And contrary to widely held beliefs, Izzy's tests revealed that she's as clean as a whistle… Although I must admit I don't know what's particularly clean about a whistle."
"Okay, even if she doesn't have any STDs, there's always that other thing."
"Don't worry; I've spoken with both of them about that. Ever since then I've been helping them… restrain themselves."
"With those scars of his John is no Prince Charming, but he's certainly one of a kind… What am I saying?"
The night before the next challenge John had another one of his dreams. This time he and Courtney were in a place that fit the description of the Garden of Eden, but without the serpent and the forbidden fruit. John's Christian education had taught him that this particular story in the bible was meant to be interpreted symbolically instead of literally. What people were supposed to take away from the story was that in the beginning God created the heavens, the earth, and all the creatures that inhabited it. Then God created man, but man turned away from God, and as direct result of that the world was imperfect. But at the moment John wasn't thinking about bible stories that were common targets for sceptical people.
"I'm just glad that having wet dreams isn't technically a sin."
He wouldn't dare share any of his dreams, or even his thoughts about them in the confessional. The whole world would probably think him a pervert.
"When I signed up for another season, I never thought I'd find myself in this position. I don't know whether it's because we're not in the same situation we were in last season and we've gotten to know each other, the fact that she gave me my first kiss right after we saw Izzy skinny dipping, or whatever it is, I think I'm in love."
As the Spartans made their way to the center of the canyon a fierce storm rolled in. It was so dark you couldn't even tell it was morning, but Chris said the challenge would still go on, something about the weather just making the scene more dramatic.
"Okay Spartans, today's challenge is another Halo favorite. Who's ready to play Juggernaut?"
"Should I even ask?" said Gwen.
"The rules of Juggernaut are very simple." replied Chris "If you're not the Juggernaut then kill him, if you are the Juggernaut kill everyone else. The Juggernaut will be given a gravity hammer and will have a flame effect on their armour to make them easier to identify, but the Juggernaut also has a much stronger shield than any other player in the game. All the other players will have to work together if they want to bring him down, but the player who manages to deal the killing blow instantly becomes the new Juggernaut, so remember that alliances in this game quickly go sour. Every time the Juggernaut kills someone he or she scores ten points, the first person to score a hundred and fifty points wins the game."
"Tell them what they're playing for Chris!" said Chef enthusiastically.
"In addition to the coveted invincibility, the first Juggernaut to score a hundred and fifty points will win a brand new Harley Davidson!"
"Who's Harley Davidson?" asked Lindsay.
"That's the name of a company that makes motorcycles." said Tyler.
"What colour is it?" asked John.
"Whatever you want it to be."
"Motorcycles are green machines, besides I think I'd make an excellent biker chick."
"Count me in, driving a motorcycle is one of the things on my bucket list."
"Now let's see who our first Juggernaut will be…"
Suddenly some music that sounded like the Mortal Kombat theme started playing and a white light shown on the Spartans and started to circle around them. Finally it stopped on Owen, whose armour was suddenly engulfed in flame effect.
"Owen!" declared the computer's disembodied voice.
"Okay, here is your gravity hammer." said Chris "Remember; only the Juggernaut can score points, and whoever deals the killing blow becomes the new Juggernaut. You can become the Juggernaut again by killing the current one. Okay, all Spartans to your designated starting positions!"
"This one's for Izzy!"
As the Spartans made their way to the designated starting positions they had to trudge through puddles of water and mud. All the while the rain poured down on them.
"It's going to be one of those days apparently"
There was a small dot on everyone's HUDs to show them where Owen was.
"Spartans ready… fight!"
All the Spartans started to converge on Owen, but as they did Tyler slipped and fell down a hill face first into a puddle of mud. John and Cody were the only ones with enough Halo experience to know to keep their distance. Meanwhile Owen smacked Courtney, Gwen, Lindsay, and Beth aside with his hammer.
"I'm coming Lindsay!"
Tyler struggled to get out of the mud but fell back down, leaving him wide open for Owen's attack.
"Five kills already! Ten more and he wins!"
Next Owen went after John, who blasted him with his assault rifle, but Owen just kept coming. When he got close enough John pulled out his shotgun and fired. He scored a direct hit, but his HUD indicated that Owen was still alive.
"I forgot how ridiculously hard to kill the Juggernaut is in Halo Reach. Owen was like Deadpool on steroids."
Owen beat John down with his hammer and then went after Cody.
"I feel like I'm in the live action trailer: We are ODST!"
Cody tried blasting Owen in the head, but it didn't seem to do any good. Meanwhile the others started to respawn.
"What do we have to do to stop him?" asked Courtney.
"Just keep shooting!" bellowed John.
Owen bellowed like a madman and came charging back towards them, he quickly dispatched of Lindsay and Beth again. It was at this point that John remembered they weren't actually playing a game of Juggernaut on the Xbox, so the rules were a little looser.
"Wait here! I'm gonna try something!"
John ran at Owen, when he swung his hammer John caught it with his hands and started kicking. His melee attacks were slowly but surely eating away at Owen's shields. When Owen realized this he picked his hammer up and hurled John in the opposite direction.
"That counts as a kill! Five more and Owen wins!"
"Might I suggest you use your grenades." said Cassandra to Cody.
"I'm trying! I'm trying!"
All the other Spartans were throwing their grenades as well, but Owen either dodged them or hit them away like baseballs. He took out Gwen, Tyler, Cody, and Beth again, and then he went after Courtney.
Courtney shot Owen three times, and then surprisingly her HUD indicated that she had successfully killed him.
"One kill short of a victory dance!" exclaimed Chris.
Courtney seized the opportunity and picked up Owen's hammer; as soon as she did her body was engulfed in a flame effect.
"This is gonna be fun…"
Courtney immediately took out Lindsay and Tyler, then she went after Gwen suddenly she felt shots being fired at her head. The sniper was too far off to see who it was, so instead she ducked behind a rock and then charged at Gwen, but before she got there she felt a shot in the back of her head and her HUD indicated that she was dead. She turned around and saw Beth with her pistol.
"You are going down."
Unfortunately for Beth she didn't last long. Owen came charging at her with his turret, and even though she managed to take him out he had significantly damaged her shields. She was pinned down by Cody and Gwen's assault rifles when John came up behind her with an energy sword.
The others never had a chance, John just plowed right through them.
"John really is a Juggernaut. He must be setting a record for most consecutive challenges won on this show. I don't know how we're ever going to get him eliminated."
"And that makes fifteen! John wins!" exclaimed Chris.
It continued to rain all day, and it still hadn't let up by the elimination ceremony.
"Well it's been one hell of a day here in Blood Gulch, but for one of you it's been your last. There are only seven medals on this tray. One of you will be going home and you can't come back… ever. The first medals go to… John and Owen.
Owen's medal was an Immovable Object medal and John's was an Unstoppable Force medal.
"One for Gwen… one for Beth… one for Tyler… one for Courtney."
That left only Cody and Lindsay.
"This is the final medal of the evening… and it goes to… Lindsay."
Lindsay gleefully accepted her medal.
"Cody, the Pelican of Losers awaits… unless you have something to say…"
"I'll use my freebee."
"What?" exclaimed some of the others.
"How many of those things are there?"
"Well that's all good and fine, but somebody has to go home, so let's see who everyone voted for…"
"I want to say Courtney, but we can take care of her later. And since he has the second highest body count besides John I have to say Cody."
"The poor guy has worked so hard, but I plan on winning this time. Good bye Cody."
Chris broke down laughing after listening to Lindsay's confession.
"Oh that's rich… Now where were we?"
"It's got to be Cody, sorry bro."
"I vote for Beth."
"I vote for Owen, because during today's challenge he actually scared me."
"Well Beth it looks like you won the Infection challenge just to be eliminated again." said Chris "The Pelican of Losers is that way."
Before she left Lindsay gave Beth a hug.
"Only seven of you left." said Chris "Don't let your guards down now, there are only three more challenges left until the finale."
The training exercises with Chef were becoming a lot more severe. Now for every shot they wasted and every friendly target they shot during target practice they had to run three laps around the canyon, and for every time Chef shot them during dodge practice they had to do five pushups. That night Courtney fell on top of her bed without even changing and went straight to sleep. She dreamt she was being chased by a dragon with multiple heads. Naturally you can't just sue a huge dragon that has over six heads, but that's when John came along in his shining white armour and started decapitating the beast one head at a time. That was the first time Courtney had actually dreamed about John Swarner, instead of having a nightmare about him.
"Calm down, it's just that kiss I gave him back at the island; it's making me see things. I need to remember that it took every drop of willpower I had not to throw up when I saw that scar on his chest… but those scars of his are the only flaws… other than that he's actually kind of… No way! I won't say it! I won't even think it!"
"Hi, Chris here. In response to this interesting development, I decided to ask some of the eliminated Spartans what they think is going through Courtney's head."
"She needs to get laid, big time."
"She likes him."
"Courtney's just in denial; it's one of the phases of love."
"Check the king girl, you're in love."
"Rule number one for women in this life is not to give up financial independence or your dreams for a man, no matter how sexy or irresistible he may be, and John certainly doesn't fit either of those categories. If I know Courtney she'll use him until the final challenge and then shoot him in the back."
"John may be the one who keeps winning the challenges, but he's just doing what he has to do to survive. Deep down he's a good person, and if Courtney does anything to hurt him, I guarantee she'll regret it."
"Last season I would have said, 'not a chance'. But both Courtney and Duncan have gotten their tattoos removed, which officially means she's on the rebound. But can John score a slam dunk? It all depends on how these last few challenges play out."
"Courtney's little princess attitude is all just an act, believe me I know. Deep down she wants a man as much as every other girl, unless she's a lesbian, and I'm pretty sure I would know if Courtney was one of those."
"Some pretty strong opinions there. Let's see if any of them are right."
When it came time for the next challenge the Spartans met in the middle of the canyon as usual.
"Today's challenge will feature one of the most popular Halo weapons, the energy sword! We're going to have fencing tournament, and the winner gets invincibility and a gold plated Xbox 360 with two memory cards and two wireless controllers!"
"Wait a minute, how can we have a tournament?" asked Cody "There are only seven of us."
"We thought of that… Chef?"
Chef came in wearing the same Arbiter costume he wore for the Spartans vs. Elites challenge.
"They say revenge is a dish best served cold… well it's very cold in space."
"We're not in space." said Gwen.
"Well… we're in spacesuits."
"Not the same thing."
"Anyway, you'll be facing against each other in a single elimination fencing tournament. You'll be drawing lots to see who faces who. But if Chef wins this tournament then no one gets the reward or invincibility."
"How do you win a fencing match?" asked Owen.
"Well to keep this simple we'll just say the first person to score five hits on their opponent wins the round. They will then go on to fight the winner of round two, and so on. Now let's draw lots to see who faces who, John you're up first."
John reached into the box and pulled out a number.
"Okay, you're in fight one. Chef?"
"You're in fight four. Cody?"
Cody hesitated before he pulled out his number. It was a one.
"Looks like you're in fight one with John."
"John has the most experience using a sword. If I can't beat him with Cassandra's help, then the only other person who probably can beat him is Chef."
The matches were going to be Cody vs. John, Gwen vs. Lindsay, Owen vs. Courtney, and Tyler vs. Chef.
"Okay let's get this show on the road. Cody and John, you're up."
John and Cody both took an energy sword and faced each other in the center of the ring.
"En garde… and… fence!"
John and Cody went at it instantly, and the others were having a hard time keeping up.
"You'd think it was Obi Wan vs. Darth Vader or something."
To John this was as natural as breathing, but Cody even with Cody's knowledge of TV, movies, and video games he still needed a little help from Cassandra.
"Parry… parry… lunge… block…"
"Leave it on my HUD, stop telling me!"
Eventually it was four to four, and Cody was finding it difficult to catch his breath.
"Come on… you can do this."
"En garde… and… fence!"
Cody blocked a blow from John and countered with one of his own, then another and another and another, but John just blocked them, after the last blow their blades were locked.
"You fight well my friend, but not well enough to defeat Me." said John.
Exerting his strength, John forced Cody's blade down and then punched him in the face with his free hand. While recoiling from the blow Cody was wide open for John's attack.
"Isn't that a foul?" asked Gwen.
"Maybe in traditional fencing." said Chris "But we're playing freestyle, so John advances!"
Gwen beat Lindsay without even breaking a sweat. Then it was Owen against Courtney.
"En garde… and… fence!"
Courtney thought this was going to be an easy match, but as soon as it started Owen let loose a hurricane of powerful blows until he finally knocked Courtney's sword out of her hand. The same thing happened during the second round.
"Alright you oversized… person, now I'm playing for real!"
Unfortunately Courtney didn't win a round until after the fourth one, where Owen was finally starting to run out of gas. Finally they were tied up.
"Think of Izzy… think of the party… think of the… I WILL NOT BE DENIED!"
"En garde… and… fence!"
Owen must've caught his second wind because he came at Courtney full force, but this time she was ready for it. She tried maintaining her ground, but Owen was pushing her to then edge of the ring. At the last moment Courtney leapt up and somersaulted over Owen, blocking another one of his blows in the process.
"Oh man that is hot!"
Just as Courtney hit the ground Owen charged at her, she raised her sword to defend herself but Owen knocked it right out of her hand and sent her crashing to the ground.
"He is going down, just like in season two."
Tyler tried to look good in front of Lindsay, but Chef disarmed him with one strike five times in a row. So the matches would be John vs. Gwen, and Owen vs. Chef. John beat Gwen easily, and Owen managed to put up a good fight against Chef, much to everyone's surprise, but then he reached his limit and Chef brought him down.
"NO! I tried so hard!"
"You have nothing to be ashamed of… except being a big baby and letting your girl down!" bellowed Chef.
Owen ran back to the base crying.
"Was that necessary?" asked John.
"When I want your opinion boy, I'll give it to you."
"Alright G.I. Jerk… you're going down."
John and Chef took their places in the center of the ring.
"En garde… and… fence!"
Chef came at John, who stood his ground and matched him blow for blow, until finally he came out of nowhere and struck Chef across his fake mandibles.
"That's one!" said Chris.
Chef was getting pissed, and even though he tried to keep his anger in check; John's evasive manoeuvres were really starting to get to him.
"You got guts, but you're still just a kid."
"Can the fearless soldier BS." replied John "We all know I beat you last time."
"And we all know lightning never strikes twice."
"They said that before Empire Strikes Back was released, and they ate their words."
This time John dropped down and scored a big blot of paint on Chef's leg.
After two more rounds Chef was really angry. This time he charged at John like a bull that just escaped from hell, but John leapt high into the air to evade him. Chef didn't stop until it was too late.
"Chef has left the ring! John is the winner!"
"John may have just won invincibility for the umpteenth time in a row, but I must say, no one has ever stood up to Chef like that."
"Something just occurred to me, John may be protecting me from elimination for the time being… but how the hell am I going to beat him in the finals?"
That night the mood in the briefing room was just as tense as ever.
"The ten million dollars is so close you can smell it." said Chris "But for one of you this is as far as you will get. Thirteen Spartans have already been eliminated, and tonight it will be fourteen. As usual the first medal goes to John."
Unlike the others John received a Cutting Crew medal.
"Gwen… Lindsay… Courtney…"
There were only two medals left.
"Yeah! Staying alive! Staying alive!" cheered Tyler as he accepted his medal.
That left only Cody and Owen.
"Gentlemen, this is the final medal of the evening, and there are no more freebees to save you if you don't get it… the medal goes to…"
Owen was sweating like an animal at the slaughter house, and Cody couldn't stop biting his nails.
"The medal goes to… the people have chosen… to stay in the game… Cody!"
Cody breathed a heavy sigh of relief, but tears were starting to form in Owen's eyes.
"It's okay big guy, you played the game well." said John.
"Yeah, fourteen out of twenty isn't bad." said Gwen.
"There is no prize for fourteenth eliminated." replied Owen.
"Don't worry; I'm sure Izzy will still love you anyway."
"I hate to break up this moment, but the Pelican of Losers can't leave without a Spartan."
Owen started having an episode because he still hadn't gotten over his fear of heights. When Chef shot him with a blow dart it didn't work.
Chef fired several more blow darts.
Finally Owen just collapsed, and Chef had to drag him to the pelican.
"Well… that's that." said Chris "Have a good night everybody, some of you don't have many more in this canyon."
"Fourteen down, two to go, and then it's the finale. I have nine days at most to figure out what to do about John."
Courtney couldn't get John out of her mind. So far her plan had gone off like clockwork, after getting on his good side he had protected her at every elimination ceremony and even given her one of his three freebees, but she didn't know how the hell she was going to get him eliminated before or during the finals, she was beginning to wonder if she wanted him to go at all.
"My heart's learned its lesson; it's always been about the money, so why can't I stop thinking about him. I just need to keep telling myself how well my relationship with Duncan turned out… but John isn't the kind of boy who would kiss another girl behind your back… Err! I did it again!"
That night Courtney dreamt she was a dark room. She walked around looking for a way out when she stubbed her toe against something; she looked down and saw that it was a severed head!
She ran off in the other direction, but just like before she didn't seem to be getting anywhere fast. Then suddenly the same head was right in front of her, only this time it had a body, and now she recognized him as the figurine John had given her before the merge.
"Sir… I mean… Saint Thomas More?"
"Any particular reason you were a severed head a few minutes ago?"
"I lost it because I served my God greater than I served my King. A big part of being Catholic is being willing to let the world hate you, no servant is greater than their master, and the world hated him first."
"What does all this have to do with me?"
"You have let others hate you Courtney, but your reasons are without merit, and I can see that you have no intention of stopping."
"What are you talking about?"
"The lord is omniscient and omnipresent Courtney, there is nowhere in the world that you can escape his gaze. You've been manipulating young Johnathan's feelings for some time, he's been loyal to you, and you plan to repay his loyalty by shooting him in the back."
Courtney's face almost turned white.
"It's ten million dollars…"
"Such wealth has no lasting pleasure, I used to a man of privilege, but I gave it all up when I resigned my position as Lord Chancellor in protest to King Henry VIII's war with the papacy. But as you already know I gave up more than just wealth and a distinctive position for my God."
"Well I'm not you… and I hardly think they'll cut my head off if face John in the finals and win."
For a moment Thomas was quiet.
"My time is brief; know that if you continue to use Johnathan, you will lose more than you gain."
"What am I supposed to do? Just let him win the game?"
"I never said that…"
At that moment Courtney woke up in her bed at the base.
"What was in those MREs?"
It was time for the next challenge, but for some reason Chris was having the Spartans report to the briefing room instead of the center of the canyon.
"Today's challenge is honours the fact that Halo Reach is the only Halo game to date that has a space combat level. You're going to be dog fighting against Covenant ships in orbit over the planet Reach, just like in the game."
"You seem to be forgetting two things Chris, we don't have Sabre fighters, and there is no planet reach." said Cody.
"Actually I'm fully aware of that. Does anyone miss the virtual pods from last season?"
All the Spartans laughed.
"Well too bad, because you're going to have get in them again if you want invincibility."
"I hate him."
As soon as all the Spartans were inside their pods they started to fill up with gas.
"What the hell Chris!"
"Sorry, but in order to enter the virtual world you need to be asleep."
"When I get… out… of…"
Gwen and the others woke up in the cockpits of their own Sabre fighters.
"Holy crap! We're in space!" exclaimed Tyler.
"I don't think I have a license to drive a vehicle like this." said Lindsay looking at the controls.
"Don't worry, Chef will walk you through it for the next thirty minutes."
John and Cody quickly got the hang of flying their own Sabres, but the others were having a much harder time. While they were trying to figure it out Cassandra decided now was a good time to tell Cody the bad news.
"If I may Cody, I feel inclined to inform you that if you don't win this challenge, odds are you're the next one to be eliminated."
Cody's skill as a Halo veteran gave him the second highest body count of all the Spartans still in the game. If John kept winning the challenges then it would only be a matter of time before he got the boot.
"But what can I do about it?"
"Okay Spartans, the object of this challenge is simple, blast down as many Covenant ships as you can for points. Banshees are worth ten points and Seraphs are worth twenty points, but for every time you are killed you will receive a ten point penalty. Whoever has the most points after thirty minutes wins invincibility and will be guaranteed a one in five shot at winning the million dollars."
"I keep forgetting how close we are to the end. This is easily the longest I've ever stayed on this show, and I'm going all the way to the end."
"Me let John win? The way he's been playing this game I don't think there's anything I can do to stop him. He's a Halo veteran and I don't even own a game system."
Cody had played with John in co-op campaign in Halo reach so they could gain more commendations in that area, and played just as well in the air as he did on the ground. Cody didn't think there was any way he could prevent John from winning this challenge, but then something occurred to him.
"Cassandra, could you bring up the rules for post merge elimination challenges?"
"I would be delighted."
Cassandra brought up the rules on Cody's HUD. He quickly ran through them until he found what he was looking for.
"Bingo…" he said with a grin on his face.
"Okay Spartans first wave in three… two… one!"
"Remember Courtney; use your cannons to take out the Seraphs' shields, and then blast them with your missiles."
"Uh… thanks for the advice."
"Guys, I've got a lot of red lights flashing on my screen." said Lindsay.
"Here they come!"
Seraphs and Banshees came pouring out of nowhere. John and Cody instantly blasted off to take them on, and both Tyler and Lindsay had already completely forgotten how to fly their ships.
"Eat laser alien scum!"
John took out a Seraph's shields with his guns, but before he could change weapons someone came out of nowhere and blew it out of the sky.
"Hey! You took my kill!"
"I didn't see your name on it!" bellowed Cody.
Meanwhile Lindsay was still struggling to figure out how her ship worked.
"I'm getting a lot of red lights here!"
"Lindsay, use your thruster!"
"Which one is that again?"
"How did she ever make it this far?"
"Just step on it!"
Suddenly Lindsay's ship zoomed off in one direction.
"Wow! This is just like a ride in an amusement park!"
"Lindsay, your engines are overheating!"
"Don't worry; I'll just start pressing buttons."
Lindsay started pressing random buttons on the console, miraculously her ship stopped, then it fired missiles in random directions, and it took out a whole bunch of banshees. Tyler was so busy watching this happen that he flew his ship right into an asteroid.
"Good thing there's lots of air in space… wait… no there isn't."
"Second wave incoming!"
This time even more Banshees and Seraphs came flying out of nowhere, but before John could fire a single shot someone came shooting at him from behind.
John was shocked to see the person attacking him was Cody.
"Sorry John, nothing personal, it's just every Spartan for himself."
"Okay, if that's the way you want it…"
John pulled a massive manoeuvre and turned his ship on Cody, with the oncoming Banshees and Seraphs forgotten He was shot down.
"Hey! Foul! Penalty! Something!" said Courtney.
"We're playing Lone Wolf, there are no team kills!" said Cody.
"Unfortunately… he's right." said Chris.
"Cody's got some guts going against John like that. This is about to get ugly."
For the next several waves, John and Cody squared off whenever they weren't being shot at by Banshees and Seraphs.
"Just like on the Xbox back home." said John.
"Okay Spartans, I have good news and bad news." said Chris "The good news is that this is the final wave."
"Dare I ask… what's the bad news?" asked Gwen.
"I'm the bad news…"
"What?" exclaimed all the Spartans.
More Seraphs and Banshees than ever came pouring out of nowhere, but this time they were led by what looked like a fusion of a General Grievous' starfighter and Darth Vader's TIE Fighter from Star Wars.
"Chef got to be the Arbiter, now it's my turn to have some fun."
"Bring it on McLean."
Some of the Spartans immediately went after Chris, while the others focused on the Banshees and Seraphs.
"This is for… everything!"
But Courtney's blasts bounced right off the hull of Chris' ship.
"Use your missiles!"
Just then both Courtney and Gwen were taken out by Banshees. John and Cody both fired their missiles at the same time, but Chris's shields didn't quit.
"Now might be a good time for a tactical retreat."
Both John and Cody flew off in opposite directions, Chris went after Cody.
"I am your father!" he said as he shot at him.
"Always wanted to say that."
"Chris, last I checked we were playing Halo, not Star Wars." said Cody.
"What's the difference?"
"Well, in Star Wars humans and aliens alike are fighting over politics. In Halo we're at war with an alliance of alien races for the very survival of our species."
Before Chris could pull the trigger Gwen respawned and shot him with her missiles.
"Guys, I think it's time we brought this delusional bastard down a peg."
"I couldn't agree more."
Cody turned around and blasted Chris with his own missiles, that's when the others came and blasted him with theirs.
"This is ridiculous! It's like he has ten times the shields of a Seraph!" said John.
"I've got a few other surprises as well."