There is some language or violence that may not be appropriate for people under thirteen years of age.
Twelve delinquents have been selected to compete, not for money or for fame, but the chance to start a new. Under the watchful eye of Warden Chef Hatchet, the winner will have their criminal record cleared, sentence revoked, and freedom returned. But, if they loose, they will be handcuffed and carted back to juvie. Eleven losers.....and one winner who...will get......a Second Chance.
Chapter One: Who Wants a Second Chance?
A rusty, dilapidated convoy rambles it's way done a deserted stretch of highway. On the distant horizon, a concrete rectangle blots out most of the fading sunlight. The convoy comes to stop at the guard shack in front of the facility, and a large, angry man steps off the bus. He pulls out a clipboard, and looks up at the bus.
"When I call your name, step off the bus, and stand against the wall!" The man shouts to the convoy, "Leo."
A boy, jittery as they come, shakily steps off the bus, mumbling to himself, eyes widened as he looks mesmerized to the sunset. He wanders over to wall, and takes his place.
"Olivia," the man reads off the next name.
A nervous girl slowly makes her way down from the bus, each step to her seemed like another mile to cross. As she walked past the angry man with the clipboard, his eyes briefly met with hers. She flinched. The angry man laughed to himself. The girl identified as "Olivia", stood a few feet away from he boy apparently named "Leo". Leo looked to her, and began mumbling to himself in some incoherent way. Olivia frowned, this was going to be a long competition. The angry man continued.
The next one to step off of the bus was a tall girl, dark hair, twitchy eyes, and a shirt plastered with the image of a a young man freshly out of the shower. The girl passed by the angry man without even glancing at him, and continued to the wall, slightly giggling to herself. She stood on the other side of Olivia, opposite Leo. Olivia dropped her eyes, a mumbling freak to her left, a giggly idiot to her right.
The angry man crossed three names off of the clipboard, and continued with the next name.
A smug boy, toothpick poking between his lips, strolled off the bus. Making his way to the wall, he sticks out an arm, and leans against the wall. He sends a friendly glance to Olivia, who turns away.
A boy jumps, quite literally, off the bus. His neck and arms are painted with intricate designs, obviously self-applied, and his eyes were filled with confidence. He strolls over to the angry man,
"Actually, I go by Ash my good man. Make a note of it, would ya?" The boy smiles, and pats the angry man on the back.
Bursting with rage, the angry man whips around, grabbing Ash by the collar of his shirt.
"You will address me as Warden Hatchet! Is that clear, you waste of a human life?" Warden Hatchet growled.
"Hey man, it's cool. Just so long as you address me as Ash," the boy smiled.
Forcefully, Warden Hatchet shoved Ash to the ground, "Get over to the wall, you scum."
Wiping newly formed sweat from his brow, the Warden went back to reading off names.
"Alright, lets speed this up. I want to get everybody in before sundown. Christine, Kimberly, and Tabitha."
A girl with a rather outstanding checkered patterned shirt, followed by a slightly overweight young lady sporting a cat sweater, and finally a sly eyed girl, whose dress was noticeably splotched with a green residue, filed off the bus.
"Vince," for some reason, at this name, Warden Hatchet smiled. Soon, a large, brutish boy, if he could be considered as such, lurched off the bus. His hands were the only ones already in cuffs. Warden Hatchet approached the boy, and unlocked the handcuffs, which fell to the ground with an eerie clang, killing the paranoid silence of the complex.
"Jesse, Hellen, and last, and certainly least, Bobby." Warden Hatchet's last call was met by the entrance of the three final competitors. The first of them was a muscular boy, his hands were wrapped with cloths. Secondly was a girl who looked to be slightly annoyed. She walked pass the Warden, but stopped after spying his belt.
"Is that leather? Leather is MURDER. Wearing that is an oppression of a beautiful animal. YOU should be ashamed..."
Warden Hatchet grabbed the girl's arm, and flung her forward towards the wall. Finally, a lean, slightly scrawny boy with a mop haircut calmly walked to the wall. As he approached, Ash noted the different coloration of his eyes.
"Yo, brosky, what's up with your eyes?"
Bobby shrugged, "This one's blue," he pointed to his blue eye, "because when I was younger, by brother splashed bleach in my face.." he smiled. This was, in no way, the truth. It was obvious, even to Ash, who had asked the question, that the coloration of his eye was due to contacts.
The "contestants" were now all present, and Warden Hatchet himself walked towards the wall, eyeing each and every one of the twelve competitors in front of him.
"You are here....because you are the bane of society. If it was up to me, you'd all be locked away for many years to come. However, some big wig TV producers decided it would be fun to run you chumps ragged in front of the camera. Eleven of you will leave here the same as before, no future, no hope, no worth. The twelfth, however, will receive a new life."
Jesse speaks out, "So we're expected to humiliate ourselves for the whole nation to see before we get shipped back to juvie? You're playing with our lives here."
Warden Hatchet moved close to the protester, "Exactly," he smiled sardonically before walking away.
"I will now put you into two teams, Team A, and Team B,"
"Nice creativity," Ash sarcastically claps his hands.
"This ain't some cushy island, we aren't going to have cutsy names," Warden Hatchet said as calmly as he could.
"And now, if I call your name, you are now on Team A.....Isaac, Bobby, Christine, Ash, Tabitha, and Olivia. That means Team B will be Vince, Umi, Leo, Jesse, Kimberly and Hellen."
The teens walked onto either side of the Warden, now assembled in teams.
"Okay sweethearts, Team A will have the eastern shack," he points to a sheet metal hut at the far right end of the complex, "Team B gets the west," he points to an equally ransacked hut on the far left.
"Everybody try and get some sleep, you'll be wakin' up early tomorrow for your first challenge." Warden Hatchet walked back onto the convoy bus, locking the double barbed wire gate, sealing the contestants inside, and drove away down the now moon splashed highway.
The sun, laid down for the night, casts a mournful darkness over the complex as the campers set off to their new homes.
Chapter Two: What Are You Waiting For?
As dawn breaks, the convoy bus rolls down the dusty highway, coming to a complete stop in front of the double barbed wire gate. Warden Hatchet steps off the bus, and unlocks the gate. Driving into the center of the compound, Hatchet slams the horn.
Jesse jumps, slamming his head into the the bunk above him, 'Ah! What the frick?" he snarls. From the bunk above, Vince leans his head over the edge.
"Whats the matter, Princess? Didn't get enough beauty sleep?"
"You better watch your back, Vince. Because the next time you turn around," Jesse cracks his knuckles, "I'll be there."
"Oh, well, if that's the way you want to play..." Vince shrugs, "You better be careful--" before Jesse can hear what Vince intended to say, a loud, impatient honk blasts through the compound, this one followed by Warden's screaming voice.
"Did you scum think I honked just for the heck of it? Get your bodies out here NOW!"
The teams assembled themselves, Team A to Warden's left, and Team B to his right.
"Now ladies," Warden begins.
"I take offense to that," Olivia speaks out.
"Oh you do? Well, you know what I take offense to? Ignorant brats who speak out of turn!" Chef shoves Olivia down, "Your team gets a ten minute penalty for the challenge today," Warden turns away form her.
"You can't shove me, I'm a minor! It's.....against the law!" Olivia gets to her knees, confused and angry.
Warden laughs, "You have the nerve to speak to ME about the law?" Warden Hatchet puts the heal of his boot against her forehead, and shoves her down again, "At this point, I don't care about your rights anymore," he looks down at her unsympathetically.
"We aren't murderers! Why are you treating us this way?" Olivia gets back to her knees again, sweat and dirt smeared over her brow. Ash grabs her by the arm,
"Do you not know how to shut up? Because if you don't, I'd be happy to show you how.." he glares at her.
Warden Hatchet shoves Ash back into line, "Lawbreakers are lawbreakers, it don't matter to me if you killed someone or stole a pack of gum, society is already littered with trash like you," he leans in close, and looks into her eyes, "And I'm the man who cleans the litter up. Twenty minut penalty for Team A."
Olivia's team cast eyefulls of hate her way.
"Your challenge for today," Warden begins.
"I think he means this morning," Kimberly whispers to Jesse, Warden Hatchet doesn't notice.
"Is to take one of this ultraviolet lights, and scan the compound for.......scorpions. The Arizona Bark Scorpion, to be exact, the most venomous scorpion in North America, its venom can cause severe pain, numbness, and tingling in humans, lasting up to 72 hours. Temporary dysfunction in the area stung is common, a hand or arm can be useless or experience convulsions. It also may cause shortness of breath for a period of time. Due to the extreme pain induced, many victims describe sensations of electrical jolts..." Warnden Hatchet shines the ultra violet light in the distance, revealing several small blue creatures, "Team B, come get your lights," Warden points to a box of ultraviolet lights.
"I've been stung by scorpions, before. Had to suck out the vemon threw a straw, but I had an allergic reaction and they had to amputate my hand," Bobby slowly moves his fingers around, making them seem stiff, "Prosthetic works just as good, though," he shifts his eyes.
"Holy crap...how bad did the sting hurt?" Christine turns to him.
"Didn't hurt a smidge, nothing does when your nervous system doesn't properly communicate with the rest of the body," a sly smile forms in the corner of his mouth.
"I had to deal with scorpions before," Tabitha states, "Well, in a way. There was this Gucci bag that I saw, it was monogrammed with a scorpion print. It was twenty-three hundred....well, thats what the price tag said, but I managed to get a considerable......discount," Tabitha chuckles.
Team B, out and about, searches for scorpions in all the compound's noos and crannies.
"My ex boyfriend Antonio totally had a thing for scorpions,' Umi smiles, "He was sooooo sweet....he always thought about me first, like when he gave me a warning before he put out a restraining order against me," she giggles, "I miss him so much...I think about him all the time...I wonder what he was trying to tell me when he put out the restraining order..."
"Maybe he was trying to tell you you're a psycho," Vince sneers, and spots a scorpion. He quickly snatches it by the tail.
"Hey, you!" he waves to Hellen, "Yeah, you, bring me a bucket!"
"Never! It's wrong to disturb the natural habitat of these beautiful creatures!" Hellen folds her arms, and shakes her head.
"Listen, you skirt, bring me that bucket or I'll make you regret joining this show," Vince stands up straight, showing his full height, like a bear.
"I already do, now that I know they want us to harvest poor defenseless animals like crops!" Hellen shouts angrily.
Vince begins marching his way to Hellen, still holding the scorpion by it's tail, Jesse stops him,
"Back off Vince, don't make me break you," Jesse looks him sternly in the eye, Vince smiles.
"Jess, buddy, I'm sorry, would you mind gettin' a bucket so's I can deposit this here scorpion into it?"
Jesse looks at him for a second, and turns towards where the buckets are, Vince uses his free hand to pull back Jesse's shirt, and drops the scorpion in.
"Hey! What the?" Jesse panics, clawing at his shirt, Vince sweeps his leg, causing him to fall on his chest. Jesse grunts with agony as the startled scorpion stings him over and over.
"I told ya, Jesse-boy. Didn't I tell you to be careful?" Vince walks circles around him, "Tsk..tsk...tsk. Don't worry, Jess, I may not read too many books, but I do know that scorpions only use so much of it's venom at once, it's very precious.." Vince smiles, "So you'll probably live.." he kicks Jesse in the side, "Consider that a warning."
The scorpion finally digs it's way out of Jesse's shirt, and scrambles away into the darkness.
Leo runs up with a bucket, mumbling to himself.
"What's got you all hopped up?" Kimberly looks to Leo with a bit of concern in her eyes.
Leo points to the bucket, "Bucket..orange...like flame....hehehhehe...fire.." Leo gazes down at the bucket.
Kimberly slaps her forehead, "Oh my god! My team's dysfunctional!"
Warden Hatchet looks at his watch, "Your penalty is over, get your gear and move out!"
"Come on guys, let's rock this!" Isaac snaps his fingers.
"I case you didn't know already, they've been out there for twenty minutes already, you clod," Ash gives him a light shove.
"Warden Hatchet, when does this challenge end, anyway?" Chrisitne asks.
"Five minutes..." Warden Hatchet gives a small, low laugh.
"C'mon people, let's move like we've got a purpose!" Isaac calls to his team.
"What the freakin' point? We've got five minutes.." Ash marvels at at the dragon on his arm.
"The point is, if you don't try, you'll be back in juvie by the end of the day," Christine pokes him in the chest.
Isaac grabs a scorpion, and drops it into a bucket, "Yo peeps, I got one!"
"...'Yo Peeps'? I'm sorry, I though it was 2009, not 1993..." Olivia rolls her eyes.
Hellen runs up to Team B's bucket just after Vince tosses in another scorpion.
"What do you think you're doing! Be gentle to Mother Nature's creatures!" Hellen shoves Vince out of the way, and slowly tips the bucket over, letting all the scorpions escape, "Be free my animal friends! Let no one oppress you!" She shakes her fist.
Vince grabs her arm, and twists it, "You stupid dame, we had this cinched! Now what?"
Warden Hatchet sounds an air horn, "Time's up maggots! Bring me yer buckets!"
Leo scoops up Team B's bucket, and mumbles to himself some more, "Fire, flame, scorch, singe, burn...."
Isaac lifts Team A's bucket, and hands it to Warden. "What? One scorpion? You've gotta be kidding me.." he shoves the bucket back into Isaac's hands, and takes Team B's, "You have none? Unacceptable! Team A is the winner, Team B...I'll see you at the gate..." no sooner had Hatchet finished the sentence before several armed guards surrounded Team B, and cuffed them all, dragging them ti the convoy bus near the double-barbed wire gate.
Convoy Ceremony, 20 minutes later...
"You've all voted...if I unlock yer handcuffs, you will remain here on Second Chance, but if I do not unlock them, you will be forced onto theconvoy, and shipped back ta you're detention center. One of your teammates is currently in the compound infimiry, but that doesn't matter, he's safe anyways." He unlocks Umi's cuffs, then Leo's, then Kimberly's, "Only one of you will have yer cuff's unlocked, the other will be taken back....the final key if for................." He unlock's Vince's cuffs. "Vince. Hellen, get on that bus...you don't deserve a Second Chance.." Warden Hatchet looks at her disapprovingly as two guards drag her onto the bus. As it pulls away, she leans her head out of the window, and screams
"I don't need a Second Chance! I've done nothing wrong in Mother Nature's eyes! You're the one who needs to change!" she says something else, but it goes unheard as the guards force her head out of the window. The bus disappears on the horizon, the campers return to their shacks.
Vince awakens to the sound of sirens. Soon, the rest of his team awakens to the same noise."What's going on?" Kimberly's voice trembles with fear. Vince grabs her arm and twists.
"If you know what's good for you, you'll keep your pretty little mouth shut about yesterday."
Kimberly's eyes grow wide, "What are you talking about?" She struggles against his strength.
Leo yawns, "You think this has anything to do with Jesse?" Vince released Kimberly from his grasp, and swings his arm around, his knuckles coming to a painful junction with Leo's bottom lip.
"Are you stupid? What did I just say?" Vince rubs his fist. Leo begins to groan in pain as a bright stream of fresh blood trickles down his chin.
Vince pulls a sheet off of an empty bunk, and throws it on top of the bleeding Leo. "Clean yourself up."
Moments later Warden Hatchet calmly opens the door, "There is someone here who would like to speak with you kids. Be polite, and don't say anything I wouldn't..." Warder Hatchet pats the nightstick at his side to add emphasis.
Moments later, an officer steps into the shack, and Warden Hatchet steps out.
"Kids, I have some bad news," the officer removes his hat, the four teens face him, knowing exactly what he will say.
Despite knowing the obvious, Umi asks, "What's wrong officer?"
"That boy Jesse....I'm sorry to say this, but...he died," the officer says with all the remorse of a stage actor, "It seems he had an allergic reaction to the anti-venom he was administered. The reaction caused his throat to swell closed....there was just nothing that could have been done," the officer puts his cap back on, gives a half-hearted frown to the speechless teenagers, and calmly exits the shack. Through a crack in the door, Leo sees two men lifting a shiny, black bag up into an ambulance.
The six other contestants enter the shack.
"What are you doing here?" Kimberly looks confused.
"We were instructed to stay in here while the Warden 'ties up some loose ends'," Ash plops down on an empty bunk.
Christine looks out the screen door, "So...that guy's really dead?"
"Looks that way.." Vince's face is plastered with a faint, almost nonexistent smile.
"Don't any of you care?" Kimberly breaks into the conversation, "Someone has died...someone we knew..."
"We knew him for two days. It's not like he was any of our family. He was just some kid," Ash takes out a fork from his pocket, and begins etching patterns and designs into the wood frame of the bunk.
"But....his life was cut so short....all the things he'll miss out on.." Kimberly's voice is shaky.
"His life wasn't cut short. He lived exactly one hundred percent of his life. He was predestined to die at how ever old he was. Nothing could have changed that," Ash continues his etching of designs and patterns into the bunk frame.
"How can you say that?" Kimberly becomes very distraught, "Do any of you care?" No one says a thing, until Ash speaks up again.
"Look girl, there's six and a half billion people in the world. And out of those six and a half billion, exactly six and a half billion will die. Death is the end of biological function, and as biological creatures, we must all face the inevitable. Trying to escape destiny is foolish and futile."
"Of all the wonders I have seen, it seems most strange that men should fear; that Death, a necessary end, will come when it will come," Olivia recites. The others look to her, some with understanding, others with confusion.
"I spent some time at the library...Shakespeare and all that...." she shrugs.
Kimberly, tears forcing themselves from her eyes, stumbles carelessly to the nearest bunk, and lays down.
"I....I need to sleep..." She turns and faces the wall......the tears run free.
The sirens die off in the distance.
Chapter Three: "The Final Chapter"
The teens awake to the sound of sirens.
"What's going on?" Ash says, scratching his head, and yawning. An officer enters the shack.
"I need all of you to come outside," the officer commands, in a deep voice, full of authority, and sympathy at the same time.
The teens walk outside, and are greeted by the site of squad cars and Warden Hatchet in cuffs.
"Elwin Henry Hatchet, you're under arrest for child endangerment, fraud...the list goes on," the officer drones to an apprehended Hatchet.
Another officer is questioning the group of teens. The officer holds up a photo of Jesse, and looks Bobby in the eye, "Son, have you seen this boy?"
"Nope, never seen him before in my life," Bobby shrugs. Ash smacks him upside the head, "I mean...maybe I've seen him once or twice..." Bobby frowns, and rubs the back of his head.
"I see," the officer's eyebrow raises, "Jesse, you can come out, now."
To the amazement of the other teens, Jesse hobbles out from behind a squad car. His back his bandaged, he walks with crutches, but there is a faint trace of a smile on his lips.
"How the..." Olivia looks confused.
The officer begins to explain, "Jesse was a mole the whole time. You see, we've been monitoring Mr. Hatchet's activities for the past few weeks, and this show was set up as a sting operation. After his job on Total Drama ended, we knew Hatchet would be desperate for money. So, we set up a fake show, and made sure Hatchet got the job as host. Jesse is the Chief's son. It was a heated debate between father and son, but, eventually, Jesse convinced his father to allow him to 'join' the show."
Kimberly looks relieved at the sight of a living Jesse, however, she asks, "Why didn't you just arrest him in the first place, if you've been watching him all this time?"
The officer continues, "Up until now, we didn't have any solid evidence against him, only small leads and suspicion. But, last night, after Jesse's 'death', we managed to clinch the case against him," the officer scans the faces of the teens, sensing they are still unsatisfied.
Christine folds her arms, "But, how did you survive?" She looks Jesse dead in the face.
"I was stung by the scorpions, that's for sure. It also wasn't part of the plan..however, once the ambulance arrived, I got the anti-venom I needed and spent the rest of the night in a hospital bed, while my father and his men got the necessary paperwork together to file all the charges against Hatchet, not to mention everybody's release papers," Jesse smiles.
Isaac's eyes fly open, "You mean...we get to go home? All of us?"
Jesse nods, "That's right."
The whole group bursts into a frenzy of ecstatic cheers, and tears. Only Olivia remains silent.
Kimberly lays a sympathetic hand on her shoulder, but Oliva shrugs away.
The gates to the facility open, and a standard school bus pulls in. The officer looks to the teens, "Well, kids, there's your ride home. Everybody on board, it's a few hours to the city."
One by one, the teens file onto the bus. Kimberly looks back at the facility before taking her seat. She sees Hatchet being shoved into the back of a police cruiser, and Jesse slowly climbing into the back of his father's car. She smiles, but it quickly disappears once Vince passes her. Her eyes fly open with a look of shock. She leaps from the bus, and gallops over to Jesse.
She leans in the car door, and whispers, "Did you tell them how the scorpions got into your clothes?" Jesse shakes his head, "Why not?" Kimberly's voice grows harsher.
Before Jesse can answer, Ash leans out of the bus' door, "Yo, girl, I wanna go home, so let's pack it up already!" The officer also leans out of the door, "He's right, we need to leave immediatley, there's still some things we need to work out."
Kimberly slowly climbs back onto the bus. "Finally," Ash rolls his eyes, as he carves his name into the back of the seat in front of him with his finger nail. Kimberly briefly stops when her eyes meet Vince's.
"See somethin' you like, sugarpie?" Vince chuckles. Kimberly does not answer him, and quickly moves on, sitting in a seat near the back. She leasn her head against the window, as the bus pulls away.
"I bet you kids are anxious to get home," the officer says, as the facility disappears from view.
TO BE CONCLUDED, IN RTDALL-STARS.