They had been back at their camp for a few minutes. Silence had them when they teleported back. They walked toward their shelter. No one knew what to say. So no one spoke. They sat in the shelter or stood near it. Some drank water. Others nibbled on some leftover dino meat. Nightcrawler tossed the rotten fruit out into the ocean and gathered more.
“I can’t get over how good this fruit is, ja?” Nightcrawler took another bite of a peach.
Wiccan agreed. “I can’t believe they all grow on the same tree.”
“That Universe Remote is remarkable.” Beast peeled a banana. “And infused.”
The ground vibrated. Everyone turned toward the reason. Thing lifted his foot to stomp again.
“Ben, you have our attention.” Invisible Woman said with calmness and her hands creating invisible forces to keep him from stomping another time.
Thing stared at the members of the tribe that were in the challenge. “I screamed at you t’tell all you that you were losin’!” His thick rocky index finger pointed in an arch at all of them.
Wolverine walked toward him. “Bub, you know this isn’t—”
Thing swept him away. “Let meh’finish.”
“Do I even have to mention how unhelpful that is?” Jean Grey moved around the shelter to stand between Thing and the dinner.
“I’m a rock. I know how t’be grounded.” He grunted trying to lift his foot. “Suzzie, come on. You gotta understand.”
Invisible Woman shook her head, her blond hair swishing uncontrolled. Her eyes closed and right arm extended. “You’re disturbing the shelter.”
Captain America’s eyes widen. He examined it and his eyes reverted to normal.
Beast lifted his closed hand near Thing’s face. “You need some fruit. Cleanse that attitude.” He opened his hand revealing the contents. “Berries help.”
“What I need is for you to get outta my face!” Thing roared. Beast dropped the berries and back-flipped away.
Invisible Woman said, “Ben—”
“Shut up, Suzie, I don’t need a mama.” Thing turned his back on her. He tried to move, but ran into an invisible force. “What?”
Invisible Woman lifted him into the air. “Go find a dinosaur to clobber. Relax some of that tension.” She catapulted him into the trees.
Thing flew into the air screaming his frustration.
“I’ll keep an eye on him.” Wolverine followed.
THING (Rocky orange the gold shorts made him look like he was some sort of Egyptian Pharaoh. His thick brow lowered over his eyes. He huffed and puffed. He paced back and forth in a section of the beach.): I can’t sit or stand. I don’t wanna. They lost when they sat me on the bench. I think that’s proof enough they don’t know what they’re doing. I can’t just do nothin’. I gotta do somethin’. I’d have knocked that Power Ball into our goal ova’ and ova’ again. (He punched the air several times.) Should’ve connected with the skin afflicted. I got orange. Beast and Nightcrawler got blue. (He stopped pacing and stared at the camera.) They’ve gotta be separated.
Storm touched Invisible Woman on the shoulder. “You can’t think he’s worth saving.”
“He’s family.” Invisible Woman lowered her shoulders with a sigh.
Captain America walked around the shelter, brushing his finger over certain areas. “His attitude is causing a lot of tension in the tribe.”
“I won’t.” She turned invisible and they saw her footprints move her toward the ocean.
Everyone else looked at one another and silently nodded in agreement on Thing.
WICCAN (Orange board shorts, no shirt, sitting in the sand with back to the setting sun. His hair combed over to the side. A beard formed on his face in certain areas. He touched it.) This isn’t very manly. It’s sporadic at best. (He shrugged.) Anyway, I’m thinking that maybe I convince Nightcrawler to give Thing the Hidden Immunity Idol. Mess up what’s going on in this tribe and that might put me and him in a better position. Keeping Thing keeps our strongest player and gets rid of another person…as long as it’s not someone I like, of course. I’ll have to do some recon.
Thing dragged a raptor back into camp. Wolverine ran into the ocean to clean off the blood he was coated in. No one spoke to Thing. He didn’t say a word. He started tearing limbs off the dinosaur without straining or grunting. Blood sprayed in every direction. He was considerate enough to move away from the shelter and anyone else that was at camp. No one spoke to him, either.
Storm whispered and wiggled her fingers into the air and rain came down, clearing off the raptor and the sand of blood. Jean Grey lifted a few pieces Thing tore and levitated them over the fire.
Thing smiled. “I feel better.”
“Good,” Captain America said.
Wiccan found Invisible Woman in the trees near the watering hole, outside the shield. “You think you should move back within the shield?”
“Oh.” She complied. “It doesn’t make a sound when you move past it.”
Wiccan shook his head. “It just changes color.” He stuck his hand through and pulled it back. The area where the shield was shifted from normal to a bright blue.
“Didn’t notice that.”
He nodded. “Not everyone agrees with keeping him, you know?”
She smiled. “I do.”
Wiccan ushered her to walk with him and he walked away from the watering hole and more toward camp, but at an angle so to give more time to talk. “Who are you thinking?”
Invisible Woman stared at him as if she was calculating who was with who. “Beast.”
Wiccan stopped walking. “Possible. You have?”
She counted off using her fingers. “Thing and Wolverine and me.”
“You’d just need two more. A majority.” Wiccan scratched the back of his neck.
“You and who?”
“I’ll get back with you.”
Noise of Jean and Storm walking through the trees caught their attention. Invisible Woman turned invisible.
Wiccan whispered, “I’ll get back with you right before tribal.” He went and found Nightcrawler eating part of the raptor. They offered him some and he took a bit, but ate mostly the fruit.
Wiccan chanted under his breath, “Conversation distortion do not allow a word. Allow them to hear the absurd.” He invited Nightcrawler to sit near him at the fire. “Do not worry, they cannot hear us as we speak. We have a few minutes before it fades.”
“Was?” Nightcrawler moved his tail to the side and sat on the log. His three toe feet gripped the branch of the log that dug halfway into the sand.
“They won’t understand our conversation.” Wiccan pointed to everyone around the camp.
Beast said, “It is a little colder than last night.” He looked at them. “We could ask Storm if she’s up to fixing that a tad.” He went back to helping Captain America with the shelter fixing.
“Captain is obsessed over that shelter.” Wiccan pointed out.
Wiccan explained his plan to help Thing by giving him the Hidden Immunity Idol and that Invisible Woman wanted to vote out Beast. If they give him the Hidden Immunity Idol it would look like he found it, instead of them voting along with Invisible Woman. This would make them a bigger target.
“Ist a gut idea from a point.” Nightcrawler sighed. “What if we need it later?”
“No one knows about this.” He pointed from him to Nightcrawler. “They question, but they’re unsure. I hear their words from time to time.”
“What would be the benefit of doing it?”
Wiccan combed his hand through his hair. “They’d remain interested in an orange rock instead of a blue praying hero.”
Nightcrawler smiled revealing sharp teeth and one reason why so many thought he was a demon.
“I do love an upset.” Deadpool rubbed his hands together.
“He’s an annoyance, not an upset. And he’s still outside. Apparently my low standards of thinking are contagious.”
Thing or Beast.
“This game is sure full of euphemisms.”
“Congratulations Tippy Toe to your first Tribal Council.” Squirrel Girl out stretched her arms as if she was about to hug them all. “Please, take the torches behind you and get some fire out this wonderful pit.”
Invisible Woman said, “Sit. Allow me.” She used her invisible force to cup a few embers and released them into each of their torches. They all flickered to life.
Everyone whispered thank you.
“Runs in the family.” Squirrel Girl sat down. “Let’s get down to the fact you lost. How does that make you feel?”
Thing punched a fist into the palm of his hand and growled.
Squirrel Girl smiled. “Now let’s use our words.”
She clapped her hands. “That’s a good word. It conveys so much frustration.”
“Not as much as Thing’s temper tantrum.” Captain America said as if he was delivering a matter-of-fact comment.
“Oh,” Squirrel Girl put her hands on her knees. “Do tell?”
Thing gritted his teeth and glared at Captain America. “There’s nothing to te—”
“On the contrary,” Beast raised a finger, “we cannot have fun with a rock weighting us down.”
Thing jerked his head around to stare at Beast. “Oh, blue boy. Stand up and say that to ma’face.”
“Remember, remember no violence in Tribal Council,” Squirrel Girl said.
Invisible Woman said as soft as she could, “Ben, calm down. It’s okay.”
“They’re all ganging up against me. All these friends telling me I’m just nothin’.” Thing folded his arms.
Squirrel Girl said, “It seems there is a disagreement over whether Thing is worth keeping. Ladies, do you have any opinions on the matter?”
Storm shook her head. Jean Grey didn’t open her mouth.
“He’s a big guy. He needs a lot of room for his heart and he felt underappreciated at the challenge.” Wolverine put his hand on Thing’s rocky shoulder. “Huh, bub?”
Thing nodded. “I just wanna help. Get us to be the best.”
“Before a blooming relationship happens, I think we should vote.” Squirrel Girl pointed her clawed finger at Invisible Woman. “Woman first.”
Invisible Woman stood, walked over to the bridge, held the rail and crossed it. She read the rules to voting, took a sheet of paper and wrote down a name. Held it up, it said Beast. She folded it and put it in the urn.
Jean Grey stared at the sheet of paper and used her telekinetic powers to move the pen to write. She didn’t speak to the camera. She did smile.
Storm wrote down a name, showed the camera and said something.
“I don’t mind thunder some of the time.”
Captain America saluted the camera and put his vote in the urn.
Beast shrugged and put his vote in the urn.
Wolverine itched his chin, wrote a name on the sheet of paper and spoke to the camera.
“I need a cigar. Yesterday. Voting off friends isn’t what I signed up for.” He paused. “Right, I didn’t sign up.”
He held up the name he voted for.
Wiccan stared at the camera and then at the sheet of paper he wrote the name on. He lifted the paper and smiled. He placed the vote into the urn.
Nightcrawler placed his vote into the urn and teleported back to his seat. Everyone waved a hand in their face. He whispered, “Verzeihung.”
“I’ll go and tally the votes.” Squirrel Girl skipped over the urn and within a few minutes skipped back with it. “Once I read off the votes it’ll be final and that person is just gonna have to leave the game. It’s sad, it is, but it’s the rules.” She looked up at everyone. “I’m forgetting something…oh right, if you have a Hidden Immunity Idol, now would be a great time to play it.”
Nightcrawler and Wiccan looked at Thing for a second and then looked back at Squirrel Girl.
“Okay.” She opened the urn and pulled out the first vote.
Beast’s mouth dropped enough that he felt it. He closed it and tried to compose himself.
He looked around at everyone. Wiccan shrugged.
He looked toward Jean Grey. She kept looking forward. He reached down to grab his stuff. Thing grinned.
Thing dropped his grin.
Beast released his grip on his stuff.
Thing showed his teeth.
He almost slipped off his log stool.
Squirrel Girl grinned like she knew a secret that they all wanted to know. And she did. She held the final vote. “And the third person voted out of this game and the first from Tippy Toe is…” She made is sound like it was going to last forever. She made it sound like she was a snake circling prey. “Thing.”
Beast released the breath he held. Thing jumped up, shaking the entire structure.
“Bring me your torch.” Squirrel Girl didn’t let the vibration shatter her hosting duties.
Thing snatched the torch and sent the flame inside in a spin. It calmed and settled. He placed it in front of Squirrel Girl. “Here, rodent.”
“Yes, that’s an attitude made of sparkles and diamonds.” She snuffed his flame. “The tribe, and your friends, have spoken.” Before he could retort, he teleported to the Entertainment Center. She smiled and looked at the rest of Tippy Toe. “It appears, by your shocked faces, that one of you lied to their tribe. Who oh who was it?” She pressed the button on the Universe Remote. “Bye, bye.”
They teleported back to their beach.
Tippy Toe Votes – Third Tribal Council
Invisible Woman – Beast
Captain America – Thing
Wolverine – Beast
Beast – Thing
Wiccan – Thing
Nightcrawler – Thing
Jean Grey – Beast
Thing – Beast
Storm – Thing