"Last time, on Total Drama: Cartoon Multiverse," Chris said, "We saw twenty-two contestants from twenty-two different cartoons come together on one island, all of them competing for the grand prize of one million dollars! We saw thrills! We saw spills! And we saw immense amounts of Total Drama! Two people died, secret alliances were made and broken, and in the end it all came down to allies-turned-enemies Ingrid and Nazz taking each other on in the finale! Ingrid ended up winning, and was about to take home a million dollars when we revealed that the million was in Monopoly money, smoke-bombed them all into unconsciousness, and put them to a test to see who would compete on season 2! As it turns out, only twelve players made it through, but this time around they'll be competing for ten! Million! Dollars! So who's gonna win it all? Who's gonna win absolutely nothing? Will anyone die? It's tough to say, but we're definitely gonna find out, starting right here, right now, on Total! Drama! Cartoon Multiverse! The Inevitably Disappointing Sequel!"
The elevator doors open onto the beach of Wawanakwa, and we all tromp out onto the sand. I notice with a bit of surprise that Boris has gotten his clothes back on somehow, and make a mental note to try and figure out how this happened, but before I can get my bearings, Chef sorts us into a line and Chris stands in front of us to address us.
"You're probably wondering why you're here," he begins smarmily.
"Lemme guess," Wendy says sarcastically. "We're going to do another season of Total Drama."
"Okay, yes," Chris says. "But this time, there's a twist!"
"This time there aren't going to be any teams in order to see how we do on our own?" Dale asks.
"No," Chris says. "Although I'm gonna file that idea away for later. But instead, this year, the grand prize is ten! Million! Dollars!"
"In Monopoly money?" I ask bitterly.
Chris sighs. "No, Ingrid, we're not going to pay out in Monopoly money again. I personally guarantee it."
"Is that guarantee worth anything?" Steve asks. "Because I've seen the show, and–"
"OKAY!" Chris yells. "DOES ANYBODY WANT THE MONEY?"
We all look at each other and shrug.
"Good," Chris says. "In that case, let's move on to more important matters–"
"HEY!" Boris suddenly yells. "WHERE'D THESE CLOTHES COME FROM?"
"Yeah," Aunt Grandma says. "For that matter, how'd we come out of that cliff?" She points at it. "I know we went down on that elevator, but there's no way you could've fit all those corridors into that cliff, and if you built them on the island, we'd definitely still be seeing them."
"Hey, that's right," Dale says. "How did we get here? How long were we unconscious? Oh god, does Nancy think I'm dead?"
"You weren't unconscious for very long–" Chris starts to say.
"None of this makes any sense!" Elise adds. "Boris was naked, but now he's wearing clothes that we never saw him put on, and we were all in rooms filled with dangerous stuff and then suddenly we're here–something fishy is going on, and I'm–"
"SHUT IT!" Chris yells. We all look at him, cowed. "That's better. Now, none of you are going to question reality. The last time that happened, the island almost exploded, thank you Scarlett. All you need to know is that you're on the island, again, and there's an even bigger prize at stake! So, you're all going to come together and compete for it! Doesn't that sound like fun?"
Ruby raises her hand. Chris ignores her.
"So, now that we're all clear on what's going on, how about we–"
"Um, can I go home?" Ruby asks. "I really don't want to be here. I want to make sure my friends are okay."
"No," Chris says bluntly. "Now, there are twelve of you, which means I'm going to split you into teams of six. Since this is a sequel season, I think we should do something that reflects the type of sequels that usually get made." He smirks. "You see, sequels can broadly be split into two types. The first type is the one all of you are used to; a movie does well, the execs see sequel potential in it, they demand a sequel, nobody's quite sure what to do, and so they basically redo the plot of the first movie with bigger explosions and a higher budget. The other kind is when a franchise or a could-be franchise hasn't put anything out in a while, or maybe what it's put out hasn't resonated with the fans, so they decide to basically reboot the franchise by changing everything up and losing everything that made it enjoyable in the first place. So, team one, you're going to be the Predictable Formulas! Ingrid! Nazz! Numbuh Two! Wendy! Boris! Snidely! Get together on the left!"
Numbuh Two and I smile at each other and head over to group up with the other members of our team. Chris turns to the six remainders.
"You guys. Let's see, only three of you made it past the merge, none of you made it to the final three, one of you voted herself off, and another one was the first elimination for their team last time. So, naturally, you six are going to be the Overthought Reboots!"
The other six gather together. Chris smirks.
"Now that you're all in teams, let me tell you how I expect this to go down," he says jovially. "Overthought Reboots: you guys are going to suck. A lot. Elise is pretty much the only competent one among you, and she's got the type of personality that'll make you vote her out sooner rather than later. At most, I expect you to win maybe three competitions before the merge, one of which will definitely be a prize challenge, and even though Elise will be the only one keeping you afloat, she'll probably go home while there are still a couple of you left. Predictable Formulas: you're gonna win a lot, and on the occasions you lose you'll send Nazz home, and then you'll send Snidely home. The other four of you will make it past the merge, and the audience will love you all up until the pressures of competition shatter your alliance and you all turn into horrible people. Personally, I'm betting on Ingrid and Wendy getting together to vote off Boris, majorly annoying Numbuh Two. Now, I'd say that I'll give you all time to talk strategy, but that would be a lie."
A boat pulls up to the shoreline. A skinny redheaded guy with green-tinted glasses hops off, lands on the sand badly, and collapses, grabbing at his knee.