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AMA - Episode 2, "What Are The Chances?" - Part 2

AMA - Episode 3, "I'm Feeling Like The King Of The Burrow" - Part 1
ama_episode_2_part_2_what_are_the_chances.doc
Keywords male 826659, furry 54516, males 34381, otter 25766, muscle 20278, muscles 11490, clean 9089, ferret 7338, muscular 7194, shower 6110, mustelid 5541, piercing 5108, badger 4377, weasel 3866, locker room 1607, stoat 1321, story series 1285, wolverine 1120, character development 1004, mustelidae 996, challenge 871, marten 654, alpha 569, ermine 552, competition 486, television 386, tv show 342, honey badger 244, duel 218, sea otter 210, polecat 163, ama 92, american badger 89, mustelids 87, marbled polecat 41, least weasel 39, giant otter 36, alpha male 35, serial 35, banter 31, reality show 27, european otter 26, reality tv 26, american mustelid alpha 25, beech marten 14, elimination 11, european polecat 10, hog badger 9
“COME ON IN, SAFE SIX!”

Greasy Z holds the door for his teammates in an exaggerated gesture. The rest of the black team follows through, cheering deafeningly as they file into the changing room.

“First big challenge around and I’m part of the team that won it big and lived to see another day. I’m lucky and SO grateful I can afford to disconnect and get ready for all that’s to come. RIP white team, though...” *snickers*
~J.J., 25, Sea Otter, Construction Project Manager


The group sits in the locker room like a football team after winning a big game, some facing each other while sprawled across the big, comfortable benches, others leaning against the wall or sitting on the ground. “We went beast mode out there, huh?” Crispin says, cockily flexing his biceps as the rest of the team cheer their approval. “We totally outmuscled even their strongest guys. We beat Mike, we beat Arron, we beat Kenneth - twice…”

“You can say it again, Cris,” Eddie nods, both paws clasped behind his shaven head as he lies back. “I can’t wait to see them facing each other. That’s gonna be a bloodbath if I ever saw one.”

“I mean, maybe Ken, Arron and all of them ain’t that good in the end,” Andrew shrugs. “We in the mustelid Super Bowl now, and we’re all top tier, so don’t be shocked to see some losin’...”

“Speaking of Ken… I always kinda felt that breed of CrossFit bros is mostly made up of blowhards,” Crispin punctuates, following Andrew’s train of thought. “Starting to doubt whether what he told us was real at all… like, he’s okay I guess, but top 20 in his state? C’mon, what he did wasn’t even like top three… hundred.”

Zakee cuts the rest of his teammates. “But guys, fellas, the one big important thing for today right now… is that I got one thou in my pocket! Yeah baby!” the mohawked badger flails his legs and loudly celebrates, part of them joining along, but a couple of his teammates clearly not as enthused.

“I mean, don’t you think it’s a bit hypocritical of ya to boast it when you were the only one who lost twice?” John scoffs, not looking at the group directly but loud enough to be heard.

Z shrugs his shoulders, clearly bothered by the stoat’s remark. “Heh, those are the rules, pal. We said it all along that we win and lose as a team, now does it get your knickers in a knot just because, aight?”

“Zakee’s just boasting and feeling he is God Almighty, but if it wasn’t for Eddie and I, he would have been in the dumps. We won, but let’s set the record straight before we all pretend it’s all “good”.”
~John, 36, Stoat, Jailer


“I mean, Eddie, J.J., Andrew... do ya think it’s fair?” John asks others in the room.

“I don’t think it’s the time or place to point that out, to be honest,” the smaller otter says, looking at the stoat. “We should celebrate our win, not waste time being petty over who had a bigger part in what…”

“This’s a group challenge, and I was tasked to make the team and call the shots,” Z points out. “All six of y’all came through, and I was tasked in sending who is good against who.”

“But I pretty much had to step up and win when you weren’t gonna consider me. If it was up to you, it was Crispin losing against Arron a second time...” John says, pointing at the tall, tattooed otter.

“What now?” Crispin raises his voice, letting his bottle of fur conditioner fall to the ground as he turns around to face the jailer. “You bullied him into picking you TWICE and now you got the gall to gloat over it? Who the fuck does that?”

“This is not what the fuck is about- lord, y’all is ridiculous...” Zakee steps up from the bench, somewhat frustrated, heading to the lockers to dispose of his dirty clothes. “If you wanted to be on the losing team, be my guest!” he directs the stoat.

“This is like…” *sighs* “A buncha high school kids fighting over who’s the biggest and strongest in the room, when all they are is bickering like little bitches. And we WON, right? Can you imagine if we ended up losing?”
~J.J., 25, Sea Otter, Construction Project Manager


“If we ended on a duel, I coulda taken all your hides to the sun to dry at the end of ‘em, I was fucking ready...” the hog badger snorts defensively.

Crispin is quick to pat his captain’s shoulder, eager to back him up. “Really, dude, you ain’t got nothing to be sorry with…” he says, making sure John can hear his remark. “Seriously, let’s go shower, let’s grab some beer and if he still wants to be sour, then fuck him. I know I ain’t making a scene over missing on that grand...”

“Ladies… we won, can we just be happy ‘bout this? It’s been a tough day as it is without the post-challenge dick-measuring. Unnecessary and petty as hell...” Andrew replies in exasperation, flattening his ears as he looks at Eddie and J.J. — the only ones of the six-piece team left in the locker room. “I guess we ain’t having ‘good teamwork’ cookies for all of us after dinner, yeah?”

“Heh, let them be…” the smaller lutrine replies, shrugging as the fighting trio heads out to the showers, still arguing with each other. “We gonna get a lot more of this between today and the end. I’m sure they’ll all be fine and good once we sit down watching Team White fighting for survival,” the curly-haired otter snickers.

Eventually the white team makes their way into the locker room, looking dejected and quiet as they get to their own possessions.

“Sorry guys… can’t win ‘em all, and it wasn’t this one…” William speaks to the group.

“Being on this spot doesn’t make for great team morale, but all you can do is scrap your way out the lows and reap the highs that will come.” *Chayne bumps fists with William as he disrobes, immediately going to console him* “This is our very first challenge. Nothing is definitive here, nothing’s lost. Pointing fingers left and right won’t do shit, y’know?”
~Chayne, 28, Beech Marten, Bartender


“It’s okay, guys. Everyone pulled his weight today, no matter if you won or lost,” Arron chimes in, trying to soften the tempers.

“Just remember this,” Omar, the marbled polecat, tells his teammates. “Individuals will come, and it’ll showcase the worst of us. Just know I ain’t got anything bad with any of you, it won’t be personal, but may the one who deserves to save themselves from here do.”

“I know, but still… comin’ from ‘Hey, you were the best out of the forty-five!’ and then go out and lose on the first challenge is such a low...” Arron shakes his head.

“Try coming in with a shitton to prove,” Chayne shrugs. “If I gotta end your dream to make my point, I will.”

“Same to you, brother,” the honey badger snickers.

“I never thought for a second this was gonna be easy. It is unfortunate that we lost out there - but I came back from worse places and with lower odds, so I’m not scared about what’s at stake when we’re pitted against each other. This is all part of God’s plan for me, I’ll just take the best out of it and try to come out on top.”
~Arron, 28, Honey Badger, Firefighter


“Let’s clear out this shit and unwind!” Michael loudly exclaims to the white team, all six eager to forget their loss.

Eventually, the contestants of both teams end up in the communal shower, washing off the tension and the grime of that first challenge.

“So, I got a question for all of y’all to hear!” the blonde marten speaks up loud enough for all to hear, a coy tone in his voice. “Andrew… what’s the deal with the tool tuning?”

The polecat, who was facing the wall as he lathered up his body, turns around in confusion as his name is mentioned. “Huh… what?” he replies.

“You know, the ring… and not talking about the horror movie, the one down there,” Chayne smirks, casually pointing at the polecat’s swim trunks. The whole group goes silent at the marten’s words, then explodes in a collective, embarrassed guffaw as people realize what exactly he’s hinting at.

“Wait, Andrew has a piercing WHERE?” Omar speaks up, more contestants adding up to the cackling, turning their heads in morbid curiosity.

“I know I saw it,” the New Yorker smirks, not failing to detect Andrew’s cheeks lighting up in an obvious blush. “Pretty hard to miss it when you bared it all during our bout...”

“Figure only one of us would gain by peekin’...” Michael adds, taking a stab at the marten.

“These guys can take all the cheap shots they want, but I know for a fact I’m far from the only one taking a glance.” *smirks* “I don’t plan on hiding this side of mine just to please these fragile lil’ manly macho man egos. I’m gonna say whatever I feel like, just as they do 24/7 - and if this ends up affecting someone, tough shit…”
~Chayne, 28, Beech Marten, Bartender


“Bruh, no, dude, no, you did not spear your downstairs head...” Greasy Z squirms. “Who in their sane mind does that?”

“It wasn’t supposed to be for you to see, aight?” the polecat raises his voice, clearly uneasy about being put on the spot. He sighs, closing his eyes as he stands beneath the powerful jet. “Yeah, got it done two years ago. Buddies thought I was crazy, too, but it was a hit with the ladies on the summer tours…” he says, to the cringe of others. “I never get to do something crazy, and I wanted it!”

“Look… I just can’t win, can I?” *puts up paws in mock defeat* “This was supposed to be a secret between me, myself and a few selected folks, but now I end up having it outed on national TV. Again, what are the fuckin’ odds?” *sighs*
~Andrew, 22, European Polecat, Roadie


“Even some of the macho-est men ever would never think of doing that - I know my own serves one purpose only and it ain’t to go sticking needles in it.” *laughs, shaking his head* “Andrew might be a wilder child than we expect, wonder what else he got hidden?”
~Crispin, 29, European Otter, Bouncer


***

“Guys, I think we got our groceries…” Greasy Z says as he walks back into the dining room - noticing a few large bags of supplies are sitting on the table. Immediately he and a few others get inspecting their bags and sorting them into the refrigerator and the cupboards.

“Well, we got enough chicken breasts to last for a full week…” William comments, examining the content of the bag. “A few extra veggies won’t hurt you, ya know…” Luckily, in the next bag, he gets what he’s looking for - carrots, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and green peppers.

“Heh, you’re not the only one who knows a thing or two about eating healthy,” Chayne pipes in. As most of the guys, he’s wearing just his gym shorts around the house. “How else do you get abs like these?” he smirks, patting his rock-hard abdominal wall.

“Knowing you? Milk...” Crispin jokes to the marten’s fake indignation.

“Who ordered salmon and nothing else?” William speaks up as he keeps unveiling the bags’ content. “Who went for broke on day one?”

“Look, I don’t know about you, but I’m not cutting fish from my diet even if it’s the only thing I eat from here on now…” the tall lutrine scoffs. “I knew me, J.J. and Ed were the only ones who would go for it, so I thought I might as well splurge a little and grab vegetables and shit from the rest before it spoils.”

“I’m not a full pescetarian or any kinda shit, but fish makes up a good chunk of every otter’s regular diet, and in related news, water is wet.” *shrugs* “If it works for you, don’t fix it, right?”
~Crispin, 29, European Otter, Bouncer


“And who of y’all spent their money on FOUR jars of this stuff?” the weasel says, picking up a large tub of chocolate milk-flavored Combat protein powder.

“Don’t tell me you don’t want to keep top shape...” Kenneth sneers from the sofa, slightly frowning at his choice being put on trial.

“I mean yeah, but I also got a sense of… you know… taste,” J.J. snarks in response. “I’ve had those shakes before, but it ain’t something I’d crave on a daily basis.”

“That’s it, you all sit down, you all need to learn how to eat, I got this...” William says, going back again into the pantry. “Dinner’s on me.”

“As much as I’d love for some of these to subsist on protein powder and clog up their insides… I just kind of can’t, okay?”  *camera shows William sprinting around the kitchen, putting various pots on the stove* “Call me the team dad or whatever, but this is my way to establish my presence in the house without being a grump. That and you don’t wanna piss off the guy who cooks.”
~William, 34, Least Weasel, Personal Trainer


“So, shredded beef here, chickens and pupusas over there...” the weasel says, putting some large plates on the table as most contestants await, fork and knives in their paws.

“Hey Will, I don’t think I’ll have something with that name for dinner...” Omar replies, making a face.

William shrugs, taking the corn cakes in his own plate. “You gotta be more open to foreign food, dude,” he says to the polecat. “Especially you, coming in from another country and all...”

“Least we call our food by good-sounding names...” Omar jokes, before serving himself up a full plate. “I can try cooking you guys a freekeh or a mujaddara, but I can’t promise they’ll be good as William’s dinners,” he says. “Been a lot of time since I visited Jordan, and my mother did most of the cooking anyway…”

“So you two are the foreigners of the bunch?” Arron asks.

“Well, not foreign-foreign,” William chimes. “I’m a second-generation Honduran, parents moved here separately in the early seventies since we, like… were under military power back then,” he says, taking a bite of his chicken. “They found each other because they both gravitated around the Honduran furry community in Florida, and once they married and had my older brother and me, they never really thought about moving back.”

“I was born in Jordan, but came here with mom and dad when I was a cub,” Omar joins with his own two cents on the matter. “So, while I’m well used to America, I still got the best of both worlds...” he says between mouthfuls.

“I guess most of my own affinity towards being on the top and being an Alpha overall was a desire to fit in. When you’re a foreign baby, you immediately go and love everything about your new host country or a new interest, and let’s say someone watched a ton of Jackie Chan when he was little.” *chuckles*
~Omar, 26, Marbled Polecat, Arabic Interpreter


“Just because I’m not American-born doesn’t mean I can’t go in and take this title, because you know America is mixed as hell, both species and heritage wise...” the polecat goes on. “I’m an American citizen and I’m proud of fighting my way there. Like, growing up in a foreign environment, you do take the brunt of it at some point ‘cause you’ll always come across to some dumb people…”

“Is it cuz like… you know...” Chayne started to ask up.

“A bit, yeah...” Omar replied, anticipating the question. “9/11 happened when I was eight, but like… I wasn’t totally ostracized, but as I said, dumb people...” he sighs. “It’s like...it was confusing to me as a kid because my family was admirating who worked and fought for America’s freedom just as much as anyone we knew, but suddenly we were going to the grocery store and people were shooting us looks, we greeted our neighbors and they were looking funny at us. We became “the Arabs who lived next door”, even though our country had nothing to do with the attack itself,” he says with a heavy sigh. “I’m not gonna lie, it did play… somewhat in my self-defense and martial art love? So it’s not all at a loss.” Omar smiles.

“Omar opening to the whole group about being discriminated against during the War on Terror era was a nice moment. I spent a good chunk of my life fighting for America’s freedom in Islamic countries, and still bear the signs on my body… but we did that to ensure that all Americans could live without fearing another 9/11 - and that includes people like Omar, like everyone who wants to call America their home.”
~Eddie, 32, Giant Otter, Demolition Foreman


“It wasn’t easy on any of us, and like…” Arron gestures, trying to find the right wording. “As much as the firefighting bubble was affected back then, I believe the outside folk could have it worse. It’s crazy how can it all be tipped at the drop of a hat...”

“Yep, and those first aid people who stepped in and lost their lives are the real heroes of 9/11,” Omar says, nodding to the honey badger.

“Eh, don’t cut yourself slack. Firefighters don’t need all the admiration for doing the job we chose,” Arron shrugs. “The chance of getting hurt or killed is always there when you go out on calls, be it a random fire anywhere or a national scale emergency like that one…”

“I won’t lie - I originally thought it’d be a chore to live together with eleven strangers that got little in common with me other than our penchant for hitting the gym, training and stuff.” *the wolverine sits back, nodding along as Arron and Omar continue their talk* “But the convo we had tonight at dinner...it kinda shows we can be at each other’s throat and still be civil and thoughtful of each other a moment later. And I reckon that’s part of the Alpha deal.” *smiles*
~Michael, 35, Wolverine, Blacksmith


***

On the balcony, a small group is laying down after the meal, striving for some privacy from the rest of the bunch.

“I’m not here to baselessly stir the pot, but some things need to be said, and it is to our defense...” John says to Eddie, the large otter slightly swaying his rudder, Michael leaning his bulky body forward. “I’m a stickler for fairness, okay? You know it was on both of us...”

“Still thinking about Z?” the former SEAL replies, immediately guessing what the stoat was hinting at. “Look - I’m not saying you weren’t right. I kinda tuned out myself when he started his little display, ‘woo, I won a thousand bucks’ and all that jazz…” he says.

“You all know those hyper-types grate my nerves,” Michael says, taking a swig of his drink.

The giant otter nods, webbed paw scratching the side of his head. “Heh, I totally getcha,” he comments, carefully weighing his words. “But like… I don’t feel it’s wise to pick those kinda fights this soon. You know we’ll be put in spots where we’ll have to decide between taking sides, possibly angering some people down the road… I’d rather prolong that moment a bit further and see what bein’ cool with Z, you and all others gets me, thank you very much.”

“Just don’t grow soft, guys,” the stoat says to the group. “He needs to go through what he needs to go through, and what he doesn’t need is an ego boost after almost fucking it up for us...”

“I’ve just been really… thrown off… by John Blake. He is the most ambitious of everyone here and did pretty great against big threats, but this path could lead to him burnin’ all his bridges before he even has a chance to cross ‘em.” *Eddie is shown nodding through the conversation, as John continues his tirade* “He’s gonna have to bring it like this every single day if he doesn’t drop the act, else he will find himself on the poop deck in record time. And if he wants to keep digging his grave, man… one less competitor in this bunch! I’ll be happy to sit back and break out the popcorn.”
~Eddie, 32, Giant Otter, Demolition Foreman


***

Eventually, most of the guys retreat to their bedrooms and get ready to settle down for the night. Kenneth is shown tossing around in his bed, stretching his worn out body and eventually settling down on his side. Clad only in a pair of camouflage-printed Under Armour boxers, Eddie tends to his injured wrist - carefully changing the bandage on it before getting under the covers. In the jungle room, Andrew is resting on top of his bed, kinda reflecting on the events of the day.  

“Yo, Andy, all good?” Chayne asks from his neighbouring bed.

“Yup,” Andrew snickers at the marten. “If you remove the amount of things I’ll have to explain back home from the equation… yeah, all swell,” he says with a hint of sarcasm.

“Just know I didn’t mean it to kinda leave you bare out there...” the marten flicks his tail.

“Nah, it’s fine. If it wasn’t you, it was gonna be someone else some other day,” Andrew sighs. “I coulda done without you giving out my secret to the guys, though…”

“I mean, kind hard to keep it secret when you are… cut,” Chayne shrugs.

“Heh, to my parents it was,” the polecat lets out a weak smile. “But it’s about more than that. Like...my job is pretty badass as is, I spend most of my free time in the gym, I did lots of wild stuff out on the road… but to mom and dad I’m still little unassuming Andy, and maybe to y’all as well, not the Alpha I’m striving to be here.”

“Yeah, but… who gives a shit? You’re safe, while a firefighter and a Montana meat mountain and myself are at risk of heading home!” Chayne exclaims.

“Yes, but like… they’re all coming off as big, tough and the quintessential Alpha, while I have only managed to embarrass myself. Twice, if you count my morning fumble at the barracks…”

“Andrew’s falling in the classic “‘self-saboteur’” bull. Like, if he’s gonna keep it on like that, others might pounce on him like vultures on carrion.” *sighs* “I can’t help feeling a little bad after what happened during the challenge and how he took it - especially since he really carried himself like a badass before he started second-guessing himself and bringing himself down. Gosh, I don’t want to say I’m taking a liking on the guy, but like…” *shakes his head* “He doesn't deserve to feel shitty...”
~Chayne, 28, Beech Marten, Bartender


“Listen to the pretty boy, Andrew...” Zakee enters the room, clad in just his loose boxers. “Yer safe, you get to call the shots. At the end of the day, nothing else don’t matter,” he exclaims, standing beside both of the mustelids’ beds. “Don’t make me rattle that tiny lil’ head of yours so you get it, right?”

“Nah, Z,” the polecat nods. “I know I’m here for a reason, I’m not gonna quit and give y’all a free pass if that’s what you’re hoping…” he says.

The hog badger curls his lip, seemingly unconvinced, before abruptly turning towards the bartender. “Chayne, question. You bein’ a city boy you might not know, but you know what happens when a pig gets misbehaving back in the stable?”

“I think so...” the marten grins, immediately getting Z’s hint.

Zakee lunges onto Andrew’s bed, holding the unsuspecting polecat in a grip, all the while the hog badger laughs along. “What the fuck?” the polecat yells before Z ends above him, muffling his plea.

“We hold ‘em down, and we wait… until… they get the point they gotta behave!” Zakee bellows, shrugging off Andrew’s efforts to get free. “Chayne, come help me…” The marten doesn’t need to be asked twice, immediately pouncing on the rough-housing duo.

“Are you… out of your… mind?” Andrew exclaims, but ends up laughing in the process, trying to pry free from the hog badger’s headlock.

“One might shrug Z off because you’d think he’s just a rowdy kid who never really outgrew his college phase - but he is smarter than we give him credit for. Dude is as strong as a wild boar, and definitely smells like one…”
~Andrew, 22, European Polecat, Roadie


“Tell me ya got the point you good, pig!” Z loudly asks Andrew. “You a motherfuckin’ Alpha, you not gonna go around moping about others knowin’ about your mutilated willy!”

The polecat flails around, realizing he’s going nowhere as the mechanic keeps a firm grip on his upper section and the bartender is sitting over his legs. “Fine, dude,” he says between heavy breaths, his chest heaving as he struggles to get air in his lungs. “Now...fuckin’ jump outta me, dumbasses!” he says.

Z immediately relents his grip, rolling over and ending up supine next to the polecat. “Just so you know…” Andrew remarks to the hog badger, as soon as he’s able to breathe again, “...this ‘mutilated willy’ has seen more pussy on its last festival than yours in a lifetime!”

“Why you exposing yourself at a cat shelter?” Chayne asks jokingly, sending Zakee in a laughing fit.

“He got you there, Drew!” Z snorts.

“You’re dumb...” the polecat replies in mock anger. “And I definitely know I’ve seen more chicks than you, Chayne...”

“Sure ‘bout that?” the marten winks.

“Yeah, the only ones you get acquainted with are those doing your hair and nails!” Andrew says.

Chayne chuckles. “Got a long way to go on sass, but glad you at least cocky now!”

“Guys, will you finally kiss and make up so I can go to bed?” Zakee interrupts the pair, getting under his bed’s heavy covers.

“Alright, piggy,” the marten chortles, leaning forward to blow the lightest peck on the polecat’s cheek. He then gets up and on his own bed, quickly changing into his own nightwear. “Better go rest, ‘cause someone here will be fighting for his life tomorrow and that’s not you two…”

*the marten pulls in his covers* “It is important to keep good vibes in the house, especially with the ones you share the room with, but at the same time it all hits me at once: if I want to win this, I cannot be riding on individuals and duels. I better nail these and return to shape.”
~Chayne, 28, Beech Marten, Bartender


***
February 25, 2020
8:00 AM


It’s early in the morning as Arron rolls out of bed, immediately heading to the bathroom for his morning ablutions. The honey badger hums between himself as he walks downstairs, heading to the communal kitchen to get his own breakfast going.

“I hope the room switch wasn’t for naught...” Kenneth sighs, looking up where Arron just came in, the badger taking a sip from his protein shake.

“Whatcha doing up this early?” the firefighter retorts, quite startled to see his fellow badger already sitting at the table. “Geez, and I thought I was the one rising with the lark…”

“Tryna gear up for what’s comin’ later...” Kenneth huffs. “Such bullshit we need to go through this on day one.”

“Yeah…” Arron concedes. Without a word, he opens the fridge and gets out a bottle of milk, then he sets out to prepare a bowl of oatmeal with berries and honey - Kenneth scanning his every move as he goes back and forth around the kitchenette.

“Getting a tattoo on the calf is pretty hardcore… but guess you feel strongly about that, hm?” Kenneth cocks his head, noticing the detailed Christian cross pattern on Arron’s leg.

“Huh?” the honey badger turns towards the roofer. “Well, it’s pretty much how I was raised,” he says, taking a small golden crucifix out of his shirt. “I know like… I ain’t going to be preachy, brother. I just feel, I’ve always felt actually, that Christianity sorta sets you on the right path to be a better badger - and that goes in this Alpha field, too,” he says.

“Uh, alright,” Kenneth nods, flicking his hair from his face. “Ain’t like, your own force the most of it?”

“Listen, dude. Like… we all need to draw up our strength and courage from somewhere. Take me, when I go out and put my life on the line while firefighting. Guess that’s just my way to do that,” Arron shrugs.

“No no, I get that,” the roofer nods, taking another gulp of his shake. “I’m just like, I can hope and go and try and all that shit, but in the end, if we’re giving the 100% and these others ain’t, what’s there for us? If I’m going to fail cuz everyone else can’t pick up their slack, then this journey’s going to be awful big time.”

“Heh, it doesn’t work that way,” Arron replies, taking a seat in front of Kenneth. “I’m not dumb enough to think God or anyone will win this thing for me. But see, dude… He ain’t supposed to reward us for trying. Win or lose, that’s part of the greater plan He has in store for all of us,” he says. “So like… I’m just focusing on going in and giving all I got whatever the team or solo or anything I face.”

“Well, we got smaller plans to focus on, dude...” Kenneth scoffs. “Namely, what if the others are trying to fuck us over? You saw how well we did on the first cut, and we going good as roommates, so naturally, those assholes may want to throw a wrench in the plan!” he lowers his voice, albeit keeping the same spiteful tone.

“Kenneth has a powerful spirit, but I think he’s blinded by the current situation.” *Arron nods at the badger’s words* “It is true that competition may have set targets on our back, and murkier waters may loom on the horizon, but we should not focus on that this early in the game.”
~Arron, 28, Honey Badger, Firefighter


“Think about it, Arron....” the badger gestures. “It’s real easy to just decide to throw every challenge necessary and to get rid of a name you don’t like, and I just know they got us in their mouths. It’s real easy to ally and shit when you’re a threat.”  

The honey badger takes a spoonful of his oatmeal, pondering over the roofer’s words. “I see this is gonna get quite cutthroat real soon,” he says. “Sooner or later, people are gonna band up and stab each other’s backs to further their own agendas. Dominating on the field is a thing, double-crossing people is another. I’m not here to play that way...”

“But I bet every single other one here is,” Kenneth states matter-of-factly.

“I will say...” Arron douses more honey into the remaining oatmeal in his bowl. “We’ve got our backs since early. And well… no one has fought that hard to room with me before,” he chuckles.

“And I’d do it again! In the end, this pair right here needs to outlive every single one of these bitches...” Kenneth replies, pointing to both himself and Arron.

“So… Guess that means we can trust each other to be truthful and move forward on the same page, right?” Arron asks back.

“Starting from the next challenge, yes we do…” the roofer nods, extending his fist over the table to bump the firefighter’s.

“Ever since we were on the bus ride to Apopka, I sorta gravitated to Arron because he looked and sounded like the perfect badger bro, and well… I can bro down whenever, I think that’s pretty much clear.” *chuckles* “I can see now that there’s a whole lot more to him than what meets the eye, and like… I got a feeling, among this storm of vultures, he’s someone I can really put my trust into. ”
~Kenneth, 24, American Badger, Roofer/CrossFit Instructor


“Man… how can you keep down all that sugar?” Kenneth shakes his head at Arron, depleting the honey bottle more by the instance. “I could never...”

“And yet we don’t even look all that different bodywise…” the honey badger chuckles. “Granted, I’m indulging a bit more today given that we’re in for a challenge, and the extra boost will probably help…”

“Yeah, but how many cavities have you had filled?” the badger asks jokingly.

Arron flashes a big, toothy grin to his fellow mustelid. “How does that look to ya?” he asks in response.

“Like an expensive set of dentures...” Kenneth replies, Arron mockingly gasping in shock. “House’s going to ask who drank all the honey, you know?”

“Just gonna say it was you, no sweat...” Arron smiles.

The roofer chuckles. “Oh and what’s up with the whole ‘do not bear false witness’ business?”

“If the witness is funny, I’ll take my chances...” the firefighter joins his fellow badger in laughter.

“All in all, this competition is bound to just get more cutthroat as time passes, and I am a believer that what you give is what you get. I’m hoping that by, nurturing this bond with Kenneth will be beneficial to both of us, no matter who stands in the way.” *camera shifts from Eddie and Crispin, then to Andrew and Z*
~Arron, 28, Honey Badger, Firefighter


***

February 25, 2020
2:30 PM, 71° F


The camera pans on a large square field, delimited by heavy military sandbags. “Morning, guys!” Ludwig greets the six safe mustelids, clad in their usual streetwear, as they take their place on a bench on the elevated side of the arena, basking in a VIP view of the challenge to come.

“Now bringing up our challengers...” he comments, as the six contestants from William’s team - now all wearing the same dark blue gym clothes with their name on the front - enter the fray. “Arron, Omar, Michael, Kenneth, Chayne, and their captain, William...” The mustelids walk in, passing by the winner’s bench to stop in a tight line in front of Ludwig.

“I care for this team and I feel it’s too bad that we’re here and not over there on that bench, but at this point, it’s every guy for himself. My only thought is I gotta join the winners’ circle as soon as I can.”
~Arron, 28, Honey Badger, Firefighter


“William, you were the losing captain in the first team challenge,” Ludwig motions to the personal trainer, him nodding along with a sigh. “Knowing what you do now, would you have built your team differently?”

“It’s hard to say, Ludwig...” the weasel shakes his head. “Being the first captain, you’re at a disadvantage because it’s almost all on first impressions and whatever tidbit you managed to get in the way. It is how the cards played...”

“Yeah but… this is American Mustelid Alpha, let’s just drop this diplomatic act. Is there anyone over there on that winners’ bench you’d have swapped any of your teammates with?” Ludwig presses on, several contestants quietly whistling as soon as the question is posed.

“I… I mean, I would have liked Eddie, who doesn’t want the vet? And I also thought of Z, but you sorta threw the wrench in that plan...” he replies, to the snickering of some in the safe bench. “Bottom line, all the guys on my team gave their 100%. I’m not happy that we lost, but I bet even Z would want to swap some of his to send them here and snatch someone here for safety. The walls have ears…”  

“William is trying hard to please everyone, which I feel is part of his act to curry up favor.” *the stoat is shown rolling his eyes as the weasel explains his rationale to Ludwig* “As long as he’s out there and I’m watching him squirm from the winners’ bench, I honestly don’t give a damn.”
~John, 36, Stoat, Jailer


“Alright, well… Kenneth, you’re the one who managed to lose not one but TWO rounds in the trench,” Ludwig says, turning to the badger. “Do you feel you’re at a disadvantage today?”

“Not that now I can prove myself on my own merit,” Kenneth shrugs off the question, Arron nodding along at the badger’s words.

“Kenny I-” *the otter rolls his eyes* “What merit you’re even talking about? You may send our personal chef home and you acting like we didn’t give you the final blow. You’re doing a lot of yapping...”
~J.J., 25, Sea Otter, Construction Project Manager“


“Are you implying that you lost because of your team yesterday? Last I checked, you were on your own down there against John and Eddie…” Ludwig prods the impatient badger.

“But now I can rely on my own self in calling the shots that I want to tak-”

“You CHOSE to go against me,” Eddie interrupts from the bench.

“I mean, I did, but I was taking one for the team, and- aw hell, it doesn’t matter now. Let’s get to the challenge, Ludwig,” the badger motions to the host, anxious to change the subject. J.J. and Crispin fail to hold their snickering next to their fellow otter.

“I don’t understand why they all putting me on the spot, like I was the one comin’ in with the big accolades and not Z and William and so on. I’m here to prove myself, I won’t answer to no one. And if I manage to wipe some of those fucking grins off their sorry faces, well that’s even better.”
~Kenneth, 24, American Badger, Roofer/CrossFit Instructor


“Alright then,” Ludwig says. “Today’s challenge is called Drummed Out, and will test your strength, stamina and balance.” He motions to the field, where six wheeled sleds are parked in a row - seven 55 lbs. steel drums stacked in a heap behind each sled. “On my signal, you’ll be using those sleds to carry those drums on the other side of the field. It’s up to you how many drums you want to load on each go, but you can’t progress until you got all seven on the other side,” he says, Arron nodding at his instructions. “Once you’ve collected all seven drums, you need to stack them between those staircases…” he motions to the other side of the field, where pairs of small, wooden staircases are set for each contestant at a few feet from one another. “...and then walk over the barrels, from one staircase to the other, without falling over. First four contestants coming down the second staircase are safe from elimination, while the remaining two will be facing off in the first Duel of the season, where one will be going home.”

The contestants all nod along, clearly raring to go. “All clear?” the stoat host asks. “Well then, I’ll give you a few minutes to get ready and then we’ll get things started.”

“As soon as Ludwig explains the challenge, I feel a lot more confident. *Michael is shown grinning and rubbing his paws as he gets ready behind his sled* Strength wise, I’m easily the top of the heap - the draggin’ and stackin’ I got easily covered. Sign me up for number one, folks!”
~Michael, 35, Wolverine, Blacksmith


“It’s a tall task, but it’s doable. I believe I can make it happen and keep myself in this game to fight another day...”
~Omar, 26, Marbled Polecat, Arabic Interpreter


All six contestants have taken place behind their spot, looking determined as ever as they get into position. “Alright, guys...y’all ready?” Ludwig asks, one paw on the airhorn. “GO!”

The mustelids start loading the sleds with the steel drums, some deciding to start light and carrying only two, while others trying to make the most of their first round and loading an additional one. “Kenneth is the first to start pushing his sled!” Ludwig comments, as the badger takes on with his two drums - whipping through the field as if his sled was unloaded.

“Kenneth is going at breakneck speed, but I’m not sure if it’s technique or asking for a hernia...”
~Crispin, 29, European Otter, Bouncer


“Arron’s going, Omar’s going! William’s taking his time...” Ludwig narrates along, as the contestants follow the badger’s early lead. Confident about his own strength, Michael takes off with three drums on his sled - his pace clearly slower than most of the guys going lighter, but looking clearly in control as he plows across the field. The wolverine huffs out in exertion, well-trained muscles bulging with effort, as he reaches the finish line and starts unloading his barrels.

“Michael’s in the lead with three drums to his name, most of the other guys following with two!” As Ludwig calls out, Kenneth is already pushing the sled across the field with his second load. He manages to lap William, who like Michael has taken three drums on his first lap but is going decidedly slower than the wolverine blacksmith.

“I’m trying hard to take my time, but these things are heavier than I estimated. But I’m faithful that I know my body more than these other guys, as long as I keep myself focused, I’m safe.”
~William, 34, Least Weasel, Personal Trainer


Kenneth grunts, unloading another two drums next to his own staircase and bringing his total to four. Arron is right on his tail, the firefighter wiping sweat off his brow as he gets ready to push his sled back for one more round.

“Arron got his second load, but he’s slowing down! Omar about to go for his second, Chayne loaded his second!” The entire bench gasps, however, as they take notice of what is happening at the far end of the row - Michael seemingly having decided to complete the task in just two laps, as he loads the remaining four drums, one by one, to his own sled.

“Michael’s going with the rest at once! Will it pay off?” the host comments. The wolverine is getting ready to push just as Kenneth comes back to the starting spot. Noticing Michael’s progress, he resolves to load his remaining three drums on the sled, Arron choosing to go with two and take an additional lap instead.

“As soon as I see Michael going off with four barrels at once, I know I gotta step up and take on the remaining three.” *Kenneth shakes long hair off his face as he gets ready for the final push* “No way I can let him run away with this.”
~Kenneth, 24, American Badger, Roofer/CrossFit Instructor


It is clear that Michael’s gamble is not paying off as much as he would have hoped, as the blacksmith is struggling to build momentum and keeps stalling. Despite looking tired by the effort, Kenneth showcases his tenacity as he propels the heavier sled forward, soon lapping the wolverine brute and heading for the finish line.

“William loads two more drums, Kenneth is close to end and can soon start building!” Ludwig comments, struggling to keep up with everything going on in the field. “Chayne and Omar have delivered two more, but Michael’s slowing down!” he says, the wolverine’s thighs bulging as he strives to move his sled just a few inches forward. He’s slowly closing in on the finish line, but he looks over in frustration as Kenneth crosses it with his last load - immediately springing up and starting to unload his drums. Arron, who’s passed his fellow badger exploiting his lighter cargo, needs to go back for a fourth lap - camera hovering on the last drum sitting on the sidelines.

“Kenneth, you can start building!” Ludwig calls out, Michael’s dismay turning into shock when he heard what the host said next. “William, you too!”

“My strategy to start heavy and then do two more laps with lighter loads seems to be paying off.” *the weasel is shown taking a breather as Kenneth is already starting to stack his drums in a line, spacing them enough to avoid running short* “I may not be the strongest or quickest, but taking my own inner time has paid off before and it will now.”
~William, 34, Least Weasel, Personal Trainer  


Michael is the third to cross the line with all of his drums, seconds before Arron sprinting through at a breakneck pace with his last barrel. Chayne and Omar have employed the same tactic as the honey badger, and are just about to start off for their last push.

Meanwhile, Kenneth has managed to stack all the drums at a record pace, and looks ready to make his first trip from one side to the other. “Got this, Ludwig!” he says, trying to get the host’s attention. He climbs over the three steps of the staircase then tentatively puts his feet over the first drum, arms opened for balance as he starts to walk forward. Slowly but steadily, he walks across the line of barrels without a single misstep, completing the task on his very first try. “YES!” he screams as he jumps off the staircase, pumping out his chest before letting himself fall to the ground.

“Kenneth is through! We’re looking for three mor-” the stoat says, most of the contestants on the bench politely clapping but looking less than enthused.

“Ludwig!” a voice calls from the group, interrupting the host. William manages to go down his set of makeshift stairs with ease just as Kenneth was done.

“And William is through!” Ludwig yells, the group’s reaction being decidedly warmer at the Honduran weasel finding safety. “And now everyone is building their staircases, we are looking for the next two!”

“I’m happy William got through, he didn’t deserve to take the fall for his team. He played this smart and got out winnin’...that’s pretty Alpha if you ask me.”
~Andrew, 22, European Polecat, Roadie


All contestants have now reached the final leg of the challenge and are attempting to cross through their line of drums. Michael is shown taking a tumble as he missteps on the third barrel, Arron following through a few seconds later. Meanwhile, Omar needs to restack his own line as realizes he can’t reach his own staircase, having put the early barrels too close to each other. “Drat…” he curses, jumping off his barrel and dragging it nearer to the staircase. Behind him, Michael’s attempt proves to be successful as he manages to complete the walk without falling, pumping his fist as he walks down the staircase.

“Michael is through! We now only got one spot left! Chayne, Arron and Omar fighting to stay safe!”

“I can’t be going to the duel first, I refuse....”
~Arron, 28, Honey Badger, Firefighter

“This sucks, but I am going to keep fighting, and hopefully it will be Omar and Arron dueling.”
~Chayne, 28, Beech Marten, Bartender

“The challenge ain’t going as planned, but if there’s a window, bet your ass I’ll make it through!”
~Omar, 26, Marbled Polecat, Arabic Interpreter


“Chayne’s closing in, slow but steady…” Ludwig comments as the marten is taking on another attempt. Both feet on his fifth drum, he lunges over with a very long step for his sixth but he loses his balance and ends up needing to jump off and run back to the start. “Another fall for the marten!” the host says, just as Arron comes in ready to take another attempt.

The honey badger walks slowly but surely, trying to balance himself off between each drum. Chayne and Omar stop in their tracks, watching the firefighter as he progresses. The whole crowd goes silent as Arron leaps from his last drum to the top of the staircase, punctuating his motion with a loud grunt.

“Arron is through!” Ludwig says, throwing both paws up, as the honey badger briefly kneels down - crossing himself and pointing up with a finger before reaching up to Kenneth for a celebratory hug.

“I messed up this challenge from start to finish. I clearly underestimated the other guys’ strength, as I took one more lap than Kenneth to deliver all seven drums - then I had a hard time stacking and spacing them enough that I could cross the whole line without fumbling over. None of this was beckoning of the badger who aced all the bootcamp tests, but I’m through to prove myself harder and that’s what counts, brother.”
~Arron, 28, Honey Badger, Firefighter


“Alright, guys…we got our four qualifiers. Kenneth, William, Michael and Arron, you’re safe and through to the next round,” Ludwig recaps. He then motions to the remaining two, both looking worn up and dejected as they sit on their respective staircases. “Chayne and Omar… it ain’t over for you two. Take a breather, collect yourself, then we’ll be seeing each other for the Duel.”

“I won’t lie, I feel a bit scared at this point. I’ve been given multiple chances to save myself and I’m still here fighting for my life.” *Chayne is shown pulling back his hair and wiping his brow with the edge of his shirt* “I’m sorry it falls down to me and my roommate, but ultimately, I’m not here to make friends. I’ll go out and slay Omar if that’s all it takes.”
~Chayne, 28, Beech Marten, Bartender

“Fa3lan? Fa3lan? Fa3lan?” *groans* “This is not the position I wanted to be in. But everything happens for a reason, and if I have to eliminate others on my own paws, best make sure it’s quick and in my favor. Chayne… Imma go all Van Damme on you.”
~Omar, 26, Marbled Polecat, Arabic Interpreter


***

5:00 PM

The ten safe contestants make their way into the high sides of their familiar coliseum-style set, looking down at the area where the individual duel took place, to find a completely different arrangement. Two sets of metal doors have been wheeled in at the center of the field, facing the grandstand.

“This looks badass…” J.J. whispers under his breath, as he takes his place on the bench and sits down.

“The place just took a whole new look. I see two giant metal-looking doors and I can only think, 'Damn, we throwin’ these kids to the lions already?' Holy crap...” *laughs*
~Michael, 35, Wolverine, Blacksmith

“I’ll say, I’m grateful I’m up here and not down there, really. We’re about to lose someone and it ain’t going to be pretty.”
~Andrew, 22, European Polecat, Roadie


“Bring in our duelists...” Ludwig says, as Chayne and Omar walk into the area, nervous but determined. They stop in front of the stoat host, purposefully not looking at their opponents watching them safely from the grandstand.

“It sucks to be here, but this could actually be a blessing in disguise. I can say I’ll get to eliminate one of my competitors here by my own hands, and I can kickstart my standing in this competition. Basically, the long way to say don’t fuck with me...”
~Omar, 26, Marbled Polecat, Arabic Interpreter


“As I walk in I got jitters down my spine, I need to breathe deep to keep my legs from shaking. I’m about to fight Omar for my life in this game, and the only way to get out alive is defeating him at anything they set up for us.”
~Chayne, 28, Beech Marten, Bartender


“Chayne, Omar, welcome to the first Duel of this season. No place to hide anymore, only one of you two will survive this last challenge, which we call Shut The Hell Up,” he says, both mustelids nodding along. “In this duel, we gonna test your strength and endurance,” he motions to the twin sets of doors. “You’re gonna take place in front of those doors. On my go, you’ll have to push against your doors and keep them closed by any means, as they’ll be pushing back in your direction through a set of springs. The further we go into the challenge, the tougher will be to keep up the pressure as more force is applied. It will turn strong, it will become unbearable, but you need to maintain the doors shut.”

“Holy fuck that’s brutal…” Kenneth whispers to Arron.

“The one who lets their doors open first, will be the first eliminated from America Mustelid Alpha,” Ludwig says, turning to the duelists. “You got any questions?” Both the marten and marbled polecat shake their heads. “Well then, get to your own post and we’ll get things started.”

“Cue the dramatic effect...” Crispin whispers to Eddie next to him.

“This is going to be a battle of wills. Pure strength doesn’t factor as much as mental strength, and I know that these two must have the latter in spades just by having reached this stage. I can’t wait to see how it’ll play out.”
~Crispin, 29, European Otter, Bouncer


“What if they both just swing open at the same time five seconds in?” John snickers.

Arron frowns at the stoat’s remark. “Don’t try and be funny, brother...” he replies. “Just be thankful you’re not about to fight for your life like those two.”

“I don’t plan to do that anytime soon...” the stoat retorts.

On one side of the platform, the marten ties up his hair and stretches out his limbs, testing his grip against the doors just as the marbled polecat is doing the same. They bump fists in reciprocal solidarity before getting into position: Chayne’s paws are both planted against the metal - legs slightly splayed as he leans against the door - while Omar is pivoting on his right leg and pushing with both his paws and left leg.

“Are you ready?” Ludwig calls.“GO!”

Both mustelids are startled as the doors start pushing forward, them immediately pushing back and getting into position. “The challenge is on,” the stoat comments, smirking as he walks down the platform. Omar closes his eyes, leaning against the wall as he tries to focus.

“He said we were starting easy, but let me tell ya - this is not easy at all." *the marbled polecat is shown grimacing as he pushes against the door, trying to let his legs do most of the work* "All I feel is this metal door that pounds and clanks at every second, I block everything and everyone from my other senses, and it just feels like a rabid bull wants to come out and trample over me, almost like it’s my own responsibility to literally stay alive...”
~Omar, 26, Marbled Polecat, Arabic Interpreter


“Hey Cris!” Chayne says out loud, not losing focus on the pounding pair of doors. “Don’t you usually do this for a paycheck? And... I’m here doin’ it for free, what gives?” The group lets out a chuckle at the marten’s cheeky remark.

“We’re three minutes in,” Ludwig comments, moving closer to the contenders. “Omar, what’s going through your mind?”

“I'm a bit busy right now?” he mutters under his breath, not bothering to turn towards the host, to the confusion and bemusement of everyone.

“Well...I’ll take it as it’s all fine,” Ludwig giggles. “And you, Chayne? How does this feel?”

“Amazing… guys up there should try it sometime...” the marten replies, his voice showing a hint of strain.

“Glad you’re enjoying yourself...” the host comments sarcastically, “...’cause it’s about to become a lot tougher.”

The camera shows a timelapse of the two contestants working themselves into different stances, trying their best to find a position not putting too much strain on their bodies. The doors slightly slip open from time to time, both mustelids grunting out their effort as they do their best to shut them close.

“I know I can survive this, I’ve worked so hard to be eliminated on this stage.”
~Omar, 26, Marbled Polecat, Arabic Interpreter


A thumping push shocks both mustelids, as the force becomes not only stronger, but in a more chaotic rhythm, catching them off guard. Omar’s gates opens ever so slightly, but he manages to recover and shut it off again. Chayne plants his feet on the ground, making sure his footing is good enough to keep his strength focused towards his goal.

“This challenge is hell on Earth. We don’t get a single moment of respite, as we’re required to keep up a constant effort. My heart is pounding, my arms are shaking...I just hope Omar manages to drop before I do.”
~Chayne, 28, Beech Marten, Bartender


“Twenty minutes have passed, and these two are still going strong,” Ludwig tells the bystanders, clearly in admiration of the feat taking place in front of his eyes. “Y’all taking sides yet?”

“Both can go, let’s be honest...” Michael snarks. “That way I’m closer to the victory...”

Before even realizing it, Andrew jumps in. “I’d rather have Omar leaving,” he says. “Guy’s background is fighting heavy, and I would gladly do without having to take him on somewhere down the line.” Some players nod along at the polecat’s words.

“So you want to preserve the weakest, huh? How Alpha of you,” John snarks. “I’m not pulling for anyone, but if I got to choose, I’d go with the Arab dude. I just don’t think Chayne’s ready… if ever...”

“This is who I am, I speak my mind, I don’t mince words, I 100% tell it like it is. They might not like it, but ultimately it’s their issue, not mine. I’ve dealt them a few blows where it counts and I’m gonna keep at it.”
~John, 36, Stoat, Jailer


The crowd is starting to pick the first true signs of distress from the two duelists, as both are struggling to exert the strength needed to shut the doors completely close. The more they slip open, the tougher it is becoming to keep a steady pressure on their surface.

“Uh oh, Omar’s in trouble…” Crispin, ever the perceptive one, comments as the marbled polecat’s leg loses its grip, doors popping open ever so slightly. The Jordanian curses under his breath as he’s forced to change stance, putting one paw on each side of the door as his body is forced into an X position.

“Chayne’s opening too...” Kenneth replies. The marten grimaces as he pushes back with all of his might, managing to recover an inch. Both contestants seem to be ready to give up, grunting loudly as they put all of their effort into the challenge.

“I...I fucking can’t…” the marbled polecat pleads as he realizes his limbs are about to fail on him, tears pooling in the corner of his eyes and mixing with the sweat. His arms begin shaking uncontrollably, him struggling to apply strength to both sides of the door as his body is forced into a highly uncomfortable position. The marten turns his head towards Omar and gives him a subtle nod, fully aware of the predicament his rival is in.

Eventually, with a loud bang, one of the gates flings open and sends the mustelid rocketing on the floor.

“CHAYNE WINS THE DUEL!” Ludwig exclaims, the marten falling on his back after hearing this, covering his face as the realization of having conquered the very first Duel starts dawning on him.

“YES!” *pumps his fist in celebration* “I lived, bitch! And trust me - I’m not going down on a duel again anytime soon. It has been one of the toughest things I've ever had to do!” *laughs*
~Chayne, 28, Beech Marten, Bartender


“Chayne, go back up with your fellow competitors, you survived the Duel...” Ludwig says, the blonde marten not wasting a second, sprinting to where the other ten safe mustelids were.

The marbled polecat looks solemnly at the host, with paws on his hips. “Omar, you’ve done great in this competition and shown us how it’s done from Jordan to the world, but I’m sorry, this is the end of your journey.”

“Been a pleasure, Ludwig… this certainly wasn't in my plans, but hey, he beat me fair and square,” he says, walking forward to the stoat to give him one last shake of paws before heading towards the field’s exit. “Guys…” he adds, turning to the group, “From here on, I want you to give everything you got. Don’t make me regret having to leave first.”

The marbled polecat turns before exiting the premises. “Oh… and one last thing...” he adds, taking a deep breath, letting out a native rousing cry. “LALALALALALALALALAHEEEEEEY!!” the high-pitched ululation echoes around, to the clapping and fanfare of the remaining rivals.

“So… it’s down to eleven,” Ludwig addresses the guys, as soon as the polecat has left the scene. “You’ve seen how hard this competition is, and how much does it take to come out on top against such fierce rivals,” he says. “Your closest friend might become your opponent in a second, and if you want to come out on top, you gotta toss any regard to the side. This is your Alpha lesson for the day.” The camera focuses on Chayne, still smiling in disbelief, as the host walks out. “Now go back and get some rest, you’ll need it...”

The group gets up and walks out of the arena, chattering in small groups as they head out.

“Well, it’s over. I won’t lie, I’m kinda pissed off I didn’t really have a chance to prove myself and what I can do.” *Omar is shown getting back into the Burrow, on his own, immediately heading upstairs to pack his stuff* “I figured from the beginning some of these guys were more into the 'anything you can do, I can do better' side of the game than I do, but I don’t think that’s what did me in. I wanted to show there are different brands of Alpha, and that you don’t really need to put on the fake ‘tude 24/7 to be respected and prove your worth.”
 ~Omar, 26, Marbled Polecat, Arabic Interpreter


The marbled polecat walks out of the front door, gym bag and suitcase in tow, closing the door behind himself.

“I still think neither of those people got anything on me, but I’m not gonna walk out a sore loser. This has been an amazing experience and I can’t wait to wind down with all the guys out of the competition. And believe it is not over for me. Ma3a salaama!”
~Omar, 26, Marbled Polecat, Arabic Interpreter


***

INDIVIDUAL CHALLENGE #1, “Drummed Out”

1st: Kenneth
2nd: William
3rd: Michael
4th: Arron
To the Duel: Chayne, Omar

DUEL #1, “Shut The Hell Up”

Chayne defeats Omar and eliminates him from American Mustelid Alpha.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Ep 2, Part 1 || Archives

Red means serious business! Previously on American Mustelid Alpha, we saw Greasy Z and William put together their teams and fight each other in the Trench for a chance at immunity. However, matters are not settled, as the aftermath of the challenge sees tempers flaring on both sides. Soon the members of the losing team will have one more chance to save their own selves and avoid the dreaded Duel, which will decree the first contestant to be eliminated from American Mustelid Alpha. Who will it be?

We want to give a big round of thank you to our readers for the amount of feedback you gave us so far! Please let us know what you thought of this so far, who you think will go home next, who are your favorite and most despised, literally just whatever good or bad you thought of this :)

Episode 3, "I'm Feeling Like The King Of The Burrow", will be out on Tuesday, January 12th and Thursday, January 14th!

American Mustelid Alpha is the brainchild of HeadQuarters (the joint project of Qovapryi and Harlow). All mentioned characters belong to them both.

Keywords
male 826,659, furry 54,516, males 34,381, otter 25,766, muscle 20,278, muscles 11,490, clean 9,089, ferret 7,338, muscular 7,194, shower 6,110, mustelid 5,541, piercing 5,108, badger 4,377, weasel 3,866, locker room 1,607, stoat 1,321, story series 1,285, wolverine 1,120, character development 1,004, mustelidae 996, challenge 871, marten 654, alpha 569, ermine 552, competition 486, television 386, tv show 342, honey badger 244, duel 218, sea otter 210, polecat 163, ama 92, american badger 89, mustelids 87, marbled polecat 41, least weasel 39, giant otter 36, alpha male 35, serial 35, banter 31, reality show 27, european otter 26, reality tv 26, american mustelid alpha 25, beech marten 14, elimination 11, european polecat 10, hog badger 9
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