Chapter 20

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Picture on side is of Maia.

The alarm had saved me from a dangerous situation to thrust me into yet another one. But I couldn't think about Ryan, not right now, not where I desperately needed to concentrate, not to dwell on my worries. I sighed in relief, as I saw Renae and Liam, standing silently in the Silent Room.

Renae looked pale but strong and determined, and Liam, just appeared stressed- worry lines on his forehead. There were only seven of us here, the eighth having once been Jeremy. As they saw me, Renae smiled faintly, and Liam looked less stressed.

I approached the group, scanning for each person- who was competing? I knew all of them from the group, but I searched for those that I couldn't see. Disappeared, and no more. I didn't know who had gone- and I felt a pang of relief.

Out of the seven, there was, Maia- a girl my age. A blonde-haired woman who looked as frightened and helpless as a rabbit. I remembered she had been the one to be scratched by the Teleporter. I swore I could see the tip of her scar but as I looked- she caught me and pulled her sleeve down fiercely.

There were also: Liam, Renae and I. There were two others, but I did not know their names, having only seem them hanging around the Dining Hall, and the Starting Room. They kept to themselves and had never appeared at a single meeting of mine.

Twins- both dark-haired, brown-eyed and roughly the same size, one- a woman, and the other, a man. Both looked bored, as if they did this kind of thing everyday. 

The twins, creeped me out majorly. I had the strangest feeling about them, the way they showed no fear- despite the desperate situation we were in, just seemed inhuman. Or, that they were very sure they were going to win. The realisation made my blood chill. These weren't types like this- survive until the death. 

These were ones that took the deaths into their own hands.

My thoughts were interrupted as the black-haired man, the servant of Raxis, and the one who informed us on the Games, scurried through the door, holding a clipboard and looking very pleased and self-important.

"Hello all Competitors!" he called to everyone. "So good to see you're alive!"

He let out a laugh, while we stared at him with open contempt. I hated this mouse of a man. He made jokes at the loss of our fellow Competitior's' lives and teased us about the death to come. I wished he could be among us when we went out to face the monsters, have him in the thick of the terror as we were picked off helplessly one by one.

No doubt he would be killed instantly.

"So, due to the unfortunate death of one of your fellow Competitors, prior to this Stage," the man announced. "Only three of you will die today. Isn't that good news?"

He looked eagerly among us, a smile plastered on his face. How I wished I could wipe that arrogant smirk off his face. I restrained myself, now was not the time. However, afterwards if I survived, I would punch that slimy dirtbag in the face.

"Today, we will we be competing in the Gladiator Arena," he said, happily. "Won't that be entertaining?"

The Gladiator Aren.! Where there were no monsters, simply traps (unless of your own making) and your other Competitors- and until three died, the Game would go on.

Renae, Liam and I moved together, already pronounced as a group. I stared appraising at the other Competitors- the yellow-haired woman and Maia, I was sure, would do us no harm, but the two others seemed fierce Competitors.

I swallowed hard, as I realized I had never killed a man. I had been scheming to end Raxis's pathetic life, but had been deterred by the deal concerning Liam. Anyway, Raxis was a demon, and these Competitors were fellow humans, men and women, maybe with families at home, and lives to go back to. I had no idea whether I could actually kill them, force myself to murder.

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