Chapter Thirty Four

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A few more days passed by with little else happening. A couple of prisoners went off to fight in the pit; neither returned. From what Max, Lizzie and Paulo could see, the guard count was still extremely low and their plan was moving closer to action.

They had slowly informed the other prisoners of what they were planning on doing. Most were behind it immediately, and others took convincing; but now everyone was on the same page. It seemed that everyone would rather risk death than live here a second longer.

Max was sure that he and Lizzie would be called forward to fight most days after the popularity of their last, but that hadn't been the case...until today.

At around mid-day, Nev and two guards entered the building, rattling on the iron cell bars to wake up those trying to catch some sleep.

"Okay, rise and shine ladies and gentlemen!" Nev shouted, his eyes never diverting from Max.

Max could tell his name was going to be called; waking people up and putting them on edge was just part of Nev's sadistic game.

"Today's lucky contestants will be...Max and Lizzie. You have ten minutes to prepare," he said with a wicked grin, before leaving the room once again.

Lizzie clearly hadn't been expecting this as much as Max had.

"What?! This is bullshit! We fought more recently than most of the people in here!" she argued, looking to Max for defence.

Max ignored her outburst, instead turning to Paulo.

"Are we ready?" Max asked him impatiently.

Paulo shook his head and looked down.

"I'm sorry my friend. We need more time to finish the weapons and to get everyone up to speed," he answered apologetically.

"Okay. Then get them ready, we move as soon as we get back!"

"Max I'm not sure we can..."

"We move as soon as we get back! No one else is dying in that fucking pit,"

"What about us Max? We only just scraped through last time," Lizzie pointed out.

"We'll be fine kid," he said with a fake reassuring smile.

"Okay, I'll get it done," Paulo said. "Just make sure you get back here Max; we can't do this without you. We need all the fighters we can get," he urged.

Lizzie cleared her throat, arms crossed fiercely.

"And you of course, Lizzie," Paulo chuckled.

Max nodded, shaking Paulo's hand and pulling him into an embrace as Nev re-entered the room.

"Okay, okay. Enough of the displays of affection. Let's go!" he barked.

Max and Lizzie walked through the cell door and let the guards march them towards the weapons room. On the way, Max looked at the guards as thoroughly as possible. They carried assault rifles, but they didn't even have any clips in them. They probably ran out of ammo months ago. This was great news for the prisoners; it meant that all the guards carried on them were knives and machetes.

The prisoners had been working non-stop, trying to turn anything they could find in the cell into some kind of weapon. They were sharpening pieces of plastic, tearing sharp springs from the sofas...anything they could get their hands on. Max was more confident than ever; he just needed to make sure him and Lizzie got through the next half an hour or so.

The guards led them into the weapons room, locking them behind the cell door. As he glanced around the room, Max noticed a shelving unit full of random items, including his and Lizzie's backpacks. It looked as if they hadn't got round to going through them yet. He could see his bat and machete poking out from the sides. He made a mental note of this; if they were to escape, they would definitely need their things.

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