High above his head, Victor could hear the roar of the crowd in the Club Dred Auditorium. The throng was chanting for blood and violence. And now there was the pounding sound of one of the contestants being slammed repeatedly against the rink’s floor. The fighter’s screams of pain reverberated down through the ceiling into the holding area.
The vast panels above Victor were shaking as the voices of the excited fans grew to a loud crescendo. The Kuljik crowd could sense that the end was near for one of the poor fighters. A brutal death strike was imminent. The crowd’s need for blood would soon be quenched once more.
And now there was just silence.
Through the stillness of the hordes anticipation, Victor could make out a soft guttural groan as if from that of a dying animal. There was the faint sound of metal slicing cleanly through flesh and the thump of a body collapsing to the ground. And then all was enveloped in an eruption of cheering and jeering.
“DEATH NIGHT: FIGHT 5 FINISHED,” boomed out an eerie female voice. The static-filled announcement drowned out the crude yells of the horde. “Marcus slays the absconder slave Karlton.”
It was only just a matter of time now.
Victor stared up through the tall narrow metal tube that he was trapped in. The circular pipe stretched straight upwards. Onward towards what he could only presume was the floor of the arena. Victor pressed his fists against the cold walls of his enclosed chamber. He tried to move his feet, but they were still locked in place. His boots clamped down tightly to a small circular platform contraption. The circular metal tube, which he was locked in, was barely as wide as his own body. The cramped and claustrophobic quarters only added to his nervousness and fear.
For most of the day, Victor had been left to wait in the solitary confinement of his glass cell. He had not seen Hali again nor had he seen pretty much anyone else. Victor was isolated from the other fighters. As the seconds crawled by, he had grown desperate for any type of company. Victor had called out through the walls, hoping for some type of response. But no one ever answered back. At first, Victor had felt fortunate to have a reprieve from Kreagor’s and the other Medtronik soldiers’ torments. But this was just a new form of torture. He was alone with his thoughts and alone with his nightmares. He fought back against his weariness with all his might, because every second was precious. How much longer did he even have? In this place, he had no sense of the time. And that dug like a dagger into his gut. The imaginary clock in his head just kept ticking by mercilessly.
Eventually, he would have to make a decision. For Victor could still feel the metallic stinging of the pill resting in the corner of his cheek. And it tasted like hell.
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