The five travelers straddled along, Aakt, carried by Gwenver and Silver, all in search of an escape route. Machetes would have been very handy for the situation they were in, with all the tall thin weeds scurrying about eye level. Ditazhak was among the first to complain. "Aargh! Allergies." Her eyes became noticeable watery, even behind her glasses. "I'll kill the person who's behind this, if it's the last thing I do." Her voice raised, "This is the last straw!" She exclaimed to herself.

"It seems you have a grudge against some things around here?" Silver questioned, to start some conversation involving two people or more. Carrying Aakt was a tiring task, especially when he was fully unconscious. Taking her mind off the subject would be helpful.

"You bet. There are at least a dozen nasty schemes this company has plotted. Almost all have been life threatening. Take this game for example. Who in their right mind uses actual guns for an accuracy competition. It's unheard of." Ditazhak retorted, now shading her eyes away from any place that could potentially have pollen (everywhere). She could barely walk without tripping once every while.

"May someone tell me where we're going? We've been circling this jungle for ages." Trenza wailed, "And besides, I just had a pedicure. Money and time don't grow on trees."

"I'll tell you where we're going. We're going to be fried if we don't find who's behind this screw up. Obviously, we are the final five for now, that is, if we all are able to escape." Gwenver replied under his breath. "Does anyone have any ideas?"

"I've got one. Shoot a bullet. See if it hits anything. I don't see any sky, and I think we're enclosed in some type of dome." Trenza spoke a few minutes later. Without further adieu, she fired. There was no sign of the bullet hitting anything, but a cry of surprise did result. The five of them rushed towards it. There was no need though, for 'it' had come to them.

A figure completely hidden under a dark cloak, a face mask, and a wide brimmed hat came to form. "An inch to your left would have been right on target." He told Trenza. He held the bullet in his hand, and tossed it back to her. She held it, somewhat astonished.

"Do you happen to be the one behind all of this?" Gwenver demanded, "Testing us like guinea pigs, and putting our lives on the line in hopes of qualifying to be tested once again like lab rats in the next level?" Fury and rage came about him. "Have you no compassion for the lives of mankind?"

"I have enough to tell you to enjoy what bit of life you have left. You'll be at rest soon." The figure told them. He turned his back towards them, walked away, and rose up above. "Prepare for your doom!" At that very instant, hands of ice fell from the sky, grasping onto their victims mercilessly and absorbing precious energy. "Welcome to my world, where I dictate all." He announced.

"Who are you?" Silver asked. She used her bag as a shield from the death grips and shot a bullet to attract his attention. "Come back!" She raced after him.

"I'd watch where you stepped if I were you. This is a former battlefield, which means, there are a hell of a lot of mines waiting to be stepped on." Silver stopped.

"Answer me." He didn't listen. "Well, let's make the best out of this situation, not that there is much we can do." Silver told them. Without warning, she fired at one of the hands. It exploded into hazardous shards. "We have to find the source. Let's follow the direction from which they are coming from. This way." Trenza led the way and gained on the mysterious figure.

"You're not getting away." She muttered. Just when Trenza clung onto him, he shifted the direction of the ice grips, in a way so that they directly charged from behind, tearing the victims, flesh and all.

"Hurry up Trenza, our crew covering our back can't hold on much longer." Ditazhak informed her on the matter as she observed Gwenver and Silver struggling behind taking to heat. Aakt took a beating too, but was not conscious enough to feel the pain and suffering. Trenza toughened up and leaped onto the masked stranger, plunging him to the ground.

"Let's see who you really are." Trenza sneered. Under the dark covering was a man, short dark hair, sharp eyes, an inexplicable charisma to him. It was none other than Newt Ocian.

"Surprise?" Was all he managed to say. A trigger was pulled towards his head. Trenza's grasp came about tighter than usual, and too tense for any possible comfort.

"What's your plan? Who do you work for? Answer me this." Trenza demanded. She was shaking, in fear, in frustration, in confusion, as they did all, but her voice revealed it the most. Everyone was by far shocked to how Ocian reacted- with a snicker, then a laugh, at first, just a chuckle and then progressing into a full menacing villain type laugh as far as anyone could here within a radius of a mile. "Tell us!" She demanded again, this time shouting to the top of her lungs.

"Do you think a gun scares me?" He asked rhetorically with a smile, "By far it doesn't." He answered himself. "The thing is… I can't be killed. Don't believe me? Go ahead and shoot."

In mad rage and without hesitation, the shot was fired. It riveted through all the shocked faces, including Aakt's, who had recently regained consciousness. "Damn you." He managed to mutter before he vanished without a trace. He would have hoped that at least one of them to have desired further explanation. He was wrong. "I'll be back." He threatened. Izhmak appeared shortly after the incident, fully aware of what had happened.

Silver let Aakt stand on his own and ran towards the Lieutenant. "You have to get us out of here." Desperation clung to her voice.

"With great pleasure. This entire task was not planned by the company.

"Come on, we have to find what controls this atmosphere dome. All of these things around us are not real, but when they are placed into effect, they can easily harm or even kill us." Izhmak replied instead to divert our attention to another motive.

We took turns carrying Aakt, but we were starting to feel the exhaustion of carrying double one's weight. "I-it's over there. That was w-where I was shot." His voice cracked.

"Aakt! You're okay!" I hugged him. He gently pushed me away.

"Keep going. There's not much time."


Silver and Gwenver leapt out of the way, pulling Aakt along with them. They had hit a land mine.

"We'll be fine," Gwenver reassured. That was until they heard a series of clicks.

"Don't move." Trenza told them. I'll get you out." Cautiously, she came closer to analyze the circumstances. It was one of the worst. "I have bad news."

"Would you happen to have any good news to come along with that bad news?" Silver asked in high hopes. "I'm too young to die."

"Calm down." Izhmak told the gang. "At least tell them what kind of trap they've gotten themselves into." He suggested to Trenza.

"Fine. You're directly on top of a landmine, in a position that's impossible to deactivate without you moving. In addition to that, you're surrounded by at least three other landmines.

"Go on without us!" Aakt blurted out to mainly Trenza. "We'll live."

"Speak for yourself!" Gwenver and Silver snapped at the same time and shifted to whack Aakt on the head.

"Hey! You're moving it. It's going to explode.

What was next was a huge blowing sound that could deafen the ears in an instant. It was a sound of corruption, of our doom.

All of us were thinking the same thing.

This could be the end.