In a pulsating metropolis that has been forgotten by the rest of the world, gangs rule supreme, begging for blood, and given their wishes by a violent sport that has taken over the city.The sport: Bloodbox.Competitors come and go, lives are taken, and histories are built. But one thing remains certain. Blood will be shed for glory.

A drop of sweat crept down Nero's forehead, but he ignored it, blocking out his instincts to turn around. The box was silent, and even the onlookers from the centre windows were hushed, for they knew how much this meant to Nero, and to the future of Bloodbox.

The mirrors on the edges were designed as a kind of psyche-out, in order to intimidate the combatants and make them jump at their own reflection, often causing an early gunshot amongst the less experience fighters.

But Nero had been interested in Bloodbox since he was a boy. Raised on it, entered by his 'guardian' at the age of seventeen. He had been ready since twelve, when he had shed his first blood.

Nero remained silent, reflecting upon all possible tactics he knew. Not his own tactics, but the tactics of the opponents he had faced in his career, for lack of a better word.

The arena: Four twenty-five metre long sides, enclosing two combatants in a deadly cube. Four more shorter lengths on the inside, transforming the cube into a series of corridors, making escape impossible. Mirrors on the inside, mirrors on the outside. In the middle, behind bullet-proof glass, the audience. One way mirrors allow them to see in, but on the other side, they are invisible.

Nero had been still for several minutes, and the likelihood was that his opponent was playing the same game. But for different reasons. Nero was biding his time. The weedy kid who was fighting for his life was probably paralysed by fear.

One cautious step forward, and he remained silent. His opponent obviously had not had the same experience. With a swift flick of the arm, Nero spun around, shooting from the hip and watching the bullet meet its target - the chest of the skinny boy, no older than twenty, dressed in rags that he would probably be buried in. Or burned.

One bullet, and Nero had used it well. Again.

The End

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