I apologise for both the long wait and the fact I ended the last chapter on a cliff hanger, but welcome, to Chapter 16 of The Games Next Door, where last we left of, Nigel was being held at gunpoint by his own cousin. Enjoy. I hope it was worth the wait.

Nigel was standing at gun point with Eva Roberts, the female contestant from District 5, formally known as KND operative Numbuh 10. Although it hurt Nigel greatly to have to fight his old comrades, what hurt him the most about fighting this contestant, was that she was also his cousin. They had not met, until they became KND operatives, and had not discovered they were cousins until they were both about ten years old. Although it hurt Nigel to have to fight someone who was his own flesh in blood, he had a mission to complete and he promised his friends, he would not let this stop him. Nigel did not know why, but he felt he should catch up with his cousin, before she attempted to eliminate him.

"You're looking well Eva, I can see the last five years of poverty haven't been too hard on you," said Nigel.

"Well thank you, believe it or not, I'm still rather popular, especially with the boys of District Five," said Eva.

"I'd believe that, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if the boys of District Five tried to volunteer for you," joked Nigel.

"Oh, they tried, believe me, but unfortunately that's against the rules, and let's face it, none of the girls were gonna volunteer for someone like me," said Eva, still pointing her weapon at Nigel.

"Well, if there's one thing I did learn from being in the Kids Next Door, it's that sometimes rules are meant to be broken," said Nigel, hoping he could reason with her.

"Maybe then, but not anymore. This world is ruled by the Adults, meaning that if we wanna survive, we have to play by their rules," said Eva, seeming even more ready to fire her weapon.

Nigel knew it was now or never, he had to try and reason with her and try to convince her to help him, instead of fighting him.

"Eva, listen to me, we don't have to do this," said Nigel carefully.

"Ok, now your just being stupid," said Eva, putting her finger on the trigger.

"Eva, just listen to me for a second," pleaded Nigel.

"Fine, since you're my cousin, I'll give you one minute to say what you want to say," said Eva, releasing her finger from the trigger.

"I've teamed up with the rest of Sector V, and we are planning on making it all the way to the end. Should we make it, we're gonna refuse to fight each other, to show the entire world, that our friendship is more powerful, than the oppression placed on us by the adults and to also show, that there is still hope for those who believed it in the Kids Next Door," stated Nigel.

Eva lowered her guard a little upon hearing what Nigel had said. Her expression also softened a little, making it seem that she was honestly considering what Nigel was offering. Eventually, her expression hardened again, and she put her finger back on the trigger.

"Sorry Nigel, you may be my cousin, but I've got my immediate family to consider," said Eva, getting ready to fire.

"Eva please," said Nigel, basically begging.

"You have your mission, I have mine," said Eva coldly.

"I guess I was wrong, you have changed over the last five years. You're a lot less friendly and optimistic then I remember," said Nigel.

"Well when life gets tough, you have to get tougher," said Eva.

"Before you eliminate me, there's just one more thing I need to know. Did you consider me to be a traitor?" asked Nigel.

Eva had to stop and think about this.

"If I'm honest, no. When I heard that you were the one who gave the order, I didn't want to believe it and I was greatly relieved to hear that you had been brainwashed. So even though you were the one who gave the order, I didn't consider you a traitor, because anyone with half a brain should be able to see, that you didn't do it out of your own free will," said Eva.

"Well, it's good to hear that you don't blame me for the current state of the world," stated Nigel genuinely.

"Well by the looks of it, it's not been completely terrible for you," said Eva.

"What do you mean?" asked Nigel.

"I was at the interviews Nigel, so I can see that you've got a new admirer," teased Eva.

"If you're gonna make fun of me you might as well shoot me right now," said Nigel, getting a little irritated.

"Make fun of you? Nigel, if we didn't have to fight each other, I'd honestly support the two of you," stated Eva.

"Support us?" asked Nigel confused.

"Nigel, as much as I liked Lizzie, I honestly think Rachel is a far better match for you," stated Eva honestly.

"Why's that?" asked Nigel.

"You were both workaholic operatives, who took their jobs in the KND way too seriously, and unlike Lizzie Rachel would never have complained about your responsibilities, because she would've not only understood, but she would have emphasized," said Eva genuinely.

"So, you think Rachel and I would've found a way to make it work?" asked Nigel.

"Oh, I definitely think that. I also think that if you had not been forced to fight each other, you could've gone on to have a long and happy life together. But unfortunately, I can't allow that to happen," said Eva, getting ready to fire her weapon.

"Eva, before you do anything, ask yourself this. Do you really want to do this?" asked Nigel, making one more attempt to reason with her.

"It's not a matter of whether I want to do this Nigel. I have to do this," said Eva.

"Very well, but there's one thing you failed to take into account," said Nigel.

"What's that?" asked Eva.

"I've told you that I'm currently planning a small rebellion, with the rest of Sector V. Do you really think I'd plan to fight on my own, while the rest of the team had back up? As a former leader yourself, you should be able to see how flawed that plan would be," said Nigel, when suddenly they heard someone load a weapon.

"Put it down Eva," said Rachel, appearing behind Eva.

Eva lowered her weapon, but she did not drop it. She turned around to face Rachel, who had her G.U.M.Z.O.O.K.A.' pointed directly at her. Nigel also pointed his S.P.I.C.E.R. at Eva. The girl from District Five was trapped. To Nigel and Rachel's surprise however, she started smiling.

"Rachel, so good to see you again," said Eva happily.

"Feelings mutual, but unfortunately you turned down our offer," said Rachel, aiming her G.U.M.Z.O.O.K.A directly at Eva.

"I'm confused though. Nigel said he was planning a rebellion with the rest of Sector V, why are you helping?" asked Eva curiously.

"Rachel became Sector V's newest member the day we arrived in the capital," answered Nigel.

"Also, after my little confession last night, you should know that I would have no issue with helping Nigel through the Games," added Rachel.

This just made Eva smile even more.

"It's good to see you two didn't waste any time becoming partners. In more ways than one," giggled Eva.

This made both Nigel and Rachel blush.

"Unfortunately, we're only partners in one way. For now, anyway. We talked about it last night and I think we're both open to exploring other possibilities. Right?" asked Nigel, in Rachel's direction.

"Yeah, I'd say that's a decent way to describe it," said Rachel, still blushing a little.

"Well, isn't that sweet. But unfortunately, I can't allow that to happen," said Eva.

It was at that point that Nigel and Rachel noticed that Eva, had still not dropped her weapon.

"I said drop it Eva," said Rachel, readying herself again.

"I'm afraid I can't do that Rachel. My family's starving, but if I can win this, that should end," said Eva, getting more serious.

"Your being foolish Eva, there's two of us and we have you at gunpoint," said Nigel taking aim.

To Nigel and Rachel's surprise, Eva started laughing.

"What's so funny?" asked Rachel confused.

"You both forget. I was also once a sector leader. Leader of Sector L," said Eva.

"What does that have to do with the current situation?" asked Nigel curiously.

"Do you really think, I'd be foolish enough to go into these games without a little backup? I may be pretty, but I'm not stupid," said Eva smiling.

Out of nowhere, Nigel and Rachel both heard a weapon fire, and before they could respond, Nigel found that his weapon had been shot out of his hand. Rachel tried to fire in the direction of the shot, but she was not quick enough, and another shot was fired. Before she could do anything, she too found herself without a weapon. Now that they were both defenceless, Eva pointed her weapon at Rachel and prepared to fire. Nigel was about to attack Eva, because he knew he could probably overpower her, but before he could do anything, he heard the mystery shooter speak.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you Nigel," said the shooter, who had a voice, Nigel recognised immediately.

Nigel turned to the direction of the voice and saw exactly who he thought he would. Up in a rather short tree, was an older boy of about seventeen or eighteen with black hair. Nigel had a feeling, that he had been hiding in the tree and had been waiting for the right time to attack. Like Eva, he was wielding a M.U.S.K.E.T. and it was pointed directly at Nigel. This boy was Patton Drilovsky, male contestant of District Five and former KND operative Numbuh 60. He hopped down from the tree and approached the other three contestants.

"Hello Patton, your looking well," said Nigel, trying to keep it friendly.

"Spare me the pleasantry's Nigel, you know why I'm here and what I aim to do," said Patton angrily.

"Well, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning," mocked Nigel.

"Making Jokes won't save you Nigel. In fact, nothing will," said Patton.

"Then I guess there's no point in asking if you want to join the rebellion, that Sector V and I have put together?" asked Nigel.

"Of course, I don't. What good will it do if six contestants make it to the end and refuse to fight each other?" asked Patton.

"If that's what you believe, then why have you teamed up with Eva?" asked Rachel curiously.

"It's very simple Rachel. Patton and I have agreed to work together, until we're the final two standing. Then we've decided to let the best contestant win," answered Eva.

"And believe me when I say this, they'll find a way to eliminate the contestants in your so-called rebellion, until there is only one contestant left. No matter how much you refuse to fight, your rebellion won't work," said Patton.

"Perhaps, but it will also show the world that there is something more powerful than the oppression put on us by the villains. The power of friendship and teamwork," said Nigel.

"Maybe, but it will only anger the villains further. What then Nigel?" asked Patton.

Nigel was at a loss for words. They honestly had not thought that far through.

"I don't know, but that's not the point. The point is, that it will show the world there is still hope," answered Nigel.

"Well I know what will happen. It will worsen the lives of any family, that was even remotely associated with the KND. If you really care about your former comrades, you should do the smart thing and just play by the rules," said Patton, who seemed to be getting more angry.

Nigel shook his head.

"You're lost Patton. The Numbuh 60 I knew, not only fought hard to fight the adults, but he fought hard to train new recruits in the battle against adult tyranny," said Nigel, disappointed at what Patton had become.

"Well times change Nigel. The world we live in is proof, that is true," said Patton, growing tired of this conversation. "Goodbye Numbuh 1, have fun being a delightful slave."

Eva also got ready to fire.

"You too Rachel. But look on the bright side, maybe they'll let you and Nigel start dating after you've been Delightfulized," said Eva, ready to take down her former leader.

Nigel however had one more thing he wished to say.

"There's just one thing you guys forgot to consider," said Nigel.

"What?" asked Patton impatiently.

"A good operative always has a plan B," answered Rachel.

Out of nowhere, Rachel hit one of the pockets on her trousers, which Eva and Patton had failed to realise had been concealing a remote device. A loud bang went off that took both Eva and Patton by surprise. Rachel had detonated her smoke bomb. Although it was only for a second, Eva and Patton could not help but look in the direction of the explosion. Knowing that this was their only chance to attack, Nigel took this opportunity to tackle Patton, while Rachel tacked Eva. Nigel started wresting with Patton, in an attempt to force the weapon out of his hands, while Rachel did the same with Eva.

It came as no surprise to Nigel, that Patton was quite strong. Patton had always been a hardworking operative and as the former drill sergeant of the Arctic Base, had always stayed in great shape, even by KND standards. The last five years of hardship and significant growth in size, also attributed to Patton's strength. It also did not help that he was bigger than Nigel. However, Nigel was not going to let this stop him from winning and showing the world that there was still hope. He knew he first needed to get rid of Patton's weapon. Nigel knew he would have a much better chance of winning if they fought unarmed, because regardless of how strong Patton was, he had still never defeated Chad in a sparring match. Only two of the current contestants could make that claim Nigel was one of them.

"It's good to see you haven't gotten rusty over the last five years," said Nigel, still trying to disarm Patton.

"Likewise. Also, that was a clever diversion, but it won't matter in the end. You're still gonna lose," said Patton, trying to fight Nigel off.

"We'll see," said Nigel.

It took a great deal of effort, but Nigel finally managed to force the weapon out of Patton's hands and managed to throw it away before Patton had a chance to reclaim it. Unfortunately, this gave Patton the opportunity he needed to push Nigel off him. Nigel landed on the ground with a painful thud, but managed to get up in time, to stop Patton from landing painful punches to his face. After a bit of back and forth fighting between the two, they eventually pushed themselves away from each other and each took a fighting stance, to show they were ready to charge again.

"You always had to do things the hard way Nigel. Which is fine. I prefer to settle things the hard way," said Patton, more than ready to attack or defend against his opponent.

"Give me your best shot," said Nigel, and the two started fighting again.

Meanwhile, Rachel was having a surprising amount of trouble fighting Eva. Rachel had managed to disarm her opponent more quickly than Nigel, but Eva proved to be a lot stronger than she looked, which caught Rachel by surprise. Like Patton, Eva managed to throw her opponent from Sector V off herself, after the weapon had been disarmed and thrown away. The girls were now engaging in an intense unarmed fight. As a former spy and Supreme Leader, Rachel had always been excellent at unarmed combat, but to her surprise, Eva was not only blocking many of Rachel's attacks, but had even managed to get in a few strikes. Rachel still had the upper hand, but the former anchor for the KND News certainly was not making it easy for her.

"You fight pretty good for a news girl," said Rachel, catching her breath.

"You fight pretty good for someone who was stuck doing nothing but paperwork all day," said Eva, also taking a moment to catch her breath.

"Don't forget, I was also once the greatest spy in the KND, which required many days of intense training to achieve," said Rachel proudly.

"Well, I wasn't made leader of Sector L just because I was pretty. I still had to be better than the average operative, in both fighting and strategy. Do you really think I'm just a pretty face?" asked Eva, getting a little angry.

"Could've fooled me," said Rachel mockingly.

"You know, I don't think you're the type of person I want dating my cousin," said Eva, a little insulted.

"Five minutes ago, you said you supported us," said Rachel.

"Well opinions change," said Eva, who charged at Rachel.

Both parties continued to fight as hard as they could. Rachel continued to hold the upper hand on Eva, as did Nigel with Patton. That being said, both Nigel and Rachel knew they needed to end this quickly, or they would be too worn out to face the other contestants. At one point in the fight, Nigel noticed that his S.P.I.C.E.R. was sitting only a few feet behind Patton. He needed to get to it. If Nigel could just reach his weapon, he could take out both Patton and Eva easily. Nigel continued to throw attacks at Patton, and choreographed his fighting to ensure that they changed positions on the battlefield. Knowing that it was now or never, Nigel turned around and charged for his weapon. Having worked out what Nigel was doing, Patton dived and tacked Nigel by the legs. Thankfully, Patton had only managed to grab one of Nigel's legs. Nigel used his free leg to kick at Patton until the boy let go. Nigel reached for and grabbed his weapon. He turned around just in time to see Patton jumping at him once more. Nigel had less than a second to react. He took aim and fired, hitting Patton in the head.

Patton flew backwards and was out cold before he hit the ground. Nigel took a moment to take in what had happened. Once he was over his shock, he went over to Patton, to see if he was alive. To Nigel's relief, he quickly found a pulse. Nigel then remembered, he needed to help Rachel. He looked over to the two fighting girls. They were still fighting very roughly, and both now had scratches on their faces.

"RACHEL," yelled Nigel.

Both Rachel and Eva turned in time to see Nigel throw his S.P.I.C.E.R at them. Rachel was the first to react. She pushed Eva to the ground and dived for the weapon. Rachel caught it, did a barrel roll, and turned back to Eva, who had gotten up and was running towards her. Like Nigel, Rachel had less than a second to react, but thankfully, she also hit her mark. Like Patton, Eva lay on the ground defeated, but alive. Nigel ran up to Rachel and without another word, they hugged each other, both overjoyed they had won the fight.

"Are you ok?" asked Nigel.

"Yeah, I'm fine, nothing serious. You?" asked Rachel.

"I'll have a few bruises, but other than that, I'll be fine," answered Nigel.

"What do we do now?" asked Rachel.

"We take their weapons and supplies and keep going," said Nigel.

Rachel nodded and they each went to collect their spoils. Nigel took Patton's supplies, while Rachel took Eva's. They also managed to locate the M.U.S.K.E.T.'s, as well as Rachel's G.U.M.Z.O.O.K.A. After they had gathered all they could, they met up with each other and were about to leave, when Nigel found himself staring at Eva's unconscious body, while a tear ran down his face.

"Nigel are you sure you're ok?" asked a concerned Rachel.

"I'll be fine. Let's get going, the others can't do this on their own," said Nigel, and the two left to face their next challenge.

Did he regret his actions? Of course, he did. She was his cousin. But they had a mission to do. Eva was alive and although she was to be enslaved after the games, the important thing was that she was alive and maybe, just maybe, one day they could free her, along with all the other enslaved contestants.

Well, Nigel and Rachel managed to overcome their first big challenge in the competition, which was a challenge in both a physical and emotional sense. I again apologise for the wait. Also this chapter included the first big fight scene for this story, and I've expressed before that writing fight scenes aren't my specialty, so please criticize to your hearts content. More is to come.