Mahogany Town |Morning 
The only male hostage started working on one side of her while Fenix took the other side. Thankfully, things were quiet. Maybe Ariana wouldn't get mad... A sudden movement caused her to wince, but she shut her lips so that any sounds were muffled. The tensing in her muscles must have caught the blue haired guy's attention; he quietly offered, "I'll... carry that for you... if you want...?"
The offer made her pause for a second, but she forced herself to continue digging as she thought. If she had been in perfect health, the answer would have been an easy 'no.' However, moving was already putting her in pain, and she knew that once she started sweating, the salt was going to burn.
Giving her bag, which held her supplies and few mementos, to anyone seemed wrong and a bad idea to her, but she had to think about surviving this hell hole. If she became useless.... Ariana might decide she was dead weight... It didn't help that she could still feel Misty's eyes burning into her. She would rather tie it onto the Ponyta, but unless they stumbled across some rope, that seemed like a pipe dream.
Before she could think any further, Ariana's chipper voice mockingly lauded them,"Now this is what I like to see! What a beautiful sight. My devoted hostages toiling away as I wake. Well done, everyone. Keep yourselves in line like this more often and things like yesterday will just be... bad dreams. Isn't that right, little Maxie-poo?"
She simply nodded in response; not trusting her voice to sound even remotely normal anyway. She didn't agree with the red headed bitch, but she had enough self preservation skills to keep it to herself. Max didn't trust Ariana's 'promises' anymore. Ariana was just going to fuck around with them until they died or got what they came here for. "Such obedient little drones. Shame a simple flogging put them all in their places so quickly, right? I wouldn't have minded making a few more examples out of them."
God, how did this bitch survive with her carelessness. Did she really think that they'd be useful to this adventure if they were all in severe pain? "Wouldn't you agree, Archer?"
Archer was level in his response, "...I'm far more practical, Ariana. You know that."
If there was any comfort to be had in this shit situation, hopefully he could keep her from simply playing with them to death. Considering his own situation... Max hoped that maybe he wasn't so browbeaten as to throw out a chance of getting out. Last night had showed them a lot of things, but it was clear Archer and his Pokemon didn't want to be here. Or at least here with Ariana. She had her Pokemon, but... they should be able to outnumber them...
The rest of the conversation continued in a similar fashion until Ariana finally turned her attention back to the hostages, "Listen, girls. To reward you for being so diligent, we dig for... two hours and I'll let you break and eat. Okay?"
Again, Max wasn't sure if she believed the red head's deal, but they couldn't do anything to debate or argue. She vaguely wondered how they were supposed to tell time down here, but she wasn't going to ask for fear of sounding like a smartass. "See what happens when you just... obey? Much better, isn't it?"
The last question made her grit her teeth in anger. I did, and it did me a fat lot of good.
While compliance was good for holding out, this wasn't going to be sustainable.
After a few moments of digging, she suddenly remembered that she had never responded to the blue haired guy's question; Ariana had taken all of her attention. Two hours. Could she hold out that long? Since she had started moving, her body had warmed up, and it wouldn't be much longer until the sweat started. She side eyed him as she tried to make her decision. One, could handle it, and two, what if he tried to take it? Once again, she was reminded of Misty when the Ponyta had run into her group, and she felt intensely guilty at the thought of making someone who looked that frail carry her burdens. He had offered... But what if he wanted to take her stuff? The logical part of her reminded her that he couldn't run anywhere, and the more compassionate side argued that if he stole anything, it would probably be food because he needed it. Her intense paranoia tried to bring up that he could be looking for favors, but that was again quashed by how damn skinny he looked. She had no doubts that she could kick his ass if he did try anything, and guilt tripping wouldn't work either. Necessity would make the decision for her. She paused digging with one hand and then the other as she painfully shrugged off the military backpack and nudged it towards him. Her voice was quiet and raspy from last night's events still, "If you're sure. Thanks."
While Misty had hoped Max would finally see the light on the matter, it was still shocking to the Ponyta to see her human actually trust someone with her bag. She realized that Max was likely already in a lot of pain since she gave in much more easily than expected. Pity filled her gaze as she observed the humans at work, and she desperately wished that she could have been some use for it. It was her fault that she and Max were here to begin with, and it was maddening to know that she couldn't help her trainer. So far all she did was provide light. The Sylveon, Flynn, was hanging out around Fenix, so Misty tried to maintain closeness to her trainer. Since she knew that Max was still going to worry about that bag until it was in her arms again, Misty kept a close eye on the guy and the bag.