You take off your shirt and wrap it around the axe head to use as a decoy in case the doctor is waiting at the top of the ladder to ambush you. You hand the decoy to one of the prisoners and instruct him to climb the ladder and slowly stick it out of the top of the hole. As he starts to climb up, you steady the ladder and turn off the flashlight. In the darkness you feel the ladder shake more and more as he climbs to the top. Suddenly he stops and at the same time you hear a muffled thud, then another. The ladder starts to shake again as the prisoner climbs back down. When he reaches the bottom, he tells you that something is blocking the hole at the top of the ladder and he can't stick the decoy out. At this point, the only thing you can do is climb the ladder yourself and use the flashlight to see what's blocking the way. You turn the light back on and cup your hand over the lens, slightly separating two of your fingers to let out only a thin beam of light. As you near the top of the ladder, you can see there's a dark object blocking the exit. Slowly, you open your fingers to allow more light out so you can see the object better. Now removing you hand from the lens, it appears to be something made of metal judging by the rust spots along the bottom. You also notice fresh scratches in the paint that indicate that it was pushed over the hole. There's a small opening on the one side that the metal object doesn't cover but it's too dark to see what's beyond. What are you going to do now?
You wonder if there's fresh air above the blocked hole, so you put your nose up to the opening to take a wiff. The air feels warm against your face, yet smells of grease or oil. The smell reminds you of the times you've wondered through the local junkyard looking at the rusted out cars of days gone by. You try again to move the object with your hands but it's just too heavy. There seems to be enough room for you to stick the handle of the axe in the opening to use it as a lever. Returning to the bottom of the ladder, you remove your shirt from the axe and put it back on. You explain to the prisoners that you're going to need to use the axe handle as a lever to move the blockage. One of the prisoners grabs the axe and heads up the ladder to try. Will he succeed? Let's find out.