Four men sit around a long table, grumbling awkwardly to their comrades. This whole meeting has been awkward; its not common that a leader is caught. Even less common that he is thrown in jail instead of being bailed out. Now the four remaining leaders of the Blood gang must figure out what to do about their little crisis. After all, its the "Five Leaders", not the "Four Losers."
"Well?" Damian Core asks, head of the gang in East NYC. "What the hell do we do now?"
"Doesn't matta," answers Rocko Monks, of West NYC. "We can do exactly what we did before, but without Tyla. We don't need him. Neva did, neva will."
"Tyler Penn is an important piece in this game," counters Victor Queen of the South NYC and Northern Newark. "We need him to do his job, and his job is keeping the Bloods in the Undercity happy. If he don't, then the whole organization crumbles."
"But we don't need Tyler. We just need someone else. I say we let him rot in jail," submits Sequin Cutters of the North.
"And I think I have just the person," Ringleader says, forcefully opening the door. He stands there, smiling, as the four men stare at him in shock. The Leader walks into the room and takes the seat at the head of the table, which normally belongs to his brother. He kicks back and puts his feet on the table, still dressed nicely in his pinstripe suit.
"Who do you propose?" Victor asks.
Ringleader's smile falters for a moment, but is back in a flash as though nothing happened. "Why, me of course. The only soul relative of Mr. Scarface."
"Why should we let you? You have no experience in this gang, no street cred, no nothing," Rocko asks with a sneer.
"No nothing? That's a double negative, my dear friend. So, please. Before trying to insult someone, get your grammar straight. Because you just said I have something, which I do. I do have experience here because I have lived here for fifteen years and I know the name of every gang member I have ever met. I do have street credit; the whole X Team is terrified of me, which is more then I can say about you. And I also have a fleet of both Guns and Advancements at my disposal and ready to kill, if you think that's 'nothing'," Ringleader says with a smile.
"I- uh..." Rocko stumbles, dumbfounded.
Sequin chuckles and whispers under his breath, "Ouch; burn."
"Now, gentlemen. Back to business," Ringleader continues. "What do you think? Personally I think it makes sense that the only brother to Tyler Penn should get his crown once he is gone."
"Can you fight? Or shoot a gun? Or even speak in public?" Damian asks.
"Good sir, I single handedly took down Ms. Night Song, lead fighter of the X Team. I also went to gun camp with my brother, where we both learned. And my job was to public speak; to get a large crowd excited and ready for a good, juicy fight. I think I am over qualified," He adds with his smile just turning into a gloating sneer.
The Four Leaders sit there a moment, thinking over the proposal. Finally, Victor speaks. "What have we got to loose?" He asks his comrades.
"I think its pretty lucky we have someone to replace Tyler so soon after his leave. I vote a yes to this guy," Sequin adds.
Damian shrugs. "It sounds good to me."
"Yeah, too good. I don't trust this guy," Rocko grumbles.
"Three votes to one. I think you loose, Mr. Monk," Ringleader says with an overly large grin. He takes his feet off the table and looks at the faces of the men around him, all waiting for his first words. "And for my first order of business, I'm going to over throw all of you and take this place for myself."
The expressions on the men's faces change from questioning to anger, and in a flash they whip out their guns. But before they can even get their fingers on the triggers, everything changes.
There is a loud SMASH behind the Leader, and in a cloud of dust and brick where the wall used to be, five people stand side by side, all wearing matching orange jumpsuits. A man with a shaggy, brown beard and leather jacket over his prison uniform. A boy with white-blonde hair, clear eyes and a horrible elfish smile. A woman with light green skin, moss-colored hair and an overly large gun strapped to her side. A teenager with blonde hair and a metal replacement where his arm should be. And the man who broke down the wall, a heaping mass of muscle and anger.
"Peek a boo," he says, an evil glint in his dark eyes.
END OF BOOK ONE
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