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CHAPTER 4

The Gang

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"Let me go!" Ivory ordered, struggling to get free from the grasp of the two boys. They were both stronger than they looked.

About five minutes ago, she fought these two boys, or at least tried too, and got a few good kicks and punches within their range, leaving some marks on the two. Afterward, she found out their names, Hawks, and Lucky, which was somewhat unusual, but she felt that their names were street names.

Ivory felt scared.

Hawks chuckled. "I'm not going to, and neither is Lucky." His dark hair shimmered against the sun.

"Oh, yes, you are!"

"No, we're not, and there isn't anything you can do about it. We're taller and much stronger than you are, and we know people in high places. I suggest that if you want to do this the easy way, you cooperate," Lucky threatened.

"Your threats aren't going to work with me."

Hawks snickered. "I like you; you're full of spunk, kid—"

Kid?

Ivory then noted that he must be older than she thought, either that or he believed she was younger because she might be seventeen, but had a bairn looking face, making her look younger than she was.

"—but for your sake, it's too bad, your friend won't find you. We know the city inside and out. There's no way you'll escape us."

Ivory shook nervously, wondering what trouble she'd face?

After a few minutes of silence, the three of them turned a corner into a deserted part of the city and reached an abandoned railroad. They jumped down and walked across it. Ivory knew that it was the Freedom Tunnel. The three musketeers turned a right and went down one of the tunnels. After a long, dark, and quiet walk of Hawks leading the way and Lucky was carrying Ivory along.

The three exited the lonely tunnel, seeing new railroad tracks, graffitied walls, and a gated fence.

Hawks climbed over the short fence as Lucky lifted Ivory over and dropped her from the other side. She tried to fight the boys off, but Hawks quickly threw her over his shoulder, and she stopped retaliating, knowing she wouldn't be able to break free. On the other side was an abandoned street with some old buildings and a large, black one. The three reached the large, gothic-looking building, all black, and an old structure. Ivory was put down by the large, heavy door. She lightly touched the side of the building, moving her hand away at how cold it was. She figured the building was constructed with some type of metal or steel.

Hawks knocked on the door, causing Ivory to feel panicky, pondering what these two boys might do to her. She heard the door echo the knock loudly, hollow and empty. She observed the exterior; the building was pretty big, but she figured that it was much more spacious inside. There was a weird pad on the side of the door, most likely for a handprint.

Hawks rolled his eyes, took out an I. D., held it to the pad, and flashed a blue light.

"Password," a deep voice said from inside, startling Ivory.

Ivory noted that the men were very high-tech. Some of the technology was nothing that she'd seen before; she figured that maybe this was how the outside world worked?

Ivory got weird yet dangerous vibes from the two and decided to stay quiet and not retaliate.

"No name," Hawks said quietly.

Ivory arched an eyebrow, wondering what type of password that was. Then, she realized that the street sign that was at the beginning of the block was nameless. It would make sense; the only other building around were abandoned, vandalized, and had broken windows. No one would suspect anyone to live around here.

Ivory felt that these men were dangerous, but she had no idea why. She moved back, but Hawks quickly grabbed her arm.

A man with spiked hair, wearing a leather jacket and pants, opened the door. Hawks dragged Ivory inside the vast, scary-looking building.

The man looked at her and said, "Who's she?"

He looked mean.

"That's what we'd like to know," Lucky said.

"We were scamming people, and she and her friend were standing there, watching us. We don't want them going to the police," Hawks said.

"Where is the other one? What, did you let her escape?

"She did, but they appear to be orphans. Finding her friend will be a piece of cake," Hawks said.

"We'll go and search for her friend later," Lucky said.

"Don't worry; I'll make sure she doesn't escape," The man replied, looking down at the blonde and taking a puff from his cigarette. She observed his features; a sharp jawline, dark hair, and facial hair with dark eyes. He looked older than Hawks and Lucky, but still young.

"Spike, where's Blue?" Hawks asked the man. Ivory arched her brow again; his name was unusual but fit his image.

"Upstairs in the kitchen. Everyone is eating."

The rest? How many more are there? That would explain why this "Spike" guy took forever to get to the door. But how did he hear the alarm from the I.D. pad?

Ivory began to feel nervous. She hated meeting new people, especially if there was a room filled with strangers. She wished she could leave.

"Thanks, let's go," Hawks grabbed her arm, leading her up a spiral of dark, cold, wooden stairs that echoed loudly.

Lucky was behind, eyeing her suspiciously.

Ivory rolled her eyes, sensing some paranoia, noting that these boys, whoever they are, were criminals at the most. Ivory walked by four narrow cobblestone steps that led down a narrow cobblestone hallway. She raised an eyebrow, seeing that the small opening was pitch black. However, the two boys passed the narrow opening, and she followed them through a dark hallway with steel doors. Each door had a large number embedded on top. She looked through the windows, seeing some weird, creepy, and deranged things. Some rooms had beds with restraints and odd-looking tools while a very few held frightened-looking people with eyes as wide as saucers. Ivory's stomach turned, making her feel nauseous.

She then knew right away that these men did twisted things to people, and she feared that she would be next.

"Are you guys criminals?"

Hawks glanced back at her. "You could say that."

"We participate in a wide range of action related activities," she could feel Lucky smirking at her.

"I figured that one out," she motioned to the doors and cell rooms. "Who are you guys? What are you?"

"You'll find out when Blue talks to you."

"Blue?"

"Our leader."

"Wait a minute—are you guys in a gang?"

They halted in front of a dark brown, wooden door. Hawks opened it, pushing Ivory through the door opening. Lucky closed the door as Hawks walked over to an older looking man near the fireplace. In the middle of the big room was a long table, and on the wall were photos of people and weapons. She gulped, realizing that they were gang members.

To the right was a big opening, which led to the kitchen.

At the table were a large group of boys and a small group of girls ranging from maybe her age to their early-to-mid-twenties. They then began to whisper, the younger boys giving her sympathetic looks, whereas some of the older boys smirked at her. The girls, however, sort of glared, but studied her, deciding whether or not she could be trusted. Ivory ignored them and drooled at all of the delicious-looking food on the table, wanting to shove it all in her mouth.

"This is the girl, Blue—" Hawks pointed at Ivory, "we were out on the job, and she was watching us with her friend. We're worried that she'll tell on us."

Blue turned around, with bright blue hair—obviously—pompadour styled, and an all-black outfit with studs and tattoos. Ivory looked at him as he glared at her, but pondered at her image, debating whether they should get rid of her or keep her.

"Is that so?" He asked slowly, his deep, cold voice echoing her ears.

The boys and girls at the table shuddered. Ivory could tell that they feared him.

"We don't trust her on the streets. She had some girl with her also," Lucky added as a few of the older boys got up and walked over to them.

The members sitting at the table were silent, looking uncertain about whether or not to move. Ivory noticed two men standing by the end of the room, leaning against a wall, smoking cigars with their arms crossed. They both look about the same age as Blue, maybe a little older or a little younger. One had dyed red hair styled in a man bun with shaved sides; he was tan with massive muscles. Ivory didn't want to make him angry; he could snap her in half. The other had blonde hair tied into a ponytail.

"Where's her friend?" Blue asked, leering down at her, causing Ivory to look back at him, forgetting about the two men standing by the end of the room.

She sensed that he was around his mid-to-late twenties because he looked older than most of the company in the room, but young compared to someone around middle-aged to elderly.

"She escaped. We'll look for her, but we caught this one," Lucky replied, holding onto Ivory's wrist, not even acknowledging her identity.

Blue stared down at her, "Do you know who we are?" He added a smirk, pride readily transparent.

Ivory realized something. "No, but my friend mentioned that there's a gang that hides in Manhattan. But since you've asked me such a question, your pride showing through your smirk and the weird rooms with tools and people sealed behind them, I'm guessing that you are the said gang."

The older boys snickered as the girls, and younger members either looked aghast or sneered at her. She noticed this and rolled her eyes, concealing her fear of what they might do to her.

"Hawks, Lucky, why don't you show our newcomer where she'll be staying?" Blue suggested, shooting the blonde a warning look.

Lucky and Hawks opened the door, shoving her through and walked downstairs into a different hallway. There was a large living room and a few doors. They opened a steel door which held a bed, an old-looking toilet, and a sink, and lastly, a chair by the end of the bed.

"Here you are," said Lucky, making himself comfortable on the chair.

Ivory turned around and said, "I can take care of myself, thank you very much. I don't need the two of you to look after me."

They both started to laugh.

"Yeah, right. You look like you haven't eaten in days! Not to mention that you were watching us steal from a tourist and had no idea where you were running off too. That made it much easier for us to find you," Hawks replied. "Now, lay down," he pushed her a little bit, making her land on the bed.

He was correct; Ivory was starving.

Am I sleeping here?

"Don't worry; you're just here until we know that you won't try anything," Lucky read her mind.

"Try what? This place is a maze. Can I get some food?"

Hawks smirked, "Behave, and we'll think about it."

Ivory rolled her eyes, irritated that she can't eat anything, and laid on the bed, trying her best to relax. Before Ivory knew it, she had her eyes closed. After a few hours, Ivory opened her eyes and looked around, wondering how long she slept. Her eyes adjusted and scanned the room, noticing that Hawks and Lucky were gone. She had a sudden urge to get up and open the door, but her gut told her that it was secured and sealed. She sat upon the flat, uncomfortable mattress, and began to come up with a few ideas to escape. However, her thoughts interjected when Blue and Hawks entered the room. The door slammed so loud that it left an echo. Ivory's ears felt like they were on fire, blood would pour out at any moment.

Blue stood up as Hawks dragged the seat over, placed it by Ivory, and took a position.

Blue glared down at her with crossed arms. "What's your name."

Ivory could tell that it wasn't a question, but an order. "Ivory."

"How old are you, Ivory?" Blue asked her.

"Seventeen."

Hawks looked stunned, whereas Blue wasn't sure whether or not to believe her, but saw a certain maturity to the girl and left it alone. "A year younger than Hawks," Blue chuckled and looked at Hawks. "He's turning nineteen in March. When's your birthday?"

"The end of June."

"Now, Ivory, you already suspect that we're a gang, and I am here to confirm that we are," Blue admitted, Ivory felt her heartbeat out of her chest but said nothing.

"What do you go by?"

"The Blue Dragons," he smirked at her.

Ivory then realized that the Blue Dragons was the gang that Viper was referring to and began to feel nervous. Viper's statement from the day before about being tortured and killed crossed her mind, and she felt paralyzed. She thought that the name of the gang was unusual. She would never have guessed that they were a gang if she heard of their name elsewhere, but that might be the point.

"If you've heard the rumors, then they are true." He got closer, arms crossed. "We are the most dangerous gang in America. We have connections to everyone and everything."

Ivory has begun to feel nervous.

"We know the leaders of other gangs and collaborate with them. We do orders for them, they do orders for us, and we both get a prize in the end—money generally. We have scammers, prostitutes, torturers—" Ivory almost fainted at the last word, "—sellers, buyers, hackers, assassins. You name it; I have it. We know who our friends are, and we know who our enemies are. Those who shall go against my trust are locked in these very rooms around you, and killed."

"Are those the rooms that I passed by?" she asked, and he nodded. "Are all of them bad?"

"Most of them betray us in some way; others are just for pure enjoyment. Some of them are experimented on just out of boredom and pure curiosity," he smirked, leaving Ivory not to ask any more questions or agog about the experiments that they perform and that he condones.

Blue put a finger to his chin, thinking for a moment, "What are we going to do with you?" she glanced at Hawks, who looked down at the clean, concrete looking floor. Blue stared down at her, "I don't trust you, but we can't let you off base. Perhaps we could use you to clean and perform simple errands for a while."

"And cook," Hawks added. Ivory sneered at him as he smirked at her.

Blue chuckled as his thumb touched his lower lip, "Yes, that I suppose." He turned back to the blonde, "You will clean base except for the torture rooms—we have someone specifically for that. But just keep in mind, my dear, there is twenty-four-hour surveillance in this base, and you are always watched like a Hawk," she saw his eyes glisten quietly toward Hawks.

Ivory glanced at Hawks, who straightened his posture. She thought about his nickname and why Blue mentioned the word hawk—putting together the ties that Hawks might be a thief, but he may also be a spy for Blue. She needs to be careful.

"Just make sure you don't say nor do anything that you should not be doing, because if you do I will know about it, and you will be punished for it."

Blue then exited, leaving Hawks and her in the room together, alone.

"Hawks," Lucky came in as if waiting for the leader to leave, "I hear the Little Lady's name is Ivory."

Who is he calling little?

"Yeah, and she's going to clean base starting tomorrow."

Ivory lay down again, thinking about how Viper must be worried sick about her. As she thought about it, she heard someone put something down, and she turned around, seeing a small cup of water on the nightstand. She doesn't know where it came from, nor does she trust it.

"Here's some water, drink it. You look like you could use a cup or two," Hawks suggested.

She eyed him. "It wasn't here before. I don't trust it, and I certainly don't trust you."

Hawks rolled his eyes, picked up the cup, and wrestled her on the bed while she screamed and hollered a "get off me," and shoved the water down her esophagus. Hawks held her face in place, forcing her to swallow the water. She coughed as Hawks got off of the bed and heard Lucky laughing in the distance. Ivory noticed that the water has a bit of a weird taste, becoming weary very quickly. She quickly realized that he drugged her! Then, her eyes closed, and she fell asleep immediately.

"Hawks, did you put something in her drink?" Lucky questioned, sitting at the end of the bed, taking Ivory's shoes off. He looked at her as she slept. He noted that she looked peaceful when she was asleep, rather than standoffish while awake. She reminded him of his best friend.

"Just something that'll help her sleep. I don't think she was going to anytime soon," Hawks replied, looking down at Ivory, placing a blanket over her.

"How much did you put in?"

"Enough to last her all night."

"At least she won't try to run away," Lucky said matter-of-factly.

"That's another reason why."

"Hawks, the other girl seems the complete opposite of her friend."

Hawks arched a brow and lit a cigarette, taking a puff from the small yet robust and addicting object.

"What if we don't find her friend?" Lucky got back on topic.

"We'll find her, don't worry."

"Okay, if you say so," Lucky shrugged. "Do you think she went to the police?"

"She's probably too busy searching for Ivory."

"Do you think the police will believe her?"

"No, no one saw anything. People might think Ivory's friend is crazy."

"Yeah, I guess you're right," Lucky nodded his head.

After that, the two looked at Ivory one last time and knew that she'd be asleep the whole night. They both went to their bedrooms, and as they did, Hawks thought about what Lucky said to him, and felt that Ivory would be trustworthy, but sensed that Viper would be trouble. He got into bed and closed his eyes, having the feeling that a lot was going to happen with the two girls around.

...

Meanwhile, in a large office, Blue was on the phone with a man talking about the newcomer.

"Yup, she's here."

"No marks on her, right?"

"Not a scratch, just like I promised," Blue held a photo of Ivory in his left hand, her file spread out on the desk.

"I don't want anything to happen to her. I don't want any of you hurting her in any way. Viper, however, I am not concerned. Do whatever you please with her. Just make sure the blonde is safe. Make sure that she doesn't know about any of this, and that Hawks and Lucky keep their mouths shut."

"They did what I ordered. Don't worry; they won't say a word."

"I'll come in a few months. We'll test out Ivory's skills then," then, the line hung up.

Blue closed Ivory's updated foster care file and locked it in one of his desk drawers. He then walked out, locked the door, and then proceeded to his bedroom, acknowledging that a lot is going to happen with Ivory at the base. However, delays may be possible because of Viper, but the snarky dirty blonde's fierce friend may just be as handy.