______They met at the gate at 3 AM. Over the past two weeks, they had carefully tried all the gate locks at the walled communities to determine which matched the key they had acquired in the costly trade. No one wanted to talk about the trade. It still made them all very angry, especially at Rolf the red.
______When two of the reds in the group had argued over the trade, Rolf the red put his foot down as the most wealthy red, and said more could be gained by breaking into the community, more sine. It cost 200 g of sine to keep the witnesses of their crime silent. Rolf and Titania the red had come across a lone boy, who they identified as a runaway from a nearby walled community. He looked too vulnerable for them not to strike. Neither one noticed some green paints from another group watching as they beat the boy and took his possessions from him. It was lucky for them that the four greens were so far into withdrawl that they readily accepted the sine to forget what they saw. Titania had wanted to fight them, but Rolf refused; just because they were superior in color didn't mean they were superior fighters. Rolf didn't want to lose the battle and be forced to give up any of his back-up paint. Red paint was too expensive to give up, and he knew Titania did not have much more money and might be demoted to a blue if she lost her current supply of red paint; there was too much at stake to risk losing a fight. So Rolf gave up his stash of sine in return for their safety.
______ "Is it time yet?" complained Gregory the yellow. He had not been happy with the trade, and he needed more sine. He hadn't had any in 16 hours and felt empty and very weak. He had only been using for six months; about the length of time you lived on sine before you accidentally caught yourself on fire or were shot trying to set a fire to feel the rush again and feel complete. Gregory was way past addiction.
______ "Quiet Gregory," Titania spat, "if you speak without permission again…you remember what happened to Wyatt?"
______ "Yes Titania, I remember."
______ "Well, it will happen to you if you don't respect the color code. This is your last warning."
______ Gregory nodded his head to show he understood while silently cursing for almost getting expelled from the group, again. He didn't really care what had happened to Wyatt. Wyatt had been so stupid he didn't even realize that the group was tired of his constant complaints. He went to his death thinking he was performing a routine task, not going on a suicide mission. The memory of Wyatt's burning flesh made Gregory crave another hit.
______ Out of nowhere strode Rolf and the other red Felisa. Felisa was the newest red, but the most respected. Unlike Rolf, she had worked her way up the entire color scale, and completed all the torching and looting needed to be classified as a full red. Rolf had taken the easy way out, and used his wealth to earn a spot as a red in their band.
______ Rolf took the cherished key from his pocket and held it in the air for all to see. Quiet hoots and hollers came from the small group as their excitement grew.
______ "Are we ready?" Rolf asked, already knowing the answer.
______ The three reds gathered in a circle and produced their five stage bongs, as the others produced small packets of the drug. Kyle the green took out an old three stage bong, which lacked the two extra levels of purification, but did the trick all the same. Kyle was very impatient and couldn't wait for the communal bongs to reach him. He needed to get (lit) right away.
______ "Can we join?" Gregory asked in a mildly pleading tone. Kyle nodded his head in approval, Gregory and Alexia were the only two in the group he could stand to share his treasure with.
______ Gregory and Alexia the blue came and sat with Kyle. They both knew going through Kyle would be the fastest was to get a hit, and he didn't demand as much in payment for the use of his bong.
______ "Find any good supplies today Kyle?" Alexia asked.
______ "I found an old man with a good deal of money on his body. He was already decomposing, so he must have been dead for a while."
______ "Did he burn?" questioned Gregory.
______ "I didn't get a chance to find out, I couldn't get him on fire since his body was so far gone."
______ "Did you try to light him first, or were you already high?" asked Alexia.
______ "I was stupid" is all Kyle could say before his mind began to wonder and he drifted away.
______ Gregory and Alexia didn't need more explanation, they were exactly where Kyle was.
______ After every member of the pack had taken at least one hit, the group opened the neighborhood door as softly as possible, thankful the key really did open the lock on the gate.
______ "Once we all get inside." explained Rolf, "everyone knows what to do."
______ "Gregory, Alexia and Kyle," instructed Titania, "you three get the north section. Paul, Simon and Adrian take the south."
______ "Titania, Felisa and I will sweep for anyone who wakes up and tries to ring the emergency bell." finished Rolf.
______ And so the group set off to pillage and plunder the sleeping community. It was not the first community to fall victim to their gang, and they hoped it would not be the last. The three reds were pros at this sort of thing. They tried to help out the others in their group so that the whole gang would be more productive. Once inside the walls of the community, their time would be limited.
______ Alexia, Kyle, and Gregory set off to the north hoping it would be the richer section of the community. They walked past clusters of houses with blooming fruit trees and well-kept gardens. All the lights were out, there was a full moon to light their way.
______ "Did you hear something?" Alexia whispered.
______ "I think it came from over there," Gregory whispered back, "let's go check it out."
______ Before the three could prepare to go in search of the noise they were showered by the spray from a garden hose. Aside from the shock that someone would use that much water to try to scare prowlers away, it washed off some of their paint. The quietly ran around the block to a secluded area to reapply their colors. While they quickly repainted their faces and necks, they silently prayed that whoever had sprayed them would go back to sleep. It was too early to start the burning, and they didn't want any trouble this early in the night. They all knew there would be enough of that to come in the near future.
______ When the three gathered up the nerve to step out from the house, they were relieved that they were greeted by complete and utter silence. So without further ado the three shaken intruders were on their way again.
______ Do you see any prospects?" asked Kyle.
______ "Only the house on the corner looks like a real burner," replied Gregory, "it appears to be made of solid wood."