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located in Streets, a part of Love Among The Rats, one of the many universes on RPG.

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His name was Zac, but everyone called him Octo, which suited him fine. Officially, this was because of his fast reflexes - in a fight, he moved so fast it looked like he had four arms and four legs - though some of the girls in the gang also said it referred to his habit of groping them in a clinch! Right now, Octo was leaning in a corner, smoking a cigarette, not feeling too good about the world.

He wasn't in open rebellion. He was loyal to the Rats, and Scar, their Warlord. Scars had given him an order, and he'd carry it out, little though he liked it. And he didn't like it one bit.

He had to make a pick up, a large wad of laundered cash, from one of the shadowy figures with which the gang did business. That was fine. And it was usual in these cases for two members to go, which he approved of - one guarding the other's back, a perfect system. But he'd expected someone who'd actually be of use. Serpent, maybe, who could outfight any of the other girls in the gang, and possibly most of the males. Kezzie, who was as quick with a blade as anyone on the streets. LooLoo, with her huge network of friends and people who owed her favors, that she could call on if they struck trouble. Sparki, who could hotwire a car and drive it like a demon if they needed a fast escape.

And who had he got. Fucking Liz!

Liz. The skinny redhead, scared of her own shadow. Any of the other girls could beat her one-handed. Even the young 13 year olds who were on the fringe of the gang. Another girl had only to look at Liz sternly for her to back down, trembling. And in action, she always panicked, to the extent that they had to keep her away if there was a mass rumble. She couldn't fight, she was crap at negotiating anything (anyone could bluff her out), she broke into trembling fits if anything went wrong, and Scar had to give her the easiest of jobs, that you usually only had the young kids do. About the one thing in her favor, he had to admit - she was pretty. Not that it would do her much good... none of the guys would take up with her, their status in the gang would plummet like a stone!

But She's useless to us as she is, Scar had said. I need her taught properly. Someone who can give her confidence. So I'm sending her out with you. You got a rep for getting stuff done. Just don't rely on her, kay?

And now, Octo saw her approaching, with her usual apologetic, scared expression, her jumpy manner as if she expected something horrible to jump out and attack her at any moment. Even her eyes looked scared. He ground his cigarette out under his boots, and sighed. Might as well get this over with.

"OK, you ready?" he asked, scowling.