My name is Melanie. I am seventeen come next June and am a member of Rapid 99.

People on the streets yell at us as we zoom past, run out of our way and wish deep in their hearts that they could be like us, young, pretty, carefree, running the whole place, above the law, above everything, completely untouchable.

That's what you see, but I'm on the other side of the line. I can see what's really happening.

Let me introduce you to the rest of us.

First there's Heather. She is, I suppose, our leader. I respect her totally, she just commands loyalty. She's skilled too, and has a brain in her head. She hates what is really going on here. I don't know how much longer she's going to last as one of us. I think she'll quit before the end of the month, and go try and start her own gang where she doesn't have to dress a certain way on the whim of some pig with money.

Then there's Lynn, who we are supposed to respect but she drives us all spare. Her father is that rich mafia kingpin I hinted about before, but am unable to name due to security reasons. She's perfectly happy skating around in fish nets and knickers, Heather and I aren't. Why we all have to look the same, and I reckon we look like DOGS, is beyond me.

Actually, I do have a fair idea. Because it makes us nice to look at. But it sure is cold skating around some nights.

And just what are we doing being funded by the mafia to skate around in skimpy clothes? We're keeping the street clean.

That's right, we're just dressed up slightly more expensive than normal street cleaners.

We're payed to keep punks from spraying graffiti all over the place, which is why we have none of our own, to stop youths running rampant and messing up signs for meetings or just to stop them getting in the way if a shooting occurs.

And believe me, shootings do occur.

It's also our job to deal with any bodies left before the police show up.

Naturally, Lynn does none of the dirty work, it's just me and Heather. She faints at the sight of blood, a perfect prissy little princess. Shooting aren't the worst either. I'm telling you, if I had enough cash I'd go to a university and get my medicine degree within a yeah I've seen that much of the human body.

But I can't. Cash is exactly the reason I'm here. I left home when I turned sixteen to try and make my own way in the world, and ended up in the mafia circuit skating around revealing my legs. Once you're in the underworld, you can't get out. Believe me, I tried.

At least I can still pretend I'm what you think I am when you see me skate past of an electric wire, young, pretty, carefree, running the whole place, above the law, above everything, completely untouchable. That's what people think as they see us go past, three identical triplets.

Identical, so that nobody would notice if one of us disappeared. I know one of us did, there used to be another member before me, her name was Erin. Heather told me so, she's been around longer than you'd think, Heather has. She's small for twenty, and would make a fantastic gymnast if only she, like me, could get out of this web. Lynn seems like the only one of us truly happy being what we are. At least she doesn't have her dad eyeing her up all the time.

Lynn likes to pretend she's the leader too. The stupid twat was listening to some pirate radio (what isn't pirate around here anymore, that's what I'd like to know) and wanted Rapid 99 put on the gang map. She decided to do this, by declaring an enemy. She picked the gang that pleased her aesthetic tastes the most and camp up with some reason to tell her father.

I myself have nothing against Poison Jam, at least they seem to have a better deal than me, even if they do shelter in a sewer.

Compared to 99th street, the sewer is paradise.