Chapter 1

Tony ran down the damp streets, panting as he went. He had to make it under the highway before it was too late, or people could be hurt, people could be killed. Despite the hope and assurance Maria had given him before, he expected the worst. He had to stop this rumble no matter what happened. As the sound of police sirens rang through the street, he knew that he didn't have much time before Lieutenant Shrank found them.

He eventually reached the place where the rumble was to be held, and saw that it had already started. Ice and Bernardo were circling each other, fists clenched. Bernardo looked and saw Tony, and when he did, a look of complete rage spread across his face.

"Ah, so he's here."

" Remember, you're fighting Ice!" Riff spoke.

"Oh, is the other one chicken?" The head Shark snapped.

"Look, I'm not here to fight, I'm here to end this," Tony explained calmly.

"Hey, he is chicken!" With that, all the Sharks laughed and made chicken noises until Riff threw a left-hook at Bernardo. Excitement traveled around the little spot under the highway as the they stood there, waiting for each other to strike first. After a moment, the fist-fight broke out. Riff and Bernardo, the Shark and the Jet, were about to bring the feud that had gone on between the two sides, to a violent end. It all happened so quickly that no one could really tell what was happening.

Tony kept running in periodically, pulling them apart, desperately trying to conclude this whole thing peacefully, but his friends carried him back every time. Eventually, he was held back and couldn't break away, all he could do was watch as his best friend and Maria's brother faced off in hand-to-hand combat. In what seemed like a flash, Bernardo had Riff down on the ground, a knife sitting on the American's strained neck. Suddenly, without warning, gunshots fired in the air.

The boys' eyes rapidly shot to the entrance, Bernardo's and Riff's still at each other. Out of the darkness walked Maria and Anita with guns pointed over their heads.

"This has gone on far enough!" Declared Anita, eyes glaring furiously at her boyfriend Bernardo.

Maria walked over to the boys who were holding Tony, and forced them to release him. They reluctantly followed her orders. Once he was let go of, he hugged Maria lovingly, and joined her and Anita at the entrance. In a moment, the wailing of sirens grew closer, until it had filled the ears of everyone there. Despite the fact that the cops were coming, the two gangs huddled around the captains in anticipation. Officer Krupkee walked in wearing a look of confusion and suspicion. Lieutenant Shrank followed him in, except his face was glowing with pride.

"I knew I'd find out where the rumble would be!" He said with a devilish grin. "Alright, who shot who? Come on, I need to know what crummy hooligan I'll be taking down to the slammer."

"Don't worry officers, we were just handling this," Anita seethed. "Nobody will be hurt if they end this and head along home."

"Hmm, not bad, not bad at all…Alright boys, you heard the girls! Get out! All 'a ya!" Shrank instructed. The cops, Tony, and the girls were about to turn around, when a -final- scream issued from Riff. Tony, horrified, ran to the dying body of his friend. The Jet leader tried to speak, but only painful gasps came from his mouth as his friend cried over him. The girls rushed to his side, the Porto-Ricans and the Americans shared angry glances at each other, and the cops stood waiting for the right moment to do something.

Before the officer and the lieutenant could escort the group that hung over Riff off the premises, everyone seemed to wonder the same thing: Where's Bernardo?