DISCLAIMER: I don't own The Biker Mice From Mars, and I make NO money
from this. This is just made by a fan, for other fans. In respect of the
NOTE; This story contains violence, and some minor bad language, just a warning. Hope you'll enjoy it anyway. -- Decembergirl
Grave and silent, the skyscrapers rises up towards the sky. They stands
like dark sentinels on watch over the brickhouses, alleys and streets below.
In some places their concrete skin has been torn away, and the steel balks
points out like ribs on a famined child. Some rises up, but ends in a rusty
web of balks that witnesses of passed bombs.
On a rusty balk forty feet up over the ground, a boy sits. He sits there calmly dangling his feets and tail, without showing any sign of fear of the height. Absently he takes out a long and slim dagger from a sheath on his right thigh. He hums on a low tune as he studies the sharp weapon. When he notices some dark red spots of dried blood, he sighs and starts to scrape it away with his thumb.
After awhile he puts the deadly thing back in it's place on his thigh. He turns his gaze down towards the street below. The once great avenue lays peaceful. Shattered glass from broken shopwindows reflects the morning suns rays and makes parts of the asphalt glimmer. The chilly breeze carries noises of movement down in the city, and gently rustles his long and sandy-orange hair and fur.
Suddenly the boy jumps off the rusty steel balk and dives down towards the street. In the last second, he whirls his long tail around a lower balk, swings around, and lands safely on the street with grace. He stands there awhile and just listens in the wind. With a stern look in his deep, dark pink eyes he looks up at the skyscrapers, - the dark sentinels that watches over the bitter streets of The Lady.
" Black Leader calling Storm Bird. Come in Storm Bird. ....... Come in St...."
" Yeah yeah, I hear ya lad!! - What???"
Throttle just has to grin at the sound of Anakin MacCloud´s inpatient voice.
It's hard to imagine that he actually was in the army before the second war... *snickers*...
Throttle tries to concentrated on the radio.
" .. We are in need of repairments... Over...."
" ..Is it seriously?.."
" .. No, but we can't move til' we get it... "
" Sorry lad, we're one hour from ya and closing... but these rats we're following, are up to something nasty... Can ya wait?"
" Yeah, but not til' night fall, don't wanna risk a storm out here.... "
" Roger that... Six hours... .. Over and whatever! ..."
" ..Hrm, yeah... Over..."
Throttle turns the radio off. He stands there just looking at it awhile, but then he walks over to were Charley, Vincent, Pike and the kids sits.
" So...?" Charley doesn't even looks up from her work with Vinnie´s bike while asking.
Throttle sits down on his own bike. Gently he brushes off some sand from his black T-shirt and dark, almost black waistjacket, and adjusts his bandoleer a little.
" Nearest Freedomfighter is Mac and a troop with him, but they're occupied following some rats some miles to the east from us. So they'll make it here in about five hours, to the least."
Charley sighs and chuckles.
" Oboy, this was meant to be an outing, and we ends up being stranded in the middle of a desert!!"
" And not a small one either." Throttle ads, smiling.
" This is actually a natural desert. Not the results of the Plutarkians that is. Though it wasn't so much sand then, as it is now. Thanx to Plutark, this is one of the sand riches deserts on Mars right now. The dunes are quite impressive, I think."
Shelly nods in agreement.
" They are high as small mountains in some places!"
" Yeah, in the south from here, lays a mountain range of dunes. It's awesome to see the sun rise or set over it. To bad that the sand is so unpredictable there, though. Those dunes has swallowed many Martians, and Sand Raiders too for that matter."
" Is that why this area is almost free from Sand Raiders?" Paul shoots in.
" Mhum. To them this place, especially the southern regions, is a place of superstition."
" Really? What about it??" Both Shelly and Paul looks at him with curiosity written all over their faces.
Charley smiles inwardly at the scene. She's glad that they have accepted Mars as their new home. She doubted they would.
Vincent watches her as she continues to work on his bike, she can't fix the tire, but the other things she can. Thank godness! , he thinks.
" Well, the Sand Raiders has lost many members in this areas The sand has taken some, but they also talks about `spirits' and `desert ghosts', that likes to rip up uncareful bypassers... .. ..They call it `The children of The Lady'.... "
Paul looks at Throttle and grins.
" Really? Cool... What's `The Lady'?"
" Have NO idea!" Throttle chuckles. " The `ghost' talk is just superstition, but the sand DOES swallows people up."
" Kinda scary.." Shelly ads.
" Chicken!!!" Paul shouts at his sys. She just glares at him.
" Can't we go and hunt some `Sand ghosts'???!! - Pleeeeezzzeee????"
" No." Throttle answers him firmly.
Paul folds his arms and looks over at the male mouse.
" So when did you became my dad??" He says just as firmly.
Throttle suddenly lost all his words. He just stares at the human boy, not knowing what to say.
" I'm your mum, and I say absolutely NO WAY!"
Paul mumbles something and looks disappointed, and Throttle sighs in relief of being saved by Charley.
" This is sooooooooooooooooo boring!! ..." Paul exclaims after an hour of just sitting in the sand. Shelly nods agreeing and yawns.
The little group sits in silent on the ground, next to the bikes, doing nothing in particular.
Shelly looks over at Pike. He's been sitting and studied the high dunes in the south ever since Throttle told them about them. Silent as always, he just sits there with his spear by his side, his eyes never leaving the dunes at the horizon.
" What is it?" She asks him. Pike slowly turns his head and looks at her. Then turns it back again, and says;
" Not real."
" Huh?" Shelly looks at him puzzled.
" What do you mean?"
By now, Throttle, Vinnie, Charley and Paul has overheard the conversation and also turns to Pike.
" Can't be natural. Too small base." He says and stares at the majestic dunes.
Charley raises her eyebrow, that was the longest sentence she's ever heard him spoke. Throttle scratches his chin, and tries to figure out what he means. Suddenly Shelly snatches his binoculars from him, and looks over at the dunes.
" WOW!! He's right!! They dunes looks way too high to be stable ones with that small base!!"
" What???" Paul and Vinnie says at the same time.
" Look!" She hands the binoculars back to Throttle. He put them to his eyes.
" ... Strange... But Pike's right! Some of those dunes are too high and too thin to not be moving ones!! It's almost like they has been built up by the wind OVER something..."
They all looks south under silence, thinking about it.
" Maybe there's really some small mountains underneath them?" Paul suggests.
" No, this was a fairly flat area before all this sand got here. Actually, all the sand comes from the only higher hills and mountains in this area. The Plutarkians blew them away in their search for minerals in the ground. All this sand rained down in a matter of a few months, by the effects of their mining."
Pike gently taps on Shelly's shoulder. She turns around and looks in the direction he gestures.
" Ofcourse!!" She exclaims. They all look her way.
" What??" Vincent asks again.
" The iron balk you crashed into!"
" Hrm... What about it sweety?" Vinnie answers, not wanting to be reminded of it.
" It had to come from a Martian house as Throttle said, - what if it's HOUSES buried under the sand???!"
" You mean like a city?"
Shelly looks at Paul and nods excited.
" Then it has to have laid a city here before.." Charley says and looks at Throttle and Vinnie. Vincent shrugs his shoulders. But Throttle looks lost in thoughts. Without hesitation he walks over to his bike and starts to tap on the control panel. Suddenly a hologram map appears in front of the bike. Throttle changes maps til' he finds the one he's looking for.
" Hmmmm.. Let's see... This is a map of how it looks today..."
" Wow, this desert surely is big!" Paul comments.
" What about this area, why is it so blurred?" Charley moves her finger over a district in the middle of the south regions.
" Well, that's the dune range I told ya about sweety. Because of it's instability, and the high riskfactor, it hasn't been properly explored yet."
Throttle pressed another button on his bike.
" ... And this is an old map of this place.."
" I don't see any difference. Except from the fact it's more hilly, and those small towns in the north there." Vincent says and yawns bored.
" What is this..?" Shelly asks in a low voice and points at a quite large circle in the middle of the south area.
" A town??!" Paul has grown quite excited by now.
" Hmmm, it certainly looks so.. but..."
" ..A town by that size doesn't just gets buried by sand without noone noticing it." Charley fills in.
" But...." Vinnie scratches his head. " What town is it??? I didn't even know it used to lay a town out in this wasteland!"
" It's Lady Brier-Rose." A low voice from Pike cuts in.
" What? Where??" Vinnie looks around surprised.
" What do you mean?" Charley asks Pike. When he doesn't answer, she looks at Throttle. He stands staring out in the air, with an expression of total recall.
" Ofcourse!!! Brier-Rose!!!"
" HUH???" Everybody stares at Throttle and Pike.
" Pike you're genius!!! Throttle dunks him on his back. Pike just smiles a lazy smile for answer.
" O´kay bro, what's going on?" Vinnie puts his hands on his hips, and looks at Throttle.
" That's why the dunes are so high! The city of Brier-Rose was known to have high skyscrapers! And THAT's why it's been totally forgotten, nobody would care if that city sized to exist!!"
" What?? Throttle, what are you saying?? Why wouldn't anybody care if a WHOLE town disappeared?!"
" Well.. Brier-Rose was known as a trading place, Charley. With only 20% of it's population as residents. But it was mostly known as the centre of the Martian black market. Together with the fact that it was called "the capital of the Terror Riders"........"
"Oooh yeah, I remember that! Nasty place, he he...." Vinnie says as he too starts to get excited.
" Hrm.. I see.." Charley nods. " That would explain it."
" So, what do we do now when we've solved the mystery?" Paul asks.
" Wait for Mac and a spare tire." Charley says.
Paul rolls his eyes and sighs.
"Paul, we really shouldn't be here..."
" Aww.. sys, don't be such a quitter!"
Shelly shrugs her shoulders, they've been waiting for almost two hours now, and there were several left. She hurries to keep up with her bro as they climb the high sand dunes.
" Paul, Throttle warned us to go too far away!"
" Fine, you go back and be bored then!"
After ten minutes of climbing, they reach the top of one of the smaller dunes.
" Wow! The mouse was right, the dunes ARE really amazing!!"
Bro and sys looks out over the beginning of the range. Shelly nods in agreement.
As they starts to walk down on the other side, Paul's leg suddenly sinks down in the sand.
" Paul!!" Shelly runs over to him. And soon she's sinking too.
" Oh God!!! What's happening???"
" The sand is going to swallow us!!??? - HELP!!!!!"
" Calm down bro! You're making us sink faster!!!"
Suddenly the sand makes strange sounds, almost as if something hard is about to collapse. Shelly and Paul stands up to their waists in sand when the sand starts to sink inwardly. A loud crack sounds, and the dune collapses.
In the matter of a few seconds, the human boy and girl disappears down in the sand. Only a hole in the ground, witnesses of how the sand pureed down into the structure hidden underneath the large hill of sand.
In panic Shelly grasps for air, and her lungs fills by dry and dusty air. She coughs a few times. It's totally black. So black that she even wonders if she's dead, but she can feel the sand around her legs and one arm. Slowly she crawls out of the sand.
" Paul...?" Her voice is low and dry by the air.
She listens into the silence. The sound of pureeing sand reaches her ears, - and the sound of breathing!!
" Paul! Where are you!??"
A coughing sounds.
" Ho...how.. should I know?...*cough*"
Paul blinks. There's no difference. It's just as black no matter he opens or closes his eyes. He tries to move, to be sure his whole body is intact, - it is, but he's stuck with his leg in the sand.
" God! Is it dark in here or what??!!!"
Shelly crawls towards the sound of her brothers voice.
" Bro, light something!"
".. Huh? With WHAT??? My fingers?"
" I just hope you haven't dropped it!"
" The lighter you got from mum last Christmas, idiot!!"
" Oh." Paul digs in the sand, down to his pockets.
" Yes!!" He pulls out the silverplated gas-lighter. With numb fingers he lights it. The light hurts their eyes at first, but when they get used to it their faces shows in the dark.
" Good to see ya sys.."
Shelly blinks, and looks at Paul's shadowed face. She nods.
" Where are we...?" Her voice is low and has an undertone of fear.
Paul's silence is enough for an answer. Since the sand would tumble down over them completely if they should try to climb upwards, they slowly, ever so slowly, make their way out into the dark. Hopefully they'll find something that will help.
" Paul don't breath so heavily, you'll get sand into your lungs."
Shelly walks along a cold and wrinkled metal wall, feeling her way with her fingers. Paul follows behind with the lighter ready, if they'll need it.
... I WAS right... It really IS houses underneath the dunes.... , Shelly thinks. Unfortunately It won't help her in her present situation.
Suddenly the wall disappears from her grasp, and she freezes in fear for what she can't see.
Paul lights the lighter. The faint light flicker on the wall. So far they've been here for an half an hour or so, and by the feel and looks of their `prison', it's some sort of warehouse, high steel walls rises upwards and who knows how deep. The sand has buried the floor long times ago.
Paul holds the lighter in front of his sister. In front of them is an open door. The large door lays rosty and trashed in the sand . Paul walks up to it, and bends down. They can hardly make out the letters on it because of the rust.
" W - ....A...- R - N - I - NG....." He reads. " SEWER. - Authorised Personal Only."
They stares at the door. Shelly turns to her brother.
" We can't go up...."
" Then we hafta go down.." Paul fills in.
" We COULD wait for mum and the others to find us."
Paul shakes his head.
" The wind has probably terminated our tracks by now, and to find just THIS dune, is like search for a needle in a haystack. And we need water, I'm dying from thirst already!"
Shelly nods sadly.
" Fraid you're right.... But the chance of finding water on Mars is about the same odds..."
" At least we would be out of the sand."
Their steps echoes up the walls when they walks down the stairs. The first for almost three centuries.
Throttle closes his eyes and tries to relax. He sits with is back against his bike, with Charley laying on the ground beside him, sleeping. Vincent yawns bored, where he sits doing noting, just as he has for the last four hours. Pike sits silently on his bike, sharpening his spear.
A loud yawn can be heard as Charley wakes up and stretches.
" AOOoooWww! ... Has something happened yet?"
" Nope." Vinnie answers absently, while he tries to concentrate on his task to build a tower with a couple of small stones.
Charley blinks the sleepiness away. She watches Vinnie fail his task made out of boredom. Then she turns to Throttle who has begun to snore. She smiles, and looks around.
" Where's Shelly and Paul?"
Pike just gives her a look and returns to his work. Vinnie sighs where he lies on his chest studying the sand.
" I think they went on a walk..." Vinnie answers.
" A walk?? When?"
" I dunno....."
Charley looks around once more, suddenly feeling a little uneasy.
" Throttle!! When was the last time you saw the kids???"
".. Uhu??..uuuh mmm...??"
" Oh, sorry to wake ya up... but I'm worried!"
Throttle rubs his eyes and looks at Charley.
" Sorry, don't remember..."
Suddenly he stops his movement, and looks Charley in the eyes.
" ... You don't think they've gone to the south...?"
" If I know Paul, - That's EXACTLY where they've gone!!" She jumps to her feet and shakes some sand off. Throttle does the same.
" Wha.. what's happening?.." Vincent asks sleepy.
" The kids are missing."
Vinnie watches his bro adjust his lazer and heads for his bike. Vinnie blinks.
" Hey!!! Wait for me bro!!!"
Throttle sits ready on his bike with Charley ready to climb on behind.
" Pike! Do your stuff. And don't miss ANYTHING!"
Pike nods gravely, takes his spear, and walks south. His bike follows some meters behind, just like it doesn't want to disturb it's rider.
" What about me???" Vincent asks excited.
" Stay here."
" Well, the choice is for you to walk bro, and leave your bike..."
Vinnie sighs and settles down beside his bike. He puts is head in his hands.
" We need someone to stay put, anyway. The chance is that the kids may come back."
Vincent nods, but doesn't look too fond of his placement.
Charley gazes out over the seemingly endless sea of sand. Her eyes starts to hurt, so she bows her head and rests it on Throttles back. He doesn't seem to notice, he's too busy observing Pike walking in the sand-valley below.
Pike lets his eyes sweep over the wasteland. Over and over again. He looks down at the ground before him. While leaning on his spear, he studies it carefully. As he notices something interesting, he kneels down and gently touches the sand. His eyes begins to glow with excitement by his discovery. Without hesitation he starts to run up the next dune.
Throttle snaps back from his thoughts by a sudden whistle. He looks over to Pike, standing and waving on the top of a sand hill.
" Have you found anything??" Throttle asks when he reaches his friend.
Pike points to the ground. A couple of feets away, lies a deep hole in the sand. Throttle knit his brows, and looks at the cone-shaped hole. It almost looks like the sand has pureed out... inwardly... but.. that's impossible!!! .... if not....
" I can't believe we actually are walking in water!" Shelly looks down at the reflections from their lighter in the thumb deep water.
" I thought the fishes took it all!?"
Shelly stops to tie her shoelaces. Paul walks slowly ahead, but stops when he reaches a crossroad in the sewer system. He looks down both ways, and blinks. I must be imagining...
" You know... I can't take this much longer!" Shelly says frustrated. " We MUST find a way up!"
" .... How about through a cesspool?"
Shelly looks towards the hardly visual siluett of her brother. She sighs.
" ..Paul, please! Even if we would find one, there is tons of sand covering it!!"
" Uuuhm... sys?"
" What???!" Shelly leans on the wall, feeling downcast.
" Sand ain´t transparent, is it?"
" Ofcourse not! Have you lost your sense or something?"
" Shelly..... It's shining sunlight through this one......"
Shelly walks slowly over to Paul.
" What?? That's not poss....." Shelly falls silent when she looks down one of the new tunnels.
She grasps for air. They both looks like hypnotised at the gleams of sunlight flooding out from a cesspool in the roof of the tunnel.
They runs to it. With help of the wall and Shelly, Paul climbs up and tries to move the tight bars. After a few minutes of struggle he succeeds to move it. The bright light sticks his eyes so much he has to cover them. He reaches up and pulls himself out of the sewer.
The sight he sees when his eyes gets used to the light, is stunning.
" Wha..ha??.... Oh..."
Paul reaches down and helps his sister up. She blinks to get used to the sudden light, and then almost makes a jaw drop right down to the pavement. They sits by the cesspool amazed. Shelly feels the sunwarm stones covering to small square they're looking out over. Shelly lets her eyes sweep over the old houses and skyscrapers. The scrapes rises high over the brickhouses around the little square. Many of the houses bear warscars, from what looks like bombs. Some of the scrapes ends abruptly in a tangled web of rosty ironbalks.
" My god.... The Lady Brier-Rose......" Shelly says with both chock and amazement in her voice. " It didn't get totally wiped out after all....."
" I don't see what a hole in the sand has to do with my kids going missing???!" Charley's voice sounds both inpatient and worried.
" ... I .. think....." Throttle begins.
Charley walks towards the hole to investigate it.
" Charley girl, NO!!" Throttle screams.
But unfortunately, Charley doesn't react in time. The sands almost roars and collapses under her weight.
Throttle throws himself forward, and grabs her arm. But the sand pulls him down too.
" PIKE! ROPE-TWIST #4!!! HURRY... AAAARRRGGGHH!!!......."
Pike makes a backflip to avoid to be pulled down too, he fires his bike's grappleinghook, and drives backwards away from the collapsing sand.
Charley coughs and blinks away the sand from her eyes. Downwards there's darkness and dust, upwards is Throttle. She feels his strong arm around her upperwaist, preventing her from falling down. They hangs and dangles on the rope, inside the collapsed dune. Throttle looks up, and sees Pike by the edge of the now big and open hole. He drags them up.
Shelly Picks up a small leaf from the pavement. She studies it, and then her eyes wanders off and over the silent houses and scrapes. Grey concrete glitters in the mid-day sun.
" This is really cool...." Paul whispers, almost as if he would destroy the calmness if he spoke out loud.
Shelly nods. Suddenly a thing in a corner of the small square, catches her attention.
" Paul..... look... that almost looks like..... an appletree...."
Paul looks the way his sister is.
" It is.....!"
They walk slowly over the square. Shelly raises her hand and touches the treetrunk.
" My god... It IS! ..."
" And we thought the Plutarkians had taken it all!" Paul adds, and walks along the brickhouse-wall, away from Shelly.
Making his way along the wall, Paul notices the writings on the walls. Some almost faded away, others more bright. He backs away from the wall to get a better look. The graffiti pictures and writings becomes clearer as he gets away from them. Several faded paintings covers the wall, the biggest one is of a mouse male running. Paul studies the job carefully.
Shelly stands lost in thoughts, smelling the leaf.
A well tree, standing in a ghost-town that's been halfcovered in sand. - How can that be? - Can people too, not just the city, have survived? - What happened?
She thinks it over, but only ends up with more questions. A small breeze pulls the leaf out of her grasp. She watches it flow with the wind, around the tree, she follows. Shelly sees it land in the entrance of a small alley. She walks over to it and bends down to pick it up. A sudden chilliness runs down her spine, and she freezes when she hears a whistle from behind.
" Well..! ...Whatta beautiful sight!"
Shelly slowly stands up, and turns around towards the voice, and jumps back in surprise.
She stares at the young male mouse standing and leaning lazy against the wall in front of her.
He has long sandy-orange hair tied up in a ponytail, and a black piece of cloth around his forehead, but still the hair hangs wildly down his face.
The shirt he wears is black and white striped without arms, his leatherpants looks old and wellworn, with holes on both knees. Around his fist he wears black leather fistbands with silver rivets, and around his waist a cartridge belt sits, though it doesn't holds any ammunition.
But what catches her attention is his dark pink eyes. In a awake way they watches her every move. She swallows as she notice the long and slim dagger in it's sheath on the young male's right thigh. So..... something DID survive............. , she thinks.
" And I thought this was to be just another boring day! - How wrong you can be, huh?"
The mouse steps out of the shadows in the alley, smiling. Shelly backs away.
His sandy-orange fur reflects the sun, and she notices several small and fine scars on his arms. He's built very slim, but he's not especially tall, probably about her mum's height, Shelly thinks.
" Sooo... tell me... WHAT are a girl like you doing in a place like this?" He chuckles.
As he moves forward, she backs away. His smile scares her, he appears friendly enough, but something beneath the surface scares her stiff. The young male lay's a hand on her shoulder, and grins.
" Ya know... Pretty gals shouldn't run around alone in these parts...."
She jerks away.
" ..Do ..Don't touch me!"
He lets her go, looking almost hurt. But then he just grins again.
" Don't be afraid beautiful! I won't hurt ya, - if you don't hurt me." He smiles a loopsided grin at her and walks around her.
Shelly's heart is pounding like crazy, and she desperately tries to come up with something to say.
" ..I ... gotta go..."
She starts to walk away.
" No wait a minute!" He grabs her shoulder again. " We've just met..."
" Let...me...go..!!!" Shelly tries to free herself, but his grip is strong.
" Now.. Calm down.." he smiles. " I think we could become good friends if we just tried..." He gently lays his arm around her shoulders. " As I said... This is NO place for a lonely girl like you..... "
Shelly freezes once more, but suddenly she gets enough.
" I said LET ME GO JERK!!!"
She elbows him HARD two times, and runs.
But she gets jerked back.
" Don't EVER play with me gal!" The male hiss.
Shelly swallows as he holds her from behind, and the steel of the dagger gleams coldly at her face.
Almost more like an instinct, she bits him, and kicks. And runs.
Paul stands lost in thoughts over the writings, when Shelly runs up to him.
Paul jumps, and looks surprised at his sister.
" We..we gotta get out of here!" Shelly almost screams.
" What? Whatever for?"
" I don't like this towns inhabitants!" Shelly waves towards the other end of the square.
Paul looks, and his eyes widens as he spots a figure standing not far from the appletree, it seems to be in pain too, in a - for boys very sensitive area.
Paul swallows a giggle.
" YOU!... " The young male screams, quite angry.
" Let's get out of here!" Shelly says. Paul giggles.
" You just made a BIG mistake!" The young Martian yells just loud enough for them to hear.
As brother and sister runs away from the square, and into the city, a loud whistle can be heard.
" Gosh sys, I always knewed you're good at kick-offs, but this!..." Paul almost chokes on laughter while running.
" That's NOT funny Paul!" Shelly replies irritated, as they rounds a corner.
" Ooooouch!" Paul rubs his head, after had fallen to the ground by been running into something.
Shelly looks up at what he ran into.
The tall and muscular grey male mouse stands arms folded in the middle of the alley, smiling ironlicly.
" Hi there." He says.
The siblings stares at the 6,7 high mouse. He wears simply a white tight T-shirt, brown boots, and a pair of red and green army pants. Over his left cheek a long and large scar runs, from above his eye, all the way down on his throat. It gives quite a contrast to his grey fur, and black short hair, as it's in the same colour as his eyes, - light pink.
Both Paul and Shelly gulps. The mouse chuckles.
" Hi. Name's Ripper, called `Jack the Ripper'...." He smiles lazily. " And this is my cousin... Sliver. .." He nods upwards. They follows his movement.
Up on the edge of the house roof, a brick-coloured male sits. He wears just a pair of black pants, boots, and a green bandoleer over his chest. He smiles crazy-like at them, while playing with a small knife.
Paul and Shelly looks at each other, and turns on their heels and runs away faster than you can say `Oh, MAMA!'.
The two mice chuckles loudly, and walks slowly after the fleeing humans.
" Wha...what WAS THAT!!???!!" Paul pants, and leans against the wall of a scrape.
" I.... HATE this... town!" Shelly says, and grasps for air.
" So.... What's wrong with it?" A female voice asks.
Paul and Shelly looks up wide eyes. They stare at the Martian females standing opposite to them. All of them wearing tight clothes, some even miniskirts and high heels. The nearest one sips on a cigarette, and studies Shelly. She pulls a hand through her darkblue hair, and laughs.
" Look sys, we've got guests...!"
Once again the human siblings turns on their heels.
" Man! this city hate us!" Paul comments.
Shelly and Paul makes a turn, only to realise that they're back at the square again.
" Oh.. no.."
" Already back?"
Brother and sister turns and stares at the young male sitting on a bench by a brickwall. Shelly glares at him, then turns to find another way out. With mixed feelings she watches her escaperouts being closed by Martians coming out of alleys, down from roofs, and scrapes. Among them, the ones they encountered before.
" What is this!!!!!????????!!!" Shelly blurts out in frustration.
" THIS,.." The young male answers. " .. is MY territory. And noone, - NOONE, sets foot on it, - without MY permission!!!" He glares back at her. And says lowly; " And I just cancelled yours, young lady..."
By now the group of Martians has formed a large circle around them. They're about thirty of them, both males and females, all with hard looks and worn clothes. Not to mention that almost everyone carries a weapon of some kind, but strangely enough, no guns or lazers.
" This is great. We falls down into a sanddune, walks for hours in a sewer, finds this city.. and now we've been captured by a gang of "WEST SIDE STORY - looking RATS!!!"
" AAAaaoooooowwwWW!!!! I HATE sandstorms!!!" The once captain in the Martian Air & Space Force, huddles behind a rock.
" Those dirty rats are gettin away!!!! DARN!!" Mac bangs his fist on the rock. He picks up a small item from is pocket.
" This better work Terrence!! Or I'll blame you for lettin this sandstorm ruin my new jacket!"
" On a bad temper, are we?" A crackling voice over the communicator asks.
Mac just mumbles.
" Just press the red button Mac. It'll work." Terrence's calm voice instructs.
Mac does, and smiles.
" GOOD work lad!! The forcefield is working niiiicely!!"
" Any doubts?" Terrence asks and chuckles. " Over and out."
" Yeah..over..." Mac turns to his men. " Just keep yourselves behind me lads, and the field'll get us through the storm!"
They mounts their bikes again, and speeds after their hunt.
What the heck are those rats up to? - They're driving right into the unstable area!! Not even those crazy Sandraiders goes NEAR that place!..... Anakin thinks for himself as they passes the storm.
Mac stares at the end of the sandravine. The other mice in the group looks around puzzled.
" What??? They're GONE!!!!" He takes off his helmet and scratches his head. " How the he...??"
" Sir! The tracks ends by those dunes." The Freedomfighter points towards a smaller dune in the end of the ravine.
Mac moves over to it. He just shakes his head not knowing what to believe.
" So you mean the kids are someplace UNDER that buried city?" Vinnie asks, not really believing it.
Throttle nods. " One of us has to stay here, and wait for Mac, the rest tries to locate the kids."
Charley turns to him with a Grave look on her face.
" Don't you even DARE too ask me to stay!"
The three males looks at each other. Then Pike shrugs.
" Ok then, Pike stays. Vinnie you borrow his bike."
Vinnie looks unsure at Pike. He just rolls his eyes, and walks over to his bike to get what he need.
After awhile Throttle sits on his bike, Charley behind him, and Vinne on Pike's bike, all ready to go. Suddenly Throttles radio bleeps.
" Hey! Black leader!! ...Come in!...."
Throttle grimaces, and takes it up.
" Black Leader here...."
" ... Lad! Have ya seen anything of the rats?.."
" No... Have you lost them? "
" Something like that.." Mac's voice sounds almost ashamed. " They vanished! Just south of your position!..."
South.... Throttle looks towards the mysterious range of dunes.
" I can't imagine what the heck those rats was supposed to do with all those weapons they were transporting, out here!!!?? Okey.. HIDE them, THAT I figure.. But HERE???"
" No, haven't seen em. But we'll look out." Throttle answers. " But for now, we have to search for missing kids."
"..Oh... I see.. Keep in touch lad!"
" Yeah, over..."
Throttle puts the radio down. And looks at his friends.
" Now we've got three problems. Two missing kids, the chance of them or us encounting the Sandraiders, and that the Sandraiders has found or has a secret weapon-storage...."
" Who are you anyway????" Shelly blurts out in frustration.
The young sandy-orange coloured male grins.
" The name's REX, girl. And I'm the leader of this pack."
" Ain´t you a little young to be leader over this guys??" Paul asks mocking.
" Age has nothing to do with ability... , kid." Rex answers growling.
" If your ability is as bad as your behaviour and your brain, I am REALLY sorry for you rat!!!" Paul yells back at him.
" In normal cases that would have been taken as a challenge or threat...." Rex says in a low and growling voice, and narrows his eyes. " ..And those who threatens or challenges me gets their throats ripped!"
Rex points his long dagger at Paul.
" But since you don't really know what you're doing, I'll let it pass... This time, punk."
" Soo... what shall we do with them?" A whiteblond female asks.
" Sell them to the Sandraiders."
Shelly and Paul looks scared at the bluhaired female mouse, who did the suggestion.
" No... I don't think it'd be worth it, Ocean..." Rex answers her.
" How about take them to the tower?" The tall grey mouse with the scar, steps forward and stops by Rex's side.
" The tower?? What ever fore!! NO trespassers is allowed there!!" Ocean says irritated, and throws her cigarette to the ground and stamps on it. He just ignores her.
Rex studies the two human intruders.
"I think someone would be happy to see them...." The mouse who introduced himself as Jack the Ripper continues.
Rex lights up, and grins.
"Who??" Paul asks confused.
"You're not the FIRST humans to come here..." Rex says with a tricky smile.
Paul and Shelly looks at each other.
" Are you sure this is where they went? Charley looks forward into the sewertunnel.
" Charley girl, there's no other way. The sand has buried all other doors."
The little group looks around, the large sand-buried warehouse lays in shadows, only some faint sunrays sets the darkness on the run. Charley looks up to the hole in the roof, way up there. She hopes that her kids are allright.
" Let's go then."
Vinnie slowly steers Pike's bike through the tunnel. The moisty air makes him sneeze.
" It's really been a LONG time since I've seen water on Mars.." Throttle whispers. Vinnie sneezes again.
" SHELLY!!! PAUL!!!" All answers Charley get are the echoes of her own voice.
Throttle looks around, no sign of the kids. No tracks, no nothing.
" What was that??!!" Charley jumps as she hears a stomping sound, just like steps.
" Uh, what?" Vinnie asks.
" It sounded just like footsteps!" Charley answers, feeling uneasy.
" I didn't hear anything." Throttle says, but tries to.
" You're imagines babe! Who would be running around down in a sewer anyway?"
Charley shakes it off.
" Look!! Sunlight!!" Throttle points at a hole in the roof, where the tunnel has collapsed in front of them.
They looks up.
" After you bro..!" Vincent grins, and Throttle revs his engine.
The two bikes flies up and out of the sewer and lands on the street above.
" What the...??!!!" Vinnie begins.
Shelly glares at the young Martian leader. He glares back.
" You've NO right to threat us like this!!!!" She yells.
" We threat ya AS WE LIKE!! This is OUR land, and here rules OUR laws!!!" He yells back.
" Don't yell at my sis you ... you, you ... - `Walker-on from Michael Jackson's BEAT IT! VIDEO'!!!!!!!!" Paul roars at Rex.
Rex raises a brow.
He's jut to say something more when a mouse comes running over the little square.
" REX!!!! INTRUDERS!!!"
He turns around. A small darkblond female runs up to him panting, she's clad in a black jacket and skirt, brown boots and green shirt. On her right cheek is a big white crescent moon.
" Crescent, WHAT??? MORE intruders??!!!" Rex says upset.
" And they're well armed too."
" Tell me."
" Three persons, two males, one woman. Both males on fighter bikes. Both are wellbuilt, one looks to be a thinker, the other's a macho type. And the woman's HUMAN..." She trails off.
All mice looks at Rex, and at Shelly and Paul.
MUM!!!! Both kids thinks.
" ..Soooo our guests got friends?" Rex studies the humans.
Both Paul and Shelly stays silent.
" I take that as a yes..." He scratches his chin and looks at Jack The Ripper. The tall grey mouse looks down at him in return. Rex nods for himself.
" Let's move to CrossPoint, there we can meet those bikers, - odds even!" Rex turns to a group of mice standing to the right.
" Finder, you go to the north-east border and try to find out what's going on over there, TOO many rats has been sneaking into `The Twisters' area lately.... Take Taurus, Tidal, and Misty with you In case of you running into any of those Twisters..."
The four mice nods gravely and trotts off. The rest starts to move to the south of town, leaving Paul and Shelly alone with Rex, Jack(the Ripper) and that brick-coloured mouse standing in the middle of the small square.
" Move." Rex points south.
" No chance you'll take our friends! They're the best fighters on Mars!!!" Paul says angrily to the young Martian leader. He just chuckles.
" Depends WHAT FIGHT it is sonny." Jack the Ripper answers smiling.
Paul looks up at him, not knowing if he should be afraid of the big male, or not.
" What do you mean? .. And Is your name really Jack the Ripper??"
The grey mouse looks at him stonefaced. Paul swallows, but then all three mice chuckles.
" Yeah, my name IS Jack the Ripper. Real, - just Ripper. Nickname, - Jack. Total, - Jack the Ripper." The scar on his cheek curves as he smiles. " And a shark can't fight on dry land, nomatter how fearsome it is in water."
" Huh??" Paul looks up questioning at Jack. But the male just look ahead.
" It means that your friends may be great fighters in their field, but so are we...."
Sliver hisses grinning, and pulls out a stiletto from his chestbelt, and fiddles with it playfully.
" .. And this is our field... and here we are the kings of the battlefield....." Rex adds, grinning.
As the five persons melts into the shadows of an alley, Shelly can feel a cold knot in her stomach rise.
" I can't believe it... The city is still here.....!"
Throttle, Charley and Vincent stares at the houses, scrapes and streets as they slowly drives pass. The sun stands high in the sky, and makes the buildings cast sharp shadows, on the intruders. Without knowing it, several pairs of eyes watches the trio speed down the seemingly deserted streets.
Throttle stops when they reach a crosspoint off two streets. I two directions however, the streets has been blocked by fallen houses. The rubble and large concrete blocks lays spread over the area, building up a small landscape of perfect places to hide in.
" Hey, this is NOT a place to be looking for someone!" Vinnie comments. Throttle nods.
" Yeah, good for you, that WE found them before someone else did!....."
Throttle, Vinnie and Charley jumps in surprise by the new voice. They spins around lazers drawn.
The young sandy-orange male stands upon a big block of concrete, arms folded, looking down at them trickery.
" Who the ......???!!!" Is all Vincent comes up with.
Charley eyes the young Martian. He looks worn, and grown up, but his age can't be more than 18. His thin and slim body somehow witnesses to her about a hard life. Why she don't know.
" Who are you?" Throttle asks firmly.
" No matter really. What matters is that you are TRESPASSING!"
" Really??" Vinnie says ironically. " Didn't know this ghost-town was OWNED!"
" .. It IS, dear macho-brain... And WE are the ghosts...."
" Who's WE? I only see a brat!" Vinnie growls.
Then about twenty more mice appears around them, on the ground, the roofs and behind rubble.
" Figures..." Throttle and Charley mumbles at the same time.
The tall male takes the large lazergun in his hands, and caresses the shinning weapon, just as the darkness seems to caress his face and body. He chuckles low.
" You'll get you're share of the money and weapons, as soon we've sold this shipment to the plutarkians...." The rat standing by his side says. " And if you continue to let us hide weapons from the FF's on your land, we can promise it'll be VERY rewarding. ... hehe..."
" I hope so..." The Martian male answers with a cold smile on his face.
The rat hurries over to his company.
The male chuckles again. He studies the piles of weapons laying on the floor of the warehouse.
His chestnut eyes narrows, and an evil grin spreads over his scarred face.
THIS time my friend... THIS time, there'll be NO escape.... THIS time, you can't stop me from taking this city... THIS time, your speed and brain can't save you.... THIS time, is the time I'll break you.... THIS time, is the time I'll beat you for good.... THIS time, is THE time....
- THE time I'll rip your life to pieces, - REX!!
The Martian male starts to chuckle again, lowly, then louder. The cold laugh echoes downs the dark walls of the warehouse and rises high up into the darkness.
Fast and hard heartbeats. Throttle holds his finger gently against the trigger of his lazer. His eyes and weapon faces the young male. In the corner of his eye he sees Charley's face show anger as well as fear. To his right Vincent stands both lazers ready, and glares almost red-eyed at the Martian streetgang.
" Let . The . Girl . GO. ...!" Throttle says between his teeth.
Rex just chuckles. Shelly struggles against his grip without any success.
Charley watches her daughter being hold from behind with arm and tail, by the young Martian leader. She looks at Paul, standing by the side with a tall grey mouse, holding Paul's hands behind his back with his tail.
" I said LET HER GO!!" Throttle almost roars.
" Or we'll be angry... " Vinnie adds, and points his lazer at Rex.
" Aren't ya forgetting something my dear fighters..?" Rex says in a sweet voice.
" WHAT??" Vinne growls.
" You're supposed to be HEROES.. - Right?..."
" Yeah! So you don't stand a chance kiddo!" Vinnie says and admires his biceps, and then turns back to the young leader, who by now is laughing.
" What?" Vinnie's voice is more than a little irritated.
Throttle eyes the pack of Martians. They're in all ages, from his to Paul's. But their faces looks hard, despite age. He looks back at Rex.
" Don't make me hurt ya kid." He says calmly.
Rex stops laughing.
" .. Do I hafta remind ya? .. You're the good guys, right?.. Can you really shoot a 17 year old, - KID?..." Rex says in a low and sweet voice.
Throttle eyes him, and then his gang.
" .. Cause.. To DEFEAT us.. You'll have to KILL us...."
As on a secret signal, all mice in the area holds up a weapon. Everything from small stilettos and bowie knifes to long slim daggers gleams in the sunlight.
The two Freedomfighters stands still. A metallic sound can be heard as Throttles lazer hits the ground. He raises his hands.
" WHAT??? You telling me that you're letting this punk defeat you bro??!!!" Vincent looks at Throttle as if he was mad.
" Shut up macho-brain! Your "bro" is right... You can't win."
Vinnie glares at Rex.
" Oh yeah!? If you hurt that girl, - you'll die!"
" Don't doubt it at all." Rex says calmly. " But I don't have to KILL her.. - to HURT her!" He holds up his dagger against Shelly's cheek.
Charley lays a hand on Vinnie´s shoulder be fore he can overreact. He growls, but throws his lazers away.
" Good boy.."
A couple of Martians comes up to them, they binds Throttles and Vinnie´s hands behind their backs, takes their weapons, and shoves them out on the street.
Rex leaves Shelly, and she runs over to her mother, as well as Paul. They hugs.
" Oh God! I thought I'd lost you!" Charley almost sobs.
" I thought I WAS lost!" Shelly says and hugs her mother tight.
Charley looks up from her kids hug. She notices two somehow sad eyes, watching the family reunion almost longingly. Rex seems to be like lost in thoughts looking at them. When he notices Charleys look, he turns away fast.
Charley looks at the young leader's back. She can't help but wonder, and even feel worried, over why a 17 year old, is leader over a gang like this.
" Who are you?" Throttle asks, as they walks down the street.
Nobody answers. Vinnie mumbles angry for himself. Charley and the kids follows the guys, some mice leads the bikes, and the other mice walks around them, silent.
Suddenly Rex looks up at Throttle.
" We're The Sky-Walkers." He says. " Inhabitants of the eastern Bitter Streets of The Lady."
Throttle eyes him.
" How do you survive here? We didn't even know this city existed anymore..."
Rex smiles and shakes his head, but answers anyway.
" We've lived here the whole of our lives, we grow food, and trade with each other and some Sandraiders, even though they don't know who we are.. But there's also leftovers from warehouses that collapsed under the whipeout... And we steel from the rats and Sandraiders... and so on... The Lady ain´t as dead as she first may accure..." He chuckles.
They walks under silence through the streets, it spans like a labyrinth over the area. Throttle looks up at some scrapes peeping out over the rest of the houses. Three scrapes stands tall over a small square. Each of them are heavily thrashed by bombs, and they together forms a large tower in three hights. Charley gasps.
On the balks sticking out, and in the scrapes, lays settlements. Out of the rubble and lose planks, house formations stands high up in the air. Almost like a small tower-city, in the city.
Flags and paintings colours up the grey structure. Rex turns towards the intruders. He waves a hand up towards the structure.
" Welcome, this is "The Tower". Capital of The Sky-Walkers territory, you could say. Also called "In Medias Res", or just "The sky Nest"."
Several Martians can be sighted inside the buildings, and behind walls. When they reach the foot of the structure, a small child comes rushing towards them.
Rex laughs and sweep the little girl up in his arms.
" Almondy!!! How is it kiddo?!"
Almondy? Yeah, her fur is just like the colour of an almond. Charley thinks as she watches the dirty little girl.
" How's your dad?" Rex asks the child.
" Dad's still not well...bad... - Rex wanna play?"
" No, not now." He puts her down gently. " Go and play. I've got visitors to take care of."
Almondy looks up at the newcomers. She blinks, spins around, and runs inside again.
" There quite plenty of Martians here." Throttle says.
Rex just looks at him, and nods.
" Yup. More than half of the settled population survived, many died by famine the first years, but many made it through."
Throttle, Vinnie, Charley and the kids, follows Rex, Jack and Sliver into the building. They walks up some stairs, passes empty corridors, and large rooms. Probably to have been conference halls once.
They stops by a large doubledoor.
" Here ya go," Rex says, grinning." Your `prison'. Not escape-safe, but that doesn't matter. I think there's somebody in here that you'll find interesting, you and your war against Plutark..."
Throttle, Vinnie and Charley looks puzzled at the young man.
Rex opens the door, and Jack and Sliver punches them in.
" Ooof!" They lands with a thud on the floor.
They looks around. The large room has a glass roof, - or more likely has HAD. It's shattered, and broken, and allows fresh air and sunlight free access. Inside some long tables stands with a couple of computers and papers spread over them. In a corner a group of furniture stands, and along and up the walls, many kinds of plants grows uncontrolled. A figure sits in a chair by one of the comps, with it's back to them.
" Hey Rex! I said I didn't want to be disturbed!" A young male voice says, a little irritated. They watches him turn around. Silence falls as the black haired and blue eyed human boy looks at them in surprise.
" Who are you?" The boy asks. Quite calmly, but also a little suspicion can be heard.
Throttle stands up and begins to untie Vinnie, and the other stands up as well.
" I'd like to know the same." Charley says, still surprised. " What are you doing here?? You're HUMAN!"
The boy blinks, and looks at Charley, Shelly and Paul.
" The same." He looks at them with the beginning of curiosity in his eyes.
" GRMBLCKYTDTGMMMGAAH!!! That brat is gonna get it!!!" Vinnie growls as he gets free from his bonds.
The boy looks at him, and raises a brow.
" I assume you ´re talking about Rex?"
Vincent looks up at the boy.
" YEAH! He put you in here too??!!"
The human boy chuckles.
" Well, he gave me this room, to do my.... STUDIES in. In a matter of speaking." He smiles at them, and stands up from the chair.
" Tell me who you are, and then I can do the same."
Charley looks at the boy, and at Throttle. He nods.
" Hrm... I'm Charley Davidson, these are my kids Shelly and Paul, this is Throttle and Vincent, both are Freedomfighters.. We stumbled over this city, ..kinda."
The boy stares at Charley. Almost as if he recognised her, or reacted at what she said.
" Soo, who are YOU then?" Vinne says impatient.
The boy eyes Vinnie strangely. Then he smiles, and snickers.
" ..Vinnie.... I say.. Whatta coincident..." He says in a low voice, almost lost in thoughts, to himself.
" Oh, nothing!" He smiles at them. " My name is Ludwig. Ludwig Shaddack. And how I got here? That's a complicated story I'm afraid."
" So please tell us! ANYTHING, just to loose that RAT!" Shelly says angrily.
" Dream on babe." Rex says as he pops his head in through the open roof.
He lays down on his chest, and chews lazily on an apple. If looks could kill, Rex would surely be stone dead by Shelly's glare.
" Typical." She mumbles.
Paul has to swallow a giggle.
" How come you are together with a pack of scum like this?" Shelly asks, and glares at Rex. He chuckles.
" I didn't have much of a choice, actually. I kind of `dropped' in here..."
" What do you mean?" Throttle eyes the human boy.
" ... he sort of was chased by fishes, after escaping their bad excuse for planet, and chrashed here." Rex says matter of factly, and bites his apple.
" Stop glaring like that sys, ya gonna hurt your eyes..." Paul whispers to Shelly. She slaps him over the head.
" You mean PLUTARK!!!????" Throttle, Vinne and Charley says surprised at the same time.
Ludwig nods. His face seems to harden, and his eyes looses themselves in a distance for a moment.
" Yes, I was a captive, but I managed to escape. I even managed to steal a thing or two..." He smiles coldly.
Ludwig Shaddack motions to the group of furniture's, and they walk over and sits down. The human teen stands by one of the tables looking at them.
" May I ask How you got to Plutark Mr Shaddack?" Throttle says, with clearly curiosity and suspicion in his voice.
Ludwig stops smiling.
" I was captured."
" Cool, whatever for?" Paul asks interested.
" It's NOT COOL to be captured you idiot!" Shelly slaps her brother again.
" Aooch! Hey!"
Charley gives her children a look, and then turns to Ludwig.
" The Plutarkians came for my father, they killed him, and took me. For some reason."
The sadness and anger shows truly in the young male's face, and Charley feels sorry for him. So much pain in the world, so much because of those Plutarkians. She studies him closely. Why does he reminds me of somebody? Who does he reminds me of?
" Hey, how the heck did you escape from Plutark ALL BY YOURSELF???!" Vincent asks doubtfully.
The boy eyes him a moment.
" By using my brain."
Vinnie just windles his eyes.
" Actually, I WORKED myself out."
" Means ...?" Throttle continues.
" I was Carbuncle's assistant, in a way."
" Easy, friends."
" Who said in was your friend??!"
" Who cares."
Shaddack and Vinnie eyes each other.
" Please..." Throttle looks irritated at the two. " Now, please tell us the rest."
" Hmmm.... Well.. " Ludwig looks at them, as if he judged if he should, or not.
" I worked for them long enough to gain trust, and besides - what harm could a small stupid human do?" He chuckles.
" When I was ready, I mined the labs, hacked the system, and stole a ship."
" And charted here?" Paul finishes.
A tense silent falls. Then Throttle breaks it in a low voice.
" Tell me...What did you steal..?"
" Security info, for example....." Ludwig smiles slyly at the Martian.
Throttle rises himself slowly, not leaving the human boy with his eyes a second. He walks slowly over to him.
" Tell me Ludwig Shaddack, do you want to win over Plutark?"
The human looks silent at Throttle. And says in the same low voice.
" Do you?"
Footsteps. Fast footsteps running upwards. A sudden slam against a door. A door bursts open. A scream.
Everybody in the room spins around, and stares surprised at the intruder. Shelly slaps a hand against her mouth to prevent to throw up.
" TIDAL!!!" Rex jumps down into the room from his place up on the roof.
Charley looks horrified at the new Martian, who's clinging to the door to not collapse. Darkred blood has coloured his grey shirt black and red, open flesh wounds glare at them with pain screaming out from them. The grey and orange-haired male collapses on the floor.
Rex runs up to him, and grabs his shoulders, and takes him in his arms.
" GOD DAMN IT!!! Who did this!!??? TIDAL!"
The other Martians blue eyes flickers a little, his breathing is hard, but he manages to speak.
" ...T..the rats....Storm...."
Rex looks shocked. Then his face turns as hard as stone.
Tidal grabs his leaders shirt.
" ..Weapons... in hundreds.... The rats... Storm lets them hide..."
" WHAT??! Storm let's the rotten rats hide weapons on his territory!!???"
" .. He gets ... own..in payment..... weapon.. in piles......."
Rex almost stops to breath himself.
Tidal looks weak up at Rex. He smiles. A string of thick blood slowly runs down his chin.
" ...Te.. tell my son... that... that he don't have to call himself `jr' anymore.... .. He never liked that.... "
A almost invisible tear rolls down Rex's cheek. Tidal's chest stops to move.
" Oh god!" Charley whispers and squeezes her daughters hand.
Rex slowly rises himself. Tidal lays silent on the floor. Rex bends down and shuts his eyelids. Then he just stands there, his fist clenched so hard that his knuckles turns white.
Throttle breaks the silence once more.
" Tell us, who's Storm?" His voice is low, and respectful.
Rex turns to them, an almost mad anger shines in his darkpink eyes.
" ...Storm....?... Storm is the most rotten creature to walk this planets red surface! And the leader of The Twisters, - the largest territory holder second us, - The Sky-Walkers!"
They watches how Rex takes a lose brick from the floor, and throws it into the wall. He breaths heavily.
" Storm.... He's the kind of man that sees everything like unuseful if it doesn't gain HIM. A life is NOTHING to him! It's like he LIVES for spreading pain!! "
" ..Wh..what does he wants...?" Charley says shocked.
" WANTS!!??? .. All he wants is other to feel PAIN!!! That's what he lives for!! And for some whicked reason, - especially ME!!" Rex screams madly.
" Does he want you dead?" Vinnie looks at the mad young leader.
" DEAD??!!" Rex starts to chuckle. " No. Not dead. That's WAY to easy! And not enough painful, in his opinion." His eyes narrows. " Storm knows the darkest ways to soulpain... through losses... of friends... brothers..family...He KNOWS where to strike, to cause most damage...He can read a person like an open book, THAT's why he's so dangerous... And his goal is this city... " Rex's voice trails off.
And he stares at Tidals body laying silent and unmoving on the floor.
Ludwig Shaddack walks up silent and lays a blanket over the dead Martian. A respectful silence falls. Then Ludwig says lowly;
" And now he has the weapons to take this whole city..."
Rex walks silently and with a grave expression out of the room. Throttle looks after him.
" I think we've found Mac's missing Rats...." he says to nobody in particular.
They sit down, and watches how a couple of devastated Martians comes in, and carries the limp body away.
My mother, my home. How beautiful you are. How I love you, how I hate you.
How much blood is going to paint your pavement red this evening? How many pair of eyes are going to stare empty up to the heavens after this night? Will you finally fall into the arms of your waiting dark lover? Don't let him, mother. Don't let him win. He'll just use you. His promising smile is just a wrapping over a dark soul. Don't let him win. Please don't.
Your bitter streets is my womb, my soul. If you let him win, you'll give my soul away. Don't mother. Don't. Be strong. For the sake of your children.
I was born on your cold pavement. You watched over me as I grew up. You thought me not to take life for granted. You taught me to survive, no matter the obstacles. How many are the times I've felt the cold hands of death grasping for my throat? - Just as many as I've escaped him. You've always been there my mother. Not like the warm parent, but like the grave guardian, that keeps reminding me of my mortality and fragile life.
What will I be without you? - Nothing. Just a lost child. Left alone in a cold and Grave environment. I'm a grown man mother. But still not. Who am I mother? What am I? - A man? A worrior? An assassin, a murderer? A scared child? Nothing without you.
Fear strikes me like the thunder every time. Every time death breaths. Still I call him more often than most men. I watch him claim the body of my victim. He's my father, you're my mother. Why? Why?
Why is my life like this? Why was my childhood stolen? Who stole it?
I steel. I take others belongings if it suits me. Why? Why can't I laugh in pure joy for life? Who stole my innocent child-laugh? You did mother. You did. You took it instead of my life.
I hate you mother. I love you mother. I'll fight for you. I'll die for you. My blood shall paint your bitter streets in the colour of the setting sun. My body shall be claimed by death, he shall make me grow cold and silent. Silent.
But not today. Not tonight. I am you son, and I am proud of it. Even though it has left me with scars no time can really heal. But proud I am. I will fight for a new day. A new day full of sunlight, that warms your concrete skin. I will also fight for the chance of ever having peace and laughter. And I know. I know that if he takes you mother. You will never see such future. I love you, I hate you. I am your son. Even if I deny it, I am. I am proud. I am a child. I am a man. I am scared, and I am part of you.
Rex sits silent on the edge of the highest tower. His feet dangles dangerously high above the ground. He gazes out over the city. The city of Lady Brier-Rose, The Lady. The streets looks yellow and orange in the sunlight, and sharp shadows plays games with the light inside deep alleys.
A sudden presence makes Rex turn slightly on his head. Darkpink eyes meets blue. Rex looks at the human boy, his dark pants, shirt and old white labcoat. Without a word he turns back his gaze to the city again.
Ludwig Shaddack looks at his friends back. Even though he have a hard time putting up with the young Martian sometimes, they still have a lot in common. Fourteen and seventeen, and both has lived like they were twice their real age for many years already, for example.
Ludwig looks out over the city. She seems so calm and peaceful from up here....
" You should trust them." Ludwig says calmly and in a low voice, without taking his eyes from the horizon.
Rex leans his chin against one knee, and stares at a scrape in the distant, without seeing.
" Trust Throttle."
" He's a leader. He understands."
" What's to gain?"
" Weapons to fight against weapons with."
Ludwig turns to Rex.
" A free back against the rats, so you can take on Storm. They want the rats, you want Storm."
" Who can I trust?"
" Trust Mrs Davidson..."
" She's a mother...."
Rex turns to him. He looks for several seconds at Shaddack under silence. Ludwig can almost see a glimpse of sadness or longing in the Martians eyes. Rex looks down at the street below. He nods.
" I know what to do." Ludwig says. He walks silently downs the stairs into the building.
Rex sits still for another minute. Then he jumps out from the edge.
Charley looks at a young male, probably in the age of Shelly, standing by a wall down at the square. He cries. His bright orange hair, and his grey fur is tangled and a little dirty. His blue eyes is darkened by tears. Her heart screams for the boy. So much pain, so much sadness.....
" Oh ... WoW! ..."
Charley turns her head to look in the direction that Vinnie is looking. So does Throttle.
A small figure seemingly falls down the side of the tower. It grabs a balk, and another. Swings around, and lands on the roof of the lower structure. And jumps again.
With a swing in a long rope hanging down the side of the scrape, Rex lands safely on the square's pavement.
" Cool...." Vinnie admits.
" I say..." Throttle looks at the young leader as he walks towards them.
" Why do you think we are called "Sky-Walkers"? ..." Jack the Ripper says to Charley's amazed look.
She turns to him, not understanding.
" He's called SkyWalker... I think you understand WHY... And we may not be handy with bikes, but there's NOTHING a Sky-Walker can't climb!" Jack says proudly.
" I believe you." She answers.
Rex walks up to them, Grave faced.
Throttle looks questioning at the sandy-orange furred Martian.
" Do you want to get those rats?"
Throttle thinks a little before answering. He nods.
" Yes. If they have a secret storage here, it can mean serious trouble for the Freedomfighters."
" I care little for your war Mr Throttle. But I DO care of the safety of my home, my town. And not to mention, - my brothers and sisters. Storm has got his hands on weaponry far over our capability, and that means it's gonna be OUR blood which flows. I can't accept that fact."
Throttle looks down at the young leader. He can't help but being amazed. Such a young person, thinking so grown up. He should be running out late at night, he should have worried parents that argues at him for not concentrating more on school, and he should be spending way too much money on movies and girls, instead of leading a gangwar for survival...
" Can I trust you Mr Throttle?"
Throttle looks into Rex eyes, and nods.
" Yes. Let us free, and we'll take care of the rats, and the heavy weaponry... "
Rex folds his arms, and waits.
" ....But you say WHEN and WHERE..., this is your land." Throttle finish.
Rex smiles a faint smile. He nods.
" Good. You catch on fast."
" And YOU follows ME when it comes to handle the weapons..."
Rex's smiles wider.
" I think I am gonna like you Mr Throttle..." He reaches out his hand.
Throttle takes it.
" WHAT??? .... You don't say... NO! .. No way! I DON'T believe it! Amazing!! ... I say...."
" What is it sir?"
Anakin MacCloud puts down the radio, and looks at the deep-red female by his side.
" It's Throttle.... They've found our missing rats..."
" Oh, GREAT! ..So now...?"
Mac starts to chuckle.
" And that's not everything he found...."
He turns to the small group of Freedomfighters.
" Com'on lads and ladies! It's time to WHIP some TAIL!!!"
Sharp shadows, the scent of dew and dirt. The streets seems silent and empty. Almost. A group of eight people walks under silence down the narrow street. It's Throttle and Vincient, Charley and her kids, and Jack the Ripper, Ludwig Shaddack, and Rex. They stops.
" By the end of this block, begins The Twisters area." Rex says calmly in a low voice.
" Tssk, no guards?" Vinnie says and is about to chuckle, when Rex glares at him.
" OFCOURSE there is! Only because you can't SEE them, doesn't mean that they AREN't there."
He motions for them to follow. They walks into an almost wrecked house, and up to the second floor. Throttle puts his binoculars to his eyes.
" I see four rat guards. The others are unloading the cargo. With that speed, it'll take them another half hour to do it." He says factly, and looks down at Rex.
Rex scratches his chin, and stares at the warehouse on Storm's territory, from the broken window. He nods.
" And we need to take `em by surprise. I don't think we can take a open field battle. Maybe YOU, but not my people...."
" What do you suggest?"
" We take out the guards, and surprise them. That'll give Storm less time to think of an counter attack... Which means... - we'll have a better chance."
" But how to take the guards? Bikes make too much noise... It'll alarm the rest of the rats."
" Leave the guards to us... You just take care of those rats and their weapons. WE takes care of the gang." Rex grins sly, and turns to Jack. He nods.
" It'd be MY pleasure to take care of the guards...." He flicks out a slim bowie-knife, and grins.
" OOOooooooohhh yessss..." Sliver says from behind. In his hands glitters two stilettos.
Charley shivers as the two males joins in with the shadows down on the street.
" Come." Rex says and walks down again.
Well down on the street again, they join in with several more Sky-Walkers. Rex signs to some, and they disappears down alleys and up over roofs.
" Now we just wait for Jack and Sliver to do their work...." Rex says in a low voice, and a tense silence falls.
Shelly shivers inside. She haven't seen a person die before. The images of Tidal's last breath still plays infront of her eyes.
Shelly hugs herself and walks away a little. She doesn't want to see any more. She doesn't want to be together with those...those... With a slow turn of her head, she looks over at Rex. He stands stone-faced, eyes lost in a distance. She doesn't know what to think. Should she hate him, - or not?
Lost in thoughts, Shelly wanders into an alley. She stops by its end, only a small way between two houses, who leads into the other gang's territory, gives a decision of another way out. She leans herself against the brickwall.
" Chief... They're commin..... And the FF's are with them..."
The brown and blond-haired mouse looks nervously at the tall silhouette of his leader.
Storm caresses the shinning lazergun. He leans lazily against the wall outside the warehouse.
" Well.. I thought so..." He says lowly.
His hazel eyes focus themselves on the brown mouse by his side.
" How many?"
" About twenty to twenty-five... I think..."
" You... THINK..?"
The brown mouse freezes by the cold voice.
" ..Ye..yes.. You never know with The Sky-Walkers...They are good scouts.."
Storm smiles when the young male shivers.
" Unfortunate will they ruin everything if they interrupts the rats...." Storm says in the same low voice.
" Should we make them retreat?"
Storm turns to the brown male. He chuckles.
" You know... This is ONE of the reasons I AM leader, - and YOU are NOT, deeear Blitz....
.. When will you EVER start using that muscle of yours, - called BRAIN??!!"
" ...No.. we have to create a diversion... So WE will be the ones that starts the attack... They'll be like sitting ducks when we've got the weapons ready.. " Storm chuckles low. " Then The Sky-Walkers will REALLY walk in the skies... In heaven, to be exact........" He laughs.
Blitz watches his leader, then asks;
" What shall we do then?"
Storm turns to him.
" Tell me.... are the Earthlings with them?"
" The female and the brat, is with the FF's ...and the girl was last seen a bit away from the others..."
Storm's face splits in a wide grin.
" Tell me Blitz.... She was the one, who Rex met first at the square.., wasn't it?"
" That's what the scouts says, yes... But how will that help us..?"
Storm looks at the other male and sighs.
" Don't bother your poor brain Blitz."
Storm shuts the other one's mouth with a glare, then he grins coldly.
" Our dear Rex has just placed a new weakness in our hands... Hehehe... And it's dangerous to let a weakness be unguarded... Especially if the weakness is ... blond... and walks on two legs,... and is a girl......" Storm chuckles again. His seemingly gentle hazel eyes flashes of a hidden deep darkness.
Shelly sighs. I wish I was sitting safely back home, watching old horror movies... or something...
She looks around a little alarmed, as she thinks she heard a sound. She stops in the middle of a movement, when she sees the approaching Martian.
He walks slowly and relaxed towards her from the small way between the houses. He's quite tall, about Jack's height. Well build, and his fur is grey-brown, and hair is short and deep brown. His jeans are darkblue and wellworn, as is his large black leatherjacket, and white T-shirt. But he seems someway tidy, in compare to the others in the gangs she'd seen. She looks closer at the strange male, he doesn't scare her at all, for some reason... He's almost beautiful, there he walks hands in pockets.
He stops about three meters away from her, and looks friendly at her. He smiles a shadowed smile at her.
" Hello." He says in a low voice, his hazel eyes almost shines.
" Uuuhm.. Hi.."
Shelly gasps when she notices all the fine scars covering the Martians face. All the way from his forehead to a long way down his throat, and from eartip to eartip.
" You must be one of those Earthlings,..." He chuckles. " Well.. OFCOURSE you are. You haven't got neither tail, - or fur."
" And who are you?"
" That doesn't matter." He smiles.
" I've heard you are friend with...... Rex....." He looks at her, still smiling.
Something alarms her, but she don't know why or what. - Maybe that strange smile?
Or maybe the dark undertone in his voice....?
" Uuuhm... well..."
She turns slightly away, and freezes as she feels him suddenly near.
" Rex is a fun fellow.. Isn't he?"
He's not more that a feet away now, and she didn't even HEARD him move!
Shelly's beginning to feel nervous.
" .. Well... I..."
" You know.... I know him pretty well..." The male whispers. " He's pretty fast with the dagger..."
" Look what he managed to do...."
Shelly looks up at the Martian, his hazel eyes shines in a dark way now. He slowly runs his fingers over his scared face.
" Isn't he ...skilled....? ... I mean.. I could easily have bleed to death from cuts like this... But No... He did it veeery well.... just enough to leave scars... but not enough to kill me......." The male grins coldly at her.
She grasps for air.
" I wonder.... What a beautiful girl like you, ..is doing ... involved with HIM....?" The Martian leans closer. " Ofcourse... I can see HIS motives....." He whispers sweetly in her ear.
With a slow motion of his hand, he gently runs his fingers through her blond hair and unties her ponytail.
" .... Yes.... I really do... really do...." He chuckles low.
Shelly feels the warmth from the tall male's breath. Every part of her body is limb with fear. Inside she runs, runs manickly. But her body refuses to obey her. She can't move, terrified, frozen down into the ground, she just stands there and shivers, praying.
" Aaaawww.... Don't cry beautiful.... Rex is a looooong way from here, fighting his battle... don't worry... I'm here...."
He grins and gently wipes away a silent tear on her cheek. Slowly, slowly he touches her arm with his fingers, gently moving them upwards.
" Now...now.... Be calm... there's nothing to worry about.... .."
Storm barries his hand in Shelly's loose blond hair, and looks her deep in the eyes, grins and whispers;
Throttle studies his black biker-boots for the hundred time. He sighs tensed. The unnatural silence is driving him crazy. Jack has returned, Ludwig S has gone away with two others and Charley to contact Mac, and they are waiting for Sliver who went to scout for number of Twisters. When a glass-breaking whistle sounds through the alley, he almost drops dead by surprise.
" YHOE! REX!"
Everybody stares at the brown and blond-haired Martian male, standing far away in the opening of a crossing street.
" Blitz!.." Rex growls... " Damn! Than means that they know we're commin'...." He says low, still growling.
" Hey Rex! .. Are we missing something??!"
Rex glares at the rivalling male.
" Blitz, what have your nut-brain made up now!!???"
" Well well... Rex is good at keeping his borders under control... But what about his WEAK spots?"
Rex gives the other Martian a look as if he wonders if he's nuts. Jack narrows his eyes.
" Rex should be more on his watch... Weak spots should be guarded, if you don't want `em to be used against you!"
" Blitz... WHAT are ya talkin about!?? Spit it!"
" Have Rex been so uncaring that he let a dear thing run away?.. Or more like, walk away? If you don't have fur in this neighbourhoods, you might get cold......"
Blitz grins when Rex eyes widens in shock. He looks around searching.
" What is that idiot babbleing about?" Vinnie says bored. " Why not just punch him?"
" Rex.. What's happening?" Throttle looks worried at the suddenly upset leader.
Jack furrs his brow.
" I've got a bad feeling..."
Blitz laughs, and begins to run back into his own territory.
" Damn Damn Damn!!! I should have known!"
Rex grabs Throttle's waistcoat.
" Did Shelly go with Paul, back to the bunker??"
".. I think so.. Why??"
" You THINK??" Rex curses, and looks around. Without hesitation, he speeds into the only nearby alley.
The fast drumming of boots against asphalt. Panting. Curses. Whimper.
Rex stops his running, and looks around, searching for the maker of the low sound. His eyes widens when he spots Shelly. She sits, hugging her legs, behind an old dumpster.
Rex silently walks over to her, and bends down, but stops.
" ....hehe.... Roses are red,... violets are blue... life is doomed... and so are.... You."
" STORM!!!!" Rex screams desperately into the small passage. Only a low laughter answers him.
Shelly sobs. He looks at her, she seems unharmed, - physically at least.
" Storm! One day!! ... One day!!!! ... I.."
Rex stops when many sudden raised voices erupts down the block. Warcries and shots rings through the alleys and streets.
Rex falls to his knees, and stares back from where he came.
" DAMN! I fell for it!! DAMN!!!" He bangs his fist to the ground.
An echo of a laughter hangs in the air.
He turns to Shelly, but again he's interrupted by a voice, Throttle's this time.
" What's happened??? Rex! It's full scale fight back there! They need their leader!"
Throttle looks shocked at Shelly, she looks up at him.
Rex hesitates, but then he faces the Freedomfighter.
" Take her back to the bunker, I must help Jack back there!"
Throttle takes Shelly in his arms, she sobs.
Rex turns around.
" I've ordered Vinnie to blow up the weapons... So stay out of his way."
" Good.. And I will.. I've got a feeling of how he fights..." His voice drips with sarcasm.
" Get her safe,... I'll keep Storm busy..." Rex pulls out his dagger, jumps up on the dumpster and up and over the roofs.
...It's play time..... It's time to beat it......
Screams, smoke and wind. Vincient speeds down the street on Pike's bike. A fast turn, and a jump, and he's up on the warehouse roof.
" It's time to Pa-A-A-rtyyy!!" Vinnie blasts the roof and jumps down the hole.
A bunch of surprised rats stares at him, but soon they flies into the nearby wall...
" Watch out for the lazers!! Don't go into the open!!" Jack shouts.
" Tidal!! Stay down!!" Jack feels a pain from inside, by the thought of the deceased Martian. He looks over at the young replica of him.
" I do whatever!! I'm..I'm gonna...!!!"
" No use getting killed because of stupidness!" Jack takes the young male by the shoulder, and shoves him back.
Tidal, former Tidal `jr', wipes away a tear of frustration. His orange hair, and grey fur is dirty. His blue eyes sad and even scared.
" We can't go out there! They have lazers! And we DON'T!" Jack says calm but respectfully.
He's just about to say something more when a sandy-orange blur whirls pass him.
" Everybody who's smart and not insane, stays down!" He hears an angry voice shout.
Jack looks how Rex runs out into the open area in front of the large building, right into the big fight, and into the lazers.
" Weeeell... He didn't say I should stay..." Sliver says, and grins.
" Aiaiaiaiahiayiayi!!!!" He screams and lunches himself into the battle.
Jack shakes his head melancholic.
Fight. Run. Fight. Survive. Fight. Survive....
Rex flips back to avoid to be slashed by a knife, and instead kicks his enemy in the face.
Turn. Speed. Watch. Speed. Reeve. Weaponry ready. Shoot. Jump. Jump. Reeve.
Throttle Makes a fast turn to avoid a lazerbeam, in one movement, he jumps and blows up two of the rats bikes. Next...
Speed. Turn. Reeve. Reeve. Jump. Fly. Shoot. Shoot. Land. Turn. Shoot.
With quite ease, Vincient waste a couple of rats, as well as weapons. And speeds off into another fight. Man, am I good or what??!
" Now.. Let's see... Where am I ?"
" In the lost city if Brier-Rose, sir."
" Stop Sir-ing me Bordeaux! ... Now where..."
" Looking for a fight maybe?"
Anakin MacCloud looks up at the human boy. No, - two human boys.
" Well, Paul.. Who's your friend?"
" The fight is that way." Ludwig Shaddack points.
" Thankyou." Mac says and revs his engine.
Storm watches darkfaced how the flames licks his neighbourhood. Martians are running and screaming, shots and knives sings in an somehow organised chaos.
" Darn those FF's...... They'll ruin.. everything!..."Storm hisses through his teeth.
" Boss, more FF's!!! They are coming from the north! At least ten of `em!!" Blitz's pants.
Storm glares at him.
" Well, DO something then..."
" What shuo... .. Uh.. YES RIGHT AWAY Boss!!!!!"
Blitz swallows and runs on his heel when Storm gives him a glare of death.
The leader of The Twisters folds his arms. Storm raises a brow when suddenly two Martians falls on the ground before him. One of his own, and another on top of him, trying to stab him.
Storm grabs the bright-orange haired Sky-Walker in his knife fist, and pulls him off his own member. He looks at the angry youngster.
" Well.. I'll be... - Didn't I killed you as soon as this midday...?" Storm asks him calmly.
The young Martian's eyes widens, and then his face wrinkles in anger.
" Hmmm.. No. My mistake, you're MUCH to young to be him... Sorry...." Storm says in same cool voice, and throws Tidal `jr' into the nearby wall. He falls to the ground with a thud.
Storm pulls out his lazer, and caresses it.
" Seems I have to get down and dirty....." He starts towards the fight, but stops when he hears a moaning.
" Chief... help me...."
Storm looks down at the Martian who Tidal was struggling with. He bleeds and seems petty hurt. The leader looks at him for a minute, then bends down.
" Chief... please..."
" Tell me... Botch.... Should I rescue you.. and let them destroy all our weapons, and all our chances to ever have a grip at The Sky-Walkers... Or let you lay here in pain for another hour,... and save our chances.. and weapons.......?"
Botch breaths hard, and looks at his respected leader in pain.
" Never mind me Chief... The gang is more important than..me...alone..."
Storm smiles sly, and gives him a nod.
" Very wise my friend...." He walks up, and trotts away.
" I say.. The fight is on..." " Berserking Martians in an organised chaos, flaming buildings.., and rats to punch.... and, .. a couple of streets chicks in miniskirts and high heels laying wrestling on the street..... As Stoker would say.., - I LOVE my work!! YEEHAHA!!"
Anakin MacCloud laughs and charges towards one of the rats weapon-transporter.
Throttle watches the massacre. I can't believe it... Martian against Martian....and The Plague hasn't struck... how can this be?...
He stops to watch Vinnie blow up another set of weapons, they has almost done it all now. Throttle sees how Ocean, the blue-haired female in Rex's gang, and another woman, kick down and destroy a rat, and his vehicle. He sighs inside, but returns to the fight.
Rex pants and punches an charging enemy in the chest. Sweat is pureeing down his forehead and chest, two hours of non-stop fighting has a way to drain your powers successfully.
He grabs the other Martians dagger from it's sheet, and raises his arm to throw it, when somebody grabs his fist from behind and prevents him from throwing it.
" No! Stop!!"
Rex turns around surprised.
" Shelly!!??? What the...! WHAT are you doing here???!!"
Shelly's face is drowned by tears and she's shaking violently.
" Pleeeze.. No more killing! .. Stop it!!!"
Rex stands dumbfounded as Shelly starts to sob and squeeze his shoulders and upper arm.
" Pleeze... Ma...make it s.. stop..." She trembles.
Rex looks at the scared girl, and his chest hurts. He looks around. She's right, there is nothing more to fight for, - They've won, the weapons are destroyed, the threat is gone.. for now. Now the fight is a fight, just for the sake of itself.
Rex gently lays his arm around Shelly's shoulders, and puts two fingers in his mouth, and whistles. One, two times.
Jack looks up from throwing a guy into the wall, and at Rex. The young leader signs in the air, and shoves his hand backwards. Jack narrows his eyes, he looks at his angry opponent, takes the other male guy the arm and throws him over the shoulder, then he starts to whistle, and sign himself.
" AAAww Man! I was just gettin hot here!" Sliver says and groans.
" Huh?" Vinnie says. Throttle breaks and stops by the two.
He looks around. Sky-Walkers are slowly, but surely retreating back on their own territory.
" Sliver, what's happen?!" Throttle looks worried.
" Aww.. nothin... Rex's just signed retreat... *sigh*" The brick-red mouse shrugs his shoulders, and starts to trott back.
Vinnie and Throttle looks at each other. And speeds after.
" So... This is The Briar-Rose, eh?" Mac stands lazily by his bike. Some other FF's stands overlooking their bikes beside, when Throttle and Vinnie joins them.
" Yes, so it is." Charley says grave-faced.
" Hey Ripper-man! Why the retreat?"
Jack looks up at Vinnie.
" Cause Rex said so, we're supposed to regroup at the Nest, so com'on!" He grabs a a wounded Martian under the arm, and starts back.
They does the same.
The shouts has gone silent. The bitter streets of The Lady lays once again silent. The setting sun is the only one who now paints the streets in red and orange. The scrapes watches the small figures who makes their way home, back into safety. A brother helps a wounded. A parent carries her son, a sister helps a cousin. A boy carries a girl.
Rex gently puts down Shelly on an old bench, near the square outside The Sky Nest. She cries silent and hugs herself. He watches her silent for several minutes just leaning against the dirty brickhouse. Her hair is tangle, her cheeks wet, and her eyes blue. Deep blue. He sighs and sits down to.
" ... I.. am sorry..." He runs his hands through his long hair.
She looks up at him. For some reason, he looks more like a lost child, than a fearless leader now, to her. She watches him under silence.
" Can you.. forgive...me?" Rex looks at her. His eyes are sad somehow. " I didn't mean to hurt you...." His voice trails off.
Shelly watches his every move, just waiting for him to grin and say something funny. But no. Rex just sits there and studies the pavement. She reach out and touches his shoulder.
" How the heck can you be leader for a gang like this?!"
He looks at her, and blinks.
" Because I'm the one who's best at it." He simply shrugs his shoulders. He looks longingly up to the sky, who is beginning to get the colour of pink in the early evening.
" Do you want it?"
" Want what?"
" All this killing?!" Shelly's voice is fragile, but firm.
He sighs, and reaches out and touches her cheek.
" What I want...?" He chuckles sadly. " That has nothing to do with it babe."
" If there was just life... no death. There would neither be birth, and growth.... The strong survives, that's the game." Rex says in a low voice, looking at the sky.
His face is covered by sharp shadows that plays with his features, Shelly can almost feel his sorrow, but she don't know why. She inhales and shivers.
They looks out on the square, people is beginning to gather, among them, Charley and the FF's.
Shelly stands up. She sighs.
" ..I forgive you... for that on the square, and all.... But not for killing. Never..ever..." She whispers, and slowly walks out on the square to join in with her family.
Rex watches the human girl. He tries to stand, but can't. He tries to clear his mind, to forget this days events, but he can't. The heavy and sweet scent, of human. Of a young woman, lays to think in the air. In his nose, his mind.
He sighs and turns his head to the evening sky.
" Shelly!" Charleene hugs her daughter, so does Paul.
" The rats are finished. The threat is gone, thank goodness!" Throttle says, and sighs reviled.
" Yeah man!"
Charley smiles at Vinnie and Throttle.
" So.. You found your way in here Mac?"
" Yup. Thanx to Charley and that other kid.. Anyway, NICE place this, right Bordeaux?"
" Right.. Sir..."
All looks up at the new voice, and at the approaching female. Charley and family stares at the woman, Vinnie almost pops his eyes out, Mac grins, and Throttle groans. The female stops by Mac's side.
" Hello all." She grins.
" Wow..." Paul mange to get through." Cool.. Why didn't ya say that Pamela Anderson had a Martian kid sister????!!!!"
" Paul!" Charley looks angry at her son, he blushes slightly.
The dark-red Martian female chuckles.
" Not to worry mam.. I don't mind..." She says and winks at Paul.
She walks over to Throttle with a wide grin. Her green FF' uniform matches her deep-red fur and hair, and green eyes. Her black, thigh high, leather boots makes quite a contrast to other females in the group, and not to forget the two missing buttons in her shirt, which makes a nice v- shape in front. A golden ring in each ear, and a long flowing hair, highens the effect even more.
Throttle seems to be the only one, or should that be male, who not seem too happy over her.
Bordeaux smiles and looks at him.
" Had a good fight `cutie-butt'?" She grins wider, when Throttle's face darkens.
" Don't call..." He begins, but she has already turned away.
" Charley! Hi!"
Charley takes the womans hand and shakes it.
" Hi, nice to meet you Miss Bordeaux."
" Aww.. Just Bordeaux please. Have looking forward to meet ya, we need more strong women on the force!" She grins.
" And who may this hunk be?" Bordeaux folds her arms and looks at Vinnie, who still is in state of shock.
" Oh... I see.." She grins.
Charley tries not to laugh at Vincient's expression. And Paul chokes on laughter, and Mac swallows one.
" Go and gather the troop, Bordeaux." He says, and chuckles.
" Key, if you say so." She leans over to Vinnie and takes his chin, " And you babe, don't go anywhere..."
" AAWHOA!!" Throttle jumps when Bordeaux walks pass him. He turns and glares after her, holding his butt.
" WHY does she ALWAYS have to do that??!!" He says upset, blushing.
Charley giggles as Bordeaux wiggles her fingers.
" Hrpmf." Throttle folds his arms.
" OOHHH, BABY!!!"
Arrence Pike windles his eyes, when Vincient hugs his repaired bike.
" Thanx." Throttle says.
" NO prob lad." Mac answers.
" So... Are all here? All ready?"
" Think so." Throttle looks around, and nods.
" Good, we'd better be on our way, I think Stoke is gettin just a liiiiitle bit nervous about us..."
" You're probably right. But there's just ONE thing though...." Throttle looks around, searching.
" THIS little thing?" Throttle looks down at Ludwig Shaddack. The human boy looks calmly up at him. Throttle nods.
" Do you still want to join us kid?" Throttle says seriously.
" You can help me, I can help you. Noone can do it alone. And besides, it'd be my pleasure to pull those Plutarkians down from their high horses...."
Throttle looks down at the grave boy, and nods again.
" Come then."
" Ludwig Shaddack, eh?.. Now WHERE have I heard that name before?" They all looks at Mac, who scratches his head.
" Man! This always makes me feel old! Hmmm... wait five.. I'll get it... Hmm.."
They whistles on their bikes, and are just about to get ready, when a voice calls Throttle.
" Mr Throttle!"
Throttle looks at Rex. The young male walks towards them without hesitation.
" Before you go.... I'd like to say, - Thankyou."
Throttle almost looks surprised.
" Welcome, but what for?"
" Without you, we would have bees massacred. All of us. But thanks to you, The Sky-Walkers still exist. And that means that I owe you one."
Throttle looks into Rex's dark-pink eyes, and he can see that he means it.
Again, Throttle nods.
" AAHA!!! I got it!!!"
" Huh?" Everyone looks questioning at Mac again.
" Got what?" Vinnie asks.
" Where I heard Ludwig Shaddack before musclebrain!" Mac says and gives him a friendly glare.
" Well?" Charley says.
Ludwig raises a brow.
" Can't remember exactly where, but .... You're the son of that Earth scientist Frank Streds...He who got killed by some Plutarkians... - Right?... - or wrong?"
Charley stares at Mac, and then at Ludwig.
" You said...who?..."
" Hmmm?" Mac looks questioning at her.
Throttle Narrows his eyes.
" Right." Ludwig says with a sad expression, as if bad memories showed themselves.
" Are you saying that you are the son of Frank Streds?.." Throttle says to him seriously.
Ludwig nods slowly.
Throttle gives Vincient a glare.
" Franks son?"
" Yes.. It's a pleasure to meet you Charleene, my dad told me a lot about you..." Ludwig says lowly.
" I thought you reminded me of someone...." She whispers. She feels sad.
" AAAW MAN! I never get rid of that guy it seems!" Vinnie says.
" Shut up Vinnie." Throttle growls low.
Vincient looks at Charley, to Ludwig, and back at Charley.
" AwwwWWH! What the heck!!!" Vinnie folds his arms and sits down on his bike.
" Good. You better be nice bro, we need him."
Vinnie mumbles at Throttle, but doesn't seem angry for real.
" With his information, we can get to the Plutarkians, without having to go to full scale war."
Throttle looks at Rex. The young leader stands silent by the side of the group.
" Rex.. What do you men when you say that you owe me one...?"
Rex looks at him for awhile, then answer.
" If you need my help, I'll be there. Just say when and where."
" Soon, Plutarks largest moon."
Rex watches Throttle. After what seems like an eternity, he answers.
" Just give the orders."
Throttle smiles slowly.
" I think your ... skills... can be worth much, when sneaking up on the fishes, boy."
Rex smiles melancholy, and nods.
" Fine. Storm won't bother us for awhile, he's gonna stay in the shadows licking his wounds. I'm free for the moment...."
" Lets ride then."
Rex looks back at his own.
" Com'on guys... It's time to Beat it!...."
Jack the Ripper and Sliver, joins the group. The FF's starts to organise themselves, passengers jumps on, and goodbyes and orders are being told.
" Looks like you are going to have put up with my presence a little longer."
Shelly looks at Rex, but doesn't answer.
The city lays silent. No, not really. The sounds of bikes leaving, can be heard in the distant. The setting sun makes the burned and destroyed houses look orange and red. A lonely man sits in the shadows of an alley. His clothes are dirty, and his hands wears stains of blood. His hazel eyes is focused on the sky. The distruction around him seems to be one with him, he clenches his teeths.
..Damn this world!...
Storm barries his face in his hands.
Cool winds and the scent of the coming night. The huge dunes of the dune-range seems golden in the last rays of the sun.
Throttle chuckles as Rex grabs his vest.
" Take it easy kiddo."
" Easy for you to say! You've got a helmet!"
" I don't believe that you haven't ridden a bike before Rex!!"
" I'm a Sky-Walker! NOT a rider! And besides, My city went out of fuel when I was three!"
The sun sets. The stars lights up. Darkness lays itself over the Martian desert. The group of riders makes their way through the barren land, towards `home'.
" Oh man, a rootbeer would fit nicely now."
" Mac... Shut it."
Not The End.. yet... But It'll come....
Now you tell me,.. - bad, - worse, - or worst? - Comments please!!
And Btw,.. I know.. Michael Jackson lyrics has been with me awhile... *snickers* It just happen so, that he happened to had two GREAT songs, who fitted with my stories.... *smiles*
-- The Decembergirl