Memphis Rhyme sat quietly in a rooftop garden. Willow trees swayed in the breeze. Bamboo sprung from carefully laid stones creating a serene gentle sanctuary for a troubled soul. 100,000,000 droyets was the bounty. It could be no less. The body was count high. Memphis got up and walked through the garden. <I'm getting old now. I have been killing too long.> At the far end was a bi-cosmic telescope. Through it the ominous walls of the Galactic Prison on Jupiter could be seen. <My life almost ended there.>
On the desk, inside the apartment, were the files of the Rider's old squad. Pike Sage, Moribian k'Toji, The Hound, Albvia Sea. <Where are they I wonder?> In the outer hall was the black X-Gal Stealthmode #352 Motorcycle. The black uniform used in years of slaughter hung upon a rack in the hall. Waiting to be used again. <May the gods of the galaxy prevent me from ever donning those garments again.> Memphis dropped to the floor. <May the gods of the galaxy let me live the rest of my life in peace.>
Limburger pounded on his desk and screamed at Greasespit. "Can't you errant idiots do anything right? What does it take to get rid of those blasted biker mice."
"Uh, I don't know boss. We can't beat dose bikes"
"I've got to find someone whose motorcycle is faster than theirs."
"Dey have da fastest bikes in da universe. Uh, I tink."
"Fastest bikes in the universe. Hmmmm. I wonder. KARBUNKLE!!!!"
The small deranged doctor popped through the door. "You bellowed, Your Velvety Richness."
"Karbunkle, remember that Venusian mercenary. The one we hired in absentia for that raid on Pog's Moon."
"Uh....oh yes, the one we broke out of jail on Jupiter."
"Yes, that one. I could use his services. Transport him here. I want him."
"But Your Bulbous Buttery-smoothness, no one even knows what he looks like."
Limburger walked over to Karbunkle and put his arm around the doctor's shoulder. "My dear doctor, did we not just say that we broke him out of jail."
Limburger turned and put both hands on the doctors shoulders. "THEN HOW COULD WE NOT KNOW WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE.?!"
The doctor reeled from Limburger's breath. "He...he<<cough>> had on <<cough>>. His helmet was uh,<<cough>>daaark." Karbunkle sank down to the floor. Limburger picked him up, and put his face close to the doctor's. "Do you not have his coordinates?" He purred.
"I'm <<cough>> not sure. I don't know..."
"But you have an idea, don't you Doctor?"
"Uh, I think so. "
"Karbunkle, you're making me mad."
The little doctor frantically scrolled through his rolodex and came up with a blank card. He shrugged, put it in the slot and pulled the lever. A bright flash of light came from the transporter. "Your Milky Whiteness.....meet...uh.. the DarkRider. Uh... I hope." said Karbunkle.
A tall dark figure sat astride a black motorcycle. His face obscured by the darkly tinted helmet. Limburger stood stock still in fright. Then he collected himself and came forward with his hand extended. "Mr. DarkRider, how pleasant it is to meet you!"
The mercenary never moved. Limburger became rattled. "Uh, hello. Are you there?" Limburger said as he tried to peer into visor.
"LIMBURGER!!!!! What do you want?" came a voice from deep within the helmet.
Limburger, startled, jumped back. Greasepit dove behind the transporter and Karbunkle cowered behind Limburger. "You remember me. How nice."
"I repeat, what do you want?" the mercenary said.
"Yes, well, sorry to disturb you in this way. But I am in need of assistance. And you are the perfect person to help me. You and your motorcycle, that is."
The mercenary got off the motorcycle and walk over to Karbunkle. He grabbed him by the collar and pulled him to his feet. "If you wish to live longer, slimy one, send me back."
"Oh, My dear Mr. DarkRider, maybe I didn't make myself clear. I am in need of your assistance."
The figure turned to face Limburger.
"You made yourself clear, you half baked trout. I am out of the business. I do not, nor do I intend to work for you."
"Oh but you do. You see it was I who, I believe the term is ... sprung.... you out of prison." Limburger polished his nails against his suit jacket. "Yes, I do believe you owe me."
"YOU?! You got me out of Jupiter?"
"They would have hung you, if it hadn't been me."
"Mr. Limburger's gen....." started Karbunkle.
The DarkRider threw the doctor across the room. He grabbed Limburger by the lapels. "You got me out of prison?" He let the fat fish go. "Rats, why did it have to be you?"
"What a perfect choice of words. It so happens your job involves rodents." Limburger said, as he brushed himself off.
"Mice, if you prefer."
"Mice? The cave mice are on Mars."
"All except three. Those three leaders of that pathetic resistance. Those three biker mice from mars are here on earth. And I want them eradicated."
"And then what?"
"And then you're free, Mr. DarkRider. Your debt will have been paid. I will bother you no longer. You can go back to your retirement, or whatever?" purred Limburger.
"My debt will be paid in full"
"Of course. Of course." Limburger put his arm around the visitor. The DarkRider looked down at Limburger's arm. He quickly removed it. "Uh, yes. Well, shall we get down to business." Limburger pushed a button on his desk and a giant screen came down from the ceiling. He pressed another button. The images of Throttle, Vinnie and Modo came on the screen. "These are the vermin that I want you to relieve me of. They are holed up at this hovel along with this woman." Limburger showed a picture of Charley in front of the Last Chance garage. "Eliminate them , destroy that garage and I will gladly give you a bonus."
The motorcyclist snorted. "What kind of bonus?"
"Money. My dear boy. Lots of money. You are a mercenary, aren't you?"
"My debt will be paid to you and then you pay me? Do I look like a fool, Limburger?"
Limburger tried again to see past the darkly tinted visor. "Well, to be honest, young man, I have no idea what you look like."
The DarkRider turned to Karbunkle and folded his arms. "All I want is for that rubber gloved idiot, over there, to send me home." Karbunkle bristled at that.
"And it shall be done. As soon as you've completed this job, Mr. DarkRider.
"Uh, yeah boss." The oil man peeked around from behind the transporter.
"Greasepit, will show my newest associate where that insignificant piece of property is?"
"Uh yeah, sure boss."
The DarkRider grabbed Limburger again. He brought Limburger's face close to his helmet. The Plutarkian could actually see his reflection. The helmet seem to breathe on its own. Then the biker pushed him away and pressed a button on his belt. His motorcycle revved up. Limburger let out a cry as the bike shot passed him.
"Boy dat sure is a nice bike, youse got dere."
The DarkRider looked at Greasepit, and pointed. "What is that?"
"Oh, just a grease droplet, with the brain of a watercress leaf. " said Limburger as
Greasepit had walked over to the black motorcycle and touch it. An electric charge sent him clear across the room.
"Aaahh, oomph!" Tiny motorcycles circled around Greasepit's head.
"NEVER ....TOUCH MY BIKE!"
Greasepit recovered and crawled behind Limburger.
"Gee, boss, wha kinda bike is dat. It's nastier dan dose mousies'."
"That's the whole idea, you oily oaf, now get out of here."
"Uh, yes sir" Greasepit scampered away.
Limburger shook his head. "It's so hard to find good help these days. Well, I hope you won't disappoint me, Mr. DarkRider."
"I do the job I'm paid to do, Limburger. Even if it's for some slime bucket like you."
"Uh dis is dah place. Youse want me to call dem mousies out?" Greasepit asked.
Greasepit turned. The biker was gone. "Geeze, where did he go?. Ya know, I hate dese intogallicaterize guys. Dey's always dis'pere'n." Greasepit rode around the side of a building across the street. He waited and watched .
Throttle chomped down on a hot dog. "You know bros, it's been awhile since the big cheese sent one of his stupid villains after us."
"Yeah, that flatulent fat fish is off his schedule. We're long over due." said Modo. "Yeah, sooner or later another one's gonna come around." He laughed.
"We've beaten all of his stupid villains. There can't be any left." said Vinnie.
"True. So true. And whatever goon he sends after us. We'll just send him right back where he came from."
"But what if you guys can't" asked Charley as she put more hotdogs on the grill.
The mice fell silent.
"Charley-girl we're the baddest mammajammers in the universe. No one can beat us."
"Vinnie, all I'm saying is, is that the possibility may be there."
The mice all said in unison. "No way."
"We're the biker mice from Mars. We have the fastest bikes in the universe. The best bikes in the universe, thanks to you Charley. No one can match our weaponry." Throttle leaned back in his chair and hoisted a can of rootbeer. "I think it's safe to say, that we have no equal."
Charley laughed. "You guys have so much....."
"Machismo. The air fairly reeks of it."
"Well I don't know about the air reeking" said Modo.
"Huh, I didn't say that."
"Three big brawny biker mice. The universe must be so comforted." replied a strange deep voice.
The denizens of the garage turned as one at the voice that came from the door. The intruder was leaning against his motorcycle. His black boots had spurs that made a tiny jingle sound when he moved. The tinted visor on his helmet was so dark that even the bright lights of the Last Chance couldn't penetrate through it. He had a short sword low across his chest and a gun on his hip. His bike was as black as midnight. Sleek. Made for speed. And as quiet as a grave.
On either side of the large headlight were two small rocket carriers. A laser cannon was fitted just below the muffler. On the side of the fuel tank were five star shaped pieces of metal. Next to the seat, was a leather holder. Inside, a custom made Venusian shotgun with a silver star on the handle. Each of the handle bars was fitted with various buttons. And just below the speedometer was a small panel of buttons that would make any spaceship pale in comparison.
"Who....... who are you?" asked Charley in a panic.
The mice jumped to their feet and leapt for their bikes. "Another of Limburger's stupid villains. Battle mode, bros." yelled Modo. The mice leapt for their bikes. The stranger press a button and shot at a shelf above them. Tools and hubcaps rained down on the Martian cycles.
"Hey. No one does that our bikes..." started Throttle. Charley took a wrench from the table and hurled it at the intruder. Like lightning, the figure grabbed his shotgun and blasted the wrench in to many molecules.
"Sit down, cave mice. You are outnumbered"
"Out numbered?" Vincent laughed.
"You hurt my bike, mister. It's time to teach you a lesson on manners." said Modo.
The stranger flip a switch. A line of rope with a grappling hook shot out from the black motorcycle. It looped over a high beam in the garage, wrapped around Charley's ankles and she was hoisted upside down from the beam.
"CHARLEY!" said Vinnie. He grabbed one of his grenades, but it was immediately shot our of his hand. Vinnie's eyes narrowed "Damn you. You're history." The mice formed a battle stance. They were ready to pounce.
"I have no problem with leaving the earth woman up there. All night if necessary."
"Uh, let's park 'em, bros. Or else he might hurt Miss Charley." said Modo.
Reluctantly. Throttle and Modo sat down. Charley was lowered, gently, into Vinnie's arms. The rope unwrapped itself and found its way back to the opening in the black bike.
"You okay, Charley?"
"Yes, I think so. I'm not hurt."
"What do you want?" snarled Vinnie.
The stranger shrugged. "Talk." he said.
"TALK? About what?" said Throttle.
"I am called The DarkRider. I have been retained by Lawrence Limburger. It seems he wants you dead." He looked around. "And this building purged."
"News flash, eh, bros" said Modo.
The stranger looked at him. Through the helmet, Modo could feel the unseen eyes bore right through him.
"You're not the Rider. He's on Jupiter. Who are you?" asked Throttle
"Wait a minute, who's the DarkRider?" asked Charley.
"I asked you a question?" said Throttle as he stood up. He moved closer to the biker.
"I asked you to sit down."
"Look bolts for brains, you're gonna answer Throttle's question." said Vinnie, also on his feet.
"Or we'll send you back to where ever you come from." Modo stood up.
The stranger sighed. "Gentlemen, I'm not going to ask again."
Just as Vinnie got nearer to him, he shot the table right our from under Charley.
"Next time I won't miss."
"Uh, guys, let's hear him out." said Charley
"No way, I want him........"
"Throttle, this is my garage. LET'S HEAR HIM. OKAY! " Charley brushed sawdust from her clothes and hair. "And who is this DarkRider?"
"I am a what you would call a gun for hire. And, yes, I was on Jupiter. I got out. "
"Rider's been on the intergalactic wanted list for years, Charley. The law finally caught up with him and sent him to Jupiter. He's now serving time in the Galactic Prison."
And you got out?" asked Charley. She was still trying to get sawdust out of her hair.
"No one. No one gets off Jupiter alive." said Throttle
The Rider perched himself up on a table near his bike. His shotgun in his lap.
"There's a first time for everything, son."
"How did you get caught?" asked Charley. She got a little closer to this creature.
Throttle folded his arms across his chest. "How did you get off of Jupiter then."
"I got out. That's all that matters."
"Stop yanking my tail. If you were Rider, you would have vaped us by now."
"That is true, son. Very true. But well, as you said, I've been around for years. I'm
retired. Or trying to retire."
The biker got off the table. "Look Limburger is out for your furry hides. And he's got the best in the galaxy. He's got me. You have been warned."
"WARNED." said Throttle.
The DarkRider went over to his bike and put his shotgun in its holster. "Sorry, cave mice. Nothing personal. But my very existence depends on taking you out. I really don't want to do this, but I must fulfill my contract." He turned around. "There are others out there. Mean...."
"We've already met them." said Vinnie. "And they learned the hard way that you don't mess with the Biker Mice from Mars."
"Trust me, son, you haven't."
"Modest, aren't you." he snarled. Everyone in the room stared at him. Vinnie shrugged.
The DarkRider climbed on his bike and looked at the mice. Again Modo had the strange feeling that this stranger was looking only at him.
"We will meet again, cave mice. Be prepared to leave this planet." Then the biker pressed another button. Vinnie made a running leap for the intruder. There was a soft whirring sound. Barely audible. The bike faded from view. All Throttle, Modo and Charley saw was some gravel kicked up behind wheels that weren't there and Vinnie flat on his face.
"Hey," screamed the white mouse. "Oh man, where'd he go?"
Greasepit saw the mice and Charley come to the door of the garage. He never saw the motorcyclist. But he knew the mice were not dead. And he knew Limburger would be mad. And he knew he must tell him. "Boy, wait till I tell Mr. Limburger. He's been double crossed. He's gonna be real mad at dat Dark Ridin' guy. I wonder if Mr. Limburger will let me have dat bike." Greasepit rode off to tell Limburger that the mice were still.......
"ALIVE! What do you mean they're still alive?"
"Duh, dey's ain't dead?"
"Blast him. Wait till I get my hands on that black biker boob. He'll wish he was still on Jupiter. AAAHHHH!"
"Really, Limburger" said a voice from across the room.
Limburger jumped into Greasepit's arms. "Who said that? Where are you? What.....?"
"That glob of oil doesn't know what he's talking about. "
"Those.......... ,Greasepit, dear boy, you can, put me down. NOW!" Limburger wiped himself off. "Those hog-riding hamsters are still alive. You have not done your job. Mr. DarkRider. Would you please show yourself?"
"You hired me to do a job . But I do the job my way. When it's done, it's done" said DarkRider.
"I see." said Limburger as he walked over the biker. "But when? I would like some sort of time schedule, if you don't mind."
"When it's done." was the reply.
"I don't believe it. I saw it but..." said Charley. She shook loose the last of the sawdust.
Throttle stared down the street. <He can't be.>
"Well, if he comes back, I am in his face." said Vinnie. "I'll take that helmet off and..."
Throttle got up and walk over to his bike. He shook his head. "It can't be." he muttered.
"Where ya going, good buddy." asked Modo
"We need some answers and the only place to get it is Limburger's."
"All right! time to party."
"Yeah, we'll pound the answers out of that fat cheese." said Vinnie
"Guys. wait. What if that guy is there." asked Charley as she got her helmet.
"Then we'll just pound him. You better stay here Charley. This is macho man to macho mouse stuff. No girl types aloud." said Vinnie
The mice had already roared out of the garage. "LET'S ROCK 'N' RIDE!!!!"
"Don't they get tired of saying that to me." sighed Charley.
"When it's done. Oh my dear mercenary. It is to be done now. Or else you are done. Remember sir, you work for me."
"It will be done my way and you have no say in the matter, Limburger." replied the biker.
"I'm sure that Jupiter is rather upset about losing one of their more infamous inmates. They, shall we say, would be ever so happy to see you again. Is that not true Karbunkle?" sang Limburger.
"Uh, yes. They most certainly would be, Your Shredded Parmasean-ness"
"Hordes of bounty hunters must be combing the galaxy looking for you."
"You know, Your Over Abundance, I still need some living creatures for my experiments. It's so hard to find subjects here on this planet. Fred is getting useless by the day." said Karbunkle as he pointed to the mutant.
"Oh yes, you're quite right Doctor. And this strapping young man would make a very suitable guinea pig. HaHaHaHa" With lighting speed the mercenary drew his shot gun and place right up in Karbunkle left nostril.
"You even think about doing something like that to me and I will blast you into so many atoms. I am not afraid of you or that fat slug." He let Karbunkle go. "But I can't go back to Jupiter."
Just at that moment the alarms went off outside of the tower. The biker mice crashed through the window.
"BLAST!, it's those malicious marmosets. Again!"
"Hello, Limburger. Surprise to see us?" said Vinnie.
"Oh surely, you jest?"
Throttle got off of his bike and walk over to Limburger. He wrapped his tail around Limburger's neck and pulled him close. His helmet protecting him from the fat cheese's odor. "I want to know about this villain of yours, Stinkface. I want to know who he is, why he's here and where did he come from?"
"Ugghhh. Mr. DarkRider is here to get rid of you, you biker brats. Once and for all. Where he comes from is not your concern."
Modo lifted his arm cannon. "We're making it our concern, blubber butt."
"Then why don't you, ugghh, ask him?"" Limburger pointed to the biker at the far side of the room.
The mercenary raised his shotgun and shot out the weapon system and the engine of Vinnie's bike. Throttle dropped Limburger. The fat man scampered behind his desk.
"SHOOT THEM, you fool, not their bikes " yelled Limburger. "I want THEM shot"
Throttle and Modo returned fire.
"Oh man, my bike. He shot my bike." He turned to the black figure. "You are dead meat, biker." Vinnie started to run towards the mercenary, but Throttle grabbed him by his grenade belt.
"We need to be outdoors bros. We need more space." Throttle said, as he shot a grappling hook to Vinnie's bike. The three heroes went out the window to the street below. "Okay, bros. Let's use shake 'n' bake number......" The biker was no where to be seen, but they heard gunfire coming from the far end of the street. "Damn, Gone again. I blew this one bros. We should have stayed in the tower. He could be anywhere out here."
"Oh, mama. What now?" asked Modo.
"We can't fight what we can't see. More gunfire came out of nowhere.
"Uh, oh" said Modo "Time to bail."
Up in the tower, Limburger growled out the window. "That bamboozling biker. Why isn't he killing them." Limburger raged as the stink rose from his body. "He owes me. HE OWES ME HIS ENTIRE MISERABLE LIFE!" Limburger turned to Greasepit. "GET DOWN THERE AND WIPE OUT THOSE MISERABLE MICE." he thundered. " AND BRING THAT VENUSIAN VAGABOND BACK TO ME. NOW!!!!"
The foul smell of Limburger's breath nearly knocked Greasepit over.
"Youse heard da boss. After dem mousies, youse guys" yelled Greasepit as he jumped on his grungecycle. The goons got in their dune buggies and roared out of the tower.
"KARBUNKLE!" yelled Limburger, unaware that the doctor was right behind him.
"Yes, Your Stinkiness"
"AAAHH! ......don't sneak up on me like that. Isn't that see-through soldier of fortune bad enough?"
"Karbunkle, I think it's time for plan B."
"Consider it done, Your Holy Swiss Cheesiness"
Greasepit and his goons hit the streets. Some of them took short cuts in order to surround the mice. The mercenary's bullets whizzed by Vinnie's head. He returned fire from his Martian blaster, but they had no effect on this mysterious biker. He had fire power like Vinnie had never seen before. And fast. That bike could move. "For an old guy, he moves pretty dam fast." Vinnie over the noise . He pushed his injured bike behind a parked truck and hunkered down.
"Vincent. You okay bro?" yelled Throttle.
"Yeah, I'm cool. But my bike is totaled."
Modo came down the other end of the street. Limburger's goons hot on his tail. "Time for the radical leap" said Modo as he engaged his rocket boosters and sailed in the air. "Yee-haw" He turned and raced toward the goons. Blasting their buggies as he flew over. "Hey bros, where's that DarkRider fella?"
Vinnie stepped from behind the truck. His Martian blaster in hand. "Disappeared again." As he turned. He saw Greasepit bearing down on him and Throttle. "Uh oh, grease blob at three o'clock."
"I see him bro."
"Youse is mine now, mousies." laughed Greasepit.
"Limburger, you, stinkcheese." said the mercenary from his vantage point. "Sent your goons to baby-sit me, huh" The biker pressed the button on his bike and came into view. He pressed another button on his bike and two rockets sailed over to where Greasepit, Throttle and Vinnie were. They landed directly in front of them, knocking both Greasepit and Throttle off of their bikes. Modo spun around and saw the killer biker at the far end of the street. "No one does that to my bros." Modo took off down the street with his arm cannon raised. Just then one of the goons came from around the corner and took a shot at him. Modo swerve in order to dodge the bullets. He hit some dune buggy debris and skidded into three other damaged dune buggies. His mechanical arm ripping off in the process. He went left , the arm went right.
Throttle and Vinnie were back on their feet and trying to set Throttle's bike upright. "MODO!" yelled Throttle.
"OOOWW! MY ARM!" Modo tried to retrieve it, but it caught underneath a buggy. The goon, unaware it was under there, dragged it down the street. Suddenly a rocket hit the buggy and lifted it up off the street. The arm was dislodged. But far out of Modo's reach.
The sound of a truck engine was heard above the gunfire. Down the street came Charley and her pickup. On the flat bed she had two rocket launchers. "Hang on guys, here comes the cavalry"
"Charley-girl" said Vinnie "Just in time"
"As always" she said.
"Good thing you showed up, Charley. We got to get Vinnie's bike back to the garage. And we got to find Modo." Charley grabbed one of the rocket launchers and started firing at the goons while Vinnie and Throttle loaded the bike on the pickup. Charley saw the gray mouse ride from behind some demolished dune buggies.
"Modo. Are you all right?"
"I lost a wing" said Modo as he rode up.
"WHAT? Oh no."
"We don't have time to look for it now. The field is too crowded. We've got to go." said Throttle as he jumped on his bike. Vinnie climbed behind the wheel of the pickup. Charley rode shotgun. A wedge of goons headed straight for the heroes, guns blazing. The black biker watch all this from a vantage point unseen by the others. There was so much shooting going on, everyone seem to forget about the mercenary. "Zeus alive, what incompetent fools." he thought. He pressed a button and disappeared from view.
"Man, I feel kinda naked without my arm." said Modo over the noise. "Useless too."
"I know, big fella. But you can't look for it now. You'll be dusted." replied Throttle.
"Didn't we dance to this tune before." said Vinnie as he tried to dodge bullets aiming for the truck.. Whoa, more wrench heads at three o'clock"
"I got 'em" replied Charley. "These guys are mine." She let loose the last rocket from the launcher and took out all five dune buggies. "That's for Modo's arm."
"Well doctor, where are they?"
"Right here. Your Bloated Brickcheese."
The transporter glowed and in a flash four bikers dressed in black leather appeared in front of Limburger. Like The DarkRider, they were astride jet black motorcycles and wore darkly tinted helmets.
"Plutarkian. My name is Pike. " said the leader of the group. He turned around to the remainder of the squad. "Moribian, Hound, Albvia." He dismounted his motorcycle. Pike was just under seven feet. And thin. He wore two guns strapped to his hips and one just under his breast bone. It was partially hidden under a short leather jacket. A long knife hilt appeared over his boot top. On his boots were silver tips and spurs. There were silver stars on the heels.
The one called Moribian was well over seven feet and wore chains wrapped around his upper body. Over the chains he wore a long black leather coat. Under that coat was a black holster that housed his specially made shotgun.
Hound was the smallest of the group. Six feet. His shot gun was holstered on his bike. He carried two swords on his back, and a short one strapped to his chest.
The last, Albvia had a shotgun strapped to the back the same way Hound carried his swords. On the right wrist was a large bracelet, with a little ring attached.
"What is it you want from us. And how much are you willing to pay." demanded Pike as he stood over the quaking plutarkian.
"Uh, uh, uh. Yes." said Limburger. "Well, It's nice to meet all of you. I, um, I have a problem. Well three problems actually. Those problems were to be erased. But it seems like I have another problem on top of that. Help me, and you will be well paid. Very well paid."
Pike leaned closer. "You talk in riddles, plutarkian. I don't like riddles. What's the problem?"
At this point Limburger was on the floor. "Thre....Three biker mice and..... The DarkRider".
Pike stood stock still. Limburger again felt that sinking sensation.
"Rider is on Jupiter." said Pike quietly.
"No, he is here."
Pike removed his helmet. Limburger fell back. The tall creature was pale. Pale blue. He had a scar over his left eye that went all the way down to his left cheek. His pointed ears had six gold earrings hanging from each. His eyes were black and they stared at Limburger like he was a bug. A crazed bug. "Why?"
"Uh, uh, uh, Mr. DarkRider came here to help alleviate me of my rodent problem."
"Well," said Limburger, as he got to his feet. "Um, Karbunkle called him here."
"WHAT!" protested the small doctor. "You are the one who told me to bring him here."
"Why my dear doctor." Limburger held the little doctor by his collar. "I only suggested that he might help us. You must have misunderstood me."
"How did Rider get off Jupiter?"
"I have certain connections. I..."
"You sprung Rider?"
"Where's Rider now?"
"I don't know. He should be out there eliminating those buck toothed beavers." Limburger still holding the doctor, waved towards the window.
"Rider's here. Damn." Pike said to himself. He looked past Limburger out the window. <I thought I ........>
"If Rider's here, then why do you need us, plutarkian?"
"He won't kill those bucktooth beavers, the Biker Mice. I thought maybe you could convince him."
"Nobody convinces Rider, fat man." said Moribian.
"Shut up Mori. I do the talking 'round here." said Pike
"If Rider's free, we should be looking..."
"Mori, if you don't button it, I'll put you down. I'm running things now. You don't like it. You know what you can do."
"The big alien got off his bike and strode over to Pike.
Limburger was growing weary of these motorcyclists. "Uh, my dear gentlemen, could you discuss this loyalty issue at another time. It is getting rather late. And I have other things to take care of. I must request that....."
"Stay out of this, Plutarkian."
"He's right. This is not the place to discuss this." said Moribian.
Limburger sat down and sighed. This has been the most tiring day. "Could you just go out and get rid of those mice. I'll pay anything. Anything. Just get out of my tower and do it."
At that moment, Greasepit came into the room. "Uh, boss, dem mousies got away." Limburger banged his head on the desk. "Why me.? Why me?"
Modo sat at the table holding his hand up to his empty shoulder. Charley sat next to him. "Modo. I wish there was something I could do."
"There's nothing Charley-ma'am. I guess I bought it this time. I'm no good to my bros now."
"C'mon man." said Vinnie. "Don't give up good buddy. We'll get your arm back."
"That's gonna be tough." said Throttle. "We don't know where it is. The DarkRider or whatever he is may have it for all we know. He could use it as a trap. That way he could kill us easily. "
"I don't think he wants to do that."
"He's a gun for hire, Charley. And Limburger hired him."
"I know that, but why didn't he kill us here. He certainly had the chance." said Charley.
"That's true, Throttle. He could have whacked us. Easily." said Modo
"Yeah he had the advantage alright." Throttle sighed. "Charley, we need you to start working on Vinnie's bike. We can't do anything until its street ready again."
Charley looked at Modo. She touched his shoulder. "It will be alright Modo.
Please don't worry. We'll get your arm back."
"I know Charley ma-am. But I think it was pretty banged up. I don't even know where it is now." Charley gave Modo a hug and went over to Vinnie's bike which was near the door of the garage. Throttle sat down next to Modo.
"Big fella, maybe Charley can rig something up."
Suddenly Charley gasped. "GUYS!!!" The mice rose as one and look to where Charley was pointing.
"What the....." started Modo. At the open door of the garage, suspended in mid air, was Modo's mechanical arm. It was lowered gently, almost lovingly to the floor. There was that soft whirring sound again. Like the purr of an engine. Then silence. Charley ran over to the arm and picked it up.
"Charley-girl, be careful. You don't know....." began Vinnie. Charley walked out of the door into the street. It was quiet. Not a soul or a sound.
Limburger stood once again at the window of his tower. Looking over downtown Chicago. He rocked back and forth on his toes. "Hmmmmm. This could prove rather advantageous." There seems to be a tiny rift in this squad." The big man walk over to his desk and dug in his bowl of slime worms. "A power struggle as it were." He stopped. Limburger looked around his office. He walked forward waving his arms before him as if he was blinded. Karbunkle and Greasepit looked on incredulously.
"Uh, boss. Wha 'cha doin'?" asked Greasepit.
"Quiet, you obnoxious orangutan. That blasted biker may be in here somewhere."
"Oh, yeah." Greasepit and Karbunkle walked around the big office waving their arms back and forth.
"I think it's safe Your Buttery-budness." said Karbunkle.
"Yes. Well if I can just widen this chasm. Pit them against each other. I can do away with both this DarkRider and those venomous vermin at the same time. Pike seems like an overly ambitious young man. Hmmmm. Karbunkle. You still have that interplanetary travel machine or whatever."
"Yes, Your Dairy Freshness."
"Good, I need the latest wanted poster from Jupiter."
"Why do you want a wanted poster, Your Unstableness?"
"My dear doctor, I need to know the bounty. It must be astronomical by now."
"When I know the bounty, I can cut a deal with that blue faced fortune hunter"
"Why?......Oh, of course.. Brilliant plan as usual Your Double Patness"
"Yes. It is, isn't it."
"Yeah, and like all the other brilliant plans, this one won't work either." the doctor said under his breath.
"Beg pardon, Doctor."
"Uh, I said I'll leave right away."
"Good. And Karbunkle."
"Yes, Your Non-fat Dry Milkness."
"Please tell that bucket of grease to stop waving his arms around my office. He's dropping oil blobs on my carpet."
The DarkRider watched as the earth woman peered into the dark street in front of her garage. The biker mice soon joined her. She held the metal arm in her hands. Then she handed it to the big gray mouse. He looked at it for some time. Rider touched a button on his helmet. All street noises became audible. He filtered all sounds except those of the earth woman and the mice. The earth woman reassured the gray mouse that there was nothing wrong with the mechanical device. He took it from her and place in the stub of his shoulder. He flex it. Aimed it as if ready to fire. Then raised his arm over his head. It seemed to be working perfectly.
<That mouse is big.> The Rider thought. After the big guy tested his arm, the earth woman went back inside and started working on the white mouse's red cycle.
<The white mouse was rather young. Highly excitable. Short fuse. Wore his machismo like a badge of honor. The tan one. Quiet. Studious. Seemed to be the brains. The leader of this triumvirate. A mouse of conviction. Honor. He was the glue. But that gray one. Big, strong, silent. Loyal. Willing to sacrifice himself. Always there when you need him. Always there......>
It was almost dawn in Chicago. "All done." said Charley, as she wiped her brow. "It really got banged up. But it's all fixed now."
"Thanks, Charlie-girl. You're the best."
"'Bout time you notice." said Charley as she blew Vinnie a kiss. "Modo, how's the arm?"
"Like an old friend, Charley-ma'am."
"But, I wonder. Why did he bring it back?" asked Charley.
"That's the mystery. I can't figure it out either. You would think he would keep it and reduce our firepower." said Throttle.
"Maybe he was telling the truth."
"I can't buy it, Charley-girl. Maybe he just wants to make it more interesting with us up to full strength."
"But, he came to warn us."
"I don't know, Charley. You may be right."
"I bet a years supply of hot dogs he owes that fat plutarkian. I mean maybe Limburger help him escape prison. And he may have no other choice but to vape us." said Vinnie.
"He did say his very existence, depended on fulfilling his contract to Limburger." said Charley.
"Yeah, it's just hard to think of him as a good guy. I've seen his handiwork. It ain't pretty."
Pike stopped his bike and held up his hand.
"Is this hovel the garage?" asked Albvia.
"The sign says Last Chance Garage. This must be it."
"Well, I see no problem in taking it." added Hound as he pulled his shotgun from its holster.
"The Rider would have had us scope it out first." said Moribian.
Pike turned in his seat. "Rider is not here. And I'm tired of hearing about what....."
"I'm only saying............."
"Let's go!" said Pike.
Mori shook his head. <Zeus he's gonna get us all wiped.>
"What are we all sitting here for. Let's go find that biker." said Vinnie.
"And look where, young Vincent. Do you have a plan?" asked Modo.
Vinnie looked sheepish. "No." He got up from the table. "But I can't stand sitting here. I need some action." He looked at Charley.
"Don't look at me."
"Vinnie, don't worry. I'm sure we'll see plenty of action before this is over."
"Right you are, cave mice." said Pike
"Again!" yelled Charley. "Where are these people coming from."
The mice turned. Four helmeted bikers block the garage door. Two of them were quite tall. The skinny one armed to the teeth. The heavier one had chains wrapped around his chest. The other two were smaller, but not by much, and just as heavily armed. They all wore the same helmets that The DarkRider wore.
"I have had enough of this." said Modo. "Time to whip tail."
"Four of them. Three of us. Sounds good." said Throttle
"Four." said Charley as she grabbed a rocket launcher.
Throttle looked at her. "Okay, four of us. Sounds better."
The mice jumped on their bikes. "Helmets on, bros." yelled Throttle.
"We'd love to do battle, mice. But our orders are to bring you to Limburger and then take you out." said Pike
"Not today" said Vinnie. "I'm not dressed for it." He rode forward on his newly repaired bike and started shooting. The biker scattered.
Pike yelled "Hound, take that tan one. Albvia, Moribian you take the gray one. Leave the white one to me."
"What about the earth woman?" asked Albvia.
"Forget her, she's no threat. We'll take her later."
"Commander, she has a rocket launcher."
"I said forget her." Pike leveled his shotgun towards Charley and shot the launcher out of her hand.
"CHARLEY!!" yelled Vinnie.
Charley recovered quickly and dove for the launcher.
Albvia left the gray mouse to Moribian, and went after Charley. A blast knocked the intergalactic mercenary off his bike. Charley ran up to him and aim her reserved launcher at Albvia. But the biker was quicker. He kicked Charley in the calf and she went down. Albvia grabbed the launcher and aimed at Charley. "Twitch, earth woman, and it will be your last." Albvia pulled the ring on the bracelet. A thin wire came out and wrapped itself around Charley's wrists and ankles. Charley boots protected her ankles, but she cried in pain and the wire cut into her wrists.
"CHARLEY MA'AM." cried Modo. He looked at the alien. "You lowlife scum."
Modo turned his bike toward Albvia. Modo raised his arm cannon and blew the launcher out of Albvia's hand. Moribian got Modo in his sights when a shot from Vinnie's Martian blaster blocked his aim. Modo turned, rode by Mori and with one blow of his mechanical arm, knocked Moribian off his bike. "Touch Down!" cried Modo.
Pike wasn't doing any better with Vinnie. "AAOOO! Vincent Van Wham is not to be taken down so easily. I don't know where you guys came from. But Vincent is sending you back." He spun his bike around and press a button on his fuel tank. Two rockets shot out the back knocking both Pike and Hound off their bikes.
The Rider sat up with a start. "What the....." He got off the bike and peeked around the corner. WHAT!.........PIKE?!" The early morning light was hazy. There were still dark spots in the streets. DarkRider touched his helmet. In infrared he saw his old team mates. "Limburger, you bloated cheesebreath." The cave mice seem to handling themselves very well. But he knew Pike. Pike would kill his own mother for a gold piece.
Then the tables started to turn on the mice. Moribian raised up on one knee. He unwrapped his Venusian chains and with a yell, he leaped and threw the chain in the air. It wrapped around Modo's arm cannon, twisted around itself and locked instantly. "Hey" the big mouse cried. Another chain swirled in the air, and wrapped around the gray mouse's bike. The spiked ends dug into the ground and held the bike fast.
"MODO!" Vinnie raced over to his bro. Hound came up behind Vinnie and with the hilt of his sword, knocked Vinnie on his helmet. The white mouse went down like a sack of potatoes. Throttle spun around on is bike and saw that his comrades were taken down.
"Nobody takes down the Biker Mice From Mars, you cosmic creeps."
"Think again, cave mouse." Pike flicked a switch on his bike. A mini rocket ejected and knocked Throttle off his bike. His glasses flew from his face and landed near Charley, who was still struggling with the cutting wire. "Now, the plutarkian gold will be mine. And mine alone."
From underneath his cycle, Pike pulled a Venusian nukebomb. He lobbed right in the middle of the fray. Pike would also kill his own team mates if it came to that. And it seems that it has. The bomb rolled under Moribian's bike. "Damn you Pike." whispered the Rider as he got back on his bike and faded from view.
"Okay mates, time to....What!" From overhead gunfire rained down on the hit squad. Throttle looked up. He saw nothing.
Modo also looked up. He thought he heard that whirring sound again.
"PIKE!" came that now familiar deep voice. "Leave this place or you will answer to me." Pike looked around him. Albvia, Moribian, and Hound stopped.
"The hell I will, Rider. This is my hunt now. My prey." snarled Pike.
"You hunt your own, now? Mori, there's a nuker under you bike." Moribian got down on all fours and looked under his ride. The nuker was counting down to three. Mori scooped it up and with his powerful arm threw it over the tops of the buildings where it landed in a landfill. The explosion lit up the early dawn sky. The big alien ran over to Pike. "Why you........................."
Pike held his gun up to Moribian's neck. "Don't even think about it big guy"
Vinnie crawled over to Charley. "You all right?" he whispered.
"This thing is cutting me. I can't get it off."
"Pike, I said you are to leave this place. Now!"
"I'm not going anywhere, Rider, You'll have to make.....Aaahh." A shot hit Pike. Another shot hit his bike. Knocking him on the ground. A large blastdart protruded from his shoulder.
"Albvia, call your wire."
"CALL IT BACK!"
Albvia turned towards Charley, one arm skyward. He pressed a button on the bracelet and the wire snapped back in place. Charley winced as the wires unwound from her wrists and ankles.
"See to her wounds."
"Charlene." Vinnie held her hands in his. She bled from the cuts. Albvia looked at Charley's wrists. "The cuts are not deep." The mercenary took some ointment from a pouch around his waist and dabbed it on Charley's wrists. The balm was cool and soothing. "You were not meant to die, earth woman. Not yet anyway."
"Now take Pike and get out of here." Rider said to Hound. "Mori, you stay."
"Let's go Alb." he said. Hound picked up Pike, who was screaming. "I'll kill you Rider. I'll send you back to Venus in a box." Hound put him on the back of Albvia's bike. Then he shot a grappling hook and snared Pike's bike. They drove off. Moribian watched them go.
"Rider.......?" said Mori.
"Get those chains off of him, Moribian." said Rider as he came into view.
Modo was using all his strength to break the chains.
"Forget it, Martian mouse. That won't work. It's made from a Venusian alloy. Besides it only responds to me. Moribian touch a link in the chain. It immediately unlocked and unwrapped itself. He touched the other chain. It came out of the ground with a soft snap. Moribian took the chains and walked back to his bike. Rider dismounted and walked over to his old mate.
"Why do you think? Limburger thought you weren't up to the job. So he brought us in. How did you get off Jupiter?"
"Your client got me off the planet." Rider folded his arms.
"Give me your chip. I'll get in touch with you." Moribian handed over a small copper chip off his helmet. "Now go. Find somewhere to stay. And keep away from Pike." The Rider walked over to Charley, who was rubbing her wrists. "Are you okay, lady."
"HOW CAN SHE BE OKAY, YOU PIECE OF SPACE TRASH....YOU......" yelled Vinnie.
"Son, hollering, won't make it any better, will it?"
"Your concern is a tad late, isn't it?" said Throttle rubbing his head. Rider ignored him and walked over to Modo. Rider touched the big mouse's arm. "Are you okay, son?"
Modo was startled. "Yeah."
Then The Rider got on his bike. And disappeared from view.
"Hey, wait a min..."
"Oh, don't tell me. You failed. Four intergalactic highly paid mercenaries and you couldn't get three miserable mice and one foolish woman"
"We had them till Rider showed up. Ruined everything. We'll get them next time." said Pike, the dart still in his shoulder.
Limburger walked over to Pike and grabbed him by the lapels. Pike winced in pain. "I was under the impression, my dear Mr. Pike, that you were running things now."
Pike tried to shake the fat man off. "Aaahh, I am running the show, fat fish. I'll get those mice. Just make sure you pay me. "
"Oh, please sir, spare me your bravado. I have heard that more time than you can imagine. You are no better than the other super numskulls that Karbunkle has brought over."
"Hey, who you calling numskull. I ought to........"
"You ought to do nothing but go out and rid me of those vermin. When you've done that. Then what ever you ought to do you can do." Limburger walked back over to Pike. "Until then" he yelled "GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!"
Pike's helmet saved him from Limburger's foul breath. But he took this cue seriously. Greasepit took the fortune hunters down to the basement where Pike could get treatment.
"There must be somewhere in this universe where I can find good help."
"You're a fool, Limburger."
The big man whirled around. "Oh it's so nice to hear you again, Mr. DarkRider" sang Limburger to the unseen presence. "And where, pray tell, have you been?"
"Around." The Rider came into view. "Was this your plan all along. To bring in Pike. Have you been in contact with him all this time."
"I brought him here to take of those mice, kind sir. You seem to be having some difficulty."
"I had no problem. I told you I do things my way."
"Oh, yes. I Did It My Way." Limburger sang.
The motorcyclist never moved.
"Hmmmm, don't get out much do you. Well, be that as it may. You are supposed to be out there, Mr. DarkRider." Limburger waved his arm towards the window. "Mashing those mice. Not here. Please fade yourself from my visage and go." Limburger went over to his desk, press a button and lowered himself down to Karbunkle's lab.
"Are you convinced now Throttle. The Rider truly doesn't want to hurt us." said Charley.
"Maybe it's a different Rider."
"No it's the same one." Throttle laughed. "I can't believe it. Rider is a legend. Scum, but still a legend. If he and his gang were on our side. Limburger would have never come to this planet."
"What do we do now bro?"
"We got to get to him before he gets to us. He maybe trying to do good. But he still owes Limburger. Let's get back to the hideout, bros. We have think up a good plan for this."
"Charley-ma'am, you'll be all right by yourself."
"Of course. You guys go. I'm gonna get some shuteye. It's been a long night.
"Sleep tight, Charley ma'am"
"Dream of me, Sweetheart."
"Oh, please. Go away." Charley smiled. <If he only knew. That's all I've been doing lately.> She went up to her little loft and laid down. She was tired, but she couldn't sleep. "There's got to be more to this DarkRider thing. And Limburger holds the key. And only someone with a little patience and cunning can get to the bottom of this. And that someone is me." She grabbed her helmet and jumped on her bike. "Let's rock 'n' RIDE.... Geeze that sounds silly when you say it yourself."
As she reached the tower, she saw the Rider float down from one of the windows. He was visible to the eye. "Well," Charley thought. I'll just follow him till he becomes invisible again or whatever that is he does." He shot by her in lighting speed. Charley had never seen a bike move so fast. Even the guys were no match for him. Suddenly the bike stopped and spun around. The DarkRider touched his helmet. Then he beckoned Charley to follow. At first she was hesitant. But answers where needed. <Well> she thought. <As Modo would say. No Guts. No Glory.> Charley followed the biker.
He rode to the edge of town. Near where Limburger started digging the pits. Charley wasn't afraid of the pits now that Four-by was running things. The biker stopped and dismounted. Charley did the same. She took one of her custom made launchers from under her cycle and walked towards the rider.
"You don't need that. I'm not going to do anything to you."
"Better safe, than sorry."
The Rider sat down on a pile of bricks and motioned for Charley to do the same. "Why are you in the picture? How did you get involved with those Martian Mice?"
Charley sat down on the opposite pile. "They needed their bikes fixed after they landed here."
"I've heard of those Martian motorcycles. A female bike jockey. You must be pretty good."
"I am. For a woman." Charley said sarcastically. <What is with these bikers and their machismo?.>
The DarkRider laughed. "Limburger is paying good money to have that garage leveled."
"Limburger paying good money for everything leveled. Look around you."
The Rider took a breath. "Yeah. It looks like all the other places I've been too. Including Mars. I always felt kind of sorry for the cave mice. They were a peaceful lot. No wars, no revolutions. The Plutarkians had no rights there. But......that's not my call."
"How did you become involve with Limburger?" asked Charley.
"I did some hits for the Plutarkians. Wasted some of the more aggressive inhabitants trying to save their planet. Mars, Jupiter, Mercury. Plutarkians pay good money. I've done pretty well."
"How could you?"
The Rider shrugged. "It's a living. It pays the rent." He laughed. "I believe that's an earth term."
"So now you owe Limburger?" Charley sensed the Rider frowned behind his dark visor.
"I was betrayed and captured. Then sent to Jupiter. Limburger and that malignant molecule of a doctor, got me out of there. " He looked out towards the pits. "At the time I didn't know it was Limburger. " He took another breath. "My days of rubbing out Martian Mice, or anyone else for that matter are over. But I still have a debt to pay. Once paid. I'm free."
"Do you really think Limburger will just let you go like that."
The Rider said nothing for a moment. He just sighed. "No. That flatulent flat-faced flounder will have a hold on me for the rest of my life."
"But what about my friends. Are you going to kill them?"
"Look, lady, if I don't do it, I go back to Jupiter. Then there's the small matter of Pike. Damn Pike. Limburger hired him to take me out."
"Look, DarkRider, or whatever your name is. I don't like talking to your helmet. I followed you here as you asked. I trusted you not to kill me right on the spot. I don't know why. But I trust you. I believe you're telling the truth. I.......I just have this feeling. I think I deserve to know who you are. I deserve to see your face."
"Honey, in this business the less people know who you are, the longer you live. "
Rider was silent for awhile. Then he stood up and unzipped his leather jacket and took off his helmet.
Charley gasped. "You're....you're a woman!"
The Rider was over six feet tall. Broad shouldered and buxom. Her skin was of the palest of blue and her jet black hair cascaded down past her waist. Her pointed ears had ten tiny diamonds in each. They matched the diamond in the middle of her forehead. Her eyes were large and black as coal. Her eyebrows were thin and extended past her face like antennae. She had full pale lips. When she took off her spiked gloves Charley noticed that she had six fingers. On the last two fingers of each hand were six thin silver bands. The Rider wore a thin silver band around her neck with a small flask attached.
"I certainly hope so."
"But your voice."
"Our helmets are equipped with voice alternators."
"What is your name?"
"My birth name is Memphis Rhyme. "
"Charlene Davidson. Charley." she extended her hand to the rider. Memphis looked down.
"That's the second time someone here has done this. Is it an earth custom?"
"It's something friends do when they first meet."
"Hmmmmm. Limburger did this."
"Unfortunately, there are some who do this to throw another off guard. But that is not me. "
"You are very close to the cave mice."
"Yes, I love them dearly. I don't want them hurt."
"Charley, I have been retained to kill your friends. I want to do my job, get Limburger off my back and go home. With all that you want to be my friend also?"
Memphis looked at her in silence.
"What are you going to do now?"
"Pike and I have unfinished business."
"You can't go up against him alone?"
"I've done it before. I'm not afraid of him." Memphis put her helmet back on and started her bike. She touched her visor. "Thanks, Charley. Thanks for wanting to be my friend." The visor closed. And rode away. Then she stopped abruptly and turned in her seat. She touched her visor again. "THE BIG GRAY ONE." she yelled. "WHAT IS HIS NAME?"
note: memphis rhyme, pike sage, moribian k'Toji, Albvia Sea and Hound are strictly from the demented mind of carolyn rebecca jones. All other character are the property of brentwood television funnies, inc. please do not sell or change this writing. Edited by Amice, to her I give my heartfelt thanks.