It was late, and Charley was just finishing her final cleanup when the
mice pulled in.
"Hey, Sweetheart, the best part of your day is here," Vinnie called.
"Oh, please," Charley groaned. "Shut the doors, will you?"
It was Vinnie who moved to comply; he saw the car turn into the drive and momentarily froze, then yelped, "Book, bros! Company!" The three of them darted past Charley into the darkened office and shut the door behind them just as the car entered the garage. They peered through the glass as an older woman, blonde hair going to gray, got out.
"Oh, Mama," Modo breathed as a face that gave them a very good picture of what Charley might look like in twenty years or so, turned toward Charley and, incidentally, the office door.
"Yep; I'd say you hit the nail right on the head that time, big fella," Throttle whispered back.
"Hi, Mom," Charley's voice filtered in to them. "What brings you here this late?"
"I need an excuse to visit you?" came the playful reply.
"Of course not; you just surprised me, that's all."
Mrs. Davidson's eyes strayed toward the Martian motorcycles.
"Unusual design," she remarked, examining Throttle's headlight. Seeing the mousehead in evidence on all three bikes, she asked, "Club emblem?"
"Uh, yeah; I guess you could call it that."
"So where are they?"
"Huh?" Charley blurted.
Her mother pointed to the black and silver helmet perched on the
seat. "No biker I ever heard of would leave his helmet in the shop with his bike. Why are they hiding?"
Charley fished for some answer, any answer, then decided the truth was safe enough. "They didn't want to scare you," she shrugged.
Her mother snorted. "Do I look like someone who would run screaming at the sight of a few bikers?"
"No, not exactly," Charley grinned, for her mother was wearing an old leather jacket herself.
"Well, then, tell them to come out and be sociable."
Charley found a chair and set it behind her mother. "I think you'd better sit down first."
"Oh, come on. What's the matter; do they have fangs and green scales?"
She nearly choked at what amounted to a fairly accurate description of a Plutarkian. "No," she managed. "Actually, they have fur, tails, and antennas."
"Right." Her voice dripped sarcasm.
Charley knew her mother wouldn't leave now until she had seen these mysterious bikers, and she sighed. "Okay, guys; come on out."
"Oh, man," Vinnie groused. "Why can't she just tell her to mind her own business?"
Modo fixed him with a stern glare. "That's her mama out there," he said flatly. "Be polite," he added as Throttle opened the door.
Charley's mother turned pale and was suddenly grateful for the chair as her knees turned to rubber. She slowly sank into it.
"I...don't suppose they're wearing costumes?" she said, without hope.
"'Fraid not," Charley said sympathetically, remembering her own reaction. "Mom, meet Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie: The Biker Mice from Mars."
"Mars," her mother repeated dumbly, unable to say anything else.
"Mars," Charley confirmed.
Vinnie couldn't resist. "Is there an echo in here?"