It was a nice Thursday morning. Throttle and Modo were working on their
bikes. Charley and Vinnie were watching t.v. Well actually Charley was watching
it Vinnie was just bugging about who the characters were< on the show
that they were watching. When Charley's c.b. started up.
"Throttle come in. This is Carbine. Come in Throttle," Carbine's voice < called over the c.b.
"Yeah babe", Throttle said after he had rushed over to the c.b., "I'm here what's up?"
"I have an important message from central for you guys." Carbine's voice called back, "I'll be coming in for a landing shortly."
"We'll be waiting babe," Throttle said to her.
After awhile Carbine was sitting in a chair in the Last Chance Garage talking to the guys and Charley.
"Central has decided to take back Mars." Carbine said in a quick rush to get the words out.
"It's about time," Throttle said letting his irritation show.
"Yeah," Vinnie said, " I can't wait to kick some fish tail."
"We're not going to be fighting the Plutarks," Carbine said with distaste in her mouth, "we'll be fighting the rats and sand raiders."
"Wait a minute. Modo spoke up "How come what happened to the Plutarkian scum bags."
"The rats and sand raiders drove them off." Carbine said in unease, "I guess they got sick of the stink bags rule over them."
"Well it shouldn't be that hard to take the planet back then guys." Charley said trying to sound hopeful. "Should it?"
"That's up to the opposition." a voice called from the entrance of the garage.
" Stoker your here?" Throttle said in surprise.
" Yep," Stoker responded. Then he walked up to Charley and gave her a hug, "So how's this punk been treating you?" he asked pointing at Vinnie.
"Fine," Charley said ," and how are you?"
" Couldn't be better" , Stoker said in response. "Are you guys going to be ready to go soon."
"Yeah, "Vinnie said," just give us a couple of minutes to say good-bye to Charley"
" She's coming with," Stoker said.
"WHAT!!!???" eneryone yelled.
"I think we can put good use to her skills," Stoker said," You got a problem with that."
"No," Modo responded, "we don't have a problem with it
Stoker. It's just that we don't want Charley to get hurt."
"I understand your concern Modo, "Stoker said, "but I think Charley can take care of herself. Besides I think that she might enjoy the adventure "Well then, " Throttle said ,"lets get going."
"Good," Stoker said," we have to stop by Charley's mothers to pick up Rimfire and Centerline."
"Oh great," Charley and Vinnie said together.
"What's wrong?, " asked Throttle.
"If we go there that means mom will have us stay for dinner," Charley said.
" Can't we refuse?," Carbine asked.
"No," Vinnie responded, "she won't give us the chance to refuse. How about it Charley?"
"Yeah," Charley agreed, "I still remember the last time we went to see her."
"Yeah," Vinnie said, " she had me eat so much of her homemaid country fried chicken I thought I was going to grow feathers instead of fur."
"You're not the only one," Charley responded, "that was right after..."
She had ended the conversation there when she realized the others were listening attentively.
"Ah nevermind," she said quickly to cover up her tracks.
After about two hours of arguing about what to take and what not to take the mice and Charley had locked up The Last Chance Garage, piled into the stalker spaceship, and headed to Charley's mother's house.
"Mom look it can't be avoided they need me." Centerline had
said to his mother who was cooking a big meal. He had just got done having
a three hour argument with her about his and Rimfire's responsibilities
to the freedom fighters. Rimfire was out front playing with the dog that
Mrs. Davidson had just got.
"Well I don't think that you need to go risking your life. After all I..." Mrs. Davidson had said.
"You're scared I won't come back, " Centerline had finished for her.
She turned around and he could se the tears in her eyes. He knew he was right.
"I'm just afraid of losing you again," she said to him.
"Then I guess it's not a good idea that Stoker is going to convince the guys to let Charley come along," Centerline had said. It was his idea to have Charley come along.
"No it wasn't, but if she is still as stubborn as you are she'll go anyway," she said just as they heard a loud thundering noise over the house that was the stalker ship coming in for a landing.
As they got out of the ship the mice and Charley were greeted by Rimfire and a slobbering tired out halfbreed German sheperd/husky.
"Hi all," Rimfire said walking up to the ship.
"Hi nephew," Modo said, "where's your father and grandmother?"
"In the house," Rimfire said. Walking towards the house itself.
Once they got in Charley saw that her mother had expacted them. The dinning room table was covered with food.
"Come in and rest for awhile," Mrs. Davidson said eagerly. " I've made dinner. Hope your hungry for fried chicken." Vinny groaned.
As they came in from outside the guys were intriqued by the smell of
lilacs, however Charley knew all to well what lilacs meant. Her mother was
worried. Centerline knew it to. Mrs. Davidson had brought them in right
after he told her the bad news.
"So Mrs. Davidson...," Throttle had started to say, but was interrupted by Mrs. Davidson saying, " You guys should call me mom. I mean you are as much a part of the family as Jayce or Charley."
"Mom it's Center..."
"Not in my house it's Jayce," she said in an angry voice. "I'm sorry. I should not have yelled."
" It's okay Mrs. Davidson," Stoker said trying to help her calm down. "I can understand what you're going through. Well sort of."
"Thank you Stoker," She said to him. It seemed to the guys that Stoker was the only one who could get away with calling Mrs. Davidson by the name that she would not let them refer to her by. "Well I guess we had better eat or else this food will go to waste."
As they were sitting at the table Mrs. Davidson said to Throttle, Vinnie, and Modo, "No gloves at the table."
"Yes mom," the trio replied and did as she told.
After they had set down at the table Charley had taken notice that Vinnie had sat down across from her. Her mother wasn't going to put up with that. So she lightly kicked Vinnie in the leg to get his attention. He looked up quickly than she tossed her head in the direaction of the seat beside her.
Quickly Vinnie got out of the chair he was in and went to the seat beside Charley before Mrs. Davidson could say anything.
"Sorry," Vinnie said to Charley, " I'm used to us visiting her alone."
"I know," Charley responded. Her mother liked seeing them together. So anytime that there were more people than just Vinnie and Charley they had to sit together. " Mother would you say grace?"
"Sure dear," She said. When she was getting ready to do a Vinnie and just say the word grace, she saw that everyone had bowed their heads, incluiding Vinnie. She started to worry more that she might not ever see this sight again.
"Lord watch over these young souls ,that sit around this table and prepare to eat this bounty of wich you have provided, in the troubled times that they will come to face." At that time Mrs. Davidson saw Vinnie's had reach out and hold Charley's hand. Her voice stated to quiver. "Watch over them in the battle that they must face. Protect them from harm, and make their journey home swift." After that she had to take a breath before she could say, "amen."
"Amen," everyone responded. Vinnie took his hand away from Charley's.
After the meal was over with evryone took their turn saying goodbye to Mrs. Davidson. When it got to Vinnie however...
"See ya later mom," Vinnie said to Mrs. Davidson.
"Wait a minute Vincent," she said pulling him aside, "you take care of Charlene okay."
"Yes mom," he responded.
"Also tell her how you feel about her."
"She already knows how I feel about her."
"Well it won't hurt to tell her then will it."
All he could do was smile. Mrs. Davidson had away about that made her seem like his own mom. "I will don't worry." With that he kissed her on the cheek and boarded the spaceship.
It was Charley's turn to say good-bye then. She was always the last person to do so.
"Take care mother. I hope to be back soon," Charley said to reasure her mother.
"Same here child," Mrs. Davidson said to her daughter. "You watch that no one takes that handsome hunk of mouse there she said pointing in the direction Vinnie went in at.
"I make sure mother." With that Charley boarded the spaceship wich then rumbled above the ground for five minutes then shot up into the sky.
"God bring them back safley," Mrs. Davidson said in a controlled calm voice. The only hint of her pain was the tear running down her cheek. "Please bring them back safley."
Spark had been waiting for Stoker to get back. He hated being in the
compound, and being around others. He was a loner and Stoker knew it. Spark
guessed that's why Stoker left him in charge.
"Blast you Stoker," Spark muttered to himself. He still remembered when
Stoker got on the ship, turned to him, and said, "Well kid your in charge till I get back."
Nothing went wrong during the two weeks, but Spark still did not like the idea of being in charge.
It had been about 3 hours on the ship since he woke and Vinnie was starting
to get restless. He couldn't sit still for two hours at a time. His muscles
screamed for the exhilaration of battle.
"We're going into the atmosphere people. Buckle in," Stoker announced over an intercom.
"Finally," Vinnie muttered, "this trip is over."
He buckled into the seat. Ten minutes later he would be on the ground, but what would be waiting for him. Vinnie shook his head at the thought. He couldn't start thinking about that again not after what happened with his family. But now he had a new family, and he was happy. He knew that they were also, and he would make sure they stayed that way no matter what the cost to himself. Vinnie looked across the seat at Throttle, who had the same anticipation as Vinnie did. It always showed on Vinnie, but on Throttle that was a different story. He was always calm and cool, and this situation was no different. Vinnie guessed along time ago that it was probably that quality that caused him to look up Throttle after the attack on his home town. Charley however was so nervous looking that it reminded Vinnie of a Sand Raider sitting beside a primed grenade. He chuckled to himself as he looked to see Modo sitting in his seat looking very uncomfortable. Although Vinnie couldn't be sure he suspected it was probably because of the enemy that they had to face now. After all how do you fight someone that you once called your friend and ally. With that thought in mind the upcoming battles didn't seem that much fun anymore.
Charley had been watching Vinnie the whole trip down. He seemed disturbed by something, but she couldn't place what, even though she tried.
"Is it because I'm here?," She thought to herself, "Is it because of the rats? Or is it that since the Plutarks are gone the guys might stay on Mars? Or could it be seeing Harley again? I wish I knew."
Throttle sat there thinking about seeing Carbine again, and also the possibility of staying on Mars. Then he looked over at Charley, the only person that he knew of could give up so much of their life to help out a race that lived on another planet. If he did stay he would miss her alot.
Modo leaned back in his chair, and gripped a tight hold with his bionic arm. "How much I should thank Karbunkle for giving me this arm," he thought to himself, "It has helped me and my bros get out of some sticky situations. I hope it helps out that much this time."
Rimfire was to busy looking out the window to think about much. He had just gotten out of high school when the Plutarks had ravaged his home planet completely. His father was there now one of the greatest warriors in all of Mars. "I have big shoes to fill," he thought to himself, "Really big shoes."
Centerline and Stoker were in the cockpit landing the ship, and discussing back and forth what was probably going to happen. "Well the way I see it we have no choice but to fight the Rats won't talk, and we both know that the Sand Raiders couldn't really care either way as long as they are on the side that is against us," Stoker said.
"Why do you think that is Stoker?," Centerline said, "I mean after all the Mouse government told the Sand Raiders that we couldn't help them out finacialy when we had more than enough to support them and us."
"That's not true," Stoker replied, "The government had not refused. It's was the fact that the Sand Raiders had been in contact with the Plutarks even before we got a whiff of their smell. Except for the government they already knew the Plutarks were there, they just didn't see them as a threat."
"NO THREAT," Centerline exclaimed, "they nearly destroyed our planet. They killed hundreds of our kind, and you say no threat."
"What I said was at that time. Next time I suggest you listen to what I'm saying instead of what you want to hear."
Centerline leaned back in the chair.
"Look I know you hate the Plutarkians for what they did to you," Stoker said in a semi-calm voice, "but you get let that get in the way of what is going on right now. Ok?"
As the ship made it's decent Spark walked up to the platform. "It's
about time," he muttered to himself.
He was going to chew Stoker out until he saw the smilling face of Charley. Then all thoughts of yelling were gone. Spark liked Charley.
After all she gave up alot to help out the others.
"Hi Spark," she called to him.
"Hey Charley," he replied, "How was the trip?"
"A little boring but ok."
"That's because you were with us sweet heart," Charley heard Vinnie call from the ship.
"Oh yeah Charley - girl," Throttle called from the ship, "How could you feel unsafe with us around."
Charley just shook her head. She knew it was impossible to feel unsafe when the guys were there. They had helped her out of so many dangerous situations. But will this be one situation that they won't come back from....