The cool feel of the glass against her forehead is no comfort to the
tall female mouse. She is leaning against a wall of her cell and looking
out the porthole. Her eyes search the stars for peace and freedom.
As she straightens her stance, the mouse notices a reflection in the glass that none of her friends back on Mars would believe. Her once white fur is now a dingy shade of brown from the dirt and grime collected over the years. It is matted as well. Her hair, which was once so short, has grown to below her shoulder blades. It is tangled severely, but at least her hair's medium brown coloring hid what filth it had collected.
"Somebody could mistake you for a rat easy, huh, Vikki?" Vikki turns towards the whispering voice. A fourteen year old white girl mouse smiles at her with something Vikki lost long ago, innocence. Unlike Vikki she has never seen battle or held a gun. "Geesh, Gage. That's a compliment," returns Vikki sarcastically, and equally as quiet. "How do you always know what I'm thinking?"
"Just lucky." Vikki sits down on her bunk. Gage sits down beside her. Gage's eyes shine with fear and questions.
"Will the plan work?", Gage whispers. Vikki wraps her arm around the girl's shoulders and strokes the long locks of strawberry blonde hair that are in desperate need of a brush. "It will."
"But what if...."
"Shh. Let me worry about that. You go get some sleep." Gage obediently gets up and walks across the cell to her bunk. She settles into her bunk and soon falls asleep. Vikki can't help but think of sleep as the only type of freedom they have now, and that the Plutarkians could even take that away if they wanted.
When Vikki is certain Gage is asleep, she stands and reaches for the shoulder of her other cell mate. "Leatha? Leatha?" She shakes the mouse awake. "Leatha, whatever happens, get Gage out of here. AT ALL COSTS!"
The rush of pain and Vikki's brain regaining control of her body signals
to her that the submission collar around her neck, a device that gave their
captors complete control of her body, had been turns off. While trying to
think clearly, Vikki sees Leatha looking out the clear glasslike cell door.
"How long have I been out?"
"Three hours at most," answers Leatha.
"Not much time left. Funny, never thought I'd be wanting those fish heads to come for us," pipes Gage, trying to keep her voice from shaking. Vikki smiles at her and it seems to calm her.
Vikki notices Leatha is still looking out the door. She realizes that the female mouse, who is about her age, reminds her of a friend she had back on Mars. Because of Leatha's gray fur, the only things that make them different are Leatha's carrot-red hair and her carefree attitude. "Hey, what's up?"
Leatha shakes her head. "Those fish faces have been working on that cell across the hall for at least two hours. They've installed a transport home-in signaler and overhauled the security systems. They must be transporting somebody for the Slave Games."
"Really?" Vikki doesn't wonder about that much because two Plutarkian guards started coming down the hall. "O.K. guys. This is it."
One of the guards has a remote control to the submission collars and the other holds a laser rifle. The first guard starts to open the cell and aims the remote. Suddenly, a laser blast fires from Vikki's eyes. The blast destroys the remote. Then another blast does the same to the rifle. Leatha rushes out to the guards and knocks them out. She grabs the rifle the first guard had hanging on his shoulder, and starts off. Vikki and Gage drag the unconscious guards into the cell and lock it.
Vikki yells to Gage. " Gage! If we get split up you follow Leatha!" Before Gage can answer, Vikki runs to the cell across the hall and stars typing at the control panel. Frightened, Gage follows her. "What are you doing?"
"Giving whoever's coming a fighting chance. Didn't I tell you to follow Leatha?"
"We haven't been split up yet," reply's Gage, smiling. She points to Leatha, who is checking the turn of the hall. Leatha turns and gives the 'all clear' signal.
Vikki smiles and shakes her head. "O.K. O.K. Let's go."
As the flash of the transporter fades, tires screeching to a halt can
be heard. "OH, MAMA! That was close," sighs Modo, as he notices
that only three inches separate his left side from a wall.
"What kind of stinking Plutarkian trick is this!", yells Vinnie. He is about to blast his way out of the cell when Throttle stops him. "Chill, Bro. Let's see what's going on first."
As Throttle and Modo start checking the cell, Vinnie crosses his arms in front of his chest, and leans against the cell door. The cell door swings out from under the burden of his weight, which sends Vinnie sprawling out onto the floor. When he looks up, he sees Modo and Throttle grinning in the doorway. Modo reaches out an arm to help Vinnie up as Throttle remarks, "Leave it to Plutarkians to overhaul a cell and then forget to lock the door." The Biker Mice get on their bikes. Vinnie smiles, mischievously, and remarks, "Then let's show them what happens when they do! Let's Rock!" Throttle and Modo join in. "And Ride!"
While the guys ride through the halls, they start to pass a sign and arrow. Modo stops. "Ain't that nice. Hey guys, listen! 'To Engine Room.'"
"Sounds like an invitation to me," reply's Throttle.
"All Right!" Vinnie zooms on ahead. Throttle and Modo look at each other. Throttle shrugs his shoulders. "At least he's cheering up."
By the time the guys catch up to Vinnie, he had already demolished most of the engines. "Hey, Vin! Did ya leave us anything," yells Throttle. A laser blast lands at their bike's front wheels. "Yeah! The guards, laughs Modo as he returns the favor. While that exchange is taking place, Vinnie finally succeeds in completely destroying the engines. "I think it's time to go."
"Throttle, my bro, I believe you are right." Modo turns to Vinnie who is having trouble reining in his adrenaline. "You coming?"
"Whoa! What was that?!" Gage, regaining her balance, looks
at Vikki. "Probably whoever was going to be transported, got to the
engines." Leatha slaps her forehead, "Why didn't I think of that?"
Vikki looks at her friend. "No offense, but we don't have time for
With one quick nod, Leatha moves to stand on one side of a door marked, 'Control Room.' Gage does the same on the other side. She holds a laser pistol Vikki had taken from an unconscious guard and given her. "Ready?" asks Vikki while positioning herself directly in front of the door. Though Gage nods, 'Yes,' Vikki can see the fear in her eyes and in the way she clenches the pistol. 'Necessity,' she reminds herself about the pistol, 'Necessity.'
"O.K. One. Two. Three!" Vikki blasts open the door with another laser blast from her eyes. Leatha turns and runs through the doorway with Vikki following. "Empty!" Leatha looks around, disappointed. Vikki shakes her head. "The ship's crashing, what did you expect? A party!"
"Can we just go now," pleads Gage, looking towards the emergency Plutarkian Transporter. Vikki grins and heads for the transporter. Gage follows with Leatha bringing up the rear. Vikki starts to reprogram the controls on the transporter, while Leatha guards the doorway they came through. Suddenly Gage screams and a laser discharges. Vikki looks up in time to see a Plutarkian guard fall to the floor. Gage drops the pistol. "I.... I.... shot him." She starts shaking. Vikki immediately stands and wraps her arms around the terrified girl. They both look to Leatha, who went to check the guard. The expression on her face tells Vikki and Gage all they need to know. As Leatha walks back to the others, Gage cries, softly, "I think I'm going to be sick," and buries her face in the soft, gray fur of Leatha's shoulder. Leatha thought about saying, 'Please don't,' but changes her mind when she feels her fur dampen with Gage's tears. Slowly, Vikki moves away and finishes reprogramming the transporter.
"O.K. Time for you two to go home." Vikki brushes her hair out of her face. Gage turns to her, " What about you?"
"There's definitely a Plutarkian on Earth for CammenButt to come all the way here, and I'm going to mess with their plans." Vikki pounds her fist into her palm for emphasis.
"I'll go with you." Leatha starts to pull away from Gage. "NO! I'll hook up with whoever they were trying to get rid of." Vikki looks at Gage and thinks her face looks more like five than fifteen right now. "Besides, somebody has got to escort her home, and I got this feeling that I got to get to Earth." Leatha doesn't try to argue with her. Instead she asks, "What do want me to tell your folks?"
Vikki knows she may never see Mars again, and making her parents lose her twice would be more than she could bare. "Nothing." She hugs Leatha and Gage 'good-bye', and pushes them into the transporter. Vikki activates it before they can say anything else. After they leave, she programs the controls of the transporter back to Earth. Vikki hears a noise in the hallway, and leaves through the door the guard came through.
"Looks like the party started without us," remarks Modo as
the Biker Mice ride through a demolished door. "And ended," adds
Throttle, noticing the body of a dead Plutarkian guard. "Aww, man!"
Vinnie pouts and crosses his arms. Suddenly he hears something. It was so
faint, but so familiar. "You guys go on without me. I'll catch up."
"Where do you think you're going?" Instead of answering Throttle, Vinnie rides around the Plutarkian, and starts through the door. "VINCENT!!"
"Just trust me!" As Vinnie rides through the door, the ship pitches with the increase in outside gravity. Throttle starts after him, but Modo grabs his arm, saying, "He'll be all right. Vinnie's got more lives than a cat." Right before they disappear in the transporter flash, Throttle mutters, "Hope they haven't run out."
Vikki runs down the hall that is directly in front of the door she came
through. At the end of the hall is a door marked 'Supply Room.' She enters
the room and finds Martian Mouse Grenades, Martian Army laser rifles, Freedom
Fighter helmets, and nearly everything else that the Plutarkians had confiscated
off their prisoners. Vikki puts one of the helmets on and checks the fuel
gage of one of the rifles. She finds a knapsack and puts in it some fully-charged
grenades and a laser pistol. As Vikki walks back to the door, she hears
something. Though it was very faint it was very familiar. Suddenly the sounds
of a battle can be heard through the door. The door slides open to reveal
a familiar white male mouse on an equally familiar red motorcycle. Both
where getting severely whipped by some Plutarkians. Using the rifle, Vikki
blasts the Plutarkians unconscious. She gets on the seat of the bike, behind
the rider. "GO!!"
"Anything you say, Sweetheart." At the name, 'Sweetheart,' any doubts of who this biker is, vanish. Since her arms are already around his waist, Vikki can't resist hugging her brother.
They ride back through the hall. When they reach the Control Room, Vikki has an idea. "Stop." She gets off the bike and goes over to the main control panel. Vikki types in something; then she activates all the grenades, and leaves them on the panel. While getting on the bike, she says, "I suggest we hurry." They transport out right before the grenades go off.
'O.K. First, I'm being blasted by fish faces, and then the next thing
I know I'm being saved by this Really good-looking babe of a mouse. O.K.,
maybe if I explain it that way Charley won't kill me,' thinks Vinnie as
he and the girl mouse, from the ship, leave the transporter room of 'Limburger
Tower.' He is about to blast the foundations of the building when the girl
mouse pulls his thumb away from the trigger. "No need to." Vinnie
was about to ask why when an alarm sounds. People start running out of any
door they can. An elevator opens to reveal Limburger and Lord Cammenber.
The girl mouse pulls out the laser pistol . Simotaniously, she fires and
yells, "BYE-BYE CammenButt!!" The doors of the elevator shut just
in time to shield them. "SHOOT!"
"Whatever you say," mocks Vinnie. He fires a missile, blowing a hole in a wall. They ride through to safety. Vinnie turns his bike around just in time to see Cammenber's ship crash into 'Limburger Tower.' 'How did she know to do that,' thinks Vinnie, somewhat in shock. "I guess it just runs in the family." Vinnie turns at the sound of a very familiar voice. Vicki grins and nods her head.
"ALL RIGHT!!!" Vinnie's bike rears back on its rear wheel. Vicki nearly fall off from the sudden start. They ride off just as Limburger and Cammenber crawl out from under the rubble.
"Limburger!", roars Cammenber while brushing dust off his uniform. Limburger straightens his mask and tie. "Look at it this way my lord. We have exceeded our quota of scrap metal."
"You did WHAT?" Charley is fuming mad, and contemplating throwing
the pipe wrench she is holding at Throttle. To plead his case, Throttle
tells her, "He said to trust him."
"AND YOU DID! DO YOU KNOW WHAT VINNIE COULD GET HIMSELF INTO?" Charley does throw the wrench now. Throttle ducks and the wrench lands at Modo's feet. "Charley girl, maybe you should take a look at this." He points at the TV he's been watching. On the screen is a picture of a flattened 'Limburger Tower.' Before they can hear what the reporter says happened, a motorcycle engine, and very loud heavy metal music can be heard outside. All three turn to the open garage doors. Vinnie rides up with a girl mouse on the back of his bike. Charley tries not to look as relieved as she feels to have him back.
"Leave it to Vinnie to come back with a date," jokes Throttle with a suggestive smile on his face. Vinnie, with a Cheshire cat smile on his furry lips, reply's, "Why would I date my sister?" By this time Vikki has gotten off the bike, and just stands there staring. Suddenly, she jerks off her helmet and pushes her hair out of her face. "Modo, Throttle, is that you? WHOA!" Vicki runs and wraps her arms around Modo's neck. Practically the moment she does, Throttle grabs her from behind and swings her around. When he finally puts her down, Throttle turns her to face him and hugs her. Vikki starts to pull away from him, but instead, she pushes him back a few steps as Vnnie falls to the floor from a failed tackle attempt.
"Bro, you are slipping!" Vikki reaches out her arm to help him up. Vinnie grabs her arm and jerks it towards him, which causes her to loose her balance. Vikki knows that old trick though and in return, she bends her elbow. Her fall causes her elbow to jab Vinnie in the stomach when she lands. "OUCH!"
Charley, who is enjoying watching someone 'one-up' Vinnie, is getting annoyed with being left out. "Ahhmmm!" Vikki looks up from the headlock she has on her brother. "Uh-oh. Introductions." Vinnie takes this opportunity to squirm out of the headlock. "Sis, this is Charley. She owns this garage and helps us with our bikes... sometimes." Vikki doesn't believe the 'sometimes' in Vinnie's explanation. "I was wondering who was baby-sitting these guys while I was gone." Charley starts chuckling, as does Vikki. Vinnie decides to change the subject. "Anyway , Charley this is my sister Vick."
"Actually, it's Vikki now." Vinnie looks at his sister, but he gave up trying to figure her out long ago. "O...K. Charley this is the mouse formerly known as Vick, but the second she changes her name to symbol I can't pronounce, it's straight-jacket time." Not letting her brother have the 'last-laugh,' Vikki retorts, "As long as it's leather, I won't mind." Throttle and Modo start laughing hard. Vikki turns to them with a familiar, mischievous look. "But you'd better expect to get some bruises, from putting it on me."
Charley takes this moment to butt-in. "Ummm, Vikki, why don't you follow me?"
"No offense, but there's a shower and a clean change of clothes upstairs," explains Charley while guiding Vikki towards the staircase. "Why don't you guys go get something to eat, you're good at that." The Biker Mice just stand there, not sure they wanted to leave. Vikki, knowing a way to get them to go, orders, in her best Stoker impression, "You rookies got your orders. Now go!" The guys, going along with the joke, snap to attention, salute, and shout simotianiously, "YES, SIR!" Then, while laughing, they get on their bikes and ride out.
Up in Charley's room, Charley is searching through a very cluttered closet. "I'll just lay, or more precisely throw some stuff on the bed. You just pick out what you want." Charley gets up, and after 'throwing' the clothes on the bed, goes into the bathroom and brings out a bathrobe and some towels. She notices that Vikki, who had been standing by a dresser, had taken off her boots and carefully lain a purple bandanna and a necklace on the dresser. Charley hands the towels and bathrobe to Vikki and takes a closer look at the objects on the dresser.
The bandanna is nearly covered with a stain, resembling blood. The necklace is a gold chain with a gold crescent moon pendant on it, there are two linking hearts engraved in the pendant. The pendant also has a silver star connected to the inner curve by three of the five points.
Charley can't help but ask, "This a gift?" Vikki looks up after finishing changing from her clothes into the bathrobe. "Yeah." She can't stop herself from grinning at the thought of the gift's giver. "From anyone I know?" Vikki heard more than idle curiosity in that question and decides to annoy Charley a little. "That depends on how many Martian mice you know," she starts for the bathroom.
Charley thinks about saying, 'You'd be surprised,' but instead asks, "What do you want me to do with your clothes?" Vikki doesn't turn to look at the pile she left when she answers, "Burn 'em." Charley can see why. Vikki's clothes are so worn and tattered that they don't look like they'd last much longer. Right before she enters the shower, Vikki adds, "Boots too!"
Before Charley goes to get Vikki's clothes, she picks up the necklace, and notices a tiny hinge on of the outer points of the star. She runs her fingernail in the groove of the star, and finds the catch. The star is a locket which opens to reveal a picture of a somewhat younger and seemingly happier Modo. Charley grins, replaces the necklace on the dresser, and takes Vikki's clothes downstairs.
Inside the shower, Vikki lets the hot water wash over her body. As it
does, the water washes away the dirt from her fur and hair, the tension
from her tired muscles, and every emotional block her mind had built during
the past six years. Vikki places one hand on the wall of the shower, and
the other over her face. Salty tears mingle unnoticed with the hot water
of the shower.
Vinnie is humming the tune of a song he had just rewrote, using solely
the words, 'I told you so.' Throttle is ready to hit Vinnie over his head
with one of the root beer bottles he is carrying, but instead tries to reason
with him. "Bro! You've been humming for ten minutes, and singing for
thirty before that. Would you pleeease STOP!"
"Just one more time. I Tooold Yoouu Sooo!" The Biker Mice turn right and ride through the open garage doors, and freeze. Sitting beside Charley at the table, laughing, is Vinnie's sister, but no one would recognize her now. Her fur is once again white and straight, and her hair, though damp, is brushed and shows signs of soft waves. But the biggest difference from Vikki's old 'tomboy' image is what she is wearing, which is a red tank top, very short blue-Jean cutoffs, and a pair of well-worn sneakers. She is wearing her necklace. The bandanna is rolled up and tied around her right arm, just below the shoulder. Throttle gets off his bike and lets out a low whistle. "Is that you, Babe?" He asks while looking at her over the rim of his field specs. Suppressing the last of her laughter, Vikki looks at him calmly. "Carbine is still one of my best friends, 'Babe.'" Charley is holding back another wave of laughter, caused by the expressions on Vinnie's and Modo's faces. Modo walks over to the table and sets down four pizza boxes. He pulls out a chair and sits across the table from Vikki, making sure his left side is facing her. Vinnie sets down a carton of already-cooked hot dogs. While Throttle goes into the kitchen for the ketchup and mustard, Vinnie looks at his sister. "What are you wearing?"
Vikki, in turn, looks up at her overprotective brother and replies, smiling, "The only things of Charley's that fit," she looks at Charley and then back to Vinnie. Her smile broadens, "Grandma." Before Vinnie can retaliate, Vikki changes the subject. "So what's to eat? I'm starved!"
"O.K.," Modo slaps his hand together. "First we've got pepperoni pizza with mushrooms, olives, green peppers, red peppers, sausage, ham, and... cheese. Next there's hot dogs with your choice of mustard, ketchup, or both. And finally, to wash it all down, the beverage of choice, Root Beer!" As Modo was describing the meal, Vinnie opened the packages, acting like a French waiter. Throttle goes to the radio and turns it on. He is about to leave it on the heavy metal station, but he remembers something and turns the dial. Soon, Elvis Presely's, 'Love Me Tender' fills the room. "Ahh, you remembered. I don't like heavy metal music much," explains Vikki when she sees Charley's expression.
During most of the meal, the conversation is filled with the guys' stories of how they have whipped Limburger and his goons. Charley notices that Modo gets very uncomfortable when he sees that Vikki is watching him. He tries to keep her from seeing his robotic arm. Charley decides against saying anything just yet.
Vikki knows she is just delaying the inevitable with the way Vinnie asks her what happened with his eyes and mind. Setting sown her root beer, Vikki clears her throat and starts her story. "I guess I should start with 'Keystone'." All four look at her, not knowing what to expect. Throttle replies, "Not if you don't want to."
Smiling, Vikki continues. "Well, I heard Vin yell to fall back, and looked up to see where, when I saw a Plutarkian with his laser rifle's sight trained on Vinnie. I yelled for him to duck. When he did, the laser fired and the blast ricocheted off something and hit me in the face." Vinnie notices his sister is unconsciously tracing part of a thin scar with her finger. The scar runs from ear to ear, just under his sister's eyes. It is almost unnoticeable if you weren't looking straight at it.
"I couldn't understand what was happening," Vikki looks over at her brother. "Neither one of us was thinking very clearly. Of course that isn't a big surprise when it comes to you. Anyway, the next thing I knew, a pair of clammy, scaled hand grab me from behind. I tried to get free, but before I could, I guess they musta transported me to some ship. My head was swimming and I couldn't see, so I wasn't in much of a position to fight. They took me to some room and knocked me out. When I woke up, I... could see a little, mostly shadows and movement. When I tried to get up, I found myself strapped to some sorta metal hospital bed. One of the Plutarkians, I guess a doctor, noticed I was awake and started to gloat. He said something about being unable to replace my eyes, so he just repaired them. He went on about sensors and enhancers. Then he started talking..." Vikki's eyes open wide as she grabs the metallic ring around her neck. "Ummm, could one of you Macho Mice be so kind as to help me get this thing, OFF MY NECK!!" Vinnie quickly goes to his sister's side and has her tilt her head to her left. After brushing her hair away, he carefully melts part of the ring with one of his flares. It falls to the floor and lands with a clang. Vinnie picks it up and asks, "What was this?" Vikki rubs were the ring had been. "One of the Plutarkians favorite toys, a submission collar. As long as it's on you and activated, the wearer has no control over their body, and boy did it hurt when they turned that thing on and off! But, back to the story. Well, after that, not much happened except... for... some.... minor experimentation. My eyes healed completely in about a month, so that stopped, 'cause I could work. I tried a couple of times to escape. The fish faces favorite punishment for that was more experimentation. I guess... that had.... something to do with," Vikki looks at on of the hot dogs left on the table, "this." A laser blast fires from Vikki's eyes and burns the hot dog to a crisp. Vinnie jumps back in his chair, causing it to fall back with him in it. Throttle, Charley, and Modo look at the hot dog in shock.
Vikki, trying to lighten the mood, looks at her Vinnie. "Hey Bro, is ending up on the floor becoming a habit for you or what?!" Vinnie, taking the hidden challenge to 'one up' his sister, smiles and replies, "No, just checking to see if your tail was stuck in a plug-in." Vikki raises her root beer bottle, "My knight in shining fur!" Not wanting to back down, she sets her bottle back down and asks, "What would you have done if it had?" Vinnie leans across the table to face Vikki. "The same thing I'm going to do now, ask if you can roast marshmallows with that!"
Vikki moves to where her face is only inches from Vinnie's, "Got any? Oh, just make sure I don't mistake your tail for some of those jumbo-sized ones, and you'll be fine." Charley, Throttle, and Modo, who finally got over their shock, start to laugh, hard. Throttle raises his glass in a salute. "We have a winner! To bad we didn't think of desert or we could celebrate."
"Well, there is the gallon of 'Double Fudge' ice-cream I've been hiding," admits Charley. Vinnie jumps up from his righted seat, but before he can get away from the table, Vikki grabs his tail. Luckily, this time he doesn't fall. "I hate to spoil the party, but I have got to," Vikki yawns, "get some sleep." She braces her hands on the table and pushes her chair back. As she stands up, so do the guys. Throttle starts towards his bike. "I guess that means we need to go." Charley knows they really don't want to leave. "You guys could stay here tonight ya know." Vinnie smiles a thank-you and goes to a closet to get a cot. Vikki starts to climb the stairs with Charley, when Vinnie asks telepathically, 'Where are you going?'
Out loud, Vikki answers, "How am I supposed to sleep with three buzz saws running beside me?" Vikki climbs two more stairs and stops. "Oh, by the way, Happy Birthday, Vin!"