This story was written for my own entertainment and hopefully the entertainment
There is no way I would or could make any profit on this story.
All the characters belong to their creator.
The words for the song were taken from the
CD by Brian Mc Knight
(Neither words nor music belong to me)
Limburger wasted no time in taking advantage of his mouse free situation.
He went on a land-buying spree like a mad man (or fish). Land disappeared
by the tons and soon the holding bids were full.
He could take some time off after all there was no hurry, now. Plutark was happy and Limburger was in his glory and all was right with his world. His troubles seemly were all behind him. The best part was he knew the torture he was causing those Martian malcontents who once gave him no peace. Yes this was better than killing them right away. What was that expression that fit this situation so perfectly oh yes, "Revenge is a meal best served cold it could be enjoyed so much better that way"
Charley was having a hard time keeping the guys from sinking into the
pit of despair. After all there were a lot worst things than being human
and she was more than a little annoyed at their attitude.
"It's nothing- personal Charley, it is just that's who we were, all we knew. Now what good are we? Limburger is out their doing to earth what the Plutarkians did to Mars and we can stop him." Throttle said filled with frustration.
"Why can't you still fight him? You may not be as strong as you were, but you still have your mind, your skills, you are just going to have to rethink how you do what you did."
Charley said a bit louder than she'd intended. But she didn't care; she was tired of their self-pity and she had to snap them out of it.
"And it won't hurt if you three would stop stalling and called Mars and ask for some help.
Yea, I know that the disturbance had been cleared up, at least enough for you to talk to them. They are your friends, your family, for heavens sake do you really think that what you are now will really matter to them?"
If it were Carbine or Stoker what would you do? Jeez, you guys give them a little credit for being more loyal then that." Charley was now standing with both hands on her hips.
"Well, are you going to call or what?" Not giving them a chance to make a decision one way or the other she had had enough. "Fine if you won't, I will" her voice was much louder now and they knew she meant what she said. Charley walked toward the vid-com daring anyone to stop her.
Throttle then said, "Okay Charley girl you're right we should at least let them know what's going on here and I'll try to contact them as soon Charley interrupted, "As soon as NOW!
Modo looking at the expression on Charlie's face and knowing she was right said, "You might as well get it over with bro. Vinnie hadn't said much just nodded in agreement. Throttle reluctantly walked over to the vid-com and made the call. As he did Charley walked over next to him and put a supporting hand on his shoulder, silently hoping that all the things she had said were true.
Freedom Fighters Base on Mars:
"Hey somebody get Stoker Throttle's calling from earth and it sounds
urgent," the mouse on vid-com duty called out. "We can't get a
picture but you can still talk to him."
Before Stoker was found Carbine was at the vid-com taking the call. "Throttle, what `s up? It has been awhile since we heard from you guys. What's the matter you getting home sick." She chuckled a little but there was dead silence on the other end.
His throat was so dry he couldn't form the words all he could do was stand there thankful she couldn't see him.
Carbine was not one to panic easily but she knew something was very wrong and almost too scared to ask, "Throttle say something, what's the matter?"
As best he could he explained to her what had happen. Carbine was anything but silent, "That's impossible it just can't happen. Your DNA has been permanently altered you're human. That sounds like something out of a bad science fiction story."
"I didn't say it was permanent we don't know yet. A friend of Charley is trying to find out enough information to either help us change back or let us know if we will be like this the rest of our lives." He knew she was just upset and that was her way of dealing with it but right then he needed her support and a little comfort won't have hurt, but it was hardly the time for a third degree.
"Look Carbine just let me talk to Stoker and we'll talk later okay?" With that she stormed off cursing him in Martian. Stoker was near enough to catch most of the conversation.
" Hey bro. I caught most of what happened fill me in on the rest," Stoker listen and tried not to react.
To be honest bro, we don't have anything I know of that can reverse that kind of transformation. There aren't that many scientist left and the Plutarkins did a pretty complete job of robbing what technology we did have. But still I will see what we can come up with.
The fishheads have been blocking the planet for a couple days along with major atmospheric problem but as soon as things are clear enough I will be there. Hopefully we can get a visual before than.
Throttle was a little relieved talking to Stoker, he had always helped him deal with many a difficult situation and this one was no different, "Thanks Stok, maybe it would be a good idea to bring Rimfire and.
Stoker finished his thought; " Do you think I won't bring her. We will be there as soon as it's possible."
As Throttle ended the transmission Charley felt a small amount of relief; their friends had not disappointed her. Hot headed as Carbine could be at times she'd come around. They won't be alone in dealing with what amounted to the death of one life and the beginning of another, from the way things stood at this point.
"Well guys you can't just sit around and wait; you need to be doing something constructive," Charlie's mind was hatching out a few projects to keep them busy until Stoker could get to earth.
"First of all you are going to have to get something else to wear with out the fur you are going to really feel this Chicago weather," Charley said. She had never realized before that they didn't wear much clothing and unfortunately it just happened to be late autumn. Even though the weather was not as cold as it could have been bare chest would have been a bit much, not to mention probably giving them a case of pneumonia.
So Charley with Jack's help had pick them up more suitable apparel not forgetting that biker attitude the guy's probably still had.
They'd gotten jeans, tee shirts, and other necessary items so they could at least be see in public. Also leather biker jackets for Throttle and Vinnie. A long slightly over sized trench coat for Modo, it would make his bionic arm less conspicuous.
Charley waited outside while the guys got dress, she and Jack had decided to show them the town in a way they had not been able to do before. And Jack had one more trick up his sleeve.
When Jack arrive he saw Charley waiting outside, pulled up next to her and said, "Have you told them yet." "No I didn't want to get their hopes up, what if it doesn't work," she said knowing the guys couldn't take too much more disappointment.
"They won't be any worst off then they are now, where are the bikes?" Jack pulled a small device out of his pocket as Charley pointed up the stairs.
"Hey, you guys decent?" Jack yelled a warning before going in. The guys where dressed and Jack had notice they made a pretty impressive sight. In fact he wasn't so sure this was the brightest thing he had ever done. There was already enough competition with out adding three more studs to the field.
"Well I just came up with something that may solve your bike problem." He pointed the device at the bikes and they were immediately deactivated. Then Jack walked over to them and installed a new chip, with the help of their former and present genetic codes; it would help the bikes to recognize their new identities.
Jack stepped away and reactivated them. "Well, gentleman there you go it's now or never."
Modo was the first to approach his "Old Hoss". "Okay lil darlin', let's give it another try".
He walked slowly toward the machine, nothing happened. As he got closer the bike came to life. Still he continued to approach it. He finally seated himself and he breathed a long sigh of relief. At least some part of his life was back to normal.
Throttle and Vinnie followed his lead and soon they were all back where they belonged.
Of course being the macho types they were, tears were unheard of, but Jack left them to let's just say get reacquainted with some old friends.
As Jack came out of the scoreboard Charley asked, " Well how did it go?" He smiled and said, "I am good."
A week later:
Vinnie's ego had always been the part of his personality that drove
Charley crazy but it was much easier to stomach before the transformation.
She had always known he had a sweeter more sincere side you just had to go through all the garbage to get to it. And now the female population of Chicago was feeding that monster ego. No matter where they went some woman was trying to get his attention.
Oddly she wasn't jealous just tired of the whole Vincent Van Wham admiration society, with Vinnie being the President.
So she had found herself spending much more time with Modo. They could talk and he was genuinely interested in what she had to say. Even though it should not have surprised her he was quite an intelligent person. He still had the wild biker side of him but she could see the more sensitive side much clearer now. She really enjoyed being with him.
Throttle spend a lot of time at the lab working with Jack trying to find an answer, cure, what ever you wanted to call it. Something that would give them their old lives back but so far they drew blanks.
He was having the hardest time accepting the situation; he couldn't get out of his mind all the ifs. What if this was permanent, if they couldn't go back to Mars, if Carbine couldn't accept him this way, those and a hundred others filled his head every waking moment.
Sooner or later the vid com was going to be completely operational and even though
Charley tried to tell him those who really cared about them would be there he kept this sick feeling in side that he couldn't shake. Hearing what happen was one thing but seeing it, how would they react?
One evening soon after:
Modo and Vinnie were working toward accepting what couldn't be changed
for the moment at any rate.
Vinnie was dealing with the situation as only he could. On beautiful young lady after another was entertained by his, for the lack of a better word, charm. All colors, sizes and temperaments. And to Charlie's surprise he treated each like she was the very special to him and to let the truth be known they were. Charley could only smile to herself and chuckle; "You are definitely an original Vinnie."
She was worried the most about Throttle he still had not been very talkative staying either at Jack's lab or alone. He was always the more serious of the three but never like this. The spark some how seem to be missing. Still Charley thought it was better to let him deal with things in his own way.
This particular night it was just she and Modo left at the garage. She was restless and so was he. " Hey, Modo let's go somewhere do something. The weather is a little brisk but still nice enough to enjoy."
He readily agreed Charley got a warm jacket and they were off. Riding behind Modo was a whole different experience. It was like holding on to a big teddy bear that just happened to have an incredible hard body.
She knew of a club called the Blue Note and was going to introduce him to a different kind of music. As they stopped in front Modo was hesitant about giving this new art form a try, "Charley you know heavy metal is what I like" he said in that big base voice of his.
"Please give this a try it won't kill you," she said with a smile that melted him from the inside out. How could he refuse?
The music was definitely different from what he was use to and to his own surprise he sort of liked it. Sweet tunes low and sultry, some including a male or female voice. But most where guitars, piano and plenty of sax. If nothing else it set a very interesting tone for the rest of the evening.
"So what do you call this," He said after they had gotten comfortable on a big over sized chair, the whole décor was warm and comfortable.
She looked at him in the warm candlelight that filled every corner of the club. "We call it Rhythm and blues with a little touch of Jazz." she said in a soft whisper of a voice.
"I could get to like it." He said as he smiled and looked into her beautiful green eyes. She noticed that he did have an incredible smile. The kind that makes you feels good all over.
They chit chat about nothing and everything, before either knew how or when
Charley had snuggled close to him and he had wrapped his arm comfortably around her shoulder. There was a song that had just started playing, the music fell softly like water from a waterfall and was added to by the rich sound of smooth male voices in prefect harmony.
"May I have this dance Miss Davidson?" He said as he stood and extended his hand in the most gallant fashion. Charley put her hand in his and nodded. "I thought you would never ask kind sir."
As the words floated and the music took them away, there was no Mars War, no enemies, no difference between them, they were just a man and women that had found something very special. She lay her head on his chest and could feel him breathing. (The sweet music continued)
Could you be the one for me?
Could we dance the night away?
I want to give you everything
Though I don't have much
Could you fall in love with me?
Could love me the rest of my life
Could you forever be the one for me this time?
Charley hadn't felt like this in what seemed like a lifetime. Was it the place, the music, it didn't matter she was happy, securely wrapped in his arms.
I walk around in a daze
The ice is melting from my heart
How can I ever know if you feel the same?
Are you the sunshine that's begging me to come in from the rain?
Or have you come into my life to turn and take your love away
He held her in his arms and as he rested his head on the soft mound of chestnut hair he thought, " How can he ever let her go?"
As the music and the words settled in their minds they looked at each other and realized that they'd started down a very unsure road.
When I look into your eyes
They tell me that you're mine
But I keep asking myself
Could you be the one for me?
Could we dance the night away?
I want to give you everything though I don't have much
Could you fall in love with me?
Could love me the rest of my life
Could you forever be the one for me this time?
Could you forever be the one for me this time?
The song slowly ended and left that haunting questions in both their
"You're a pretty good dancer for a Martian" Charley said trying
to lighten the moment.
Modo thought for a second then said, " I think we need to talk let's go somewhere a little more private. She agreed and they gathered their things and left.
The night was cool but the sky was almost as bright as day with the moon at it's fullest and the city lights adding their own touch of magic. Her mind was full of what they would say to each other, how did she feel about him?
They ended up back at the garage. " Is it okay we talk here," Modo said unsure if this was a wise choice. Charley smiled and assured him it would be fine. She hopped off the back of his bike and told him to come in and she would get them some coffee or hot chocolate.
She knew that neither wanted anything but she needed to stall for time. Was she ready for any of this, " Charlene what have you gotten yourself into?" she scolded herself.
Modo got himself comfortable on the couch and waited for Charley to come into the room.
Soon she was back with two large mugs in each hand giving one to him she sat down a little distance from him on the cough. Her eyes focus on her cup she tried to keep from looking at him but he hadn't stop watching her.
"So how do we start this?" she said as her voice shook uncontrollable.
Modo seeing how nervous she was put his cup down took her face in his hands and he kissed her. As Charley let her cup fall to the floor she let her self completely enjoy the warmth of the moment.
"You don't kiss too bad for a Martian either," she said once she was able to get her breath.
Modo smiled and jokingly said, "My gray furred momma always said know how to treat a lady"
"I see why you always listen to your momma," she purred.
He held her for a moment then looked at her face as he slowly caressed her cheek. He tells her, "Charley I haven't allowed myself to feel like this about any female mouse or human, not since the war took almost everyone I've loved. That kind of hurt kills parts of you. But you have brought that part of me back to life and to be honest it scares me. Charley moves away from his embrace. "You don't think I am scared. I really care for you and I don't if you going to be a human, a mouse or what. And if you can go back to the way you were what is that going to mean for us. What kind of future can we have, if any?
All of a sudden harsh reality hit them both. As Charley stood up Modo realize how impossible it all was he said, " Well, I guess I'd better go. Thanks Charley girl it was the best night I've had in a long time.
Charley was a hair's breath from tears she whispered; " I will never forget it Big Fella."
As she walked him to the door she stopped for a second in her mind she said, "Don't be a fool girl." With that she wrapped her arm around him and kissed him like she's never kissed any man in her life.
He returns it like this was the last night of his life. Yes, it might impossible, they may have no future at all, but for this blink in time they were going to be in love.
The next morning:
Charley had wakened early but she lay in bed thinking about what had
happen the night before.
They had practically sat up the rest of the evening just holding each other and talking.
How far their relationship could go was still unsure but they had decided to take it moment by moment.
She finally got herself up, showered, and dressed. She grab a little breakfast and was ready when Modo came to take her to the score board that morning.
Since things around Mars were clearer they were going to try a visual communication and she wanted to be there as moral support not only for Modo but Vinnie and Throttle as well.
Tensions were high as a clear atmosphere around Mars made the vid-com
fully functional. The connection time seemed to take longer than usual.
Stoker was able to get through and see the guys for the first time, but being Stoker even if he had a reaction they couldn't see it in his face.
"So I see that being human hasn't improved your looks any especially the punk there." Vinnie had never heard sweeter words, things were the same, and He was able to joke back at him. "Hey Old Man, the Van Wham charm is there no matter how it's packaged."
Rimfire stood up to the screen and saw his uncle, he was a little take back but this was still the person that cared about him better than a father would have. Lovingly he said,
"Hey Uncle Modo, hang in there and no matter what I am there for ya." Modo had never loved his nephew more than at that moment and not ashamed of the tear
that rolled down his face simply said, "You always have been Rimfire."
As Carbine looked at Throttle she asked that they be given some privacy and all complied.
Once they were alone she said staring at him, " Throttle I know the noble thing would be to say that it doesn't matter that I will stick by you, but you know I am not about being a hypocrite. It does matter if you have to stay like that. I really don't know if I could handle it. We have a lot of time invested in each other and I won't say I have stop loving you its not that easy. I need time to sort everything out to see what happens.
The silence was deafening.
Throttle stood watching the screen then he broke the horrible silence, "So what do you want from me Carbine? I need you now, for just this one time try and think about me.
It shouldn't matter, if you love me. If you are not here for me now you never will be and maybe you never have been. His voice was filled with hurt and anger.
"You could be right, maybe I never have." she said in a voice as cold as his soul felt.
She looked at him for another second and walked away. Maybe his life had been filled with so much pain that he was immune to any one hurting him. Or maybe this hit his heart so badly that if he had allowed it to really sink in it would have destroyed him. At any rate he didn't react.
Stoker came back to the screen and said, "Carbine won't be coming with us, you okay kid?
Throttled look up and in a monotone he said, "I don't know Stok, but we'll be waiting for you at the touch down spot in a couple of days. I'll get your ETA later.
Knowing that Throttle was a survivor Stoker said nothing else and ended the transmission.
As his bros came back into the room they could guess by the look on Throttle's face what had happen. Vinnie always having the wrong thing to say at the wrong time made the mistake in saying, "Hey bro. Don't sweat it she wasn't all that anyway."
With that Throttle spun around and at that moment he could have taken every bit of his hurt out on Vinnie, but instead he grabbed his jacket, and left. They could hear the sound of his bike tearing off down the street.
"You know Vinnie it amazes me how you have lived so long with that mouth of yours," Charley sighed.
Somewhere outside of the city:
Throttle rode for what seemed like hours, day was turning to night and
he was too tired to go any further. Finally stopping not far from the river
he left his bike and walked over and sat down on the shoreline.
The water looked very peaceful, dark and serene. It seemed to contain the peace that he couldn't find. As he watched his thoughts turned as dark as the river. He put his head down on his crossed arms trying to clean them from his mind.
Then out of the shadows a quiet female voice broke his concentration, " I've been there." She said stepping out of the shadows and approached him not showing the smallest amount of fear. To be alone and start a conversation with a total stranger this young woman was definitely out of the ordinary.
She stood tall at least 6 ft and her full figured was complement by a black bomber jacket, turtleneck sweater and jeans.
As she came still closer he could easily see her long auburn hair and piercing brown eyes. She had a beautiful face especially her rich full lips and dark complexion.
He looked to see if she were speaking to him. No one else was around, he answered her statement, "Where do you think I am?"
She smiled stopping fairly close to him. " Oh deciding whether it's worth another day. Is the thing that brought you to this point, really worth throwing your life away?" She said and it caught him totally off guard.
"What makes you think" he was cut him off. "Like I said I've been there I know the look so don't be embarrassed." She said reassuringly.
Throttle was not only embarrassed but also disappointed in himself that he would allow anything to bring him to the point where he'd forgotten just how precious life was.
He was quiet for a second then she feeling his uneasiness said, "The name is Ai Esha and you would be?"
He finally smiled a little, " Just call me Throttle."
"Well, Throttle do you mind if I share your spot and enjoy this wonderful sunset?"
"No please join me." He said glad to not be sitting there alone any longer.
As she sat down AiEsha studied him as he continued to gaze at the river. She said, " It's my favorite place to come and think things out. You can hardly hear the city noises, in fact it is actually beautiful in it's own way."
Throttle looked at the human female and thought, if there are still people like her who would care whether a stranger lives or dies things couldn't be as hopeless as he had thought.
They sat for awhile not really talking but enjoying each other's company. Then Throttle took a chance and in a full smile said, " It might be beautiful to look at but it is getting cool out here. Can I offer to get the lady a warm drink?"
AiEsha was deciding if this very attractive young man were the serial killer type and if she would have to end up putting him in the hospital, but even though he wore sunglasses after sundown she accepted his invitation. He was just too fine to turn down.
She said in her sweetest voice, "The lady would like that very much."
"We'll have to ride my bike if you don't mind." He said hoping she wouldn't change her mind.
"To be honest I do mind that's why I think I will ride my own." With that she disappeared into the shadows then reappeared riding a big black Honda Valkyrie with the name Beauty painted on the side.
"Beauty, it fits." He said feeling more like himself again.
"Yea, she is something to see," Ai Esha said as she put her helmet on, flipped the visor down and was ready to go.
"I `m not just talking about the bike," he said as he did the same, knowing that if nothing else he'd found a kindred spirit, things were definitely looking up.