The bloodcurdling howl split the air, and a moment later, a bright red motorcycle, Rocketsled-class, went speeding straight at a brick wall. At the last moment, it's driver popped a wheelie, fired the rockets, and went zooming straight up the wall. At the top of the wall, the driver jerked back on the handlebars and flipped him and his bike through the air, landed on his back tire, spun around three times, and sped off down the street to where his two friends were waiting.
Vinnie grinned smugly at the other two Biker Mice. "HAH! Catch that action, bros? I'll be happy to explain anything if I was goin' too fast for ya. After all, I DO sometimes get ahead of my"
"Mmm-mmm-mmm," Throttle muttered, grinning as he interrupted. "Would you look at that? A hood ornament with a motor-mouth. What WON'T they think of next?"
"Ha, ha, ha," Vinnie sneered, razzing his bro. "It's clear, bro, that you're jealous of my disgustingly studly moves, as usual."
"I'll agree with HALF of that last sentence."
Vinnie snorted and glared at him, then turned to Modo to drag him into the argument. But one look of the large, gray mouse's quiet, sadly thoughtful demeanor changed that idea. "Hey, Big Fella, whazzup?"
Modo glanced up to see his two best friends staring at him curiously and a trifle worriedly. "Nah. I guess I'm just a little touchy today. I'll you both later." Modo revved up Lil' Darlin', and rode off to clear his head.
"I'm really worried about the big guy," said Throttle. "He seems really strange right now."
Vinnie tried to joke it off. "Don't worry, he's just low. He'll come round. He usually does." But Throttle didn't look convinced. Probably because earlier in the day, Modo had chewed Vinnie out for using the word `Plutarkian' in one of his taunts to Throttle. "I've got an idea," said Vinnie. "Let's get back to the scoreboard."
* * *
Later that night, everything was set.
"I think that's Modo," Throttle whispered.
"Surprise!" shouted Vinnie and Throttle as Modo walked through the door. Vinnie switched on the lights and led Modo to a mountain of hot-dogs.
"And that ain't all, bro," Throttle said excitedly. Vinnie checked the clock on the wall, then turned on the radio. Sweet Georgie Brown's jazzed up, hyperactive voice came tumbling out. "I've got a special request for Modo. Hope you're listenin' out there, Bro!! The message is from your Bros!! They want you to know that you're the best bud a biker Mouse could have! That's nice. So here's your favorite track, Modo, comin' atcha from WBKR, just for you."
"Say, guys, that was really cool. Sweet Georgie Brown. Hey, righteous, man! That's about the best thing that's happened to me all year!" Modo tried to joke with his bros, but it was no good. All their efforts hadn't changed a thing. He was still homesick for Mars, and he was getting worse.
"Is there anything we can do, bro?" asked Throttle, putting down a hot-dog. For some reason, his appetite had vanished.
"Nah, bros, you've done enough. I just wanna go home. That's all. I miss Mars." Modo looked even sadder.
"We all do, Modo, you know that," Throttle said. "But as long as those Plu . . . as long as those creeps are here, we got a job to do."
"Yeah," added Vinnie. "We can't leave Earth undefended against Limburger and his goons. We're the only ones who know what they really are!"
"Yeah, maybe," Modo muttered, and began eating again. Later that night, however, after his bros had gone to bed, Modo found himself staring at the table again, which was littered with old photographs and Martian memorabilia. He sighed as he sifted through the photos. One was of him and his bros standing front and center with a squad of Freedom Fighter's, posing for a group picture. And the other one . . . the other one was of Anarrev.
Modo sighed and looked out one of the scoreboard windows into the night sky. <<Anarrev, darlin',>> he thought. <<Lordy, but I miss you, wife. I wonder how you're doing a lot. I hope you're okay, and that we can be together again soon.>> His thoughts were consumed for a while longer of a beautiful Martian mouse with fur the color of pure cream and hair as golden as a sunrise, her eyes just as blue as a midsummer day on Earth.
Finally, he sighed and went to bed where he slept fitfully all night.
Lawrence Limburger was less than pleased.
Through the cameras in various parts of his building, he watched as the tall, gray-furred gibbon walked calmly into his building and made his way up to his penthouse office.
Sighing, Limburger sat back in his chair and waited patiently. He knew that the Martian mouse was alone which surprised him to no end and that his goons would arrive within two seconds if the mouse became destructive.
A moment later, there was a knock and a petite Earth woman opened the door and stepped inside. Ms. Coalpit nodded her head in greeting, then annoucned, "Someone to see you, sir."
Limburger nodded silently and she stepped back and motioned into the room. "He'll see you now." The figure thanked her, and entered.
Slowly, the Plutarkian crimelord raised his eyes, and locked gazes with an enemy mouse.
* * *
Back at the garage, Vinnie and Throttle were telling Charley all about Modo.
"That's terrible. He's such a sweet guy," Charley said sympathetically.
"You mean, sweeter than ME, babe?" asked Vinnie as he cuddled up to Charley with a lecherous grin.
"Don't push it, Vinnie," replied Charley.
"Stop foolin' around, guys," Throttle snapped. "What can we do to help Modo?"
They all thought for a long moment, and then Charley brightened, smiling. "A party. We've gotta give `im a huge party!"
"Good idea," Throttle said. "A party it is!"
* * *
"Well, well. What an honor. How nice to see you, Modo. And you're alone as well. Double the pleasure, then. We can have a cozy chat. DO be a good chap and sit down," Limburger said, offering his "guest" a chair.
"Limburger, I've come with a deal for ya," Modo said, standing opposite the Plutarkian, staring hard into his eyes.
"Go on, I'm listening," Limburger purred slyly.
"Ya gotta know, stink skin, that you're never gonna defeat the Biker Mice. We'll always be here to spoil every last plan you have to destroy Earth. So how about you stop all this dilly-dallyin' and go on home to Plutark? If you leave this planet, we'll leave you alone!"
"Just like that?" asked Limburger scornfully.
"Just like that," Modo repeated.
Limburger paused for a moment and then stood up. "It might surprise you to know that I, too, am tired of this . . . ratrace. I miss Plutark very much, you know. It is, after all, a superior planet."
Modo's flat stare told the alien fish what he thought of that idea. Clearing his throat, Limburger continued hastily.
"Yes, in fact for some time now I have been preparing to go back home. Come with me. Let me show you something."
Limburger led him to a window on another side of the building and pointed outside. There, attached to the side of the building, was a spaceship. "You see, my dear, muscular mouse, what I say is true. Look inside, dear boy. It has everything you . . . I mean, I could ever need for a one-way journey to the home planet."
Modo hesitated, but then he stepped inside cautiously. "Just a look can't hurt," he muttered under his breath.
BAM! Before Modo could turn around, Limburger slammed the door tightly shut behind him, sealing him into the one-way spacecraft.
"My dear moronic mouse," Limburger chortled, "you are so delightfully trusting. Greasepit? Where are you?" Greasepit came bounding into the room. "I want you to go find the other two renegade rodents and tell them that Modo needs to see them. Got that?"
"Duhhhhh, yah, Boss," replied Greasepit with a malicious, yet idiotic, grin.
* * *
Greasepit managed to track Vinnie and Throttle down at the Last Chance Garage.
Preparations were already underway for Modo's party when he arrived and announced in a serious demeanor, "You gotta come with me. Modo's in trouble."
"What kinda trouble, sleazeball?" Vinnie queried.
"Just come and see," the oily oaf replied.
* * *
"OK, Limburger, what's this all about?"
Throttle and Vinnie had raced to the Tower and now confronted the devious Plutarkian. Throttle, by now, sensed that, as usual around Limburger, something fishy was going on.
"Guys, over here," called Modo. As soon as the two Mice's attention was distracted, Greasepit threw himself at them, forcing them into the spaceship with their friend.
Vinnie reached for his blaster. "Oh, MAN! I've left it at the garage! Man, I just don't believe it!"
"Oh, yeah? Well believe this, too Charley's got my gun, too . . . She's repairing it. So it looks like we're stuck here," Throttle said as he sat down next to Modo.
"Bros, I'm sorry," Modo moaned apologetically. "Now we're all in trouble . . ."
"And soon you will all be in space forever!" laughed Limburger cruelly. "Plenty of time for you to reminisce about Mars, you gray-furred gibbon!" He turned to the degenerate doctor. "Karbunkle, would you do me the honor of sending our friends on the rewarding trip of a lifetime?"
Karbunkle grinned at him maliciously from a large control desk. "My pleasure, Your Cheeze Whizziness!" He pulled hard on a lever marked `Rocket Boosters'.
"I think this is it," Throttle murmured, finding it hard to believe the situation they were in. "There's no escape. We're gonna be catapulted into space forever . . ."
As the sick human man pulled hard on the lever, Vinnie and Throttle searched the ship for controls. "Nothing! The ship can only be stopped from Limburger Tower!" yelled Vinnie. "And we can't in there!"
Then Throttle realized something. "We're not moving," he said wonderingly.
* * *
"What's wrong, you fool?" snapped Limburger. He was anxious to see his nefarious enemies gone.
"I don't know," grunted Karbunkle, pulling hard on the lever until he was breathless.
"Get out of the way, you degenerate dunderhead, let me try!" demanded Limburger. He threw Karbunkle aside and started to pull frantically at the levers on the control panel.
Inside the spaceship, Modo was getting more and more angry as he realized the danger he had put his best friends in. Slowly, his eye began to glow red with rage. All the memories of what the Plutarkians had done to Mars and were doing now flooded his mind.
"Success!" cried Limburger as the rocket boosters finally ignited.
The ship began to vibrate as the energy from the boosters surged through it. Then slowly it began to rise until it was ready to launch into the sky.
Suddenly, Modo charged at the glass roof and punched a hole through the corner of it, just big enough for him to reach out and grab the side of Limburger Tower. The boosters' power increased and Modo gripped tighter. "I can't hang on much longer. It's too strong," Modo gasped.
"It's so touching to see our dear, diligent doormice fighting right up to the end. Don't you agree, Doctor?" sneered Limburger.
"Yes, Your Ripeness, so very touching. Shall I increase the power again, Your Cheesiness?" Karbunkle wheezed, pointing to the last lever on the control panel.
"Hold it right there, turnip top!" cried a familiar female voice. Limburger turned around, and there was Charley pointing Vinnie's and Throttle's guns straight at them.
"Ignore her," said Limburger. "She doesn't know how to use their guns. Increase the power?"
"Oh, yeah? Try THIS on for size, fatboy!" Charley snarled, filling the room with noise and bright light as she fired into the ceiling. "Move over there and put your hands in the air," she shouted at Limburger and his lackeys. The crimelord ignored her, and she stared fiercely at him.
"All right! All right!" he shouted, moving out of her way. "But as you can see, my dear mechanic, you are much too late to save your friends now," he added with a menacing grin.
Charley caught sight of the spaceship and called out, "GUYS! What can I do?"
Throttle pointed at the control panel and shouted, "You've got to pull back that lever!"
"I can't hear you!" she cried, searching the hundreds of controls on the panel in front of her.
Modo cried out in pain as one by one his steel fingers began to lose their grip on the Tower.
Charley muttered to herself out loud as she tried to figure out the controls. The evildoers laughed at her attempts to stop the launch. Then she noticed Fred the Mutant cowering under the desk. "Fred, come out here!"
The little mutant leaped out. "I bet you know which lever to pull, don't you, Fred?" Charley asked as softly as she could. Fred thought for a moment.
"No, Fred! No!" Limburger shouted.
"Hurry, Charley," cried Vinnie. Charley watched in horror as Modo's grip loosened further.
"I can't hold it," cried Modo as the flames from the boosters at the foot of the spaceship roared away.
"Fred!" shouted Charley. Suddenly, Fred jumped onto a lever at the end of the control panel. Charley pulled down hard just as Modo lost his grip.
Instantly, the ship's booster went out and the ship came to a halt. Charley found the right button on the control panel and opened the spaceship's doors. Throttle and Vinnie helped and exhausted Modo back into Limburger Tower.
Limburger was furious. "Fred! You useless mutant!" he screamed.
"Are you okay, guys?" Charley asked as she rushed over to them.
"Yeah," grinned Vinnie. "Thanks to you!"
Charley actually blushed a little and said mockingly, "What? No wise crack?"
"No wise crack. You're one `state of the art' hero!"
Modo regained his strength and stalked over to Limburger. He put his face up to the alien fish's and snarled, "Guess once you're a stinking Plutarkian, you'll always be that way, huh?!" Pulling back, he poked his finger into Limburger's nose and shouted, "Well, don't worry, fish-breath! Me and my Bros will always be here to clean up YOUR act!" And with that, the good guys left the Tower as Limburger glared coldly after them.
Outside, they made their way to their bikes. "Guys," said Modo quietly, "I don't know what to say. I put you all in danger. I . . ."
"Hey," interrupted Throttle, "danger is our business! No sweat!"
"You riding with me, sweet sister?" Vinnie asked, looking at Charley.
"Yeah, why not?" Charley grinned back, jumping onto his bike behind him and putting on her helmet.
The Biker Mice all pulled out two grenades each and grinned upward, knowing Limburger would be watching in horror, and ignited them.
"Ready, guys?" called Throttle.
"Ready!" replied Vinnie and Modo.
"Ready!" replied Charley.
Grinning, the Biker Mice tossed their grenades at the Tower base, then fired their jets and raced off down the street as they all shouted, "Then, let's Rock n' Ride!!!"
They laughed as they heard the muffled roar of the explosion, and one long, angry wail from a rather upset fish.