Disclaimer. I don't own BMFM; this story is just for fun. The characters
are trademarks. The twins and co. are mine
The blond girl watched the wind blowing through city. "And I thought that NY was windy.
Her sister nodded silently. She was leaning at the hotel room bed cushions.
"I am glad the twins brought us. I missed them. They had been disappeared for how long? A year?"
"Almost two." Lia answered gravely without looking back.
"I wonder where they have been. Two years without contacting us, that's not usual. Where they would be were not for us to get them out of their problems?" she smiled lightly.
"You are kind of soturn today, sis. What's wrong?"
"Lia, did the guys told you where they had been those two years?"
"Not really, sis, I know as much as you do."
Kelly raised her eyes suspiciously. Her sister had changed a lot during the last four years. She was 18 now, Kelly and the twins around 22.
"We should have gone with them. This is a special date for all of us. Not only it would be a good chance of being together after two years without news, but this project is ours also."
"We know that, sis. But you know we are not business sharks as the twins are. When the time to sign contract comes we will be there. Let the guys draw the line, let the fish get the bait. At right time we just have to pull it with the guys. And we got a Big fish this time.
` Yea'' Kelly checked a laptop opened over the bed. Lawrence Limburger, one of Biggest fish of Chicago money."
"And he's involved in some not so legal activities.
The girls looked at the laptop.
"What do you mean. HAL?"
"I'm checking more info on Limburger itself. Right now I'm connected to his office personal computer." The girls didn't found strange the lap top be talking to them. HAL was a very sophisticated AI computer program created by the twins. He had communication abilities, was able to enter in any computer system by radio signal or Internet. HAL received this name in homenage to first interactive computer in movies, from 2001, a Space Odyssey. He could talk to girls through their wristwatches, the laptop or anything the twins had inserted the program inside.
"What's wrong with Limburger?"
"Some of his activities are not into the FBI ad CIA Computers."
" You entered their systems? Kelly was shocked. "HAL if they track you down..."
"They won't. Their detection systems are to primitive for me. Besides, I am not altering anything, just checking the Limburger Info they have."
"So what info you have they don't?"
"First of all, the Limburger precedence. It is not clear if he is American or an radicated stranger."
""Come on HAL. The Immigration and IRS are the first thing they use to check on anyone."
" That's it. There is no Immigration record of LL or his family whatsoever."
"He is American, then."
"That's strange. He does have a registry of being born in Chicago, 1950. But there is no medical record of him. He NEVER had been on a hospital."
"Maybe he's immortal." Lia chuckled. "I saw that in a episode of Highlander. He was an Scott guy, who never had a medical report, not even a headache."
Kelly was interested. Seemed something could come from here. The girls were so involved with what HAL was saying they didn't hear door open.
"With this health system they have here in America, I'm surprised that this guy never had an accident report as a kid, even a school fight." She looked the pic of Limburger. Look at size of this guy. He never had been on football team?"
"You have been watching too much teens movies, Kelly." Andre chuckled on her back."
"Hey. When did you came back?" The girls jumped on the twins.
" A few minutes ago. What made you so interested in Limburger? OR you miss cheese for your friends, Lia?" If that so, I can take you to a nice cheese shop near here."
"Later." Kelly raised her hands to stop the diverting subject. "Your kid here is tampering into the USA Secret services, guys. We gonna get in trouble for that."
" Only if we get caught. HAL What are you doing?"
" Nothing morally wrong, Sir. We just checking on Limburger files. For your interest only. I not tampering their security system or altering anything. I better unplug now. Their detection system are slow compared to mine, but If I keep there long enough, they will eventually know someone accessed their files."
"Disconnect them. And tell us what you found."
"Better say what I NOT found sir. I didn't find any medical register of LL. How can that be? There is a register of he being born in Chicago, Ill. In 1950. But there is no register of his parents name or where they are."
"Limburger says he's orphan, he didn't know his parents."
HAL beeped as in search mode. "No orphanage register of any kid in LL name."
"That's strange. Pedro rubbed his chin. A person so in spotlight as Limburger... I mean he is one of biggest fortunes of Chicago, if not the biggest. It's strange no one checked his background. Especially I suspect he is an foreigner."
" What you mean he's a foreigner Pedro?" Kelly looked up to her friend.
"There is something weird about the way he speak English like it wasn't his native tongue."
"And you think the Americans would not identify someone with an accent?"
Pedro was pensive. "It is nothing concrete, Kelly. He does talk the Chicago accent very well, still... Something is bugging me... he seems to fight with words; you know... his breathing get short... physical hints of an inner effort. Yea. It's not exactly the words, but the way his body reacts when he speaks."
HAL interrupted. "Now you mentioned he is foreigner, I couldn't hack some of info of his office, They are in alien characters."
"What you mean alien? You saying he is Martian?" Andre chuckled.
Pedro gave him a hard look.
HAL denied. "What I meant sir, is I didn't recognize the characters he's using. The alien word is also used in English language to identify something doesn't belong to a local costume, language, way of life. According to the Roget's Thesaurus Alien means
n. Odd person
The humans sighed at the lecture tone of the computer. "All right HAL, All right. We understood. No need show all list of what Alien means."
"The movies have popularized Alien as being coming from another planet," the computer went on. "And the other usual meanings to words were forgotten."
"All right." Pedro sighed. "Limburger is an Alien, or foreigner, to avoid more word mess ups. But if so, where he is from? And why the Immigration have no file of him or his parents?"
"He alleged he don't know his parents." Andre reminded.
"That means he either came very young to America or he was adopted by someone with an strange accent. HAL can you reproduce the characters of his computer? Maybe we can find out where he is from."
The kids were now excited with a mystery in hands.
"Irk. This doesn't seem any language I ever seem." Kelly pondered. Her grandmother had been Egyptian, so Kelly inherited from her the exotic features as feline almond shaped green eyes, raven black and silky hair and a interest for hieroglyphs and different and strange writings."
Lia nodded. Doesn't seem Russian, Chinese, and Arabian or that characters the Finland peoples use...
Pedro looked better "It look likes those computer font types, like Wing Ding, you know, those that letter are graphics. Like that" He typed " Like that." "
"You thing it is codified?"
Andre considered it. "Is it codified HAL?"
HAL beeped. "Doesn't seem so. The computer had to have a decodifier inside his programs. I could not be able to identify the code keys words right now, but it HAD to have some decodifying program. It doesn't. Wait, I got something more.
" URGENT, ALL BASES BE PREPARED
FOR THE GREAT HARLEY THAT BRINGS
PRESENT TO ALL MARTIAN CHILDREN.
STA, AS COMBINED. 7DR ."
"This must be a joke Guys."
Andre nodded serious; "This must be coded. Pedro and I will have to have some time to break it."
Kelly... oh... its not just change the computer font?
Andre tapped his wristwatch anxiously. "Maybe. But we can do this later. I'm hungry and we should be celebrating."
"It will just take a second." Kelly tried to change the font over the symbols but didn't` work the words didn't made sense.
"See? I don't think they would use a code that any kindergarten kid of nowadays could read.
Lia grabbed Andre arm. "You are right. Let's go to eat. I'm starving."
Kelly disconnected the laptop from wall. HAL had defenses for most known and some yet unknown hackers way of invading. But is never too much to be cautious. A brilliant hacker is always waiting a chance to break a real difficult access computer and HAL would be any hackers' dream.
Pedro got something from his executive suit. "First, I want give you the very first one bottles of Freya.
It was German Goddess of Immortality. She raised the golden pommels that gave the gods its Imortality. Odin Wife"
Why this name?
"It reminds of Goddess, Beauty, Passion, Everything worth fighting for"
"Sounds great. But aren't you Vulgarizing something beauty? Aren't u just making it a Product?"
" Absolutely. This will become a classical like Channel #5."
"Aren't u dreaming a bit to high?"
"No. I Know what I have in hands. Here. Try it. he handed them two boxes that contained perfume . It was in form of a very delicate flower.
" It's beautiful. Who made design?"
" Someone you don't know, Kelly."
"You are kind of mysterious, Who is your mysterious artist?"
"He doesn't want to be known for reasons of his own."
Ök, Ok." Kelly conceded. The girls opened the lid. ÜM. You are right, The girls will be mad with this."
"We hope the guys too. This is the masculine version."
The girls tried it too. "OW."
"Too Strong?" the twins asked worried.
" Strong? Depend what you call strong. The scent is OK, But..."the girls were fanning themselves. "We can hardly wait see a guy wearing this. O MY!""
The twins smiled. "Let's celebrate, We are going to sign contract next week."
Three bikers were rolling lazily the roads of Chicago. They preferred the open high speed roads, but today it was such beautiful day, they didn't mind being in city for while. Besides, those three had seen so much devastation in their lives it felt good to see a city standing, even if some roads and periphery of it was like a war zone due the strongest law that ruled there and its non conserved roads.
Suddenly the biker that was in the lead stopped short. The other two halted, surprised with this unexpected behavior.
"What's wrong bro?"
The former lifter air as sniffing. "Aren't you scenting it bros?"
They looked each other and frowned. "Limburger?" They were puzzled for they could not detect anything abnormal in air, and the three of them had highly sensitive noses.
The other two growled. "That ^(%#(( USED TO BEAT YOU BACK IN SCHOOL?"
Vinny noticed. Although now he had a superb body, it had not always been like that. He was born chubby and remained that until he reached 12. From them on he got "suckled" as his good -humored dad used to say before he had been killed. Vincent had been like a balloon that had once been lightly inflated and then lost all air. From 12 to 17 he had been a toothstick. And torment by Lars and his gang in both ways, either when chubby or when thinny.
Modo had met Vinny when Lars and his gang were on his favorite sport, beating him up. Or the other way around, Modo never could be sure. Because when he arrived at scene of fight, Vinny was, as he would usually be later, beaten up and in urgent need of medical care. He also had that wild look in his eyes during a fight, like he was having the time of his life. He usually took some of Lars guys with him. But because he always had been physically in disadvantage the results were usually the worst for him. The first time Modo saw he being beaten like that and tried save the little white mouse, Vinny complained he had spoiled his fun.
Modo had looked at the tinny pup as he was insane. In a way he was, but won the big guy respect. From that day on the two were seen together.
Lars and his gorillas when saw the size of the bodyguard that Vinny had won, left him for while. Modo was known for his size and also by his muscles. He didn't like to be in fights, and the ones that had been stupid enough to press him to wall to fight soon learned, the hard way, the difference between a COWARD and ONE DIDN'T ENJOY FIGHTING. Modo always had been like a bull. Patient,,, very hard to loose his temper, but once it was gone, even adults had trouble to hold him back.
Lars and his gang soon discovered the weak point on the duo. Vinny was too fast to act, and too slow to think the consequences, Modo on the other side was to slow, and too open hearted, easy to be leaded to trouble.
Lars and co. soon started to get the two friends in troubles, through sneaky schemes. Vinny had got in so many fights with them that he had been menaced to be expelled from school. Throttle arrival had put a balance in this situation. He had moved into the city at the 5th grade. His quiet attitude, his glasses and the fact he was an outsider made him to be an outcast by Lars. And that meant most of school. Few dared to face the bully. Modo decided to talk to newcomer, he understood how the new kid must been feeling, with no friends in strange city. Vinny at first, unconsciously, agreed with Lars that Throttle was probably a nerd, one of those guys whose idea of fun was get his nose stuck into books, spend weekend nights at library and burping his knowledge to anyone who wanted and who didn't want to hear it. But as he would never admit to himself he agree with his school nightmare about anything, he decided to side Throttle more in defiance to Lars, than he really thought he had something to do with this new kid.
Indeed, the first month, Throttle acted exactly as Vinny expected, but that was because he was at a new city, at a new school and due problems of his own, (that his friends found out later), he had been delayed in his education, so he had a lot to keep up. As soon his grades stabilized, he showed his new friends he was just normal kid, he liked to have fun like everyone else.
He was quick to grab things, he soon made valious contribution to the two friends team. He foresaw the traps put by Lars and forewarned his new friends.
Soon the trio became known through school and later through Mars to not be messed with, unless you had a suicidal desire to go to hospital. And stay there for LONG time.
"Lars? Here? You sure bro?"
Vinny nodded. He hadn't forgotten this scent that had haunted him for years. He knew Lars had only stopped to mess with him because as time passed, Modo size grew tenfold, and Throttle, although a few years older than him, already had a body to impose respect. Vinny knew if Lars could have beaten him without having his friends on his bones, he would have done so very gladly. That did no good to his ego, he wanted to be respected by himself, not because he had bodyguards.
His bros lifted nose. "It's Lars and his goons all right. What are they doing on Earth?"
"Whatever he is doing, it's payback time." Vin heated his knuckles.
"Hold on, bro. We are not in Mars anymore. We are strangers in this world. Maybe they had changed... after all that Mars had been through.... Let's try talk amiably."
"Amiably? LARS ? You must be kidding bro."
" I said let's TRY talk amiably. If he insist in his childish attitude..."
Modo nodded. "Throttle is right, war does make miracles."
Vinny scowled "I hope they didn't. I they own me a good beating."
They entered a supermarket, where the scent was coming from. The three of them went separated rows, trying to locate their old aquaintance.
Modo scented it to his left. He turned head and saw a young housewife going to her car, parked near the entrance of market. He whistled to call his bros and followed her. When they reached the entrance both Modo and the women were gone.
They met him later. He shook his head. "Sorry bros. Ah followed a lady that had Lars scent on her, she got into car, Ah followed. Red light on my nose. I had to stop and lost track of her."
"That makes no sense. A human woman scenting like a Martian mouse? Only if he and her had been hugging each other to scent last for so long."
"Ah doubt Lars would cuddle with an Earth woman. It's just not like him."
"Do you think she is keeping him?"
"I doubt it. She seemed the kind would rather run from mouse than keep one".
It was a dead end for now, the mice rode back to Charley garage in a somber mood. When they arrived the garage door was closed. She had left a note for them. She said she probably was in the shower when they arrived, so please get the side door. PLEASE. But what annoyed them was another familiar scent. Musli, Vinny childhood neighbor.
They looked each other in shock.
"Do you scent that too?" They asked each other in same time.
They nodded. The scent was stronger inside house; it came from upstairs, from her room and shower. The meal was set for them.
They were at half of it when Charley came down. They dropped their hot dogs. She was...OW!
"Charley girl, is that you?"
"Why? A girl can't get dressed?"
"Yes..." They stuttered. Vinny let go a wolf whristle.
"Where are you going?"
"While you were out an old friend from high school called. I don't see him for long time, so we settled a date. Sorry, I tried to call you guys, but today it was an annoying one. Everything went wrong. When I closed for the day I was so tired and upset all I wanted was a bath and get dressed.
" What's wrong?" They cuddled around her. It felt so good having someone caring, after the hell day she had.
"A lot of little things. Nothing really serious, but annoying nevertheless. It was one of those days I should have stayed in bed. Guys you were the best thing that happened to me all day." She went to kiss each in cheek. They instinctively backed up a bit.
"What's wrong guys?" She was surprised then angry. "Just what I needed, my friends backing up from me. Perfect!" She said in bitter tone.
" Charley, I...I...."
She didn't let Throttle finish. She heard a honk. "My date is here. Please, lock the door when you leave. And USE the door, I already had enough today to worry about getting a new one." With that she left.
The mice had a gloomy week. Not only they had been assailed at night with nightmares or homesick dreams, but they also began to think they were beginning to get insane. They began to have olfative allucinations, and as time passed, these came with images. Once Vinny thought he scented an earlier school girl friend and could swear he saw her.
To get things worst, Charley denied she met any Musli and when Vinny inquired with whom she left last night she told him he was not her father, so please stop that right now. She also got pretty upset they were accusing her to be lying to them. It was clear in their faces they didn't buy her story. The scent was so strong and clear in her house for them to ignore it. To their mice noses, at least, she didn't notice anything different.
She was intrigued with her friend's attitude, when she got near them to hug or comfort them;they backed up as they had been highly offended. They regretted later, but her male scent was so strong to their sensitive noses they acted on instinct. Being hugged by a male deff was not cool thing to do in martian world, unless it was one bro and even then, in very particular situations.
The three of them were grooming on their lair when they heard a knock. Vinny rolled his eyes ready to kill intruder. He was shocked seeing who it was.
"Charley? I thought you didn't want see us for a while."
"She was holding a big package that Modo promptly helped her get free of it. "Are you Ok Charley-Ma'am?"
She had her eyes red. If the guys didn't know her better could have enjoyed it, after all their ppl had red eyes.
" No Modo. I'm not fine. I have been a bitch to my best friends, driving them away."
" Ah, Don't say that Charley girl, you will never be a b-word to us".
" I brought you a home made apple pie, I baked myself."
" You didn't have to do that." The guys were embarrassed. " But we will be glad to help get this load of your pretty hands." Throttle smiled.
" Thanks guys."
They improvised a table and used beds to sit around it. Charley sat between Modo and Vinny. " I noticed you guys have been gloomy lately. Something wrong?"
Mod shook head.
She gave them a hard look. " Stop that Macho Mice attitude. You guys are troubled. I can see that, and since I doesn't seem to be reason for it anymore, spit it up!"
She gave them a look they knew so well, they better say it or she would twist their tails till she got answer.
Throttle smiled awkwardly " We are just... home sick Charley-girl. We have been thinking of Mars a lot lately, people we knew and now are dead or missing, or Mars knows where they are."
She felt she touched a sensitive nerve.
" You have been on Earth for too long. When was last time you went to Mars? Maybe you should do a trip up there."
Vinny smiled. " And leave you here, sweetheart? Can you survive without my wonderful self?"
" I will manage." She swatted the hand he was trying put on her shoulder.
Throttle gave her a sad smile. " Vincent is right, sweetheart."
Vinny gave him a shocked look. " Am I?" Then he changed attitude. " OF Course I'M right."
" We must stay here on Earth because of Limburger, Charley, you know that."
She smirked. " I'm flattered. I thought I would be reason enough for you guys staying. Knowing you staying because a fat, reeking and rotten to heart fish.... that really does good to a girl ego."
The mice got bit worried but when saw she was joking they relaxed.
" No need to worry, sweetheart." Vinny leaned his head on her shoulder, " You worth a thousand more than that fat barrel. I know girls back in mars will be heart broken, but you won the accumulated prized lottery ticket, honey. All you have to do is say yes and this wonderful prize is all yours." Vinny made broad gesture to her body
Charley laughed. " I think I will pass. My poor home would feel unfit for such big and valious prize."
Vinny puffed with pride.
Modo smiled. " Vinny is right Charley, you know we stay... if you want too."
She shook her head. " I would never hold you guys here, as much I wish you would stay. I know you are missing home, and truly I would love if you decided to stay, I understand you heart is up there." She rubbed their soft furred cheeks gently. "But so far we don't need talk of sad things. Limburger is still on the loose, and while he is here, I have your company. It's only good thing that fish face has done to me, even unwantingly..."
" Speaking of wormeater we better check what he's doing."
Throttle and Vinny agreed. " He has been quiet for too long. Let's pay him a visit."
" I am coming with you." Charley went to get her helmet."
Limburger watched the crowd in at the tower' his ballroom. He was standing over a mezzanine. Everything was going right. His tower was still standing; those blasted mice could not accuse him of anything so far. He knew soon or later how the things would end, but so far, there was nothing the mice could accuse him of misdoing.
This ball was to celebrate his new victory. Those stupid twins wanted a Joint Venture with his enterprises. Those insignificant humans had no idea where they were getting themselves. They had been a help out of the sky. Not only this enterprise jointing would give a good deal of money he could convert to Plutark, it also helped him take care of a more serious problem that lord Camembert had brought to him earlier this month.
As usual Limburger had not had a solution right away for his lord demands until the jointing proposal arrived his desk. He could now win points to raise his rank enough to belong to Plutark Noble Houses. That would mean more power, prestige, and slaves... not to mention he would sweep his new title on that stupid Brie face.... All he needed was a little more time and little less interference of the mice. As for this last one, as the mice still had NO idea what he was up to, the lesser were the chance they ruined his plans.
He was enjoying his guests when his security chief alerted him through his earplug there was an imminent invasion coming through. He sighed; excused himself from the guest he was talking to and went to his office. He didn't want mice to blow his tower and was sure they wouldn't do it with hundreds of innocent citizens at ballroom.
He cursed his lack of luck. He was going sign the contract in few hours the next day. He didn't need his to be partners to know he was involved with bikers troublemakers. He HAD to keep those rodents out of his ball, at any costs.
He sent an order to his goons to NOT mess with the mice. NOT TONIGHT. He went to his desk and waited for the usual window crashing sound.
" So what is the reason of this unpleasant visit?"
" Cut it of. Limburger. We know you are up to something." Throttle voice was a snarl.
" Yes. And we came to leave you our visiting card." Modo blasted his desk. Limburger had jumped to safety, but still there was some overcooked meat smell.
" Great. You just fried my dinner. I trying reduce weigh you know; only raw food. Doctors orders. You mice made my insurance plan hit stars. I should send you the doctor's bill. Heart attack, stress..."
" So why don't you pack your stuff and go back to Plutark for permanent vacation?" Charley smiled.
" I not planning to retire so soon. Now if you dropped you visit card, please, retire yourselves, I have guests to attend. I am having a party down there; If you don't mind."
" A Party?" Vinny eyes popped.
" How indelicate of you not inviting old friends." Throttle smiled.
" But this can be fixed, cant it?" Modo asked with dangerous polite but low voice. " My grey furred old mama used to say it is always wise invite old friends over."
" I don't..." he was going to say he was not a bit interested what this mouse bitch mother had to say but a look at Modo glowering eye made him stops short.
"I'm afraid you don't have proper clothes for the ball."
" It is a costume party, I assume." Throttle eyed Limburger dressed as Caesar.
" yes... but..."
" We can go as mice. No one will notice."
Limburger was sweating cold. The mice on his party. O NO!NO NOO. By all Plutark GODS, NOT THAT.
" And where you going to get a costume?" He eyed Charlie.
"I Am with Costume." I just need some touch. She got down from Vinny bike and rubbed her hands on its tires. The bike purred pleased and intrigued. Charlie took her hand off. It was black with tire grease and dust. She began to tap her face arms and clothes.
" Charlie girl. What are you doing?" Throttle was shocked. Charlie usually took more care of her appearance,
She turned to Throttle. "Can I have your neck bandanna for a while?"
" Sure." He handed her puzzled. He put on her hand; she tied on her hair the triangle tips turned downward.
" THERE. A modern Cinderella. And her three mice."
" You are NOT planning bring the bikes inside the ball room? Are you?"
They looked each other. " S UUURE! What's a mechanic without a machine to fix?" Vinny grinned.
Charley shook her head. " No, Vinny. There are too many people inside the ball; the bike won't have place to move around. Besides" She tapped his shoulder in comfort, " The horses were waiting for Cinderella when she left the ball."
Limburger wished he really could turn those bikes into pumpkins.
The mice agreed, and left for the ballroom. " We are keeping an eye on you, Limburger."
" Now, shall we?" Modo pointed the door. Limburger sighed an, and led them to ball floor. The mice told bikes to wait outside the tower.
As the elevator gone down, someone that was hearing the talking, silently left his hiding place.
Disclaimer. I don't own BMFM; this story is just for fun. The characters are trademarks. The twins and co. are mine This is a several part story. I want to thank ZanyMars for her valious help with suggestions.
Who never had been flooded by memories brought back by a scent that haven't
been in contact for
some time?? For me popcorn and hot dogs scent for example brings me several good images of my
childhood. The rodents have highly developed scent sense
What happened when Limburger decides to make a joint venture business with a perfume factory?
How does it affect the mice? Why something sweet like a perfume can affect them more than in
The shadow came near the bikes and watched them closely. The bikes were
weary, the stranger
moved too silently, to stealthy to want something good. They rolled away from it. A voice spoke
softly to stranger... You better leave now, Mike. These bikes are not fooling around.
Mike shook the head. "I knew those two were hiding something from me. I just want have closer
"I don't advise."
The stranger came closer to bikes. A flashlight came from the gloved hand. The bikes rolled
back a bit more and flashed the headlight in warning.
"All right. I got message. Besides, I saw what I wanted. Let's go back to party."
The bikes calmed down when the stranger turned toward the lift.
" This party sucks Andre. How long we have to stay?"
" Why are you complaining?" He smiled. "You are the hit of the party. You didn't stop at dance
" You are one the reasons for the party, did you forget??"
" Aw, Kelly, we are not a hit yet. Once the contract is signed...."
" The contract is a mere formality, Andre, you know that. We are already a hit in the media and
the high society world. Everyone here wants to know who we are and what deal we have to seal
with Limburger. Not that your name isn't known around world. The youngest and more successful
richest bachelor twins in the world."
" HÁ! We don't use our real names and faces, Kelly. As our secretary you should know that we use
a fantasy name. Very few people know we are the true owners of the Gemini Corporation."
" But they already know we have a deal with Limburger. You have no idea how many "Friends" we
just got last week." She was bitter. " Everyone wanted be here in this party."
" Except us." The twins laughed out loud enough to not call attention. "What I would give to be
with you girls seeing the moon at the lake now. Or doing our favorite sport." He smiled and
looked up at the sky. The moon was ball of light. To her left, Mars, a tiny red spot. If you
didn't know where to look, it could be passed by another star. Venus to moon right."
Pedro looked where his brother was looking at. " Yes. I miss the open plains too. To see the
open sky, no civilized lights. I would rather be anyplace else." The twins exchanged a
Kelly leaned on the window. " Watching the stars?"
" How curious. The moon is between Venus and Mars. How romantic."
" Romantic?" Andre turned to her.
"Woman are from Venus, Man from Mars." The moon inbetwwen the romantic pair."
Andre snorted lightly.
" What's wrong in viewing a romantic disposition in the sky?"
" Actually this would be a terrible planet configuration."
They turned to the new comer. A guy dressed as some sort of sorcerer " Why is that mister?"
" In Astrology, Moon represents your feelings. Venus is connected to your feelings toward
family, friends. Mars is aggressive, conquerer. It wants victory at any costs. If you have Moon
in triangulation with Mars and Venus... means you don't know where you heart is. One can turn
one's aggressivness toward the ones he or she loves or softness toward a word doesn't want it.
Bad idea for business or love.
Kelly was dressed as black cat with Egyptian eyelines drawn around her green gems. She laughed.
" I don't know about business, sir, but as for love.... I just got another invitation to dance."
She eyed a Dracula that had just invited her.
The twins smiled as she went to dance.
" You really are being successful tonight, dear." Pedro hugged her when she came back.
" That's the perfume guys. Believe me. You found an aphrodisiac." She whispered to them. " What
hell you put on them?"
" It's your misterious look dear. With that black cat costume, those Cleopatra emerald green
almond shaped eyes, you drive any mortal crazy."
" Andre listen to me... there is something on this perfume. Today I went to get some drugstore
stuff. The clerk never looked to me twice. Today he tried to get my number."
" You are exotic Kelly. You have your grandma Egyptian traces. That attract western look."
" Twins please listen..."
But they had already their attention diverted to a guest that wanted to talk to them.
" Twins please I want to leave. I can't take anymore those guys after me all night."
" Just a bit more, Kelly. I have to agree with you, these high society parties are boring. The
music is so old Disney could have used for his dinosaur movie."
" Ah, not now, twins." Lia came toward them with a soda in each hand. " Check out the material
that had just been downloaded from the lifts."
They turned toward elevators and saw Limburger coming down with three giant mice and a pretty
lady. Andre smiled. " You Know, Lia, you are right. The party is just heating up".
Pedro eyed the lady and then his brother. " Andre, Andre, have manners. Look the size of the
lady scouts. We don't want you in hospital, if the lady is taken. Check out that Goliath on her
back. Must be her body guard."
" She is so pretty. I had never seen her on the high society circles that we move around. I
wonder who is she."
" Whoever she is, she needs a lot of protection. I don't think those guns are fake ones. And
the guys are very protective around her. I wonder if she's some kind of princess."
" Well I wouldn't mind to find out. She's a babe." Andre smiled.
Lia shook her head in defeat.
" Try to not offend her. Pedro is right. We DON'T need you in hospital or worse. That big fella
has a mean look. As he was ready to lunch someone."
Kelly looked toward were her friends were pointing and began to hyperventilate. "No. Can't
Pedro turned to her. "Easy, Kelly. They are just costumes."
Kelly was fanning herself wildly. "Pedro, please, I need to get out f here. NOW!"
He sighed. " Andre I am taking Kelly for fresh air, you know when she starts with her panic
attacks she needs get out. You and Lia behave, you hear? We have that contract to be signed
today." He looked at his watch. "In a few hours. And you, Lia, don't get overexcited over those
mice, They are costumes and you have no idea how the guys under them looks like."
They nodded. As soon their friends left, Andre and Lia looked each other and smiled in
The mice went separated ways. Vinny smiled seeing that pinkish mouse lady giving him hinting
looks. She was strange. It was obviously a human girl in mouse costume, but still it was a hell
of good one. The costume material seemed silky fur, her tail lashed in natural way. Her mouse
ears twitched to sides like real ones. Could her be a hybrid of mice and human?
If were not for the pinkish color, he could have taken her for real. Vinny raised a brow. The
face was human, the fur color wasn't natural, was it? But the rest of her... seemed so real...
and she was pretty... She scented a mix of human and Martian mouse.... her scent...hmmm...
She was surrounded by geeks. How a Martian goddess like her could cope up with those babbling
guys? Vinny hasn't realized that himself was drooling over her.
She seemed to be bored, looking for a waiter that carried food on its tray as way to escape the
annoying group. Vin got the hint and scooped some shrimp rolls for her. What smile! Something in
her made his hormones rocket.
Lia had noticed the looks that cute white mouse was giving her. At distance and with dim lights
she thought his mask was part of the costume. This guys really was creative, a two colors mask.
And he seemed cutter and more interesting than the guys that were trying to hit on her all
She already had seen bull terrier dogs that had a black spot around eye and thought that
stunning. She smiled to him when he got the food and came toward her.
Vinny took this as a green light.
"A babe like you deserves only the best." The way he was sounding she wasn't sure if he talked
about the shrimps or himself. Probably both. She smirked.
"You know, when a rat brings food for a lady, he's asking her for a date."
"Mouse." He corrected her. He knew that Earth rats and mice were alike and humans usually used
one word or another to design them so he didn't get angry at her mix up.
"All right, mouse! So, if I accept this food offer, that means you are flirting with me?" She
"I see you are used to good things on life. He made a gesture toward the himself, the ball, the
shrimp. You deserve only the best." He handed her the roll. "Excellence always meet excellence.
We were made for each other babe." He smiled broadly.
The other guys tried to protest, Vinny was monopolizing her attention too much.
She looked around. "This is not my kind of place, I am here because...oh never mind! I am with
some company, but if you don't have anything else to do, we could all go someplace else and
leave this rats' nest..." She grabbed Vinny arm, telling to the others she had made her choice.
Of course that made Vinny ego reach stars... being with the most beautiful girl (after Charlie)
of the party and she had chosen HIM.
* Yes. Definitively this girl has good taste *.
Throttle surfed among the guests. He and his bros had decided to separate themselves
to keep a better eye on Limburger. It was always one of them positioned in a strategic place to
make sure the fat fish never left their eyes or ears range. They also wanted to see if got clues
what stinking fat was planning.
The tan Martian felt a wave of dizziness assaulting him again. He began to feel lonelessness
and homesickness since he had set foot at the ballroom. Images of his home world flooded him.
Despite all his efforts to push them back and keep focused on the mission, the images, the
emotions with them came back, refusing to go away.
*What is happening to me? Why now? Why I can't bury this past?* He passed by the kids talking
about the planets positions. He also looked sky, a pained face on his hidden eyes. * A Girl...
A home... will we ever have it? Or we will die in this war... before found love? Mom, Dad,
Shooting Star...* A single tear wet his eyes when he thought about the family he lost. Shooting
Star wasn't even born. His mother had decided call his little sister like that because she
seemed to be in a hurry to get out. And she also meant a hope for better days. Maybe when her
time came the war would be over. He and his parents hoped so. The war not only hasn't been over,
as it took this tinny hope along with his parents.
Throttle forced the thoughts to back of his mind.
Honey -Bee came. She was tan as him, but her fur had had some patches of black hair, making her
look like a bee. Throttle had no idea if that was her real name. When the Martians found out how
humans called the little insect, they nicked her. And the strange thing it's it fitted well.
Maybe to be true to her nickname, or because her hyper ways also made them think of the bee...
for Honey- Bee could make Vinny seems sluggish. She never stopped at a place and was always
moving her feet this way and that, left and right. It could be dazzling try to talk to her. He
had good memories of her.
Now while navigating among Limburger guests, he still wondered what, In this place of
destruction, made him think of something so sweet of his past.
Lia saw Andre was hitting on Charley " Oh. I think my friend got the cold shower."
Vinny looked where she was looking at and couldn't avoid a smirk. * That's my Charley girl.
She goes only with the best. She has TASTE. *
The ninja turtle guy was hitting her seemed crushed. He probably tasted her sharp tongue.
Lia saw it. "Is she your girl?"
Vin coughed embarrassed. " She is just a friend."
"But you like her." It wasn't a question.
He was surprised she already could read him so fast. He had just met her for couple of minutes.
" Er.. not like that... we are.. just friends..."
Lia eyed the shrimp on her hand. " Tell me the truth. You was hitting on me because I
interested you or because she dumped you?"
" You caught my eye babe! Tonight is your lucky night!"
" Well in that case, if the date offer still stands..." She smiled and ate the now cold shrimp
roll. Vinny smile broadened. "You wont regret it sweetheart."
As the mice were keeping an eye on Limburger and the other way around was true. Limburger
feared the mice decided to crash his party. SHIT, the white one was hitting on one of his deal
partners. That hormone driven mouse!!! And now Charley and that Tan one were with the other.
Dam! Dam ! Dam! One wrong word and all his plans would go down the toilet flush.
He had had no time to talk to his business new partners and now they were all leaving with those
meddlesome rodents. * What I do? Make something to keep mice here and risking to ruin the
party? Or let them go? And risk they talk something about me and loose the partnership? *
He decided for the former. A ruined party wouldn't bring as much damage as the loss of the
partnership. He called Carbuncle from his communicator hidden in his costume and asked to him
find a way to drive mice out of ballroom. DISCRETLY!
" Don't worry, your Cheeseness. I have just the thing."
Modo was making a success on his own. As time passed he began to relax and his features softned.
The party wasn't that bad at all. As much he hated to admit something good could came from
Limburger, it was so. The food was good, nothing to compete to good old hot dog, but who was he
to complain? Her mother had taught him appreciate good things in life whenever they came, and he
would not spoil this opportunity. The ladies launched toward him discreet winks and hidden
promises. Some bolder ones even managed to pinch him. Their mates glared Modo with hate but kept
mouth shut. The size of the mouse was enough to shut any verbal aggression.
The tall mouse noticed all that and smiled inwardly. It was good to draw ladies attention,
instead of having them fainting like that one did when they left the elevators. He didn't want
cause any confusion. Those ladies on party were already accompanied, he was there to keep an eye
on Limburger, not to flirt.
He began to think about Mars. His momma. Her homemade sabersquid pie... no one cooked like her.
And she was smart too. His elder sister. He had no news from her or his niece Prime for long
time. Rimfire, his nephew was a grown man now and Stoker main help.. OW! How time has passed. *
Keep yourself alive, Rim. I still want go back fishing with you. Vinny. What a thinny pup you
were. Now look at you bro. The girls would not recognize you.* he flinched as memories from the
time in Carbuncle lab came.
*What's going with me? Why All those memories now?*
Andre looked toward Lia direction. She was having such good fun with that white mouse dressed
guy. His advances to this green -eyed babe had met a wall of a sharp tongue. He was considering
try something else when the yellow mouse came toward them. It was impossible to see his
expression behind the shades but Andre guessed it was time to say good -by. He knew a trained
agent when he saw one. The firm strides of the legs, the relaxed-ready stance, and the
shades... yes he had met several of those before. His tutors always insisted they had a body
-guard for them and they always refused the idea terminally. For the twins, having someone 24
hours a day was like having, an unnatural attached limb. Tail to be more exactly, and for a
human, having a tail was diminishing, meant he was closest to animals than to civilized,
He kept his cool attitude toward Charley. He knew her bodyguard would first try to remove him
discreetly, if he felt Andre was annoying his protegee. Only if he resisted he would try
" Is everything ok Charley?"
" Yes, Throttle. I was just saying good by to this gentleman"
Andre took the hint. " It was a pleasure to chat with you ma'am. Thanks for your attention." He
said good -by to Throttle and Charley and left.
Lia saw that, she was having a good time with Vinny, she didn't want to go but she had to leave
with Andre. She said good- by and had just reached the parking level with Andre when his ninja
turtle belt pouch began to squeak and the dogs that always accompanied the twins began to whine
painfully inside their ranger pick up.
As soon as the kids had left the room the mice felt an anguish pain in their heads. They flapped
their ears against their faces as to protect from some intruding sound. Their faces were pure
Charley was confused. Whatever was affecting them wasn't doing same thing to her. She could
guess that Limburger was behind this but could not get a coherent answer from her friends. Their
speak was truncated by their jaws that clenched in pain. Even their antennae dropped as a heavy
hand had flattered them against their heads.
Charley looked up toward the mezzanine and her hands clenched into balls. Limburger was
enjoying the scene.
" Come on guys, we must leave here before Limburger get his slimy hands on your fur. He
obviously had the last word today."
They shook head sttubornly, causing them even more pain.
" Come on guys, No time to play macho heroes now. It's one thing to be brave. It's another
entirely be stubborn and stupid. Even Stoker knows when is time to withdraw."
" I have to agree with Charley girl." Modo bit his lower lip so strong it bled. His mechanical
arm began to spark.
"How you feeling Kelly?"
Pedro nodded. " She's ok now. You know, once she's away from ' you know what' she gets better."
He had got down earlier with Kelly and they were both at the car. They watched the dogs, two
squeaking rats that poked their heads out of Andre pouch and one from Pedro's turtle costume.
" What's wrong with them?"
" Ultrasound." Andre shook his head. " Look. They still in pain. Why someone would keep an
ultrasound for so long? I know they use short commands for training the animals, but such a long
duration whistle is hazardous to them. It would damage their ears and even their hearing
" What would they use it for?" Pedro was pensive.
Andre climbed the driver seat. Let's get out of here. Our friends are hurt."
Kelly nodded. " I'm sorry about what happened up there guys, I am trying overcome my fear, I
swear and...." She began to get pale again. NO!!!!
Lia screamed too. The parking ground was now crowded with sewer rats, that ran in despair to
every direction. Their pets had to be locked inside the pouches to not run with the flood.
" What?.." Andre stuttered.
Pedro "Let's get out of here. You know what they say about rats abandoning ship. If they are
leaving the tower..."
Lia was pale as corpse.
"Lia what's wrong? Let's go." Andre tried to pull her to inside the car. She was looking the
ceiling, with gazed look. NNNOOOOOO!
She ran toward the elevators.
" Lia NOT That way!" Pedro shouted
" Forget it, Pedro." Kelly was in verge of fainting. " I Know my sister. There must be some of
her blasted Things in danger. It's only thing drives her that crazy. Did she forget her pet
Andre checked the rats on his belt pouches. " No. Shiva is here. So does Branco and Samson."
Pedro turned to his brother. "Take Kelly and the animals out of here. I will go after Lia."
The elevator took an eternity to arrive at garage level and then go to ballroom floor. When he
reached it Lia was already there, looking worried to every direction. " Come on."
" Andre, it's Vinny. He must have heard that, and the others... they are suffering. I know they
are. We have to find them."
" I'm Pedro. Lia we can't leave and search them now." He held her firmly.
" No. You DON'T understand. Pedro, there are giant talking mice. I was talking to one of them.
He must be hurt like our little friends. The ultrasound...I never experienced that myself but I
know how my lab rodents act when a kid uses an ultrasound whistle near dad labs' windows. It
hurts like hell."
"You don't understand!" She shouted angry. Tears were rolling her eyes. " You Don't care for the
mice. You only uses them!"
Pedro gave her a hard look.His eyes got dark saphyre blue. That meant he was deeply serious.
"Believe me. Lia I DO! Now stay cool and Not a word!"
Her eyes were pale blue. She was enraged and about to say something nasty when Limburger
" Is everything all right?" he asked with worried voice.
" Yes, Mr Limburger. I apologize for our sudden disappearing. My friend wasn't feeling well."
He gave a worried look to Lia
" No. her sister. My brother took her home. Lia here is worried about her, and I was just
telling her no need to worry. Kelly is just having some difficult to adjust to Chicago weather.
She will be ok."
" Shall we put off the contract then?"
" No Need. Lia can sign as witness, but a few hours of sleep, and I'm sure she will be ready for
* I know you are giving a dam to Kelly health you big bloated beluga. All you want is this
@%$#%# contract signed. * Lia thought bitterly. not be polite, especially considering we are
going to be partners. But as you can see, we have reasons to go to bed
" We didn't want to leave this party without talking to you. It would."
Limburger was relieved. Apparently the mice hadn't affected the deal after all. " Yes, of
course. Have a nice sleep. I meet you by 9;00 at my office."
The two of them had left, Pedro holding firmly her arm. " Don't look back." He whispered in low,
" You are hurting me."
" Lia, I talk to you at hotel k?"
" But the mice, Pedro. I can't leave without knowing they are all right."
" You have something from him?
She looked Puzzled. " Yes. He gave me his number."
" That will do."
He took the slip of paper from her and pulled something from his belt pouch. Her eyes opened in
pleasure, knowing what his friend was up too.
Charley took the guys out of the ballroom. They whistled for the bikes.
" No Way; you are in no in condition to drive."
"But Charley. We can't leave our bikes here." Throttle slipped against the wall, holding his
head as trying to prevent if from exploding
" And we can't stay here till you get better. Without your bikes we won't go far." She looked
through the window at the rear of hallway. " Limburger made his ballroom at the penthouse of his
tower, it's a looong fall, even for you guys."
Vinny grunted and grabbed his gun. Charley looked up and saw goons coming toward them. Just
great! The mice could barely keep their eye open, whatever was attacking their ears was
attacking their head as well. Their eyes were half shut as they couldn't bear light or they had
a real big hangover headache. Throttle eyes were, of course, hidden by the shades, but by the
way he was frowning his eyes ridges, the pain was evident.
" Give me that, Vinny." She grabbed the holder of his blaster.
" Sweetheart, you are not used to this."
" I can shot, Vinny. Dad taught me when I was a kid, being a woman, he thought it would be
useful. And right now I trust more my aim than yours."
"OOOOOUF". He made an ego hurt sound
" Vinny either you give me this thing or you become an well done mouse, You decide." She glared
the goons while she talked.
He agreed. The bikes sensing troubles, bursted into the floor. Modo jumped over Charley to
cover her from the oncoming breaking glass from window panel. She wooffed like a giant bear had
Next thing she knew was the cold running through their stomach as the bikes went straight to
She knew she was safe, the bikes would flare their rockets at last minute,
however it never
stopped that feeling of her stomach coming to her mouth, like when she was a kid and got down a
steep slide of a roller coaster. Modo tail around her was a weak comfort sensation.
The goons showed them menacing closed fists. It was all they could do, the ground floor with
their buggies were to far away to be reached on time and with party movement of people using the
elevators, they would take a eternity to get one going down.
The bikes went right to Charley garage. She smiled to herself. These surely were a good thing
for drunk drivers. Or in their case mauled ones. As soon they got some distance from the tower
the mice began to fell better.
The mice seemed to be coming to.
. " Are you guys ok now?"
" Aside the ringing on my ears like I had head under a church bell...I guess I am. The pain is
"Spooky." Vinny got the remote control. Their bikes decide to cheer them and blared
Mettallicrank. The result was shocking. The mice dropped to ground groaning and covering their
" You can't stand heavy music? This is worst than I thought." She went to lock the door for the
night. The clicking of the keys made them wince.
" This is serious guys. Let me have a look."
" Aw. It's nothing Charley. It's gone already."
" Really?" She clinked the keys. They began to lift hands to cover ears but immediately withdrew
" Just as I thought. Anything that make you not stand high pitched noises IS serious." She
turned to bikes, glared them and they shut down the radios.
" Aw...Man. Can't believe Limburger messed our fun for hard rock."
" Yes." Modo growled. "This is low. Even for him."
" And he will pay for this." Throttle punched his right palm. " No One messes with our leisure
time." He turned to Charley. " We better be going. It's getting late."
" You don't need to leave, I have spare rooms for you upstairs."
" You do?" They blushed shyly with her kindness."
" I was felling bad for you guys having to sleep on the couch every time you crashed over here."
" Ah, Charley, we are fighters. We are used to sleep anywhere."
" Not on your own houses I suppose. From what I saw from Martian mothers when I was up there,
they would certainly made you forget this idea for good." Her voice softened. Throttle and Modo
were enlaced by her arms at waist area. " Besides, I wasn't feeling good with myself, you guys
had made so much for me... I thought a place that looked like a bit more like home and less like
a camp quarters would be nice idea."
Home! The three looked each other meaningfully.
" What's it? I said something wrong?"
" No, It's not you Charley." Throttle put a hand on her shoulder. "We appreciate your offer and
we accept it."
" Yea, Sweetheart. Thanks."
Charley found herself in middle of a fur pyramid. And she felt protected.
They went upstairs to check their rooms. They had be arranged with posters from bikes, their
favorite metal rock group.
" You can decorate as you want later. I thought that could be a good start."
" It's wonderful sweetheart."
She had even taken in account their tastes and personalities. The bikes posters were Harley
Davidson similar of theirs, with exception of Vinny's that was from a red sports bike from
Vinny drooled and eyed her.
" Yes, Vinny, you can put posters of girls, but please, not in the wall in front door. This is
a mechanic house but..." She blushed thinking of some posters she had seen on some colleagues
Mod slapped Vinny friendly on the back. "Yeas bro. This is a family house. Respect it."
The white one slapped back. Charley saw where this was going to. " All right, all of you, to
bed. You all can add the posters you want, just try to keep it out of sight from who enters from
door, or keep your room doors closed. My mother comes to visit me sometimes and I don't think
she will want see those when she is going to shower.
" Don't worry, Charley. Vinny kissed her on cheek for thank you. "I know how to behave."
She shooed the others to their rooms and went to get some sleep herself.
Charley woke up with an anti-bombing alarm sound. She took some precious seconds to realize it
was her alarm clock and she wasn't at Mars during a heavy bombing.
" Shut up you stupid thing. You gonna wake them up." She sighed, turned it off and got ready to
make some breakfast.
The pans made clattering when she got them from the under the counter.
"O No. Dam. I wanted some quiet around here."
" And then we are the noisy ones".
" Vinny!" She turned around. The three of then were coming, Vinny leaned on kitchen doorframe
" You should be on bed. You look pretty aimed last night." The clock on the wall showed 6;30. "
You didn't need wake so early, once you guys already slept here. I did because I have to work."
" So do we, Charley-Girl." Throttle smiled and sat at the table.
" Ya. And studdly heroes can't work on empty stomach, can we?"
" Guess not." She smiled. " The dogs will be ready soon. Did you had nice sleep?"
"Ya. This heavenly body met an bed that matched for him".
" I slept like a baby, Charley. The mattress was just perfect."
" I liked the posters you put on the wall." Modo smiled. Where you got them?"
" Oh! More dogs are coming". She went to get them.
" Charley?" The three of them asked suspiciously.
" A friend of mine gave them to me." She fidgeted nervous.
" WHO?" they demanded.
" And they are signed." Throttle raised his brows.
" Oh. Please don't ask. It's a surprise."
" Surprise?" Now they got really curious.
" Yes. You won't want a surprise for you spoiled, do you?"
" A Surprise?" They were excited now.
" Oh, All right, all right. I had something else, but they didn't get ready and I... kind of did
" You did something bad? Like what?" They had face didn't believe she could do such a thing.
" Well... I kind of hid something from you... and....I better show it myself."
She went under Vinny, bed, pulled three paper rolls and came back.
" Well, I was planning to put posters of your bikes, but... they didn't get ready yet and... I
wasn't sure if you would like it...I know how jealous you guys are with your bikes."
They gawked. They were posters of their bikes, the most dreamy one could even get in a
photography. It could be seen their power, their shinny chrome and they were ready to roll
against a fantastic background which color only enhanced bikes qualities.
"Charley-girl; They are astounding. How you got those?"
" Oh. I'm an amateur photographer. Once the pictures were developed, I took to a friend that
scanned them and arranged the back ground. The hardest part was to take the pics without you
knowing. And keeping those honks shut." She eyed toward garage. "Those bikes were so excited
about the photo session like a human model I did got several shots of them. I wanted to make a
surprise for you guys. And as female kind, they were having trouble keeping their mouths, I mean
horns shut." She showed her some photo keeper albuns.
" You sure did. How you got that background? I don't remember being there. With or without
bikes." Vinny scoped an albun all to himself.
" Ah. I thought you could tell me where they are from. Those pictures are from MARS."
"WHAT!!!!!" They bolted from their chairs like she had stung them with electrical fork.
She felt like kid caught red handed.
" First of all, I want to tell you t hose pictures represent no danger for you. I would never
risk anything that risked your existence. But I met those guys, they were whiz with pictures.
Mixing background and all. The pictures from Mars are on Internet. You guys probably know that
the Mars Pathfinder probe had sent some pictures that now any kid can access so I didn't think
these pictures would represent you any danger. And no place on Earth would make justice to the
bikes. Only we four know the truth. If anyone else see the posters, they will think it's just an
" Anyway we want thank you Charley-ma'am. The rooms are groovy."
" And the posters. You are right Charley. Those posters will look like some we can buy in any
drugstore. No one will suspect. Thank you." Throttle went to kiss her cheek. The others did the
" I'm so glad you liked. I have to admit I was kind of worried with your reaction. I just wanted
cheer you up guys a bit. You have been pretty low lately. Is it still homesickness? "
" We think so. It's getting worse. I couldn't stop thinking on Mars back on the party."
" YOU TOO?" Vinny and Modo asked at same time.
" You mean all the three of you had images from Mars?"
" I would not think that strange, after all you three have been here for three years, with just
sort stops back on Mars it's natural you want to see you family and friends again. Still, I have
a feeling that Limburger is behind all this."
" I dunno Charley, when we came to party I was thinking like that. Now... Well I had good
memories too. Why would fish barrel want us to think good things?"
" To get you guys down like that. Suppose he found a way to mess with your mind? What would be
more depressing to you than to think of the ones you can't be with? Maybe he wants just that,
get you guys depressed."
" Maybe we should keep observing fish lips." Modo eye glowed.
The clattering of the silverweare made them wince again. Hard.
" Still hurt?"
" Nah. You just startled me, honey." Vin plastered his best grin on his face, but it didn't
" No, guys this is serious. I got pretty worried about last night. First you all had weird
faces, then...what that monster did to you?"
" We are not sure, sweetheart. We were at the party, keeping an eye on that bait pot. All of
sudden, felt head spinning...."
"Yea. And someone was inserting fire needles on my brain through the ears and eyes."
" High pitched sound? Worst than the ones you hear on the radio?"
Modo shook head correcting her as a teacher. " The radio sound is Music to our ears, Charley
ma'am. Nothing compared to that."
Vinny got up to grab more dogs and swayed, almost falling.
He grabbed hold of himself and sat on the chair, as nothing had happened.
" Vinnie, what's wrong?"
" Your beauty swept me off my feet, angel."
" Guys please stop that. I can't help you if you keep acting as kids with the doctor."
" You can play doctor with me any time, sweetheart." He wrapped his tail on her waist.
"Guys, I'm sure Limburger did something to you last night. How can I help if you don't tell me?"
"Now, seriously Charley girl, we not much sure what happened. I never felt such pain like that.
And consider we had been under Carbuncle toying around."
"Speaking about that duo, did you guys found anything about what Limburger is up to?"
"Nah. That is what pisses me."
" Ya. Aside messing with our heads, he had not done anything that would justify we breaking down
" Like you really needed a reason"
" We are bored, sweetheart. We need something for exercising and venting out frustration."
" Aside THIS." She rolled her eyes.
They got up but swayed too.
"Maybe you guys should stay home today.'
" Nah. We will be ok."
"You better. I don't know many doctors that understand of Martian mice. So don't get sick, ok?"
" We will be careful". The guys were touched with her worries about them.
* Please guys, come back in one piece. * She prayed.
The mice rode in silence for a while.
" Bros, how do you think fish lips is messing with our heads?"
" I dunno." Throttle shook his head. " And this time... I not even sure if he is the
"What? But Charley said..."
" Charley said it was a possibility. But truth is, bros, I MISS Mars a lot. Earth is cool, but
The other two shook theirs heads, agreeing sadly. Throttle lowered his head.
" Hey bro, what's wrong?"
" I just realized... I don't have a home to go back to." He kept an eye on the red light. "Modo,
you have your momma, Rimfire. Vinny your mother is also still alive and as you say, some girls
will certainly be happy to have your godlike body back. Me? What I have in Mars when all this is
over?" They accelerated when light changed and could not answer for a while.
Vinny and Modo looked at each other worried. All three of them had lost loved ones on war, but
Throttle had lost at an earlier age, and all his family at once. Vinny and Modo had their
fathers killed when they were still pups, but at least they still had their mothers and some
other relatives alive. That had helped tem through the horrors of the war. Throttle on the other
hand, they knew they were his family,all he had now. They also suspected that something dark
happened to Throttle when he lost his parents. He had a somber hanging over him when they first
met at school, a shadow that never had been entirely gone. Throttle also never talked about what
Limburger watched the party surveillance tapes with an antiacid in his left hand. His head was
throbbing as he feared what he could find out.
His attention was drawn to when Kelly began to have a seizure, obviously scared about something.
He changed to the camera where she was looking at.
*Hmmm.. very interesting....indeed.... maybe I have found something here that I can use against
those mice. * "CABUNCLE!!!"
Kelly walked aimlessly through the Limburger tower hallways. She had
needed to go to powder
herself and she had leaned on the sink and let tears roll down. * Kelly, you silly girl. What is
happening to you? Freak out like that last night. Because a couple of Costumes. You could have
thrown this entire business to the trash.*
*But...* she continued to herself. * You know what happened in the past. You know it's not my
* Yes. It is your fault. You have not been working hard enough to get rid of this fear.
Mice.That's ridiculous. Your father has lots of them. Lia has one as pet. You should be used to
them by now.*
* I am doing my best. You know I hate freak out like that because of them. I am even going to
therapy. *.She hit the sink marble in frustration. *I thought it was working. Andre even gave me
a couple of gray mice hugging each other and I didn't freak out. They are cute. My sister went
with a mouse costume and I didn't have any crisis. I feel so bad. I can't help having this panic
reactions, still I know I do quite a scene when I began with it. * She eyed herself at the
mirror. * Now I must go back. Mr Limburger shall be arriving soon. We worked so hard for this
contract. I still don't get why the twins are insisting in this perfume thing. They don't need
the money and this Limburger guy gives me the creeps. Still, after two years missing, it's an
opportunity to be with them.*
She made her best with her make up kit to hid her scary pale and tear swollen face and strolled
bravery through the hallways. A double door faced her. Kelly opened them thinking she had came
back to her friends waiting room. Aparentely not. This room was large and contained only a huge
desk with a chair in front of even larger panel windows.
* Oh. I must have entered his office by mistake. I better go back to my friends. I don't want
make another fool of myself and blow this whole operation out just because of my fears...*
Something called her attention toward a side window. Her head turned slowly, a faint crisis
sign beginning to form on her body. All she saw were three bikers on top of the next building. *
How weird. What are three bikes doing up there? I wonder how they got there, usually there is
no lift to roof floor. And what the guys are doing? They look like they are ready to jump. But
it's...* she counted * seventy floors to the street. Maybe they are shooting a movie. Why those
guys look so familiar? *
Her heart began to accelerate when an idea began to form on he subconscious. The dizziness
began to get worst. * Come on, Kelly, breath. 1...2...3...They are just costumes... they are
just costumes...* .Her body retreated toward wall, pointy things stoking her neck. She turned
head slightly. Darts. But they were not hitting the usual round dartboard. They were hitting
where someone heart would be...
Kelly backed up from wall slowly... the image beginning to form in her head, in front of her
eyes. Mice. Bigger than any she had ever seen. Bigger even than average human. The same she had
seen last night, only that here they had darts on chest and stuck between the eyes.
Her heart went to full gear, her stomach churned and twisted and turned. Sweat began to pour in
profusion. The breakfast she had earlier was menacing to come back. Kelly put her hand on her
mouth both to prevent a scream and vomiting on the carpet.
A stench on her back got her nausea worst. She gulped several times to avoid the annoying
breakfast that decided not stay in her stomach.
" Oh, yes. My feelings exactly. Annoying pests, aren't they? Unfortunately all I have been able
to do is hit their images."
* Limburger. Man, this guy stenches. Has he ever heard of a soap? *
She felt his hand on her shoulder and seconds later the crashing of the window glass. She
screamed with all her lungs.
Lia watched her sister leave the waiting room with a worried expression.
* Poor Kelly. She is
suffering a lot. I know she's doing all she can to overcome her rodents' fear. She knows dad
works with it and I love them. Those little cheese eater had saved our lives more than once.*
She touched her purse. A small cream yellow rat poked her head out. " It's ok, Shiva. Nothing
to fear here, tough I not sure Mr. Limburger will like to see you chewing his carpets."
The rat perked her ears.
" Yes. Limburger. But is not the cheese, its person, and he is nasty to rats and mice. So
behave." She pressed the head back to sac like purse. Her thoughts went back to a few hours
earlier that day. * Mice. From Mars. Who could tell? Not animals, but a whole civilization with
its own culture and all. Able to make bikes that make our most modern ones look like dinossaurs,
no. Not even that. Like amoebas, the first project of living beings. For what the twins told me,
our bikes are like amoebas compared to theirs. I should kill the twins for not telling me about
that before. A planet loaded with talking mice and rats. GRRR. They know this is heaven for me.
How dare they hid it from me? If wasn't for last night... No it's not true. I should had guessed
when they made my electronic tail for the costume. Stupid Lia. How you didn't suspect? A tail
commanded by brain orders, like a real one would? Same with the mice ears. Where they got this
such brilliant ideas?* She sighed. * No. I could never had guessed. The t* If those mice are
hurt, they boys will pay me big time. They know how much I love those furred creatures.*
She remembered last night. Pedro had put his mouse, Branco on the Limburger tower vent system.
Luckily, that horrible ultrasound had already stopped when she had reached the ballroom and
Pedro got her soon after. The little rodent had ran trough the vent system like a hound dog,
searching for the scent that was on that piece of paper. Like a trained dog, it came back to his
human pals and guided them to the battle area. He climbed Pedro shoulder and shook his head.
" They are not here anymore, Lia."
She felt nauseas seeing the tire marks going toward the window.
" You don't think..."
" They jumped? Yes. Its the only explanation."
" But this is suicidal, Pedro. Mice DON"T commit suicide. Scorpions do. Lemmingues do. NOT
Pedro had hugged her as to comfort her. But what he told on her ears then... My, it was still
hard to believe. Biker Mice. From MARS! Those guys WERE NOT on costumes. Well she had already
found out that when she had touched Vinny. She had worked with mice all her life to not
recognize a real fur. Her own costume had been made of dead mice fur with a little cover of pink
tinting. But she could never think, not even in her wildest dreams about something like what
Pedro was telling her.
Pedro had took her out of the building and when he thought they were safe from Limburger cameras
and hearing he told her a bit more of what he knew from the Martians.
" How you know so much about them?"
Pedro had caressed Branco as looking for some words.
" Wait a Minute. You and Andre have been considered disappeared for two years since that damned
Paris-Dakar desert rally. I know it's the toughest rally ever created in this world and you and
Andre wanted to test the modifications on your bikes. The simple idea of participating of That
rally was insane enough. Make it on a BIKE?"
" How the hell you ended up in Mars?" She couldn't avoid but chuckle. " Man! You were WAY lost.
Mars? Indeed. It probably was Only some million miles from your real course route. Look what
happens when you guys Don't hear what we girls say."
" We were not lost, Lia. We were doing a good timing, for someone that wasn't used to the desert
sands and had never participated of the rally before. As why we ended up in Mars, in the middle
of a battle that makes Star Wars fight scenes looks like a child fight, I have no idea. *
" Was it that bad?" her eyes got excited.
" You have no idea, sweetheart. The Kosovo war was like we were still fighting with spears and
clubs compared to things up there. Now look at what I did. I am talking like them." He chuckled
" So you know those mice that had been on the party last night? And what they are doing on
" No. I don't know them. At least not personally, but I think I heard a great deal about them
when we were up there."
" They are known as Kanta'ka om Mani"
" Escuse me?"
"That's Martian. Means Biker Mice. It's an honor title. Once all Martian gets a bike as soon
they can ride one, it would be natural call all Martians as biker mice. But even for them they
restrict the term BIKER MICE those three."
" How they call themselves then?"
" Riders, bros...Freedom Fighters.... there are a series of names they use for themselves. But
not Biker Mice, though this is most obvious thing one notices when arrives on Mars."
" Why is that? I mean if they are all Bikers...it's strange they don't refer to themselves as
" Well they do. When they fighting Plutarkians, they make Very clear they are bikers and very
proud of it. They just don't use the words Biker and Mice together."
" Plutarkians?" She frowned.
"Long story, Lia. As for your earlier question, seems the name..."
" Kant'aka om Mani." She interrupted him.
" Yes. This one. Is related to an ancient Mars hero. It seems to be originally the name of a
" A What?"
Pedro laughed. " Believe or not. A falcon-like bird. A natural Martian mice predator. It's
" You telling me the mice gave the name for their heroes from a prey bird that was a natural
enemy for their kind?"
" They admired its speed, its aerodynamics. Its swiftness and certain strike."
" Sounds weird."
" Not at all Lia. Aren't the Lion and the Tiger the symbols of power for humans? Still they had
been our species worst, most feared predators."
"I see your point. Sh'ts'kar,. Kanta'ka om Mani." She rolled them on her tongue with an accent.
" I like how Martian sounds. It's musical. Like French or Russian.
" The Martians are a musical people, Lia, although their concept of music can sound a bit
aggressive to our ears, like hard rock. I mean HARD And HEAVY rock'roll. They enjoy life, bikes,
music and parties. And a good fight too. They content themselves with very little. All they want
is, aside the basic for survival, to be with their families, to ride with their bros and have a
good fight and good beer. They enjoy new technology, especially concerning to the bikes, their
passion. But it isn't essential for them."
" We sure could learn a lot with them."
" My feelings exactly."
She was thinking all that now when she heard the scream. She looked at the twins that
immediately jumped from the couch and ran toward the screams.
Limburger still had his hand over Kelly shoulder.
" O MAMA!"
" Let the girl go, your inflated piranha. This is between us." Throttle snarled, raising his
laser. The bikes were in full battle mode. Kelly got even more scared and leaned on Limburger
for protection. The mice felt crushed for their " good heroes act" wasn't impressing the girl.
Worst....it was driving her away toward danger. Boy that was enough to blow any hero ego.
To get things worst, the others had arrived and from their angle at door they saw the mice
pointing guns to Kelly and Limburger.
" Vinny..." Lia stepped toward them. Pedro held her back by blocking her way with his arms
extended sidelong. He made a small nod toward the guns. Lia understood. As much interesting that
their small talk had been last night, Pedro had been clear he didn't know those mice and right
now they seemed to be in control of situation; they had the guns. Their faces were not making
things easier, especially Modo's.
" Vinny... please..." She stepped toward them.
" Lia, be careful."
Vinny face dropped. This girl was even more stunning than last night. She was dressing a pale
blue sky skirt and jacket that went with her eyes, a pearl blouse inside. All framed with he
pale blond hair.
"Please. I know you are not an animal, not a monster." She walked toward him with trust of a
Kelly gasped. " Sis, NO". Lia was now at their fire line.
Vinny hesitated. His hand trembled. If wasn't for Limburger presence so near the other girl he
would have lowered the gun earlier.
Andre was leaned at doorframe watching the scene and playing with a lighter. A folk song danced
on his lips, like he was a casual visitor of the scene.
Throttle watched the newcomers carefully. The dogs that always accompanied the twins were in
guard stance, but didn't seem to be menacing. As long they didn't cross the dogs imaginary
defense boundaries, no danger would come from there.
The blond girl was very daring. She sure had guts, to come so closer to them, considering she
didn't know them and they were holding weapons she probably had never seen before.
The twins had a relaxed attitude, like they were watching a TV show. Especially the one near the
door. Throttle eyes began to lift slightly behind the shades when he realized what the boy was
Kelly fainted on Limburger arms.
" If you excuse gentlemen, I have a dame to take care and a business deal to close, Your
presence is not wanted here. So I suggest that you retire peacefully." Limburger goons had
reached the room and stood behind the twins.
The mice knew they were defeated, they could not risk the young people get caught in an
eventual crossfire. The fish face turned to his guards. "Please show these gentleman the way
Lia sensed Vinny tremble lightly under her hand. He was holding her protectively with one hand
while with the other he had the gun toward Limburger. A quick look to Modo face and she detected
a hint of fear. Throttle eyes were hidden, but she saw his neck fur raise an inch. A clear sign
of trouble ahead. She lost a bit her balance and held Vinny neck for support. No doubt. His fur
had bristled too, even so slightly that a not trained eyed could let pass by.
Andre made a bored yawn and tapped the wristwatch. "Please, Mr. Limburger. We have other
business to attend. If you are so restrained now, I'm sure that Napoleon Brie won't mind to talk
to us, even this early in the morning.
Lia went taut on Vinny arms. She felt him got rigid as well. The gray mouse seemed to have
become a statue.
* Please, Andre don't push your luck. These mice seem to have a loath for those guys. I wonder
why, but don't make them more angry than they already are.*
" Brie? That bloated brain? What kids like you have to deal with people those molted, corrupted,
stinking...rotten to soul guys like Limburger and Brie?" Modo was more than angry. His fur
raised in intimidating way making him look much bigger than he actually was. The goons had
collected the mice weapons quickly and locked his arm cannon.
" Please Limburger, just let those mice go. Give them their weapons back. They already seen
your gun power, I sure they wont cause any trouble. Right Lia?"
She took her most ' professional" air
"Yes. Nothing on those mice attitude show they mean danger. Or they ever meant it."
Limburger hesitated. The twins seemed to be impatient. " You don't need to worry about those
mice. They have nothing to do with our deal." He pleaded. "Allow me deal with them the way I
think its best."
" Well, Lia is our mice expert." Pedro shrugged. " If you want deal with mice on your way, be
it. But she won't close business with you...You know girls don't like to be backtalked."
Limburger sighed and nodded his goons to handle the mice their guns back and left carrying
"You are going nowhere with the lady. There was still a gun left." He clicked his arm cannon.
He and Vinny moved to follow Limburger and the girls. Throttle was still staring Andre and made
his bros a gesture to stop. "Leave them."
Modo eyed him as he had got the plague. " Are you insane. We are just letting them go like
Throttle nodded. " We have an appointment." He glared Andre. The human stood his glare, Lia
followed reluctantly got free from Vinny arms. Andre was last to leave. He winked to Throttle
and made a gesture of lifting an imaginary cowboy hat.