The Piston comes under attack from Plutarkians!
Stoker was fast asleep in his bed, tired and feeling every injury he still had. A rustling and subtle movement of his bedding altered him that he was no longer alone. Tawny's arms wrapped around him in the dark, her small body molding to his.
Without opening his eyes, Stoker put his hands against hers. "Somethin' bothering ya, sugar?" he asked sleepily.
"Cody's outside. He won't come in," she sighed.
"Just let him be, Tawny. He'll be alright." Stoker mumbled. "You know he gets like this."
"Yes." Tawny sighed against his neck. "And it's stupid."
Stoker smiled and rolled over, allowing her to lie on his chest. Tawny laid there, looking at him somberly in the dim light of the bedroom.
"How about you? How are you holding up?" she asked.
Stoker stretched sleepily, feeling the ache of his abused bones. "Don't worry about me, babe." He assured her, ruffling the hair between her antenna.
"Don't give me that tough-guy act, macho mouse." Tawny warned. "No one walks away from what you've been through and just sloughs it off."
Stoker frowned and kissed her cheek. "I said...don't worry about me." He said again, looking her in her eyes.
"UGH!" Tawny growled, rolling over and sitting up. "I hate men!"
Stoker just smiled as he sat up. "Yeah...me too." He added. It was then that he looked out the window on the opposite wall, and saw a light from outside.
"What's that?" Stoker asked aloud, standing up.
Tawny was already at the window, peering down. A car had appeared at the front door, and from what they could see through the glass and the dark, it seemed as though The Piston had visitors.
Below, Cody was dealing with their guests in his usual fashion...
Apparently the Plutarkians from earlier, had decided to round up some of their friends in order express their great displeasure in Cody's services.
"Sorry gents," Cody grinned as he stood on the front step of the bar. "We're closed."
"Mr. Orion . . . do you know who I am?"
Cody shook his head. "No, but I'm betting it was your Mom I did last night."
The Plutarkian grunted. "Your humor isn't going to help you, Mr. Orion. You've read our letters. You know we want your bar."
"Oh, I know. I also know that you've scared everyone in the surrounding areas of Hellfire into giving you their property. Just why is that? Ain't there enough room on that craptastic little planet of yours?"
"My name is Colby. I requested to be transferred to this job specifically to deal with /you./"
"Why's that? Got a little crush on me?"
"Gentlemen . . ." Colby grunted.
Two Plutarkians behind him began to step out, cracking their knuckles and glaring at Cody. Just as they were about to go around the bar, a lazor blast echoed through the barroom. All four looked to the stairs to find Tawny and Stoker standing there, both holdings lazor pistols.
"Hello gentlemen," Stoker greeted, smiling.
"You!" roared Colby. "You were the escapee!"
"Look at that, Cody? I'm popular!"
The two Plutarkian goons pulled out their lazors and started firing. All of a sudden, the bar was ablaze with heated energy. Stoker and Tawny dove behind a few upturned tables. The trio of Plutarkians jumped to the ground, fat squishing as they rolled behind a few of their own tables. Wall paneling exploded as lazors were haphazardly fired.
"You're a good shot," Stoker grunted to Tawny.
"Earth-based video games, Stokey," Tawny replied, taking a shot. She barely missed one of the Plutarkians.
"STOKER! TAWNY!" shouted Cody.
He stood up from behind the bar . . . holding a massive bazooka. With one quick pull of the trigger, a small missile fired out. Colby and one of his goons had just enough time to leap out of the way before an explosion blew up a third of the barroom.
Colby looked down at his leg and could see a big chunk of wood sticking into it. "Ahhh!" he wailed.
"Shut up," his goon snorted.
"STOKER! COVER ME!" yelled out Cody, the bazooka hanging next to his hip by a strap.
Stoker did so, lazor blazing. Energy rapidly exploded from the barrel of his weapon, each one hitting around the Plutarkians. As Stoker and Tawny tried to hit the Plutarkian (who was quite dodgy despite his size), Cody let his entire bar on fire.
Then, he tossed every bottle of alcohol he could onto it. The fire roared and exploded as more alochol was poured onto it. The blaze uncontrollable.
"FOOL!" shouted Colby, taking a shot at Cody.
"IF I CAN'T HAVE MY BAR, NO ONE CAN, ASS-SHIT-FUCKER!"
"Tawny, help Cody outta here! I'll cover you!"
Stoker grabbed Tawny's lazor pistol and went to work. Tawny and Cody rushed out. However, just before, Cody turned on the burners on his oven and tossed a flaming bottle of gin on it.
"I'm coming!" Stoker shouted back as Cody and Tawny made it out the back door. The goon's chest suddenly exploded as Stoker got a hit. Colby struggled up and went to fire, but Stoker shot him straight in the gut - twice.
Stoker ran towards the door . . . as soon as he stepped outside, there was a tremendous explosion. Flaming debris went flying all around him. Stoker was thrown to the ground, face smashing into the red dirt. Tawny pulled his unconscious body away from the still exploding and burning Piston.
Cody's jeep pulled up. He got out and helped Tawny pulled Stoker in the back of the jeep. They tore off, Cody's dream exploding and burning behind them.
The next day, as joint Martian and Plutarkian authorities searched the wreckage, they found the charred bodies of the Plutarkians goons. Colby's body was nowhere to be found.