The bros are trapped between a burning barn and a bunch of smelly Plutarkians!
The trio wandered aimlessly down the dusty Martian road, the sun beating down on their tired necks and backs as they dragged their chains along beside them.
"How long are we gonna walk?" Vinnie sighed.
"As long as we have to, I suppose." Modo replied, tiredly.
"Well, dammit, this bites." Throttle sighed loudly, kicking a stray pebble that skidded across the road, causing the dust to come up in tiny orange-red clouds.
His eyes wandered suddenly over to the side of the road where the pebble had strayed, and saw a shoddy little shack that was standing out in the middle of nowhere.
"Hey bros, check it out." he said, tugging on their chains to get their attention.
"Think anyone's home?" Modo asked.
The firing of a shotgun answered the grey-furred mouse's question as all three of them tumbled over in shock.
"What the hell?!" Vinnie cried.
They laid their eyes on a very young boy, younger than they were, holding a riffle that was practically bigger than he was, doing his best to aim it at them.
"Are you width the bank?" the child asked.
"Uhh...nope, nope, kid we're not. Say, what's a little fella like you doin' out here boy yerself with that big gun?" Modo asked gently.
"My daddy says that if anyone from the bank comes, I'm aposta shoot 'em." He said proudly.
"Well, aren't you a big boy." Modo said gently, patting him on the head as he and his bros exchanged dubious looks. "Might your daddy be home?"
The little boy nodded eagerly and lead them around back of the house to where a big, brawny grey mouse, with a peg leg sat on a stump, among a huge scrap pile, melding pieces together with a blow torch.
"Daddy! Some fella's here at see yeh! They ain't from the bank." the boy said.
The big man turned slowly towards them, his large red eyes staring blankly at them. Then he stood up, patted his son's head roughly, and sent him back to his post as he lumbered towards them.
"Can I help you boys?" he asked in a gruff, scratchy voice.
He glanced down at their chains and shackles and grunted as the trio chuckled nervously.
"You'll be wantin' those chains removed, I suspect..." he said, turning and reaching towards his blowtorch.
Some time later, Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie found themselves all sitting around the kitchen table, looking suspiciously down at the plates of food that were set before them, and then back up at their host, who was shoveling it down and guzzling whiskey from a large flask. He offered a drink to the boys, by they politely declined--Throttle, having to kick Vinnie under the table.
"So...runaways from that prison camp, eh? Heh. Not many of yeh, I daresay. Wonder how a bunch of scrawny kids like y'ens got passed Plutarkian security." he said, spitting across the room.
"Ummm..just lucky I guess." Throttle shrugged. His stomach was throbbing with hunger, but he didn't dare touch the dark red slop that was oozing off his plate.
The young tan mouse leaned over in his chair and whispered to Modo, who was pretending to eat, while actually dropping each spoonful onto the floor. "Do you think we can trust this guy?"
"Of course bro. He's one of us, he wouldn't rat us out." he replied reassuringly.
"His wooden leg gives me the creeps, matey. Yarg." Vinnie muttered into his glass of water.
"You're such a twip. Mind yer manners." Modo reminded him.
"I'll swab the decks with ya, matey! Yeh scalawag!" Vinnie cried, jumping up on his chair. Brandishing his spoon at Modo like a sword.
Throttle gave his tail a swift and precise yank, bringing the young mouse down with a thud and a yelp as he rubbed his wounded area.
"You suck." he said, sticking his tongue out.
"Well, iffen you've finished yer supper, maybe yeh'd like to get some shut eye. Yeh can sleep in the hay-loft in the barn out back. I got some blankets fer yeh." Said the man gruffly, tossing the boys a course grey bundle.
"Thank you very much, sir. We really appreciate it." Modo said, always polite.
The trio then trudged out through the coarse dry grass that covered the man's back yard out into a faded and weather-worn barn. It's sole inhabitants consisted of a worn-out looking mare, and a family of spiders.
They trudged up into the loft, filled with soft, dry hay, on which they spread out their woolen blankets and curled up, watching the sun set as their lantern, which the man had given them, burned dimly.
"How long we gonna stay here, bros?" Vinnie asked softly, staring out the open loft door into the evening sky that was made rich plum, burgundy, fold, and cobalt hues as the stars one by one replaced the sunlight.
"Until it's safe to travel. Then, we keep traveling north, till we find Stoker and the others." Throttle sighed, pulling up the hay that lay around him absently.
"You think everyone's alright?" Modo wondered aloud.
"Sure hope so." Vinnie replied quietly, curling up.
"I miss dad...and mom." Throttle muttered weakly, his voice hollow.
Modo bit his lip. Being the oldest, he felt that he needed to take care of Vinnie and Throttle. He pulled them both up next to him and got them both in a head lock. "Hey now, don't think about it. We're on an adventure! So let's just stay focused on that, and not dwell on what's past, alright bros?"
Throttle squeezed his shoulder. "Thanks, big fella."
Modo smiled. "Aw, shut up." he laughed, stuffing his bro's head in the hay.
When the boys awakened, the moons has risen, full and bright, full and bright, illuminating the barn with an eerie light. Something had woken Vinnie from his sound sleep, something that sounded vaguely like voices. But Throttle and Modo were both still asleep, unmoving.
The white-furred mouse crept quietly over to the side of the barn near the open loft door and crouched there, nearly hidden in the hay as he gazed across the yard.
Marching steadily towards the barn was a band of Rats and Dogs, lead in front by an evil looking Sand-Raider, and followed by a grossly obese Plutarkian. The whole band was following the peg-legged Martian.
Vinnie gasped and scrambled backwards through the hay, pouncing on his bros and shaking them awake. "Bros! Bros! He snitched! We've been found out!" he cried frantically pointing towards the door. Modo clapped a hand to the frantic mouse's mouth as Throttle crawled over to the door and peered out.
"Damn, we're in a tight spot." Throttle hissed, then suddenly sucked behind the doors as one of them called up to the Mice from below.
"You there! We know you're hiding up there! Come out now!" called the fat Plutarkian through a megaphone.
"You jerk-off! You ratted us out!" Vinnie shouted in outrage, throwing whatever he could find at their pursuers.
"Sorry, sons. No use in resisting authority. I gotta look after me and mine." Called the peg-legged mouse.
"You go to hell! You go to hell and you die!" Vinnie shouted, until Throttle had to grab him and drag him out of sight.
"Shhh! Vincent! You wanna get your damn head blown off!?" he gasped. "Okay, this is not good. Any suggestions?" he asked, looking around as bullets suddenly began whizzing into the barn.
"Um, don't get shot?" Modo shrugged, ducking.
"Brilliant, Modo! Why didn't I think of that?" Throttle grumbled. Suddenly the grey fur mouse dove to the other side of the barn as a stray bullet struck the lantern, shattering it.
The flames at once ignited the dry straw, lighting up the whole barn.
The trio gasped in horror.
"We're trapped!" Modo cried.
Throttle turned and looked at the hole in the loft floor where they had come up. The
ladder, unfortunately, had been knocked over, but it was the only means of escape with the fire coming ever closer.
"Down here!" he called to them.
"Are you crazy?!" Vinnie screamed.
"Well, alrighty then. Yee-haw!" They shouted as they all took a flying leap into the lower part of the barn, landing with thuds among the hay bundles.
They recovered just in time to see their attackers racing towards them, but a burning beam quickly blocked their entry, and the bro's only escape.
"How do we get out of here?" Vinnie choked as Modo rushed to calm and free the panicking horse from it's stall.
"This is it...we're all gonna die!" Vinnie continued to rave. "But I can't die! I'm too young and cute to die! Think of all the women who will be deprived of my god-like face!"
At that moment however, a jeep suddenly tore through the burning debris that was blocking their exit. The driver was none other than the peg-legged man's son.
"Hey y'ens! Get in!" he shouted to them.
The trio stared at each other.
"My mama always said to never look a gift-horse in the mouth!" Modo gasped, pushing the horse into the jeep's trailer as they piled in to see the little boy sitting on a pile of phone-books.
"Your daddy let you drive often?" Throttle asked nervously.
"Nope!" the boy said excitedly, hitting the gas, as the trio clung to the dash.
"I was afraid of that."
They drove full-speed, screaming and yelling out the other wall of the barn, and off into the distance as their enemies screamed curses after them.