Modo and Vinnie get into more trouble as they search for Throttle!
Vinnie Van Wham awoke first, the smell of water and dirt filling his nose. He sat up and immediately found himself facing Modo, who was also just coming around.
"Man...what was that...?" wondered Modo, his voice hoarse and wavering.
Just then, he gripped his stomach and puked all over the muddy ground. Vinnie, seeing this lovely display, threw his hand over his mouth. It did little good and vomit spewed all over the ground as well.
"Yuck!" shouted Vinnie. "Hey, where's Throttle?"
Modo looked over. Parts of Throttle's clothing, his shirt and his shoes were lying on the ground, untouched. But Throttle himself was no where to be seen.
"Where could he be?"
Modo lifted his head, still feeling achy and unsteady. His mama would have skinned him alive if she'd known what he'd been up to, and he would have deserved it he reckoned. But right now his biggest concern was where the hell Throttle had gotten to shirtless and shoeless?
His scent was gone, so he'd been missing for sometime. Modo gathered his own discarded clothing and helped Vinnie up. "I think we'd better get the jeep and get out of here." he said.
Meanwhile, elsewhere on Mars...
Stilton walked across the hall to the president of Mars, President Dorlin's office. Dorlin was sitting in his chair, looking outside.
"Don't worry, my good man. You've done the right thing."
Dorling frowned and continued his gaze outside. "Oh? Explain it to me, please. Again."
"Well, you and your fellow Martians so graciously gave us your resources, you know, so our empire's life will be forever prolonged. And for that great gift, we are offering you the protection from foreign invaders from the far reaches of space. Not to mention the gold..."
"The gold...humph...how could I forget about all that gold?"
"Yes, yes. And, let us not forget the protection. You don't want those nasty humans coming and taking over your world?"
"I'm surprised they haven't found us already."
Stilton looked away slyly. "Well, my friend, the humans aren't very bright. A bunch of apes, you know."
"I...suppose. Well, if you will excuse me, I must be getting home. I have some...gold to count."
Dorlin walked slowly out of his office, feeling the presence of eyes on him. He wasn't going to put up with the Plutarkians telling him what to do any longer. It didn't matter what Stilton said about what was happening, Dorlin knew the truth now. He was being used. It was about time he fought back.
He knew he couldn't rely on the military, because even his own Generals were being bribed. There was only one place he knew he could make a difference...and that was with the Freedom Fighters.
Little did he know, Stilton was right behind him. Stilton had enough experience with these types of people to know what was going on inside that puny little mouse's mind. Of course, he took the next step and called security.
"Well, what are we supposed to do now?" asked Modo in frustration as he and Vinnie continued their drive into nowhere.
"Why are you asking me?" Vinnie shot back, equally frustrated. He glanced out the window and spotted a couple of picnickers surrounding a large pond, enjoying the last of the warm fall days. This meant of course that they were getting closer to civilization, and that meant the hope of finding help.
Vinnie's stomach rumbled as he looked at the families enjoying their meal. It had been at least a day since he'd had his last meal, and the wine had long since passed from his system.
They pulled over, deciding to stretch their legs.
Modo rubbed the back of his head, as was his habit when he was worried. "We've got to figure out what happened to Throttle."
Vinnie nodded, kicking at a rock. "You don't think...maybe he's back at the camp?"
Modo shook his head. "It's too far away. And why take one of us and not all? Naw, it doesn't make sense..." Modo replied when he paused, looking up. Someone was headed in their direction.
"Howdy Gents!" the man that was heading in their direction called in greeting.
The pair of mice looked the newcomer over uneasily. He had a patch over his left eye, making him a veritable cyclops. Both Vinnie and Modo found it hard not to stare.
"Uh...hi." returned Vinnie.
"My name's Dan Teeker, but you can call me Big Dan, or just Dan if you're in a hurry!" he laughed jovially.
Modo didn't laugh however. They had had enough bad run-ins on this trip than he'd care to count and he wasn't about to fall for it a third time. He put a protective hand on Vinnie's shoulder, bringing him back closer to him.
"Nice to meet you, Mr. Teeker. But we have to go."
"Oh what's your rush, boy? And call me Big Dan, please. I couldn't help overhearing you and your little friend talking here. You got a friend in trouble, don't cha?"
"What business is it to you if we do?" Modo asked firmly.
"Well, I'm lawyer, ya see? And I've been working with those nasty Plutarkians all day on a case to get some of our fellow Martians freed from those prisons and maybe you could tell me a bit of your problem and I can help you out! Come on! You look half-starved as it is!"
That they could not argue with. Dan seemed friendly enough, even helpful enough. But Modo thought there was something strange about him...something didn't smell right.
"Thank you, Dan...but I really think we should be going." Modo said again. Vinnie looked as if he was about to argue, but Dan interrupted.
"I like you, boy. You don't say much, but when you do, you get right to the point, don't you?"
Modo noticed then that Dan was staring fixedly at the back seat of the Jeep, and was also rooting for something in his pocket.
Modo pushed Vinnie behind him, much to the white mouse's annoyance, until Dan suddenly produced from his pocket a pistol. "Let me put it to you another way boys..." he began. "What it all comes down to is the money."
Modo held up his hand. "No need for that." He said, his voice as steady as he could make it. "There's kids around, Dan, there's no need for that."
Dan seemed to be mulling it over. Modo kept his eyes steady on him. "Alright, son. You seem like a nice enough boy. You and your little friend stand aside, and I'll put ol' bessy away."
Modo nodded. "Fine."
Dan waved the pistol at him lightly. "No funny stuff now, sonny-boy. Not unless you want me to knock that good head of yours of them broad shoulders, understand?"
Modo and Vinnie moved slowly away from the jeep as Dan took the keys from Vinnie.
He slipped into the driver's seat and leered at the two boys. "Pleasure doing business with ya, boys!"
He drove off laughing.
Vinnie stood there for a moment, staring. "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!" he screamed then.
Modo took him firmly by the arm. "Calm down."
"NO! What the hell is wrong with people!? Aliens have invaded our planet and everyone goes insane!?" the young white-mouse screamed. "Isn't there anyone out there who wants to HELP us?!" Vinnie shouted.
Modo stood there stone-faced. "I don't know anymore."
Throttle awoke with a throbbing head to the sound of soft snickering. His hands were numb and full of that 'pins and needles' feeling, and he suddenly knew why. They were bound at the wrist. He was sitting, forward in a chair his arms bound behind him, and there was the sound of soft laughter in front of him.
He lifted his head and to his horror found himself staring into the face of a leering Rat. But he was not the only one in front of him. Two Plutarkians in familiar uniforms from the Hellfire camp loomed behind him, neither looking pleased.
"The whelp's up." the Rat spoke. It was he who was snickering. He leaned close to Throttle as the boy stared at him. "Did you sleep well, sonny-boy?"
"Where am I?" Throttle spat.
"In Hell." A Plutarkian behind him hissed. He moved forward. "You, and your little friends, busted out of our transport. Pretty big accomplishment...for a brat."
"Fuck you." Throttle hissed. He was answered with a hard blow across the face that made him yelp and spit blood. The Plutarkian grabbed his chin roughly in his hand, forcing Throttle to look him in the eye.
"I don't care about your little friends, Mouse. What I want to know is, where the Freedom Fighters are."
Throttle blinked. "I don't know what you're talking about."
Another hard punch was his reward. "Don't fuck with me, you little piss-wad. Tell me where BlackRuby is hiding the camp prisoners."
Throttle's eyes widened at this. Stoker was alive, until know Throttle only hoped, but now it was a fact. Not only that, but he must have liberated the camp and that meant his father was alive and free as well.
But the Plutarkian saw the recognition in his eyes. "You know where they're hiding, don't you?"
"If I did, you fat bass, don't you think I'd be with them? And even if I did know, I wouldn't tell you, no matter how hard you hit me."
Another blow sent Throttle flying backwards and when his head smacked against the cement floor, he was no longer aware of the Rat laughing at him.