Modo and Vinnie find their way to their families as Throttle still lays captured by the Sand-Raiders!
After days of endless and aimless wandering, Modo and Vinnie at last found themselves entering civilization. They had wandered into another town, which seemed to be bustling with activity, people darting which way and that. But the most surprising thing was that they couldn't find any signs of Plutarkians anywhere. They had been so used to the towns being under occupation that it was strange to see things back to normal.
They looked towards a large crowd of people who were gathered about a stage in the town square. There seemed to be some kind benefit going on.
Suddenly Vinnie felt Modo's arm fling itself out in front of him, stopping him in his tracks.
"Whoa, whoa, hold up." Said the grey-furred mouse.
"What?" Vinnie asked irritably.
He followed his bro's gaze into the crow where there stood one older woman that stood out sharply from the rest. Her steadily graying hair done up in a bun on her head and her pale pink dress was an anomaly in a see of khaki, red, and olive green combat gear of the other members of the group.
"Mama...MAMA!!" Modo cried, running towards her at top speed.
The old woman turned and stared in shock as her son suddenly launched himself into her arms.
"MODO!" she cried, falling to her knees as she held her son, who was no sobbing hard against her.
"Oh my little boy..." she murmured beginning to cry herself, stroking the back of Modo's head.
"Vinnie?" gasped the voice of Relena VanWham.
Vinnie gazed up in shock at the sight of his mother, who was standing there with his sister.
"Vinnie!" Jessie cried, throwing her arms around her twin's neck. The young white-furred mouse stared over her shoulder as his mother suddenly leaned down next to him and drew them both into a tight hug, ruffling the fur on his head.
"I'm glad you're alright." she said at length.
"Hey, what's going on here?" Stoker asked coming forward then, Alexis at his side. Modo's sister Lida, her son Rimfire, and Axle were close behind.
"Kids?" Stoker gasped.
"BROS!" Alexis cried, rushing towards Vinnie, tackling him the ground, hugging him and crying.
"Alex! I missed you!" Vinnie sighed, trying hard to fight back the tears that were stinging the corner of his eyes.
"Lida?" Modo sniffled as he looked up from the crook of his mother's arms as his big sister fell down beside him and kissed and hugged him tightly while Rimfire happily tugged on Modo's ears.
"Oh, Stoker, they're safe!" Rose breathed, looking up at him.
"Where's Throttle?" Axle asked, panic rising in his voice.
Modo and Vinnie looked at each other. "We don't know. He was with us up till about a day ago." Modo answered.
Stoker laid a steadying hand on Axle's shoulder. "Don't worry, Axle. Throttle's a tough kid, he'll be fine. We'll send a search party right away." he said reassuringly.
He turned again to the two young men standing before him. "Come on, you boys look starved and exhausted! Let's get you fed and cleaned up." He offered, motioning towards the hotel they were staying at.
"How did you guys get here?" Modo asked as he scarfed down his third plate of food.
"It must have been right after you boys were shipped off we were liberated. The Freedom Fighters are guarding this town as place for refugees. The Army's here too, but..." Stoker shrugged. "Now how did you get here. That's a story I'd like to hear."
For the next hour or so Modo and Vinnie told the tale of their travels, how they escaped from the convoy, meeting the old blind man, the fire in the barn, and meeting George Nelson and the three girls they met at the river, (leaving out certain details of course) and being robbed by Big Dan Teeker.
Modo looked to Axle, who had been listening with a worried-lined face. "Mr. McCloud...I'm sorry about Throttle. I should have kept a closer eye on him."
Axle gave Modo a small smile and patted the boy on the shoulder. "Throttle's a big boy, Modo. It wasn't your place to watch after him. Still, I thank you for bringing him safely as far as you did."
Rose stood up then, taking their empty plates from in front of them. "If you boys are finished I want you to get straight up to bed, understand? You both look half-dead."
Modo kissed his mother's cheek. "Yes, mama."
He and Vinnie bid goodnight to the rest of the group, and headed up the stairs like obedient little boys. As they were heading up the steps to their rooms, Vinnie leaned in close to his oldest bro. "We have to find out what happened to Throttle." he whispered.
Modo nodded. "My idea exactly. When the others turn in for the night, we'll head out."