Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie find that being a Freedom Fighter is more than just fun and games.
BIKER MICE FROM MARS
PART THREE: LESSONS
Disclaimer: Biker Mice From Mars and related characters and concepts are the property of Brentwood Inc. and is the creation of Rick Unger. The story and images presented here are neither sponsored, endorsed, created, by the owners, licensees, or other related entities. The story and images are copyright the writers of this fanfic. Characters Cody Orion, Alexis Sarimana, Tawny, and other characters are the property of thew40 and siruisfanatic (aka Terrabm and Captain Terrabm). Please do not use without permission from either of the writers, which can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and CaptainTerrabm@aol.com.
Author's Note: This story is another in a series of re-postings of the "Red Planet" series. For more information, see "Red Planet - Part One: Invasion."
You can check out artwork for BMFM at my gallery here: http://terrabm.deviantart.com/ Also, co-writer TheW40's other works can be found here on Ficwad as well: http://www.ficwad.com/viewuser.php?uid=17565
The late days of the year were filled with snow and very little heat for the poor survivors of the Hellfire prison camp. They had spent those days in a small town that was now serving as home. For the children, there was virtually nothing for them on Christmas morning save the comfort of family.
Christmas, having derived from human culture, had caught on fast with Martians everywhere on the red planet. Sadly, it was barely even able to be celebrated, as word of the Plutarkians growing close was ever becoming more frequent. The Martian traditions that coincided with Christmas were also forced to be neglected.
The winter was an unusually bitter one for Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie. The three of them had enjoyed the warmth of late fall, but now were faced with entire foot of snow outside their little windows.
The town they currently called home was settled just along the border of the Valles Marineris region. The designated regions of Mars weren't used very often, but had suddenly become important with the war on. Everyone had to know where the Plutarkians were and this was the only way to tell. Valles Marineris wasn't heavily populated, despite being close to the ocean.
Stoker had been in a small building that he and his bros had been staying at since their arrival. He was busy playing yet another game of darts with Cody, when there was a knock on the door.
Axle looked to Stoker for a moment, then stood up and answered it. In walked a tall Martian covered in snow, which he shook off quiet quickly.
"Stoker," The Martian said, pulling off his helmet.
"Lucas!" Stoker answered back. "How was the scouting?"
"We've got problems, Stoke. The Plutarkians and the Sand Raiders are moving South and East. They'll be here in three days."
Throttle, who was sitting with his two bros, sat up quickly. A lump of fear entered his throat. After everything the Plutarkians and Sand Raiders had brought to his family, he was almost afraid at what could happen next. He glanced, then, to Vinnie.
The white furred fourteen-year-old was looking a little more than sad. Modo, on the other hand, was trying not to let his emotion bubble out.
"We're going to have to pull out," Stoker said grimly. "Start spreading the word, Lucas. I want you to get a convoy together and get them all out of here."
"Not a problem, Stoke. But I'm concerned. There are enough Plutarkians to follow us and take us all down."
That was when Stoker smiled softly. "There won't be."
Three days later, Stoker sat up on top of a snow-covered bank. He was covered in a white sheet, allowing him to blend in seamlessly with the environment. Which was a good thing, because the Plutarkians were already rolling into town.
Watching carefully through a pair of binoculars, Stoker could see the Plutarkians begin to enter into the now empty buildings. Now was the time.
He pressed a button on the small pad in front of him. It was then that each of the houses and the buildings erupted in huge explosions, sending fireballs into the air. The Plutarkians were trapped as the entire town burned and exploded around them.
Nodding successfully, Stoker ran off into the forest that was behind him.
A few days passed then, as Stoker, Throttle, Modo, Vinnie, Axle, Tawny, and Cody headed Southeast of Arsai Mons; the southern most boarder of the Valles Mariners. A region filled with large mountains and vast, deep forests. It was warmer in this region, with little to no snow and slightly warmer temperatures.
But, the entire region was next on the Plutarkians agenda, so the group had been forced to hide in the mountains. These mountains were large and filled with forests and streams and rivers. After a few days of running, the Freedom Fighters had decided to set up a sort of temporary shelter.
For eight days, living in makeshift dugout huts and bathing in freezing streams and living off the land, the Martians watched and waited.
One afternoon, Stoker entered in the shelter and looked swiftly at his bros. "They let lose a probe."
At that moment, a humming noise was heard from outside the shelter. Axle spun around and creaked the camouflaged door close. Throttle, Modo and Vinnie's fur stood on end as the humming grew closer. Cody pulled out his bazooka and held it tightly.
Axle watched as these children grew scared and worried at all this. A thought entered his mind--Smoke. His youngest son knew no fear, but he feared for him. Was he still alive? Was he okay? Pangs of guilt built-up within Axle and he sighed heavily.
The humming noise faded away quickly as the probe moved on. Modo turned to his bros.
"It's leaving." he assured them.
"Keep it down, little bro," Stoker said, putting a steadying hand on his shoulder. "It could still come back."
Axle looked back at the Freedom Fighters. "When do we head out?"
"A few more hours," Stoker replied. "Why? In a hurry?"
Axle felt determined now. He was going to find Smoke--for better or worse, he was going to find out what happened to his son.
That night, after Axle was sure the others were in bed, he slipped over to Stoker and shook him awake. The brown furred mouse blinked up at him sleepily.
"Axle...what is it?" he asked, rubbing his blood-shot eyes.
"I'm going." Axle replied bluntly.
"Going where?" Stoker asked, growing a bit irritated.
"You know where. My son's out there somewhere. I have to find him, Stoker." he replied.
Stoker was silent for a moment. "And what about Throttle?" he asked.
Axle laid his hands on Stoker's shoulders. "I know you'll take care of him for me," he replied.
"That I will. However, how am I supposed to explain you running off in the middle of the night? God, Axle, ain't he been through enough trauma without you running off and getting your ass shot off?"
Axle only continued to look at him. "Take care of my boy, Stoker. I'm counting on you. I'll be back, I swear."
Stoker sighed. His mind was made up. "Go, before the others wake up. I'll take it from here." Axle hugged him briefly, making Stoker's eyes widen, and then he turned disappearing out of the tunnel opening of their underground shelter.
Soon Axle's heavy footsteps died away, and Stoker rolled over and tried to lay back down to sleep, when he heard soft sniffling coming from across the room. He lifted his head again and saw that Throttle was balled up on his cot, crying quietly. He'd heard the whole thing.
Stoker sighed, kicking the blankets off him and went and laid down next to him, wrapping his arms around the thin quivering mass under the covers. "Hush now, it's all right." he assured the young boy quietly.
"I hate him..." Throttle muttered in a strained voice.
"Hate who?" Stoker asked, rubbing his shoulder.
"Smoke. I hate him. I'm glad he's gone, I hope he never comes back!"
"Now you don't mean that, Throttle. I know you don't."
"How do you know what I feel? My dad's gone again because of him...I hate him..." the boy whimpered.
"Shhh. No you don't. You're angry, sure. I understand that. But you don't hate him, Throttle. He's your brother, he's just a baby. He can't help what's happening to him. As for your dad, he'd do the same for you."
Throttle didn't say anymore, but instead rolled over, hiding his face in Stoker's chest and sniffling quietly. Stoker smiled and held him tightly, tucking him back under the covers and turning off the remaining light in the bunk.
The next morning the remaining group packed up everything, tossing their supplies into the back of Cody's massive jeep and headed East towards Brimstone and the Arias Mountains, their next outpost. No one questioned where Axle had gone, they already knew, so Cody contented himself and the kids with bar stories and very dirty jokes while Stoker concentrated on the task at hand.
He wasn't sure what was waiting for them up in those mountains, and with such a small force he wasn't sure he would be ready for whatever the Plutarkians threw at them. The truth was, he needed a few good Mice. In fact, not a few, a whole LOT of good Mice. Finding them, however, was the problem.
He glanced to his rear view mirror at the boys all sitting among the supplies, doing their best to look cheerful. They had grown up a lot since the whole bloody mess began and were aging into some fine Freedom Fighters.
But one fact kept glaring in Stoker's face. They were only kids, Modo being the oldest at just eighteen. He certainly was old enough to fight if he wanted to, but his mother wouldn't hear of it. Throttle was only sixteen, and Stoker knew damn well that Axle would skin him alive if he put his kid deliberately in harms way. Vinnie was younger still at only fourteen and no way in hell was he mature enough to fight, however eager he was for it.
"Hey, watch the road!" Cody said, suddenly throwing his arms around Stoker's neck, snapping him out of his thoughts and forcing him to look at the road where he almost ran over a stray Squirrel-Bat.
"Damn things always jumping out in front of me when I'm not looking..." Stoker grunted.
"I believe the 'not looking' part is the problem, bro." Cody replied. "What were you thinking about? Some dirty thoughts huh?" Cody chuckled unto Stoker and Tawny ground their heels into his feet, making him yelp and the kids laugh.
"Shut your pie-hole, Orion." Stoker grunted.
"Never mind him, Stoke. What were you thinking about? Looked like you went to another planet." Tawny asked.
Stoker didn't say anything for a moment. "It was nothing." He lied.
"Liar, liar, tail on fire!" Vinnie chanted.
Stoker grimaced. "Definitely not ready to be Freedom Fighters..." he muttered to himself.
About an hour later they came upon the village, which was so quaint and quiet they wondered if they had slipped into a time-warp.
"Wow, check it out..." Vinnie said as he hopped off the back of the jeep. "It's like a blast from the past, man!"
"Mind your manners," Modo scolded, waving and smiling politely to an old lady crossing the street.
"I think you can do that enough for all of us, bro." Throttle replied.
"Well, looks like we won't be finding any recruits here, Stoke. Looks like the locals are heading for the hills at just the sight of us." Tawny said.
"I'm not surprised." Stoker sighed, running a hand through his hair. "We've got to get some more fighters soon, guys. I mean, this whole 'you and me against the world' thing just isn't going to cut it." he said. Cody nodded.
"Well, let's not worry about this for now. Maybe these people will lighten up when they realize we're just looking for some help and haven't come to steal their souls. I'm starved, let's find a restaurant."
"Yeah!" the bros cheered as they took off across the dusty road. Stoker and Tawny lagged behind.
The white-furred mouse took his arm, "You alright, sugar? You've been awfully quiet ever since Axle hauled tail last night."
"I'm worried, Tawny. I worried for the kids, I'm worried for you and Cody, I'm worried for myself...I can't do this alone. We need young blood." he admitted.
After dinner, and the usual door-to-door recruit bit, which was met with many doors being slammed in their faces and Stoker blowing his top, screaming about not fighting to save their own asses and waiting until the whole planet was just a dust ball, that they finally settled in for the night.
Cody was acquaintance with the hotel manager, and he gave them a good room for cheap, someplace safe and out of the way.
The six of them all huddled in the middle of the room at the kitchen table, their plans spread out in front of them charts and graphs along side them, trying to predict the Plutarkians next move.
"Hey, Stoke," Modo said at length.
"What is it, bro?" Stoker asked tiredly.
"Well, me and my bros, we know what's bothering ya, and we think we've got a solution to your problem." he said.
Stoker looked up at him, giving him a half-hearted smile. "And what might that be?" he asked.
"Us!" the trip cried. "Sign on three new official Freedom Fighters, bro!" Vinnie cheered.
"No way," Stoker replied in a stone-cold voice.
"Why not?" Throttle protested. "You said yourself we were getting better, and you know we can take care of ourselves! Come on, give us some credit!"
"The answer is no," Stoker replied, shaking his head.
"Stoker, you can't turn me down at least. I'm eighteen, I'm old enough to fight." Modo spoke up then.
"Your mother would never forgive me." Stoker answered.
"My mama ain't here!" Modo shouted, which shocked everyone. Stoker stood up then, slamming his hands down on the table, swiping their plans and maps to the floor.
"You wanna fight, huh? That's what you want? You want me to give you three guns and say 'sure kids! Go have fun! Kill people, watch them beg you for mercy, watch them die by your hands! Watch them kill the people you love without any remorse and then expect you to show them compassion!' Is that what you want me to say? I'm not going to have any more blood on my hands, especially not the blood of three wanna-be-bikers who don't know jack squat about war or fighting or biking!"
"Then teach us," Vinnie said finally, breaking the silence. "Teach us how to fight, you're so smart, teach us!"
"NO! I will NOT!" Stoker cried back. Cody took his shoulders to steady the shaking man.
"Steady, bro, steady. Come on, everybody lights out, try to get some sleep. I don't want to hear anymore about this tonight.," he said, leading Stoker over to his bed, while the others resigned to their own.
Everyone was dead asleep when it began. The rumbling of tanks outside, the looting, the shooting. The Plutarkians had rolled into the little town under the cover of night and began raiding the place, having caught wind of where the Freedom Fighters were staying.
The hotel manager came racing up the stairs to their room when he heard the commotion outside, banging on the door.
"What is it, Leo...?" Cody murmured, answering the door butt-naked. The manager looked frantic.
"They're here! The Plutarkians, and they're looking for you! There's a tunnel out of here in the kitchen. It may buy you some time, hurry go now!"
The others were awake and on their feet at once, stuffing papers into back-packs and pulling on their clothes as they raced down the hallways, hearing the enemy drawing closer.
"I'll try to distract them." Leo said.
Stoker and Cody nodded as Tawny ushered them in front of her into the kitchens where he had specified. There was a loud bang on the door. The soldiers were here. Stoker and Cody pulled their hand guns from their holsters at their sides, covering their friends as they rushed into the kitchen pantry while the manager went to face his certain doom.
"Found it!" Modo called quietly, lifting up a heavy wooden plank that was almost invisible inside the pantry to expose a ladder and a dirt tunnel below.
"Boys, you go first. Stoke, Cody and I will follow." Tawny said as they began to climb down the ladder. James
"Be careful, Tawny." Vinnie called.
She nodded closing the door behind them, then went to join Cody and Stoker at the door. They were listening as the manager attempted to talk his way out of the situation, while the Plutarkians scouts searched the upstairs, their heavy footsteps resounding against the wood floor.
"I swear, officer, we haven't seen any strangers here tonight." Leo insisted.
"I'm sure you haven't." replied the officer. "All the same, I don't like your face. You smile too much. Makes you look suspicious." he said.
The mice tensed as they heard the click of a gun cocking, and then a loud blast, and the sound of a body hitting the floor. Cody leaped out, weapon ready.
"LEO!" he cried, seeing his friend lying dead on the floor, his face blown off. "Mother fucker!" he cursed, opening fire on the soldiers, mowing them down. Tawny and Stoker followed suit.
"Are the kids safe?" Stoker shouted.
"They're fine!" Tawny screamed, hurtling several mouse grenades through the windows to the outside.
"Good! Let's get out of here!" Stoker cried as he plowed through the front door, gunning down any enemy that came too close, making the silent winter night come alive with gun-fire.
Then suddenly, from the roof, a scout pounced, throwing Stoker roughly to the ground and pinning him there. He pressed the barrel of his gun behind Stoker's ear.
"DON'T MOVE!" he warned. Cody and Tawny at once turned to help their friend, but his captor ground his face harshly into the dirt, pushing the gun harder against his skull.
"One more step and I swear I'll blow his brains out!" he shouted.
"Run bros! Forget about me!" Stoker cried through the dirt that was being crushed into his mouth. The remaining scouts closed in on them, all ready to shoot at the slightest movement.
"Sorry, Stoke. Can't do that." Cody sighed, letting his gun fall to the ground as he raised his hands.
Furious, Stoker whipped his head around and caught one of the Plutarkians fingers in his mouth, and bit it off mercilessly, spitting it onto the ground. The sniper screamed in pain, and quickly clubbed the Martian into unconsciousness.
"Don't worry, buddy, I got an extra finger you can borrow." Cody said, flicking him off, despite his restraints.
They were all lead away in an iron car, and taken away.
From their safe vantage point, Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie watched their friends capture. We're in for some serious overtime, bros." Modo said softly.
The bros managed to follow the brigade of Plutarkians out of town and back to their own camp without being seen, which was extremely fortunate for them. The Plutarkians had set themselves up a temporary post among the many caves inside the mountain region, and ingenious hiding place, really. The mice had to give the fish-tub-o-lards that, they were pretty smart when it came to planning attacks.
"Okay, so now what?" The fish-faces got Stoker and the others, not to mention the whole village up there with them, with only us to save their tails." Modo sighed anxiously from their hiding spot among the rocks.
"We can't call for back-up?" Vinnie asked.
"We're too far out of range, the reception's terrible the mountains. And besides, even if we COULD contact someone, by the time they'd get here everyone would have been executed." Throttle replied.
"Bummer." Vinnie answered.
"Major." Modo added.
Throttle began banging his head against the nearby rock, making a soft-thudding sound. Modo and Vinnie exchanged curious glances.
"Hey, bro, don't worry, we'll--" his older bro began, but Throttle held up a finger to shush him.
"Shh! I'm trying to think!" he grunted.
Vinnie and Modo stared at each other. "Hey, whatever works I guess." Vinnie muttered.
"Oh mama, watching you think is giving me a headache!"
"Wait...I think I'm getting something." Throttle added then, turning back to them. "Okay, in the dead of night, we'll sneak into the cave where they're holding the prisoners, free everyone, set some explosives, and then haul tail like there's no tomorrow!" Throttle said.
"Okay, that sounds great, bro, but one question," Vinnie interjected. "Where are we going to get the explosives, and how are we going to keep from getting caught?" Throttle blinked.
"Oh great!" Vinnie cried in aggravation, throwing his hands in the air.
"Okay, so what's your plan, smart guy?" Throttle shot back.
"Bros, bros, bros..." Modo hushed them hurriedly. "I think I know where we can get the dynamite..."
They watched as their enemy began hauling boxes of T.N.T into a separate cave. Their motivation became clear. They were planning to cause an avalanche to bury the town. Well, not if the Biker Mice from Mars could help it.
"I think our problem is solved." Throttle grinned.
Stoker, Cody, and Tawny all sat bound hand and foot, and back to back against the cold stone floor, awaiting their execution. Naturally to save themselves, the people of the village had ratted them out like no tomorrow, under the idea that if they told the Plutarkians who the Freedom Fighters were, they would be allowed to return to their homes unharmed. Only the Freedom Fighters knew that once they let the people return to their homes that they would set off the explosives, burying them all alive under rock and snow.
"So this is it, huh?" Tawny asked wistfully as they sat there, waiting to die.
"Guess so." Cody shrugged.
"I hope that the kids got away safely. As long as they're alright, I can die peacefully." Stoker replied.
"Any regrets?" Cody asked, trying to smile.
"Besides dying?" Tawny muttered. "Yeah..." she said, turning her eyes towards Stoker, who was staring at the floor.
"My only regret, besides dying," Cody began, "is that I never got in your pants, Stoker."
"Thanks, Cody." Stoker grunted. "Means a lot to me."
Cody wrapped his tail around Stoker's brushing it up and down trying to comfort him. Tawny let her head slump against Stoker's shoulder, an he kissed her forehead.
"It'll be alright," he tried to assure her.
Then suddenly an ominous fat figure appeared in the entrance of the cave, wearing a black hood and grinning at them menacingly with his yellow sharp teeth.
"It's time fur-bags." he hissed, then he dragged them up one by one and thrust them outside into the cold night air, lining them up against the stone wall as the firing squad lined up opposite of them. "Any last words?" the executioner asked snidely.
"Yeah," Stoker said, looking back and forth between Cody and Tawny, "Go fuck yourself."
The Plutarkian frowned and raised his hand. "Ready..."
Tawny closed her eyes, biting her lip, trying not to cry.
Cody held his breath. Stoker stared straight ahead, defiant to the last.
"Sir! Sir!" one the scouts cried suddenly, rushing forward. The executioner looked at him angrily.
"What the hell is it, you dolt, can't you see I'm in the middle of something here?" the other man asked incredulously.
"But sir, the prisoners have all escaped!" he exclaimed.
The others turned to stare at him, along with the three mice. "The whole village?! Who was watching them?" the executioner screamed.
"Both sentries were found naked and tied up, sir, they're unconscious." the other fish answered.
"The boys..." Stoker breathed.
"FREEDOM FIGHTERS ATTACK!" a voice that was distinctly familiar rang above them.
Modo's bike suddenly appeared out of nowhere, knocking each and every member of the firing squad over the side of the rock face. Throttle then appeared beside the other three mice, slashing their bonds.
"Little bros!" Cody cried happily.
"No time, come on!" he said as Stoker leaped on behind him and Cody behind Modo, leaving only Tawny.
"Where's the punk?" Stoker asked.
Vinnie appeared seconds later, pulling Tawny on behind him. "Sorry bros! Hey, pretty lady, going my way?"
"T-minus five minutes and counting, Throttle!" Modo said, glancing at the clock on his bike.
"Let's rock and ride!" Throttle cried as they all sped off down the mountainside.
"What's going on?" Tawny asked, clinging to Vinnie.
"Don't worry about it, babe, the Freedom Fighters have got it all under control." he assured her.
"Where are the villagers?" Cody questioned.
"We got them out earlier. They're all safe at the bottom of the mountain. We sent them ahead to Brimstone." Modo answered.
"And the gill-faces?" Stoker asked, glancing behind him.
"Not a problem." Throttle grinned as the clock suddenly buzzed loudly and a huge roar of explosions echoed above them.
"FIRE JETS!" Vinnie sang happily as the three of them kicked it into over drive, making it safely out of the avalanche's range just below.
Now out of harms way and safe back on the ground, they all stopped to look back and admire their work. The village, for the most part, had managed to survive the attack, though a few buildings were damaged. Throttle had been very strategic in where he placed the T.N.T. to isolate the damage to one area.
They climbed off the bikes, slapping each other congratulatory high-fives.
"Martians one, Plutarkians zero!" Vinnie laughed.
Tawny kissed his cheek. "My hero!"
"That it, free beer for everyone!" Cody laughed.
Stoker said nothing, staring back at the mountains and then slowly turning to face the boys, who were all looking at him anxiously.
"Stoke, look, I know we put ourselves in danger, and we should have called for back up but..." Throttle began, but the rest of his explanation was abruptly muffled as Stoker got all three of them into a tight hug.
When he finally let them go, he looked them in eyes, smiling brightly. "I'm so proud of all of you."
The trio blushed, beaming with pride.
Stoker chuckled, nodding. "I guess I was wrong about you three. You really have grown up from those naÃ¯ve little boys I met so long ago. You've grown into fine men."
"Aww, thank Stoke." Modo grinned.
Stoker dusted himself off then, and turned heading towards where they had stashed Cody's jeep. They all looked after their leader, and Cody turned back to the kids, grinning. "Wait until your parents hear about this!" he said excitedly. "Of course we might downplay the life threatening parts..."
"Hey, this ain't no time for tea and crumpets, gentlemen! Come on, we've got a rendezvous at Brimstone!" Stoker called from the jeep. "Move it Freedom Fighters!"