Fair warning: this is not your conventional songfic. Rather than incorporate the lyrics of the song(s) throughout the piece, this fanfiction is inspired and written to the music and lyrics of the songs "Savin' Me" and "Fight for All the Wrong Reasons" by those glorious people known as Nickelback. Bow to them, for their rock is pure awesomeness. I would suggest listening to "Fight for All the Wrong Reasons" about midway through reading the fiction (either where the letter shifts perspectives or where Throttle's main narrative takes over). "Savin' Me" should be listened to towards the end (I'll not give spoilers; just listen to it after "Fight for All the Wrong Reasons" ends).
This fanfiction is based entirely off of GirlyGeek's recent (and awesome) fanfiction: Earth: The Final Battlefield. Anya is therefore not a character of mine, and all credits for her awesomeness go to GirlyGeek. On a similar note, the characters of Throttle, Vinnie, Modo, Charley, and Lawrence Limburger are exclusive property of his majesty Rick Ungar (I'm looking for a blood sacrifice for Monday; any volunteers for me and inu?). The same goes for the Plutarkian and Martian races.
As this fiction was finalized and written before the release of Chapter 5 of Earth: Final Battlefield, there may be some deviations between this fiction and any chapters subsequent to Chapter 5. Don't kill me if you're a canon freak; this is fanfiction, and I've done my best to keep to her canon. I've taken a couple liberties, yes, but I've even gone so far as interview GirlyGeek to make sure I've gotten key things right. I'm just a loyal fan inspired by a great work (but I still think you're way too mushy ;D).
"Το ξέρω πως καθένας μοναχός πορεύεται στον έρωτα,
μοναχός στη δόξα και στο θάνατο.
Το ξέρω. Το δοκίμασα. Δεν ωφελεί.
Άφησε με να έρθω μαζί σου.
I know that each one of us travels to love alone,
alone to faith and to death.
I know it. I've tried it. It doesn't help.
Let me come with you."
– Yiannis Ritsos
Fight for All the Wrong Reasons
"I'll see your root beer and raise you a ginger ale."
Drink-and-poker night. The broken holdings of six-packs lay on the ground near the chairs of two women. Red hair draped over a hand of cards, so intent was Anya Blaine on the game. "You're bluffing," she said through gritted teeth. A root beer and a lemon-lime soda were all that was left of her supply, and in her frustration Anya had anted up her root beer. The lemon-lime was the last of her winnings. How bittersweet; she hated lemon-lime.
"Bluffing or no, what have you got to lose?"
"The best of my drinks," Anya groused.
Charley Davidson laughed and leaned back in her chair. She drew her thick auburn bangs away from her green eyes. "Then give it to Throttle; he likes lemon-lime, right?"
Anya was about to give a bitter retort when a knock sounded. Being in the underground base's main garage, the sound of metal hitting metal was singularly distinctive. "What does Modo want?" Anya muttered, turning in her chair to face the doors. Charley shrugged and rose from her seat, walking to the nearby lever. No sooner was it pulled and the doors began to open that Modo's heavy panting could be heard through the crack.
Modo didn't even wait for the door to open. When it was halfway open, he bent himself at the waist and shoved his way through the gap.
Charley immediately noticed the stress on his face. She led him to her chair and seated him. Modo was a sensible mouse; rather than loosing a barrage of incoherent babble, he sat down to catch his breath and took the bottle of water Charley offered to him. He needed to gather his thoughts.
Anya's attention had shifted immediately upon seeing Modo. Poker cards forgotten, she had gotten up and hovered behind the mouse, ready to get something should he need it. His face was pale beneath the grey fur, and his chest heaved as he tried to breathe.
When he had sufficiently recovered, Modo said, "Throttle's gone."
Charley blinked once and frowned. "Um…yeah, we know. Tonight was his night to pick up the second round of drinks."
"No!" Modo shouted, shaking her off. "I mean he's gone, gone! He left, and all he left us was this note!" Modo leaned forward and reached into his aft pocket, drawing out a haphazardly-folded sheet of paper. Before Charley or Anya could snatch it from him, however, he unfolded it and read it aloud.
I'm real sorry about this. I don't know why I ever thought I could get back into it. I can't stick around…I can't even appreciate what you've done for me."
Throttle replayed in his mind the note he left behind. He muttered it to himself as he stared over a cliff at a silver splotch in the distance. There was no wind, no rain. The perfect day to die. "I can't even bring myself to totally sober up. I tried Anya, I really did babe, but…" Throttle shuddered slightly, and a few tears carved light channels into his fur. "…I just can't let go. She did everything for us, for Mars. And then, to be killed like she was…" The tears now flowed freely. Dark spots and streaks began to form on his crossed arms.
"I'm going to kill the bastard. Tonight." Throttle clenched his teeth as the anger replaced his depression. "Limburger dies. I know where he's be and when he'll be there, so I'm going to kill him. For Carbine."
There was no wind, no rain. It was the perfect day to die.
Modo's voice had become thick with emotion, and tears drizzled from his gleaming red eye. "I'm really going to miss you guys. Really, you're the best family a bro could ask for. I guess this is it, though; I'll see you on the other side.
"And Anya? I'm real, real sorry for hitting you darlin'. I really, really am. Love, Throttle.
Modo's voice gave way as he slammed his flesh fist on the table, breaking a piece off. Neither women spoke; they were both stunned. Anya fell into her seat and let her head fall into her hand. Charley stood with both hands leaning on the table, her mouth slightly agape and her eyes blank and glazed.
Charley was the first to make a move. She shirked the table and ran to the garage communicator, hurriedly entering the frequency code for Vinnie's patrol.
Anya heard very little of what went on. She didn't feel it when Modo got up and punched a hole in the wall, and though she saw and heard Charley speak with – and eventually yell at – her husband across the communicator, none of it registered in her brain. An oppressive silence had a vice grip on her head. A single, silent thought played itself over and over in Anya's mind.
I'm going to kill that fucking mouse!
Charley frustratedly slammed the communicator back in its holster before grabbing Anya by the shoulders and shaking her out of her trance. "Come on!" Charley said, "We know where he's going, so let's go get him!"
Completely dry-eyed now, Modo stood up and moved back to the doors. "Where?" was all that escaped his lips. Anya, who had begun to gather herself again, found herself flinching at the pure savagery of his growl. She'd never heard him so mad, nor had she seen the fury that turned his eye into a brilliant red.
Charley pulled down another lever on the wall and whistled. The bikes inside revved to life, and scooted out to their appropriate riders. Pulling on her helmet, Charley said, "Vinnie is going to call us in with a rendezvous, but we know that the Plutarkians are sending a dropship north of Los Angeles by a couple hundred clicks."
Anya straddled her bike and stuffed her helmet on. "When we find that damn idiot, I get first dibs!"
Throttle eyed the dropship through his tinted helmet as he raced down a broken highway. Lady's shocks squealed and she beeped in protest, but Throttle paid her no attention. His eyes were fixed on the image plastered to the side of the dropship: a mousehead with a laser shooting up and through the face.
Limburger's personal emblem.
It hadn't left yet; that was good. Throttle saw a multitude of Plutarkian workers around the dropship. More specifically, he saw human and martian slaves loading cargo into the ship under the sadistic gaze of Plutarkian overseers. A grim defiance played across Throttle's features in the form of a smile as he drew a blaster from one of his bandoleers.
One shot, two shots, three. Three Plutarkians writhing on the ground and dying from precise blaster shots. A brazen Plutarkian lunged at Throttle, cracking an electric whip. Throttle drew the knife from his thigh-holster with his other hand and, with the practised ease of a veteran, slid it in and out of the Plutarkian's neck before Lady even passed him. Throttle didn't even hear the gurgle that came from the Plutarkian as it collapsed, its neck fountaining blood.
"Gun it Lady," Throttle commanded. Lady complied, taking full control of the steering and drive as Throttle released both handlebars and brandished his knife, firing a series of blasts into the myriad overseers.
It took a few moments for the Plutarkians to figure out that it was only one mouse assaulting them, but they eventually came around and began to return fire. Those without firearms brandished their whips threateningly.
Throttle's grin only widened, but it vanished as he saw the cargo hold of the dropship lift up to close. Throttle growled and took full control of Lady back, then proceeded to push her to her limits. He soared past the masses of Plutarkians and slaves into the cloud of dust billowing from the now-ascending dropship.
The dust around the dropship thickened, completely obscuring the vision of the Plutarkians it so willingly left behind. The lucky ones were shot in the head by their own allies; the unlucky ones found themselves either shocked to near-death or on the receiving end of a body shot.
The dropship finally cleared the dust cloud, with a maddened Throttle clinging to its port side like a limpet. So loud was the roar of the ship and so crazed was its stowaway that Throttle neither saw his bike speeding away to a nearby hill nor heard its beeps of desperation.
And the ship began its flight southward and upward.
"Say it again?"
Charley suppressed the urge to slap her husband, if only because Vinnie was out of arm's reach. "I told you Vinnie, Throttle is attacking the dropship alone!"
"Hey," Vinnie retorted indignantly, "I just need to make sure that I've got this straight. For all I know I'm in some fucked-up nightmare."
"You think you're in a nightmare? What about Anya?"
Anya fixed Charley with a determined glare. "Anya is going to rip Throttle's tail off and beat the fucking shit out of him with it!"
Nobody said anything. Modo had been especially quiet during the race to the landing zone, but his eye had never once dimmed in its shade of red.
Finally, Vinnie said, "We'll have to surround him, you know. If he's drunk, he's dangerous, but if he's sober…"
"We're royally screwed," Charley finished. "And I didn't see any alcohol stains on the paper, so he's probably sober." Vinnie nodded gravely. Fighting a drunk Throttle was manageable, but a sober Throttle – a Throttle that could think and plan and manipulate – was a much more deadly problem.
"Maybe we won't have to beat him," Modo said, pointing up ahead. The massive silver dropship had cleared the dust cloud and began its flight southwards, directly towards them.
Anya squinted. "That's weird, I could swear…oh my gawd! LOOK!" she cried, and pointed towards the dust cloud. At the base of the swell was a tiny black dot. The dot grew and grew steadily until it was distinguishable as a bike.
"It's Lady!" Vinnie roared, and he pumped his fist in the air.
"Don't celebrate yet," Charlie warned, turning pale.
Lady had no rider.
Lady zipped through the dirt and over the roads, striving to outstrip the dropship and reach Li'l Hoss and Sweetheart. Clearing a hill in a frenzied rush, Lady ground to a halt in front of the group. It beeped and revved, frantically, then turned itself so that its scanners pointed up at the approaching dropship.
Charley followed its line of sight, as did the others.
And they all cried out simultaneously.
It was all Throttle could do to keep his purchase on the side of the ship. What hair he hadn't cut for Anya blew wildly as the ship flew on. He kept his tail wrapped tightly around his waist, desperate to keep himself on board. When the dropship began to slow, he ventured to climb towards a nearby port hatch.
Eventually, Throttle's fingers gripped the handle of the batch. With the dropship having stopped in a hovering position, he found it easy enough to grip the handle and pull the hatch. At first it refused to yield, and Throttle cursed. Then, with a burst of energy, Throttle wrenched the door open. The force of his pull overbalanced him, and he tipped backwards into empty sky. Throttle flailed his arms in an attempt to re-establish his balance, but he lost his footing and began the fall towards the earth below.
Throttle's left hand closed around a bar running along the outside floor of the hatch. He gasped as he hung out in open air. With an effort Throttle swung his body around and gripped the bar with his other hand.
But Throttle could get no further. Standing above him in all his obese obliquity was Lawrence Limburger. Throttle let out a feral snarl and began to pull himself upwards, but Limburger grabbed a handle and placed the balls of both his shoes on Throttle's knuckles. "Tut tut," Limburger said over Throttle's gasp of pain. He jerked his finger in a reproving manner. "We can't have any of that now." He released the handle slightly, allowing more of his weight to press down onto Throttle's fingers. He laughed as Throttle cried out in pain; a cruel, thick, sadistic laugh. "Come now, my dear boy, did you really think that I would let you off that easily? I'm going to take as much pleasure in killing you as I did your dear demented damsel."
Throttle snarled again, and Limburger let out another greasy chuckle. "Oh yes, it was a congenial and carefully laid out plan. It was a veritable treat to watch her die. Did you know, I ordered that that demonic dame be shot with a bullet containing hydrochloric acid? Oh yes, once it bit into her it ate away at everything. She died most painfully.
"But she was very strong, dear boy; you must be so proud. All the time, with that bullet burning at her insides, she stayed quiet." Limburger scratched his chin and smiled thoughtfully. "Why…I wonder…" He took one of his feet off Throttle's left hand and ground into his right. "What sort of sound will you make when you die? Will you go quietly like your dear General?" Throttle's fingers slipped from the bar under the pressure of Limburger's heel. He could do nothing but look up as Limburger pressed down and ground into his other hand and it, too, began to slip. "Or will you go splat?"
Throttle's hand gave out and he watched, as if in slow motion, as he fell away from the dropship.
Anya and Charley screamed as Vinnie shouted something at Modo and the bikes revved into action.
The ship falling away…
His body turning in space…
The blue sky engulfing the dropship…
His weapons detaching from his waist…
The ground slowly overtaking the sky…
His tail whipping in the wind…
The screaming face of Anya as the stones of the Earth neared…
Well, that's it! Read and review please. This one was a bit tough and took a really long time to work with, so I would much appreciate your feedback. Unless, of course, it's along the lines of "ZOMG UR STOOP1D" or one of it's "too long; didn't read" counterparts. You've got better things to do with your time, I'm sure. Constructive criticism is most appreciated, though!