I Cannot Tell a Lie

On this bright and sunny day in Wildcat City, Leo the Patriotic Lion was out taking his morning constitutional. He made sure he always took a walk each morning, as he liked to be outgoing and liked talking to those he figured were hurt or discouraged. But today, it seemed like everybody was happy.

Of course, there was a reason to be happy. It was flag season. Old Glory was flying all over town more than ever before. Why? It was part of the city's appreciation for the flag, but it was also somewhat a marketing technique for the Martian Freedom Fighters, the rock group starring the Biker Mice. Their latest album was entitled "Star-Spangled Rock," which was also the CD's first song (with Throttle singing lead vocal). As a bonus track, Rimfire's hit "Beat It!" (in which he played a modern marching snare drum to add to the comedic effect and to Stoker's banging on the trap set) was included on the CD. "Beat It!" had also become a popular tune for marching bands to perform at football games.

Rimfire was the first to notice this when he waved to Leo as Leo passed the Last Chance Garage, where the Biker Mice were helping Charley rebuild their tri-fighter (after Limburger damaged it in the previous battle). That did not stop them from noticing Leo, so Leo decided to stop by. Although he was wearing casual wear instead of his golden armor or his green drum major's uniform (which is what helped make him such a public figure in the first place), it was still obvious it was him; he was wearing a white t-shirt with Old Glory on the front. All his casual wear was decorated with the Stars & Stripes, helping to emphasize his nickname, "Leo the Patriotic Lion," which he lived up to all the time.

"Had a long night, soldiers?" Leo asked.

"Pretty much," Throttle replied. "I think this is the longest we've ever spent rebuilding our tri-fighter. In case you haven't seen it, it allows us to fly as a three-mouse air unit, although it doesn't have a protective cover like the Turbokat or those Arwing planes the Star Fox team uses."

"I see," said Leo. "Well, all I can say is 'well done;' you still purified this town of that terrorist's body odor once again. He is more dangerous than those members of al-Qaeda or the Klu Klux Klan. I cannot tell a lie; both groups have suffered my wrath and are no longer a threat to this mighty nation of ours. I just hope you don't have to use that thing right now." His last remark was directed towards Throttle's antennae, which began glowing.

Throttle put his helmet and used his radar to track the source of the signal. "Battle mode, bros!" he announced. "We're going to rock the walls off this joint! Rimfire, you coming?"

"Am I ever!" Rimfire replied. "I can't tell a lie either, but I can't let my uncle take all the glory, can I?"

Modo laughed at the remark. "You sure have made your old uncle proud," he smiled as Rimfire saddled up. Within minutes, the four mice charged out of the way.

It soon became evident Leo didn't have to be involved, so he stayed behind with Charley and watched the action from the radar. Charley asked him, "Do you normally dress like this? I've always seen you in your green band uniform or armor until this point."

"I cannot tell a lie, Charlene; I do dress casual whenever I can," Leo replied, nodding his head. "I realize you may be tired of me saying, 'I cannot tell a lie,' but this town recently celebrated George Washington's birthday."

"Oh, yeah; he chopped down the cherry tree. Or did he?"

"I can't guarantee if that's truth or an urban legend, but the story goes when his father asked who cut down the tree, he replied, 'I cannot tell a lie. I chopped the tree down with my hatchet.' I, personally, have made it a goal of mine to make honesty the best policy. And all I ask is that you, the Biker Mice, and all my other network contacts do the same."

"Oh, absolutely. I can't stand liars either!"

Leo turned and viewed the area where the distress signal was coming from and sent it to the Biker Mice via one of his devices. He identified the captured victim held for ransom as one of his former military band colleagues, Lionel Craig (who wore a red drum major's uniform and was leader of a modern all-lion marching band that occasionally performed at halftime shows) and briefly explained his relationship with Lionel to Charley. Leo also sent a message to the Biker Mice and Rimfire, explaining who Lionel was but accidentally forgetting to mention he was one of Lionel's best friends.

Meanwhile, the Biker Mice and Rimfire caught up to the source of the distress signal, of which it soon became evident that Stoker, in his superhero form, was also answering the call. Although the group didn't recognize Lionel, Vinnie's intuition was leading them in the right direction. "I know marching music isn't my taste, bros," he said, "but why am I thinking that's one of Leo's friends? He didn't say if he was or not."

"I don't know," Modo replied. "Leo's uniform is green, and he said Lionel's is red, even though he's not wearing it today. Red. Green. And it's not even Christmas!"

"Friend or not, we've got to help him out," Throttle spoke up. "I'm surprised Limburger hasn't tried anything yet. Either he's using Lionel as bait to trap us—or Leo, if he's changed his focus over to him—or Limburger is holding him for ransom that he's not paying?"

"Blast!" Limburger exclaimed, hearing the remark. "Why can't they leave me alone for just one minute?" He ordered his goons to attack, but the fearless five were prepared. While Throttle relied on his pistol and Modo on his arm, Rimfire uses his trademark daredevil moves, going as far as even standing on his bike and letting it run on auto-driver while punching out air goons intended for him. Stoker took out all other air raiders single-handedly.

Lionel watched with intensity from the pole he was tied to. "So these are the alien mice Leo was telling me about," he said to himself. "Leo, I'll never doubt you again. You always pick the greatest of the greatest in crime fighting."

"WHY CAN'T ANYBODY RID ME OF THESE BOTHERSOME VERMIN?" Limburger screamed, throwing things all over his hideout (he gave up building his tower as it put him in a debt 675 times the current national debt of the United States of America). "WHY? WHY? TELL ME WHY!"

"We cannot tell a lie to you, Limburger!" Modo replied, with the famous bellowing tone he was known for when his eye began to glow with rage. "There are several reasons: 1) It's too hard to find good help these days; 2) you are public enemy number one, and 3) you're wanted: dead or alive, in every country around the world." He pulled his small American flag, as did Throttle, Vinnie, and Rimfire. (Stoker was still fighting the airborne goons.)

"No! NO!" Limburger exclaimed, shielding his eyes from the flag. "Get that piece of cloth away from me! I can't stand those colors! Get it away! Get it away! AAAH!"

"Flag hater!" Rimfire snorted. "That's what you are!"

"How can you be so tolerant towards a piece of cloth?" Limburger remarked as Throttle grabbed him.

"How can you be so intolerant of it?" Throttle replied with the authority of a drill sergeant. "As Leo the Patriotic Lion has taught us, this is not a piece of cloth; this is the symbol of the greatest nation in the world, and its colors have meaning. I don't think you normally hear me say something like this because of my voice, but I believe it's true, and I cannot tell a lie: America. Love it or leave it!"

"Well said, soldier!" Leo commented at the Last Chance Garage, listening to the voice of Throttle on one of his own communication devices he was showing Charley. "I cannot tell a lie; I couldn't have said it better myself."

The battle continued until it became evident only Super Stoker could pull off the victory in the end, as the Biker Mice were struggling to fight Limburger's goons and find a way to free Lionel (although Rimfire managed to eventually free him by whipping some tail). Stoker, after radioing instructions to his comrades, took a nosedive towards Limburger's hideout and blew it up with his brute strength (similar to feats in old theatrical cartoons performed by Mighty Mouse).

Although Limburger managed to escape Throttle's grasp, he couldn't escape from them or the police officers sent to investigate, so he turned himself in (although sobbing all the more).

Back at the Last Chance Garage, as everyone was leaving to eat lunch and celebrate, the Biker Mice, Rimfire, and Stoker got acquainted with Lionel. When Stoker asked why he was tied up, Lionel replied (naturally), "I cannot tell a lie. Limburger was holding me for ransom. He was going to use the $30 million worth of ransom money to build a device that would harness the sun's energy and possibly burn us all to death. He picked me because he was tired of Leo's harassment, as he put it. I know, Leo. Wrong choice of words."

"It's understandable why he'd say that," Leo replied. "I'm just happy you are okay. This does mark the first time I've seen you in a while, however; I remember you serving under my command in my band days and you were always willing to do whatever it took to prove that the U.S. Lion Corps Band is the best in the world. Of course, Tom would argue that and say the U.S. Tiger Corps Band is the best, but that's okay; a friendly rivalry is better than no rivalry at all, at least in cases between lions and tigers."

"The next time you are endangered like that, just give us a call, okay?" Throttle added.

"I will, Throttle," Lionel promised. "And I am glad to meet you; this is the first time I've seen you in person."

"Oh, is it?" Modo replied as the group arrived at Maximum Mighty Melt. "I hope it's not the last time. As my dear old gray-furred momma always said, 'The best relationships are the ones where the friends stick close together.' I'll never forget that. Momma, you taught your son well!" He smiled as the group entered the restaurant.


Biker Mice From Mars © Rick Ungar, Tom Tataranowicz, Tom Tataranowicz Animation, Brentwood Television Funnies, and whoever else owns the rights

Leo the Patriotic Lion, Tom the Patriotic Tiger, and Lionel Craig © me