"Why can't I do anything right?" Rump shouted as he stomped around his office. "Every time I go for more money or take over the world—that is, I attempt to take over the world—those mingy mice always show up to crash the party! I can't understand what I'm doing wrong!"

"I can't understand anything you do!" Dr. Catorkian argued. "I just follow orders. By my book, everything you do is pointless."

"Pointless?" Rump exclaimed. "Why?"

"In the opinion of those mingy mice, you're becoming too predictable, just like Dr. Robotnik. You need to spice up the deal. Give them something they don't expect. Or is even that expected by the public?"

"I don't know," said Rump, "but you've got a point. What I need to do is something nobody, not even those mice, would expect me to do. That means I'll have to put the Regenerator I own away for awhile, since I'm always using that and I need a new one. Why hasn't that Stoker made it rechargeable yet?"

"I don't know, sir, but surely he's bound to make one." Catorkian sat down to rest. He placed his head on his desk and stayed that way for a few minutes.

The problem with that value judgment on both villains' behalf was that Stoker had already invented a rechargeable Regenerator, sent it to Mars special delivery so that Mars could be terraformed, and received heralding as a hero by both his fellow Martian mice and Americans alike. And since Stoker was now a superhero, composers for orchestra (not just Leo the Patriotic Lion) began creating such material to be used in films in case Stoker or another superhero was to be the star of such a movie.

"It's all pointless!" Rump repeated to himself again and again. "I'm not going to surrender, but sometimes I feel that's the way to go. And out with that ugly rock-and-roll; the Rump family has a tradition of only accepting opera." He said this because Martian Mice treat rock music with the same level of appreciation as Americans once gave to John Phillip Sousa (according to Leo).

Today, Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie had taken notice of Rump's absence from crime, and it was making Throttle suspicious. "I have a bad feeling about it, bros," he said. "Rump roast has to be plotting something big."

"Either that or he's too depressed to do anything unpredictable," Modo replied. "Seems to me everything he does is pointless."

"That's just how I feel, bro," said Vinnie. "Unlike yours truly, he just hates the thought of adrenaline rush. What a rush!"

Eventually it got to the point where Rump had decided what to do. "I don't want to risk taking Stoker or that darling Charlene hostage," he had told Catorkian, "so I'll go for that bratty nephew of the big gray rat."

"You mean Rimfire?" Catorkian exclaimed. "But he's a secret agent-type. He can break out of anything."

"He won't be able to break out of this one," said Rump, pulling out his latest mousetrap. It looked like any typical jail cell with doors on all four sides, but it also had a protection force field designed so that nobody (except for possibly Modo) could break out of it. Not even Leo would have been able to break out of it.

"It had better work, or else, the blame goes on you!" Rump threatened.

"Why me?" Catorkian objected. "We are marching in the same parade."

"As long as I am the grand marshal and those mice or that loudmouth lion don't interfere, everything will go smooth. Don't get to the point I may distrust you forever."

"I thought you already did."

"Well, if I do, I'm not aware of it. Just back off and let me handle this one." Rump sneered at Catorkian before turning on the ignition. Within seconds, Rimfire appeared inside the cell, as if he had been part of a magic trick. "I don't know what this is all about, lard butt," he shouted, "but you let me out of here or my Uncle Modo will make you sorry you got me in here!"

"Oh, tsk, tsk!" Rump scolded in a mocking tone. "Reduced to name calling!"

Rimfire tried all sorts of moves but couldn't escape the cell. What surprised Rump was that he wasn't taking the electric shock. "I don't understand it!" he exclaimed. "You're supposed to be electrocuted!"

"Never underestimate the power of a Freedom Fighter!" Rimfire replied with the authority of Leo. He found his communicator and signaled his uncle. "Rimfire to Biker Mice! Rimfire to Biker Mice!"

"Hey, that's Rimfire!" Modo exclaimed. "This is your Uncle Modo. We hear you, boy! Come in! Where are you? What's all the noise?"

"Don't panic, Uncle," Rimfire replied. "I can handle it like a true soldier should. Rump roast is sick of being so predictable, so he thought the most unpredictable thing he could do was take me hostage instead of you, Throttle, Vinnie, or even Stoker. The cell I'm in is a 50 x 50 x 50, with jail bars protected by a force field. There's no way I can break through this, and there's no key that will open it. I won't go down without a fight, but I don't want to fight a losing battle."

"Hang in there, bro," Throttle spoke up. "We'll get you out of there, one way or the other." After Modo broke off the communication link, Throttle announced to his bros, "Say it like you mean it, fighters! It's time to ROCK…"

"…and RIDE!" all three shouted in unison, running to their bikes, gunning the engines, and racing to the scene. Startled at what she saw, Charley ran to the automatic garage door opener and pressed the button. The door finished opening just as the Mice were exiting.

"Ugh! I've just got to teach them the etiquette of leaving a room!" Charley groaned to herself.

The Mice made their way over to Rump's tower, only to find Leo the Patriotic Lion, golden armor and all, infiltrating the tower. "Hey, Leo!" Vinnie called. "You knew Rimfire was in here, too?"

"No, but I kept hearing this odd sound and wanted to investigate," Leo replied. "I see your comrade is trapped in his own box, if you know what I mean."

"We know what you mean," said Throttle. "How are we going to get him out of there? From his perspective, it's impossible." (By now, our heroes made it inside the tower, and goons of Rump's were attacking. They spoke to each other as they counterattacked.)

"Simple," said Leo. "We destroy the cell box."

"But it's impossible to destroy!" Modo objected.

"From the inside, it is," Leo explained. "My tiger counterpart, Tom the Patriotic Tiger, once got trapped in a box like this. He couldn't get out no matter what he tried, even if it meant suicide by bomb or dynamite action, which he wasn't willing to do, though it would've been a patriotic thing to do, because our city was fighting its legendary Battle of the Borders against the Quarrelsome Quartet, enemies of the G-52 organization SUPERCAT and WARCAT are part of. When I tried using explosives on it, however, Tom got out uninjured. Maybe we can do the same for your nephew."

"Worth a try, as long as he's not going to get hurt," Modo replied, getting his emotions together. "Okay. I'll do it." He aimed his bionic arm at the cell.

"Brace yourself, soldier!" Leo called. "Your uncle's going to try and blast you out of there."

"Bring it on!" Rimfire shouted with determination. "If anybody can do it, my uncle can!"

Modo aimed and fired. As Leo promised, Rimfire wasn't hurt. It took several shots, however, to break the force field, so Throttle drew his pistol, and Vinnie summoned some of the flares in his crossbelt.

"Insurance…" Rump began as the resulting explosions caused damage that made the tower tumble while the mice and Leo escaped unhurt. Sound familiar? Of course it does; Lawrence Limburger used to have this problem!

"Looks like Rump's crib is totaled!" Throttle laughed.

"There he is, men!" Leo announced as Rump emerged from his now-broken tower, black as printer ink. "At least I think that's him," Leo continued in a confusing tone.

"Oh, loving the new look!" Vinnie smiled. "Very Martian eye for the slimy guy!"

"Hold on a second," Modo interrupted. "Where's his Regenerator? He's always using that."

"He let it rest, and now it's resting in peace," Rimfire replied, pointing to Rump's Regenerator that was now nothing but scrap.

"How about that?" Throttle exclaimed. "Well, old Rump roast is never going to be able to turn any sacred building into one of his own anymore!"

"Where's my flag?" Vinnie added, looking for a small American flag he and his bros each carried after Leo imposed traditions on them.

As police apprehended Rump and arrested him (again), crowds who witnessed the destruction were cheering all the more for the Mice (and to a lesser extent, Leo) after Leo announced the death of the Regenerator that was in Rump's possession.

When Stoker found out, he said, "Sort of sorry to see it go because it was my invention, but all for the better, I guess; nothing has an importance level like Old Glory."

"Hey, don't sweat it, bro," Vinnie assured him. "You built another one and Mars is safe forever because of that. You ought to be proud of that. I am. So is Leo."

"Pride comes before a fall," Stoker replied, "and I don't want to fall."

"That's a noble thing of you to say, soldier," said Leo, "but you can take pride in the accomplishment. Sooner or later, people will honor you the way they honor George Washington! And besides, it was all in vain from Rump's perspective; like everything else he ever did, it was pointless! I rest my case and my drum-and-fife reputation on it!"

"I can work with that," Stoker smiled as the group headed for the nearest hot dog stand to eat. Having finished one movement of his symphony intended as a tribute to Stoker, Leo began work on the next part.


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

Leo the Patriotic Lion, SUPERCAT, WARCAT, G-52s, and world © me