Rump's Dilemma

Ronaldo Rump sighed as he drove his blimp over the stratosphere, looking for a new place to use his Regenerator. He was determined more than ever to get rich after hearing how Stoker had made his new one rechargeable. Rump's was still modeled after the original, and its power was almost gone. Rump needed the new rechargeable type to keep his get-rich-quick schemes going and to keep his family tradition alive. But there was a multitude of problems: Stoker wasn't turning into the rat beast but rather a superheroic version of himself from the new sources of green and yellow tetrahydrocarbons (the previous exposure to the red ones had left him as the rat beast that was at one point wanted in 24 states across the country, that is, until Leo the Patriotic Lion intervened for the better). Cataclysm was dead (from an explosion due to a Regenerator malfunction while trying to take Mars in the name of the Catatonian Empire), and Hairball was in prison. Rump's only hope was taking control of the actions the Clawtroopers carried out, but Leo the Patriotic Lion, with Stoker's help, had imprisoned a bunch of Clawtroopers as well. (Dr. Catorkian, previously arrested, had paid for his own bail before being transferred to Alcatraz.)

"How am I going to do this?" Rump said to himself. "All my best help is gone, that Lawrence Limburger is a pain in the butt, that loudmouth lion in the golden armor and those mingy mice are even worse. This is going to take a lot of strategy on my part, but with no one to assist me, what's the point? At least I've got Catorkian back. That's a good thing. Wish those mingy mice would give up the rock and roll; it's too crazy." He continued to ponder about how to get more money in the bank as he drove on in silence, fantasizing on the idea.

For the Biker Mice, rock-and-roll was no fantasy; their band, the Martian Freedom Fighters, had successfully topped the charts for nine weeks in a row with their newest hit single, "Gun the Engines" (with Vinnie on lead) at #1. This replaced Sonic JAM's #1, "Speed, Speed, and More Speed," and the SWAT Kats Band's #1 power anthem, "Georgina" (named after Commander Feral's sister). Their band's last album, "Rock and Ride" (which included Rimfire's hit songs "Beat It!" and "Slash That Cat"), was their eighth album to sell one million copies in just one month (they had eleven all together). Many of the hit singles had Throttle or Vinnie on lead (or Rimfire to a lesser extent), but occasionally had Charley, Carbine, Harley, or Mace do a lead vocal. Stoker was content with never having the lead because he was the drummer, but he did add harmony to the vocals when necessary. Rimfire, being the mouse that played anything depending on the song, agreed to do trap set in case Stoker ever got a lead (at which Stoker would just sing).

The Martian Freedom Fighters (as a rock band) were also a bother to Rump. He didn't mind rock music; he just despised that particular band, as well as Sonic JAM and the SWAT Kats Band (for their association with the Biker Mice in certain team-ups). This explained why Rump was also made that comment to himself.

With the Last Chance Garage in Chicago now under Charley's sister's operation, Charley was enjoying working the one in Battlefield Range, a sub-city part of Wildcat City, Kansas (Leo the Patriotic Lion's hometown). She paused to let out a sneeze as she opened up the shop that morning. "Phew," she said. "I thought I'd never get through the night."

"Had a long night, Charley, ma'am?" Modo asked in sympathy.

"Sort of. I don't have a cold, if that's what you are asking. The neighbors threw a party with loud music. They didn't dare drink, because Leo's been nailing people for it. They just played loud music, some of which actually were our hits, past or present. Eventually, I was able to tune it out and sleep, but still, I feel tired. Hopefully, today will bring in plenty of business, since I lowered my oil change from $29.95 to $19.95. I haven't had time to post prices for car brake repairs, but those do start also at $19.95."

"Noisy neighbors, eh? I felt old stink fish was the same way."

"Why is that?"

"Before we met you after crashing into the scoreboard, Limburger used to drive us on Mars nuts by playing loud music. It drove us nuts because it wasn't rock-and-roll. I don't mind the other genres of music today, but some of them are just not my taste. Variety is the spice of life, after all. And speaking of variety…" Modo's last remark was directed towards a marching band passing by, playing Dixieland music. (In Wildcat City, there were tons of marching bands, which is the reason the metropolis has so famous since its founding in the 1800s. Some were associated with the military; others were just for show.)

"Why are there so many of those?" Charley asked. "I seem to come across one every five to ten minutes."

"According to Leo, that's what makes this town so famous. Probably the reason he lives here. There's eight times as many as there are, uh, whatever's the biggest number of channels you can get with DISH Satellite."

"Wow."

"I know. Amazing."

After waiting for the band to clear, Throttle and Vinnie drove their bikes into the parking lot. "Hey, Charley girl," Throttle greeted. "Just opened up?"

"Yep," said Charley. "Looks like I'm going to get me a lot of business."

"Let's hope so," said Vinnie. Just then, his antennas began glowing. "Uh-oh!" he exclaimed. "I sense danger!"

"So do I, bro," Throttle replied, beginning their world-famous battle cry. "It's time to ROCK…"

"…and RIDE!" everyone finished, riding off towards the area their antennas were leading them to. Vinnie turned on the radio so the Mice could rock as they rode, explaining why they said "rock and ride" instead of "rock and roll."

"Well, when in Wildcat City, do as the Biker Mice do," Charley chuckled to herself as she made way for some of the other employees she hired to help her run the garage. All the employees she hired she introduced to the Biker Mice and instructed them on how to work on their bikes, or when to let her work on the bikes.

The glow of the Mice's antennas led them right to the trouble-making spot (in addition to a message from Mace that he had been taken prisoner): an abandoned grassy area in another sub-city, Cat's Granby (where the bulk of the farming community was located), also telling the Mice that Rump was nearby. "You know, bros," Throttle spoke up, seeing Rump's blimp, "something seems to be weird here."

"You mean, like, the farm area?" Modo asked.

"Yeah," said Vinnie. "You'd think if Rump was going to use the Regenerator, he'd pick a city building."

"Well, maybe he's just taking a Sunday drive or something," Modo replied.

"He never takes a Sunday drive," Throttle argued. "I think it's something else."

"Like what?"

"A trap!" Throttle turned on the radar system within his helmet's technology and scanned the area. The radar's signals picked up Rump's Regenerator rays aiming for a grassy pasture. Before the Mice could do anything, the grass that was affected by the Regenerator had turned into a miniature plant that sold Rump-brand bottled water. (As much as the public hated Rump, they were willing to buy his products for the sake of keeping the economy alive.)

"Aye Chihuahua!" Rump exclaimed to himself. "It is a most beautiful sight!"

"Hmmm. Looks like lard lips has got Mace tied up by the tail!" Vinnie exclaimed.

"Do or die, bros!" Throttle announced. "Let's let him have it!"

"What a rush!" Vinnie replied in excitement. He took a megaphone and bellowed into it, "HEY, PORK BUTT! You know what time it is? IT'S TAIL-WHIPPING TIME!" He laughed his signature triumphant laugh and drove his bike towards a position where Throttle and Modo had created a jump for him.

"Oh, I see those mingy mice have joined the party," Rump said to himself. He buzzed the intercom and called for his goons. "Attention, all goons! Bring me the tails of the Biker Mice from Mars!"

Goons popped out of everywhere and began attacking from all sides. Modo readied himself with his bionic arm, and Throttle grabbed his pistol. "You ready to do this, bro?" he said.

"Let's rock 'em 'til we drop 'em!" Modo smiled. The two bros charged into action. Modo's bionic arm provided all the laser damage while Throttle pistol covered the rest. As expected, Modo's eye would glow with rage when one of the goons would say, "Looks like I caught me a big, fat rat!"

"RATS to you, pal!" Modo would yell back, firing his weapons. "What a flathead!" he commented after tossing one goon in the trash can.

Vinnie positioned his bike and brought it up to speed as he jumped the jump. His aim was perfect. Rump panicked over the sight and tried to steer his blimp away from Vinnie, but steered it too late: Vinnie made contact with the blimp.

"Make room for one more!" he laughed, proceeding to twirl the blimp around in circles (something similar to when Limburger hired the Weathermeister to freeze all of Chicago in the city's one and only Christmas crisis). He landed his bike without a scratch as Rump's blimp continued to twirl, spinning around and around, and making Rump dizzy. Mace took advantage of the twirling and abandoned ship, free-falling to safety, and landing safely in a James Bond-type pose.

By the time Throttle and Modo had taken care of all of Rump's goons, Rump's blimp was still twirling. Contrary to what he wanted, Rump managed to steer the blimp right into his own water plant. The resulting explosion left Rump alive, but as black as charcoal.

"Oh, loving the new look!" Vinnie commented, seeing Rump walk out of the mess. "Very Martian eye for the slimy guy!"

Throttle chuckled to himself. "Now that's what I like to see. Rump's new plant is totaled." He turned to Mace. "You okay, bro?"

"I'm fine, but that's the first time I was ever taken prisoner as long as I can remember," Mace replied in relief. "Rump had me pinned to the wall of a back room so that I couldn't escape, but being the experience soldier I am, I took it bravely. I was able to escape when Rump's goons were summoned; one of them accidentally tripped and hit the emergency button that freed me, allowing me to walk the plank, so-to-speak." (Mace had ancestors who were pirates, but he preferred cowboys between the two and often liked to dress up as one just for fun or when taunting evil. He also brought a little country flavor to the rock band, giving the Martian Freedom Fighters some variety). "By the time the Ronaldo's blimp crashed, I overheard him say, 'Those mice! And it's all because of that rat, Stoker! I'll get him if it's the last thing I ever do!" Mace pressed a button on a pager that summoned his bike and proceeded to don his helmet.

"Now he's gone too far!" Vinnie exclaimed in anger. "Nobody calls our bro Stoker a rat and gets away with it!"

"Not to worry, bros," Throttle assured everybody. "If Rump has another scheme up his sleeve anytime soon, you can bet things will get plenty hot before long." The Mice turned their bikes towards the roads and drove off. Vinnie tail-whipped Rump before he could make an escape and threw him into an alley with trash cans, where the police easily apprehended him and arrested him (again).

Back at the Last Chance Garage, Charley heard what happened while taking care of a customer's car. More importantly, Stoker and Carbine heard the news after the Mice found them outside the garage. By now, the clouds had parted, and it was totally sunny.

"So now I'm Rump's number one priority, eh?" Stoker exclaimed in a cocky tone. "Just the way I figured it. He can't touch me. Not when I'm supercharged. If what he wants is a whole lot of nothing, I got plenty of it to give to him."

"Still, we're happy it all worked out okay," Carbine added. "At least you're safe, Mace. Rump can be a harsh one. If it were Limburger, I'd have shown more concern. I think he's a bigger threat than Rump."

"Perhaps it's because Rump just wants Stoker dead and the Regenerator in his possession, while Limburger wants the Earth dead after taking away our natural resources," said Mace, now wearing his black cowboy hat. "Rump's already lost Hairball, Cataclysm, and a whole lot of Clawtroopers. I don't know if that varmint will be back anytime soon after that explosion."

"He probably will, but I saw to it he went back to jail," Vinnie spoke up. "What a rush!" He pulled out his American flag he loved displaying, along with the rest of the Martian Freedom Fighters, as part of his appreciation for America. He waved it vigorously.

"Good work, Vinnie," Carbine congratulated. "With you, Throttle, and Modo, we got nothing to worry about." The group listened to the radio for a few minutes before Charley's fill-in showed up so that she could take her lunch break, and the group later drove to the nearest hot dog stand to eat.

THE END

Biker Mice From Mars © Rick Ungar, Tom Tataranowicz, Tom Tataranowicz Animation, Brentwood Television Funnies, and all others who own the rights.

Sonic the Hedgehog © SEGA

SWAT Kats © Hanna-Barbera, Warner Bros, Cartoon Network

Leo the Patriotic Lion and Wildcat City © me