The Case of the Green, Gold, and Black
Ever since his hit song "Beat It!" premiered, it wasn't uncommon to see Rimfire playing his marching snare drum if he was in the mood for it. Sometimes he was and sometimes he wasn't, and sometimes he used it to his advantage. For the most part, when the public saw him drumming, they felt Leo the Patriotic Lion was his influence. Truth be told, it was all Rimfire's idea. Leo did appreciate it, however, considering how many college football games he attended just to see the marching band.
Rimfire was playing his drum this morning, demonstrating to Leo one of the solos he taught himself to play that he incorporated into his song. His rhythms were more complex and far more difficult to master than any military snare drum soldier would have performed. Leo embraced it as if the battery of a drumline was about to make its way onto the field and prepare for a blowout performance.
No sooner had Rimfire finished when an eerie glowing beam came out of nowhere. Because it was aimed at the American flag that Leo was proud to fly, Leo jumped for it. Normally, he did not want his band uniform hurt, but because he was wearing his golden armor (from stopping a midmorning bank robbery about 4 a.m. that morning, it was about 8:13 a.m. now), he felt motivated to protect the flag. The beam proceeded to go right through Leo and hit the flag, but instead of damaging it, it changed the colors from red, white, and blue, to green, gold, and black, respectively. The green, gold, and black flag looked exactly like the one used to illustrate an optical illusion about colors; when you stared at that for about 30 seconds, then looked a piece of white paper, what you should've seen was the red, white, and blue that really deserved to be on the flag.
"Wonder if I shouldn't have stopped drumming?" Rimfire commented when Leo landed on his feet.
"It's not your fault, soldier," Leo replied. "I am proud of you for mastering the snare drum the way you have. What is making my blood boil is what happened to my flag!"
"I thought the only place you'd see the flag looking like that was in those optical illusions."
"It is. But this isn't an illusion. This is a monumental crisis. Inform your comrades about this, Rimfire, and meet back at coordinates 13-27 in five minutes."
"Roger!" Rimfire put down his drumsticks and grabbed a walkie-talkie, calling the Biker Mice and telling them what Leo told him. Within seconds, Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie were on their bikes and on their way to the scene of the crime.
When the group reunited with Leo, with Rimfire still holding on to his drum (and briefly explaining to Modo—his uncle—why), they all turned to watch the beam continue to turn Old Glory inside out. "There is nothing more criminal than this, troops," Leo announced. "No one has the right to change the colors of the Stars and Stripes!"
"I'll give you an AMEN to that, bro," Throttle replied. "It happened to my flag." He pulled the small flag he was known for flying ever since he first met Leo.
"And mine! Buzz kill!" Vinnie added, pulling out his.
"And mine, too!" Modo finished, pulling out his. "Ooh, momma! This is worse than Rump roast trying to steal, crush, kill, and destroy our bikes!"
"I'm sure it is," Leo replied. "I just wish I knew where the beam was coming from or who or what is behind it all." Then he noticed Stoker arriving, in his recently new alter-ego of Super Stoker (thanks to the green and yellow tetrahydrocarbons he was using instead of the traditional red ones). "Hey, Stoker, bro!" Vinnie called. "You got any idea where that beam's coming from?"
"Wish I did," Stoker replied. "Even my X-ray vision can't see through all those storm clouds!"
"Try blowing them away!" Rimfire suggested. "You've got superpowers!"
"Okay, but this is the first time I've ever attempted a stunt like this!" Stoker took a deep breath, readied himself, and blew out a gail of wind with the strength of an F5 tornado. To his surprise, the clouds went away! "Whew! How can I get so lucky?" he exclaimed. "There's your answer, Leo!"
"As I had suspected!" Leo replied after sighting the beam with his pair of binoculars. "Those terrorists known as the Quarrelsome Quartet are using their Laser Beam 5000 to change the colors of Old Glory into the ones used in that optical illusion!"
"Are those psychos the same ones who destroyed Kriegland?" asked Vinnie.
"Yes, that's right, Vincent," said Leo. "What puzzles me is why they're only changing the colors of the flag. You'd think there'd be explosions or gunfire about now."
Just then, a magnet emerged from the bottom of the Quarrelsome Quartet's ship carrying the Laser Beam 5000. As soon as it switched on, it grabbed Leo and pulled him up towards the sky. "I knew I should've asked for aluminum in this armor!" Leo grunted as he headed for the magnet. Throttle and Modo grabbed on to him and tried to pull him loose, but their grips only managed to last three seconds before they fell to the ground. Stoker rushed to the rescue and grabbed Throttle and Modo, helping them plant their feet on Earth safely, then flew to Leo and tried to pull him off. He pulled with all his might, and Leo helped as much as he could, but nothing was happening. Rimfire, having success with the sound waves from his drum messing up magnetism, tried a long roll, but that didn't work.
"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, yes!" laughed boss Benjamin Primordius J. Alkadozer III with his maniacal mad-scientist laugh after Rimfire's drum roll came to a halt. "We've got you at last! We knew you couldn't be able to distrust your sorry little worthless flag, not to mention your rats with junk heaps! Now there is no way you can be us! With the colors of these flags changed, the citizens will be hypnotized to serve us, and we shall rule the world!"
"Did I just hear him call our bikes JUNK HEAPS?" Modo exclaimed with rage as his eye began to glow red.
"What's worse is he called Old Glory worthless, bro," Throttle replied. "You know that's gonna make Leo's blood boil."
"Oh, yeah. Don't want Mr. Stars and Stripes on a rampage."
"I say we put the hurt on that Alkadozer creep!" Vinnie spoke up. "He may not be Limburger, but he sure is a pain in the butt!"
"How are we going to do that, Vincent?" Throttle replied. "We can't just charge in. Besides, the heavy artillery count is in has favor."
"What have you got in mind, Throttle?" asked Modo.
Throttle chuckled to himself and announced, "It's time for a little flag raising of our own!" He pulled out the other flag with the Martian Mouse logo. Vinnie and Modo followed suit. Rimfire began drumming again, using a drum code only Martian Mice knew (except for Leo, of course). He never stopped, for it wasn't necessary to.
Meanwhile, Stoker was still trying to get Leo free from the magnet. "It won't budge!" he panted, gasping for air in between attempts.
"Forget it, rat!" Alkadozer bellowed through a megaphone. "Your super strength is useless against my gadget! What are you, anyway? A man or a mouse?"
"A mouse," Stoker replied in a cocky tone.
"You got a problem with that, you terrorist?" Leo sneered.
"Ooh, I see the almighty lion is playing 'die-hard idiot' again, isn't he?" Alkadozer mocked again, still laughing and taunting our all-American hero. Then he saw Throttle waving the flag with the Martian Mouse logo. "Just try and change this one, creep!" Throttle shouted.
Alkadozer aimed his beam towards Throttle's flag and fired, but nothing happened after five minutes. "What?" the mad scientist exclaimed. "How can this be?"
"Our flag is indestructible!" Vinnie yelled. "Shouldn't the Stars and Stripes be indestructible, too?"
"Well said, soldier!" Leo called to Vinnie, and Vinnie gave a thumbs-up.
While watching from the background, Charley said to herself, "That's my guys!" She smiled. She turned to a page in one of her coupon books and searched for the nearest place that served hot dogs and root beer.
Alkadozer continued firing his beam until the technology got out of control when it became evident Stoker sent a powerful punch into the main hard drive of the ship's computer. The ship, with the magnet still holding on to Leo for dear life, steered off course and headed for the Bengal Lake, the largest lake in town. By splashdown, the magnet's electric rays hit the water, and signs of electrocution were present. Soon, an explosion occurred.
When the Mice, Rimfire, and Charley arrived, all they could see was smoke coming from the ship. "Oh, no!" Vinnie cried in shock. "Stoker and Leo were still on there! Oh, man! Now there's nothing left!"
"You don't think that's the end of them, is it?" Modo asked, starting to shed tears.
"If it is, Uncle Modo, it's not surprising," said Rimfire. "Leo is willing to die for his country no matter how dangerous the situation is."
"I hate to say it, bros, but it looks like Mr. Stars and Stripes went down in a blaze of glory, and Stoker went with him," Throttle replied sadly. He began humming "Taps" to himself.
"Wait! Look!" Charley exclaimed. "The bubbles!" She pointed to the area of the lake where there were bubbles forming up. Eventually, Leo and Stoker, drenched from the experience, managed to emerge from the water and end up on shore. Leo, exhausted as a Texan cowboy lost in the Sahara, laid on the sandy beach while Stoker used his powers to check and see he was okay.
"Stoker, bro!" Vinnie cried out in relief. "We thought you were dead!"
"So did I," said Stoker. "And judging from my powers, Leo will be alright. He just needs plenty of rest."
"I hear you, bro," Throttle added. "Let's take him home." The group took Leo back to his house, took him inside, and set him down on the sofa. When Leo awoke five minutes later, he managed to mutter unconsciously, "What…where am I? What happened?"
"The electrocution knocked you out cold," said Modo. "We thought you had died a martyr for your country. That would have been one huge funeral."
"True," said Leo, finally gaining consciousness and sitting up, and seeing the clock read 11:43 a.m. "Surprised how we always manage to take care of these problems right before lunch time." (By now, Rimfire had put his drum away.)
"Just what I was thinking," said Vinnie. "Who's up for hot dogs and root beer?"
"Oh, man! You're playing my song, bro!" Modo smiled. The group ran out to their bikes and got on them as Vinnie turned on the radio on his just in time for the latest Top 60 Countdown with Sweet Georgy Brown, America's favorite disc jockey playing the hits on station WBKR (and now KBKR for Wildcat City). Charley waited for Leo to fully awaken before he escorted her out to his Patriotmobile. He turned the car on and followed the Biker Mice to the spot Charley had chosen, and Charley took some time to ask him some more questions, which he answered.
Biker Mice From Mars © Rick Ungar, Tom Tataranowicz, Tom Tataranowicz Animation, Brentwood Television Funnies
Leo the Patriotic Lion © me
NOTE: This is a remake of a chapter in my work "The G-52 Diaries." Here is the link to my FA profile for that: