Family, Friends, and Foes

Chapter Twenty-three
Tail Whippin' Time!

Allie hit the button and the secret door slid open silently. The bad guys were all staring at Leo, Di, and Raph and grouped around Donnie. He was strapped down to a metal table. The red-haired woman in a short skirt held a syringe at his throat. "Surrender now or watch what an air bubble in the bloodstream does," she said.

One chance at this, Allie told herself firmly. She eased forward and slipped the tip of the katana underneath the syringe. The woman turned as Allie drew the katana up. The syringe shattered and the end with the needle somersaulted in the air. Allie grabbed it with a gloved hand and threw it over her shoulder.

She heard Mike's nunchucks whirl behind her as Limburger and Arkson turned around too. "Oops, did we interrupt somethin'?" he chuckled.

The woman was Tabitha Val. Her snarling expression turned to Limburger. "Where did that door come from?"

"Well, if we had told you about it, it wouldn't be a secret passageway, would it?" Limburger's white-gloved hand slipped under his jacket.

"And you needed a secret passageway into our lab for what purpose?" Val's voice was sweet and menacing.

"Because I don't trust you, my dear." He pulled a red laser pistol out from under his jacket. "And as they say, it's every fish for himself. Back away from the door." Mike glanced at Leo, and sidestepped out of the way. Limburger looked pleased. "I bid you adieu." He reached the passageway and bolted.

"Wow, I didn't think something that fat could move that fast." Mike stared after Limburger.

Allie drew the sword up to Val's chin. "Back away from him."

Val sniffed disdainfully. "Can't say if I approve of the outfit; looks like you've watched one too many Chuck Norris movies. Or maybe it's that old Priest's influence. How is your baby brother?"

Allie gritted her teeth. "Oh, you have other things to worry about right now. Like what the Mutates are going to do to you."

"Like I'm going to fret about that." Running feet echoed behind the door beside the vidcom screen on the wall. It burst open and Val Tech guards flowed into the lab. Laser bolts filled the room.

Arkson grabbed Val and pulled her to the guards. Mike leaped to Allie and yanked her under the table. The others ducked under cover. "We forgot the guns again," Mike said in her ear.

"Guess we're gonna hafta get some then." She pulled out one of the sais and used it to break the straps tying Donnie to the table. Mike jumped up and pulled him under the table. His breathing was raspy.

Mike growled under his breath. "Keep him safe." He sprang for the Val Tech guards.

"Mikey!" Leo and Raph yelled at the same time. But his relentless blows stopped most of the guard from shooting. They hesitated for a second, then charged into the fray.

Some guards were still able to shoot at Di as she ran from her hiding place to the lab table. "Are you crazy?" Allie demanded.

"Is he alright?" She turned Donnie more to lean against her lap.

Allie glanced at her old friend, but Di wasn't paying attention to anything else. "You're the doctor." Allie turned back to the fight. Two laser pistols slid along the floor. She lunged out and grabbed them. "Here," she passed one to Di while tucking the other into her belt.

"You know I don't like those." Di grimaced at the gun.

"If you won't take it for you, take it for Donnie!" A laser bolt whizzed over their heads. Di snatched it out of Allie's hand. Allie smiled at her distressed frown even though she couldn't see it. "You've got it bad." She looked back at the fight. Arkson and Val were sneaking around what was left of the guards. The Turtles didn't seem to notice. "I'll be back," Allie muttered and scrambled into the fight.

She shoved the one guard who got in her way into Raph's fist. Val and Arkson ran down the hall. She sprinted after them. They ducked into one of the offices. She dodged in after them. Something heavy slammed down on her right hand. She dropped the katana and pulled the injured hand against her body.

Arkson stepped back holding the long umbrella to strike again. He kicked the katana away. Allie kept a wary distance from the umbrella and her arms over the laser pistol.

"Very good, Arkson," Val smirked. "And thank you for coming. I can at least get my revenge out of this mess."

"Revenge solves nothing," Allie said through clenched teeth.

"Something that old geezer taught you? If it solves nothing, why are you here?"

Allie pulled the gun out of the belt, aimed it at Arkson's umbrella, and fired. The upper half of the umbrella disintegrated. She swiveled the gun onto Val. "Because I don't fear what evil can do to me."

Arkson jumped in front of Val, shielding her with his body. She still peered over his shoulder. "What is that supposed to mean?" she snapped.

"That gives me the inner strength to resist evil. Because of that inner strength, I will never become the monster you are. And since I will not become you, I am freed to stop you by any means."

A shimmering field surrounded the pair in front of her gun. They grew translucent. Allie fired, but the laser bolt hit the wall behind them. Then they were gone. She dropped her left arm, surprised at their escape and her own lack of remorse. "Okay, Captain Kirk is on their side now? What's up with that?"

She looked at the hole in the wall. For once, no second guesses echoed in her mind. She had had second guesses after killing the Shredder. "But killing him never made me a monster," she told herself. "And I never will be a monster."

Running feet skidded to a stop at the office door. "Ronin? Didja?" Mike eased into the office.

"No," she tucked the gun back in her belt. "They vanished la Star Trek before I shot. But I was going to." She peeled the glove off her right hand. A bruise was swelling up, but nothing was broken.

He took her hand and tested it for himself. "You were gonna?"

"I finally realized you were right. You, Caine, everybody." She pulled the glove back on and wrapped her arms around him.

Mike squeezed her hard. "I knew you'd figure it out."

Allie grabbed Leo's katana after releasing him. "We better get back."

Leo and Di looked up as she and Mike came back into the lab. "What happened to Val and Arkson?" Di asked.

"They got away."

"You have that teleporting thing Tala gave you?" Leo asked.

"Yeah." Allie dug the black box out of her pouch and passed it to Leo.

"Donnie has to get out of here now. Raph and I are going to help Di. What are you two gonna do?"

"Raid their computers," Allie answered. "There has to be something to help Zack in them."

"Yeah, and there's gotta be more stuff to destroy. To help," Mike replied innocently to their expressions.

"What happened to Zack?" Di asked, her green-gold eyes scrunching with worry.

"We'll fill you in once Donnie is taken care of," Leo promised. "Be careful, you two." He held the transport remote in one hand, and held onto Donnie with the other. Di and Raph grabbed Donnie too, and they all vanished like Val and Arkson had.

Mike twirled a nunchuck. "You ready?"

"Let's do it."


A strangled growl escaped Tala's throat. Her hands pulled the collar of her T-shirt, and she could do nothing to stop them. The material finally gave way. A jagged rip slashed to the top of her bra before her hands stopped to adjust the grip on the material.

Even Rexus had never dared to humiliate her like this. Tala trembled, but it wasn't breaking the force holding her up against the wall and moving her arms. Her cheeks burned. But focusing on the rage kept the vice from tightening on her chest.

"You are pretty when you blush like that." The teenaged boy licked his lips as he admired the view. He giggled. "How far should I undress you before making you moan?"

Tala gritted her teeth. "I'll kill you before that happens!"

That made the little creep laugh harder. But the explosion at the stairwell door broke his concentration. The light-blue Martian bike roared into the hall, firing every laser cannon on it. The hold on Tala disappeared. She pushed herself off the wall.

The pervert turned back to Tala just in time to catch the full force of her fist on his jaw. The punch knocked him into the air. Hot Stuff trilled a warning. Tala threw herself on the floor. The missile from the bike rammed the boy through the wall. It didn't exploded until it crashed outside the opposite side of the building.

Tala slowly sat up, panting. "That'll teach ya to get between a girl and her bike." She sat on her butt in the middle of the floor. The bike rolled up to her, beeping softly. She wrapped her arms around the front end and pressed her cheek against it. "Good Hot Stuff, good girl." Her body shook as she clung to her bike. "I can't fall apart now. Not now." She closed her eyes.

Hot Stuff beeped softly.

Tala heard running footsteps coming closer, but she couldn't move yet. Hot Stuff popped out the rear cannons as the people got closer. "Whoa, heinous," Mike said softly. The bike revved in warning.

"Easy bike," Allie admonished like it was a big dog. "Tala, are you okay?"

Tala eased her eyes open. "Is Vinnie with you?"

"Nah, it's just Al and me. Do you want him?"

"NO!"

"Just checking." Mike shook his head to get rid of the ringing sound.

Tala let go of her bike and closed the armor jacket over the torn T-shirt. "He can't see me like this. He can't, he can't." She took a deep, shuddering breath.

"It's okay; we won't tell him." Allie took a step closer. Hot Stuff revved in warning again. "Are you hurt?"

Just my pride, letting you see me like this. "No, not hurt." She stood up and caught herself against Hot Stuff. "I'm okay. It's okay." She focused on the woman in black and the Turtle. "Where are the bad guys?"

"Ran away," Mike answered.

"Then let's go find them."


The blue light vanished. Arkson blinked; he and Ms. Val were now in the parking garage of the Tower. Limburger panted as he leaned against a purple limousine. Arkson growled at him, but Val stalked to him first. "Damn you, you fish!"

The mask over his face twisted with anger. "Quit your whining, you spiteful shrew! You'd still be trapped up there if it wasn't for me."

"If it wasn't for you, the trap would have worked!"

An explosion shook the building. "I told you to deal with the Biker Mice, but you didn't listen!" The fumes from Limburger's mouth nearly knocked Arkson down. Another blue light flashed, and Karbunkle appeared. He scrambled into the back seat of the purple limousine from the other side. "Consider this partnership over!" Limburger climbed into the limousine and it took off with squealing tires. Arkson was surprised to see the misshapen mutant barely peering over the steering wheel as the car passed.

Val's chest heaved. She shrieked until her face turned red. The explosions moved closer. "Ms. Val," Arkson grabbed her arm. "Ms. Val, we have to leave!"

She trembled from her anger. "That fish won't live to see an invasion!"

He pulled her to her limousine, "Please, Ms. Val, hurry!" He finally got her into the car. The driver was no where to be seen, so he climbed behind the wheel.

The entrance was still clear, even though the plaza and street were both filled with motorcycles, dune buggies, and wreckage from the battle. Arkson successfully maneuvered through the debris field. He turned the car to O'Hara Airport. It looked like the motorcycles were going to give chase, but they turned back. He sped as fast as the limousine would go.

Val growled in the back seat. "That little bitch. That little bitch! That damned bastard fish!"

He glanced at her in the rearview mirror. "Her brother will die."

"It's not enough!"

No, it wasn't enough. Dana was still unavenged, but there was no time to get that vengeance now. This fight was lost. There would be other fights. "We have to bide our time."

"I know that! Leave me alone, Arkson."

"Yes, Ms. Val." The Tower receded behind them.


Vinnie brought his bike to a screeching halt. Limburger's purple limo was racing from the Tower. It turned, nearly overturning, and fled toward northern Chicago. A black limo came out of the parking garage next. "Hey! The bad guys are bookin'!"

"Then let's get 'em!" Ryan's silver bike hurtled across the plaza to swing behind the black limo.

"We can't!" Throttle's voice yelled through the helmet's speakers. "Goons found the prisoners!"

Vinnie turned back to the limos. To just let them get away, he gritted his teeth. Ryan broke from following. The white mouse revved his bike and sidled up to him as they raced around the Tower.

The people screamed inside the small bus. Charley had her bike next to it, firing a laser pistol at the dune buggies bearing down on them. Vinnie heard Throttle's growl in the speakers. The black and chrome bike whipped around and shot down the line of dune buggies. Vinnie howled as he used the jets to jump the bus. He landed at the other end of the dune buggies and started firing to meet Throttle.

Val Tech guards ran out of the Tower and started firing. Modo, Ryan, Trash, and Smarts turned on them.

Throttle and Vinnie both blew up the last dune buggy and faced Charley. Vinnie grinned, "Now, do we know how to have an explosively good time or what? Where's Tala?"

"Her bike went back in for her." Charley holstered the pistol but kept her left hand pressed to her chest.

"Are you hurt?" Throttle asked quickly.

Charley shook her head. "I'm fine. Let me get these people out of here, so you can do what you guys do best." She signaled the driver and he put the bus in motion. "Meet you back at Tala's!" She pulled behind the bus.

An explosion higher up caught Vinnie's attention. The afterglow faded from the roof. "My girl's havin' fun without me!" He revved his bike and shot up the side of the building.


Mike slammed his nunchucks into a goon's stomach. The man doubled over and the Turtle knocked him out. Tala and her bike shot the dune buggies that tried to chase her around the roof. Allie sliced the tires as they drove close to her.

It was good to work off the anger and tension. He flipped over the three goons' heads and knocked them all down with a kick. Leo and Raph would take care of Donnie, and the rest of the good guys would clean up this mess. He punched a Val Tech guard in the face.

A bike's roar and Vinnie's insane laughter announced his arrival. The red bike shot up from the side of the building, somersaulted in the air, and landed on the roof next to Tala. "Hey babe, missed me?"

"What kept you, Mouse Scout?"

She was hiding her shake up well, Mike realized. Vinnie probably wouldn't even notice Tala was shook up. He turned to check on Allie.

Allie sliced over the goon's head as he drove past. He snickered while he turned back for another pass until the kickbar fell on his head. He slumped over, hitting the fire button. The missile left the kickbar. Allie took two running steps away before the explosion knocked her into the air and over the side of the building.

"NO!" Mike sprinted to the side and dove off. Allie's black form fluttered beneath him. He moved like a sky-diver and caught up with her. She wrapped her arms around his neck, his left arm wrapped around her waist, and he pulled out his grappling hook. He turned and threw the rope.

The hook grabbed the concrete, but didn't find a hold and slipped off. "No," Allie moaned.

A roaring bike was coming closer. Mike looked down. Throttle was driving up the side of the building. He wrapped his tail around Mike's free arm. Mike grabbed the tail and tightened his hold on Allie. Throttle laughed as their free fall jerked to a stop and started back up. "You two forgot you can't fly?"

"Knew we were forgettin' somethin." Mike kept his grip tight until the bike landed on the roof and Throttle set them down. Modo had reached the top and chased a dune buggy out of the way. Mike released Allie and faced her. "I think you need a little more sky-diving practice."

"You could've gotten killed!" Allie's blue eyes were wide open under her mask. "What were you thinking, following me off the building!"

He grabbed her hand and pulled her close. "My path has been your path since the first time I saw you. I'm gonna follow you everywhere." He planted a kiss on her covered lips. "Except the girls' restroom; I don't wanna know what you do in there." He grinned at her.

"I don't wanna get you killed!"

"And you won't. Didja get hurt?"

"No." Her eyes looked puzzled.

"Good. Then kick some shell!"

Throttle chuckled. "Now that's dedication."

The dune buggies didn't want to fight anymore. The ones that could still move turned and scurried back down the secret pop-up entrance. "Looks like they have had too much party," Modo said.

"Too much is never enough!" Vinnie crowed. Tala gunned her bike and followed the buggies. "Hey wait for me!" Vinnie chased after her.

Throttle swung Allie on his bike behind him. "Can't let those two have all the fun."

"Yeah, we'll free fall into the Tower rubble if we do." Modo laughed.

Mike got onto Modo's bike behind the large grey mouse. "I hope you don't drive like Vinnie."

He chuckled. "Nobody drives like Vinnie. Which is a blessing in disguise. Hang on!"


Ryan studied the damage they had done to the parking garage of the skyscraper. "Okay Bones, pull out!"

Trash looked worried as she and Smarts rode out of the garage. They pulled up alongside him. "The Martians haven't come down yet," she yelled.

"Well, they better come down before the building does." Ryan turned and looked up at the building. He thought he could hear them inside. The building shook and smoke rolled out of the windows. "They're still finding targets."

She climbed off Smarts's bike. "Maybe I should go in after them."

Ryan shook his head. "This is their job."

"But Ryan?"

Something in his chest grew tight. "Rescuing him before sure didn't make him want to jump your bones; why would now be different?"

"You're a real bastard, you know that?" She walked away with her hands stuffed in her jacket's pockets.

Dune buggies shot out of the front door of the Tower. Eight howled with delight and rode his maroon trike after them. "I will provide the necessary strategic cover fire." Smarts offered as he revved his dirt bike.

"Go." Ryan waved him off and stared at Trash. Why does she hafta be so... so.... Words failed him. He sighed, watching her sulk. Besides, they don't need rescuing.

On cue to prove him right, four bikes crashed through a third story window. The mice used rocket jets to cushion the drop. The wheels on Tala bike spilt in half and they moved out diagonally until they were horizontal to the ground. And the bike just floated in the air.

Vinnie turned around to scowl at the building. "It should be down by now. A couple of mouse grenades will fix that." He pulled out a dark grey, bottle-shaped object.

"Have a little patience, Vincent," Throttle said.

"Patience, shmatience. I need a kaboom!"

A loud breaking sound followed Vinnie's yell. Ryan twisted to see a large chunk of concrete falling off the side of the building. "Move people!" Tala yelled. She turned her bike, banking against the Tower, and started firing on the concrete.

The other bikes moved away with roaring engines. "Ryan!" He whipped his head around. Trash ran to him and shoved. Her strength moved both him and his bike.

He lost balance, and he and his bike slid on their sides across the plaza. They both came to a stop against a wrecked dune buggy. He sat up to see the cascade of now smaller rocks fall on Trash. "TRASH!"

Tala landed her bike next to the rock rubble. "Famak, famak, famak, famak!" She grabbed a piece of concrete and hefted it off. Eight joined her, moaning to himself.

Ryan climbed to his feet. He wobbled, but he stayed up. He had had worse spills than this. And Trash, Trash needed help. He stumbled to the rubble. A pair of hands grabbed him when he reached the rubble. "Ryan," Allie said.

He jerked out of her grasp. "Hafta get her out, hafta." He buried his hands into the dust and scooped it away. "She never left us." He took another handful and shoved it away. "We can't leave her." The others moved the larger pieces. "She hasta be okay; she hasta be okay." He muttered, not caring what the others thought. Only Trash mattered.

Eight howled with triumph. Leather was visible under the rock he had just picked up.

"Careful!" Throttle barked. "We don't know how bad she's hurt."

"She's still breathing," Tala announced. She eased the rocks away from Trash. Ryan held his breath when he saw both Trash's arms protected her head. But the right one was bent in a spot where it couldn't. "Arm's broken. Can't tell 'bout internal injuries."

"Get her out of there!" Ryan tried to move closer to Trash. "We can't help her like this!"

Tala blew out her breath with aspiration. "Can someone control the Boy Hysterical please? Hot Stuff, head home with the others." The bike's beep cut off Ryan's angry outburst. Tala leaned down, touched Trash with one hand, and pressed the buckle of her gun belt. They vanished in a flash of blue light.

"What the hell?" Ryan stumbled against the rocks, trying to reach the spot where Trash had been crumpled.

"Chill, it's okay," Vinnie gestured with his hands for Ryan to calm down. "She's transported back to her ship."

"Trash has a chance. Tala pulverized this stuff pretty good." Throttle kicked a rock as he looked up at the Tower. "Let's get outta here."

The building shook again. "Yeah, we need to watch it come down from a distance." Allie took hold of Ryan's arm, a firm hold he couldn't break. She guided him out of the rocks. "Can you ride?"

"Of course I can ride!" Ryan jerked his arm away when they reached clear ground. "I may not be as good as you, but some stuff I can manage!"

"Then let's ride, people," Throttle said.

Ryan picked up his bike and climbed on it. The building caved in on itself in earnest now, but everyone was out of the danger zone. He stared at the blacktop highlighted by the headlight. The others climbed onto their bikes and the caravan started down the street.

If Trash died.... How could she do that? He could've gotten them both to safety on his bike. What would they do without Trash? Sure, she was rude, crude, and a sexaholic, but how much of that was from her insatiable lust for life? She knew how fragile life is; they all did. She had her freedom taken from her once and she swore to never let it happen again. Even if it meant dying for it.

His throat tightened. No, she couldn't die. He couldn't let her die. The other bikes moved on the street around him. He focused on his driving. No, she couldn't die. She just couldn't.

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