Vinnie looked at Xander, watching him do a simple jump.  He was getting better.  Nearly up to his standards, which were higher than most in the Freedom Fighters. Xander was definitely getting better each time he rode.  He wasn't exactly a natural at it but it was starting to look like he could pretend to be one. "Good job," he called when Xander did another one and kept his balance this time. "Getting better," he decided.  "Pretty soon you'll be able to do anything I can on my bike on yours.  Even though mine is meant for sleek and dangerous stunts and yours is meant more for power and attracting the wrong sort."

Xander beamed at him.  "You really think so?"

"I know so," he admitted.   He walked over, looking at his little brother on his bike, grinning at how comfortable he looked.  His bike was already as much part of him as Modo's was him.  Not many riders had that sort of rapport with their bikes, but Xander's fit him perfectly.  He stroked a handlebar.  "Now if only you had the thrusters I do," he teased.

"I do have the thrusters you do, but I need more power for the acrobatics you have to pull sometimes," Xander said dryly, smirking at him.  "Charley made sure they were working.  One was misfiring."  He patted his bike.  "Go ahead and show him everything you can do, big man.  He deserves the right to drool over you the way the ladies do."  His bike beeped like a chuckle and popped out the thrusters and weapons.  "The other stuff too," Xander said with tolerant fondness.  The newest prototype laser came out and Vinnie whistled.  "Charley and I worked on it together," he said proudly.  "It works very well."

"I guess it would," Vinnie agreed, running a hand over it.  "Very sleek and deadly, lil' bro."  He grinned at him.  "Now quit showing off and try it again, this time firing your front cannon at a target at least ten feet in front of you."

"Yes, drill sergeant," Xander agreed dryly.  He went back to try it again.  Mid-jump he felt a distortion wave and looked around, but couldn't see anyone, not even Vinnie.  He landed and spun around. "Shields," he said quietly, still searching.  "Vinnie?"  No answer.  He grimaced and checked the bike's tracking system but it only showed the other bikes.  "Did you see him disappear?"  His bike beeped in the negative range.  "Fuck."  He felt the wave coming again and ducked, turning his bike and heading away from it as fast as he could.  "Rear shields at maximum, bike.  Voice activate call home."  The radio beeped.  "Throttle, we've got a sitch.  There's a wave distortion where we're practicing and I can't find Vinnie," he reported.

"Can't find him how," Charley demanded.

"Like he's no longer where he was and won't answer, Charley.  Pass it on.  Quick."  He hung up and spun to the side to evade another blast.  "Rotate shielding with the front edge of the blasts, babe.  Let's show them why I'm now a mouse."  He spun and headed for where the waves were coming from, firing at it.  He was better than Vinnie thought but he wasn't about to show off stuff he had dreamed until he had it perfect, which he didn't.  Which was why the wave hit the back tire when he jumped over the source.  His weapon didn't miss but he fishtailed when he landed, causing him to overcompensate.  He cleared it up but he was still going too slow when the second wave cannon fired.  He got that one but it knocked him out as he fired.


Charley went running into the lair.  "Xander just called.  There's a wave cannon going off where he and Vinnie were practicing."

Throttle jumped up.  "Where are they?"

"Can't you track them?" she demanded.  "He didn't say, just it was where they were practicing!"

"Calm down," Modo offered.  "We're going.  Lil' Hoss?  Vinnie and Xander are in trouble."  His bike roared up and he mounted, grabbing his helmet on the way past the rack.  Throttle followed right behind him and he could hear Rimfire behind them somewhere.  He hoped Dawn stayed out of this one.  She wasn't that trained yet.  He sped up, letting his bike track Xander's bike.  Vinnie's had still been at home.  "Why were they on Xander's bike together?" he called to Throttle.

"Vinnie was going to give him practice in some of the special moves he does so he took Xander's bike with him," Throttle offered.  "They're fine though.  I'd know if Xander wasn't."

"That's not saying much, bro.  Fine and captured aren't exactly the same thing but they'd feel the same."  He looked at the monitor.  "His bike's moving."

"I can see that.  Where's it heading is the better question."  Throttle moved up beside him.  "I don't know that area at all."

"I've driven by there," Modo admitted.  He shook his head.  "They're leaving the area, they must have his bike too."

"Well, a wave cannon that took them out would disorient the bike," Rimfire offered.  "Standard ploy to catch a single rider in the badlands these days," he said when Throttle grunted.  "The Sand Raiders have been overusing them. They even caught Momma once, but she woke up before they secured her.  Her bike was basically shaking itself for the next day."

"Wonderful," Throttle said bitterly.  "Why didn't we hear about this?"

"We didn't think they were coming back and you guys hardly ever go out alone," Rimfire offered bitterly.  "Otherwise I would have.  They usually use it on single riders, almost always those on scout or guarding.  It's not as effective if it hits a group of riders or bikes.
Sharing it around weakens it by ordinals."

"In English?" Modo asked.

"If it hits two bikes instead it's only a quarter as strong," Rimfire offered.  "Hit three and it's a sixteenth as strong."

"Okay, so how do we fight it?"

"You can use the bikes' shielding feature.  The weak spot is always underneath.  Even on Xander's."

"So how did they get him?" Throttle demanded.

"Probably managed to catch the weak spot and he had to slow down or maneuver and couldn't change the shields fast enough," Rimfire offered. "That's how they got Momma."

"Good to know," Modo agreed.  "How do we use these shields?"

"The same as you always have," Rimfire said dryly.

"We have anti-wave shields?" Charley demanded over the radio.

"Uh, the rest of us do," Rimfire admitted.  "Stoker sent down those plans so you could add them in, Charley ma'am."

"I never got 'em," she sighed.  "Okay.  What can I do right now to help?"

"Pray," Rimfire said grimly.  "This means there's definitely Plutarkians back in the city."  He cut his link off and sped up, looking over at his uncle.  He turned off his faceplate.  "Which Limburger is it?"

"I don't know yet," he said dryly.  "I haven't seen the fishhead yet, nephew."

"Which one would be more techie?"

"Marshall," Throttle called. Then he pointed.  "Right there."  They ran into a shield around the building and it burned them so they had to back off a bit and study it.  "Got a clue?"

"Yup," Rimfire said grimly.  "And we're in deep shit."  He looked at his uncle, who was glaring at him for swearing.  "That's a genetics shield.  Set against mice."  He looked at Throttle.  "You want Charley or Dawn?"

"Dawn.  She's better and Charley needs to be at home," Throttle said firmly. "If there's any chance she's still pregnant I don't want her in combat."

"Sure."  Rimfire touched something around his neck and Dawn appeared a few minutes later, looking grim.  He got off and let her have his bike.  "It's a genetic shield."

"Wonderful.  Will it hurt humans?"  She rode forward and it sizzled on her but she could get through.  In retaliation, she blew holes in everything until it went down, then she let Rimfire have control of his bike again and rode behind him.  There was no way she was leaving this situation running.

"They're here!" someone screamed.  "They made it past the shields!"

"Fire the cannons!" a Limburger yelled.

"Fat chance," Modo growled, firing first with his arm cannon.  It took out the mounted cannons and they sped inside through the new hole they created in the walls.

"Break and splinter 37," Throttle called.  He almost missed that Vinnie didn't ask for something else.  He had to get them back.  He wasn't letting them stay in Plutarkian custody.  He and Modo split off and both of them clotheslined someone with a gun then they went to ride over a few more while Rimfire took the high road and ran over more of them as he jumped the main group.  They screamed in pain and the few who could move ducked and scurried away.  They found the elevator and the nice diagram next to it, but there wasn't a mark for the prisoners.  "Well, what do we want?  Main office?  Lab?  Basement?"

"Lab," Modo and Rimfire said in unison.

"Just in case it's Karbunkle too," Dawn agreed.

Throttle nodded.  "Sure, let's Rock..."

"And ride," the others answered, firing their booster rockets to get up the elevator shafts.

Rimfire counted floors and blasted the doors ahead of them.  "Six I believe."

"Lab was on seven, dear."

"Karbunkle's not there," he assured her.  "They're usually a floor off."

Throttle nodded.  "They do it to confuse," he agreed.  He blasted open the wall of the lab, making the technicians scurry and cover their pet projects.  "Where are they?" he demanded.

"Level B, subset H," someone yelled from behind a piece of equipment.

"Thanks," Modo said, blasting the power supply.  "Find an ethical employer."  They headed down to the basement.


Xander woke up and looked at the dingy cell.  This was really sickening.  Twice in his life was too much.  He hated this.  He coughed and heard a movement from the next cell.  "Bro?"

"Yeah," he called back.  "You guessed it."

"Thought so.  How hopeless?"

"Fairly."  The shifting happened again and someone pounded on the stones between them.  "Got anything handy?"

Xander got up and patted himself down.  "I'll be damned, they learned how to frisk someone," he said in awe.  "Let's do this the white mouse way, big bro."

"You can't mean...."

"Weinrick 316?"

"I'm not that far in that one yet," Vinnie complained.


"Okay, so I am but I don't have it memorized.  I only read it over to see if it was helpful and marked it for later study."  Vinnie hit the blocks again.  "They're too thick anyway."

"Not if I do one and you do one."  Xander concentrated.  "Hey, there's power below us."  He drew it to him and concentrated, muttering the spell.  He traced the small figure on the wall and watched as most of it disappeared in a shower of dust.  "Neat, huh?" he asked with a grin.

"Very.  I've got to memorize that one later."  Vinnie crawled through the large hole, looking him over.  "They managed to frisk you?"

"Yeah, unfortunately.  Got a hairpin?  I could try the lock."  Vinnie gave him an odd look.  "How about any sort of pin?"

"I wouldn't do that if I were you, you wretched rodents," a familiar voice sneered as he stepped in the light.  "That was very interesting, how did you do that?"

"Limburger," they said, grimacing at him.

"I forgot how much you stunk," Xander said, shaking his head. He looked at Vinnie.  "So, think we can do it this time to the bars?"

"They're Plutarkian steel, Xander."

"So?"  He shrugged.  "That's strong but there's a demon enclave underneath us."

"Really?" he asked, sitting on the bunk to look at him.  "What sort?"

Xander considered the power he could feel.  "Something lighter class but they do use the magic.  They're gathered around it like a comfy fire for warmth.  I'd say something like a primal strain of Relniks."


"Yeah, well, we don't want them to fight anyway," Xander pointed out.  "They all hate me.  I don't want to be eaten today or have them try to kidnap me.  Throttle might get really pissed if I missed dinner since it's his turn to order."

"True," Vinnie agreed with a smirk. "You're so besotted it's not funny, little brother."

"Enough," Limburger sneered, stepping closer.  "There's no hope of you two escaping. You're going to be here for a very long time."

"So you think," Xander said, glaring at him, then he sneered at the younger one. "Oooh, look, the tadpole's grown up," he cooed snidely.  Vinnie snickered at that and Xander looked at him again.  "So, ice cream on the way home?"

"No way, Xander.  I don't wanna watch you eat another cone ever again.  You do it to tease Throttle way too well."

"Hey, I've got to keep in practice," Xander complained.  Junior came closer to the bars and he leapt, grabbing him and banging him against the bars to choke him.  "Let us out," he said, staring into his eyes.  "I'm having a PMS moment of my own.  You're going to be pissing yourself if you don't let us out.  We can cause all sorts of hell to come from in here."

"No sending the building to hell with us in it," Vinnie instructed.  "I don't want to go visit those bringers."

"I'd protect you," Xander whined.  He glared at Limburger's nephew Marshall again.  "Come on, you know you wanna live and I'm going to choke the life out of you."

Limburger sighed and pushed a button, activating the shield on the bars, which was set against mice and sent that one flying.  "This is really so boring.  Must we always do this?"

"Yeah, we must," Xander agreed, feeling something shift.  "Well, what else did you expect?"  He grabbed the small blade and threw it, hitting Junior in the face.  He screamed and grabbed the opening in his cheek and Xander muttered, summoning it back.  "I can and will take you apart and make you into fish sticks.  You're nothing to me."

"Oooh, but you have *ethics*?" Marshall sneered.

"Not in combat.  I may for things like genocide, but not in the middle of combat."  He looked at Vinnie.  "You struck dumb?"

"Not quite, listening to the sound of firing upstairs."  He twitched his ears and looked at the Limburgers.  "You're gonna be sorry soon.  Throttle's here and you've got his boy."

"He's gay?" Limburger said, smirking at him.  "How droll and very interesting."

"How do you know I'm not a bothie, smart ass?  I could be," Xander said with a smirk.  "You have no idea what I am."

"Ah, but there you're wrong.  I do have Karbunkle's files on you, Mr. Harris."

"Hmm, pity that they're mostly wrong," Xander said dryly.  "Did he take credit for my change?"  He shook his head.  "Really?"

"Really.  He said he wasn't sure what caused the change but it was something he wanted to study."

"Over your dead body," Vinnie said coldly.

"Oh, he won't," Xander assured him.  "The minute he comes near me he knows we're out of here."  He continued to stare them down.  "Do you really want this place to go up like usual?"

"I doubt they would.  After all, this facility does do research into human conditions that could be cured by the simple work those people up in the labs are doing."

"Hmm, and they're going to know that how?" Xander asked smugly.  "Remember, we don't really follow genetics.  Wrong mice for that.  I'm not quite the breeder everyone relies on for bloodlines."

"Bro, calm down," Vinnie said dryly, his tail waving a bit.

Xander looked at him.  "Why?  He's so much fun!" he whined.  "I need some fun sometimes.  Especially since there's no music or any caffeine to control the ADHD."

"Hmm, good point," Vinnie admitted, looking at the Plutarkian families.  "He really is going to start ripping this place apart by the bricks soon."

"I'm sure we can move the shield so it would stop him," the younger Limburger sneered.

Xander snorted.  "No it won't.  I'm not quite *that* Martian, Junior," he sneered back.  Marshall's eyes went wide.  "Ooops, there went your much lauded shield.  Sounds like Rimfire and Dawn came too," he said smugly, his tail waving now.

"His tail belies his words," Marshall snorted, turning his back on them.

"No, that's tail code," the elder Limburger said bitterly.  "We've never broken it because we don't have tails.  Therefore they're chatting."

"Dude, I don't need tail code to talk to him.  I can just 'path him," Xander said dryly.  "I'm good like that.  Or hey, I could just summon something like a demon."  He did and looked at it, then at Vinnie.  "Huh.  What are you doing?"

"Knight," the bringer sneered.  "Why did you summon me?"

"Tell the demons downstairs to keep out of the way and warn them that their roof may be caving in," Xander told him.  "I doubt they'd want to join in, but just in case there's a nursery or something."

"Fine."  He looked at the Plutarkians and licked his lips.  "Hmm."

"I don't wanna see that, it'll turn my stomach," Vinnie complained.

Xander sighed and banished him, sitting down beside him.  "Fine, spoil my fun and having them eaten."

"Sorry, little brother, but I can't stomach that."  He gave him a shoulder nudge.  "Round and round twelve?"

"Hell no.  I don't need to bang into the walls," he said, frowning at him.  "Unless we do it in reverse."

"Nope, my head's still sore from last night."

"Ooh, are you two together?" Marshall sneered.

"That's not a bad idea," the older Limburger noted.  "It would totally demoralize the whole group."

Xander raised an eyebrow.  "No it won't.  Gods, are you behind in the times, Limburger."  He smirked.  "Not that you *could* make me lust after him, but it still won't do more than make Throttle and Charley really pissed.  That means they'll let me be...creative."

Vinnie shivered and curled up a bit.  "No, please not until we're out," he begged.  "I can't stand the carnage today, Xander.  She's sick and I'm feeling it again."

"Sorry, big brother."  He gave him a cuddle.  "It's all right.  I won't break bad on them yet.  Not until you're asleep and can't see it."

Marshall took something out of his pocket and handed it over.  "Here, uncle.  I think you've been waiting a long time to do something totally wretched to these miserable miscreants of mercy.  I'm sure they'll enjoy it."

"Indeed," he agreed drolly, firing the small beam at them.  "Pity it'll wear off sometime."  They walked off laughing together.

Xander looked at Vinnie.  "You know, that blue glow really sets off your fur."

"Yours too," Vinnie agreed, giving him a kiss on the cheek.  He shifted closer so they could cuddle.  "How much longer do you think?"

"Maybe ten minutes.  Yo, bike!" he shouted.  No answer.  "Shit."

Vinnie chuckled.  "One day you're going to make those much more rare, that way we step away from you when you swear too."

"Fat chance, Vinnie.  I'd rather have respect, not fear."  He nuzzled him on the neck, then beamed.  "I think that was a lust beam."

"I do concur," he said in a high-class British accent, something he liked to tease Rimfire in.  "Then again, it could just be us.  Maybe an inhibition stealer."

"No, I'm not naked and singing yet.  That's what happens when I get that drunk."  He got comfortable, cuddling Vinnie.  They ended up curled up together lying on the bed since there wasn't much of a wall behind them.  "This is really nice.  You're kinda comfy.  Maybe a quad isn't such a bad idea after all."

"Sure, you convince Throttle and I'll convince Charley girl and we'll go for it," he agreed happily.  He heard the explosion.  "Sounds like the cavalry.  We should probably get up."

"I'm comfy and I've got a headache."  Someone shot open the door and he waved.  "Hi, dear."

Modo looked at them, then grimaced.  "Bro, they're glowing blue," he called.

"Yeah, it's a lust beam," Vinnie said, sitting up and hauling Xander after him.  "You guys okay?"

"Yeah, fine," Throttle agreed.  "A lust beam?"

"Either that or something that makes him extra cuddly and makes me want to burst out in song," Vinnie told him.  "Where's his bike?"

"We're not sure yet."

"It's down the hall," a tiny voice called.  "Keep going and get us too, Uncle Modo!"

"How in the nine hells did you get down here!" he roared, going to free Detail.  He picked her up, looking her over.  "Did those rats touch you?" he demanded.

She giggled and shook her head.  "Nope.  I was with Engine and we got captured."  She shrugged and pointed at her cellmate.  "She's very good at keeping little people entertained."

"Engine, like Staff's sister?" Modo asked.  She stood up and nodded.  "I'm Modo.  Welcome to Earth, future-sister-in-law."

She shook his hand, then punched him on the arm.  "Thanks.  I'd rather be on Mars though."  She nodded down the hall.  "The bike's that way.  There's a storage bay.  They're saving it for investigation later, when Karbunkle comes back from his daytrip to Paris."  She heard a small noise and looked around.  "There's someone else down here and we don't know who."

"I do," Xander said, standing in front of a cell.  "Enamel?"  The mouse looked up and Xander noticed how dead he looked.  "Shell okay?" he asked, looking at the bars.  He growled and ripped it off the hinges then walked in to help him up.  "Can you walk or ride?"

"I can't feel my hands or arms," he said flatly.  "They did something to me."

Xander nodded, walking him out.  "Then we'll see what they did and if we can counter it, Enamel.  You know I'm not going to leave you like that."  He looked at Throttle, who nodded.  "You're coming back with us until you're better or we figure out how to make you better.  Vinnie, help him.  Is your bike here?"  Enamel nodded quietly.  "That's fine.  Vinnie can drive yours back and I'll take you to someone I know.  They're the best bet of finding out how to fix it."  He walked down the hall, taking point.  He came to the door and looked at it, then smirked at Modo.  "Guess who's finally back from Paris?"

"Oh, let me," he agreed, handing Xander his niece.  Then he knocked in the door, sending it skittering across the floor.  "Honey, we're home," he said dryly, glaring at the doctor.  "Oooh, look, bros."

"Hmm, idiot inventors and their grand dreams of Nobel prizes," Dawn agreed, heading into the bikes.  "Vinnie, I'll take Enamel's.  You ride behind Throttle or Rimfire."

"You can't have it," Karbunkle wheezed.

She punched him, knocking him onto the floor, then she leaned down.  "You were saying, idiot?" she sneered.  "Rimfire, find that lust ray."  He nodded, going to destroy the lab while looking for it.

"It looked like a laser pointer," Xander offered helpfully.  He leaned on Vinnie's shoulder.  "You know, doc, it's not that bad," he said smugly.  "Vinnie and I were already very close.  The same as all the bros and I are very close.  You didn't destroy anything, just added whole new layers to it."  He winked at him, then looked at Enamel.  "Come on.  Bike!"  His bike didn't even beep.

"They're often in confusion for about a day after being hit by a disruption wave," Rimfire warned.  He found it and held it up.  "Oops, no, this is the nerve blocker."  He pocketed that and then tore up another desk.  The elevator came down and he knocked the younger Limburger onto the floor to pummel him and take the ray from him.  "Ah," he said happily, getting up and walking over, hitting the switch for 'reverse' and firing it at them.

Vinnie giggled.  "That tickles."

"It did," Xander agreed, beaming at him.  "I still love you, babe," he said, pulling Throttle over to kiss him stupid, "but that didn't work."  He shrugged and took Enamel to his bike, starting it manually.  "Come on, doc.  Let's go.  Rimfire, that beam?"  It was tossed over and he caught it with his tail.  "We're going to visit Madam Li's.  We'll be home in about an hour hopefully."  He fired a rocket, taking out the wall.  Then he rode off with Enamel, letting the others have their fun.  After all, he'd done his quota of damage.  "Doc, just relax and try to hold on."

"I can't," he complained quietly.

Xander reached into his saddlebag and pulled out a set of cuffs, putting them around his wrists.  "There, how's that?"

"Thanks, Xander.  You think this can be fixed?"

"If she can't unblock you, then she'll know who can," he promised.  "She's like that and she's also into the mystical."  He turned a corner and Enamel shifted but his arms didn't move. "Did they hit you with the beam once?"

"About seven times.  They've had me for at least a day.  What day is it?"

"Um, Thursday."

"Three days then," he said grimly.  "Shell's still on Mars, right?"

"I think so," he admitted.  "We're never sure when she sneaks down, you know that."  He stopped at a red light and the car next to them was a cop car and the cop gave them an odd look.  "His arms are numb, I'm taking him for a treatment," he said, speeding off when the light turned.  "Nosy."  Enamel let out a quiet chuckle at that - a harsh and bitter sound.  "Trust me, doc, we're not letting you go out like this and you're staying for at least a week so we can help you.  Then I'm going to get them for this.  If they survive Modo.  That was just too dumb to take his niece."

"They were going to sell her," he offered, shifting slightly closer.  "I think your bike's waking up.  The seat's moving."

"Bike, man, quit.  Don't pop Enamel off.  He's injured."  The bike quit shifting.  "Thanks, babe."  He stroked the tank and it settled down, running a diagnostic.  "We'll be fine, baby.  I promise."

"Me?" Throttle asked over the radio.  "Or Vinnie?"

"My bike, but we'll all be fine," he said happily.  "Did you kill them or can Enamel?"

"No, he'll get a shot.  We've got Junior in custody and Charley's calling Mars for a pickup.  Hurry home."  He clicked off.

"Wonderful.  Another assault to free him and then we'll be free of another one," Xander said fondly.  He pulled into a parking lot and undid the cuffs, getting off to help Enamel off and inside.  He bowed to the receptionist, a deep bow.  "This is an emergency.  Someone blocked the nerves in both his arms and hands, he's a doctor."

The receptionist looked at him, then nodded, taking him to a room.  "It will be a short wait," she said gently, looking at his hands.  She tested one and there was no reaction.  "What did this?" she asked.

Xander handed over the beam.  "A few doses of that."  He took off his helmet, then Enamel's for him.  "He's my doc."

"Ah, I thought it you," she said with a slight smile. "I will tell Madam you are here and have upset some long-time clients with this emergency but also why."  She took the beam with her, going to tell the nurse in the foyer what was going on.  "He is a physician and this hit him repeatedly.  He has no response in either hand or his arms.  I saw Xander remove handcuffs from his wrists so he wouldn't fall off riding with him."

The nurse looked at her then at the beam.  "Dirt."  She went to find their boss, tapping on the treatment door she was behind.  "Madam?"

"I'm busy."

"Xander is in with an emergency.  An odd one to a healer."

"I will be there once I'm done here.  Have him wait in a room so he doesn't get petted," she said calmly.  "Do the usual checks as applicable."

"He has no feeling in either hand or arm and no movement.  Tana said he had to have handcuffs to ride behind him."  The door opened.  "It's a healer," she repeated, handing over the beam.  "This is what caused it."

"I see."  She nodded once.  "Give me ten minutes.  Try to see if there's any blood or energy flow.  I will be right there."  She nodded, hurrying off to help them.  Madam Li went back to her current patient.  "I'm sorry."

"No, for a doctor to have that happen is heinous," he said sleepily.  "It is an emergency.  I hope you can help him."

"If not, I can call upon someone who can."  She went back to his acupuncture treatment.  In about ten minutes she walked into Xander's room, closing the door behind her.  "Have you tried to reverse it?"

"He got hit seven times," Xander told her.  "I'm not sure his body could handle that or if it could make it permanent.  They're like that after all."  He went back to the massage he was doing on Enamel's left hand.  "He had some energy flowing here, I'm trying to keep it going."

"I see."  She came over to examine him, then sighed and shook her head.  "I cannot," she told him.  "I know one who can.  Let me write her.  She's up right now, she's in Japan."  She went to her office and sent an email to the woman who had trained her, who was a little, tiny Irish woman.  Not what you'd expect of a practioner of these arts.  She got back an answer and had to look it up.  "I've never done that," she protested, writing that back.  Instructions were sent to her, along with pictures of the nerves she would have to stimulate.  She printed it off and took it back with her.  "There's a hope to restore partial sensitivity for now," she offered.  Enamel looked heartbroken and she touched his cheek.  "The rest will come.  I can feel it fighting to continue.  The dam holding the energy and nerve impulses back is weak but it will take some time.  I can do a temporary relief, but it will be painful.  You will also need other forms of treatment.  The massages Xander is doing daily, and they will also hurt.  Or you could wait and it should come back within a year."

"I can't be that long without my hands.  People count on me.  I'm one of the last fully trained doctors on Mars, lady."

She nodded. "I figured as much when Xander used the word emergency to my staff."  She looked at his hand where Xander had been working on it.  "For now, go home and soak in as hot of water as you can stand.  We will have to remove the hair from your back to work on it.  The hot water could ease the dam more, making it easier to manipulate.  I will come to the garage tonight to see you and do this for you."  Enamel nodded, bowing his head slightly.  She gave him a gentle smile. "I would never let a fellow healer suffer like this.  It will get better and I will do what I can to mitigate it until the dams are broken, but it will hurt greatly."

"I can take pain," he promised.  "I have in the past."

"Very well.  Xander, take him to make him soak.  Take the fur off his back only.  We'll be doing the wings area."  Xander nodded at that.  "Do what you can for his arms between now and then.  Have him drink a lot but do not eat.  It can make one nauseous.  Make him comfortable until I can get there."  They both nodded at that.  "Then I'll see you around eight or nine."  They nodded, leaving her to contemplate this new problem.


Throttle rode into the Last Chance and parked, staring at their friend.  "You're gonna be pissed," he told her quietly.

"Why?" she asked cautiously.  "Did something happen?  Did we not save Vinnie?"

"No, we did.  Limburger hit them with a lust beam."

"A what?" she asked, starting to chuckle.  "It's not April Fool's, Throttle."  She noticed he wasn't joking and quit laughing.  "You're not kidding?"

He shook his head.  "Nope."  He got off his bike and pulled her closer to hold her hands.  "It's fairly weak so far.  We hit them with the reverse setting but it hasn't fully worked yet," he said quietly, staring into her eyes.  "There's going to be some odd behavior for a while.  It's taken the closeness they already had and built on it."  Modo roared in with his niece, Dawn right behind him on Enamel's bike and Rimfire behind her with Vinnie.  "Xander and Enamel are seeing someone because the rabid Plutarkians managed to block all the feelings in his hands and arms."

"Oh, God, he's got to be upset," she said.

"He looked dead," Modo admitted, letting Detail off.  He looked over as Engine came in after them.  "Close the door, Vinnie."  He got off and closed the door.  "Where's Junior?"

"Chassis took him from us," Engine told him.  "I didn't know she was down here."

"She and Pit are down here to deal with the building stuff," he offered.  He looked at Throttle and Charley, then at Vinnie.  "You tell her, bro?" he asked lightly.

"Yeah, but she doesn't believe it," he admitted, letting her go.

"Vinnie?" she asked.

"Hey, sweetheart," he said with a grin.  "Sorry about this."  He shrugged and pulled her over to kiss her.  "Hmm, honey.  Now all we need is Xander to eat nuts and we'll be one happenin' group."  He kissed her again.

She pulled back.  "What are you playing at!" she demanded, swatting him.

"Ow!"  He rubbed the spot, frowning at her. "Not my fault!  He broke me into his cell and we played 'taunt the Plutarkians' and they zapped us. I don't *want* to be in lust with him," he complained.  "He's cute and yummy, but you're my girl."  He gave her most winning and charming smile.  "Aren't'cha?"

"That depends," she said, frowning a bit. "How bad of lust?"

"Let me move Detail back to the house," Modo said quickly, taking her over there.

"What was she doing down here?"

"She snuck into my ship before I could go on patrol and I crashed," Engine noted bitterly.  "They didn't touch her, they were going to sell her to another one."  She looked at Vinnie, then at Charley.  "It's not unheard of.  It was one of Brie's favorite torments to his prisoners.  It tends to wear off after about a year."

"A year!" she shrieked.

"Sorry, sister.  They can fight it some but it'll more make them cute and mushy with each other than rabidly fondling and in bed at least."

"So mushy poetry instead of jumping each other?" Throttle asked.  She nodded.  "Have you seen it in action?"

"Been under it in action," Engine admitted.  "My commander was not happy when it hit him.  You can fight the urge to have sex, but the closer you are the harder it can be.  I'd say these two aren't close that way since they're siblings."

"Adopted," Throttle and Charley told her.

She winced.  "Still.  I'm sure they can fight it off."

"I'd never sleep with Xander without Charley and Throttle being there anyway," Vinnie defended.  "We promised we wouldn't."  He looked at Charley.  "It don't change anything else, sweetheart.  You're still my girl.  I'm still your stud.  Xander is still Throttle's world rocker.  Now we're just a bit more mushy with each other.  Just point it out and we'll deal when it happens."

"You'd better not let anything happen," Charley said firmly.

"We promised," he said, staring her in the eyes.  "We promised it would only happen as a quad.  It won't happen otherwise.  No matter how much I wanna go write Xander a love note and make a paper airplane of it so I can launch it at him as he drives in."

She shuddered.  "Ick."  She walked off shaking her head.  "Fine.  We'll deal when we have to.  I'm still going to whip your tail if you sleep with him.  Ever."

"Yes, dear."  He beamed at Throttle.  "He does look very good in the blue of the beam."

"I noticed.  Remember, I can help her whip your tail or do it all on my own."

"Sure, sure," he agreed, heading for the office to write the important people in his life notes.  He felt this urge to try his hand at poetry.  The back of his mind was screaming that this was not what macho studs did, but the front was pointing out that a bit of mush would get him laid like never before from Charley and Xander would probably be in his head listening to his prowess so he'd know what was going to be his soon.  The back of his mind shut up, severely traumatized.  "Hmm, what rhymes with bike?" he mused, sitting at the computer to type it out.  He'd handwrite it once he got it perfect.  It'd be more special that way.


Xander rode into the garage, looking at Modo since he was waiting. "We need to fire up the hot tub as hot as it can go.  I need Dawn's supply of Nair to do his back.  Madam Li will be here about eight or nine."

"Can I go to the bathroom?" Enamel asked.  "Please."

"Sure."  He undid the cuffs and helped him off the bike, walking him into the bathroom and letting him in there. He looked at him, watching him watch his belt.  "Fine.  It's nothing between us, like you and a kiddie patient in casts."  He undid his pants and then his boots, leaving him there to kick out of them and he'd help him with his shirt after that.  He went to check on the hot tub, making sure it was as hot as it could be, hitting the switch for the extra burner to start.  Modo looked at him.  "I put in an extra burner to heat it faster."  Modo nodded and went to tell the others what Xander had said and needed, sending Dawn running.  "I need your Nair, we're doing his back."

"Sure."  She went to get it from the bathroom, finding Enamel trying to wrap a towel around himself.  She grinned and did it for him, then grabbed the Nair.  "After you soak for a bit, we'll do this part and you'll shower it off, then we'll send you back to the hot tub to rest."  He nodded and she led him back to the tub, noticing Vinnie and Throttle were already on either of Xander's sides.  "Here you go."  She put the bottle behind the tub, on a counter so it couldn't get on anything, and then helped Enamel in, taking off the towel at the last minute.  She folded it behind him then looked around.  "Food?"

"Drinks only," Xander told her.  "It can make him sick later."

"Sure.  Alcohol?"

"Please," Enamel begged.  "Just some wine or beer?"

"You got it, doc."  She went to get him something, bringing Throttle and Vinnie a bottle of rootbeer that had been chilling in the freezer for him and Xander a glass of the red wine she found in the fridge.  She made herself, Rimfire, and Detail a snack, then delivered that before going back downstairs.  "Will he be okay?"

"Madam Li thinks it'll wear off within a year," Xander told her. "She's going to do some temporary removing tonight to give him some feeling.  She'll be working on the wings area of his back."

"I can help work on the hair removal.  I figure some soaking would help soften his thick pelt and then we'd do it, let him shower, then bring him back here."  Xander nodded at that.  "Time frame?"

"Eight or nine.  Do we have a guest room open?"

"Yup.  Or we've got Rimfire's room open."

"I can take a guest room," Enamel promised.  "Once I've got some feeling I can go home too."

"You've got to have those massages daily probably," Xander reminded him.  Enamel glared at him and he smirked.  "Didn't it help earlier?"  He nodded, groaning a bit and sinking lower in the water.  "Then we'll deal.  We put up with twins, you're going to be less work."  He smirked at him, then at Vinnie, then at Throttle.  "So, what have we decided?"

"We're going to kill you two if you try to climb into bed with each other," Throttle said simply.

"Good deal.  I agreed, it should only be a quad thing," he said with a small shrug.  "Hey, Rimfire," he said, smiling at him.  "What's up?"

"The nerve disruptor was in database.  It wears off after six months."  He looked at Enamel, frowning a bit.  "It'll keep regrowing until it's too weak and can finally be broken through. If I tried the reverse setting it could set it permanently."

"That's fine, kid.  What about multiple uses on a victim?" he asked calmly.

"Same thing," he assured him.  "Stoker got hit about twelve, fifteen times once during a time he was held.  They used it on his legs, that's the usual usage.  Apparently they went in for torture of you. It will wear off, but all the notes claim that it's extremely painful because you've got all those sudden surges."

"Madam Li can do acupuncture and acupressure," Xander told him.  "That can relieve some of the backed up flow.  I can do deep tissue massages which'll also help."  Enamel nodded that the earlier one had.  "That'll keep some of the worst at bay and we'll figure out the other stuff after that, Enamel.  Even if I have to go pounce Stoker myself."

"I don't want him to know," he told him.

"He's been there," Rimfire reminded him.

"Yeah, but I don't like him and he'll make fun of me and I can't take that."

Throttle shook his head.  "If he does, we'll whip his tail for you.  He's not usually that cruel."  Enamel nodded, frowning a bit.  "If he was after your trial, he was younger then.  Now he knows better and he's a bit more compassionate.  But if you want, I'll go to Exhaust for now."

"Please," he agreed quietly.  "Can I, um, have a straw?"

"I wasn't even thinking about that," Dawn admitted, going to clean out her earlier one for him.  "Here you go," she said with a small kiss to his forehead.  "You're already warm.  Are you sure he's supposed to be this warm, Xander?"

"She said to get it as hot as he could stand it.  Turn off the extra burner though."  Dawn hit the switch and Enamel shifted, getting comfortable.  "Better?"  He nodded, taking a sip of his wine.  "You just relax and rest.  You took care of us when we were in horrible shape and in horrible moods and even when I stunk horribly.  We can help you with this and you can get us back later if we annoy the fuck outta you.  Deal?"

"Fine," he relented, nodding a bit.  "Thank you, Xander."

"Not an issue.  You'd do what you could in the same situation."

"If this were me handling it and you were another doctor, I'd be putting you out of your misery when you asked for it," he said honestly.

Xander nodded.  "I can see that.  It's got to be soul sucking to have everything you've ever known about yourself suddenly rearranged and made mute and impotent."  Enamel sighed and nodded, realizing that Xander had went through it when he had changed.  "So we'll help and annoy and you can make my next check up hurt."

"Sure, kid.  Thanks."

"Not an issue," Throttle assured him.  "I should go talk to Exhaust now, just in case an emergency happens."  Enamel moaned.  "You okay?"

"No, but I'm not sure how we'd handle one."

"Easy.  The same headset if I can get it back from the boss," Xander assured him.  "You can always instruct for now."

"Maybe.  It's not that easy."  He took another sip.  "This is really good wine."

"Thanks. I was going to make a pot roast with it but then the meat got fed to a certain bunch of football hungry mice."  Enamel cracked a small smirk at that.  "Didn't even wait for the good stuff, just browned it and ate it like a really thick steak."

"That's because we were hungry, bro.  You wore us out," Vinnie teased, leaning on his shoulder. "I wrote you a poem."

"Then you're a better mouse than I am.  I suck at poetry," Xander said, beaming at him.  "What's it about?"

"Your antenna."

Throttle moaned.  "Please, no."

"Sorry," Vinnie sighed, shifting over so he was cuddling Throttle's other side.  "I'll try to keep it down."

"Thank you."  He gave him a nudge with his shoulder.  "We'll get through this too, Vinnie.  Bros don't let bros go through this stuff alone.  The same as kinda-family doesn't let the soul sucking injuries go unnoted and unhelped."  Enamel looked stunned. "You might as well be some days," he admitted gruffly.  "That's as mushy as I'm getting."

"Could the beam have affected you through your link?" Rimfire asked.  "There's not much on it in the database.  Just that the reverse setting usually makes it a bit harder to resist."

"Oh, gee, thanks," Xander said dryly, looking at Vinnie.  "Warn us if you have any pouncing urges, okay?"

"Sure," he agreed happily.  "Maybe one of us should go put on a suit."

"I don't own a bathing suit," Xander complained.  "Except my old trophy speedo."

"No, that's not a suit, that's underwear and a taunt," Throttle said quickly.  "Naked's fine. You two can handle that much. You're big mice."  Enamel let out a quiet snicker.  "This is going to be horrible."

"They're already so close it'd just phase in and out of a quad until it wore off," he offered.  "They'll be embarrassed at the end of it but they'll all be fine by then.  Then again, you and Charley might find a new appreciation for each other too."  He tried to shrug and winced.  "At least I felt some pain that time."

"That's from the weight of the limbs," Xander offered, shifting over to work on his arms some more.  "I have magical fingers and I'll do what I can to help you.  Even Modo likes my back and arm rubs," he said proudly.

"I think you go too hard," Throttle offered dryly.  "Then again, I'm not used to someone kneading me like bread dough."

Xander spit at him.  "I'll stick to foot and leg rubs for you, dear.  After all, they make you horny."

"I'll remember that," Vinnie said happily.  "I never realized that before."

"I don't know why not, you did about everything else to him when you two were together," Xander said dryly.  Dawn and Rimfire both choked on the air they were swallowing.  "Long ago, kids.  Way, way long ago.  Like ancient history."

"We were just in the end of our training," Vinnie agreed.

"Yeah, that's ancient history," Rimfire agreed dryly.

Vinnie lunged and caught him, pulling him in and putting his head under the water.  "I'm not that old, Rimfire.  I'm barely thirty!"

"Let up on him!  You big meany!" Dawn shouted, beating on his arm.  "My mouse!"  She got Rimfire free and helped him back away from the tub.  "Just for that, you're going to be funny colored for the next year, Vincent Van Wham.  No one tortures *my* mouse but me."  She stomped off, taking Rimfire with her to baby him for a bit.

"Wow, that was a great plan," Xander said happily, beaming at him.  "Now they're off having sex and leaving us alone.  Dawn's no longer staring at the three of us and our bare asses either."

"I've seen bigger dicks on slugs!" she yelled, then slammed her door.

"Proportionally speaking, slugs are hung," Enamel offered, shaking his head a bit.  "Ow, Xander."

"Sorry.  You know it's working though."  He switched to the back of his neck and started to move down from there.  "I remember reading something about the oldest and proportionally longest coming from some sort of snail.  If the snail was a human it'd be, like, two feet long."

"Wow," Vinnie said. "I want one of those."

"Your girl would run from you," Throttle said, shaking his head quickly.  "Hell, we'd all run from you, bro."

"Why?  Is he spouting poetry again?" Modo asked as he came in to join them.  "Suits?"

"Optional," Vinnie and Xander announced.

"Fine.  I'll wear mine if you don't mind."  He slid into the empty spot.

"Did you know that proportionally speaking, slugs have bigger penises than any other creature?" Throttle asked him.

"Did that beam affect you through your bond to Xander?" he demanded.  "Bro, that's just odd."

"No, seriously," Xander agreed. "I read it in a news article.  I even saved it down.  The biggest ever was on a snail and it was about two feet long if the snail were human sized."

"Well, Dawn did say she'd seen bigger on a snail," Vinnie agreed with a grin.  "How about you, Xander?  Would you run from one of those?"

Xander blushed and ducked to pay attention to what he was doing.  "No comment."

Modo stared at him, mouth hanging open.  "You know someone like that?"

"Hid that from me during the life review?"

"No, I just watched him do his porno shoot," Xander admitted, grinning at his very jealous mate. "I was there soaking up the beach.  They were shooting up the beach from me.  I'm still impressed at the girl who took it up the butt."  He shook his head and shifted around Enamel to work on the other side, moving his wine out of the way.  "There, sip on that side."

"Can you get off my lap?" Enamel asked.

Xander shifted a bit further away.  "Sorry, didn't mean to make you horny at the sight of my sexy tail."

"Vincent, quit infecting him with your ego.  He's got enough already," Enamel said dryly.

"But why?" he asked with a bright grin.  "There's so much I can show and infect him with of mine that it'd be great.  We could really start acting like twins."


"Yes, Forge?" Vinnie replied, grinning at him.

"You're freaking the muggles out.  Quit for a bit, okay?"

"Fine.  I'll quit freaking the muggles out," Vinnie agreed happily.

"Huh?" Modo asked.

"I'll give you the book tapes later," Throttle assured him, shaking his head.  A year of this.  He was going to be insane by then.   The transporter went off.  "Go away I'm having a nervous breakdown!"  Yes, he was definitely going to be insane by the end of this.  Either that or he'd have two white mice begging him to help them nap the sleep of the deeply sexed out.

The End.

To Part 59

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