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All original Rovers, Master, Parvo, and Prof. Hubert are © Warner Brothers
Rally, Diamond, Rapperswil, Jura, Mage, Daryl & his gang, Emmen, and Kattra are © Me
DJ is © Jake Williams
Dylan is © Dylan Rinald
Sierra is © Elista Adkins
Huntress Retriever is © Greywolf Lupous
Marauder is © Jerimy Bass
Dervish is © Casey Johnson
Star is © Katherine Gore


"The Greatest Challenge Ever Set Before Them"

Story is © 3-10-01 by David Reynolds

SETTING: Rec Room, RRMC.

The Rovers are doing their usual things.  Hunter, Dylan, DJ, Colleen, and Shag are playing Poker.  Exile is trying to read. (J) Rally and Diamond are playing a game of pool.  The others are doing random other things.  Rally starts to rack the balls for another round of pool.

Diamond: Well, that's four for me, only two for you.

Rally: Don't get cocky, Diamond.  It's not even lunchtime yet.

He pulls the rack away and Diamond takes a shot, sinking the one and three balls.

Diamond: Alright!  I never lose with solids.

Rally: We'll see.

Master (Over loudspeaker): Rovers, report to the briefing room at once.

Rally: Now what?

The Rovers all walk to the briefing room and see Master standing at his usual place on his balcony.

Hunter: What is it, Master?

Master: I'm sorry, but your time off has once again been cut short.

Rovers: Aw, man!

Master: Don't worry, I promise you'll get some time off.  Right now, you have important work to do.  But first, I'd like to introduce you to the newest Road Rover recruit.

Colleen: Blimey!  This is like the 30th recruit in the last year!

Master: I know, but we need this one because he knows the area and terrain of where you're going.

DJ: And where might that be?

Master: Switzerland.

Rovers: Switzerland?!

Master: Yes.  Now I expect you all to be kind to our new recruit.  He's new to the country and doesn't know a lot about how we do things.  This includes you, Blitz.

DJ: Well, who is he?

Master (Off to one side): OK, you can come in now.

A Bernese Mountain Dog canosapien walks into the room.  He is about 6' 2" and is wearing a Road Rover uniform.  Around his neck is a gold chain with a medallion at the end. (See bio for full description.) He approaches the Rovers and stops in front of Hunter.

Hunter: Hello.  Welcome to Road Rover Headquarters.  Who are you?

Canosapien: My name is Rapperswil de Chardeaux.
(This is pronounced as "Rap-per-sveel · Day · Shar-doe")

Rovers: Uh…

Rapperswil: It's a strange name, but that's because I'm from Switzerland.

Exile: Wait a minute.  "De Chardeaux"?  Are you related to a Jura de Chardeaux? (Pronounced "Zhu-ra · Day · Shar-doe")

Rapperswil: Yeah, he was my brother.  Why?  You know `im?

Exile: Yes, he was on same sled-dog team as me in Siberia before I became a Road Rover.  How is he?

Rapperswil: Don't know.  I haven't heard from him since he was sold as a puppy.

Hunter: Say, I was wondering.  What is that medallion for?

Rapperswil: It's a Swastika.  I wear it to honor my owner.

Blitz (Arrogantly): I bet you don't even know what "Swastika" means, do you?

Rapperswil: Actually, I do.  It's the symbol used by Nazi soldiers during World War 2.

Blitz (Bemused): How did you know that?

Rapperswil: My master was a Nazi in the war.  Besides, I'm fluent in German and French.

Blitz: Really? *Speaking German* Brunnen, mein nennen sein Blitz.  Ich existieren das fuhrer der das Strecke Wandernders.  Ich existieren auch das hubschest und beste liebened der das gruppe.
(Translation: "Well, my name is Blitz.  I am the leader of the Road Rovers.  I am also the prettiest and best loved of the group.")

Rapperswil (Speaking German): Zufrieden auf treffen du, Blitz.
(Translation: "Pleased to meet you, Blitz")

Hunter: Uh, does anyone know what they're sayin'?

Colleen: I haven't a clue, Hunter.

Hunter: Well, Rapperswil, my name is Hunter.  I'm the leader of the Road Rovers.

Rapperswil: That's funny, *Points at Blitz* this guy just told me he was the leader.

The Rovers glare at Blitz.

Hunter: We'll talk about this later, Blitz.  Anyway, this is Colleen.

Colleen: Hello, Guv.

Hunter: This is Exile, the one who was on your brother's sled-dog team.

Exile: Pleased to be meeting you, comerade.

Hunter: You'll have to excuse him.  He's still taking lessons on how to speak correct English.

Master: Hunter, you can introduce the rest later.  Right now you've got work to do.

Hunter: Sorry.  What's our mission?

Master: A maniac who calls himself Mage is terrorizing Europe.  He has started with one of the hardest countries to take over: Switzerland.  This is why I recruited Rapperswil.  He knows the area well and may come in handy.

Colleen: Well, what are we waiting for?  Diamond and Rally, you take Rapperswil in the Sky Rover.  We'll meet up in Bern.  Let's get goin'.

Hunter: We're dogs with a mission.  We are…

Rovers (Except Rapperswil): Roooooad Rovers! *Loud howl*

Rapperswil uncovers his ears, having covered them during the Rovers' yell.

Rapperswil: What was that?!

Hunter: That's the Road Rover battle cry.  C'mon, we gotta get goin'.

They run to the vehicle bay and board the Sky Rover, Sonic Rover, and Pack Rover.  They take off and head toward Switzerland.

SETTING: Interior, Sky Rover, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, a few hours later.

Rally is piloting, Rapperswil copiloting, and Diamond sitting behind Rally.

Rally (To Rapperswil): So, how far to Bern?

Rapperswil: About seventeen hundred miles.

Rally: Well, since we got some time, whatta say we get acquainted?  My name's Rally.

Diamond: And I'm Diamond.

Rally: So, tell us about Bern.  What do you do for fun?

Rapperswil: Well, I don't really do anything.  The humans do a lot, though.

Diamond: Do you have sports?

Rapperswil: Yeah, we got a lot of those.

Diamond: What's the most popular one?  In the U.S., it's baseball.

Rapperswil: Baseball?  I've never heard of that.

Rally: Baseball is a game where you hit a ball of leather as hard as you can with a wooden bat.

Rapperswil: Oh, we have something like that.  We call it "hornussen".

Diamond: That's a weird name.

Rally: No, it's not.  It's just a different name for baseball.  So Rapper, you mentioned a brother.  How big is your family?

Rapperswil: What did you call me?

Rally: I called you "Rapper".  Oh, that's right.  You're not familiar with how we do things.  Well, sometimes when a Rover has a fairly large name, we shorten it so we can say it faster.

Diamond: Besides, "Rapperswil" is kind of hard to say.

Rapperswil: Oh, well I guess you're right.  Now what was the question?

Rally: I asked you how big your family was.

Rapperswil: Oh.  Right.  Let's see…  There's my mother and father of course.  Their litter consisted of fourteen pups, including me.  I have seven brothers and six sisters.

Diamond: Wow.  That's a big family.

Rapperswil: So, tell me about those other Rovers and exactly what they do.

Rally: Well, the Doberman you met is Blitz.  He's egotistical and headstrong, he's in love with himself, and he's scared of almost everything.  I'm not sure why Master chose him.

Rapperswil: Who's Master?

Diamond: That's the guy who told us about the mission.  He's in charge of everything that goes on at Mission Control.

Rally: Yep.  Hunter is the Golden Retriever mix and is the leader of the Road Rovers, no matter what Blitz says.  Hunter and Colleen, the Collie, are fiancés.  Colleen's always pickin' on Blitz, but it gets old after a while.

Rapperswil: What about this Exile character?  What's he like?

Diamond: Oh, he's a nice fella.  Real sweet most of the time, except when Blitz pisses him off.  Then he calls him "Weird Boy".

Diamond and Rally continue to describe the Rovers as they fly toward Bern.  After about an hour, Master's voice is heard over the radio.

Master (Over CB radio): Rovers, Mage has started to work his way north through Switzerland.  At this rate, he should be in Bern in less than four hours.  Do your best to stop him, Rovers.  And Rapperswil, be careful.

Rapperswil: That guy better not hurt any of my family, or I'll kill him myself.

Rally: Don't worry.  We should be there in plenty of time.

Diamond: Hey, Rapper.  You said your master was a Nazi, right?

Rapperswil: Yes, but not by choice.  He was told to either join the Nazis or be executed for treason.  He never killed anyone.  He hurt a lot of people, but never killed anyone.  It just wasn't in his nature.  After the war, he moved to Bern with my grandparents.  That's where my parents, and later my siblings and I were born.

Rally: So, what does your master do in Switzerland?

Rapperswil: Uh, I don't think I should tell you that.

Diamond: Why not?

Rapperswil: I just think that sort of thing should be kept to myself.  It's not like I don't trust you guys, it's just that some things should be kept a secret.  I also can't tell you anymore about my past right now.  Sorry, it's just something I prefer to keep to myself.

Rally: That's alright.  We all have our little secrets about ourselves.  Like my one big fear.  I've never told anyone about it.

Rapperswil (Thinking): I only wish my secret was something small like that.

SETTING: Outskirts of Bern, Switzerland, a few hours later.

The Sky Rover lands and Rally, Diamond, and Rapperswil step out into the Swiss weather.  Rally and Diamond, who are wearing short-sleeved shirts, immediately start shivering.  Rapperswil, who is wearing the Road Rover uniform, seems quite comfortable.

Diamond: Damn, it's cold here.

Rally: I don't see how you can stand it, Rapper.

Rapperswil: Well, I've lived here all my life, so I've gotten used to it.  This suit is actually quite hot.  I wish I was wearing the kind of clothes you are.

Diamond: Say, where are the others?

Rally: Well, the Pack Rover's gonna take a while because of its weight, but the Sonic Rover should've been here already.

Diamond: There it is.

She points to an object approaching from the distance.

Rally: You're right.  The Pack Rover should be here in a little while as well.

The Sonic Rover lands next to the Sky Rover and Hunter, Colleen, Huntress, Blitz, DJ, and Exile step out.

Rally: What took you guys so long?

Hunter: Colleen got her directions mixed up.

Colleen: I told you, the GPS went on the fritz.

Hunter: OK, whatever.  Where's the Pack Rover?

Diamond: Still on its way, I guess.

After about ten minutes, the Pack Rover appears in the distance and lands not too far from the others.  The back cargo bay door opens and Sierra and Dylan step onto the ramp.

Sierra: Alright.  Everyone gather `round for your equipment.

The nine others walk up and stand in front of her.

Sierra: OK, I think the new guy should be first.

Rapperswil: I'd prefer if you called me by name.

Sierra: Sorry.  Well, you think you can handle a gun?

Rapperswil: I guess so.

Sierra turns around and picks up a very large gun.  She is obviously struggling to hold it, even with both hands.

Sierra: Damn this thing is heavy!

She tosses it to him and he catches it in one hand with no problem.

Dylan: Whoa.  You must be pretty strong.  Only a few Rovers can handle that thing.

Rapperswil looks the gun over, then aims it into the air and pulls the trigger.  The force of the kickback knocks him to the ground as a large energy impulse shoots into the sky.  The impulse fades quickly due to the high altitude and cold temperature.  Diamond walks over and helps Rapperswil to his feet.

Diamond: Never aim that gun anywhere except straight ahead, and make sure you're braced for the kickback.

Rapperswil: Sure, now you tell me.

Sierra: OK, who's next?

Sierra and Dylan give all the Rovers (Except Rally) their guns and they head out.

Rapperswil: Hey, uh.. Rally, right?

Rally: Yeah?

Rapperswil: Why don't you have a gun?

Hunter: Well, he doesn't really need one.

Rapperswil: What do you mean?

DJ: You'll see.

Dylan: So, where's this guy supposed to be anyway?

Huntress: According to what Master said, he should be here in about an hour.

Hunter: I think we should warn the townspeople and try to evacuate the city.

Colleen: Good idea.

They head into the city and try to ask directions to the capital building.

Hunter: Excuse me.  Where's the capital building?

Citizen #1 (Speaking French): Je faire point entendre quoi vous dire.
(Translation: "I do not understand what you say.")

Hunter: Um… Damn.  I wish I'd taken that foreign language course when I had the chance.

Rapperswil: He said he doesn't understand you.  Let me try. *To citizen; speaking French* Où es ze capitale bâtiment?
(Translation: "Where is the capital building?)

Citizen #2 (Speaking French): Elle es deux billots to ze est.
(Translation: "It is two blocks to the east.")

Rapperswil (Speaking French): Mérci.
(Translation: "Thanks.")

Colleen: Well, what'd he say?

Rapperswil: He said it's two blocks to the east.

Dylan: Well let's get goin'.  We gotta get these people outta here before Mage shows up.

Hunter: It's just a good thing that Rapperswil speaks their language.

They walk to the capital building and after Rapperswil tells the guards who they are, they are escorted to the Swiss president's office.  He stands to greet them.

Swiss president (Speaking German): Willkommen, Strecke Wandernders.  Welche bringen du auf Schweiz?
(Translation: "Welcome, Road Rovers.  What brings you to Switzerland?")

Hunter: What did he say?

Rapperswil: He said welcome.  He also wants to know why we're here.

Hunter: Tell `im that someone is destroying Switzerland and should be in Bern is less than an hour.

Rapperswil (To Swiss president; speaking German): Jemand sein anstrengend auf zerstören Schweiz und wille angreifen Bern in kleiner als ein stunde.
(Translation: "Somebody is trying to destroy Switzerland and will attack Bern in less than one hour.")

Swiss president (Speaking German): Brunnen, welche tun wir tun?
(Translation: "Well, what do we do?")

Rapperswil (Speaking German): Versuchen auf räumen das stadt, aber vermeiden ein panik als beste du kann.  Das anderes und Ich wille versuchen auf halten das wahnsinniger.
(Translation: "Try to evacuate the town, but avoid a panic as best you can.  The others and I will try to stop the maniac.")

Swiss president (Speaking German): Danke schön.  Wir wille räumen das stadt sofort und bekommen wegen eurer weg.
(Translation: "Thank you.  We will evacuate the town immediately and get out of your way.")

The Swiss president and his guards walk out to warn the townspeople to evacuate.

Rapperswil: He's evacuating the town now.

Hunter: Good.  We should get ready for Mage's arrival.

DJ: Why wait when we could go find him?

Dylan: Why do that?

DJ: We'll catch him off guard.  If we wait, he's bound to expect us.  But if we go find him, we'll have the advantage.

Hunter: Good idea.  Rapperswil, lead the way.

Rapperswil: You can call me "Rapper" if you want.

Hunter: Hmm…  Sounds good to me.

Rapperswil leads the others out of the city and south along the Aare River.  After a while, everyone except Rapperswil and Exile stops and tries to warm up.  Rapperswil and Exile turn and walk back to them.

Rapperswil: Maybe you guys should've brought some coats.  Whew.  I'm hot as hell, though.

He takes off his chest armor and drops it to the ground.  Colleen, Huntress, Sierra, and Diamond make a wolf-whistle at him and he blushes.

Hunter: Exile, maybe you should start a fire for the rest of us.

Exile: Sure thing, Hunter.

He turns and uses his heat vision to set a tree on fire.  It falls and the Rovers gather around it while Exile and Rapperswil walk off and sit on the bank of the river.

Rapperswil: So, you do this kinda thing often?

Exile: Yes.  Our record was thirty days in a row.

Rapperswil: Wow.  I'm guessing you don't get a lot of free time, huh?

Exile: Nyet.  Sometimes I wish things like this never happened.

Rapperswil: Well, the others seem like a nice bunch.

Exile: All except for Weird Boy.

Rapperswil: That's Blitz, right?

Exile: I think that's his name.  He has so many.

Rapperswil: What do you mean?

Exile: Well, there's Blitz, Weird Boy, Fluffy, Mr. Chubikins… the list goes on for very long time.

Rapperswil: You really do have problems with your English, don't you?

Exile: I am from Russia.  All Russians have trouble with other languages.

Rapperswil: What time is it?

Exile: Well, at Mission Control, it's about 10:00 in the morning.

Rapperswil: That means it's about 5 in the afternoon here.

Exile: I hope you don't mind my asking, comerade, but what breed are you?

Rapperswil: I'm a Bernese Mountain Dog.

Exile: Purebreed or mix?

Rapperswil: Purebreed.  What kind are you?

Exile: I am purebred Siberian Husky.

They sit by the river for a few minutes more, then look over to the others sitting around the burning tree.

Rapperswil: Hey, guys!  You think you're warm enough to keep goin'?

Hunter: Well, I guess so.

They all stand and continue to walk south along the river.

SETTING: Münsingen, Switzerland.

Most of the city is burning or blown up.  Militia soldiers armed with rifles are running through the streets, firing at Mage's soldiers, most of who are in tanks.  Two Commanches with the    Gen-Par logo on the side fly overhead.  Inside one is a dark figure dressed in all black.  He is also wearing a black hood and a black mask in the shape of a dog's face.  This is Mage.  He is working with General Parvo to destroy the Rovers and take over the world.

Mage (Annoyed): Shouldn't the Rovers have shown up by now?

Pilot: If what General Parvo says is right, they'll be here very soon.

Mage (Annoyed): They'd better be.  I don't feel like wasting my time on some wild goose chase.

He looks out the window and sees Switzerland's militia and his soldiers battling each other.

Mage: This is getting dull.  Pilot, land now.  I don't feel like waiting any longer.

Pilot: Yes, sir.

Both of the Commanches land and Mage steps out into the half-destroyed city.

Mage: Men!

All of the soldiers stop fighting and look at Mage.

Mage: It's time to end this.  I've more important things to do.  Kill these Swiss morons so we can get on with our plan.  Or do I have to do it myself?

Mage's soldiers attack the militia once again.  Soldiers from both sides fall to the ground.

Mage (To himself): Those pests should've been here by now.  Parvo, if you're lying to me about all this, you will pay dearly.

The Swiss militia turns and retreats deeper into the city to gain reinforcements.  One of the tanks rolls up to Mage and stops.  The hatch opens and two soldiers step out.

Soldier #1: Sir, we have run off the militia.  What do we do now?

Mage: Destroy the city.  Then we'll continue on our way to Bern.  The Rovers are bound to show up eventually.  And when they do, I'll destroy them.

SETTING: Muri, Switzerland.

The Rovers have stopped off in a store to pick up some warmer clothes. (Except for Exile and Rapperswil, of course.) They walk out and start to warn the people about Mage.

Rapperswil (Speaking French): Peuple, plaire écouter!  Indéf fou es sur ze voie to détruire ze ville.  Vous devoir évacuer immédiatly.
(People, please listen!  A lunatic is on the way to destroy the city.  You must evacuate immediately.)

The French-speaking citizens start to evacuate the city.

Blitz (Speaking German): Gehorchen auf, alle du mädchen volk.  Bekommen wegen hîer vorher ein wahnsinniger vernichtens du und eurer mädchen stadt.
(Translation: "Listen up, all you girlie people.  Get out of here before a maniac destroys you and your girlie town."

Rapperswil: Blitz, why are you so egotistical?

Blitz: Leave me alone, or I'll bite you.

Hunter: Blitz, heel.  You know what Master said.  Besides, Rapper's right.

The German and French-speaking citizens have all evacuated, but many people still stand around the Rovers.

Colleen: I thought you told `em to evacuate.

Rapperswil: Oh..  This must be the Italian population.

Huntress: Well, just tell `em to evacuate in Italian.

Rapperswil: That's just it.  I can only speak German and French.  I don't know any Italian.

Diamond: Well, this is a problem.

DJ: Not really.  Ya just gotta know the international language.  Rapper, let me see your gun a minute.

Rapperswil hands his gun to DJ.  DJ aims it at the townspeople's feet and fires, the blast hitting right in front of them.  The people all run out of the city almost instantly.  DJ hands the gun back to Rapperswil.

Dylan: Uh, Deej?  Don't you think you could've found a better way to do that?

DJ: Sorry.  Spur-of-the-moment sort of thing.

Rapperswil: C'mon.  I know a place we can wait for Mage.  He'll never even suspect us.

Hunter: Lead the way, buddy.

They head off out of the city.

Rapperswil: Say, if we're goin' after Mage, why are we evacuating all the cities?

Hunter: Just incase he gets past us.  I don't want innocent people getting hurt.  At least this way there's a chance to keep everyone safe.

Rapperswil: Good point.

SETTING: ½ Mile South of Muri, a few minutes later.

The Rovers have stopped on top of a cliff and are sitting around, waiting for Mage.

Dylan: Man, these Swiss clothes aren't much better than our T-shirts.  Can't we light another fire?

Exile: Nyet.  The smoke would give away our positionski.

Dylan: So I guess we just freeze, right?

Hunter: I'm afraid so, Dyl.

Rally: Shh.. I hear something.

They ready their guns and peek over the cliff.  Below them a tank rumbles by and stops right in front of the cliff-side.

Colleen: Who are those blokes?

Hunter: Check out the logo on the side of the tank.

Rapperswil: "Gen-Par"?  What the hell's Gen-Par?

DJ: It's a made-up corporation to disguise General Parvo's evil plans to take over the world.

Rapperswil: And who might this "General Parvo" be?

Dylan: He's our worst enemy.  He uses cano-mutants and weapons of mass destruction to try to get rid of us.

Sierra: Great.  Now we have to take care of Mage and Parvo.  What else could go…

Diamond: Don't you even say it.  Every time someone says that, it gets worse.

Down below, the tank's hatch opens and Mage steps out, accompanied by three soldiers.

Sierra: That guy in the robe must be Mage.  But where's Parvo?

Hunter: Shh… They'll hear us.

At the bottom of the cliff, Mage looks around and turns to the soldiers.

Mage: Dammit, where are those Rovers?!  If they don't show up soon, I'll destroy Europe completely!

Soldier #2: I'm sure they'll show up soon.

Mage: How do you know?

Soldier #2: They always seem to drop in at unexpected moments.

Just then, the cliff crumbles and all the Rovers fall to the ground in front of Mage.

Soldier #3: I guess they do like to drop in unexpectedly.

The Rovers stand up and pick up their guns.

Mage: Well, it's about time you showed up.  The General will be pleased when I bring him your corpses.

Hunter: Don't bet on it, Mage.

Mage: Ah, so I see you know who I am, but I don't think you know what you're getting yourself into.  I am far more powerful than you think.

Rally: We'll see about that.

Mage: Indeed we will.  Men, destroy them.

Mage's soldiers open fire on the Rovers.  The Rovers are able to get out of the way and start shooting at the soldiers.  Rally uses an energy blast to destroy the tank, sending Mage's soldiers to the ground.

Rapperswil: Whoa!  What was that?!

Rally: It's my power.  It's very effective.

Mage: But something that weak won't help against me.

Rally: Whatta ya mean "weak"?!

Mage: Your power is pathetic.  It'll never be able to take me down.

Rally: Oh, yeah?

Rally starts to power up for another energy blast.

Hunter: Uh-oh.  Looks like this one's gonna be his strongest one yet.

The Rovers all run for cover, but Rapperswil doesn't know what to do and just stands there.  DJ runs up and grabs him by the arm.

DJ: C'mon.  We gotta get out of his way.

He pulls Rapperswil to the hiding place where the others were already laying on the ground, covering their heads.  Rally is still powering up for an attack when Mage's men stand up and prepare to open fire on him.

Mage (To soldiers): Hold your fire.  This guy thinks he can hurt me, so let him try.  You men keep goin'.  I want Bern destroyed in one hour.  Kill anyone who gets in your way.

The soldiers start toward Bern, still following the river.

Exile: They are going to destroy Bern?

DJ: Yes.  They're also gonna kill anyone who gets in their way.

Diamond: What are we gonna do?  We can't just leave Rally here by himself.

Hunter: He can take care of himself.  We'll wait for him to fire his blast, then we'll go after those soldiers.

The Rovers all look over from their hiding place at Rally, who is still powering up.

Rally: I hope you like pain, Mage, `cause you're about to get an overdose.

Mage: Cocky little dog.  I can never be defeated.  I am invincible.

Rally: Look who's gettin' cocky now.  You're too sure of yourself.

Mage: So are you, mutt.

Rally: WHAT?!

Hunter: Uh-oh.  That wasn't a very smart thing for Mage to do.  I think we should move farther away.

The Rovers that were hiding get up and run to a much farther hiding spot.  Rally stops powering up and fires his energy blast at Mage.  The force of the explosion sends Rally and the other Rovers flying.  The explosion dies down, but a giant cloud of dust remains.  The Rovers get up and walk over to Rally.  DJ helps him to his feet.

DJ: Damn, bro.  You think you left anything for us?

Rally: Sorry.  I wasn't really thinkin'.  It just pisses me off when someone calls me a mutt.

Diamond: Well, I don't think you have to worry about that anymore.

The dust settles and the Rovers look over.  Their jaws drop as they see Mage standing there, completely unharmed by the blast.

Hunter (In disbelief): No way.

Dylan: He should be dust right now.

Rapperswil (To Rally): Tell me that was one of your weak blasts.

Rally: I wish I could.  That blast used almost half my energy.

Mage: I hope that wasn't your best shot.

Hunter: He's stronger than we thought.  It doesn't even look like that blast hurt him.

Rally: You guys get outta here.  I'll take care of Mage.

DJ: Say what?

Rally: Just stop those soldiers from killing all those innocent people.  Don't worry, I'll take care of myself.

Diamond: Yeah, but…

Rally: Look, I know you're worried about me, but I know what I'm doing.  Now go, before it's too late.

The Rovers head off to find the soldiers, leaving Rally to face Mage alone.

Mage: That was a stupid move.  You're just prolonging their deaths.  But I'll take care of them later.  Right now, you're the only one I'm worried about.

Rally: I won't let you kill innocent people.  You're goin' down right here, right now.

Mage: And how do you expect to destroy me?  With that puny power of yours?

Rally: PUNY?!

Mage: That's right.  But if you wanna see real power, I'll show you real power.

Mage puts his right hand over his head and a ball of energy instantly appears.  As Mage powers up, the ball gets larger and starts to throw off electricity.  Rally's eyes suddenly widen with fear.

Rally (Thinking): No.  There's no way he can be that powerful.

Rally notices that the others had left their guns when they ran off.  He picks up the gun that Rapperswil had and aims it at Mage.  Mage has stopped powering up and stands there, holding the energy ball in his hand.

Mage: It looks as though Parvo and I will succeed in our plan.

Rally: Whatta you mean you and Parvo?

Mage: Parvo hired me to get rid of you Rovers.  He's giving me $5 billion for the job.

Rally: Do you have this so-called $5 billion?

Mage: No, he's giving it to me as soon as I take care of you and your friends.

Rally: You fool.  Don't you realize he said that just to get you to do his dirty work?  He's not really giving you anything for it.  As soon as we're out of the way, he's gonna backstab you and probably kill you, too.

Mage: Ha!  I'm far too smart to fall for your little tricks.  I'd love to talk with you more, but I've got a deadline to keep.  So long, wimp.

Mage sends the energy ball straight at Rally.  Rally fires the gun, which sends him flying backward.  He lands on his back just as Mage's energy ball flies over his head and explodes when it hits what's left of the cliff the Rovers hid on.
SETTING: Banks of the Aare River.

The Rovers stop when they hear the explosion.  They look back and see dust rising high into the air.

Hunter: I don't think that was Rally's blast.

Colleen: I think you're right.  Maybe we should go back to help him.

Rapperswil: No.  He told us to stop those soldiers, and that's just what I intend to do.

Rapperswil continues toward Bern.  The others hesitate, but eventually follow, making sure to trail behind.

Hunter (To Colleen): Looks like he's serious about this mission.

Colleen: Well, he just wants to make sure no one gets killed.

Exile: Also, his master and most of his family still lives in Bern.  He just wants to protect them.

Blitz: Just let me find those girlie soldiers.  I will bite each of their tushies very hard.

Exile: Don't be Weird Boy.

DJ: Do you think we'll be able to catch up to the soldiers in time?

Sierra: I'm pretty sure we will.  They didn't have that much of a head start.

Diamond: I just hope Rally can hold up against Mage until we get back.

Dylan: Don't worry.  Your brother's strong.  One of the strongest Rovers on the team.  He'll be OK.

Diamond: I hope so.

Rapperswil (Over his shoulder): You guys hurry up.  We got a long way to go.

They continue to follow the River back to Bern.

SETTING: ½ Mile South of Muri.

Rally is buried in rocks from the explosion.  He slowly climbs to his feet.

Mage: I told you, you can't beat me.

Rally: Oh, we'll beat you.  No one can defeat the Road Rovers.

Mage: But you've already shown me how weak you are, and I haven't even tried yet.  You and all your little friends will soon die.

Rally: You think you know how strong I am, but I also have a lot of strength I haven't shown.  And if you think you can hurt my friends and family, you're sadly mistaken.

Rally begins to power up for an energy attack, concentrating all of his strength into the blast.  Electricity flies from his body and his hair begins to fly up.

Rally: Just so you know, I'm puttin' everything I have into this attack.  If you give up now, I might let you live.

Mage: You think you're strong enough to destroy me?  I feel sorry for you.  Nevertheless, I must destroy you before I can succeed in my plan.

Rally is still charging up his attack when Mage runs at him and punches him in the jaw.  Rally's energy is lost as he flies back, coming to rest a few feet away.  He sits up and watches Mage pick up one of the laser pistols.  He aims it at Rally, who is still sitting on the ground, frozen with fear.

Mage: Well, I guess this is good-bye, Rover.  Don't worry, you're friends will soon join you.

He pulls the trigger and the shot flies toward Rally.  Rally is able to move just enough to have the shot miss his heart.  Instead, it strikes him in the middle of his chest, missing the heart by less than an inch.  Rally grabs the wound and looks angrily at Mage.  Mage begins to walk off, but stops and turns back to face Rally.

Mage: I've heard of how you pretty much just snap back from injuries, so I think I'll make sure you don't interfere with my plans.

He shoots Rally in both legs and Rally screams out in pain.

Mage: And one more for good measure.

He shoots Rally in the stomach and Rally falls to the ground, breathing heavily.  Mage walks up to him and notices him smiling.

Mage: Why are you smiling?  Are you glad that you've failed and are about to die?

Rally (Weakly): No.  I'm just thinkin' about how funny it'll be when you're defeated.

Mage: Ha!  I won't be defeated.  I've already beaten you, and you're the strongest Rover in the pack.

Rally (Weakly): That's where you're wrong.  There's a Rover even stronger than me, and he's capable of destroying you.  He just doesn't know it yet.

Mage: And who might this "Super-Rover" be?

Rally (Weakly): You'll have to find out for yourself.

Mage: I'm tired of your nonsense.  It's time to put you down permanently.

Mage shoots Rally again, turns, and walks off.  Rally lays motionless on the ground, but is still breathing.

SETTING: Near Muri, Switzerland.

The Rovers have stopped and are looking back in the direction where Rally and Mage are.

Diamond: Tell me that wasn't Rally.

Dylan: I think it was.

Rapperswil starts to walk back.

Hunter: Where are you goin'?

Rapperswil: I'm gonna make sure he's OK.  You guys keep goin', but run.  We don't have much time.

He runs off in Rally's direction.  The others look to each other, then run toward Bern.

SETTING: ¼ Mile from Where Rally and Mage Fought, a few moments later.

Rapperswil stops running and listens.  He hears someone approaching and runs to the river.  He sinks down into the river, holding on to edge and making sure to keep just his nose above the water level.  After a while, Mage walks by and stops.  He takes out a communicator and hits a button.  On the screen, Parvo's face appears.

Parvo: Mage, I'd like a report on your progress.

Mage: I have disposed of one of the Rovers.  We are about to destroy Bern.  We should be done in less than an hour.

Parvo: Which Rover have you destroyed?

Mage: The one that has energy attacks.  I'm not sure what his name is.

Parvo: Energy attacks, huh?  That must've been Rally.  Heh-heh.  Good job, Mage.  I'm very pleased.  Just make sure you destroy all the Rovers.

Mage: No problem.  With that pest, Rally, out of the way, I should have no trouble with the rest.

Parvo: Just finish the job within an hour.  I'm beginning to lose my patience.

Mage presses the button again and the screen goes blank.  Mage continues toward Bern.  After Rapperswil is sure Mage has gone, he climbs out of the river.

Rapperswil: Sure took that guy long enough.  I wonder what he was doing.  Well, I'd better get going.  If Mage is still alive, that can't be good news for Rally.

He continues to look for Rally.  After a while, he finally comes to where Rally is laying on the ground.  He runs up to him and kneels down.

Rapperswil (To himself): Oh, geez.  Looks like you've been shot five times. *To Rally* Rally.  Rally, are you OK?

Rally opens his eyes and slowly turns his head to see Rapperswil.

Rally (Weakly): Rapper?

Rapperswil: Yes.  Are you OK?  What happened?

Rally (Weakly): I'm afraid I'm not OK.  Being shot five times takes a lot outta ya.

Rapperswil: This is no time to joke.  What happened?

Rally (Weakly): Well, Mage turned out to be a lot stronger than we thought.  Even before you guys left, I knew I couldn't win.  I didn't plan on winning, either.

Rapperswil: So you just used yourself as a diversion?

Rally (Weakly): You got it.  I just acted like I could win to distract Mage while you guys left to stop the soldiers.

Rapperswil: But now that you're in this condition, we have no chance of winning.

Rally (Weakly): Yes, we do.  Mage is strong, but you're stronger.

Rapperswil: What?!

Rally (Weakly): I sensed something about you when we first met.  I know you can do this.  Just believe in yourself, and I know you can win.

Rapperswil: But what about you?

Rally (Weakly): I'm afraid it's too late.  By the time you defeat Mage and get back here, I'll already be gone.  I'm struggling just to stay alive long enough to talk to you.

Rapperswil: Then don't talk.  You've gotta save your energy.

Rally (Weakly): No.  I need to ask a favor of you.

Rapperswil: Anything.  Just name it.

Rally (Weakly): After you beat Mage, I want you to look after the others.  Especially my sister.  She's sweet, but still a little immature.  Just do this one thing for me, and I will be eternally grateful.

Rapperswil: You're talkin' like it's the end of the world.  There's a way to save you, I know there is.

Rally (Weakly): I appreciate your concern, but I know I don't have much time left.  You are the only hope the Earth has now.  Now go, before it's too late.  And remember what I said.

Rapperswil: Don't worry, I will.  And I will be back for you.

He stands and begins to run to Bern.

SETTING: Bern, Switzerland, a few minutes later.

Mage's three soldiers are standing at the edge of the city, looking around.

Soldier #3: Where are all the people?

Soldier #2: I'll bet those Rovers warned `em to evacuate.

Soldier #4: No matter.  Mage told us to destroy the city, so let's do it.

Voice (From behind): Not so fast.

The soldiers turn to see the nine Rovers standing behind them.

Sierra: If you wanna destroy anything, you'll have to go through us first.

Soldier #4: Sounds fair.

They aim their guns at the Rovers.  Hunter and Huntress use their super-speed to run circles in opposite directions around the soldiers, leaving a trail of fire behind them.  They stop running, but the flames still remain.

Hunter: That oughta hold `em for a while.

Huntress: Now whatta we do?

Hunter: I guess we just wait for Mage.

Rapperswil runs up and stops next to them, completely out of breath.

Diamond: Rapper?  What happened?  Where's my brother?

Rapperswil holds up a finger to let them know he needs a minute to catch his breath.  After he has caught his breath, he walks over to them.

Rapperswil: Rally is still in the spot where he and Mage fought.  Mage shot him five times.

DJ: What?!

Rapperswil: He told me to leave him and help you guys.

Diamond: And you just left him there to die?

Rapperswil: I was just taking orders from my superiors.  Plus, I think we can still save him.

Colleen: How?

Rapperswil: We need to defeat Mage first.

Mage (From behind): Did someone say my name?

The Rovers all turn around.

Mage: Hello, Rovers.  So, you still think you can defeat me?  Jeez, that is pathetic.  Oh, well.  Time to destroy Bern and continue with my plan.

Rapperswil runs up and punches Mage as hard as he can in the face.  Mage staggers back a few steps, but maintains his balance.

Rapperswil: No one destroys my home without a fight.

Mage: Fine.  If you want to die now, be my guest.

Mage punches Rapperswil hard in the gut.  Rapperswil clutches his stomach and falls to his knees.  Mage takes a few steps, then stops and looks toward the flames surrounding his soldiers.

Mage: Come on, men.  We have work to do.

Soldier #2: Yeah, right.  Like we're gonna be stupid enough to walk through fire.

Mage: You dare to defy me?  For that, you will die.

Mage fires an energy blast and the Rovers jump out of the way.  The blast goes through the flames and explodes.  The explosion dies down and the Rovers look in horror at the flames.

Hunter (In disbelief): He killed his own soldiers.

Mage: Human lives and cities have two things in common.  First of all, they are easily destroyed.  Secondly, they are worthless to me, so I have no problem getting rid of them.

Dylan: You heartless bastard.  Why are you doing this?!

Mage: Why?  For the money, of course.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have a city to destroy. *Turns to Rapperswil* It's too bad you couldn't save your home.

Rapperswil stands up and looks to the other Rovers.

Rapperswil: You guys go get Rally.  He doesn't have much time.

Hunter: Me and Huntress will stay here.  The rest of you go.  Use the Sonic Rover.

The others start to run off when Mage turns and prepares to fire an energy blast at them.

Mage: Sorry, but I was told to destroy all the Rovers.

As he is about to fire the blast, Rapperswil runs up to him and kicks him to the ground.  The Rovers (Except Hunter and Huntress) keep running to the Sonic Rover.  Mage stands and turns away from the three Rovers.

Mage: I have no time to play around.  I will destroy you later.

He fires an energy blast, destroying half of a block.

Rapperswil: Stop!  I won't let you destroy my home!

He runs up and grabs Mage by the arms from behind.

Mage: Let go of me, you stupid mutt!

Rapperswil: Yeah, right.  I'll kill you first.

Mage: Ha!  You're too weak to hurt me.

Rapperswil: That's not what Rally told me.

Hunter: What are you talking about?

Rapperswil: He told me that I had the power to destroy this guy.

Mage: Well, if you think you can, go ahead and try.

Rapperswil: It would be my pleasure.

SETTING: ½ Mile South of Muri.

Rally is still lying on the ground when the Sonic Rover lands a few feet away.  The doors open and Diamond is the first to run out.  She, along with the others, run over to Rally.  Colleen kneels down and checks his pulse.

Colleen: *Relieved sigh* Rapper was right.  He's still alive.  Exile, help me get him on the Sonic Rover.

Colleen and Exile pick Rally up and rush him into the Sonic Rover where they lay him on a medical table at the back.  The others gather around them, but Exile tells them to back up and give Colleen some room to work.

Colleen: We need to take care of the chest wounds first.  Someone get me some disinfectant.

Diamond grabs a bottle out of a cabinet and hands it to her.  Rally is lying still on the table, his eyes closed.  When Colleen applies some disinfectant to the wound closest to his heart, he clenches his fists and jerks his head in pain.

Dylan: Colleen, we need to get back and help the others.  How long should it take to fix up Rally?

Colleen: I don't know.  He's barely hangin' on by a thread.

DJ: Colleen, just do what you can.  I'm gonna fly us back to help the others.

DJ sits in the pilot's seat and takes off.  A few minutes later, Bern comes into view.

DJ: Oh, no.

Diamond (From behind): What?

DJ: I think we lost the fight.

All (From behind): What?!

Everyone except Colleen runs to the front to see what DJ is talking about.  Rapperswil is kneeling on the ground, rubbing his eyes.  Not far from him, Hunter and Huntress are lying on the ground and have just started to get up.  DJ lands the Sonic Rover and everyone except Colleen runs out.  They run to Rapperswil and stop.

DJ: Rapper, what happened?

Rapperswil (Rubbing his eyes): That bastard pulled a sneak attack!  He sprayed something in my eyes!

Diamond: Let me see.

She inspects his eyes, which were red and blood-shot.

Diamond: Looks like he used mace.  C'mon, we need to wash your eyes out before they're severely damaged.

She helps him to the Sonic Rover as Hunter and Huntress walk up to the others.

Dylan: Are you two OK?

Hunter: Yeah, but Mage got away.

Sierra: We know that Rapper got sprayed with mace, but what else happened?  How'd Mage get away?

Huntress: After he sprayed Rapper, me and Hunter tried to stop him, but he just used an energy blast to get us out of the way.  He ran out of the city and I heard a helicopter take off.  He probably had it waiting for him.

Blitz: But why didn't he just destroy the city?

Exile: I was wondering same thing.

Hunter: I don't know, but it was lucky for us that he didn't.

DJ: Let's get in the Sonic Rover and see if we can find this guy.

They load into the Sonic Rover and Hunter takes off, Huntress in the co-pilot's seat.  Colleen is still at the back taking care of Rally and Diamond is helping Rapperswil with his eyes.

SETTING: Interior, Commanche helicopter.

Mage is in the passenger's seat, looking into his communicator.  Parvo's face is seen on the screen.

Parvo: What do you have to report, Mage?

Mage: It's going to take more time.  Those Rovers are stronger than I thought.

Parvo: Mage, I'm paying you to get rid of those pests, and the more time it takes, the less you get.

Mage: Sir, I can destroy them, but it's not as easy as I had assumed.

Parvo: Don't give me any excuses, just do the job.  If you don't have those pests gone in two weeks, don't show your face around me or I'll kill you.  Is that understood, Mage?

Mage: Yes, sir.

Parvo: Good.  Now don't disturb me again until you're done.

The screen goes blank and Mage puts up the communicator.

Mage: Pilot, take me back to the operations base.

Pilot: Yes, sir.

SETTING: Briefing Room, RRMC, three days later.

The Rovers are all sitting around the tables, including Rally and Rapperswil.  Rally is in a wheelchair since he was shot in both legs.

Hunter: It's been quiet the last three days.

Colleen: A little too quiet for me.

Dylan: Sierra, anything new on the read-outs?

Sierra: No change since the last time you asked me.  You've gotta settle down, Dyl.  You've asked me that question five times in the last twenty minutes.

Dylan: I can't help it.  This Mage guy has me high-strung.

Sierra: Try paranoid.

Huntress: Well, until we know where he is, there's nothing we can do.

DJ: And now we've gotta do it one Rover less.  Rally can't even do mechanic work for another two weeks.

Rally: Well you make it sound like it's my fault.

DJ: In a way, it is.

Rally (Defensive): Hey, if I hadn't done that, none of us would be alive right now and you know it!

Diamond: You two calm down.  It'll do us no good to be at each other's throats.

Rapperswil: She's right.  We need to clear-headed so we can concentrate on what to do about Mage when we find him.

Hunter: But I'm curious.  Rally, why didn't you use your force-field when Mage shot at you?

Rally: Because I was too scared to think straight.

Dylan: But I thought you never got scared.

Rally: Well, if someone who's stronger than you has you beaten to the ground and is pointing a gun at your chest, no matter who you are, you're gonna be scared.

Diamond: The important thing is that everyone got out of there alive.

Sierra: Now we just need to figure out what to do about Mage when he shows his face again.

For the next five weeks, everything around Mission Control is quiet.  Then one day, alarms go off all over RRMC.

Rally: What's goin' on?

Colleen: Looks like our little friend is back.

Everyone runs to the briefing room and looks at a large screen on one of the walls.  A flashing blip appears on a map of Europe.

Hunter: Where is he now?

Rapperswil: Oh, no.  That's Geneva, Switzerland.  Two of my sisters live there.

Dylan: Man, you got family all over Europe, don't you?

Hunter: Well, let's get going.

Sierra: Hold on a minute.

Huntress: What?

Sierra: Look, it's moving.

They look to the screen and see that the blip was slowly moving westward across Europe.

Rally: Now where's he going?

Colleen: Well, if he follows the current trajectory, he should be headin' for New York.

Rally: Well let's go.

DJ: Hold on there, bro.  Marauder said you should stay here for a little while longer.

Rally: Just trust me, alright?  Besides, I have connections in New York.

Diamond: You do?

Rally: Yes, I do.  Now let's go.

Rapperswil: If it's alright with you guys, I'd like to go to Geneva and see if my sisters are OK.

Hunter: OK, take Diamond with you.

Everyone runs to the vehicle bay.  Diamond and Rapperswil take off in the Sky Rover.  The others get into the Sonic Rover, Jet Rover, and Street Rover (In jet form) and take off toward New York.

SETTING: New York City, New York, four and a half hours later.

The Rovers have landed and are walking down the streets.

Hunter: So who are these "connections" you have, Rally?

Rally: Just some old friends that might be able to help.

DJ: And how do you expect to find `em in this big of a city?

Rally: Don't worry, I'll find `em.

After a while of walking down the streets, Rally recognizes someone standing near a lamppost in front of them.  He walks up and places a hand on the man's shoulder.  He spins around a puts a switchblade to Rally's throat.  At this, all the Rovers pull their guns on the man.

Rally: Good to see you, too.

The man looks at Rally for a moment.

Man: Rally?  Oh, damn.  I'm sorry, man.  You know you can't be too careful around here.

Rally: Yeah, I do.  Now could you please put that thing down?

The man closes the switchblade and puts it in his pocket.

Hunter: Is this one of your "friends", Rally?

Rally: Yeah, this is Daryl.

Daryl: `Sup, Dawg?

Rally: Listen, we're in a little trouble and we need your help.

Daryl: What's the 4-1-1?

Rally: We can't talk here.  You know somewhere where we can talk in private?

Daryl: Yeah, follow me.

The Rovers put up their guns and follow Daryl to an abandoned warehouse.  Once inside, Daryl sits at a table in the middle of a room and Rally sits across from him.  The other Rovers stand behind Rally.

Daryl: So, what's goin' down?

Rally: We're in some deep $#!^ and we need help.  Now we both know that you have the largest gang in the state, right?

Daryl: Yeah.  What about it?

Rally: We need to gather everyone and bring `em here.

Daryl: Are you kidding?  That's over two hundred people.

Rally: I know, and we'll need every one of `em.

Daryl: Why?

Rally: Someone who's even stronger than me is heading straight for New York.  If we don't stop him, he'll destroy everything that gets in his way.  So, what do you say?

Daryl: Well, when you put it that way, I guess I got no choice.

Rally: Good.  You take the west side of the city, we'll take the east side.  Meet back here as soon as you can.

Colleen: What about the north and south sides of the city?

Daryl: The only people that live on the north and south sides are the broke bastards who couldn't afford to pay attention.

Hunter: Ouch.  That's harsh.

Rally: Let's get movin'.  We need to get as many people as we can before Mage shows up.

Daryl: Who's Mage?

DJ: That's who we're trying to stop.

Hunter: Let's roll, Rovers.

They leave the warehouse and head in different directions.

Huntress (Sarcastically): Do you know everyone in Daryl's gang, or are you just gonna ask around?

Rally: Yes, I know the entire gang.  I've lived here almost my entire life, so I think I know what I'm doin'.

SETTING: Geneva, Switzerland.

Diamond lands the Sky Rover and she and Rapperswil step out.

Diamond: I hate heights and yet I still flew the Sky Rover.  How ironic.

Rapperswil: Man, this place is a mess.

They look around and see that almost the entire city had been destroyed.  Half of the city was up in flames and burning to the ground.

Diamond: I hope everyone's alright.

Rapperswil: So do I.

They walk through the rubble, passing many people who were either looking for family and friends or sifting through the remains of the city.  They stop when they see an injured female dog limping along.

Diamond: Oh, my goodness.  That poor girl.

Rapperswil: That's my sister.

They kneel next to the canine and see that the bone is sticking through the flesh of her left foreleg, a trail of blood running down to her paw.

Diamond: Let's get her back to the Sky Rover and see if we help her.

Rapperswil picks up his sister and they take her back to the Sky Rover.  At the back, she is set on an operating table.

Diamond: It looks pretty bad.  I wish Colleen was here.  She's a lot better at this than I am.

Rapperswil: Just try your best.  I'm gonna go look for my other sister.

He walks out as Diamond prepares to go to work on the dog.  Rapperswil walks through the city, looking at all of the destruction and pain that Mage had caused.

Rapperswil (Thinking): Mage, it was bad enough to try and destroy my home, but now you've hurt all of these innocent people.  Not only that, but you've also hurt my sister.  For that, you will pay.

He stops when he hears a soft whimpering.  He approaches a pile of concrete and steel and kneels next to it.  He listens carefully and hears the whimpering again.  He picks up a huge piece of concrete and tosses it to one side.  Underneath, he finds his other sister, beaten and bloodied.  Rapperswil picks her up and begins to walk back to the Sky Rover.  He has to avoid getting hit by a speeding EMS vehicle as he crosses a damaged street.  He goes to the back of the Sky Rover and sets his sister on another operating table.

Diamond: Who's that?

Rapperswil: This is my other sister.  Her name's Emmen.

Diamond: And who am I working on now?

Rapperswil: That's Kat.

Diamond: Kat?

Rapperswil: It's short for Kattra.

Diamond: Oh.  I think we should take both of them back to Mission Control so they can get the best medical attention possible.

Rapperswil: Alright.  You fly, I want to stay back here with my sisters.

Diamond: Uh.. no problem.

Diamond climbs into the pilot's seat and takes off.

SETTING: Warehouse in New York, a quarter of an hour later.

The Rovers have returned with about eighty people and are standing around, waiting for Daryl to get back.  Rally looks at his watch and lets out a sigh.

Rally: Where is he?  He should've been back by now.

Hunter: Well, it takes a while to gather a few hundred people.

Rally: No, because he would've found someone and sent them to find more people.  That's how he always does it.

Dylan: Colleen, what's the GPS say about Mage's position?

Colleen pulls out a GPS tracking system that's linked to the Road Rover satellite and turns it on.

Colleen: He's two hundred miles off the New York coast.  He obviously isn't in any hurry.

The doors to the warehouse open and Daryl, along with about a hundred people, walk in.

Rally: It's about time you got here.

Daryl: So what's your plan, Boss?

Rally: Get your weapons and meet us on the roof.

Daryl and all of the gang members walk off to get the weapons as the Rovers head to the roof.  Once on the roof, the Rovers walk to the edge and look out at the Atlantic Ocean.

Hunter: Y'know, New York's a lot nicer than I thought it would be.

Dylan: I'm actually surprised we didn't get jumped when we got here.

Rally: That's just a myth.  Besides, a lot of the people here know me.

DJ: So you could probably walk down a dark alley at midnight and not give it a second thought, couldn't ya?

Rally: Pretty much.

About five minutes later, all of the gang members walk onto the roof carrying all sorts of weapons.  A few have handguns, some of them have machine guns, some have rifles and shotguns, and still others have bazookas.

Rally: Looks like you been stockin' up since I last saw ya.

Daryl: Yeah, we figered we'd need to be ready for somethin' big, and I guess we was right.

DJ: Are those guns legal?

Rally: Is that really important right now?

DJ thinks for a second.

DJ: I guess not.

Sierra: So what do we do now?

Rally: We wait.

They all look over the edge of the building at the calm, dark blue waters of the Atlantic.

SETTING: Interior, helicopter, somewhere off the coast of New York.

Mage is flying the helicopter at a steady pace toward New York City.

Mage: I may not be getting paid to do this, but I'm still gonna kill those Rovers.  I'll kill `em if it's the last thing I do.

He flips a few switches in front of him to arm the helicopter's weapons.  He sees a 747 flying by him.

Mage: Time for a little target-practice.

He pushes the buttons on top of the control sticks and dual machine guns on the sides of the helicopter come to life, showering the giant plane with bullets.  After a few seconds, Mage stops firing as the 747's engines burst into flames and the plane descends to the freezing waters off the New York coast.  Upon impact with the water, the plane shatters into pieces and everyone onboard is killed almost instantly.

Mage: That was a good warm-up, but now I need to get back to work.

He continues in the direction of New York City.

SETTING: Rooftop, warehouse in New York City, thirty-five minutes later.

The Rovers and gang members are sitting around when DJ and Rally's left ears perk up.  They stand and look out over the ocean.

DJ: He's almost here.

Colleen: Are you sure?

DJ: Yes.

Rally: This is our last chance.  If we don't stop him now, it's all over for the human race.

DJ: Then we gotta do it now.

Rally: This time I'm gonna give him my full blast and he won't stop me.  I want you guys to keep him from destroying anything and keep him away from me for as long as you can.  I'll need some time to power up.

Hunter: You got it, buddy.

Daryl: We won't let him get to you until you're ready for him.

Rally: Well get ready, `cause here he comes.

They look out and see a helicopter approaching slowly.  The Rovers and gang members ready their weapons as Rally slowly begins to power up for the strongest attack he has ever attempted.  As the helicopter comes closer, it descends to the level of the buildings' rooftops.  One of the men armed with a bazooka takes aim and fires, destroying one of the helicopter's machine guns.  The other machine guns starts to fire off rounds at the men and Rovers.  The Rovers and men all duck to avoid the bullets, but Rally stands and uses his force-field to deflect the bullets as he continues to power up.  The machine gun on the helicopter stops firing and the people on the roof stand up.

Daryl: Open fire!

Everyone starts to fire on the helicopter, but few shots hit because the helicopter starts to veer from side to side.  The second machine gun is disabled by DJ's laser pistol as the helicopter tries to turn around for a second pass.

Hunter: Rally, you almost ready?

Rally: Hold him off a little longer.  Remember, I'm putting everything I got into this one.

Hunter: You got it.

When the Rovers and gang members are about to open fire on the helicopter again, it suddenly climbs in altitude, just out of their range.  It lands on a rooftop about half a block away.

Daryl: I guess we gotta chase him now.

Rally: No, we don't.

Rally's eyes turn from their normal green color to a bright red as he continues to pour power into his attack.  On the other rooftop, Mage has stepped out of the helicopter and now glares at the Rovers and men that had fired on him.

Rally: Guys, get down!!!

Everyone on the rooftop drops to the roof and covers their heads.  Rally fires the blast directly at Mage, who doesn't even get the chance to move.  Before Mage ever knows what's going on, he is hit by the blast, which destroys the building he is on.  Five buildings nearby are also destroyed and half of New York City is violently shaken.  The explosion dies down, but the dust and debris still remains in the air.  The Rovers and gang members look over at Rally, who passes out and falls to the roof.

DJ: Rally!

They all run to his side and Colleen pushes through the group to check on him.  She kneels next to his body and checks his neck for a pulse.

Colleen: There's… no pulse.

She turns Rally onto his back and begins to perform CPR.  The others back away and look at the rubble where six buildings had just been.  Down on the ground, the dust has settled and Mage is beaten to the ground, but refuses to stay down.  He stands up weakly and starts to limp off angrily.

Dylan: That guy just won't die.

They turn around when they hear Rally start to cough and gasp and see Colleen kneeling next to him.

Colleen (To Rally): We almost lost you there, Guv.

They go back over to him and DJ kneels by his side.

DJ: Rally, are you alright?

Rally weakly raises his left hand and gives him a limp thumbs-up sign.

DJ (Smiling): Man, you keep pullin' this crazy s*** and you might not live very long.

Sierra: C'mon, we gotta get Mage before he gets away.

The Rovers look over the edge of the building again and see Mage pulling a man out of a car and driving off at high speed.

Rovers: NO!!!

Daryl: What's wrong?

Huntress: Mage got away again.

DJ punches the wall surrounding the edge of the roof and knocks a hole in it.

DJ: Why can't we keep that guy down?!

Rally weakly clenches his left fist and a tear rolls down his face.  DJ sees this and walks back over to him.

DJ: Don't worry about it, Rally.  You did your best.  You just need some rest now.

DJ and Hunter pick Rally up and carry him down into the warehouse.  They lay him on a table and Hunter pulls out a communicator.

Hunter (Into communicator): Master, we got some trouble.

Master (Over communicator): What's wrong?

Hunter (Into Communicator): Rally's completely out of energy from an attack and Mage got away from us again.

Master (Over communicator): He got away?

Hunter (Into communicator): Yeah, but not in one piece.  He was weakened severely, just not severely enough.

Master (Over communicator): *Sigh* Well, bring everyone back.  We'll decide what to do later.

Hunter (Into communicator): Sure thing, Master.

He puts up the communicator and walks to Rally's side.

Hunter: Well, I don't think Mage knows you used all of your energy, so he might not show up for a while.  He's probably too scared and embarrassed to show his face around anyone right now.

Rally lets out a weak and tired sigh.

Hunter: Come on, let's get you back.

Daryl: Man, I knew he was nuts, but DAMN!  I never thought he'd do somethin' like that.

Exile: That's our Rally!  He is completely nutski!

Daryl: He's what?

Dylan: He said Rally's nuts.

Daryl: Hey, don't be dissin' my boy, yo.

Dylan: We ain't dissin' `im, we're just tellin' the truth.

Hunter: Colleen, I want you, Sierra, and Blitz to get the Rover vehicles and bring `em here.

Colleen: Me, Sierra, and who?

Hunter: Colleen, we don't have time for this.

Colleen: Right.  Sorry, Huntie.

Colleen, Sierra, and Blitz run out of the warehouse toward the Rover vehicles.

SETTING: Vehicle Bay, RRMC, half an hour later.

The Sky Rover lands and Diamond and Rapperswil step out, each carrying one of Rapperswil's sisters.  They take them straight to the infirmary and set them on operating tables.

Diamond: Well, I'm not sure if I can help Kat with her leg, so I'll go get Marauder.

She walks out and Rapperswil sits next to Kattra.  Diamond returns a short while later with Marauder and Prof. Hubert.

Marauder: So, what do we have here?

Diamond: These are Rapper's sisters.  Do you think you can help `em?

Prof. Hubert: It's a long shot, but we could try.

Rapperswil: I wonder how the others are doing against Mage.

Hunter (Over communicator): Marauder?  Professor Hubert?  Either of you two there?

Diamond: How do they always manage to time it so perfectly?

Marauder picks up a communicator and flips a switch.

Marauder (Into comm.): What's up, Hunter?

Hunter (Over comm.): Rally's in pretty bad shape.  We're bringin' him back now.

Marauder (Into comm.): What was he doing out there in the first place?  I specifically told him not to leave Mission Control for any reason.

Hunter (Over comm.): Actually, it's a good thing he did.  He knew some people that were able to help us and he damn near killed Mage.

Marauder (Into comm.): You mean Mage is still alive?

Hunter (Over comm.): `Fraid so.  But don't worry.  Rally tore `im up pretty good, so I don't think he'll show up for a while.

Marauder (Into comm.): Is anyone else hurt?

Hunter (Over comm.): Nope.  Rally's the only one.  Could you be ready when we get back?  It should only take a few hours.

Marauder (Into comm.): No problem, Hunter.

He cuts off the communicator and sets it on a counter.

Marauder: Now, let's see what we got here.

He looks first at Emmen, then at Kattra.

Marauder: What happened to `em?

Rapperswil: Mage showed up and leveled the entire city in less than a minute.  They were both buried under some ruble and Kattra was able to get out from under it.

Prof. Hubert: How do you know all of that?

Rapperswil: When we were coming back, I found out that I have a superpower.

Diamond: You do?

Rapperswil: Yeah.  I could actually read Kattra's thoughts.

Diamond: Wiggy.

Prof. Hubert: Well, let's see what we can do for `em.  First of all, who's who?

Rapperswil: Kattra's the one that's smaller since she's younger.  The other one is my older sister, Emmen.

Prof. Hubert: Well, I think we should start with Kattra since it looks like she got the worst of it.

Marauder: It looks as though it'll take some extensive surgery to fix that leg.  Diamond, why don't you and Rapperswil wait in the rec room?  Professor, get the rest of the med staff down here A.S.A.P.  We're gonna need `em when the others show up.

Diamond and Rapperswil head out to the rec room as Prof. Hubert runs off to get the rest off the medical staff ready.  Once in the rec room, Diamond and Rapperswil walk over and lean against the pool table.

Diamond: How `bout a game of pool to take your mind off things?

Rapperswil (Dazed): Huh?  Oh.  Yeah, sure.

Diamond racks the balls and hands a pool stick to Rapperswil.

Rapperswil: I'm glad you guys taught me about these American games.

Rapperswil carefully takes aim and shoots, breaking the balls and sinking the seven.

Diamond: Dang you!  You got solids, so now I'm gonna lose.

Rapperswil: How do you know you're gonna lose just because you don't have solids?

Diamond: Because I always win with solids, but I can never win with stripes.

Rapperswil: Well, I'm still pretty new at this, so it might be different this time.

They play the round, which Diamond wins by just one shot, and set up for another.  They play for nearly four hours when they hear some commotion from the hallway.  They watch as Hunter and DJ walk by, carrying Rally, followed by most of the other Rovers.  Colleen and Sierra walk into the rec room.

Colleen: Diamond, you're brother's in pretty bad shape, but he should be fine.

Diamond: I'm sure he'll be OK.  He bounces back fairly easily.

Sierra: Yeah, but he almost didn't last time.

Rapperswil: What happened this time?

Colleen: He used all of his energy in one attack.  He almost died from it, too.

Diamond: I heard Mage got away.

Sierra: Yeah, unfortunately.  I don't know how he's gotten so strong.

Colleen: So what happened in Geneva?

Rapperswil: The entire city was destroyed.  We found both of my sisters, but both were severely hurt.

Sierra: What are their names?

Rapperswil: My older sister's name is Emmen.  My little sister is Kat.

Hunter (From hall): Cat?!  Where?!

Colleen: Huntie, calm down.  That's his sister's name.

Hunter walks into the rec room.

Hunter: That's whose sister's name?

Colleen: Rapper's little sister's name is Kat.

Hunter: What kind of person would name a dog "Kat"?

Rapperswil: It's short for Kattra.

Sierra, Colleen, and Hunter: Ooohh…

Hunter: Well anyway, Rally's in the infirmary and has been listed in stable condition.  Who's that Marauder's working on with the hurt leg?

Diamond: That's Kat.

Blitz and Exile (From hall): Where?!

Rapperswil and Diamond (Yelling): It's a name!!!

Blitz and Exile both walk into the rec room.

Exile: You do not have to be yelling, comerades.  We are not deaf.

Rapperswil: I just want everyone to know that Kat is short for Kattra, which is my sister's name.

Blitz: You mean that is your sister in the infirmary?

Rapperswil: Yes.  How's Kattra doing?

Hunter: They're still trying to get the leg back together without damaging it more.

Rapperswil: What about Emmen?

Exile: Who is that?

Colleen: That's his other sister.

Hunter: Oh, well I didn't see anyone in there except Kattra and Rally.

Rapperswil: Huh?  But where's Emmen?

Exile: Maybe you should ask the professor.

Rapperswil: I'm gonna do just that.

He walks out of the rec room and down the hall to the infirmary.  He walks in and sees Rally in a medical bed connected to I.V. tubes and an air mask.  Next to him on an operating table, he sees Prof. Hubert, Marauder, and two other medical staff workers trying to fix Kattra's leg.

Rapperswil: Professor Hubert, could I talk to you for a sec?

Prof. Hubert turns around, takes off his bloody gloves, and throws them in the trash.  He then follows Rapperswil into the hallway.

Prof. Hubert: What's on your mind, Rapper?

Rapperswil: I wanna know where my older sister is.

Prof. Hubert: Well, I was going to tell you later, but I guess I should go ahead and fill you in.  Rapper, I'm afraid that no matter what we tried, we couldn't save Emmen.

Rapperswil nearly falls to the floor at the sound of Prof. Hubert's words.  He backs up and lowers himself onto a bench, a look of shock on his face.

Prof. Hubert: I'm sorry, but we just weren't able to help her.  Her entire ribcage was crushed and a lot of her internal organs were either punctured or burst.  She also suffered from heavy damage to the cerebrum.

Rapperswil's expression quickly changes from anguish to anger.  He clenches both of his fists tightly.

Rapperswil (Under his breath): I'll get that Mage if it's the last thing I do!

Prof. Hubert: Excuse me, Rapper, but I need to get back to Kattra.

Rapperswil stands and walks back to the rec room as Prof. Hubert heads back into the infirmary and shuts the door.  When Rapperswil gets back to the rec room, he sees the others standing around, talking about what to do about Mage.  Hunter, Colleen, and Diamond turn when they see him.

Hunter: How are they?

Rapperswil: Kattra's still being worked on, but they couldn't save Emmen.

Hunter and Colleen wince.  Diamond walks up to Rapperswil and puts an arm around his shoulder.

Diamond: You gonna be OK?

Rapperswil: Yeah.  To tell you the truth, Emmen wasn't my favorite sibling.

Diamond: What do you mean?

Rapperswil: Before she was sold, she always picked on me and fought with me.

Hunter: You mean she didn't like you?

Rapperswil: No, she just felt like I was the one she had to pick on just because I was the youngest male of the group.

Colleen: She never picked on your other sisters?

Rapperswil: No way.  She always protected `em since she was the oldest out of all of us.

Colleen: So you're sure you're gonna be alright?

Rapperswil: Yeah, just as long as Kattra pulls through.  If I ever find Mage again, I'll make sure he doesn't see another day.

Star suddenly runs in the room carrying a computer printout.

Star: Hunter, take a look at this.

She hands him the printout and he carefully looks it over.

Hunter: What's this, Star?

Star: The Road Rover computer located Mage's hideout.  There's a lot of weaponry there.  If we can get there before Mage does, we can destroy everything and prevent him from doing anything else for a while.

Hunter: Good job, Star.  Tell DJ and Dylan to load up in the Sonic Rover and meet me down there when you're done.

Star: Right away.

She runs off to get DJ and Dylan.

Hunter: Well, we should be back soon.  If anything happens, don't hesitate to call us.

Hunter runs off toward the vehicle bay.

Colleen: Rapper, don't you wanna go with `em?

Rapperswil: No, I wanna stay here and make sure Kat's gonna be alright.  Besides, I wanna destroy Mage, not his hideout.

SETTING: Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, an hour and forty-five minutes later.

Hunter is flying the Sonic Rover with DJ next to him looking over a map.  Dylan and Star are at the back, keeping an eye out for anyone that might try to blast them out of the sky when Colleen's frantic voice comes over the communicator.

Colleen (Over comm.; frantic): Mission Control to Sonic Rover.  We have urgent news.

DJ pushes the communicator button on the console.

DJ: What's wrong, Colleen?

Colleen (Over comm.; frantic): Rally has just slipped to critical condition.  We trying to stabilize him now, but no luck so far.

DJ: What happened?  I thought he was stable.

Colleen (Over comm.; frantic): He was, but his vital signs just started slipping. *Shouting to others* No!  I said 40, not 30!  Marauder, get Professor Hubert in here, now!  I want Rally stabilized A.S.A.P.!

Hunter: Colleen, what's goin' on?

Colleen (Over comm.): Sorry.  Just had to get these people to get their act together.  Listen, I gotta go.  If anything comes up, I'll get in touch with you.  Colleen out.

The speaker goes dead and the four Rovers sit for a moment in silence.  DJ pushes the button to turn off the communicator and looks to Hunter.

DJ: Now what?

Hunter: We'll just have to keep going.  We'll destroy Mage's hideout and get back to Mission Control as fast as we can.

Star: How far to the hideout, anyway?

DJ: Uh… *Looks at map* About 1200 miles.

Dylan: Uh-oh.  Hunter, we have company.

Hunter: What is it?

Dylan: Three airborne assault choppers approaching from the northeast.

Hunter: Why can't we ever get a break?

SETTING: Rec Room, RRMC, a few minutes later.

Dervish walks in and sees Rapperswil and Diamond sitting next to each other on a couch, both of them looking solemn.  Diamond leans her head against Rapperswil's shoulder and sighs.

Dervish: You two doin' alright?

They both look at Dervish as he sits next to them.

Rapperswil: Yeah, it's just the not knowing that kills me.

Diamond: Same here.

Dervish: Don't worry, I'm sure they'll both pull through.

Colleen walks in the room, wiping sweat from her forehead with a cloth.  She sits on the other side of Rapperswil and Diamond and leans her head back.  Diamond sits up and looks to her.

Diamond: Any word?

Colleen (Out of breath): *Sits up* Well, Rally's finally been stabilized.

Rapperswil: And Kat?

Colleen (Out of breath): Her leg's back together, they just need to close it up and replace all the blood she lost.

Rapperswil and Diamond both let out a relieved sigh.

Dervish: Any word from Hunter yet?

Colleen: Blimey!  I completely forgot to call `im!

She jumps up and runs from the room.

Dervish: I guess that's a "no".

He pulls a Mountain Dew from out of his shirt pocket and opens it.

Diamond (Accusingly): Where'd you get that?

Dervish (Slyly): I found the stash.

Diamond: Geez!  We just can't keep those things away from you, can we?

Dervish: Nope. *Takes drink of his soda*

Fifteen minutes later, Marauder walks in and approaches Rapperswil.

Marauder: Rapperswil, you're sister is OK for now, but she needs a blood transfusion if she's to survive for very much longer.  We tested her blood type and yours is the only one that matches.

Rapperswil: I understand.

He stands up off of the couch and follows Marauder to the infirmary.

SETTING: Base of Dom Mountain, Switzerland, 6:47 P.M. (At RRMC.)

The Sonic Rover lands and the four Rovers step out.  This time, they are smart enough to wear a jacket.

Star: The map says the base is somewhere around here, we just have to find it.

DJ pulls a small device out of his pocket and starts to point it in different directions.

Hunter: What's that?

DJ: It's something Professor Hubert invented.  It's supposed to be able to locate certain types of weaponry such as bombs, missiles, and things like that.

As DJ turns the device to the side of the mountain, it starts to beep loudly.  He points it up slightly and the beeping turns to an uninterrupted, high-pitched whining noise.  They look up at where DJ is pointing the device and see a section of the mountainside that was a slightly darker color than the rest of the mountain.

DJ: Looks like we found it.

Hunter: Dylan, DJ, help me get some bone-bombs.  Star, see if you can find a way through that section of the mountain.

Hunter, Dylan, and DJ head back into the Sonic Rover as Star begins to climb up the mountainside.  When Star gets to the oddly colored section, she notices that she is about forty feet up.  She feels around for a while and finds a loose rock.  She tries pulling it out, but it doesn't budge.  She then tries to push it in and succeeds.  She nearly falls when the section of mountain opens up, but she maintains her grip on the rocks.

Star (Shouting): Guys, I found a way in.

Hunter, Dylan, and DJ emerge from inside the Sonic Rover with their pockets filled up with bone-bombs.  They climb up the face of the mountain and all four of the Rovers enter the opening.  Once inside, Star and Dylan pull out flashlights and shine them into what seems to be an endless corridor.

Dylan: I wonder how deep it goes.

Star: Only one way to find out.

They begin to walk slowly down the corridor.  After a short while, both of the flashlights go out.

Dylan: Oh, great.  What next?

DJ: We'll just follow Professor Hubert's device.

He pulls the device back out of his pocket and uses its beeping sound to lead them down the hall.  A little later, they all walk face first into a wall.

Hunter (Sarcastically): That was smart.

Hunter feels along the wall and finds a doorknob.  He turns it and opens the door.  When they walk in, they are nearly blinded by the light.  They step into a large control room and look around.

Star: This must be where Mage does all his planning.

Dylan: But shouldn't there be guards or something?

Star just shrugs her shoulders.  Hunter walks over to a console and hits a switch labeled "weapons storage".  A large steel door opens on the other side of the control room and all four Rovers walk over to it.  When they look inside, their jaws drop.  Lined up along the walls of the room are hundreds of guns, air-to-air missiles, ground-to-air missiles, and regular air-to-ground bombs.

Star: Looks like this guy's been planning World War III here.

Hunter: I would not have predicted this.

DJ: Hunter, give it up.  You'll never be a psychic.

Dylan: Well, we better get rid of this stuff and get outta here before Mage shows up.

Hunter: We'd better disarm the weaponry first.

DJ: I can take care of that.

He starts to disarm the weapons as the other three keep a lookout for Mage.  When DJ has finished, he, Hunter, and Dylan set up the bone-bombs all around the room.  DJ puts the last one into place, then turns to Hunter.

DJ: How long should we set `em for?

Hunter: Ten minutes should be a good amount of time.

They set the bombs for ten minutes and Hunter arms them with a remote.

Dylan: Now let's get outta here before we go up with Mage's plans.

They run out of the room, through the control room, and into the dark corridor.  Though they can't see anything, they keep running as fast as they can.  About a minute later, they see light at the end of the corridor.

Star: We're almost there.

When they reach the opening, they lower themselves out and start to carefully climb down.  Hunter loses his grip and tumbles down the rocky surface of the mountain.  When he comes to a stop on the ground, he lays motionless for a moment.  The other three hurry down to his side, making sure not to lose their grip on the loose rocks.  They run over to Hunter, who is now on his hands and knees, beaten badly.

DJ: Hunter, are you alright?

Hunter: Yeah, I'll live.

DJ puts Hunter's arm around his shoulder and helps him up.  They get back to the Sonic Rover and seat Hunter in the back.  DJ and Dylan sit up front and take off.

DJ: How much time until the bombs blow?

Star: About six minutes.

DJ pushes the throttles to the max and heads back to RRMC.

SETTING: Rec Room, RRMC, 10:29 P.M.

Rapperswil is sitting on a couch next to Kattra (In canine form), petting her head.  Kattra's left foreleg is wrapped in a cloth bandage.  Exile walks up and sits next to him.

Exile: I wonder what is taking Hunter so long.  They have been gone for very long while.

Rapperswil: Well, they had to go to Switzerland, and it takes a while to get there and back.

Exile: Is Kattra doing dokie-okey?

Rapperswil: Yeah, she's fine now.  Any word on Rally?

Exile: Nyet.  Comerade Colleen is in the infirmary with him now.

Star (Over comm.): Sonic Rover to Mission Control.  Anyone got their ears on?

Exile picks up the communicator with a confused expression.

Exile (Into comm.): What are you meaning, comerade?

Star (Over comm.): Never mind that now.  Tell Colleen and Marauder to be ready.  Hunter's been hurt.

Hunter (Over comm.; in background): I'm not hurt that bad, Star.

Star (Over comm.): Oh, hush, Hunter.  You don't know how badly you've been hurt.  You fell over thirty feet down a rocky mountainside.

Exile (Into comm.): Mother Russia!  Is he dokie-okie?

Star (Over comm.): We don't know.  That's why we need Colleen and Marauder to be ready.  We'll be there in just a few minutes.

Exile puts the communicator down and gets up to tell Colleen and Marauder what had happened.

Rapperswil (To himself): Man, everyone's gettin' hurt today.

A little while later, Colleen and Marauder run by in the hall.  The roof opens just as they arrive in the vehicle bay.  The Sonic Rover lands and DJ appears from inside, helping Hunter along.  Star and Dylan are behind them.  Colleen sees how badly beaten Hunter is and runs up to him.

Colleen: Huntie, what happened?

Hunter: I fell thirty feet down a mountain.

Marauder: Why were you on a mountain to begin with?

Dylan: Actually, we were in the mountain because that's where Mage's hidden base was.

Marauder: Did you destroy it?

Star: Yep.  We blew the entire mountain up along with the weapons.

Colleen: I hope you disarmed `em first.

Star: We did.

Marauder: Good.  Now let's get Hunter to the infirmary.

Colleen puts Hunter's other arm around her and she and DJ help Hunter to the infirmary.  They seat him on a table and Colleen begins to check the extent of his injuries.  After a brief checkup, she walks over to a cabinet and pulls out a green cloth.  She fashions it into a sling, puts the tied end around Hunter's neck, and then places his arm in the sling.

Colleen: You're lucky the worst you got was a hairline fracture, but you'll have to wear this sling for a few days, which means no dangerous missions until it's fully healed.

Hunter: How's Rally doin'?

Colleen: He's been stable since I called you on the Sonic Rover.  He woke up shortly afterwards, but fell asleep again.  We put him in his room to rest and I had Diamond keep an eye on him.

Marauder: So, your mission went fairly well?

DJ: No.  We got attacked by three helicopters.  They weren't from Parvo, so we don't know who they were.

Hunter: How's Kattra?

Colleen: She's doing fine.  Her leg's back together and we were able to give her the needed blood transfusion thanks to Rapperswil.

DJ: So everyone should be alright.

Marauder: For now.

Colleen: Now Mage should be the only thing we have to worry about for a while.

Hunter: But without Rally, how are we gonna be able to take him down?

DJ: You just let us worry about that.  We'll figure something out.

SETTING: Briefing Room, RRMC, the next morning.

Hunter, Rapperswil, and Dylan are sitting at one of the tables, dressed in jeans and T-shirts.  Hunter is still wearing the sling on his left arm and Kattra is laying on the floor at Rapperswil's feet.

Hunter: So she really doesn't want to join us?

Rapperswil: Nope.  She just wants to go back to her master.

Dylan: Imagine the mess that needs to be cleaned up.

Rapperswil: I don't need to imagine anything.  I've seen it.

Hunter: Well, you can thank Mage for giving us such a big cleanup job.

Dylan: What time is it?

Hunter: *Looks at watch* Twenty after nine.

Dylan: We'd better get goin' if we're gonna help with the entire town.

Dylan and Hunter stand up and start to walk to the vehicle bay.  Rapperswil picks up Kattra and follows the other two.  They all get into the Sonic Rover and Hunter lifts off.  Back in the briefing room, Colleen walks in and sits down, followed by Exile.

Colleen: Mornin', Exile.

Exile: Good morning, Colleen.  Where is Comerade Hunter?

Colleen: I think he left with Dylan and Rapper to go clean up in Geneva.

Blitz walks in and starts toward the kitchen.

Exile: Morning, Weird Boy.

Blitz: Don't start with me right now, Exile.  I had a bad night.

Colleen: Aren't you gonna say "Morning, pretty Dog Girl."?

Blitz: No, because you'd probably just forget my name or kick me into a wall, so just skip it.

Blitz disappears into the kitchen.

Exile: I think he is learning.

Colleen: I didn't think that was possible.

Exile: There is first time for everything.

They both are surprised when they hear a thump from down the hall.

Colleen: What the bloody hell was that?

They stand up and start to walk down the hall.  They stop at Rally's room when they hear Rally swearing from inside.  They open the door and see him trying to climb to his feet.

Colleen: Rally?  What are you doing?

Rally: I was trying to get to the door, but I tripped in the dark.

Colleen: You should be in bed.

Rally: Ah, I'm fine. *Stands up* I just needed to rest.

Colleen: You sure?

Rally: Yeah.  Colleen, could you do me a favor?

Colleen: Like what?

Rally: Take me to New York.

Colleen: New York?  Why?

Rally: I want to thank Daryl and everyone else for helping us.

Exile: Are you sure you are up to it so soonski, comerade?

Rally: I said I'm fine.

Colleen: Alright, let's go.  Hunter and the others should be out for a while.

Rally and Colleen walk to the vehicle bay and get into the Street Rover.  Colleen converts it into its jet form and takes off.  Exile walks to the rec room, picks up a Dr. Seuss book, and sits on the sofa next to Blitz.

Blitz: Where's Colleen?

Exile: She took Comerade Rally to thank Daryl for helping us.

Blitz: Exile, why don't you read anything harder than Dr. Seuss?

Exile: Because learning takes timeski.

Blitz: Ja, but you've been reading the same books for a few years now.

Exile: At least I am not Weird Boy.

Blitz: Stop calling me that or I'll bite you.

Exile: Ha!  I would like to see that happen.

Blitz snarls at Exile, but remains sitting down.

SETTING: Geneva, Switzerland, three and a half hours later.

Hunter brings the Sonic Rover down for a fairly rough landing.

Dylan: Years of practice still hasn't improved your landing techniques.

Hunter: You wanna fly next time?

Dylan: Sure, I'd do better than you.

Hunter rolls his eyes and the three Rovers exit the Sonic Rover, leaving Kattra on one of the seats.  Cleanup crews are hard at work all over the city and news crews are scattered everywhere.

Dylan: Well, where do we start?

Hunter: Let's see if we can get any information out of these people.

They walk up to a man who was sifting through a pile of rubble, probably looking for any survivors.  As they approach him, the man turns around to look into the faces of three canosapiens.

Man (Speaking German; scared): *Pointing at the Rovers* Ungetüms!
(Translation: "Monsters!")

Rapperswil (Speaking German): Nein, nein.  Wir sein hier auf helfen.  Wir sein das Strecke Wandernders.
(Translation: "No, no.  We are here to help.  We are the Road Rovers.")

Man (Speaking German): Strecke Wandernders? *Relieved sigh* Ich gedanke du sein ungetüms.
(Translation: "Road Rovers? *Relieved sigh* I thought you were monsters.")

Rapperswil (Speaking German): So wir erntened.  Gehorchen, wir wollen auf helfen, aber wir brauchen auf wissen welche auf tun.
(Translation: "So we gathered.  Listen, we want to help, but we need to know what to do.")

Man (Speaking German): Ich sein recht aussehen aus mein hunds; Kattra und Emmen.
(Translation: "I was just looking for my dogs; Kattra and Emmen.")

Rapperswil (Speaking German): Jener sein mein Schwesters.
(Translation: "Those are my sisters.")

Man (Speaking German): Wohin sein sie?!
(Translation: "Where are they?!")

Rapperswil (Speaking German): Kattra sein in unser Ebene, aber Emmen sterbened aufgrund Verletzungs.
(Translation: "Kattra is in our plane, but Emmen died due to injuries.")

The man is stunned for a moment.

Man (Speaking German): Kann ich wenigstens sehen Kattra?
(Translation: "Can I at least see Kattra?")

Rapperswil (Speaking German): Sicher.  Warten hier.
(Translation: "Sure.  Wait here.")

Rapperswil turns and heads back to the Sonic Rover, Dylan and Hunter staying by the man.

Hunter: Dylan, remind me to sign up for that foreign language course when we get back.

Dylan: No problem, buddy.

Rapperswil heads into the Sonic Rover, carefully picks up Kattra, and walks back to where the man is standing.  He hands Kattra to the man.

Rapperswil (Speaking German): Sie sein Stille hübsch Treffer, so du brauchen auf sein vorsichtig mit ihre aus ein Weile.
(Translation: "She is still pretty hurt, so you need to be careful with her for a while.")

Man (Speaking German): Danke schön.
(Translation: "Thank you.")

The man turns and carries Kattra down the street.

Dylan: Now that that's done, let's get started on the cleanup.

The three Rovers begin to clean up the almost completely destroyed city, Hunter doing less than the others due to his fractured arm.

SETTING: Briefing Room, RRMC, two and a half weeks later.

Everything seems to be back to normal.  All the damage done by Mage has been cleaned up and Mage hasn't been seen since the incident in New York City.  The Rovers are sitting at the tables, just making conversation with each other.

Hunter: Ya think we'll see Mage again?

Dylan: Hopefully not.  The last couple of weeks have been hell.

DJ: What sucks is that all of the Rovers are listed on the duty roster for the next few months until we're sure that Mage is out of our fur for good.

Sierra: Let's just keep our fingers crossed.

Rally gets up from his seat and approaches Rapperswil.

Rally: Rap, I need to tell you something.  Follow me.

Rapperswil gets up and follows Rally into a hallway.  Rally stops and turns to Rapperswil.

Rally: You remember when I said that you were stronger than me and you could beat Mage?

Rapperswil: Yeah.

Rally: Well, I was lying.  You're strong, but you couldn't have taken Mage down by yourself.

Rapperswil: What?!

Rapperswil grabs Rally by his shirt with both hands and jacks him up against a wall.

Rapperswil: You could've gotten me killed!!

Rally: I know, but it was the only way to get your confidence up.  I knew that if you had confidence and believed in yourself, you could at least hold him off for a little while.  It was our only chance, so I had to do it.

Rapperswil sighs and lets go of Rally.

Rapperswil: I guess you're right.  Sorry.

Rally: Don't worry about it.  Now let's get some lunch, I'm starvin'.

Rapperswil: We're not having Shag's "Mystery Surprise" again, are we?

Rally: Nope.  Today we're havin' burgers.

Rapperswil: What are burgers?

Rally: It's beef on bread.  I'm sure you'll like it.

Rapperswil: I guess it'll be better than Shag's toilet-water recipes.

Rally: Just don't say that around him.

Rapperswil: Trust me, I won't.  How long are you set for on the roster?

Rally: Two months.  What about you?

Rapperswil: Seven weeks.

Rally: Oh, well.  It's not like I really have anywhere to go, anyway.

Rapperswil: Man, my master's gonna be pissed, though.

Rally: Call him up and tell him what's goin' on.

Rapperswil (Shrugging shoulders): Why not?

Rally walks to the dining area as Rapperswil walks over to one of the phones and picks up the receiver.  He puts it to his ear and dials the number.  A man answers the phone after about three rings.

Man (Over Phone; speaking German): Ja?
(Translation: "Yes?")

Rapperswil (Into phone; speaking German): Herr Detmond?  Du nicht wollen glauben wer das sein…
(Translation: "Mr. Detmond?  You will not believe who this is…")

THE END