NIMH: The Unauthorized Sequel

By Ken Singshow



Exterior of the Brisby home, beneath the lee of the stone
Exterior of the Brisby home, closer
Interior of the Brisby Home, with Jonathan standing next to bedridden Mrs. Brisby
Mrs. Brisby: Jonathan, please come here.
Mrs. Brisby: I am going to die soon.
Mrs. Brisby, holding Jonathan's hand: Therefore, please tell me dear, that you are keeping no secrets from me.
Mrs. Brisby: Why do you not get any older?
Mrs. Brisby:

You look the same as you did the day I met you! I have become an old woman, and yet your age does not show!

Is there any plausible explanation for this?

I believe that we are both ordinary mice...

Or are you different in some way?

Mrs. Brisby: I wish I knew. - Jonathan: ... (looking downcast)   Mrs. Brisby: You are sad?
Mrs. Brisby: Please do not mourn me...   Mrs. Brisby: Wait! I do know your secret!
Flashback of Mrs. Brisby standing before Nicodemus (in sillohuette)
Nicodemus: In order to tell you Jonathan's Secret, I must first tell you about NIMH and how he came from there.
Nicodemus: He came from NIMH with us you see. There is a book over there. Read the words.
Mrs. Brisby, reading: Jonathan was killed today while drugging the farmer's cat, Dragon... Killed!!
Sullivan: Jonathan Brisby is DEAD! - Cynthia: Mommy! Daddy is dead?? - Mr. Ages: I'm sorry about your husband's death... - Mrs. Brisby: Oh God! It's true!

Chapter 1

Mrs. Brisby, waking up: A dream...
Mrs. Brisby (thinking):

Jonathan couldn't tell me that the injections he got at NIMH kept him from aging. He didn't want to be secretive--he just didn't know how to tell me. He thought that it would be too painful for me to know that he would out-live me by years...

He had always taken great care of me and the children, but then he was gone and I was left to raise them all by myself...If he hadn't been killed by Dragon, he would've looked as young as he did in my dream...In a bizzare twist of fate, I suppose, I found out Jonathan's secret from Nicodemus almost a year after he had died.

Nicodemus, leader of the rats of NIMH, has also died. He was killed while the rats were moving my home last spring, when Moving Day had come early and Timothy was too sick to leave his bed. The rats themselves have moved to Thorn Valley, a place I have never actually seen...

I remember Nicodemus's diary...the amulet...the lamp elevator...

Still, I was the only one who met them, and the children don't believe my story about their heritage. They think that I fabricated the whole thing, and now that the rats are gone and their city destroyed, there is no proof to show them. The only witness left is Mr. Ages, a hermit of a mouse who lives in the old thrashing machine, and he doesn't care to talk about NIMH or the rats at all. As a matter of fact, I can't remember exactly how the house moved. So, for all intended purposes, the rats might have never existed at all.

Cynthia: Another dream about Dad? - Mrs. Brisby: Yes... how did you know?
Cynthia: I had a dream too. I dreamt that Jeremy flew us all to Thorn Valley to see the rats.
Mrs. Brisby (thinking):

Only Cynthia, our youngest child, believed my tale about her father and the rats. We knew awhile ago that she would never be quite as intelligent as the other children, but I have noticed that she has other talents. She seems to be some kind of psychic, and has predicted the future before.

Mrs. Brisby: I'm going to meet Timothy... Martin should be home soon.
Mrs. Brisby walking in the garden
Mrs. Brisby (thinking):

Martin and Teresa, the older children, are now adults and have taken over many of the household chores for me.

Mr. Ages, a white mouse who is both a scholar and a doctor, allows my younger son Timothy to study with him every day. At first I wouldn't let him go, but once the Fitzgibbons left, I thought it would be safer for him to walk there and back everyday. Mr. Ages has taught Timothy many things, but nothing about NIMH or his father. The other children know that Timothy is the most intelligent, and if he doesn't believe my story, then they will not, either...

Mrs. Brisby turns to look at the farmhouse
The farmhouse, with Mrs. Brisby in the foreground
Mrs. Brisby (thinking):

In a somewhat ironic situtation, the Fitzgibbons were forced to move because while the rats were destroying their underground city, they struck a water main. This helped wash away evidence the rats had ever lived there, but it also caused a flood and severe damage to the foundation of the farmhouse. The children and I were naturally pleased to see the Fitzgibbons leave because they took Dragon, their monster of a cat, with them.

But Dragon came home. I don't know if the Fitzgibbons threw him out or if he ran away, but he's back, and he's hungrier, quicker, and more dangerous than ever before. Although he is less active in the day, at night he is absolutely deadly. I haven't seen him in a few days, but that could mean that he hasn't caught anything to eat, and now he will be more vicious than ever.

Mrs. Brisby turns around, surprised. - SFX: [Rustle... Rustle]
Jeremy, tangled in feathers and caution tape: Excuse me... Pardon me... - Mrs. Brisby: Jeremy, is that you?
Mrs. Brisby: What on earth? - Jeremy: Shhh... she'll hear you! - Mrs. Brisby: Who's she? - Jeremy: Miss Right, of course! - Mrs. Brisby: Didn't you marry her?
Jeremy: She doesn't like my rainbow-colored nest because it's 'too gaudy.' - Mrs. Brisby: Hmm... I see. - Jeremy: She also told me to get rid of my collection of shiny stuff. She says I have way too much of it and that I pay more attention to my junk than her. - Mrs. Brisby: And so you broke up?
Jeremy: No, but we did fight. She made a bet with me. She said that if I can stop being so obnoxious and avoid her for a week, she'd marry me. - Mrs. Brisby: ... - Jeremy: So, now I have six and a half days to lay low and learn how to be less annoying.
SFX: [Caw... Caw...] - Miss Right: Jeremy! I know you're there! - Jeremy: Oh no... Um... gotta go... catch ya later Mrs. Briz. - Mrs. Brisby: Good luck.
SFX: [Sploosh!] - Jeremy: Ack! It's cold!
Mrs. Brisby walking along a rusted corrugated metal pipeline
Mrs. Brisby:

Thanks to this old iron pipe that Martin found, going to Mr. Ages' house is safer. If it continues to rust however, it will serve no purpose because the cat will be able to stick a paw through a hole in it somewhere. Wait... I see someone coming...

Timothy, in the distance: Mother!
Timothy: Guess what? The mail came today. - Mrs. Brisby: That is curious. - Timothy: Since it's still light out, let's go check it out. - Mrs. Brisby: What good will that do? It's dangerous.
Mrs. Brisby: C'mon, let's go home. I'll have Martin look into it tomorrow. - Timothy: I've been watching the mailbox... it's safe. Besides, Martin is to busy around the house. - Mrs. Brisby: Well, all right. It's probably nothing, just junk mail.
Mrs. Brisby:
The mail hasn't come since the Fitzgibbons moved...why now?
Mr. Ages says their move was a fly-by-night.
Mrs. Brisby:
Do you think they had something to hide?
There was no reason for them to move secretly, just fast.
Mrs. Brisby:
Yes, but don't you still think it's strange?
I think it's strange that no one has moved in. With a little work, someone could actually live there.
Mrs. Brisby:
Want me to come up with you?
Mrs. Brisby:
No, I'll go on ahead and make sure it's safe. Find a place for us to hide just in case someone or something sees us. I hope there is nothing awful in there.
Mrs. Brisby (to Timothy): It's safe. C'mon up. - Mrs. Brisby looks at an envelope, thinking: Now what's this?
Mrs. Brisby, reading: N... I... NIMH!
Mrs. Brisby: Now what would they want? - Timothy, out of frame: Everything okay up there? - Voice (from inside the envelope): Ughhh...
Mrs. Brisby jumps back in surprise! - Timothy: Mother, what's wrong? - Mrs. Brisby: There is something or someone inside there.
[Later] Timothy: If you sent Teresa to get Mr. Ages, where is Cynthia? - Mrs. Brisby: I let her stay home. Timothy, give me a hand.
Martin: Well, it's a mouse. He's unconscious. - Mrs. Brisby: An ordinary mouse, or...? - Martin: I don't know. He's naked.
Mrs. Brisby and her children lean over the unconscious white-furred mouse   The mouse awakens!
Mouse: Good heavens! Martin, you look just like my brother!
Mrs. Brisby: How did you know his name? Who are you? - Mr. Ages: My God! Jake, is that really you?
Mrs. Brisby: Mr. Ages! You know him? - Mr. Ages: My dear, I'll remember him for as long as I live. This is...
Mr. Ages: ... Jacob Brisby. Your late husband's younger brother!

Chapter 2

Teresa, looking in a hand mirror
Teresa (reading from her diary):

I am Teresa, the eldest child of the Brisby family.

(reading from her diary) The evening that Uncle Jacob arrived was exciting, but it was unfortunately preceded by my same old boring day.

Early that morning Cynthia was digging through the closet and making a lot of noise. I went to see what all the fuss was about, but she just yelled, "I have to find Dad's jacket...for Mom!" She is always doing strange things like this, so I just ignored her and went about my chores.

Preparing breakfast has become my duty because Mother has gotten into the habit of getting up late. She has been depressed since early summer. I think that she has begun to doubt her own sanity, and that most likely stems from her hallucination of the Rats of NIMH. She claims that they helped her last year when Timothy was sick and Moving Day came early. We didn't see them, and when we went to see this underground city that she kept telling us about, all we found was a cave. We all know that Mothers memory is defective--she can not remember anything about her life before she met Father.

Sometimes I hear her talking to herself at night, trying to remember these details she has lost. Lately she has been staying up most of the night and seems to be in a trance during the day.

Around noon, Martin and I went out to get some firewood. (This is another one of my dull chores) Nothing unusual happened other than we saw Jeremy hiding from someone. He was in quite a hurry, but said hello to us anyway. We got back home in the early evening, and just as we had finished putting the firewood away, Timothy came running in the door screaming.

Timothy, to Teresa: Martin! Teresa! Get a load of this! A letter from NIMH arrived today, and there's someone inside. We gotta free him! He might be injured or something!
Teresa (reading from her diary):

So NIMH was real after all...does that mean Mother's stories are too?

It was past 9 o'clock when we brought Jacob home. We put him in Mother's bed since it is the most comfortable...As soon as I saw him, I could tell that he was Father's brother...we had so many questions to ask...about NIMH and Father...we also wondered if there were any more mice like him...the strangest thing about him though was that he knew Martin's name...does this mean he is psychic?

Once we got him home, he fainted again, leaving our questions unanswered...Mr. Ages examined him and said that he had bruised a few ribs, but he would be fine with a little rest and some medicine for the pain. After Jacob fell asleep, Timothy and Martin walked Mr. Ages home, leaving Cynthia and I with Mother and our guest.

Mrs. Brisby: C'mon girls, let him rest. - Teresa: Yeah, I noticed that too. - Cynthia: Told ya so.
Mrs. Brisby: What are you two talking about? - Teresa: Jacob, he smells just like father. - Cynthia: You should try it, Mom.
Mrs. Brisby smelling Jacob   Mrs. Brisby (thinking): Yes, his scent is very close to Jonathan's... why didn't I notice this before? [pause] Wait, it's not exactly the same... Jonathan's was more... more...
Mrs. Brisby (thinking): Oh God! I can't remember his scent! - Teresa: Are you okay?
Mrs. Brisby, leaving the room: Excuse... excuse me, girls!
Mrs. Brisby inside a storage closet
She picks out a shirt from a box labeled: Jonathan
Mrs. Brisby, holding the shirt to her muzzle (thinking): Oh my darling! I can't believe I had forgotten you... please... please forgive me!
Cynthia: Poor mom... - Teresa: It's getting late... you go to bed. I'll talk to her, okay?
Teresa, at the entrance to the closet: Mother? Are you all right?
Mrs. Brisby: Yes... yes, of course... I was... uh... just getting some sheets. I need to make up a bed in the living room. Please help me, dear.
Teresa: Mother, I owe you an apology. - Mrs. Brisby: For what?
That story you told last year...after Moving Day...the one about Father, the rats, and NIMH...well...I didn't believe you until today. I wonder why Mr. Ages never said anything about it...even to Timothy. I think that I would have accepted the whole thing much easier if he had backed up your tale.
Mrs. Brisby:
I'm sure he had his reasons for not telling me--or any of you--about NIMH. Teresa dear, it was natural that you didn't believe the story about your heritage. I mean, there was no physical evidence that the rats of NIMH ever existed...I must confess that recently I even thought it was all just a figment of my imagination.
Oh but Mother, you were telling the truth, and if we had all believed you, you wouldn't have suffered so much.
Teresa: I am so sorry, Mother... I love you. - Mrs. Brisby: There, there, Teresa... My, aren't you a big girl now!
Timothy & Martin:
Hi Mom.
Mrs. Brisby:
Hi boys. Are you all right? You seem upset.
Timothy and Martin looking embarrassed
Well...Timothy and I were talking and...well...we decided that we owe you an apology for not believing you.
Mrs. Brisby:
Your sister just said the same thing, and I'll tell you what I told her; don't worry about it. I forgave you all a long time ago... in fact, I expected you'd think I was crazy. My memory is far from sharp.
Thank you, Mom... but there's something else, too...
Mrs. Brisby:
We want to hear the story of the rats and Father again... if you can remember it.
Timmy, if you want the whole story, you should wait until tomorrow.
Mrs. Brisby:
Mother please! I want to hear it again, too!
Mrs. Brisby:
I'd love to tell it again. It's been awhile since I've told any of you a bedtime story.
The children are gathered around Mrs. Brisby - Mrs. Brisby: Once upon a time, last spring to be exact, there lived a family of field mice called Brisby...

Chapter 3

POV of someone's eyes opening to see a distorted image of Mrs. Brisby   POV of someone looking at Mrs. Brisby, who seems surprised
[Next day] Mrs. Brisby: Oh good! You're awake! Feel any better, Jacob?
Mrs. Brisby: Let me get you some water... - Jacob: Wait! Please don't leave, Mrs... JENNIFER! - Mrs. Brisby is shocked.
Jacob: Is something wrong? That is your name, right? - Mrs. Brisby: Yes... I mean... I just haven't heard that name since... in a very long time.
Mrs. Brisby:
Jonathan was the only one who called me that...I thought he was the only one who knew it.
Jenner knew it too...he was spying on your family.
Mrs. Brisby:
Did you say Jenner? That's impossible! After he and Justin fought, I saw him...I saw him lying there...dead.
Flashback image of Jenner laying in the mud, face down with a knife plunged in his back. Mrs. Brisby watches with an agast expression.
Oh, I can assure you he is quite a doornail, if you will. I'll explain everything, but could you please call the children and Ages in here? I think it's important for them to know this, too.
Mrs. Brisby, Mr. Ages and the children gather around the bed. [And then Jacob began his story.]

...we climbed up the airshaft, holding onto the thread. Then suddenly, the intake fan cut on, and all the mice, except for Jonathan and Ages were blown into the blackness of the shaft.

Flashback image of Jonathan holding a rope in an air shaft, while Jacob is blown away. - Jonathan: JAKE!!! - Jacob: Brother!

I saw the whirling fan as I fell towards it, and then I blacked out.

When I awoke, hours later, I felt a stabbing pain. I searched for it's source, and realized that my tail was gone. I was one of the lucky ones, though. Around me I saw patches of bloody fur and dismembered bodies of the other mice. As I sat there, mourning my friends and wondering if my brother had escaped, I heard someone calling my name. It was Kyle. Somehow, he had managed to survive without a scratch, the lucky son-of-a-gun.

We decided to hunt through the shafts in case there were anymore survivors. The only other fortunate one was Sebastian, and he lost his right foot in the ordeal. That was it, just the three of us.

We snuck into a storage closet in the basement of NIMH, and there we found food. It was the same old processed stuff we had been eating for years, but we were so ravenous, we didn't care. Kyle and I treated Sebastian's injury the best we could and we all lived in the basement together.

I soon discovered an unused wiring pipe on the wall, and followed it to it's source. It lead me to the lab where we had lived for so long. There I saw the scientists and their assistants desperately looking for the missing rats. I guess they had managed to escape, and Jonathan and Ages, too.

After Sebastian and I had recovered, we talked about leaving. Naturally, Kyle wanted to go the very minute we felt better, but Sebastian talked him out of it. He wanted to stay and collect information on NIMH. He was sure that the scientists would try to repeat the experiment, and that we should stay to help the animals escape. I was glad we were staying--not that I liked that place, mind you--but because without my tail, it is hard to keep my balance when I climb.

One day I discovered that the humans had blocked off the air conditioning vents, so I guess they realized how we had escaped. Seeing this ruined all hopes Kyle and I had of ever leaving, Sebastian somehow managed to keep our faith alive. Every time we started to give up hope, he told us a story that made us feel better. He also kept reminding us that we needed to get some of the other animals to safety, even if we couldnt get out of the building.

After a while, the scientists decided to retry their experiment, using new mice. I guess it was easier than trying to track down those of us that had managed to escape. Sebastian saw this as an opportunity to increase our number.

Shortly thereafter, the three of us came up with a plan. You see, the scientists are not the brightest people on earth--they did not realize quite how fast their injections worked. Kyle and I would sneak into the lab every night and switch these smart mice with ones that were being prepared for other experiments. We were very careful to swap mice with similar coat colors, and even took the laboratory collars off the intelligent mice and placed them on the new ones. The scientists never noticed the change, because they breed so many mice, that they don't even bother to count them!

Flashback image of Jacob helping a mouse that looks a lot like Ms. Bianca out of a cage, with another mouse in the background.

Naturally, after we switched the mice around, the experiment was not yielding the results the scientists expected. They could not figure out why the injections were not working, so Dr. Schultz lost his funding from the government, and that was the end of the experiment.

During the time we had been switching the mice, we managed to rescue 17, and took them to live with us.

Six months after the experiment was terminated, a few of us noticed an unusual change to our bodies. Our senses (except sight) were becoming super-sensitive from living in the pitch darkness of the basement. Another thing I became aware of was that when I walked along a certain place inside the wall of the lab, I'd feel something like a shock run through my head. This baffled me completely, so one day I took a closer look at the spot and realized it was a computer cable that ran up to the lab!

Mrs. Brisby:
Excuse me, but what's a computer?
It's a machine that can make very fast, accurate calculations. It can also store information-- kind of like a library.
Mrs. Brisby:
A library? I know what that is! I've been in one before! The Rats of NIMH had one in was very...oh, I'm terribly sorry! Please continue, Jacob.
It's all where was I? Oh yes, I came across the computer cable, and later learned that I felt nothing when the computer was not being used. I guess that I might have had some kind of reaction to data traveling over the cable itself.
Hmm...yes, it's possible, even explained in the laws of evolution. You developed a new ability to adapt to your change of environment. I remember when Nicodemus started to notice his ability in magic about six months after we escaped.

Anyway, one thing bothered me, so I decided to research it a bit. I used to see the scientists referring to an old manila folder with a red bordered cover. One night, I snuck out and opened it. Inside was what I had been looking for--proof that this experiment had been tried once before! I tried to get the name of the person who had attempted it, but the file said that information was stored in the computer. I thought that if I could understand the computer's language, then I would be able to get an answer to my question. So I went to the cable everyday and tried to read the signals. About a year later, I was finally able to understand the electronic pulses.

So you got the answer?
An image of files and documents labeled 'secret' and 'confidential'

I'm afraid not. The data that I needed was not on that particular computer. Theoretically, I would have found the answer if I had been able to access the other machines on the network. (You see, all of NIMH's computers are connected to each other via telephone lines.)

In order to get one machine to 'talk' to another, I would've had to go inside the lab and actually operate the computer. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't do this because there are security cameras that watch the lab 24 hours a day, and I certainly did not want NIMH to notice a mouse tapping away on a keyboard!

[note from Ken... secrity cameras are placed to watch the computer consoles of the lab.]

I should say that I did not fear for myself, Kyle, or Sebastian--we had already been through just about anything NIMH could throw at us--but I feared for those which we had liberated.

Anyway, our number increased little by little, but we are still living in the same narrow storage closet in the basement. Kyle, Sebastian and I became the leaders of our new society and we made rules and kept everyone to them to prevent us from being discovered. When troubles came--as they do--Sebastian became the mediator, and surprisingly enough, everyone obeyed him.

Four more years passed. Five other mice discovered that they (like me) could read computer signals.

And all this time, I never forgot about my brother and the others that had escaped...

Soon after we started switching the mice around, Dr. Schultz left and took all of his assistants with him. We don't know where they went--perhaps they were fired--but at that point that I gave up all hope of ever seeing my brother again, since the only people who might have been able to track him down were gone.

Then, one day last spring a young female from our group who watching the lab heard an interesting discussion among the scientists. She said that they were planning to send an investigation team to a farm early the next morning because someone had spotted a rat hole under a rosebush. I'd heard such a story before but this time I got a strange feeling--I guess you could call it a hunch. For some reason, I was sure that this was the group that had escaped with Jonathan. I also knew that "investigate" meant gassing the rats, because that is the way it had been done before.

I wanted to go to the rats and tell them of the danger that they were in, but I could not get out of NIMH. All that I could do was wait to learn what the team had found--or killed.

That afternoon, after pacing the floor all day, I finally learned what they had found. Apparently, the rats had disappeared and their hole had been flooded. Naturally, I was relieved when I heard that. I had thought that the rats might have prepared themselves for such a case, but that news definitely made me feel better.

I must say that they did find one thing--actually one rat. I was anxious to find out, and got the answer when I saw the body being prepared for an autopsy.

Mrs. Brisby:
It was Jenner, right?
The dead body of Jenner in a zip-top bag, held by a gloved human.
Yes, it was Jenner. I didn't recognize him at first, but I remember him eventually. He had always been very clever and was always wondering 'what next.' But I digress--Group A, Number 1, yes, that was Jenner.
Now that, old friend, sounds strange to me. I know we buried him that night!

I figured that as odd--that Jenner's body was just left lying around somewhere, but then I overheard some the people on the investigation team talking. It seems that they were about to give up the search on the farm when the family's cat came running home with Jenner hanging out of his mouth. They guessed that the cat had dug it out.

As unusual as that sounds, I can only say that it gets much stranger from here.

One thing I found strange was that the scientists could tell immediately that the rat they had just retrieved was not a normal one, but one that had escaped from their lab. I wondered about this because I couldn't tell and I wanted to know how they had us marked.

Once they had done the autopsy, I got my answer. Apparently Jenner had a computer chip implanted in his brain.

An X-Ray image of a rat skull with a microchip visible implanted in the brain case.
Mrs. Brisby:
So Jenner was carrying that machine--that chip as you call it--in his head? Could he have known that it was there?
Jenner was always suffering from bad headaches, but he never wanted any of my help with it. He hated Jonathan and I. Anyway, what can you tell us about this mysterious chip?
Let me guess--it was able to show the scientists things that he'd seen before--like a TV and VCR?

No, it wasn't that advanced. The scientists hadn't planned on us escaping. I think the chip was part of the preparations for the next phase of the experiment. See, the chip was really just a way to record how many times Jenner's brain was stimulated or stressed. So the scientists hooked Jenner's head up to their computer to read out the record of the chip. Once they threw the switch and the current started to pass through Jenner's brain, an amazing thing happened.

I was sitting on that computer cable was, so I could feel what was going on, but nothing had prepared me for what happened next. The electric current somehow revived Jenner's consciousness, and that consciousness managed to run itself into the main computer! It didn't even take a second!

Mrs. Brisby:
But how could such a thing happen!?
Hmmm...I guess if the scientists had put the chip into his brain at an early stage of his intellectual development, his brain might have 'learned' to influence the chip directly, and created a system similar to the one of the actual computer.
But what about the scientists? Did they realize what was happening?
I'm afraid they didn't. They just thought the chip wasn't working correctly. They put Jenner's body in a jar and then stuck it in a freezer.
But what about Jenner's mind?
At first it seemed like he didn't know what was going on. I felt the cable and could tell that he was puzzled. But very soon after that, he sprang into action. He started to write himself into the computer's memory in order to take it over completely.
I don't really understand all of this--it's just too technical--but it sounds like Jenner's mind has possessed the computer, right?
Yes little lady--it's sort of a ghost in a machine, I guess.

To be continued...