This is not necessarily a sequel to The Secret of NIMH. This is more like a drastically different version of the story. The main difference is probably the setting. Instead of intelligent mice and rats living in their own world, in this version they live along side humans. In this world, humans and rodents live with each other as people. The world is exactly the same as it appears around you. Except that if you lived here, some of your friends would be mice and rats as well as humans. The same events have taken place in this world over it’s existence as in our own. Why is it this way you ask? I’m really not sure, I started making this up when I was eleven. So I figured, why change it, it should make for an interesting twist in the story. Besides, mice and rats are cool and I have no idea how Mrs. Brisby would look as a human. Note that this is written in a combination of novel and script form. I did this so it would be easier to keep track of who is speaking. Something else I must mention, this is a chronicle as the name implies. Don’t look for a plot, because there is none.
Anyway, this story is not about the world I’ve made up. It’s about the Brisbys, the same Brisbys from the movie. The Brisbys are a typical American family of mice from the Midwest. They live in a small farming town(that doesn’t really exist) called Thorn Valley in Northeastern Kansas. Jonathan and Mrs. Brisby are in their eleventh year of marriage. They are living comfortably as a low/middle class family. Life is grand for them. Jonathan holds one secret from his beloved wife, he is a member of the Rats of NIMH. The events all start taking place in winter 1987. I started thinking this up around then so I made it take place at that time.
In this world, the Rats of NIMH ( I never really figured out what to make NIMH stand for, but I couldn’t get rid of it) are a cult or militia. They are not out to overthrow the government or anything. They more or less live together sharing common views and interests. The common Rat of NIMH dresses like a medieval knight and carries a sword. Unlike the Rats in the movie, these guys have lots of nasty guns too. The leader is of course, Nicodemus, and is quite old. Certain members of the group have decided to finance the Rats by being hired hit-men. Usually focusing on people who they see, deserve it. When they leave their undiscovered dwelling, they are in full uniform and wear masks. So all members that have ever been seen by the public remain anonymous. Nicoldemus doesn’t like this hired hit-men stuff, it completely goes against what the group stands for. Not to mention it has recently been attracting lots of attention from the police. Nicodemus has recently developed a plan to end the killer-for-hire fiasco and relocate the Rats to another part of the country. Since Jonathan resides outside the colony, he has been given the duty of monitoring police activity with a police band scanner. He has been able to do this for the last four years without incident. But most of the Rats would prefer to not need to worry about it. So they are with Nicodemus and his plan to move. Jonathan in particular because he has a family to take care of.
Jenner, the one in charge of the hit-men group, is very opposed to this idea. He likes being a hired killer and doesn’t want to move. He would also like to become the Rats of NIMH leader. Because of his disagreement, he heavily resents all the Rats taking action with the moving plan. And he really doesn’t like Jonathan Brisby because Jonathan is giving the group more reason to want to move by telling them that the cops are starting to get ideas of where they might be. Jenner, of course, thinks that Jonathan is full of shit and figures he can deal with a few small town cops.
Well, Jenner has just about had it with Jonathan. On an icy February night, he decides to take action. Shortly before Jonathan leaves for home after a Rats of NIMH gathering, Jenner and his coconspirator Sullivan, head down the road a ways. With Sullivan at the wheel, Jenner stands up in his seat. With the top half of his body outside the open sunroof and a high powered hunting rifle in hand, he blows a hole right in Jonathan’s left front tire. This sends his large 4x4 pickup out of control. After doing one full flip, the truck goes off the embankment and lands upside down, leaving Jonathan with a crushed skull and broken neck (That’s right. Jenner kills both Jonathan and Nicodemus in this version. Sorry, no giant cats). Soon, a passing patrolman finds the dead Jonathan in full Rats of NIMH uniform! This is the cops’ first good lead. And Mrs. Brisby is the first person they pick on.
Mrs. Brisby fell to the floor crying hysterically at the news of Jonathan’s death. Not only that, but at the same time, the police started asking her questions about his involvement with the Rats of NIMH. It was obvious to the police that she had no idea her husband was with the Rats. They also decided they should let things cool down for a while. This ‘while’ turned into about two months. This was about the amount of time Mrs. Brisby needed to get herself back onto the routine known as everyday life.
Jonathan left behind his wife and four children. Teresa, the oldest at eleven when her father died, took his death a little better than her mother. Martin, a few weeks shy of his tenth birthday, took his fathers death about the same as Teresa, but being more quiet about it. He let out his emotions when by himself or around Teresa. Although all the Brisby kids share a very close bond, Martin and Teresa have the closest. Timothy, a few weeks shy of his sixth birthday, was quite disturbed by his father’s death. Because of his young age, the effects will be more long term. This will be explained later. Cynthia, the youngest at only two (I know this is rather young, but we’ll just pretend she learned to talk early) was rather emotional at the sight of the rest of the family’s hysteria and depression. She will grow up never really knowing who her father was, having only a few visions and photographs as a reminder of his existence. She won’t visit his graveside until age eleven.
This next part of the story more or less parallels the movie’s events. It takes place during the first full week of April 1987, starting Monday.
Mrs. Brisby has for the last few weeks been trying to figure out what the hell to do with her family. Stay here and slowly get over it, or just move away and get a new start. Jonathan, from his job, has left his family a rather large sum of money. So the Brisbys aren’t financially strapped for the time being, but it won’t last forever. Recently, Timothy has come down with pneumonia and Mrs. Brisby has had to stick around and keep and eye on him. Mr. Ages, a retired doctor and friend of the family, has been helping by advising Mrs. Brisby how to take care of Timothy. Unknown to Mrs. Brisby, Mr. Ages is also a member of the Rats of NIMH. He is a long time friend of Nicodemus and is the Rats’ doctor. He has also taken over Jonathan’s job of police monitoring. Mr. Ages is 72 years old and in decent health, but not in the best shape to be out watching the cops in the middle of the night. This Monday afternoon was one of the days Mrs. Brisby came over to get some advice and medicine. Mr. Ages instructed her that Timothy shouldn’t so much as go outside for three weeks. As it is, he had already missed a few days of school, and now he has to miss three weeks. Mrs. Brisby wasn’t too thrilled but figured there wasn’t much she could do about it. So she said goodbye and headed home.
On her way home, Mrs. Brisby’s car blew a tire. When she stopped to change it, she was shocked to find that she had no spare, she was already driving on it. She didn’t know what to do. She was stuck and Timothy and Cynthia were home alone. With her emotions still rather rattled, it didn’t take but five minutes for her to start sobbing. At least Teresa and Martin would be home soon. But she needed to get the medicine to Timothy. She spent the next ten minutes sitting in the passenger seat with her head in her lap, tears running down her snout and dripping off her nose. While Mrs. Brisby was moping over her situation, a human about 15 years old comes flying around the corner on a dirt bike. He notices the young attractive mouse sitting in her disabled car crying. He walks over and taps her on the shoulder. Mrs. Brisby looks up at the him with tears running down her face. (I guess now is as good a time as any for some dialogue).
Jeremy-"Hey there, what’s wrong?"
Mrs. Brisby-"I’ve got a flat tire and I can’t get Timmy his medicine because I don’t have a spare…sniff.."
Jeremy-"Oh don’t cry, I hate to see a woman cry. My father owns a tire place in town and, maybe he could cut you a deal. If you want I could take you down on the bike."
Mrs. Brisby-"You’d do that for me?" Jeremy nods head, "Oh thank you so much!"
The only catch to this solution was that they needed to carry the tire down with them. Jeremy tied it to his handle bars the best he could. And with the car locked, Mrs. Brisby jumped on the back of Jeremy’s bike and locked her hands across his belly. Jeremy didn’t mind, to say the least. He kicked over the bike, and off they went. Now, Mrs. Brisby has a rather bad case of acrophobia(fear of heights), but she doesn’t mind speed. In fact, she likes driving fast. It took a little getting used to, but she dug the motorcycle ride. It was about a 15 minute ride to the more industrial part of Thorn Valley.
Jeremy’s dad owned the main tire store in Thorn Valley. Now, Thorn Valley had an official population of only about 12,000 people. But it was surrounded by farms, and one could rake in the bucks selling farm equipment. Jeremy’s father sold everything from go-cart tires to giant tractor tires. So he had no problem fixing Mrs. Brisby up with the tire she needed. But Mrs. Brisby overheard a conversation in the store that really caught her attention. Jeremy’s dad’s tire yard was occasionally raided at night.
Employee-"Hey Dan! You seen the stack of tires the guy over at John Deere ordered?"
Dan(Jeremy’s father)-"No, those God damned tire thieves lifted ‘em last night. I should git Ol’ Al ta stick the Rats o’ NIMH on their asses. We’re gonna have ta reorder."
Mrs. Brisby suddenly remembered that the police told her Jonathan was involved with the Rats. She also began toying with the idea that maybe she should get a hold of the Rats of NIMH somehow. Who was this Old Al guy? Did he know the Rats? She thought about this on her ride back to her car. She figured she better keep her mouth shut for the time being, but asked Jeremy for his phone number just in case she needed more car help. Jeremy was rather delighted.
At the time Mrs. Brisby was having car trouble, Teresa and Martin got home from school to find that she wasn’t there. It happens occasionally, but not often, so they did wonder. Around dark, family acquaintance Aunti Shrew(mice and rats doesn’t include shrews, but for lack of a different name, we’ll keep Aunti Shrew) showed up to check on things. Aunti Shrew was Mrs. Brisby’s baby sitter when she was young, now she looks after Mrs. Brisby’s kids sometimes. Martin can’t stand Aunti Shrew and he always manages to cause trouble with her. Teresa tries to be a good girl, but sometimes Martin gets her going and they both terrorize Aunti Shrew. She couldn’t take much more than 15 minutes of Martin and started toward the door. She appeared to trip on her own feet and fell flat on her belly. Martin pointed at her and just started busting up. Teresa tried to hold it in by putting her hand over her mouth, but she couldn’t and ended up spitting all over her own hand as laughter escaped her clenched teeth. Cynthia just started clapping and laughing. Aunti Shrew was pissed. She pulls herself to her feet and starts out the door. Mrs. Brisby is standing right there. This shuts the kids up real quick.
Mrs. Brisby-"Martin! Teresa! Aunti Shrew what’s going on here?"
Aunti Shrew-"Your children are spoiled brats, especially the boy!"
Mrs. Brisby-"I’m sorry, I will have a talk with him."
Aunti Shrew-"Oh, I’ve heard that before! I came to find out what this business was with Jonathan being with the Rats of NIMH. You know the police are bound to come around asking questions. You should probably think about moving your……odd family away for a while."
Mrs. Brisby-"I can’t go anywhere for three weeks because of Timothy’s pneumonia."
Aunti Shrew-"Hmmmm. Just be prepared if they come around. Good night."
Aunti Shrew leaves the house. Mrs. Brisby closes the door behind her and gives Teresa and Martin a good hard glare.
Mrs. Brisby-"Well you two, now you’ve done it. Nice job!"
Teresa-"It was Martin!"
Martin-"Oh shut up Teresa!"
Mrs. Brisby-"Hey! Both of you….just be quite."
Martin glares at Teresa and she just gives him the ‘Ha Ha’ smile. Martin knew his mother didn’t need this right now. He started feeling rather bad. Mrs. Brisby whipped up a bowl of soup for Timmy’s dinner. As she headed upstairs to the room Martin and Timmy share, the other kids followed her. They were all concerned about Timmy’s health. He was the complete opposite of his older brother. Martin was big, strong, active, and didn’t get sick often. Timmy is small, weak, and has a weak immune system. If something was going around, he’d catch it quick and it would stick around for a while. Timmy was just a small furry lump in his bed, quite motionless. Mrs. Brisby woke him and helped him sit up. She had a bowl of soup, a tablet, and some soda to wash it down with. The other three watched from the doorway. Martin was really feeling guilty. Teresa put her arm around his shoulders. Cynthia started walking into the room. Martin and Teresa slowly followed. They all crowded around Timmy’s bed, silent. Martin, near tears, went over and put his arm around his mother and apologized for being such a shit. She accepted and hugged him. There was a little bit of quiet conversation for ten minutes, then everyone went to bed.
For the first time in a while, Mrs. Brisby fell asleep easily. The day’s events had her rather tired. For the last two months, Mrs. Brisby usually cried herself to sleep. When she had real problems sleeping, a few shots of whiskey usually worked. She had a pleasant dream that night about herself and Jonathan going to a Pink Floyd concert, smoking a little weed, and making love in the grass.
The next morning started out normal. Teresa and Martin got up and made themselves breakfast, then went to school. Mrs. Brisby got up around 9:30 to a hard knock at the door. She opened the door to find two policemen and a man in a suit.
Mrs. Brisby-"Uhh, can I help you guys?"
Detective-"Mrs. Brisby, your husband was a member the cult known as the Rats of NIMH. I’m here to ask you some questions about his involvement, his activities, and the whereabouts of this group. Your full cooperation is requested."
Mrs. Brisby-"I don’t know anything about them. I, I didn’t even know that Jonathan was involved with them until he died."
Detective-"Mrs. Brisby, the Rats of NIMH are responsible for the deaths of 47 people. We also believe that they have a large amount of illegal weapons and are capable of dangerous antigovernment terrorism. Now I have a hard time believing that Jonathan never told you anything about the Rats."
Mrs. Brisby-"It’s true! I’m not lying to you! He never told me anything, and I never suspected anything. Whatever he did for them, he did it without me knowing."
Detective-"Oh you better not be lying to me. If I come back and search this house, and find any weapons, you’re in deep shit. I’ll get you for child endangerment and have all of your children in foster homes."
Mrs. Brisby-"GASP! Oh you wouldn’t! How could…*sniff*…just leave us alone!! There’s no guns here. Just go away..*sniff..sniff*!"
Detective-"You call me if you suddenly decide to remember something. Have nice day."
The detective left Mrs. Brisby standing in the middle of her living room in tears. He was more or less using scare tactics, and they worked. But Mrs. Brisby was telling the truth. Right after the cops left, Aunti Shrew showed up. She comforted Mrs. Brisby by telling her nothing could happen if she was telling the truth. But was she telling the truth? Was Jonathan keeping things in the house that she didn’t know about? She figured she better take a look around. So Mrs. Brisby and Aunti Shrew spent the next hour digging around in the house for anything that shouldn’t be there. There was nothing. Mrs. Brisby was in the clear. But her curiosity about Jonathan’s secret life was getting bigger. After their search, Mrs. Brisby and Aunti Shrew went to relax on the couch. Mrs. Brisby told Aunti Shrew about the conversation she overheard while at the tire store. Aunti Shrew suggested that maybe she get up some courage and pursue her curiosity.
That afternoon, Mrs. Brisby called Jeremy. Jeremy explained to her that Old Al was the owner of a biker bar about 20 miles west of town and had connections with the Rats. Jeremy’s dad was with the local Harley Davidson club and frequented the bar, so Jeremy knew about this stuff. Mrs. Brisby asked if he could take her out there tonight. Jeremy wasn’t too hot for the idea. The biker bar attracted a rather unruly crowd of steady customers, and they didn’t like strangers. But Mrs. Brisby insisted. All Jeremy had to do was tell his dad he was going riding.
The Brisbys had pizza for dinner. Mrs. Brisby wolfed down three slices quickly. Jeremy showed up fifteen minutes later on his bike. Martin was rather intrigued and insisted on a ride. Mrs. Brisby said no, and that they had to get going. She said she was just going to find out a few things about their father and would be back by ten. So they were off into the cool, moist, April evening air. They went west on the main two-lane highway for about 15 minutes. Then a right turn down to a wooded area near the river. The bar was a decent sized place, but not very fancy. Joe Walsh’s ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ and the laughter of drunken bikers was emanating from inside. Jeremy didn’t pull right up to the bar. He parked at the edge of the parking lot. They both just stood there for a minute looking. Two rather large and burly looking mice with chains and leather stood near the doorway talking and pointing at the row of motorcycles parked out front. Then one pointed toward Jeremy and Mrs. Brisby, and the other one looked and said, "Hey baby, you seein’ somethin’ that you like? Come on in and have a few drinks!" Jeremy gave Mrs. Brisby a shove from behind. She turned around and dumbly looked at him. He made a ‘go on’ motion with his head. She started heading slowly toward the door. She kept her eyes pointed more or less straight ahead, even as she walked up the stairs. Of course it was impossible not to notice the two bikers she walked between, who both gave her the ‘I really want to screw the hell out of you’ smiles. Mrs. Brisby just lifted her head enough to give the two a very small friendly smile. The bouncer at the door carded her and she went in.
Heads turned very quick to see such a young and pretty conservatively dressed mouse walking amongst a crowd of leather, alcohol, and tobacco. Mrs. Brisby walked up to the bar and sat on a bar stool. No sooner than she sat down, one of the mice from outside came and sat next to her. He poured some Jack Daniel’s in a glass and slid it over to her.
Biker-"Here’s a little somethin’ to keep you warm."
Mrs. Brisby(Quiet and meek)-"Oh no thanks. I just want to talk to Old Al about something."
Biker-"No, I insist. Trust me, I’ll look a lot better after you’ve taken that down."
Mrs. Brisby-"Heh heh, that’s ok."
He wasn’t giving up that easily. The biker got up off his chair moved closer, put his arm around Mrs. Brisby and held the drink up to her mouth insisting that she have some. Joe Walsh had ended, and the juke box started playing Nazareth’s ‘I Want To Do Everything For You’. The biker removed his arm from around her shoulder and began rubbing Mrs. Brisby’s hip. He then leaned over in an attempt to kiss her. Mrs. Brisby swung herself around facing him, put her foot on his belly and pushed him away. The big biker mouse, obviously quite drunk, fell on his back, spilling the drink all over himself. "You little bitch, I’m gonna beat the hell out of you!" he yelled. Just as he pulled himself to his feet, a tall white-haired human grabbed him from behind. "All right Dale, I think you’ve had enough! Go home and sleep it off!" the guy said. Dale gave Mrs. Brisby a dirty look and staggered out the door. The older human with wind burned skin, came over and asked Mrs. Brisby if she was okay, he then introduced himself as Alex, a.k.a. ‘Old Al’. Mrs. Brisby asked of they could talk somewhere private. He lead her to a small office room in the back of the kitchen and closed the door.
Old Al-"So what’s on your mind little lady? You don’t seem like the type to hang around a place like this."
Mrs. Brisby-"No, I’m not. I need to talk to you about the Rats of NIMH."
Old Al(looking quite stunned)-"Ma’am I’m gonna have to ask you to leave. You can go out the-"
Mrs. Brisby-"Oh please don’t turn me away. I just need-"
Old Al-"Please just walk out the back door here. Goodnight Mrs.-"
Mrs. Brisby(looking at the floor)-"Brisby."
Old Al-"What! As in Jonathan Brisby?"
Mrs. Brisby-"Yeah, he was my husband. How do you know him?"
Old Al-"I don’t really know him. I’ve heard of him through the Rats. I’m very sorry that he died."
Mrs. Brisby-"So you do know the Rats….."
Mrs. Brisby went on and explained how she never knew of her husbands involvement with the Rats of NIMH. She also explained to Old Al that the cops were bothering her, and she really just didn’t know what to do. Old Al explained he knew a few of the members before they joined, and of course stayed in contact with them. He also decided to give Mrs. Brisby the location of their dwelling and to ask for someone named Nicodemus. And above all, not to let people know that he knew this. Old Al escorted Mrs. Brisby out a back door. With directions in hand, she could now look for the Rats.
After the older kids went off to school, Mrs. Brisby got Aunti Shrew to look after Timmy and Cynthia. She hopped in her car, and headed out to a trailhead parking lot, not far from the biker bar. The map indicated that she would have to hike about two and a half miles along this trail that followed the river. This took her about 40 minutes. The trail took her through regional park land and onto BLM land. After the BLM sign, she was to turn right up the first stream she came to. Mrs. Brisby started heading up the stream. The water wasn’t very swift but it was freezing. She had to go to the first stream tributary on the right, then follow it up the small hillside. This entire walk was well forested with the usual Midwestern trees, and a hideout could easily be camouflaged. Mrs. Brisby got to a point where the water was flowing over some protruding rocks and making a pretty waterfall. According to her little map, this was the location of the entrance. Looking around she saw nothing. So she went over to take a closer look at the little waterfall. Her heart skipped a beat when she noticed that there was a small opening behind the waterfall. The opening looked just large for her to kneel down and go through. She was wondering if this was really it. As she put her head inside a little ways, she noticed a gentle humming noise. She looked up and saw what looked like an exhaust pipe bolted to the wall. The pipe led down into the cave, and she smelled exhaust. "A generator!" she thought. This was it. She knelt down and nervously started in. After only 20 feet, the tunnel got quite large, large enough for a large adult rat to walk though. It started twisting and turning. There was a small amount of water trickling along the floor, and the pipe continued along the ceiling. But Mrs. Brisby couldn’t see her hand in front of her face. It had become pitch black and she started getting claustrophobic. But she couldn’t turn back, where would that leave her? Back to her original dilemma, so she went a little further, feeling her way along. She must have walked a good 500 feet when, to her surprise there was a glow around the next bend. She came around to find an orange tinted 40 Watt light bulb mounted on a 2x4 across the ceiling. Before the light could get too dark, there was another. The cave started to get bigger. Mrs. Brisby entered a living room sized room, dimly lit. She was just starting to get excited when she heard a loud *click-click*. A rat appeared from nowhere and stuck a double barreled shot gun right to her chest. Mrs. Brisby almost peed herself. This guy was three times her size and did not look happy to see her.
Brutus-"How did you get in here?"
Mrs. Brisby-"Uhh, through the hole back there. I gotta see Ni-"
Brutus-"I know how you got in here. Now turn around and go back out."
Mrs. Brisby-"But I need-"
Brutus-"I don’t care. You never saw this place, you understand? You never saw me! You don’t know how to get here! Now move on and be quick!"
Brutus just started slowly following her out. Mrs. Brisby’s eyes began to fill with tears. She started sobbing as she walked through the tunnel. Brutus wasn’t following her anymore, so she stayed put. They have to let her in! Mrs. Brisby figured she could keep bothering him until he called some others. Maybe Nicodemus would show up. She sat thinking for nearly 30 minutes.
Footsteps started coming. It was someone coming into the tunnel, not leaving. Mrs. Brisby held her breath and stood right where she was. The person came around the corner. It was Mr. Ages! "What the hell is he doing in here? He’s a member too? Maybe tomorrow I’ll find out that Martin is with them too!" Mrs. Brisby was thinking. Mr. Ages was just as surprised to see her too. But he wasn’t as hostile as Brutus. And Mrs. Brisby wasn’t quite expecting for him to say what he did.
Mr. Ages-"Mrs. Brisby? What are, what are you doing here?"
Mrs. Brisby-"Oh thank God it’s you!"
Mr. Ages-"How did you get in here? How did you find this place?"
Mrs. Brisby-"Oh Mr. Ages. The police came to my house asking about Jonathan. They threatened to put the kids in foster homes if they found any guns. The big rat down there chased me out. But I have to find Nicodemus, Old Al told me to see Nicodemus."
Mr. Ages-"Old Al? You seriously went to see Old Al? At the biker bar?"
Mrs. Brisby-"Yes. He told me how to get here and to find Nicodemus."
Mr. Ages-"Well now, I’m surprised you didn’t get kidnapped or something at that bar."
Mrs. Brisby-"Please Mr. Ages. Will you take me to see this Nicodemus."
Mr. Ages-"We were gonna bring you down here soon anyway, of course you would have been blindfolded. You know where the place is now, I guess you’ll have to relocate."
Mrs. Brisby-"What do you mean you were gonna bring me down here? Relocate? What are you talking about?"
Mr. Ages-"I’ll let Nicodemus tell you. Come on, let’s go."
They headed down the tunnel once again. Upon seeing Brutus, Mr. Ages told him who Mrs. Brisby was. He felt rather bad and apologized to her. The grade of the tunnel started flattening out and there was more water flowing, so they were on boardwalk with water flowing underneath. The tunnel also got bigger and more lit. The lighting was eerie but rather beautiful. As they headed through a section that had obviously been tunneled out, they didn’t notice a rat sneaking up behind them. He got closer and grabbed Mr. Ages, putting his hands over his eyes. Mrs. Brisby gasped until she heard his raspy and joking remark. "Reveal my name," the rat said. "Justin! You featherhead. Get your hands off me!" Mr. Ages said. Mrs. Brisby took one look at Justin and found herself feeling rather warm. Justin was only 24 years old. Six feet two inches tall with a lanky but cut and somewhat muscular build. Mr. Ages introduced the two. Mrs. Brisby’s and Justin’s eyes met and locked into a rather steamy glance.
Mrs. Brisby-"How beautiful."
Mrs. Brisby(Giggling)-"The lights, they’re lovely."
Justin-"Uhh. Oh yes they are. We’ve had power down here for quite a while."
They all started walking with Mr. Ages. He and Justin started talking about Jenner’s opposition to Nicodemus. The plan was recently made to move to a ranch up near Spokane that was owned by on of the Rat’s uncles. Jenner still did not agree, and his opposition was not to be taken lightly. Justin told Mr. Ages that there was probably nothing to worry about, there were enough of them that were for the moving plan. Mr. Ages warned Justin to be careful of Jenner, he hasn’t been listening to reason lately. Mrs. Brisby was wondering who this Jenner person was. She was about to meet him.
The tunnel opened up to a large room. Half the room was taken up by a building, built right into the cave walls. There were lots of voices coming from inside. It sounded like someone was speaking to a group of people. The voice was saying, "The moving plan is nothing but folly. The old fool’s paranoid fantasy. Nicodemus would destroy this colony, only to lead us to live off the land on some ranch?" Justin, Mr. Ages, and Mrs. Brisby stopped outside the door to listen for a moment. Other voices were heard expressing concern over the cops close to knowing their whereabouts. At this time, the three entered the room. It was a well lit room with fluorescent lights. There were 17 rats in the room. Most were sitting up in small balconies, there were two standing by the doorway with sheathed swords on waist belts and M-16s over their shoulders. One rat stood out in particular, the one on the floor talking to everyone, this was Jenner.
Jenner got very angry at the sight of Mrs. Brisby. Although he didn’t know who she was, visitors are not allowed. Justin stepped away and introduced Mrs. Brisby, embarrassing the heck out of her. The rats looked on in awe, this was Jonathan’s wife. Sullivan blurted out that she had no business being there and to send her off. Justin and Mr. Ages explained about the cops and that Mrs. Brisby needed their help. Jenner stopped Sullivan from any more comments and approached Mrs. Brisby. Now, Jenner stood a full 17 inches taller than Mrs. Brisby, and he was big. He had these big green eyes, long Satan-like goatee, built like a freight train, and very intimidating, to say the least. He knelt down in front of Mrs. Brisby and held her hand in his. His forearms were the size of Mrs. Brisby’s thighs.
Jenner-"Mrs. Brisby. A thousand pardons my dear. Forgive the ill temper of my colleague. It would be an honor to assist Jonathan’s widow in any way."
Mrs. Brisby managed to squeak out a faint "Thank you". She had just had her hand held by her husband’s killer. She would never know this. After the moment of feeling infinitely small, Mrs. Brisby was glad to see Jenner back away with a slight evil grin. Mr. Ages gave Jenner a suspicious look. Then told Justin that he would take Mrs. Brisby to Nicodemus.
Justin stuck around in the meeting hall. Mr. Ages led Mrs. Brisby back out and down a man made hall. Down this hall, there were doors on all sides. These were the Rats’ bedrooms. Mrs. Brisby was astonished at the amount of work it must have taken to build all this down here. The door at the end was Nicodemus’ room. Mr. Ages told Mrs. Brisby not to bother him too much, then he left. She knocked on the door, there was no answer. So the brave girl that she is, opened the door and stepped inside. The room was large and dimly lit by floor lights. "Come over here Mrs. Brisby, don’t be frightened. I believe I owe you a large explanation" a voice said. Mrs. Brisby looked up and saw Nicodemus sitting in a large throne-like chair. He was old, to say the least. He was dressed in a dark but very nice robe. The guy looked like Merlin the Wizard, minus the pointed hat. He had a full beard and mustache that dropped to his crotch. He was truly a sight.
Mrs. Brisby-"Old Al told me to come and see you."
Nicodemus-"Oh, did he? He is a dear old friend. Come closer and sit down."
Although Nicodemus seemed like a nice enough guy, Mrs. Brisby was still a little scared. But she came over and sat down in a chair next to Nicodemus. He reached over and patted her on the back to ease her obvious apprehension. It was a warm and friendly pat. Mrs. Brisby looked up and gave Nicodemus an innocent and slightly frightened smile. Nicodemus, with some effort, returned the favor. He picked up a book from a nearby table and gave it to Mrs. Brisby. The book was like a Rats of NIMH member archives. It had descriptions of everyone. She went straight to Jonathan’s page. The left page contained a picture and description of him, his duties, and when he joined. He had been with the Rats since 1982. The other page had a quite recent picture of the family. There was also a picture of Jonathan dressed in full Rats of NIMH uniform. And one of Jonathan, Justin, and another young rat. This explained to Mrs. Brisby what he did, but that’s all. There was a lot more she needed to know.
Mrs. Brisby-"But how did all this come about? How did all of you get together, and here of all places? And how and why did Jonathan join?"
Nicodemus-"I was getting to that. I can see in your young eyes that I look very old, and indeed I am. I’m 94 years old. I was born in London in 1893. My father worked with Scotland Yard. He had worked with such cases as, Jack the Ripper. He wanted me to be a constable, then later, detective. But I did not see it that way. I was always interested in reading about history. About knights and castles and kings. I wanted to be knight. I liked the code they lived by. And during World War I, I practiced that code in battle. Fighting with honor and bravery. When the war was over, I came home to find my family gone. The house had been blown up by a German Zeppelin. I was 25 years old without a home. While walking the streets of London to ponder my misfortune, I came across a young orphan boy named Allen Ages."
Mrs. Brisby-"GASP! You mean Mr. Ages?"
Nicodemus-"Yes. His family had suffered the same fate as my own. He was but three years old and living in an orphanage. He was a small boy, even for a mouse. I took him in. We soon found a place to live, and I became a policeman. We remained in London for the next twenty years. Mr. Ages received a degree in chemistry from Oxford University and wanted to go on to become a doctor. I was married and satisfied with my job as a policeman. When the news of the Nazi rise in Germany came around, Mr. Ages held off on going to medical school. He said if war broke out again, he would go to America. My wife and I agreed. We would be damned if we were going through that experience again. So, in February of 1938, the three of us took a boat to America, despite freezing cold weather and the threat of being torpedoed by German submarines.
We got to New York a week later without incident. Unlike the majority of immigrants, we were not poor, but by no means were we rich. I was a very experienced policeman and I was strong, so I landed a job with the New York Police Department. Mr. Ages got a scholarship to a medical school in Missouri, so he spent the next four years away from home. Through all my experiences as a police officer, I never lost interest in the Medieval Knight’s code of honor. I still thought of how interesting it would be if I had been born 800 years earlier, and lived as a knight, defending and serving my realm. I found myself doing a lot of work fighting organized crime, the Italian Mafia. When things wouldn’t go their way, they would sometimes commit the most horrible atrocities to get it. I wanted so badly to help these victims, and to punish the ones who hurt them. But they always avoided it. I spent another twenty years with NYPD, protecting and serving, as any good knight would. It was during this time that Mr. Ages moved here to Thorn Valley and worked as a doctor. He had a wife and a child of his own.
I retired from NYPD in 1958. My wife died of cancer shortly thereafter. In my sorrow, I packed up and left New York. I came here to Thorn Valley for a few months to stay with Mr. Ages. All the while, I stayed in contact with fellow officers. I wanted to keep up to date on their progress against the Mafia. I went back to New York in summer of 1959 to visit. While I was there, a small group of fellow officers and I, decided to dispatch of a few Mafia members who were known atrocity doers, but never proven. There were six of us. These fellow officers had lost friends to the Mafia, and they assumed they would loose their job for what they were going to do, but felt they could not rest until they did it. After locating these men, we kidnapped and brought them to a secluded location. Like a scene out of Camelot, we executed them with ornamental swords, one at a time.
To make a long story short, they thought it best to leave. So that night, and on through the next day, we came back to Thorn Valley. Mr. Ages was quite stunned at what we had done, but he knew how we felt. We remained with Mr. Ages for a few weeks, then got a place of our own. We paid attention to the news. On occasion we would take a trip to dispatch of someone who had done something terrible. We thought of ourselves as knights doing good deeds and discovered what we wanted to do. We also acquired a few more members. I suggested the name, The Knights of NIMH. But the others felt that The Rats of NIMH sounded better. So that name, although somewhat racist, became our group’s name."
Nicodemus showed Mrs. Brisby a picture of them from 1963. There were six rats in the picture. Nicodemus was obvious with his long white John Muir-like beard and mustache. There was a short stocky young rat standing next to him, Sullivan. Next was a very tall muscular rat with a James Dean haircut, it was a 21 year old Jenner. Mike looked about 6 foot two inches, well built and in his early 30s. The other two were Gary and Phil. All but Jenner were Nicodemus’s friends from New York. Victor, the other from New York and not shown, skipped the country out of paranoia. These were the original Rats of NIMH. Nicodemus went on to explain how he found the cave on an afternoon hike, and how other members joined by word of mouth. They never had to worry about people discovering them. No one ever came back this far because the bushwhacking was a bitch. And up until a few years ago, the Thorn Valley Police didn’t mind what the Rats were doing and didn’t bother with investigating them. In fact, the Rats were doing what the police wished they could do themselves. The new police chief sees things the other way around, so that’s why they need to get elsewhere.
Mrs. Brisby-"Sir? How did Jonathan join with you?"
Nicodemus-"I’m going to leave that to Justin. After all, he was there."
Mrs. Brisby-"Nicodemus, my family is-"
Nicodemus-"I know of your needs, I know about the visit from the police. Jonathan knew that this could happen, and he prepared for it. We are going to help you relocate, to start a new life, if you so desire."
Mrs. Brisby-"OH you….oh that’s wonderful! Oh thank you!"
What Nicodemus showed her next, Mrs. Brisby did not expect. He reached under his chair, and pulled out a little box. Nicodemus opened the box, took out an envelope, and handed it to Mrs. Brisby. Inside the envelope was a note from Jonathan.
Hey babe. I hope everything is ok with you and the kids. There is only one reason you’d be reading this. What you’re feeling now will pass in time. I know you, you’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever met. You will survive! The Rats of NIMH are good people, you’re in good hands with them, they know what to do. There is a gift in the envelope for you. Remember what’s engraved on it. I’m so sorry I had to keep this secret from you. Please tell Teresa, Martin, Timothy, and Cynthia when you feel the time is right. I left you some pocket change behind the cupboard in the storm cellar to help you get started. I love you and miss you dearly.
Your Loving Husband,
Mrs. Brisby looked in a legal sized envelope. There was a gold bracelet inside with an engraved plate as part of it. It read, "Love is the Key." Mrs. Brisby was holding back the tears as best she could. It didn’t quite work.
Mrs. Brisby(starting to cry)-"Oh Jonathan. I promise I’ll never ever take this off."
Nicodemus gently massaged her on the shoulder as she stood and shed her tears.
As Mrs. Brisby was beginning to calm down, Justin knocked on Nicodemus’s door and walked in. He came over to Nicodemus and Mrs. Brisby.
Nicodemus-"What is it my boy?"
Justin-"Uuuuh, two things. One, Jenner’s crazy. Two, it’s fifteen to four that we leave tomorrow night. Give you three guesses who the four are."
Nicodemus-"I’m happy to hear so many feel that way. How did Jenner react to the voting?"
Justin-"Well, he seemed to expect it. He and Sullivan left right away."
Nicodemus-"Hmmm. They’ll have to cope with it the best they can. We’re going to need a watch tomorrow night while we move."
Justin-"I can do it."
Mrs. Brisby(turning to Justin)-"No wait. I’ll volunteer for watching the police."
Justin-"Oh no Mrs. Brisby! Nicodemus, this is no job for her!"
Mrs. Brisby(back to Nicodemus)-"Please. It was Jonathan’s job. Let me do it."
Nicodemus-"As you wish my dear."
Justin(looking somewhat doubtful)-"Hmmwell….alright."
Mrs. Brisby-"Oh thanks. Nicodemus, thank you for what you’ve done."
Nicodemus held up his hand to wave. Mrs. Brisby went up and gave him a gentle hug. Then she and Justin headed out of his chamber. Justin first walked to his room and grabbed a jacket and Maglite. Although still very shaken by Jonathan’s death, Mrs. Brisby still couldn’t help giving Justin a little look over as he looked around in his room. She looked away when he turned around. However, Justin was doing the same. They walked down the hall and out into the main chamber where some of the Rats were sitting on couches and talking. On her right, Mrs. Brisby saw into a room that wasn’t open before. The room was lit, and inside there were swords, a variety of knives, and guns of all sizes. There was even a rocket launcher on a rack on the wall. She slowed her pace to look and her mouth almost dropped to the floor, she’d never seen something like that before. The young long-haired rat inside cleaning a gun just grinned and waved to her. She returned the favor. As she and Justin were about to head up the tunnel to the exit, Mrs. Brisby figured she should say goodbye. So she swung around, waved and quietly said, "gubye everyone." The Rats waved to her and a few even said "bye". In doing her 360 degree goodbye spin, she came to Jenner and Sullivan at 300 degrees. They didn’t wave, they just stood there with their arms crossed and starred. Mrs. Brisby felt a shiver up her spine, then disappeared into the exit tunnel.
At this time, Jenner was getting ideas of how to deal with the group’s disagreement with him. Sullivan shared his feelings, although, not as strongly. The two of them went into a private room to discuss their plan of action.
Sullivan-"I don’t get it, Jenner."
Jenner-"With Nicodemus out of the way, what’s to stop us from taking over. We need a real leader."
Sullivan-"Oh man, you can’t kill Nicodemus. Nobody would follow you, in fact, they’d probably kill you."
Jenner-"Listen. Nicodemus intends to move the Brisbys with a large truck that Evan keeps in the warehouse. The doors on the warehouse are electronic and weigh easily 500 pounds. Nicodemus is the only one with the combination and always opens it himself. What if there was a power failure and the door should fall?"
Jenner(enthusiastically)-"Of course! Cut the power, and the door will come down, striking Nicodemus hard enough to shatter his brittle old skull and crush every one of his crooked old vertebrae.
Sullivan(a little disgusted)-"Jesus Jenner."
Jenner-"Once rid of Nicodemus, the plan to move will die, and we can stay here."
Sullivan-"Well what about the police?"
Jenner-"I can take care of the police. None of them like the new chief anyway."
Sullivan-"Well all right. What about Justin?"
Jenner-"Leave him to me. I can think of a few things I’d like to do to Jonathan’s whiny little wife too."
Sullivan-"Oh God Jenner, I hope you know what you’re doing."
Meanwhile, Justin and Mrs. Brisby were just getting to the entrance. Justin had to more or less get down on his hands and knees, where Mrs. Brisby just knelt down. There were bigger rats than Justin, and Mrs. Brisby couldn’t see how they must get out. It was around 10pm and dark. Justin led the way down through the brush. Mrs. Brisby was closely following him making sure not to get lost or trip on something.
Justin-"All right, the stream is just below me and there is some room to walk next to it. You want to be careful because there’s a-"
Mrs. Brisby-"WHOA! AAAAAAHHH!" *SPLAT*
Justin-"SHHHHHH! God, you want to let everyone know where we are!?"
Mrs. Brisby(A little angry)-"Well I’m SORRY Justin, I don’t know this place like the back of my head!"
Justin shined his light on Mrs. Brisby, who was sitting in a big puddle of mud. She had slid down the five foot embankment and landed right in the mud. She was a sight. Justin couldn’t help laughing at her. "Oh just help me up," she said. Justin pulled her up by her muddy right hand that she had used to slow herself down.
Mrs. Brisby-"Thank you. Oh, look at me. My hands, my legs,…is my butt all muddy?"
Justin(with a big grin)-"Uhh, yes. You look like you soiled yourself bigtime."
Mrs. Brisby-"Oh thanks! I don’t think I even came up this way."
Justin-"Don’t worry about it, just follow me."
"…And where did that get me last time?" Mrs. Brisby thought to herself. They were walking back down the freezing stream that she had come up. The water didn’t seem to be bothering Justin at all. But with a closer look, she noticed that he was wearing big heavy duty combat boots. And here she was in her Vans. Every step he took was like three of hers. Justin stopped walking, turned and shined the light on her. Seeing the muddy little Mrs. Brisby standing there freezing with water flowing an inch over her ankles made him feel really bad. Mrs. Brisby just gave him a sarcastic chattering grin.
Justin-"I’m sorry. I feel like a jerk. You wanna piggy back ride back to the trail?"
Mrs. Brisby(eyes widen a little and smiles)-"Yeah, sure."
Mrs. Brisby was nice and light. But wet, muddy, and cold. Justin’s first comment was, "I think I’m gonna need to wash this uniform when I get back." Mrs. Brisby just pretended to choke him as a reply. One thing she realized was that Justin was strong. He seemed to have no problem carrying her, and plus, she could just feel him as he walked. Justin noticed a similar characteristic about Mrs. Brisby. Although she looked small and feeble, walked very light on her feet, her grip on him was pretty good. He could also feel this in her thighs, one of which he held in each hand. Why Mrs. Brisby chose to wear shorts was beyond him, but her legs were strong and firm, and covered with fine fur. Not to mention mud. Both took pleasure in this 15 minute walk to the trail, but few words were spoken until they reached the trail.
The hiking trail was a welcome sight, Mrs. Brisby was getting heavy after a ¾ mile hike through the stream. Justin put her down and made an ‘after you’ gesture to her, then gave her the flashlight. The two of them started walking down the dark trail single file, but it quickly became side by side. Both were quite for the first few minutes. There’s no way Mrs. Brisby was going to forget her question.
Mrs. Brisby-"Justin? Nicodemus said you would tell me about how Jonathan joined up with the Rats of NIMH. Could you tell me?"
Justin-"Oh yeah. All right. Umm, remember hearing about Earl Jenkins? The guy who torched those old folks in the trailer park near Clyde?
Mrs. Brisby-"How could I forget? The news didn’t need to go into as much detail about that as they did."
Justin-"Yeah, they went into major detail didn’t they? Anyway, four of us headed down to Wichita to do our deed. It was me, Sullivan, Mike, and Gary. I was only 19, it was my first-"
Mrs. Brisby-"Wait! You guys were the one’s who killed Earl Jenkins?"
Justin-"Sword through the heart baby. Gary did the deed. It was my first time on a trip. Anyway, on our way back, a belt decided to break on Sullivan’s car. We were on some back road that connects highway 70 and 24. Of course we figured that no one uses it, there was like no traffic and we could drive very fast. Well, the car breaks down, and we’re on the side of the road in full uniform a few miles south of Miltonvale. We weren’t too worried because very few people ever drive on it, and it was about 2am. So we’re out there with the hood open trying to use whatever we can find to pass for a belt. Bungie chord, even rags, you name it, we tried it. While the four of us are under the hood, Jonathan comes up in his Kenworth and scares the pants off all of us. I don’t know where he got such a quiet truck, but he took us by surprise. Before we could close the doors and hide, we were in his headlights. He pulled over right behind our car, we just stood there thinking that we were completely fucked, pardon my language. He obviously knew who we were because he didn’t get out of the truck right away. I think he could see how scared we were. He got out and just casually asked if we needed help. "
Mrs. Brisby-"God Jon! He was such a nut, but he was so nice to people."
Justin-"Yeah, he sure was nice to us. He said that we didn’t have to worry about him saying anything, and that he would even join us to prove it. And we said ok. And, that’s how he ended up joining. He met me up here at the trailhead the next day, and I took him to the cave."
Mrs. Brisby-"He never told me anything Justin. He did all this behind my back. I just want to know why."
Justin-"He didn’t want you to worry. And he had to keep the location a complete secret. Mrs. Brisby, believe when I say this. He talked about you all the time, he felt extremely bad about doing this behind your back. But it was out of necessity. Honestly, how do you think you would have reacted if he just told you one day that he was with the Rats of NIMH? I just don’t see you, or anyone for that matter, understanding."
Mrs. Brisby-"Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I would have understood."
Justin-"Jonathan wasn’t the only one with family on the outside. There are three others, who’ve hardly been down there at all since this happened."
Mrs. Brisby-"Wow. This is the last thing I ever thought Jonathan could have been hiding from me. I’m still not sure how to even handle it."
Justin-"Just keep handling it how you are, you’re doing great."
Mrs. Brisby-"So how did you end up in all of this? You don’t look much older than 25."
Justin-"I’m 24. I’d rather not talk about how I ended up here. You and Jon were both the same age weren’t you?"
Mrs. Brisby-"We’re both, or we were both 29. Huh, what a mid-life crisis to have at 29. Why are you here Justin, I’m curious?"
Justin(voice a little shaky)-"I don’t want to talk about it, all right?"
Mrs. Brisby-"Ok. Sorry."
Mrs. Brisby could just barely see Justin’s face in the light of the stars. The corners of his mouth seemed to be curving down and quivering, like he was about to start bawling. What nerve did she just strike on Justin? Then she thought about Nicodemus’ and Mr. Ages’ pasts that she had just learned. Was Justin hiding some dark incident in his past too? Whatever it was couldn’t have been that long ago because he was pretty young. Were all the Rats hiding something? Mrs. Brisby was so curious about all of them now. But she figured she better keep her attention on her current problems.
Mrs. Brisby(holds his arm and moves close)-"I’m sorry Justin. You gonna be ok? I, I didn’t mean to be so nosy. You can tell me another time, all right?"
Justin(rubs his right eye)-"Sniff…. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine."
Mrs. Brisby rubbed Justin’s back with her right hand. She was feeling a strange magic attraction toward him. She couldn’t understand it, she was not even close to being over Jonathan, and wouldn’t be for a long time. Justin just seemed to do something for her, besides turn her on. They walked rather silent for the next mile or so back to the parking lot. Mrs. Brisby’s car was the only one there. The mud on her had pretty much dried. So she brushed as much off as she could.
Justin-"Meet me here tomorrow at dusk."
Mrs. Brisby-"Ok. Thanks for everything Justin. Oh God I must be crazy for doing this."
Justin-"Ha, ha! Yes, you are."
Mrs. Brisby-"Goodbye! I must be crazy!"
She started her car up. Negotiated a U-turn in the small parking area and drove off. Justin waved goodbye to her and started back to the cave. Mrs. Brisby was wide awake and almost high on excitement on her drive home. She wasn’t exactly happy and she was very confused about what to feel, but such an interesting experience left her deep in thought. The Rats of NIMH, what an interesting group of people, and Jonathan had been with them all this time. Mrs. Brisby was thinking about all the times Jonathan had called her to say he’d be late getting home, that he’d been diverted for a new pickup or something. Many of those times he must have been with the Rats of NIMH. Now it was making even more sense to her. Jonathan was a trucker, what better person to have their eye on police activity. He was often out all hours of the night, and he could even coordinate his routs to what the Rats were doing. Mrs. Brisby was so impressed, she was getting a big smile on her face thinking about Jonathan driving his truck, listening to a police scanner, talking on his radio to other truckers, and talking on a citizen’s band radio to the Rats all at once. Her thoughts of Jonathan were suddenly broken by a loud horn and headlights in front of her. "GASP! Oh shit!" she yelled as she swerved to miss an oncoming car. Mrs. Brisby was getting so deep in thought she had started to veer into the oncoming lane. Back in touch with reality, she thought of Jonathan’s death. She almost reenacted it, and she saved her deep thoughts for when she got home and went to sleep.
That night, she had a wild dream about herself being captured and locked in a tower by an evil king who resembled her father. Jonathan, dressed in Rats of NIMH uniform and carrying a sword, came to her rescue. He fought the evil king in a tremendous sword fight, and was victorious in the end. She ran up to him and they locked together in a French kissing embrace. Jonathan carried her out of the castle and into the nearby forest where the dream took to a very nice lovemaking conclusion.
Mrs. Brisby woke up Thursday morning from a good long sleep. She heard Nintendo down in the living room, but the time was 9:24, Martin and Teresa were at school. She walked into Timmy and Martin’s room to find him out of bed. He was downstairs playing Nintendo. As she started downstairs, Cynthia came walking out of the living room and looked up at her.
Cynthia(enthusiastically)-"Mommy! Timmy’s better!"
Mrs. Brisby-"I see that Cynthia, that’s wonderful."
Timmy(quietly)-"Hi Mom. Can I have breakfast?"
Mrs. Brisby-"Timmy, you’re supposed to stay in bed."
Timmy-"I wanted to play Nintendo."
Mrs. Brisby-"Well you don’t want to get sicker. Let me get you a blanket."
The medicine that Mr. Ages gave her was working well with bringing Timmy’s fever down. But his voice was still very raspy and he was coughing constantly. He had just enough strength and energy to get out of bed. After getting Timmy a blanket, Mrs. Brisby made Timmy, Cynthia, and herself breakfast, the three of them sat on the couch and played video games. At two, Cynthia couldn’t exactly handle Nintendo controls very well, but she enjoyed watching the others play. Mrs. Brisby and Tim took turns at Super Mario Brothers. The Nintendo had been a recent Christmas present to the family from Jonathan. She was thinking about the night to come, what exactly would she be doing? She was going to be helping the Rats of NIMH relocate somehow. But after they relocate, what about her? How are they going to help her relocate? Mrs. Brisby was getting rather confused. She doesn’t have anywhere to go, she doesn’t have enough money to move, and she’d need to sell their house first to get any. She started getting worried and depressed, loosing enthusiasm in her game. It was getting obvious in her face.
Timmy-"Mom, are you ok? You look like you’re getting sad. I miss Dad too."
Mrs. Brisby-"Oh, I’m just not sure what we’re going to do. I think we need to move."
Timmy-"You mean, leave Thorn Valley and go to another city?"
Mrs. Brisby-"Yes Timmy."
Cynthia-"Will Daddy be there?"
Mrs. Brisby(mouth curves down, tears well up in eyes)-"No honey, he’s gone. I, I wish he would be."
Timmy-"Don’t cry Mom, it’s gonna be ok."
Mrs. Brisby put her head on Timmy’s chest and began to cry. Timmy put his arms around his mother and Cynthia hugged her from behind. Mrs. Brisby sniffled and whimpered for about ten minutes. As she began to calm down, she suddenly lifted her head up and looked at Timmy, then looked at her new bracelet, "GASP! Wait! Pocket change!" She suddenly remembered the letter. She jumped up and raced down to the basement. Timmy and Cynthia followed quickly. There was only one cupboard in the basement that wasn’t part of the house. Mrs. Brisby moved it aside. There was one brick that had obviously been removed from the wall before, it was also an inch shorter, giving room for a hand to be put back behind it. Mrs. Brisby pulled it out of the wall. There was a small metal box sitting a space hallowed out of the ground. She grabbed it and opened it. It was full of money and there was a note on top.
The note read:
Dear Loving Family,
Please use this wisely until you can get back on your feet. I’ve been adding to it since we got married in 1976 for something like this. Hopefully you’re finding this much later than sooner. Best of luck to you all. I love you.
Timmy-"Whoa! Look at all the money!"
Mrs. Brisby-"Good God Jonathan! You knew how to think ahead."
Timmy-"How much is there Mom?"
Mrs. Brisby-"I don’t know. Here, help me count it."
There were 100, 50, and 20 dollar bills in the box. It took Mrs. Brisby and Timmy ten minutes to count all of it. $46,980 in cash. Jonathan had been adding whatever money he could to it for the last eleven years. But with herself and four children to take care of, Mrs. Brisby knew that this would only last a little over two years, and that’s stretching it. Maybe three with what’s in the bank. This was still a tremendous relief. Mrs. Brisby could now concentrate on letting the kids finish the school year, selling her house, and not rush into moving.
Mrs. Brisby was quite a bit happier for the rest of the day. With the sun shining, and the temperature in the high sixties, she went on a walk with Cynthia and Timmy. There was a light southerly breeze that was warm and humid, making it very comfortable for shorts and T-shirts. Mrs. Brisby insisted that Timmy wear a jacket and pants. Timmy lead the way, walking slowly. He couldn’t enjoy the smell of the warm day because his nose was stuffed beyond belief. He was also a little short of breath. They walked around their block, maybe 2/3 of a mile. Timmy was completely beat when they got back, his head was also floating a little, so he went right to sleep. Mrs. Brisby also crashed on the couch with Cynthia.
After a quiet day of relaxation and contemplation, Mrs. Brisby’s piece and quiet was broken by Martin and Teresa coming home from school. Martin had Teresa laughing hysterically about something. Except for Mrs. Brisby and Timmy, the Brisby family all shared a loud and almost obnoxious laugh that could easily be heard across a large room, especially Teresa. It was not uncommon for Jonathan to get everyone laughing in a restaurant, the end result would be everyone staring and occasionally pointing. Mrs. Brisby just gave Teresa and Martin a funny look.
Martin-"I don’t know what she’s laughing about. I think she just needs a lobotomy. Huh, huh. It wasn’t that funny Teresa!"
Teresa(barely able to talk)-"Ye-, ye-, yes it was!"
Mrs. Brisby(starting to laugh herself)-"What did you say Martin?"
Teresa-"It wasn’t what he said, it’s what he did."
Martin-"Billy was talking about cow-tipping. So I pretended I was a cow and I told him to tip me. But I picked all this mud up in my hands, and-"
Teresa-"Then he makes this really funny retarded cow sound and he crosses his eyes! Then he drops the mud from behind like he’s pooping and makes this, pbpbpbpbssfft sound!"
Martin-"No Teresa, it was *strange Martin Brisby sound that only he can do*!"
Now Mrs. Brisby starts giggling. Teresa starts all over again and Cynthia joins in. Teresa is on the floor clenching her gut. "Oh God shut up Martin or I’m gonna pee on my dress!" Martin just threw up his hands and walked into the kitchen, leaving his mother giggling, and Cynthia and Teresa in hysterical heaps on the floor. Martin was definitely making up for his father. When they all calmed down. Mrs. Brisby sat down with Teresa and Martin, and told them about her discovery that morning, and that they were going to move. Neither really understood her reasoning behind it. So Mrs. Brisby figured she better tell her two oldest children everything. She told them about Jonathan being with the Rats of NIMH and what he did. She told them about the police coming over the other morning and that they should just leave and begin somewhere else. Martin took it more or less with interest and excitement about the idea of moving somewhere. Teresa was more apprehensive.
Martin-"Wow! I can’t believe that Dad was with them! Did he ever kill anybody?"
Mrs. Brisby-"GASP No! He just watched the police Martin."
Teresa-"But, about moving Mother. Where are we going? I, I don’t want to leave Thorn Valley."
Mrs. Brisby-"I don’t either Teresa, but we can’t stay here."
Teresa(some sadness in her voice)-"Oh."
Mrs. Brisby-"Now Martin, Teresa. You gotta promise that you won’t tell anyone this. Never."
Both kids could see the seriousness in their mother’s eyes and promised. Mrs. Brisby went on to tell them what she was going to do later that night. Aunti Shrew would watch over them and they couldn’t tell her where she really was. Martin and Teresa’s eyes went from interest to worry. The coming night was going to be suspenseful for them.
Aunti Shrew showed up about 5:30. Mrs. Brisby hated lying, so she just wasn’t specific about where she was going. She told Aunti Shrew that she might not be back until much later, and feel free to sleep in her bed if she got tired. Mrs. Brisby went in to say goodbye to Timmy, then kissed the rest of the kids goodbye. She never saw so much worry in Teresa and Martin’s eyes. As she was walking out the door, she turned back to wave. Teresa and Martin were standing in the middle of the floor with big worried eyes, Teresa looked like she was about to loose it. This was going to be a nice relaxing evening for Aunti Shrew.
Mrs. Brisby’s heart was thumping with anxiety as she drove toward the trailhead. Everything would turn out fine, right? She was hoping. She still wasn’t sure what she was getting into. When she pulled into the trailhead parking, Justin was nowhere to be found. Mrs. Brisby was the only one there. The evening was dead silent, warm, and moist. All Mrs. Brisby could hear was the river and the bugs. The sky to the west was filling with storm clouds and putting on a spectacular light show. The silence was quickly broken by Justin running down the trail. He smiled and waved to Mrs. Brisby.
Justin(a little out of breath)-"Wheeew! Sorry I’m late. How long have you been here?"
Mrs. Brisby-"Oh. I just got here. Uh, I guess I’m driving?"
The two of them got in Mrs. Brisby’s car. Justin was carrying a small backpack. He opened it up to reveal a police scanner and two hand-held citizen band radios. As Mrs. Brisby was driving, she started asking questions.
Mrs. Brisby-"Ok Justin. What is going on tonight? What exactly am I going to be doing?"
Justin-"We’re all leaving tonight. There’s a warehouse down near the airport where we keep a few cars and a big truck. Everyone is supposed to meet there at 7 o’clock. We’re gonna all pile in the cars and fill the truck with whatever we can, and get out of here. Since we’re out and about, we need someone keep tabs on what the police are doing. That’s what you’re gonna do."
Mrs. Brisby-"But what about me? Nicodemus said that you were all going to help me move."
Justin-"I’m getting to that. The truck belongs to Evan and he lives here in Thorn Valley with his family. So he’ll be back in a week. The earliest he can move you is the beginning of May. I hope that’s all right."
Mrs. Brisby-"Actually, that’s perfect. I’m gonna have to figure out where I want to move to though."
Justin(smiling)-"Um, Evan is in real estate. He’s gonna help you with that too. Told you Mrs. Briz, we got you taken care of. Jonathan didn’t hang around with idiots."
Mrs. Brisby(looks at Justin and smiles)-"Oh Justin! You guys are doing all this for me. I’m going to have to do something for you, all of you."
Justin-"Don’t worry about it. It’s our pleasure, anything for a fellow Rat of NIMH’s wife. Or should I say, Mouse of NIMH?"
Mrs. Brisby just smiled and giggled a little. They drove into town and went by the police station. Justin pointed out a parking lot across from the police station where Mrs. Brisby could park. The way the lights in the area were set up, she could park behind some bright lights facing the police station. A place where they couldn’t see her unless they really tried. Justin also pointed out a telephone box that she would be parking next to. He then pulled out a small speaker with a wire attached to it, and instructed Mrs. Brisby to splice it with a loose wire in the phone box marked "RON". She was starting to feel like an agent from Mission Impossible. They headed out of town toward Thorn Valley Airport. Just west of the airport, near some large grain silos, were some old warehouses for storing farm equipment. Evan had managed to rent one. As Mrs. Brisby and Justin meandered around the corner of Evan’s warehouse, nobody was there.
Justin-"Huh, I guess I’m the first one here…oh wait! No, there they are."
Mrs. Brisby-"Uh, Justin? Are you sure they won’t see me?"
Justin(getting out of the car)-"Yeah, you’ll be fine. Remember, if you hear anything about them heading over our way, tell me, and then just go home. You can do this Mrs. Brisby."
Mrs. Brisby(nervous)-"Oh, I know. I’m just…I sincerely hope everything works out for all of you."
Justin-"It will. See ya."
As Justin closed Mrs. Brisby’s door and waved, he could see the anxiety building in her eyes. He then went over to meet the Rats and wait for the rest of them. Mrs. Brisby was getting a little shaky as she drove back to town. Her hands were getting sweaty and she was having trouble holding the wheel. It was plenty dark when she got to her parking spot. She got out of the car, went to the phone box, and opened it. Sure enough, there was the loose wire. Mrs. Brisby looked around to see if anyone was looking, then wrapped the wires together. People’s voices started coming out of the little speaker. They were policemen’s voices. She thought about it for a second, she wasn’t listening to a phone conversation because she could hear multiple people talking at once and the voices had echoes. The Rats had actually managed to bug the police station’s main office. The police were currently talking about bowling. With this done, Mrs. Brisby turned on the scanner and the ham radio. The occasional voices on the scanner were also just friendly conversation between patrolmen and the dispatcher. She figured she’d call Justin.
Mrs. Brisby(on the radio)-"Justin, can you hear me?"
Justin-"Loud and clear Mrs. Brisby. Everything ok?"
Mrs. Brisby-"I guess so. Nothing at all is happening."
Justin-"Good. That’s usually how it is, that’s the way we like it. Check in about every ten minutes. Got that?"
Mrs. Brisby-"Uh, yeah. Um, ten four. Over and out."
Back at the warehouse the Rats all broke out in laughter, including Nicodemus. Unfortunately, the laughter would be short lived. All the Rats were there except for Jenner and Sullivan. Nicodemus preceded to undo the combination lock on the large metal door. After that, he used a key to turn the switch that allowed power to go to the door control box. He pressed the ‘up’ button and the large metal garage like door started slowly raising.
Justin-"Where are Jenner and Sullivan?"
Mike-"I think they decided to stay back at the cave and pout for a while."
Jenner and Sullivan were in fact just behind the warehouse near the main power wires going into it. Sullivan had his sword drawn. Jenner was peering through a separation between the two pieces of sheet metal walls at the corner. He could see exactly where Nicodemus was standing. Sullivan was having serious second thoughts about what they were going to do.
Jenner-"Hu, hu, hu. Nicodemus is raising the door, and standing right under it. Perfect!"
Sullivan(Almost pleading)-"Oh Jenner!"
Jenner-"When I say now, you cut that wire tube."
Sullivan-"I can’t do it. I….UGHHH!"
Quicker than Sullivan could begin his next sentence, Jenner unsheathed his serrated edge sword and held it to Sullivan’s neck. "Don’t even think about backing out of this my friend, you’re in this up to your neck!" Jenner went back to looking. Now looked like the perfect time. "Ready with the knife? Cut it now!", Jenner said in a loud whisper. Sullivan just lowered his sword and managed a faint "I..". Jenner glared back at him, "cut you son of a bitch!….awwww dammit!" Jenner swung his sword and cut through the wire pipe like a hot knife through butter. There was a pop and sparks shot out of the severed wires. The raising door came to a halt. Nicodemus just looked up at it wondering what was wrong. The other Rats were just talking amongst each other about the move. The door started sliding back down quickly, being slowed down by the motor and gears. Nicodemus started fiddling with the buttons. When the motor’s safety pendulum kicked in, the falling door jerked for a quick second. Then, the old motor broke off its mounts, sending the door falling at full force. The Rats had barely enough time to grasp what was going on. The heavy metal door plowed into Nicodemus like he wasn’t even there with a soft metallic thud, but didn’t stop until striking the ground. Everyone screamed in terror. "OH MY GOD!"
The Rats worked frantically to lift the door and get Nicodemus out. Unfortunately, there was no hope for Nicodemus. The warehouse door had broke his neck and killed him instantly. Everyone gathered around his body and some started to cry. The sight of their beloved leader laying in a heap on the ground caused their previously cheerful spirits to turn to despair. Jenner came walking around the corner to put on his innocence show. "What happened here? Oh no, Nicodemus!", he said. Mike looked up at him and said, "Door came down on him." Sullivan was behind Jenner with a hand over his mouth, tears in his eyes, and shaking his head slowly. Jenner looked back at Sullivan and just gave him a viscous cold "don’t you say a thing" stare. It was beginning to rain. Mrs. Brisby’s voice came over the radio, "Justin, what’s going on?". Justin couldn’t tell her what was happening, it would only fuel her anxiety. So he improvised, "Uh, we’re having complications with the door." Justin just wanted to sit next to Nicodemus and bawl for a while, but knew things had to continue. Brendon, one of the youngest members, spoke first.
Brendon-"What are we gonna do Justin?"
Justin-"We’re going to lift that door and get out of here. There are enough of us here to lift it. We can still do this."
Evan-"I got an idea. Lift it enough so I can get under it. I’ll pull the truck forward. Then you lift the door so I can put the truck’s nose under it, that way we can drive all the cars out. Then, I guess some of you will have to stand on the hood to lift it over the top of the cab, and, you get the idea."
Justin-"All right, good idea. Let’s do it."
In the mean time, Mrs. Brisby was at her little spying post. Large raindrops were starting to hit the car. She’d been parked there for a half hour, and nothing interesting had happened. A policeman came out to smoke a cigarette in the night air. His presence made Mrs. Brisby a little nervous. The rhythmic sound of the rain was helping to calm her nerves. But there was suddenly a big flash of lightening, lighting the entire area up like daytime. The clap of thunder was quick and loud. At first Mrs. Brisby thought it was kind of neat how bright it got. But then realized that she would have been perfectly visible. She looked up at the policeman out front, who seemed to be eyeing her location. Mrs. Brisby got scared into a near panic.
Mrs. Brisby(calling Justin)-"Justin, there’s a cop out front, I think he sees me!"
Justin-"No, he can’t see you. You’re ok there."
Mrs. Brisby(near panic)-"There was this big flash of lightening that lit everything up! I swear he could see me, he’s looking this di…..ugh! Oh Justin! He’s looking right at me!"
Justin-"Mrs. Brisby?….Mrs. Brisby!"
Mrs. Brisby stricken with fright ducked down below the dash board and turned off the radio. She was waiting for the policeman to come walking over to her car. After two minutes, she peeked over the dash only to see him walking back inside. This was a tremendous relief. She felt a little stupid for making the call to Justin. She figured she’d better listen to the conversation after he went back inside.
Officer 1-"Gettin’ a little wet out there for ya?"
Officer 2-"Never too wet for a smoke. Never too hot, never too cold."
Officer 1-"Heh, heh, heh. Get a load of this guy chief, goes out in the FRESH air to smoke a cigarette. What’s this world commin’ to?"
Officer 2-"Well at least I don’t wash my doughnuts down with Jolt Cola."
Everyone in the room started laughing. "Yep, Thorn Valley’s finest." Mrs. Brisby thought to herself.
Chief-"Someone from BLM submitted a formal complaint about people consistently parking in the River Trail parking lot over night."
Officer 1-"Did you want one of us to go over and check it out? ‘Cause I think that the Regional Park Service is supposed to handle things like that."
Chief-"That’s not really what I was thinking. There is a lot of undeveloped land in that area. I’ve been thinking that it’s a good place to live, if you didn’t want anyone to bother you."
Officer 2-"You think someone is living back there, some old hippies or something?"
Chief-"Well, not hippies. I was thinking more like the Rats of NIMH."
Mrs. Brisby(thinking)-"OH NO!!"
Officer 2-"Sigh. Why don’t you just leave them alone Chief? You know most of this town doesn’t back you on busting them."
Chief(a little irritated)-"It’s not their place to run their own kind of justice. They are breaking the law!"
Officer 1-"Well I ain’t drivin’ out there. If they do live out there, they’ll probably lynch ya. Besides, it’s rainin’ and it’ll be muddy as hell."
Chief-"We’ll go out there tomorrow and look around."
Mrs. Brisby(thinking)-"The police! They’re gonna look for them. I gotta warn Justin!"
Officer 2-"You know, I think I saw someone parked across the street in that dark lot."
Mrs. Brisby(aloud to herself)-"That’s it! I’m outta here!"
Upon hearing the last line, Mrs. Brisby jumped out of her car, disconnected the little speaker, and closed the phone box. Her body was being pumped with adrenaline. She cranked her car over, threw it in reverse, and stepped on the gas. The car rolled back and slammed into a telephone poll. Mrs. Brisby pulled out of the parking lot as fast as she could. As she got away from the police station she turned on her headlights and headed for the warehouse.
Back at the warehouse, the tone amongst the Rats turned from sorrow to anxious. Justin couldn’t get a hold of Mrs. Brisby and was worried. The real reason was that Mrs. Brisby turned down the radio and forgot to turn it back up. So they had decided to work fast. But Jenner stepped in front of them.
Justin-"Jenner, what are you doing? We still need to get this done."
Jenner-"Not tonight. Look at everyone, they’re heartbroken. Let us return to the cave and give Nicodemus a proper burial. We’ll head to Washington when everyone calms down."
Brendon-"Maybe he’s right Justin. Let’s, let’s just go back to the cave."
Justin looked at Brendon, then back at Jenner and frowned. "No. We’re leaving tonight. Everyone, start working on that door and let’s get the truck and cars out." Justin said this while keeping stern eye contact with Jenner. Jenner was not happy and anger was starting to grow inside him. The door proved no match for eight full grown rats, they lifted it with no problem. Evan got underneath and into the truck while some friends held the door open. He started it up and pulled forward so the nose was under the door, and everyone let the door down onto the hood. The Rats of NIMH had four cars that they shared, a 1979 Lincoln Continental, 1984 Honda Civic, 1981 Dodge Aries, and a 1976 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. They all pulled the cars out. The second task was to take care of Nicodemus’ body. The Rats fit two large plastic trash bags over his upper and lower half, then wrapped him in a large blanket. Nicodemus’ body would have to be carried in the truck.
Just as the Rats got Nicodemus in the truck(still in the warehouse), Mrs. Brisby came tearing around the corner scaring everyone half to death. She noticed the door sitting on the truck’s hood, and some of the Rats just sitting next to the cars looking rather sad. She jumped out of her car and started yelling for Justin, then noticed Mr. Ages leaning up against the Aries with his hand over his eyes and rushed up to him.
Mrs. Brisby-"Oh Mr. Ages. What happened? Why are so many people just standing around?"
Mr. Ages(looked up with tears in his eyes)-"Nicodemus….is…..dead, *sniff*."
Mrs. Brisby(hand over her mouth)-"GASP. Oh no! How?"
Mr. Ages-"The door broke and fell on him."
Mrs. Brisby realized that’s why the truck was where it was. She put her arms around Mr. Ages as he wept, then quickly remembered her reason for driving here like a bat out of hell. She looked Mr. Ages straight in the eyes, "The police are gonna look for the cave tomorrow morning, you gotta tell them!" Mr. Ages just looked up at her with sad and surprised eyes. Why does Mr. Ages have to do it? Mrs. Brisby could tell them herself. Jenner was talking to a group of the Rats and almost convincing them to stay. Mrs. Brisby ran over to them and started telling them in a slightly jumpy voice.
Mrs. Brisby-"You’re all in great danger! I was listening to the police and they’re coming to find the cave!"
Mrs. Brisby-"Yes! So you gotta leave tonight or they’re gonna find you!"
Jenner-"Oh come on! Don’t listen to her!"
Arthur-"But what if it’s true? That crazy police chief wants us all in the electric chair!"
Jenner-"Don’t panic! This girl’s hysterical!"
Mrs. Brisby(to Jenner)-"No! You must believe me! Where’s Justin?"
Jenner-"Lies! Don’t listen to her!"
Mrs. Brisby-"Get out now! All of you!"
The rest of the Rats started heading into the warehouse, then Jenner became infuriated. "God dammit I’ve had enough of you!" he snarled to Mrs. Brisby. She wasn’t facing him, but she could hear him approach her. Then, in her left peripheral vision, she could see a quick movement, followed by an explosion of light. Jenner had struck Mrs. Brisby with the back of his right closed fist, sending her off her feet and landing almost ten feet away. She was barely conscious. Jenner pulled out his sword and walked over toward her and began examining her. Mrs. Brisby was quite attractive, and her laying there unconscious and completely helpless began fueling Jenner’s desires. She was only wearing a light dress from the warm weather that was wet from the rain, giving the profile of the body underneath. Jenner began running the cold steel tip of his sword up her bare thigh. The sword’s path continued up Mrs. Brisby’s inner thigh to raise her dress exposing her underpants. The evil grin on his face and bulge in his pants showed exactly what he wanted to do.
All the Rats were inside the warehouse except for Sullivan. He had decided to stay outside and watch Jenner. As soon as he struck Mrs. Brisby, Sullivan ran in and called for Justin. Justin came out just as Jenner was lifting Mrs. Brisby’s dress with his sword. He grabbed a two by four then ran over and pushed Jenner away from Mrs. Brisby. "Jenner, stop this! What are you doing?" he asked very firmly. Jenner’s grin turned to an angry frown. Jenner returned a very angry "Dammit Justin get out of my way!" Then pulled his sword on Justin, who blocked with the two by four. Jenner poked and prodded at Justin, who deflected with the two by four. Jenner then rushed Justin and knocked the two by four out of his hands, and with one swift pass of his sword, sliced a gash down Justin’s left shoulder. Justin backed away in fear for his life, but had to do something for Mrs. Brisby. Mrs. Brisby was becoming conscious. Her consciousness was accompanied with throbbing pain in her lebt cheek and head. Her head was spinning and she felt too dazed to get up, she managed to cry out a quiet "Justin?". Before she could see straight, Jenner was straddling her on all fours. Just as he reached for her top buttons to expose her chest, Mrs. Brisby opened her eyes wide. She let out a loud high pitched scream and started kicking. She landed a few good ones in Jenner’s groin, but he was able to pin her down. Justin ran up like a kicker at the Super Bowl and planted his foot in Jenner’s side, breaking two of his ribs and knocking him off Mrs. Brisby. Mrs. Brisby’s scream attracted the rest of the Rats. Mike grabbed Mrs. Brisby and dragged her away from the two.
Justin looked at Jenner, who returned a very evil angry glare. Jenner wanted to kill Justin, and that’s what he intended to do. Justin’s heart started pounding and fear began to take over, he was unarmed. At this time Jenner got to his feet and unsheathed his sword once more, then Sullivan came running out of the warehouse with Justin’s sword.
Like one of the Three Musketeers, Sullivan flung Justin’s sword in the air. Justin reached out and caught it like King Arthur catching the sword from the Lady of the Lake. Mrs. Brisby couldn’t believe her eyes. Sullivan must have flung that sword a good 40 feet, and Justin was able to catch it as it flew through the rainy night sky. The events that would follow would be unlike anything she, or even some of the Rats, had ever seen.
Jenner was between Sullivan and Justin, and upon seeing Sullivan’s action, he swung around. And with the words, "Fuckin’ traitor!", Jenner sliced an eight inch deep swath across the unarmed Sullivan’s belly. Jenner’s sword severed all Sullivan’s abdominal muscles and half of his intestines, leaving him in a bleeding heap on the ground. Upon seeing this, the Rats and Mrs. Brisby gasped in horror and shock. It was clearly obvious that Jenner was out of control, but no one wanted to go near him. Mrs. Brisby’s stomach began to turn as shock, fear, and anxiety took over. Her whole body was shaking and her only comfort was to hold Mr. Ages hand as she watched. Jenner stood there with a blood covered sword and an evil grin on his face, then he engaged Justin.
The two began sword fighting like a scene out of Camelot. Jenner outweighed Justin by a good eighty pounds and stood six inches taller. He also had every intention of killing Justin. Justin knew his best hope to beat Jenner was to outmaneuver him and keep his distance. If Jenner were to get a hold of Justin, he could easily break his neck. The two danced back and forth in the warehouse parking area as they fenced. Some of the Rats began cheering Justin on and backing him up with comments.
Mike-"Defend yourself Justin! He wants to kill you!"
Brendon-"C’mon man! Kick his ass! He’s big and slow!"
Skully-"Yeah, do some of that sword fightin’ shit you taught us!"
Justin’s face was that of fear, although his moves and confidence showed otherwise. Jenner’s face was that of anger and determination, he was on the offensive side. His swings and blocks seemed slow and clumsy, but they were backed by his strength. Justin was easily blocking all of Jenner’s attempts at taking his life, handling his sword like it was light as paper. Jenner was beginning to tire out and stopped swinging, so Justin lowered his guard, but Jenner continued to swiftly walk toward Justin, occasionally swinging at him. Justin had to continuously walk backwards to stay out of Jenner’s reach and keep an eye on him at the same time. The two started conversing with each other.
Justin-"What’s gotten into you Jenner? You’re completely out of control!"
Jenner(pissed off)-"You couldn’t live with things the way they are. I’m happy with what we have. I built it with Nicodemus, and now he wanted to change it too. I’m not about to leave what I spent my whole life working on."
Justin(very jumpy and angry)-"That doesn’t give you any reason to try and rape Mrs. Brisby! And you killed Sullivan too!! What the hell is wrong with you?!"
Jenner-"I was trying to protect the interests of the group. Nicodemus wanted to break us up."
Justin-"That’s bullshit! You were only protecting your own interests. You didn’t even think about the rest of us."
Jenner-"I’m only trying to keep us where we belong. Nicodemus wanted to end that. Well, he’s been dealt with. And now it’s your turn."
Justin(bursts into tears)-Wait….dealt wi…..You killed Nicodemus by cutting the power. Hoh Jenner, how could you..*sniff*….he was your friend. You son of a bitch!"
Tears started running down Justin’s face and his eyes filled with extreme anger. Stunned with the sudden depressing news, he let down his guard a little. Jenner saw a chance and raised his sword. Justin let out a quick *ulp* and managed to lift his sword to block Jenner’s strike. Jenner brought his sword straight down at Justin’s head. Justin’s block was enough to deflect Jenner’s sword away from his head, but the power behind the blow knocked Justin on the ground. Everyone’s mouths were hanging open at the sight of the battle. Mrs. Brisby was gripping Mr. Ages’ hand and shaking almost uncontrollably. She had another hand in front of her mouth and her teeth were clenched, she could feel the acid penetrating her lower esophagus. The falling spring rain kept her cool. Jenner continued to engage Justin, who was now on the ground blocking the standing Jenner’s attempts at his life.
Jenner made a quick stabbing motion toward Justin with his whole body. Justin deflected the sword, caught Jenner with his feet, and flung him over onto the ground. Justin was able to get back to his feet before Jenner and knew he had to end this. As Jenner rose to his feet and lifted his sword to swing at Justin, Justin lunged foreword. His sword pierced Jenner in his abdomen just below the left side of his ribcage. Jenner half screamed and half ‘acked’, then fell down on his knees as Justin removed his sword. Justin backed off as Jenner sat on his knees clenching his bleeding wound. Then dropped his sword and put his hand over his mouth as he looked at Jenner sitting there bleeding and groaning in pain. He turned to the rest of the Rats and Mrs. Brisby, who were dumbfounded by the event. Justin just stood there out of breath with tears running down his face. His eyes were bloodshot, the visible skin on his ears was bright red, and his whole body was shaking. He looked like he was about to have a complete nervous breakdown.
Justin-"Well…*sniff*… I guess we should get moving. Let’s pick up where we left off."
Mike-"Justin, are you all right? You should probably lay down."
Jenner was getting slowly to his feet. He just gave Justin, who had his back turned to him, and the group an evil look. He then picked up his sword and raised it with the intention of beheading Justin. Mrs. Brisby pointed and screamed. Arthur and Skully pulled out uzies, but Justin was between them and Jenner, so all they could do was kill Jenner after he killed Justin. Justin turned around to see Jenner with the sword all the way above his head ready to strike. Jenner was too far for Justin to rush him, and too close for Justin to run away in time. Justin just instinctively put up his hands to make what would be a futile block. Then Jenner suddenly jerked forward a little and let out a gasp. He dropped his sword and collapsed on the ground in front of Justin, with a large dagger in his back all the way up to the hilt. Everyone looked over to see Sullivan still barely alive. Sullivan looked at Jenner and quietly said, "Take that, you bastard." He then smiled at Justin right before collapsing in a pool of his own blood and gastrointestinal juices. Everyone went completely silent.
Justin put a hand over his mouth, "Oh……Sullivan.." he said quietly. He then sat on the ground and put his head between his knees, and began to weep. Mike and Brendon walked over to Justin to comfort him, he needed the shoulders to cry on. Mrs. Brisby was in tears also, largely due to the disturbing events that just took place, and out of fear for Justin. She managed to walk over to him, making sure not to look at the two dead bodies to her left. Mike and Brendon moved over to let Mrs. Brisby in. She put her arms around Justin and rested her head on his. Justin reached up and held one of her arms.
Mrs. Brisby-"Justin..*sniff*..you saved my life. Thank you……thank you."
Justin-"Oh God. This..*sniff*..this wasn’t supposed to happen."
Mrs. Brisby-"I’m sorry Justin."
Mike-"C’mon Justin. We gotta go man."
Mike, Brendon, and Mrs. Brisby helped Justin up. His ears went from dark pink to almost white and he broke out in a cold sweat, soaking his clothes and fur. He grew heavy, "I…I think I might pass out." They all stood still as Justin put his head forward and began to breath heavily to get more oxygen. His body suddenly tightened as he spewed his dinner all over the ground, his shoes, and the shoes of those who were holding him. The burning sent of Justin’s vomit penetrated Mrs. Brisby’s nose causing her, already very nauseous, to start heaving almost uncontrollably. Mrs. Brisby let go and ran over by her car. Since her stomach was empty, she only dry heaved some white froth. Rather embarrassed, she just sat up against her car on the side facing away from the group. She stayed there by herself listening to the Rats clean up the mess of the battle and load the truck up for moving.
Getting the truck all the way out proved to be rather tricky. Some of the Rats had to climb up on top of the truck to hold the door open as it drove out. This meant that they had to hold the door open and walk at the same time as Evan pulled the truck out. When the end of the truck came under the door, they weren’t sure what to do. The truck was way too high to pass the door to people below.
Brendon-"Whooooaaa! Evan, stop the truck!"
Brutus-"Anyone got any ideas?"
Skully-"Someone come up with somethin’ quick! This door’s fuckin’ heavy!"
Mike-"Ughhh. Well, maybe we should just drop it."
Skully-"That’s gonna make a shit load of noise."
Brendon-"What do you think we should do Justin?"
Justin-"What the hell. Just drop it."
Skully-"Man, you sure?"
Justin-"Yeah, we’re leaving anyway."
Mike-"All right, Evan? Move forward very slowly!"
Mike, Brutus, Brendon, and Skully held the door as long as they could, then let go of it. It crashed into the ground making a thundering boom. Justin put the pad lock on, and everyone jumped into the cars. Justin rode with Mrs. Brisby.
Neither Justin or Mrs. Brisby spoke for five minutes or so. Mrs. Brisby was still quite deep in thought about the fight she witnessed. It was unlike anything she had ever seen or will ever see again. It was macabre and disturbing, but very interesting. She was strangely relaxed, but still sick to her stomach. Justin was slightly different, he seemed to be now high strung. He also had this look in his eyes that terrified Mrs. Brisby. It looked like he was looking at something outside in the night that Mrs. Brisby couldn’t see. Something putrid, terrifying, disgusting and twisted that seemed to drain Justin of courage, sanity, and all hope. This look sent chills down Mrs. Brisby’s spin and caused the fur on the back of her neck to stand on end. She reached over and started rubbing Justin’s neck and left shoulder. He seemed to break away from his stare momentarily to look at Mrs. Brisby.
Mrs. Brisby-"Justin, are you ok? You’re scaring me."
Justin-"This wasn’t supposed to happen. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way damn it! Nicodemus, why Nicodemus? And Sullivan. Jenner. *Sniff*…too much death. Too much death!…….*sniff sniff*…it’s too much."
Justin rested his head against the passenger window and put his hands over his eyes. He started sobbing like a scared child having a nightmare that he can’t wake up from. Mrs. Brisby took her hand off his shoulder, put it in her mouth and lightly bit down on it. She started to cry quietly for Justin. He seemed to be suffering from an incomprehensible amount of emotional pain that went well beyond the recent events. Mrs. Brisby was certain that there was something very dark and horrible in his past.
Justin was able to calm down by the time they got to the trailhead parking. The truck and cars were already there. Mrs. Brisby and Justin got out of her car and stood in front of each other for a minute. A different kind of sadness was taking Mrs. Brisby’s heart. The Rats of NIMH were going to take complete care of her, and she seemed to have nothing to offer them in return. She also felt like they were her only friends in the world at the moment, and now they were leaving for good.
Justin-"Well Mrs. Brisby, thank you for your help. And thank you for being a friend too."
Mrs. Brisby-"So this is it? You guys are just gonna leave?"
Justin-"Yeah, we have to. Evan is going to call you when he gets back. We gotta drive straight through. Hopefully we can be out of here in two hours, maybe less."
Mrs. Brisby(runs up and hugs Justin)-"Ohhh Justin! Thanks for everything! I wish you didn’t have to go so fast. I feel like I’m gonna be all alone."
Justin(puts his arms around Mrs. Brisby)-"You won’t be alone. Unfortunately I can’t tell you where we’re going. But we’ll always know where you are. If you ever get in big trouble, you call Mr. Ages."
Mrs. Brisby-"Justin, take care of yourself ok? You’re a very special person."
Justin took Mrs. Brisby’s cheeks in both hands and kissed her softly on the forehead. He then started walking toward the trail. With teary eyes, Mrs. Brisby managed to wave and let out a loud by very shaky "Gubye Justin!..*sniff*." Justin turned and waved to her, then started jogging way. Mrs. Brisby burst into tears as she got back in her car. Justin was obviously very anxious to leave and Mrs. Brisby knew it well. She just wished she had more time to get to know him, and the rest of the Rats of NIMH. She slowly left the trailhead parking and headed home.
Mrs. Brisby cried on and off the whole drive home. It was almost midnight and everyone would hopefully be asleep at her house. She did not want her kids to see her in this condition. As she started down her street, she was able to suppress the tears for a moment. The house was dark and silent to Mrs. Brisby’s relief. Upon entering, the kids where obviously asleep and Aunti Shrew was asleep on the couch. Mrs. Brisby had told Aunti Shrew that she could have her bed, but was glad to see her on the couch. She headed upstairs as quietly as she could, avoiding the creaky spots, and closed her bedroom door behind her. Still holding back the tears, Mrs. Brisby went into her bathroom and stood silently in front of the mirror to look at herself. Her clothes were soaking wet and headfur a complete mess. Jenner’s blow had left her left cheek swollen and left eye more bloodshot than the other. The side of her face was still throbbing in pain and her heart was beating fast. Mrs. Brisby caught a familiar and rather nasty scent. She looked down at her shoes and noticed they were still caked with Justin’s vomit. Justin’s blood, from the wound inflicted by Jenner, was on her shirt from when she had hugged him. Mrs. Brisby just wanted to scream as loud as she could. She began frantically ripping off her clothes until she was naked and turned on the shower. She wanted to wash the evidence of the night’s events from herself. The shower felt good on her dirty fir and massaged her wound. After drying herself off, Mrs. Brisby looked in the mirror again. There was a definite improvement. The next thought in her mind was of Justin and the Rats. What were they doing at the moment? They were probably getting near done. Her thought of them brought another sudden surge of emotions. As she backed away from the mirror, still looking into it, she began crying and turned the bathroom light off.
Mrs. Brisby didn’t even bother putting sleep ware on. She just dove into bed completely naked and buried her face in her pillow. With the covers over her head and voice securely muffled by the pillow, Mrs. Brisby started screaming at the top of her lungs. The emotions were in full control and she was bawling into her pillow. A combination of missing Jonathan, feeling very alone and not in control, the night’s insane events, and her new and interesting friends that had to up and leave after a night of hell left her a wreck. As with many nights previously, emotional draining was the only way to get to sleep. Mrs. Brisby had a dream that night about a BBQ. It was a BBQ with Jonathan’s friends here at the house. Strangely, Jonathan wasn’t anywhere to be found. So she started asking his friends where he was. The people in the house weren’t the usual crowd of Jonathan’s trucking friends. The first person Mrs. Brisby asked, turned around and had the face of Brendon. He didn’t know where Jonathan was. The second person who turned around, was Mike, who also didn’t know. The person doing the cooking seemed to know what was going on, everyone was crowding around him asking him questions. Mrs. Brisby went up to him to ask about Jonathan. The rat turned around, it was Justin. He said, "Oh, I’m sorry. He doesn’t live here anymore. In fact, we need to go." At that, everyone at the house started leaving. The faces were those of the Rats of NIMH. Justin was the last one out the door, he turned at waved. Mrs. Brisby was left standing by herself. The dream gradually faded out.
Friday morning started with Martin and Teresa getting up a little after 6am. The first thing they did was go into their mother’s room to see if she made it back. Mrs. Brisby was sleeping like a log under her covers. Martin and Teresa were so relieved they hugged each other, then went over to their mother. Both sat down on her bed and nudged her to wake up. Mrs. Brisby’s hard sleep was broken, and the first thing she saw were Teresa and Martin’s faces. Teresa said, "Mother, what happened last night? Is everything okay?" Mrs. Brisby took a look around the room, like she was making sure she was home safe. Then she grabbed Martin and Teresa and hugged them as tight as she could.
Mrs. Brisby-"Oh Martin, Teresa!"
Martin-"We’re here Mom. You’re all right now. God, what did you do last night? Whoa Mom, you’re naked. Let me get you a shirt."
Teresa(with curious worried eyes)-"Is everything all right Mother. Oh my gosh! What happened to your face? What did you do?"
Mrs. Brisby-"I’ll tell you later. I, I don’t think I could right now Teresa."
Martin(returns with a long shirt)-"Here Mom. You don’t look that good."
Mrs. Brisby looked over toward the bathroom to see if the pile of bloody clothes and puked-on shoes where still there, like as if last night might have been a dream. Martin and Teresa looked over as well. Both let out gasps of shock at the pile of clothes. Teresa turned away immediately and hid her eyes against Martin’s shoulder. Martin put an arm around Teresa and continued looking with his mouth open. Mrs. Brisby put her arms around each of her two oldest kids, "Martin, Teresa. I’ll tell you what happened last night when you get home from school. I just, I just need to sit and think about things for a while. Okay?" she said. Martin and Teresa agreed. Mrs. Brisby laid in bed for three more hours staring at the ceiling. The one question that kept going through her mind was, "where are the Rats right now?" It had to have been at least five hours since they left. So they’re probably out of the state by now. The night before, Mrs. Brisby managed to get rid of a lot of emotional buildup. This morning she was calm, but still sad. But she knew life had to go on, so she pulled herself out of bed.
Despite the warm temperatures of the day and night before. The passing storm was preceding a cold front. The morning was clear, windy, and a chilly 37 degrees. Mrs. Brisby was delighted to see Aunti Shrew had made Timmy and Cynthia breakfast. She had also made sure Timmy was dressed warm. Aunti Shrew had made enough for the four of them, so everyone ate breakfast. When asked about her face, Mrs. Brisby said she tripped and fell while walking around in the dark last night. Again, she hated lying. But this was better than, "oh, this 7 foot monster of a rat back-handed me and then tried to rape me, but I’m fine now." Mrs. Brisby smiled at her possible reply she thought up.
Aunti Shrew-"You should be more careful. You might want to carry a flashlight with you in the car."
Mrs. Brisby smiled and laughed at her kids’ remarks. Timmy was known for making occasional funny comments, not as creative and crude as Martin’s, but humorous. Cynthia enjoyed copying her siblings.
Mrs. Brisby walked Aunti Shrew to the door and saw her off. The chilly breeze was very overpowering, but the morning was beautiful. While taking in the fresh air on her front porch, Mrs. Brisby looked down at her car. There was a huge ding in the rear fender from when she had floored it into the telephone pole by the police station. She went down to examine the ding. It was pretty bad, but only the fender was dented. As she stood back up and looked into the car, she noticed a discoloring of the seat. Mrs. Brisby went over and opened the passenger door, the left side of the seat was rather smeared with dried blood, Justin’s blood. It was from the injury to his left arm inflicted by Jenner. Mrs. Brisby closed her eyes and stood there for a few minutes thinking. The emotions tried to come back again. This time she suppressed them successfully. She figured she’d better clean up the mess.
After doing the deed, Mrs. Brisby came back in the house. Timmy and Cynthia were sitting on the couch. Timmy was reading Cynthia a story, and he seemed to be doing much better. She just stood for a second and watched them, then headed back up to her room to clean it up. While cleaning up her bathroom, Mrs. Brisby started thinking a lot about her kids. She was realizing that she should worry about the things she still had, and not dwell on the people that have left. She had to take care of herself and her kids. These thoughts helped Mrs. Brisby pull herself out of her rut over the course of the day. As the weekend went by, her experience with the Rats of NIMH grew suddenly distant. Their faces seemed to be pushed back into her long term memory. Although she told Teresa and Martin about her experience in detail, it was easier to muster. Another thought that was helping to push the Rats from her mind, was the fact that she would be moving very soon. What kind of new places and experiences would that bring to her? It was kind of scary. But she could take comfort in the fact that she wouldn’t be doing it alone. She would have her four best friends in the whole world at her side, Teresa, Martin, Timothy, and Cynthia.