The Debra Experiments - A Prequel to The Secret of NIMH

By Some Dude


Part 1

"Take it steady, nice and easy now."

The year was 1978, three years after the Vietnam War. Two mercenaries, who go by the nicknames of Hyu and Roy are out to infiltrate a facility in South Vietnam to extract a sort of red mineral. The briefing they were given was simple, get in, take a sample of the mineral, get out. With no questions asked, the two mercenaries set out. Their reward was a pardon for their existence and protection for them and their families.

Their extraction on the Cam Ranh Air Base by a huey had to be handled very carefully as the two mercenaries were of very small size. In fact, their extraction was done in a cage. The words were spoken by Darius VelJohnson talking to the helicopter pilot, and in fact the first words the two mercenaries heard since take off. The sedatives the mercenaries were given were strong, lasting 3 days.

Darius was also testing the com systems that were to be used on this mission. Having seen the two waking up from their rest, Darius bent down looking at the two caged ones between iron bars.

"I trust the com systems are functioning."

The two could only nod.

Darius then took out what looked to be two mechanical voice boxes and gave Hyu and Roy one each. After proceeding to swallow them the two spoke.

"Can you hear us?" Hyu said while attempting to gasp for breath.

"Testing!" Roy said, also gasping for breath.

"Good," said Darius. "We can finally understand each other without the need for pen and paper. Here's the deal my two rodent friends, I'm going to drive you two to the edge of the jungle, as far as the road takes us. After I set you two free, the camp you're looking for is located northwest from where I drop you off. From there on out, we contact via coms. After you extract the material, we'll set up a rendezvous point somewhere southeast of the camp. Considering you two will be in the jungle, you will need to be on the lookout for predators. I suspect you two won't cause any notice amongst the camp's inhabitants due to the fact that you're mice, but if you do, you're on your own. We disown you from the point on. Do you guys understand?"

Both mice nodded.

"My family and I don't deal much with humans, as you can understand, Mr. VelJohnson. To tell you the truth, after all we've been through with your kind, we just want peace." Roy said, still trying to make the words come out of his mouth.

Darius laughed, "First off, no need to be so formal Mr. William Brisby. Second off, I understand you desire peace, you have a wife and a child on the way. Not all of us are out to get you, Will. I certainly am not. I'm here to help. You agreed to this mission with no questions asked, though, and I do not care for people who go back on their word. I don't suppose you understand where you are or why you're doing this for us. Rest assured, you two will be remembered as heroes if you succeed, even if it's only by a few."

"I've spent the last couple of years a fugitive from humans. Scavenging and pilfering, always on the lookout. I just want you to promise, if we don't succeed, that you will let my wife and child go free of harm."

"I promise you, they will be released safely as agreed upon. What happens to them after the fact is not my responsibility, however."


Darius loaded up the Jeep with the two mice in the backseat. He loaded up a .44 Magnum pistol and concealed it underneath his plaid shirt. After starting the car, pulling down the parking brake, and putting his seatbelt on, he said, "I don't suppose you two have ever listened to music? Here, I'll put this lovely tune through the coms system."

The music that played was melancholy, but hopeful, mimicking the mood of the two mice:

Here's to you Nicola and Bart!

Rest forever here in our hearts!

The last and final moment is yours!

That agony is your triumph!

Part 2

"Promise me you'll come home, Will."

Will looked tired. After spending days training with Hyu and the humans, he could only muster a nod and a groan at first...

"Yes darling."



Anna, his dear wife, could only shake her head. "Look at yourself, my darling. Tired, anxious, upset....very different from the mouse I met over two years ago now." She sighed and sat down on the couch next to her husband, wrapping her arm around his waist.

Will sighed in return, but his discontent was short lived and his frown soon was replaced with a grin as the thoughts of their first days together came rushing into his mind...

It was by the creek in the woods. Anna was suprised when a raccoon cornered her, but then proceeded to welcome her to his demain. Will giggled at the memory. She was scared and confused and was sure that she was going to get eaten, but instead she was welcomed. Will then followed close behind the raccoon. Their eyes locked and Anna blushed a bright red on her cheeks.

"Now you seem cheery," Anna said with a smile. "What's so funny?"

"I was just thinking about when we first locked eyes together and seeing you blush like you did."

Anna giggled, "no dear, you were the one blushing and making goo-goo eyes at me. I was simply bewildered by the whole thing. What with a racoon cornering me by a log and a mouse following not far behind. I sensed conspiracy. When I saw that this was simply a prank on a young woman, I lightened up and said to the raccoon, 'my my, I see your guest here is your dinner tonight!'

Both had a laugh at the memory, and Will put his arm around his wife's waist.

"You know those blue eyes beguiled me," he began. "And the petite body, and the dainty hands and cheeks, and the snowy white fur....and...."

"My brains, dear? Certainly there's more to me than looks," she giggled.

"And," Will continued, "the brains, which I clearly got a first hand experience with your witty remark."

Anna kissed Will. "I guess all I saw was a grey dirty mouse with a black spot on his shoulder who clearly was in high regard among the creatures in the forest."

For the next couple of minutes, Anna and Will sat silently, lost in memories. Anna was running away from an abusive relationship and sought shelter in the woods near the farmers house. Anna was just going into heat, and was in the process of dating a fellow field mouse named Samuel, whom after just a few meetings began to become increasingly territorial and aggressive to Anna. Her parents had abandoned her after she was only 3 months old and thus she had to rely on her own instinct for survival.

Will never knew his parents, but knew he was different from the other creatures in the forest. He had better awareness, better knowledge, better adaptability, and he never seemed to age past a certain point. He remembers being taken in by the Great Owl, the caretaker of the forest, and in fact was to be eaten. The Owl, however, sensed something different about Will and allowed him to grow up.

The Owl was in fact the closest thing Will had to a father. Will was given the name 'Brisby', which meant "friend of the forest". He wasn't just given this title just because he was taken in by the Great Owl, but because he saved the forest from being burned to the ground. A group of humans came in and started an arson fire in the forest when it was dry by using molatovs. Will managed to warn of the impending fire to the other creatures and scare the humans away by creating a doll made out of sticks. The doll, which was about three feet long, was tied together using twigs, dead leaves, and string stolen from the warmer's wife that was used to create bedding for Will. Will used the doll as a sort of puppet. While on top of the trees, he dangled the doll down using his hands attached to the string that was attached to the doll. The doll scared the humans away, causing them to scream and run for their lives. The forest wasn't completely spared; when the farmer finally called for fire assistance, a good chunk of the forest was already burned down. The humans were caught and testified that a doll that was being held up by a creature in the woods. Their claim would eventually get to the hands of humans who would later preform their own search of the woods a year and a half later.

But before then, Will was of course remembered as a hero in the forest. His name was only known by Brisby when he met his wife, Anna. He would later be called William by Anna as she felt it suited him, or Will for short. When it was clear the two would be mated for life, they decided it would be best to stay in the forest. Little did they know that they would soon be captured by humans and Will would be identified as a son of the mice who escaped from their experimental chamber at NIMH. The mice were under a Phase One Clinical Trial conducted to increase the brain's capacity.

Will sighed at the memory of their capture, so emotional and life changing. They weren't harmed at all, but they both were in shock, Will in particular about the knowledge of his parents. They spent over a year together in the woods. Will was five years old at the time of capture, and Anna was two.

They were both living by the edge of the woods when Anna smelled a strange scent while Will was out looking for food. She then found herself trapped in a net. Scared, she cried for Will, who heard her cries for help and immediately tried to free her, when he was also captured. The two humans, Dr. Schultz and Darius VelJohnson, felt they hit the jackpot in recovering their lost experiment. And in fact, they were right.

Anna was given the same treatments as Will's parents while they were in captivity. He continued to cringe at the memory of his wife in great pain during the operation. They weren't harmed when captured, but after what happened with his wife, both felt the need to escape their captivity.

They did manage to escape during their feeding time one day through a tiny whole on the top of their cage. It was not a clean escape as they were caught by security cameras and pursued by security. They managed to make an escape for the city where they spent the next two years looking over their shoulders and savaging for food. They wanted to start a family, but doubted whether or not the baby will have a safe environment to live in. They certainly had those urges that mice have and fertile cycles. They were also still of course in love with each other, but they knew the responsibility that lies with raising a child, and as fugitives, they knew they wouldn't be safe for long.

With every human coming by their territory was a fear of being captured again. They eventually came upon a mouse whose nickname was Hyu while wandering to their next hideout. Hyu was in fact sent out to find them by Dr. Schultz. Hyu brought news that in return for helping the humans on an operation that was to be conducted after the great war in Vietnam, both he and the Brisbys will be free and safe. The details of the operation were vague, but both Anna and Will knew that they needed peace from humans more than anything in order to thrive.

Which brings them to this predicament, Will must succeed, both for his sake and his wife's sake. The pain, the training, and the sacrifice would all be worth it.

Anna sighed, and Will touched her shoulder. "Look Anna," he began, "I will return home to you. I couldn't bear the thought of leaving you alone, especially with the humans. Afterwards, we can think about starting a family..."

"Will....." Anna interrupted him.

"Yes?" Will said, quirking an eyebrow.

"I'm...I'm already with child. The way we were sleeping, it was an accident."

Anna cried and Will sat there stricken and pale.

When he shook himself out of it, he kissed his wife's forehead.

"How long?" Will asked.

"About two and a half weeks," Anna said, still sniffling.

The mice knew they had longer fertile cycles than normal mice. They both assumed it was around a month of gestation, which would mean the new child would be born in another two and a half weeks.

"Listen Anna, I need you to be strong here. This is a wonderful thing that's happening to us. Once this is all over with we can raise our child free from harm for as long as we like. The survival training I've been getting is more than sufficient enough for me to survive that jungle. If I can handle a bunch of humans, I can certainly handle whatever that jungle can throw at me. And of course, it will be a get in and get out sort of thing."

"Just....just promise me you'll come back, Will."

"I promise."

Part 3

The ride was nearing its conclusion.

During the ride, Will's mind was spiraling with the thoughts of his wife and unborn child, which included his and his wife's early days together. Thoughts of the future, the unknown, also crept into his mind.

It was a night just like this when we were stargazing out by the edge of the woods. Full moon, clear with stars out, nothing but the bugs and the calmness of our breathing, he thought.

In the woods where Will grew up in, there was the legend of the great Tarnelous, a combination of animal and god who was the watchful eye of the Earth from the sky above. The legend states that he separated the two halves of his heritage, animal and god, and gave the gods free will to reign as they please, but with the warning/exception that they must obey and respect the animals of the land and not look down on them, for it is they the gods must rely on. The animals in return for living with the gods, would have heighten senses and live without the emotional burden or responsiblity that the gods have.

Will can only remember bits and pieces of what happens next after Tarnelous let loose his creations. He knew that the 'gods' were actually humans, and that the animals were...well... the rest of creation. But he does remember that there was a rebellion of the 'gods' who would eventually crown themselves dominant over the animals against Tarnelous' wishes. In order to stop the arrogance of the people, Tarnelous would give both god and animal the curse of mortality as sort of an equalizer. For, as the legend states, if the curse of mortality were to be broken, chaos would ensue and the end of days would come for all.

The full moon, and Will remembers this part well, was Tarnelous' sign of peace, harmony, and love. A sign that says that while life may not be permanent, love, peace, and harmony are. it is those with the capacity to love, to bring peace, and find harmony within themselves that may find the key to immortality in the face of mortality. Therefore, the full moon is essentially an occasional reminder of this fact given by Tarnelous.

While both Will and Anna both find the legend hokey and outdated, even by standards of the forest, they knew that last part meant something, for it was the first night they had together stargazing that, whether coincidentally or not, featured a full moon.

Then there was the matter of the future. How can we live knowing we're different from any other creature on Earth? How will our child live knowing he or she is different from everything else? I will certainly love my child and Anna for the rest of my days, but we're different. We can't go on living like animals, but we can't live like humans either. We need a plan, a plan for a better future for all of us, one where we can live in peace, love each other, and find harmony.

He found himself laughing in spite of it all as he inadvertently quoted part of the legend of Tarnelous, albeit not quite worded correctly. It's hokey, but it does have a point, he thought.

"What's so funny?"

Will turned his head, the question came from Hyu.

"Oh, I was just thinking about....."

"I don't need a thinker, I need a doer. You follow my lead on this mission, you understand?" Hyu said sternly.

"No need for hostilities. The way I see it, we're both stuck in the same situation, so we might as well get along. But I will follow your lead."

Hyu chuckled, "I'm just pulling your leg, bud. The way I see it, we're both stuck in this smelly Jeep going in the middle of nowhere finding Lord knows what. I feel we have enough misery as is. I'm just glad we're out of the cage at least. Even if riding in a Jeep isn't exactly the most stable experience, at least I can be a little farther away from your smelly bum for awhile."

"Thanks?" Will said in response.

Hyu laughed, "two hyperinteligent mice sitting in a Jeep going to Vietnam on some sort of mission. What's next? Mutant turtles with ninja skills fighting crime in the city....HeeeeeeeHahaha!"

"Ninja skills?" Will asked.

"Ehhhhhhhh don't worry about it," Hyu said.

"You've never really told me about yourself, I mean we haven't really had the time through all that training. So I'm curious."

"My real name is Raul," Hyu began. "I was born in a lab. I was raised in a lab. I took a shit in the lab. I was taught stuff in the lab. I took another shit in the lab...."

"Are you trying to be funny?" Will asked.

"No, I'm being dead honest. If you were stuck in captivity without knowing the outside world as long as I have you'd have bottled up a lot of emotions. No, if anything I'm upset. There's no tangible benefit to me being here. I'm going back to the lab after this."

"I thought you were going to be free? As in let loose, like I am."

"And go where? Do what? Be in a circus? I wouldn't fit in with the outside world, bud. The humans would at least take care of me. Where are you going to go? What are you going to do? I'll tell you something, if you knew what was best for you and your family, you'd be staying in the lab too."

"And do what? Be alone and miserable like you are?"

Raul laughed, "no, the injections your family and I have gotten were only phase one. They plan to do the experiment again with a different formula and on more animals, more mice. I wouldn't be alone. Maybe one day we can all escape, as a group, and maybe overthrow the humans. We age slower, and I can tell that we can be smarter than them, obtain knowledge faster than they can. Whatever they want from this mission is important, if we stay in the lab, maybe we can ferret out the information they have and use this thing against them."

"Are you suggesting we're getting some sort of weapon?" Will asked. "This is a mineral, not a weapon. And how do you know you could get information on what we're getting?"

"They would like you to think that it's a mineral," Raul said. "This is a government operation, they don't need money, they want power. And they always keep the information inside their computer labs. Whatever this is they intend to study it, find out its usefulness. This is costing nothing for them. We're expendable, that's why they chose us for this mission. I'm telling you, you'd be safe and have a better future in the lab where we can stick together. They can and will find you if you chose to go out and live on your own. You don't need that kind of anxiety. Neither does your wife and kid."

"What I do with my family is my business, what you do with your life is your own."

There was a pause then, and Will could see that Raul was angry, but before he could comment on it, a voice came from the driver's seat.

"We're here!"

Part 4

"We're here!" Then a pause. "Will, hunny?"

Amanda was no stranger to Will's blackouts and hallucinations, but they did seem to get worse and are happening more frequently. This can't go on. They can't keep going on like this.

Worst of all, they happen in what seems to be a blink of an eye, yet the memories he remembers in fine detail happened in a span of weeks and months. Amanda would often cajole him to live in the moment and not worry about the past whenever he would even think towards those days...with her. "The answers you seek from your past are null and void," she would say. "The best we can do is live in the moment. Be fast and furious without stopping to contemplate how things came to be. All that matters now is us."

But is that all that mattered? Amanda tried her hardest to help Will overcome the hardships and heartaches of the past without discussing them, but Will needed answers.

It all happened so fast. The amnesia Will suffered drained and wrecked him. What was certain as that the mission didn't go as planned, Anna was out of his life, and the child whom he never met and the future he never had with her and their child proved too much for him to handle in the form of post traumatic stress.

I made a promise to Anna that I would return to her, he thought. Now I have to honor my promi--

"Will, hunny, we're home now. We have corn muffin we've scrounged up for dinner tonight."

Will met Amanda just after the events in Vietnam. Amanda was a sleak and slender mouse with tight hips. Quite attractive, in fact almost deviantly so. She came to him when he was alone and scared, that much was certain, and gave him comfort. Will's short term and long term memory was fuzzy to say the least, but he knew he could trust her because she was all he had left. The one thing that did trouble him, was that he could never remember the eye color of Amanda. He remembered everything else about her, but constantly forgot her eye color.

They sat in their home, an abandoned wooden shed, and started digging into the corn muffin. Amanda began to speak after swallowing a handful of muffin, "I'm here for you Will." She reached up and stroked his cheek.

Will sighed, "I know you are. You found me in a pit and dug me out of it. I can't afford to live alone."

"I'm sorry about what happened between you and Anna, Will, I am. I know you loved her, but she left you. She thought you were too changed and dangerous for her I presume."

Will paused in thought. It was almost hard to believe Anna would leave him as they seemed almost inseparable.

Will then got the courage to speak, "I think I'm the one who left her."

Amanda shook her head, "nonsense, that's what your depression wants you to think. You did no such thing. Your only crime was being your kind self."

Amanda then wrapped her arms around Will and kissed him deeply. When they broke out of the kiss, Will could see her eyes were blue and was beguiled yet again by them...

Will then kissed her back and Amanda smiled warmly and placed her hand around his hips and the other behind his head. The two shared a makeout session together, lasting 20 minutes before finishing dinner and heading for bed.


Will was asleep, or thought he was...

He woke up next to her, but she seemed different, almost too peaceful. Then he gasped, realizing who it was in bed next to him....


She stirred and awakened.

"Yes, dear?"

Her voice, it had seemed like an eternity since he had heard it. So calm and beautiful as if to come from the heavens.

"I had a dream...a nightmare. I had lost you and was with someone else..."

She sat up, hugged him and giggled, "You bet it was a nightmare if you were with someone else. You can't cheat on me, not even in your dreams!"

Will giggled back and kissed her.

A moment later a door opened and a voice came through...

"Mom? Dad?"

The mouse was a child. He had a black spot on his shoulder, just like Will, and one on his knee. He was also grey just like Will.

Will opened his eyes in amazement and his jaw was slacked open. If it weren't for the black spot on his knee, he would've been looking at a miniature version of himself.

Anna spoke first, "Jonathan, dear, what's wrong?"

"I can't sleep. You two were making all sorts of funny noises." He smiled at Will, "dad will you tuck me in?"

Will almost bursted into tears, but he composed himself, realizing that this is what he wanted, to be a father and a husband.

"You got it, son." He almost hesitated on the last word, but caught himself.


Jonathan's bedroom was filled with the string Will used to steal from the farm back in the old days. He could tell that Jonathan loved to play with it, and even nom on it, much to his pleasure.

As Jonathan got into bed, Will put the wool covers over him and kissed his son's forehead.

"Good night son," he said, smiling.

"Hey dad?"

"What is it, son?"

"Just remember to take it easy, take life nice and slow and steady."

Will could only laugh at such an intricate remark from his young son, "yes my son, you got it." He kissed his son on the forehead once again before departing.

Part 5

Will woke up first.

He got out of bed quickly and looked over to the side of the bed.


The mouse on the other side of the bed stirred.

It was not Anna, it was Amanda.

"Were you expecting someone else?" She asked, frowning and shaking her head.

Will mumbled a bit, but before he could answer, Amanda spoke up, "forget it, Will. Just forget it. I suppose our love last night reminded you of her. I suppose that's to be expected..."

Will then shook his head and frowned.

"Why won't you tell me anything about my past, about what happened?" His tone got angrier, "am I some goddamn monster or something for wanting answers? You keep telling me to move on, but something is compelling me to look back. And instead of respecting that, you seem to take advantage of my pain t---"

"Oh, I take advantage of your pain, huh? Screw you Will. You want answers? She left you. SHE-LEFT-YOU. And it's your shitty attitude that likely did it. You wanna know why I took you in? You seemed like you were going to take your life because of what she did to you. She took away the family you wanted. The family you dreamed about last night..."

"Wait, how did you know....?" Will began...

"I know because you keep having that dream constantly and telling me about it. Every damn time. Your memory got screwed up ever since what happened in Vietnam. I think that blackout you had before we got home yesterday was so bad that it screwed up your short term memory. All these blackouts do."

She sighed, "I know you're in pain, Will." She got out of bed to stroke his cheek and he didn't prevent it.

Will then looked into her blue eyes, but resisted....

"I need to go and see Robert."

"I'm surprised you remember him," Amanda said. "If you plan to find answers from him about what happened, I assure you, he doesn't know any more than I do."

"I don't plan to go to him for answers....."

"...You want to go to him for medication," Amanda said smiling. "That's good. Hopefully he will help you with these blackouts."


Robert is a mouse living a mile or so away from the shed Amanda and Will lived in. Will's mind was not on the journey, but the destination.

Not much is known about Robert other than he is a mouse physician who maintained his own herbal gardens. Known by many as "the witch doctor", many animals kept away from him calling his practice "unnatural." Will wasn't there to ask his origins, though they were a mystery to him, he wanted to find something to stop these blackouts.

Robert's living arrangements were primitive to say the least, a cinderblock with weeds growing inside of it, with a slab of wood for a door.

Will knocked on the wooden plank and through the creaks he heard his voice.

"Come in!"


"Thanks for letting me come in on such a short notice," Will said.

"It's no bother, it gets quite lonely around here as you can imagine," Robert giggled.

They sat down on the sofa, made out of discarded mattress and Will began describing his blackout situation.

"Interesting...." Robert said after the explanation was finished.

"Can you help me?" Will asked.

"My boy, I can help you, but this is a demon you must face and defeat on your own..."

Will looked perplexed, but Robert continued....

"Sometimes our desires can effect us in ways we do not expect. It's desire that's rooted in selflessness, good desire, that you must achieve. Desire rooted in becoming something more than yourself, desire rooted in sensual pleasures, or the desire to terminate or harm yourself are all interconnected and the cause of your suffering. You must ask yourself what you desire and why you desire it. Sometimes we become clouded in our desires that sometimes we create demons, but if what you desire is founded in good, the demons become angels who will be your enlighteners."

Part 6

Will left Robert’s home at around sunset, the mile or so journey would see him getting back home by dark.

The words of Robert still ringed in his head. A demon? What demon? What does he mean by that? What does he mean by good desire? And what does this have to do with me?

He wished he asked Robert exactly what he meant, but didn’t. Why, he could not say. It might be due to the fact that he feels he will find out its true meaning eventually. Whatever the reason, he felt bad that he didn’t.

I came for answers to questions, I leave with more questions. Great.

He was around a quarter of the way home when he noticed the winds picking up a little bit and a rain drop hit his forehead. He started picking up the pace. A rumble of thunder pierced his ears and he decided it would be best to find shelter. The winds started picking up drastically, and he was fighting against them. The rain getting heavier, pushing him back further, until he was unable to fight back against it. Lightning struck a tree branch, which fell on Will. He began losing consciousness…


“….I ssss-saw what you did to him. And they call me a cold blooded animal.”

Will’s eyes opened to the sound of that oily voice. It was a cobra.

“Ju-sssssst what the humans do to each other. They kill in cold blood. I sssss-saw them change…thosssss-e eyesssss…thossssss-e red eyesssss.” The cobra shook his head. “Thosssss-e sssssssame red eyesssssss you wear now.”

Will looked down on the ground. It was covered in blood. He looked at his hands, also covered in blood. He gasped as his eyes traveled across the blood soaked floor to his Vietnam companion, Raul. He was dead in the middle of the floor.

On the other side of the wall were humans, some looked like soldiers, others looked like famished civilians. All of them are dead.

Will finally had the willpower to speak. “Where… I?”

The cobra smirked. “Don’t remember me? Mosssssst peculiar. I’ve been watching thessssse humansss for monthssssss. You ssssssssee? They ensssslaved the nativessss here. I ssssssaw them go mad. They ssssssaid they were left here to die and that the war issss over. They blinked in and out of consciousnesssss, sssssssaw things that do not exist. Eventually they went mad and killed each other. What a pity.” The cobra laughed.

“I don’t believe you answered my question,” Will said in a nervous tone. “Where exactly am I? And what happened to that mouse over there? Did…you kill him?”

The cobra slithered over to Will and he scooted back on the blood soaked floor.

“I’m not the one with blood on my hands you sssssssee? I lack ssssssuch an object of dessss-truction to get dirtied up.” The cobra laughed maniacally.

“I…..killed him?” Will felt a lump in his throat.

“Where do you think you are…..out of curioussssss-ity?”

Will cried, “I-I don’t know……”

“Perhapssssss I sssshould take you to sssssee her, the lady who managed to sssss-urvive.”

“Her?” Will asked, tears flowing from his cheeks.

“Ssssss-he will have the answers you sssssseek.”

Part 7

The cobra led Will through the camp. The buildings and huts were decayed and falling apart. Will figured out that this was Vietnam, though when and exactly where he was were still mysteries. He remembered that the camp was northwest from where he was dropped off and that was about all the briefing he got. He also remembered the com system, but refrained from using it for the time being. After all, he still lacked the red mineral and wanted to know more about this lady and see if she could help.

He was still puzzled about Raul. How….did I kill him? What will happen to me now? Suddenly he felt himself crying softly as to not attract the attention of the cobra.

He was led to a hut, this one strangely felt lived in. Smoke came out of the chimney and there was scurrying about inside.

“Why don’t you knock?” The cobra asked.

“I’m a mouse! How am I supposed to knock so that she could hear me?”

The cobra laughed, “Ssssssshe will hear you. Assssssss I ssssssssaid, I lack handssssss, thossss-e tools of desssstruction. Usssse that rock.” The cobra nodded his head towards a stone.

The stone was red. In fact there were many little fragments of red stone scattered all around the outside of the hut. Will’s eyes widened at the sight. Jackpot!

Will picked up a stone fragment, it glowed bright red, almost blinding Will. He felt calm, almost completely at ease while holding it. It almost felt it was communicating to him…

Nevertheless, he banged the door as hard as he could. It took three knocks before he heard a frail old voice say, “coming!”

The two animals stepped back as the door opened. An old lady dressed in old garments stood in the doorway. Her eyes…were glowing bright yellow.

Will stepped back even further at the sight. The old lady shook her head and said, “no need to be afraid. I knew it would come to this. I suppose they gave you a device so that you could communicate with humans? I have no envy of the task you were brought here to do, mouse. I suppose this cobra led you here?”

The cobra nodded and she continued…

“Well, no need to be shy. I assume you have no shortage of questions. Come inside.”


“I suppose I should introduce myself,” the old lady said. “My name is Debra. And yours?”

“W-will,” Will mustered to say in a nervous tone.

Debra sat in a chair, while Will remained on the ground. It was a 50 square foot hut with a fireplace and some furnishings.

“Why do you have a fireplace?” Will said, mustering enough courage to speak.

“I will tell you later,” Debra said with a grin. “First I should tell you a story. I would suppose you will understand it…as much as anyone could.”

“I started working at NIMH in 1949, when the facility was formally established. At first I was tasked with studying the brain’s capacity. Questions such as ‘how much could a human understand?’ and ‘could we better our senses?’ were the forefront of my research.”

“This was so that we could better fight mental illness, or so I was told. The purpose initially was we would study the brains capacity to see if we could heal various parts of the brain and cure illnesses such as schizophrenia, but my research took a turn for the worse…”

“I was tasked to make an injection based on my findings. It was just a mere year and some months after I started work at NIMH in June of 1950. The purpose of the project was classified so at the time I didn’t know its purpose other than it was contracted by the United States government.”

“It took me two weeks to make this complicated injection and I was given a pair of lab mice to test the injection on, a male and a female. Usually when conducting these experiments you have a constant and a variable, but here, I simply gave the same injection to both mice to see how they would react and communicate to each other.”

“Were those… parents?” Will asked.

“I would assume so,” Debra said. “It was a tragedy what happened to your father…”

“What happened to him?” Will asked.

Debra sighed, “the experiment was working well….too well. I was able to put a functional human brain into two mice. In fact, their brains were growing at a monstrous rate that they may be even smarter than humans. We didn’t know what they would be capable of. Eventually, to my dismay, I was forced to force breed the mice because my advisor wanted to see how they would reproduce. This government advisor was to watch over my every move. Naturally I was nervous about the whole situation…”

“My advisor eventually came to me with a different project using the same specimen. I was given a drug made by a different department at NIMH and was told to try it out on the male mouse only because the female was pregnant. I was very hesitant and asked my advisor what exactly was in this drug and what it was supposed to do. I was scolded at and was threatened imprisonment if I did not comply with his orders. I did what I was told and the results weren’t pretty…”

“Your father didn’t take well to the drug, which was apparently what the government wanted. He was violent and almost succeeded in killing your mother if I hadn’t intervened. His strength was tenfold what it normally would have been and his temper was just…constantly violent.”

“Your father eventually killed himself. He faded in and out if consciousness the day before he died and his eyes were bright red. Afterwards, I was tasked with killing your mother, but I couldn’t. This whole damn situation was my fault. I ended up freeing your mother and drove her out to the countryside.”

“Apparently my injection combined with the drug would create a kind of super soldier when given to humans, or so the government thought. The Korean War was going on at the time and it was the perfect opportunity to test this on humans. What resulted was Sinchon Massacre. The soldiers given the drug and the injection ended up killing civilians and going mad. The whole thing was covered up and deemed too dangerous to continue. That is until the Vietnam War came along…”

“But before then I was told to keep quiet about the whole operation, lest I be arrested for treason. The experiments were opened back up in 1969. Codenamed ‘The Debra Experiments’ named after yours truly. Some drafted soldiers were given a choice of guaranteed work after the war if they submitted to a rigorous program in which they would take injections and train under my command. Yes, I was given a call one day by the President of the United States himself to work with these soldiers to help control themselves so that they may be more combat effective. I agreed to a 10 million dollar share and was to be escorted by government agents to Camp David, Maryland where the president would monitor the progress. As much as I wanted to, I was too afraid to refuse. The experiment seemed to be working extremely well, as the soldiers were much more combat effective than humanly possible, able to carry 300 times their own body weight and ignore injury. There seemed to be no negative side effects whatsoever and they were deemed combat ready in just years of training.”

“It was 1975, the last days of the war, when the platoon, under the command of Sergeant Winfrey was eventually assigned to guard this village. I was to come along and report on their progress. Things were going well for a time as we got along with the villagers, but it didn’t last. The Viet Cong started spying on the village, which was independent from their cause. They attacked the village, and the soldiers were able to successfully push back the Viet Cong troops out of the area. It was the middle of April 1975, when the war was about to reach its conclusion that the troops started acting odd. They would blackout, go unconscious and recall events that never happened, people that don’t exist. I recorded this and sent it back to the government with the notion that they were unfit to continue to protect the village. My pleas fell on deaf ears for a long time, however.”

“I kept reporting my progress with the soldiers. They were growing more violent by the day, and I was afraid they would turn on each other. It took weeks for the government to respond back, and I was told that the war was over and that we would be on our way back home in three days time…”

“During all of this time, I made a friend with one of the local villagers. Her name was Phuong and she was a widow with three children. When things got really bad at the village, she was the one who remained calm. She was a gem cutter, more specifically of rubies, which her husband mined at Yen Bai. She said that the rubies were magical and the secret for her calmness and serenity. She specifically mentioned that it required courage of the heart, the ability to desire only what is needed and for selfless reasons, for the power that sleeps inside to work.”

“Of course I thought it was all nonsense, but it got even stranger…She cut a ruby so small and delicate that it could fit the hands of a mouse! She placed it in a small golden locket that shined brightly and carefully inscribed with a needle, in English no less, ‘You can unlock any door, if you only have the key.’ Of course I asked her why she did what she did and the answer I got was a story…”

“She saw a widow with four children who will one day show her true courage and save a people and her children through the power that sleeps through that stone. Her hands would be so small and the power so big as to burn her hands, but the feat she will accomplish would be so great as to be a miracle.”

“She told me that her fireplace, when a special powder is put in it, would show her images of the past, present, and future. I was and still am unable to see such events. I was told that only a few can…”

“She gave this amulet to me, in a small wooden box no less, to give to someone when the time seemed right….So as you can see Will, I have been expecting you.”

“So that explains why the fireplace is lit…”

Debra giggled, “no, I’m afraid it’s lit because even in the humidity of Vietnam, this old frail woman is still cold.”

“But…what happened to those soldiers? When did the government come in? And where is this Phuong now?”

“Help, as loosely as you would call it, came in a week instead of three days. A special unit of the US army was called in. Sergeant Winfrey mustered up the strength to greet them. He was ordered to gather up his men and form a single file horizontal line at the border of the village. What happened next was a massacre of US troops by US troops. The special unit basically was a special firing squad made specially to cover up US foreign conflicts.”

“The villagers heard the gunfire and started scrambling. Most did not escape and the ones that did are probably dead from starvation. During the chaos, I was with Phuong and her children. We were sleeping peacefully until we were warned of the coming attack from another villager. I begged Phuong to flee with her children, but she refused.”

“‘We must stand our ground,’ she said. ‘Grab the ruby!’”

“I did so. What compelled me, I have no idea. I would’ve fled myself if not for her. We hunkered down in this hut until the screaming stopped, which took around 15 minutes. Then they started searching…”

“It took around an hour for them to check our hut. One of the men grabbed Phuong by the ears and another took two of her children by the hair.”

“’Let them go!’ I shrieked and screamed.

“’Heyyyyyyy, it’s the chick HQ wanted to see!’ One of the men said. ”

“’Let them go! I will not say it again!’ I plead.”

“I was then kicked to the ground and screamed in pain. ‘I don’t take orders from you, lady,’ he said as he took a pistol out of his holster, cocked it, and aimed it at my head.”

“Just then the ruby in my pocket blinded the room with its radiance. Phuong’s oldest, Li, who managed not to get captured by the men, took the opportunity to kick the man in the shins giving me time to do whatever I did...”

“As by an unexplainable force, I was drawn to the ruby in my pocket and picked it up. I can’t explain what happened next because I do not remember exactly what I did, but I managed to make the soldiers flee amongst all the mess. I fell unconscious, and woke up in this hut, alone.”

“When I looked at my hands, I noticed that they were wrinkled and old, my hair was white…and my eyes were glowing yellow! I yelled for Phuong and her children, but got no answer. Eventually I just gave up. I don’t know where she went Will, and I miss her everyday. Somehow, I feel that we both have that much in common, Will, we miss someone.”

“W-why did your eyes become yellow and why did you age so rapidly?” Will asked.

“I…had a little bit of the drug or injection they gave to the soldiers in my bloodstream. I learned later on that they put small doses of it in their food, which I had a little bit of. Not enough to feel the effects of, though. This combined with the power of the stone is what caused me to become the way I am.”

“I eventually mustered up the strength to move the bodies into that one hut. By that I mean I used my new telekinesis power that was apparently granted to me by the stone…”

“Wait, the stone gave you that power too? What else can it do?” Will asked.

Debra shook her head, “I don’t know. I figure that anyone with the drug combined with the power of the amulet will have great power indeed at the cost of being weak physically.”

“Why do you think that is?”

“The drug was meant to give someone power, physical power, the amulet frees up that power and transforms it only if you have the courage to do what is right at the right time,” Debra began. “In exchange, it gives you power over your mind so that you will be free of bad desire.”

“I was meant to give this to you Will….” She pulled out the small wooden box containing the small amulet. “But I must ask you not to give it to NIMH or the government.”

“I must though, it’s the only way my family will be free from them.”

“Your family is now government property Will….Your children and their children are now the products of NIMH. I’m….sorry.”

“No...” Will cried. “I can’t let my son or wife be tortured and imprisoned by them. I have to do something…”

“..You can, Mr. William Brisby…you can surrender yourself and the red mineral to us as agreed upon.”

The voice came from the coms system, it was Darius VelJohnson.

Debra stood from her chair as the door of the hut flew open. In the doorway was Darius with a magnum drawn out.

“Debra Barnaby,” he began. “You are under arrest for treason of the United States government.”

“You can kill me,” she said. “But you won’t win. The stone only answers with those who are worthy of its power….and you are not worthy.”

“Okay, then,” he said.

Everything happened at once. Darius pulled the trigger and Debra fell to the ground. The cobra bit Darius’ leg causing him to lose balance and drop his magnum which fell towards Will. Will cocked the gun, aimed it at Darius’ head, and pulled the trigger with his little mouse hands. Darius, with a look of shock in his face, died instantly.

Will’s face was also in shock as he let go of the trigger, grabbed the stone from the fallen Debra, and fainted into unconsciousness…

Part 8

The wind blowing on Will’s face as he arose from the tree branch was cool and tense.

He managed to stay on two feet, but was still dizzy and damp from the rain. In the trees was the sunlight, which bathed him bright gold. He noticed a box lay in the mud next to him. He immediately scurried over to it and opened it.

There was nothing.

He heard an echo through the forest.

“Looking for this?”

He turned around and saw Amanda with an impish grin on her face and the stone in her hands. “I suppose it was predictable. Sad really…I’m sorry you had a rough life Will, I really am. I just can’t let you have toys like this.” She put the stone around her neck and turned it over. “Tsk. Tsk. No Zen riddle is going to save you now, I’m afraid. Not all doors are locked with keys. Some require brute force to open. That’s why they drugged you and chose me to make sure it got into the right hands.”

“Whatever you are, I made you. You don’t exist!” Will cried.

Amanda laughed, “You don’t remember me do you? You came crying to me in the city. You wanted some of that puss-ay. Your wife, what’s-her-name, ah yes, Anna, refused to give you what you wanted. You were constantly wanting to fuck someone. When going out for food gathering trips you would see me in heat and couldn’t resist. You were talking about your frustrations with me at first and I thought ‘what the hell does this dirtbag want with me?’, but soon you made it abundantly clear what you wanted from me. I was young and in heat after all. You kept talking about how she was constantly going too slow for you. You wanted the fast lane, and I was your bitch. I am your bitch.”

“Your words mean nothing,” Will said. “It’s not true. You know it and I know it…”

But Amanda continued, “I noticed something different about you. Your scent was off when we were…you know…doing it. So I investigated, well not so much investigated as he came to me, but I met your friend, Raul or some shit, and we came to an arrangement of sorts. I would get drugged and gain intelligence and life, in exchange, I would get the red mineral from you if the mission were to fail. He had some dream of overthrowing the humans or some stupid crap. Me? Personally all I wanted was the eternal life, I was afraid of dying. In a way Will, I have to thank you. You saved me and gave me a purpose.”

She looked at the stone again.

“It is quite pretty, unlike your wife apparently.”

“You know nothing about my wife…”

“I only know what you’ve told me, sure. You told me the only thing you liked about her was her looks. But I looked better than her in almost every way according to you. You’re quite the flatterer, Will. I would’ve liked to meet her, if only to rub in how what I gave you that she couldn’t.”

“My wife was everything to me. Her sole purpose was dedicated to me. I failed in realizing that. I understand that now. The Debra Experiments were made to give power, physical strength, to its recipients. The side effect was that they were to see what they did wrong, what they desired that they couldn’t have. It made me grow violent, careless, and forgetful. The blackouts were me fighting against it, showing me what I should have become that I didn’t. Instead of being loyal and loving to the one who loved me most, I set out for my own selfish desires. I wanted to have experiences I couldn’t have, I wanted to be someone else, and I wasn’t grateful. It tore me away from not only myself, but from Anna and what we could’ve accomplished together.”

“That’s quite the epiphany, Will. I suppose it’s too late for you. Not too late for me, however. I would love to see what this thing can do. I would hate to be rid of it just for it to be in human hands.”

The stone glowed in Amanda’s hands as she clutched it harder. A moment later her whole body was bright red. Her eyes, once blue, were also glowing red. Soon the forest was changing shape around them as all energy directed towards her. Limbs fell off of trees, forming around her and creating a vortex which was sucking her in.

“Please stop!” Will cried. “You’ll do nothing but harm yourself!”

The wind kicked up around them and the vortex of tree limbs dissipated around her. When the wind finally subsided, Will had a good look at the figure floating there. It was a mouse with white fur and blue stuck to a bed with a heavenly scent and open vagina…It was Anna.

“A-anna?!” Will cried in desperation.

The figure did not speak, but floated towards Will. Will fell to the ground in shock.

“Please…forgive me Anna. I love you. I would never want you to suffer for my selfishness…”

The stone floated towards Will, and he fell back even further as it glowed before him. A human lady showed her face in the stone.

“Hello, Will, my name is Phuong,” the lady said, smiling.

“Please help me, I must undo the wrong I have done.”

“Your heart is full of courage Will, you just have to know how to properly use it.”

Will, out of his own volition, grabbed the stone with both hands. It burned his hands a little bit and he threw it in the mud, but he was still captivated towards it and grabbed it again. His body glowed bright red and his eyes yellow. The area around him changing as the figure shined in bright yellow and red and screamed in agony. It disappeared and the force was strong enough to push Will to the nearest tree where he passed out once again…

Part 9

Will was asleep, or thought he was...

He woke up next to her, but she seemed different, almost too peaceful. Then he gasped, realizing who it was in bed next to him....


She stirred and awakened.

"Yes, dear?"

Her voice, it had seemed like an eternity since he had heard it. So calm and beautiful as if to come from the heavens.

"I had a dream...a nightmare. I had lost you and was with someone else..."

She sat up, hugged him and giggled, "You bet it was a nightmare if you were with someone else. You can't cheat on me, not even in your dreams!"

Will giggled back and kissed her.

A moment later a door opened and a voice came through...

"Mom? Dad?"

The mouse was a child. He had a black spot on his shoulder, just like Will, and one on his knee. He was also grey just like Will.

Will opened his eyes in amazement and his jaw was slacked open. If it weren't for the black spot on his knee, he would've been looking at a miniature version of himself.

Anna spoke first, "Jonathan, dear, what's wrong?"

"I can't sleep. You two were making all sorts of funny noises." He smiled at Will, "dad will you tuck me in?"

Will almost bursted into tears, but he composed himself, realizing that this is what he wanted, to be a father and a husband.

"You got it, son." He almost hesitated on the last word, but caught himself.


Jonathan's bedroom was filled with the string Will used to steal from the farm back in the old days. He could tell that Jonathan loved to play with it, and even nom on it, much to his pleasure.

As Jonathan got into bed, Will put the wool covers over him and kissed his son's forehead.

"Good night son," he said, smiling.

"Hey dad?"

"What is it, son?"

"Just remember to take it easy, take life nice and slow and steady."

Will could only laugh at such an intricate remark from his young son, "yes my son, you got it." He kissed his son on the forehead once again before departing.

”Oh, hey dad!” Jonathan exclaimed as Will was about to leave.

”Yes, son?” Will asked.

”Come closer!” Jonathan giggled.

Will did so, and Jonathan reached under his blanket and pulled out the stone.

”The lady in the stone…” Jonathan began. “She sleeps.”

Will nodded. “Yes, she does. It’s best not to disturb her.”

“I don’t think she can sleep in there forever,” Jonathan began. “Someone else will have to take her place someday!” Jonathan giggled.

”And I suppose you think it will be your old man?”

Jonathan laughed, “I think so!”

“I think someone else needs to get some sleep, young man!” Will began to tickle Jonathan and both were giggling on the bed, the stone bouncing up and down next to them.

Will noticed his hands, they were old and wrinkled. His eyes were also glowing yellow. This didn’t bother him as he tucked his son back in bed and pulled the covers back over him. He departed back to his own bed, where his wife was waiting…


Will creeped into his bedroom and tiptoed over to his wife. She was asleep on the bed, breathing steadily. He sighed, brushed his old hand against her snowy white fur and caressed her tail. She fluttered awake and smiled at him.

She reached up and stroked his cheek and he leaned down and did the same to her.

Suddenly his eyes were filled with tears, and before Anna could comment on it, he began to speak, “I-I’m sorry Anna, I made mistakes….” But Anna interrupted him.

“Will, my love, you went through more to help this relationship than I can ever hope for. It’s been a bumpy ride for us both, but you’ve shown me that you do care enough to man up to your mistakes and become a better person for it. You also came back to me, which is all I wanted.”

Wills tears of agony turned to tears of joy as the two came together for a kiss. They would both relish the moment as they lay back down into bed for sleep.

As Will began to sleep, he looked forward to many days with his family and his newfound courage to stand up to his errors and become better for it. Sometimes you just got to take life slow and appreciate what you have in front of you. That is the key that could be used to unlock any door, he thought as he drifted into sleep in his wife’s arms. His and his wife’s dreams were about their love and flying back to one another, getting to find peace with themselves and their son. This night being one in many in which they’ll share together.