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Cat and Mouse by Alara Rogers, Ermaq
Cat and Mouse by Alara Rogers, Ermaq
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n a small white room deep beneath Cross Karakoram base, Dr. Selina Marriochio turned to her aide, saying, "Yes. Now, administer the formula to subjects A03157 and R95272." The aide quickly opened up a mouse cage, and placed two small pieces of Swiss cheese in. One of the two white mice ran over and started nibbling at his cheese madly. The other, a smaller specimen with an oversized cranium, stayed where he was, staring out between the bars of the cage.

"One of them isn't taking the doctored food, Dr. Marriochio."

"That is to be expected. That mouse is extremely shy, and won't eat or demonstrate any experimentally-induced behaviors in front of observers. Come, let's close for the night."

They closed up the lab, turning the lights out behind them. After a moment, the smaller mouse turned to the other.

"Thank God, they're gone, Pinky," the Brain said. "Now we can continue with what we have to do tonight."

"Gee, Brain," the other mouse said, his mouth full of cheese, "what's that? Watch the late, late show? I think Wayne Newton is on tonight."

"No, Pinky. We are going to do the same thing we do every night; try to take over THE WORLD!"

 

The Brain paced around the cage. "This time, Pinky, I have the perfect scheme. This one is so amazing, I myself can hardly believe it. You see, we will start out small; we will take over the organization that will take over the world for us. And that organization is right under our fingertips. It is..."

"Oooh! I know! I know what the organization is!"

"Yes, Pinky?"

"The Psychic Friends Network?"

A moment later, Pinky got up somewhat dizzily, the marks of the Brain's fist still imprinted in the fur on his skull.

"No, Pinky," Brain said, regaining his composure. "Galactor. Coincidentally, where we are right now! Amazing, isn't it!"

"Yes, I suppose it is, now that you mention it!"

"Sarcasm is a wasted art in your presence, Pinky. And to take over Galactor, we must take over the person who rules Galactor. And that person is Berg Katse. So we must get to his quarters."

"Egad, Brain! Great plan.. wait, no, no, this place is full of guards! How are we going to get past them?"

"Pinky: the Guards are Big, We are Small. Understand?"

"Oh! I get it now! Sometimes, Brain, you astonish me!"

"Only sometimes? Now let's go. We haven't much time."

The Brain walked to the back of the cell, where he kept the doctored cheeses that Marriochio kept attempting to feed him. In preparation, he had previously whittled the oldest, and therefore hardest, of the cheeses into a key. "This key will open any door in Cross Karakorum Base, Pinky," he said, lifting it triumphantly. It was easily half his size.

"Oh, that's brilliant, Brain! Can I eat it when we're done with it? Can I? Narf!"

The Brain stared at his companion in some disbelief. "Pinky. This cheese is no longer edible to any known terrestrial life forms. It has, in fact, petrified."

"Well, you shouldn't have scared it, then!"

The Brain debated whether or not to hit Pinky again, and decided it would be a waste of valuable time. "Come, Pinky. World conquest awaits!"

 

After escaping from their cage, the two mice crept out of Marriochio's lab, laden down with supplies. The Brain carried the rock-cheese key; Pinky had rope, a rubber band, an eye dropper and a bottle of a purple liquid.

"Gee, Brain," Pinky said, as they scurried down the corridors, "do we really need all this stuff? I'm getting tired!"

"Yes, Pinky, we need it all." They came up to an elevator door. "Pinky," the Brain continued, "take this key, and shoot it at the up-arrow button with the rubber band." He handed him the key.

"All right, let me see." Pinky stuck the key in the rubber band, pulled it back. and with great care and precision, fired it at the button. The key hit the button, activating it, before finally landing on the Brain's head. The elevator opened up.

"Gee, Brain, I did it! I did it! I'm a regular William Tell, I am! Narf! Brain?" Pinky slowly turned around, finally facing the Brain, who had a pained look on his face and a red lump on his head.

"That was not part of my plan, Pinky."

"Brain, that thing on your head looks just like a big, red--- um, um..."

"Contusion?"

"No, a Smurf-berry-- Owch!" Pinky now had a lump on his head to match the Brain's.

BEEP!, the elevator said. Its doors started to close.

"Quickly, Pinky! We must catch that elevator!" They ran toward the door, as the doors continued to close.

"We're almost there, Brain! I think we can -- SPLOT!" The door closed on their heads. A second passed, with no one around to hear the muffled screams of two mangled mice. Then it started to rise. It went up one floor, and another, and another, and another...

Ten floors later, the doors opened, dropping them onto the floor.

"Actually, that wasn't so bad, Pinky," the Brain said. "Perhaps Lady Luck is on our side this tim-- SQUISH!" The two Galactors who had called the elevator up the ten floors stepped in, trampling, squashing, and generally mangling Pinky and the Brain.

"Okay, Bill, what floor do we want?" one Galactor said to the other.

"We have to go to Dr. Marriochio's lab, Fred. She says someone has stolen stuff from her lab."

"What stuff, Bill?"

"Uh... an eye-dropper, a rubber-band, uh, some rope, some new potion she's been making for Katse-sama, and, uh, some two little mices, Fred."

"Oh. Now what floor is that on, Bill?"

"Uh, I think it's floor nineteen, Fred," the other Galactor replied.

"Hmm. Which floor is floor nineteen, Bill?"

"Er, well, we're on floor 20 right now, Fred, so floor 19 would be, um, um, um.."

"I'll press this button, and maybe it'll be floor nineteen."

"Yes, Fred, that's a good idea. You should do it."

Fred the Galactor pressed the button for the first floor.

The elevator traveled downward, the two soldiers oblivious to the rodents they were treading upon. After it reached the first floor, the Galactors got off, leaving Pinky and the Brain alone in their anguish.

"Pinky," the Brain said, dazed.

"Yes, Brain?"

"Remember how I said that perhaps Lady Luck was on our side?"

"Yes, I think so...."

"It would appear I was mistaken." He took the rope from Pinky and, after tying it into a lasso, threw it up in the air, where it caught on the light fixture in the ceiling.

"Come, Pinky! We have to climb to the top of the elevator." They climbed up the rope, onto the light fixture, whereupon the Brain pulled up the rope after him. "Can't leave any evidence," he explained. "Now help me lift up this panel." They struggled to lift up the ceiling panel, climbing through to the top surface when it did open.

"Now we must climb up the elevator cable, until we reach the ventilation shaft on top." The Brain started to climb up, still talking. "Fortunately, Pinky, millions of years of evolution, along with the breeding practices foisted upon us by the humans in developing the ideal laboratory mouse, have provided us with the perfect tools for ascending this cable."

"Uh, Brain?" Pinky asked. The Brain, already two feet up, looked down. Pinky was still on top of the elevator. "Could you help me? I keep falling off."

"Unfortunately," the Brain said, "evolution has sadly shortchanged some of us."

 

They reached the top of the cable, jumping from it into an adjacent ventilation shaft. The Brain pulled out a map. "Now, Pinky, pay attention; this is the plan." He gestured to the map. "You see, Berg Katse's personal quarters aren't accessible from the section of Cross Karakoram we were previously in; we can only get into it from a certain ventilation shaft. This ventilation shaft. And here's the map for it. Once we are in Katse's room, we enter phase two. Katse will be sleeping, and we will climb up onto his bed," he picked up the bottle with the violet liquid in it, "and using this mind-control potion Dr. Marriochio graciously, if inadvertently, concocted for us, we will--"

"Ooh! I know! Pour it in his ear?"

"No, Pinky, we will-- Pinky! That's exactly what we're going to do!"

"It is?"

"Yes! Once it is in the ear canal, it will drip into his medulla oblongata, and it will make him susceptible to our slightest whimsy. And by controlling Katse, we will control THE WORLD! Now, let us go through this maze. According to my measurements, Katse's quarters are 25 feet south-southwest. If we hurry, we will make it there before breakfast."

 

Once they were through the ventilation maze, the Brain gently opened up the grille leading to Katse's room. He tied the rope to one of the screws, tugging it to make sure it was secure, before sliding down it. He landed on Katse's bed, next to the pillow. Pinky was still up in the shaft, trembling.

"Come along, Pinky! We haven't got all day!"

"I don't know, Brain! I'm afraid of heights!"

"Very well, Pinky, I'll tell you what to do. Untie the rope from the screw, and tie it firmly around your waist."

Pinky did this. "Alright Brain, now what?"

The Brain tugged the rope as hard as he could. Pinky fell, arms flailing, screaming at the top of his tiny mouse lungs, before landing. On the Brain's head. The Brain struggled out from under Pinky, rubbing his sore head.

"Perhaps," the Brain said, "that was not well thought out." They climbed onto Katse's head, making their way through the tangled blonde hair before the Brain said, "Stop, Pinky. According to my calculations, Katse's ear is directly in front of us." He shoved the hair away, revealing, as he predicted, Katse's ear. The Brain smiled as he filled the eyedropper with the purplish liquid. "At last, Pinky. We are so close to completing this plan, nothing can stop us. Nothing at all!"

NREEET! NREEET! NREEET! NREEET! An alarm bell rang. Katse jerked awake, knocking Pinky and the Brain off onto the floor.

"Except, perhaps, that," the Brain murmured sadly.

"Shit!" Katse shouted. "What the hell's going on out there? Damnit! And I was just having a great dream too; I had just cornered the market on root beer and was having it all stored in my wine cellar! Shucks!" He got up and started to dress.

"Pinky! We must get out of here! That alarm bell can mean only one thing--"

"The Ice Cream Truck just arrived?"

"No, Pinky. The Science Ninja Team Gatchaman must have arrived. We must escape." He looked up at the ventilation grate. "Drat! We can't make it back up through there. Hmm." He turned to watch Katse hastily put on his costume. A light bulb went off in his head. "Pinky," he said, inspired, "are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

Pinky paused, deep in thought. "Uh, I think so, Brain, but they already said there are no animalities!"

"No, Pinky! We will hide in Katse's outfit and escape with him! Once he is aboard his escape ship, we will have ample time to administer the mind control serum to him. Let's go!" They hurried along the floor, scurrying up Katse's cape and diving into his mask just before he put it on. They crawled into the earpieces of the mask and clung to the tips with all the strength in their teeny mouse bodies.

Katse rushed out of his room, tracking down the nearest Galactor, and frantically asked him, "What's going on here? What's wrong?"

"Sir, it is-- urrkk.........." The man collapsed into Katse's arms, a metal feather embedded in his neck. Katse dropped the man and hastily backed away.

A nearby voice announced, "Jittai o misezu ni shinobiyoru shiroi kage!"

As a tall human male in an outlandish bird suit revealed himself from the shadows, Pinky called to the Brain in the other ear, "Brain, what's that mean?"

The Brain, with his vast knowledge of foreign tongues, mentally translated it as, "We are the White Shadow that slips in unseen!" He called back, "It means he is being unnecessarily melodramatic, Pinky."

Katse, apparently deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, turned and ran-- straight into the fist of another man in a bird suit. As the fist connected with Katse's face, the equal, though opposite, reaction flung Pinky and the Brain from their perches in Katse's mask, into the nearest wall. They slid down the wall, and watched dazed as the two bird-suited men proceeded to make mincemeat of Katse.

The Brain spoke wearily. "Pinky, prudence suggests we find an alternative escape route."

"Right-o, Brain," Pinky said, equally dazed.

 

They scurried down the halls, running blind and zigzag right up until they hit a pair of shoes. Black, sensible, women's shoes. The black, sensible, women's shoes that belonged to Dr. Selina Marriochio.

She looked down at them. "Oh, my little mousies! I was so worried about you!" Before either mouse could escape, Marriochio scooped them up and pressed them firmly to her bosom. "Don't ever scare mommy like that again! Bad little mousies! Bad! But I still love you!" She kissed them both, big wet sloppy kisses on the tops of their heads.

Between onslaughts, Pinky turned to the Brain. "Ooh, I hate it when she gets mushy, Brain."

"I heartily concur, Pinky," the Brain replied, uncomfortably.

Selina, mice held securely, raced to one of Katse's hidden passages, ultimately winding up in an escape ship, already fully equipped with all her lab equipment. "Now we have to hurry, babies. The nasty Science Ninja Team are too occupied with Katse-sama to notice us right now, but we'd better leave before they realize."

She initiated the launch sequence. As the ship left Cross Karakoram, Selina walked over to the mouse cage, gently depositing her two 'mousies' into it. She looked at Pinky, frowning. "The damnedest things you mice get into," she said, taking the bottle of mind control fluid from Pinky. "Now, why would you mice want grape extract, anyway? You almost ruined my dessert!"

The Brain watched in astonishment as she poured the bottle's content into a blender full of ice cream and milk. She turned it on, and once it was fully mixed, poured the milkshake into a glass and began to drink it.

"Well, Pinky, perhaps Lady Luck was in our favor after all. Berg Katse would not react kindly to two mice pouring grape extract into his ear. He has killed for less. But enough about the past. We must now plan for tomorrow night."

"Why, Brain? What are we going to do tomorrow night?"

"The same thing we do every night, Pinky-- Try to take over THE WORLD!"

Chapter End Notes:

AJER-- This was all Ermaq's idea. Really it was.

Ermaq--Don't believe a word she says. She tied me down and forced me to be whimsical. But I will have vengeance yet!

AJER-- Ermaq, like Ken, obviously believes in being unnecessarily melodramatic.

Ermaq-To reiterate; I am good, Alara is bad. Bad people die. Any questions?

AJER-- Just one: on what planet, exactly, is 'Macro-head with a microbrain' funny?

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