The Mouseyville Horror
by Jennifer Lynn Weston
Opening Scene: Acme Labs after dark. P&tB, in their cage, are having a
harder then usual time getting out: someones put a combination lock on their door.
Brain is pressing an ear against the back of the lock, while Pinky has one arm stretched
to the front, turning the dial.)
Brain: Slowly, Pinky... Stop! Now turn it the other way.
Pinky: (complying, but with little enthusiasm) Tell me
again why were doing this?
Brain: So I can get to the lab equipment, to resume work
on my latest scheme for Global Domination.
Pinky: Oh, yes. We lure Meryl Streep to a movie shoot in
Four Corners, on that one day of maximum sunspot activity, and...
Brain: No, that was last weeks plot.
Pinky: Thats right! It fell apart when Meryl
decided she needed more time to perfect her Navajo accent. So now were going to try
to build some gizmo to reverse the polarity of the earths magnetic field, to throw
the worlds navigational systems into disarray. Or is it the one where we...?
Pinky: Its just that, once in a while, Id
like to spend a night in...
Brain: I meant stop turning! (Pinky stops) Its too
late now- well have to start all over!
Pinky: (abashed) Sorry, Brain.
Brain: (edgy) Never mind! Give the dial a double spin and
resume turning to the right. Only this time try to remember, when I say
Stop.... (sound of a car noisily coming to a halt, just outside) Now
(The mice peer out the adjacent window. The offending vehicle is a rather
battered van, with business name and phone number emblazoned on the side.)
Brain: (reading) Skid and Matty Krok, Dealers in
Exotic and Unusual Rodents? What business could they have here, at this time of
(As he speaks, two shadowy figures wearing miners helmets emerge
from the van, go to the next window down, and proceed to pry it open with a crowbar.)
Pinky: Maybe theyre just not very smart. They
dont seem to know about doors.
Brain: (alarmed) Theyre burglars!
(The burglars enter the lab and begin searching it by the lights of their
First Burglar: Are ya sure were gonna find anything
in here, Skid?
Skid: Im sure, Matty! This place has been
doin experiments on mice for years; theyre bound to have some odd-lookin
Brain: (sotto voice) Pinky, wed better get out of
sight! (They hurry to the far corner of their cage, where Brain pulls back the liner.) Get
under there, and stay quiet!
(Spooked, Pinky obeys. Brain is about to do the same, when hes
suddenly caught in the glare of a helmet beam.)
Matty: Hey, Skid! Looks like we just hit pay dirt!
Skid: (doubling the illumination as he comes over) We
(Skid quickly opens the cage with wire cutters, reaches in and grabs
Brain: Ehh...! (His outcry is stifled as a wide
finger covers his mouth. Skid lifts him from the cage and drops him into a clear plastic
tennis ball cylinder, then the two intruders exit the same way they came.)
Pinky: (from beneath the liner) Brain? Is it safe to come
out yet? (Pinky cautiously pokes his head out, to find hes alone in the lab.) Brain!
Where are you?
(Pinky looks outside to see the Kroks getting into their vehicle, and
gasps in dismay as he recognizes Brains silhouette inside the cylinder. Desperate,
Pinky seizes a nearby pencil and hastily copies the phone number from the van onto the
cage floor, before the vehicle sputters away.)
(Cut to the vans interior. Matty is driving, as Skid turns on the
overhead light. Their faces are those of infantile jerks.)
Skid: A good nights haul, Matty! (He lifts the
cylinder to examine their acquisition close to the light. Brain glares angrily.)Lookit
that huge head! Reminds me of an apple on a stick! An that face is just what the old
Matty: An how bout that tail? Like a pink
lightening bolt! How many traps did he get it caught in?
Skid: I think the old mans gonna give us more then
a c-note for this one! (Both men laugh.)
Brains Thought: These yahoos abducted me because
they think I look strange- they have no idea how intelligent I am. Ill probably
stand a better chance of escaping, if I dont let them know. (He folds his arms, his
eyes narrowing with resolution...)
(Back in the lab, Pinky has the phone off the hook, and is stamping in the Kroks
number. It rings, Skids recorded voice answering.)
Skids Voice: This is Skid and Matty Kroks Dealer and
Supplier of Exotic an Unusual Rodents, ah, place. Call us back some other time when
were in. (click & dial tone)
Pinky: (slamming the receiver down in frustration) How am I supposed
to know whether theyre in, before I call? These guys really arent very smart!
(Pinky begins wandering all over the lab as he tries, very hard, to think.)
Pinky: I can phone again... but what if Brain escapes, and gets to a
telephone, and tries to call me? I should keep the line open... But, if I dont call
Skid and Matty Kroks Dealer and Supplier of Exotic an Unusual Rodents, ah,
place, how can I find out where they are? On the other hand, if Brain calls me, he will
tell me where he is, so I wont need to... But what if Brain doesnt escape and
find a phone? Then how will I locate him? Brain would know what to do, if he was
if he was here, Id know where he was so he wouldnt have to call me. But, he
isnt here, and thats the whole problem, and I cant decide what to do!
(Hes made his way all around the lab and back to the phone. Hopelessly confused,
he huddles down beside it.)
Pinky: (miserably) Oh, Brain, I really miss you!
(Cut to the Kroks noisy van, pulling up into a seedy-looking parking lot at the
back of a seedy-looking warehouse. The only other vehicle present is an elegant black
limousine. The Krok brothers emerge, carrying Brain in the cylinder, and approach the
limo. As they draw up to it, a back window rolls down and a small, hard-faced man- who
looks a lot like James Watt- sticks his head out.)
Man in Limo: Well, what have you got for me this time?
Skid: (fawningly) I think youll like it, Mista Skuz! (Holds up
the cylinder. Skuz produces a pocket light and examines Brain critically.)
Matty: Is that yer Grouchy Mouse, or what?
Skuz: Hes not cute enough. I need cute for this project.
Skid: Why, sure hes cute! Taka look at them big pink ears,
feets! Dont it just make ya wanta hug him ta pieces?
(Brain shudders visibly.)
Skuz: I suppose I could use him for back-up. Ill give you
Skid: Aw, Mista Skuz! After all the business weve done? A
Skuz: A hundred twenty five.
Skid: Sold! (He shakes Skuzs hand vigorously, to the
latters obvious distaste.)
(Skuz hands Skid the bills, Skid hands Skuz the cylinder, the Kroks return to their van
and both vehicles drive off.)
(Inside the limo, Skuz sets Brain on the seat beside his briefcase, carefully wipes his
hands off with a handkerchief, and takes out a cell phone.)
Skuz: Hello, Denny? Ive got a likely candidate for the Grouchy
Mouse role. He has a good scowl, though he doesnt look especially smart.
(Brains scowl gets even better.) Well give him the screen test
tomorrow, same as the others. And, Denny? Run up a hot bath for me to take the minute I
get back. Dealing with those Krok brothers always makes me feel like Ive stepped in
something! (He snaps the phone shut, pulls out a cigarette and lighter, and settles back
for a smoke.)
(Brain looks over his surroundings. He notices the big corporate logo on the briefcase;
SKUZ STUDIOS Movie and Television Production, and rubs his chin
Brain: Skuz Studios- where have I heard that before?
(Image waver to indicate Flashback...)
(Dissolve to Acme Labs, where Pinky is watching television while Brain writes something
complicated in his notebook. But Brain finds himself being distracted by all the noise
from the show- crashings, clobberings, and a squawky voice repeatedly shouting
Geewizzits! followed by canned laughter. Brain sets down his pencil and
marches over to Pinky, who sits beside the remote.)
Brain: Pinky, what exactly is this program?
Pinky: Its the Superpizzaman Show!
(Brain gives it a look. The show apparently consists of people taking pratfalls for no
apparent reason, teddy-bear creatures doing odd dances, and the clownishly-costumed
Superpizzaman throwing pizzas into bad guys faces. Its all accompanied by
frenetic music and an intrusive laugh track.)
Brain: Tell me, does Superpizzaman ever say anything other then
Pinky: Oh, yes, Brain. Sometimes he says Youre through,
you villainous scum!
(Right on cue, Youre through, you villainous scum! issues from the
set. Brain checks the translucent logo in the pictures lower right corner.)
Brain: Skuz Studios- how apt! (Brain steps on the
remotes mute button.) Pinky, Im going to have to draw the line at your
watching such unmitigated garbage.
Pinky: But, Brain...
Brain: Dont argue with me! If you must spend your time watching
cartoons, at least watch cartoons which display some iota of substance. (Pinky, tho not
entirely sure of Brains meaning, punches a button into the remote, and the TV
changes to a much-less-kinetic image of Periwinkle the Longhorn, and his pal Socky the
Socky: And now...
Periwinkle: Hey, Socky! Watch me pull an armadillo out of my hat!
Socky: But that trick never works, Periwinkle! I dont know why
you keep trying it.
Pinky: (smiling, as tho this is something he identifies with) This one
does sound better.
Indeed. Socky and Periwinkle is a classic.
Pinky: Haha! Did you see that? Periwinkle just pulled a polar bear out
of his hat!
Brain: And did you notice? You didnt require prerecorded
laughter to tell you it was funny.
(Satisfied, Brain returns to his notebook while Pinky continues to watch with
(Waver and Dissolve back to Brain in limo, now regarding the briefcase logo with
Brain: Just what kind of game is afoot here?
(Outside shot of the limo pulling up to the gate at Skuz Studios [which looks like a
cut-rate version of the oft-seen WB Studio lot.] The limo pulls up to the Production
building, Skuz goes inside with briefcase and cylinder in hand, and steps through a door
labeled Animal Holding. The room is dominated by a long counter, upon which
sit six mouse-size cages. Brain looks into them as hes carried past. The first four
contain one mouse apiece, each with a cute-looking abnormality; extra-pudgy build, long
droopy snout, shaggy gray fur, big round black ears. The fifth one seems empty. When they
reach the last cage, Skuz carelessly deposits his briefcase on the counter [which cracks
open and spills some papers, but he gives it no attention], transfers Brain from the
cylinder into the cage, and locks the cage door.)
Skuz: There- thats almost all the mice we need. And I want that
bath- Denny had better have it ready for me!
(Skuz exits. The instant hes gone, Brain goes to the lock and tries his usual
trick of picking it with his tail, without success.)
Brain: Drat! Its a better quality lock then Acme Labs usually
(A small rustle from the adjacent, seemingly empty cage, distracts him.He looks over to
see a rather pretty brownish mouse, evidentially female, emerging half-way from a
cardboard tube to regard him quizzically. She has white feet and underside, and large
brown eyes. Despite himself, Brain is intrigued.)
Brain: (glancing at the nameplate on her cage) Youre named
Diplo. A white-footed wood mouse, to judge from your coloring. And, unlike your fellow
inmates, theres nothing peculiar about your appearance.
(Overcoming her shyness, Diplo emerges, reveling she has two identical tails.)
Brain: (repelled) Eew! I stand corrected! (He returns his attention to
the lock.) I require something with greater stiffness. (Brain tears off a strip from the
cage-liner, folds it into a hard rectangle, and tries that, with no better luck. The
watching Diplo goes to a corner of her cage and digs beneath the sawdust, bringing up a
hairpin, which she carries over in her mouth to offer to Brain.)
Brain: (pleasantly surprised) Why, thank you, Diplo! (He reaches
across to her cage to take it, giving her an appreciative pat on the head.) Youre
smart, for a normal mouse. At least mentally normal.
(Diplo beams. Brain tries the pin on the lock and immediately gets it open.)
Brain: (flinging back the door) Now, to locate a phone and call Acme
(He sites a phone at the end of the counter and is about to start for it, when
something on one of Skuzs spilled papers catches his eye. His curiosity getting the
better of him, he lifts the paper and reads, with growing disgust.)
Brain: Outline for proposed new Childrens program,
Mouseyville, target group ages three to eight.... will feature cast of lovably
unusual live mice, lip-synching to be added... Each mouse to have name to identify
plot-function: including Happy Mouse, Gadget Mouse, Silly
Mouse, Grouchy Mouse (Brain grimaces in recognition), Smarty
Mouse, Strong Mouse and Girly Mouse. Only one female?
Any intelligent seven-year-old would know thats an unworkable demographic
ratio! (Fed up, Brain drops the paper, picks up another.) List of Inexpensive
Laugh-Track Sources... (Brains eyes widen in dismay. He throws back the
briefcase lid, pulls forth more items.) Manual of 150 Popular Cartoon Plots- Just
Add Names for Easy Script Production. List of Proposed Mouseyville
Catch-Phrases; Select One and Add to Script At Least Once Per Page...
Mouseyrific, Fanmousetic, Mouseyonderful,
Geronimousey... (Brain looks ill, but steels himself to remove the final
item from the briefcase; a thick sheath of loose papers.) Marketing Strategies:
Mouseyville-Related Toys and Merchandise. (Brain peels off page after page of
really crummy-looking Mousey objects.) Theyre putting more effort into
this, then into developing the show ?!
(Dazed with horror, Brain stands amidst the scattered papers. Music begins to play,
very like that in the Who Am I? number, from Les Miserables.
Brains expression firms, and he begins to sing.)
Brain: What to do?
There will be consequences, I expect,
From treating growing minds with no respect...
Someday Ill rule the world, I know,
I made that promise long ago
But shall it be a world of dolts and fools?
Cause nothing in their viewing pasts
Gave them a thought, or honest laugh,
For Show kids slop, Make money are the rules!
What to do?
I must admit my course is clear to me,
Though it may cause me further agony...
I cant pretend Im not involved
Or that its someone elses job,
For my role in this, I must make repairs,
Despite the risk Ill stay this tour,
Derail their works till Ive made sure
This vile exploitation never airs!
(As the music swells to the climax, Brain raises a fist and vows to the heavens:)
I Will See It Through!
I Will See It Through!
(Rising Shot; from overhead view of Brain and the holding room, through the roof of the
building to show overhead view of Skuz Studios, then all the surrounding land including an
adjacent metropolis. Brief pause, then Falling Shot, toward the city, gradually centering
on a single building which becomes identifiable as Acme Labs, through the roof and
overhead view of the lab where Pinky still waits anxiously beside the telephone. Cut to
side view of Pinky and phone. The landscape visible through the window behind him shows
daylight just breaking.)
Pinky: Hell call, he has to call. What if he doesnt call?
Should I try to call him again? What if he tries to call me just then? Hes got to
(The phone rings. Overjoyed, Pinky knocks the receiver off.)
Pinky: Oh, Brain, I knew youd call! Why didnt you call
(Cut to Brain at the studio phone, somewhat startled by this outburst.)
Brain: Ive been rather preoccupied, Pinky. Im phoning
Pinky: Are you all right? Where are you? Did you see any of the
sights? Is the food there as good as...
Brain: Pinky! If you do not cease this nonsensical jabbering and let
me speak, I shall extend an electronic arm over the telephone wires and hurt you!
Pinky: Oh, sorry, Brain, sorry! But Ive been worried sick, and I
couldnt make up my mind what I should do, and...
Brain: What you should do, Pinky, is be quiet and listen. (Silent
pause) Pinky? Are you still there?
Pinky: Im just being quiet, Brain.
Brain: Very well. To answer your concerns: I am unharmed. My
kidnappers sold me to a low-budget television-production company called Skuz Studios,
which I have observed to be situated just north of town, where I am currently located.
(sardonic) And no, I have not had any opportunity to sight-see, or to sample the local
Pinky: Thats too bad. But are there any highways nearby? Can you
get back that way?
Brain: Im not leaving just yet; theres something I have to
Pinky: Poit! Youre going to use their broadcasting equipment to
beam out subliminal messages to take over the world!
Brain: I might consider that plan at a later date, Pinky, but
Ive put global domination on hold for now. My present concern involves making the
world a fitter place for my rule.
Pinky: Zort! Are you going to use all those all those towers and
flashy TV lights to build a giant year-round Christmas tree?
Brain: I swear, Pinky, you can be the most aggravating... I dont
have time for this! Listen: I cant explain everything now, but I require something
from the Lab. I need you to bring my mechanical suit here. Its stored in the
Pinky: (reluctant) Brain, you remember what happened the last time I
tried to drive it.
Brain: Yes, I remember. Just take a few practice walks around the
basement before you start off- its vitally important that you get it to me with all
possible speed. Preferably today. (hears sound of someone approaching the room) Just do
your best, Pinky- Ive got to go now!
(Hastily Brain hangs up, runs to his cage and shuts himself in.)
(A rather dim-looking guy enters, pushing a rolling cart before him. With no great
care, he proceeds to load all the mouse cages onto the cart.)
Dim Guy: Time for your screen tests, mices.
(Diplo apprehensively ducks into her cardboard tube, as her cage is lifted.
Brains cage is loaded last, so roughly that he bumps his head on the bars. Dim Guy
pushes the cart out the room and down the corridor.)
Brain: (rubbing his head) I certainly dont want to remain here
any longer then necessary- Ill just have to hope Pinky gets here soon.
(In the basement of Acme labs, Pinky is taking the mechanical suit for a test spin,
with imperfect results. The suits movements suggest those of an individual
whos had quite a few too many.)
Pinky: Im not sure Im ready to take this thing on the
road- but Brain said to hurry!
(Pinky aims the suit toward the basement door, starts it forward, and ducks.)
(Outside shot of the suit crashing through the door, and lurching down the road like a
well-dressed Frankensteins Monster.)
Pinky: Wa-aaa-aah! )
(Pan to the front side of Acme Labs, where two police cars are pulled up, lights
flashing. Inside, three cops inspect the scene of the burglary, while Sergeant
Monday questions the Acme Lab manager.)
Monday: Youre certain nothing was taken except the two lab mice?
Manager: Im sure, Sergeant Monday. Weve done a full equipment inventory-
all present and accounted for. Its weird! I wouldnt have thought those mice
were worth anything to anybody but us.
Monday: You might be surprised. Weve actually had three similar
reported instances of mouse-stealing this month. The common element is that the animals
were of unusual appearance.
Manager: Come to think of it, so are ours! One of them has an
oversized head and a crooked tail; the others kind of gawky, with a big snout.
Monday: It fits the pattern. We suspect theres some kind of
underground rodent-dealing ring behind it. Boy, would I like to collar those scum bags!
Cop Beside Counter: Sarge? You might want to have a look at this.
Theres a phone number written on the floor of the damaged cage.
(Monday comes over, his eyes narrowing as he studies Pinkys scrawl.)
Monday: I wonder- could anyone possibly be that stupid...?
(Dissolve to close-up of Matty Kroks evilly grinning face. Pullback to show
hes acting as mouse-handler at the screen test. The studio mice are
being removed from their cages one by one, and placed in a white cardboard box
stage for test-filming. A camera crew, including lighting techs and director,
do the filming, the results of which can be seen on a bank of small TV screens. Currently,
its the shaggy gray mouse. Beyond the cameras, Skuz and his Associate Producer Denny
watch the proceedings. Denny is short for Denise- shes
larger then Skuz, and, though his subordinate, not entirely under his sway.)
Matty: (prodding the gray mouse with a pencil end) Come on now, look
like yer havin a good time! Jump around a little! (The mouse jumps to avoid
the pencil.) There, now, dont that look like Happy Mouse, Mista Skuz?
Skuz: (weary tone of a man who doesnt expect to find any better)
Hell have to do, I guess. (Matty lifts Happy by the tail and returns him to
(Brain takes note, as Denny leans toward Skuzs ear.)
Denny: (low voice) Mr. Skuz, Im not sure it was such a good idea
to hire Matty Krok to be our mouse wrangler. Hes likely to get us in
trouble when that Humane Society observer arrives. (wrinkling her nose) And his personal
hygiene leaves something to be desired, too.
Skuz: If you know anyone wholl work cheaper then Krok, Id
be happy to hear about it.
Denny: Mr. Skuz, sometimes its worth spending more, to get
someone who can do the job well.
Skuz: When you are the Studio Head, that will be your decision to
make, Denny. In the meantime...
Denny: I know. I meant no disrespect, Uncle Harold.
Skuz: (testily) Denny, please. Inside this studio, its Mr.
Denny: Yes, Mr. Skuz.
(Brain has no chance to listen further, for Matty lifts him from his cage and deposits
him, none too gently, into the stage.)
Matty: Awright, Grouchy; try ta look like yer in a bad mood. (Brain
has no trouble complying. But Matty gives him a poke with the pencil anyway.)
Director: (checking Brains image on the monitors) Thats
the best one so far.
Skuz: Grouchys in, then. Next mouse!
(Matty puts Brain back, but neglects to lock the cage. Brain watches intently, as Matty
opens Diplos cage and takes out the cardboard tube where shes cowering.)
Matty: Mista Skuz, I gotta warn ya that this mouse is gonna need
special incentive. Shes a wild mouse we caught inna game refuge, an she
dont like bein in the open.
Skuz: Just do whatever you have to, to make her preform. Shes
our best candidate to play Girly Mouse- that double tail is a real draw! (Behind him,
(Matty dumps the obviously terrified Diplo onto the stage. As predicted, she promptly
runs to find cover. Matty uses the pencil to try to drive her in front of the camera, to
Brains increasing revulsion.)
Matty: Just hold still, Girly! (When she continues to try flee, he
bops her on the nose, making her yelp.)
Brain: (enraged sotto-voice) Barbarian!
(Brain kicks open the unlocked cage door, leaps onto the stage, seizes the pencil from
Matty and gives him a hard rap across the knuckles.)
Matty: OW! Why, you little...! (He cuts himself off when he
hears Skuz applauding.)
Skuz: Hilarious! You didnt mention your mouse could do that
Matty: (thinking fast, for once) Well, I figgered youd find it
funnier if ya wasnt expecting it, Mista Skuz.
(Brain, looking fierce as a movie-poster warrior, still stands with pencil at ready.
Diplo, just behind him, looks up at him worshipfully.)
Director: The brown mouse is holding still now. Close in! (A very
flattering close-up shot of Diplo appears on the monitors.)
Skuz: Perfect! Weve got our Girly Mouse. All we need to do is
keep Grouchy in the vicinity when we film her. And Ill instruct our
screen-writer to include that pencil-clobbering bit in the scripts.
Denny: (checking clipboard) That leaves just one rodent to cast: Silly
Skuz: Oh, yes. Matty, I want you and Skid to try to
acquire a good candidate for Silly by tomorrow- were scheduled to begin
filming then. (to himself) I need a smoke.
Matty: Ah, no problem, Mista Skuz! Ill jus put these last
(Matty starts to reach toward Brain and Diplo, but Denny, suspecting hes planning
some retaliation against Brain, intervenes.)
Denny: Ill take care of them. (She gently picks up the two mice
and sets them safely in their cages.) Youll be treated better once the Humane
Society observer is on the job, I promise.
Brains Thought: Evidentially, there are some individuals of
integrity working at this studio. Thats the element for me to focus on. (Brain
glances at a clock, fidgets impatiently) Where is Pinky, anyway?!
(Cut to exterior shot of Skuz Studios, as the mechanical suit, now considerably worse
for wear, lumbers up the road toward the gate. Close in on Pinky, looking apprehensive, as
he stamps futilely on the brake petal.)
Pinky: This brake was working when I left the Lab!
(The suit collides with the gate bar, does a somersault over it, and crashes into a
clinking clattering collection of cacophonous junk. The entrance guard, whod
evidentially been napping, pokes his head out to check on the racket, but, seeing nothing
moving now, settles back in.)
(Pinky crawls from the wreckage, bruised but otherwise intact.)
Pinky: (worriedly viewing the remains of the suit) I dont like
to think what Brain is going to say when he sees this...
(From behind Pinky, a great sweaty hand reaches down to grab him. Pinky finds himself
looking into Matty Kroks gap-toothed grin.)
Matty: Well, watta we have here? A real likely candidate ta play Silly
(Matty laughs uproariously. Pinky, frightened, tries to shrink even further into
(Cut to Animal Holding Room, where Brain paces in his cage, pondering. Unnoticed by
him, Diplo, in her own cage, keeps in step with him.)
Brain: (thinking out loud) Associate Producer Denny evidentially
disagrees with Skuzs priorities, but, she is Skuzs niece. Family loyalty is
liable to override other concerns, so shes not the most suitable candidate to take
into my confidence. A more probable recruit would be some employee in one of the creative
positions, who genuinely wants to do quality work, and is unhappy about the way this
Mouseyville project is developing. But locating a likely candidate is
problematic, while my movements are so restricted.
(A little tired from pacing, Brain sits down against the wall of his cage. His eye
falls on the grid of the ventilator shaft, at the end of the counter. He frowns
thoughtfully... Then he smiles, and begins to laugh. Turning, he sees Diplo has come up
behind him, and has snaked her two tails into his cage to tickle him behind his ears.)
Brain: Haha! Stop that, Diplo! Im attempting to formulate a
(Controlling his laughter, he pushes the tails away. Diplo smiles at him winningly.)
Brain: I deduce thats your way of thanking me for intervening on
your behalf. In fairness, I should admit to experiencing some personnel satisfaction from
the combat- I had previous reasons for making retribution against Matty Krok.
(Diplo continues to smile, waving her tails playfully. Moved, Brain reaches into her
cage to take her face between his hands.)
Brain: Listen, Diplo; I feel foolish saying this when I dont
even know if you understand me... But when the time comes for me to leave this place,
Ill make sure you escape as well. No boorish troglodyte with a pencil will ever
(The door-handle turns; Diplo dives for her tube while Brain quickly assumes an
Ordinary Mouse position. Matty Krok saunters in, with Pinky clutched in his fist. When he
catches sight of Brain, Pinky looks like he wants to make a joyful noise- but refrains,
when Brain hastily presses a finger across his own mouth. Matty deposits Pinky into
Matty: Were runnin short on cages, so you twoll have
to double up fer now. (He locks them in, looking vastly cheerful.) Waitll I tell
Skid, I caught the perfect mouse fer Silly, right inside the Studio gate! (As he leaves,
Brain pays close attention to his words) No need fer another job at Rodent
World, or Far Out Pets, or Sirius Studies, or Acme Labs...
Pinky: (after the door slams behind Matty) Can we talk now?
Pinky: (happily scooping Brain up in the usual squashing hug) Im
so glad to see you, Brain!
Brain: (barely getting it out) Im gratified, to see you, too,
Pinky, now, please, put me down. (Pinky releases him, Brain pats his fur back into
Brain: I had to cut you off, so that Neanderthal who brought you in
wouldnt learn of your capacity to speak. You didnt talk within his hearing any
time earlier, did you?
Pinky: I never got a chance to, Brain- there was a large sweaty finger
across my mouth the whole while.
Brain: (flinching at his own recollection) No need to dwell on that!
Just remember: its vital that you keep silent around humans in this studio. If they
discovered our intelligence, theres no telling what they might make us do.
Pinky: Why, Brain, thats the first time you ever said I have
Brain: The term is relative- but savor it while you can.
Pinky: So, whats this plan you have, to improve the world?
Brain: Ah, yes. This studio, Pinky, is in the process of developing a
truly execrable childrens television program, which I...
Pinky: Excuse me, Brain: what kind of eggs?
Brain: (slowly) A really, really bad TV show. The kind with one
excessively-cute gimmick at the center, and formula for everything else.
(Pinky happens to notice the trio of posters on the opposite wall; one for
Superpizzaman and the others for equally cheesy-looking shows: Turbo
Terrific Terrier and Red Hot Kumquat Coyotes.)
Pinky: You mean, its like one of those programs you dont
want me to watch?
Brain: Precisely. (slamming fist into palm) And I intend to put this
one out of production!
Pinky: (troubled) But, Brain, even if you disapprove, I think the
studios right to make it is protected by the First Amendment of the American
(For a moment, Brain stares at Pinky in amazement, then recovers his poise.)
Brain: Their legal right, yes, if not their moral right. However, Skuz
Studios has also been engaging in Unlawful Deprivation of Property.
(Brain waves a hand down the row of cages.) I, and most of the mice in this room, I
believe, have been stolen. At the instruction of Studio Head Harold Skuz.
Pinky: (frowning) Well, theres certainly no justification for
that! All right, Brain, Im with you!
Brain: Yess! (They high-four each other.)
(Brain reaches beneath the cage-liner to retrieve the hairpin.)
Brain: Now, the first thing I need to do is get to my mechanical suit.
Where did you leave it?
Pinky: (suddenly self-conscious) Amm... Brain, about your suit...
Brain: (deadly monotone) What happened to it, Pinky?
Pinky: Well, it kind of got, broken.
Brain: Broken. Into how many pieces?
Pinky: About, two hundred.
Brain: (icy calm) I see. (turning his back on Pinky and walking a few
steps away.) We will discuss this at a later time.
Pinky: (following) If its all the same with you, Brain, Id
rather get it over with now.
Brain: Very well. (He seizes Pinkys snout and pulls his head
down so their eyeballs touch.) Pinky, I am extremely disappointed that you were unable to
conduct yourself in a more responsible manner in regard to the property I entrusted to
you, and be assured; when I am in a position to construct another suit, I shall never
allow you to borrow it again!
(Brain yanks Pinkys snout down and releases it suddenly, so it oscillates like a
fat mans diving board. Pinky uses both hands to still the vibrations, smiles.)
Pinky: Thank you, Brain: I feel much better.
Brain: (starting to pace) Unfortunately, the loss of the suit greatly
complicates my plan. I have information to impart, once Ive identified a suitable
individual. If I can not pass as a human to do so, I shall have to be especially
resourceful in my method...
(Once more, the doorknob rattles.)
Brain: Its Grand Central Station in here! Time to act like an
Ordinary Mouse, Pinky!
(Skuz enters, followed by a long-haired young woman- Sharlay- whos carrying a
tote bag full of papers. As he leads her down the row of cages, Skuz names each mouse in
Skuz: Here is your cast, Ms Sharlay. The portly one is Strong Mouse,
the snouty one Gadget Mouse, shaggy here is Happy, black-ears is Smarty... our Girly mouse
is still rather skittish so you cant see her very well, but shes a wood mouse,
with two tails.
Sharlay: (ducking her head to look into Diplos tube.) Hello!
Arent you pretty! (Diplo, in the tube, looks slightly less apprehensive. Sharlay
notices the nameplate) Diplo? From the Greek diploos, meaning
Skuz: (irritated at her for knowing more about it then he did) Yeah,
whatever. My Associate Producer came up with that name; Ive been meaning to remove
that tag. (He does so.) So far as youre concerned, shes Girly
Sharlay: (just a bit abashed) Yes, Mr. Skuz. Girly Mouse.
Skuz: And heres Grouchy... (Noticing Pinky) Oh! Come to
think of it, that must be the Silly Mouse Krok just acquired for me. At
great expense, he claims. (Peers closely at Pinky.) He looks the part, anyway.
(Pinky, flattered, seems on the verge of declaring Oh, youre too
kind!, but Brain cuts him off with a warning elbow-jab to the ribs.)
Skuz: All right, Ms. Sharlay, now that youve seen the mice, I
expect you to have that shooting script on my desk by filming time. (Turns toward door.)
Sharlay: (gathering her nerve) First, Mr. Skuz, I wanted to talk to
you about these, guidelines. (pulls the 150 Plots manual from her bag.)
Skuz: What about them? You can read, cant you?
Sharlay: Mr. Skuz, Ive had sufficient writing experience to do
better work then this paint-by-numbers stuff. (She pulls forth a resume, which Brain peers
at.) I can come up with original plot lines, my own dialogue...
Skuz: That will take longer! Kids dont need originality; they
Sharlay: Only to a point, Mr. Skuz. Also, I really think I can do
jokes funny enough that we wont need a laugh track...
Skuz: (getting irate) The laugh tracks already a go. Look, Ms
Sharlay; all these decisions are based on extensive market research- youre not
involved in that part of production! All I need you to do is type up the scripts the way I
instruct you to. If you cant manage that, I can get a replacement for you within a
day! Do I make myself clear?
Sharlay: (with control that doesnt come naturally to her) You
Skuz: Fine! Then get back to the Writers Office, and have that
script on done on time!
(Without another word, Skuz exits. Sharlay, tucking the papers back into her bag,
watches him go with an expression that suggests a less-then-sterling opinion of him.)
Sharlay: (under her breath) You dont think very much of
children, do you? I sure hope you havent got any of your own!
(As she walks out, Brain looks after her, his old scheming smile in place.)
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what Im pondering?
Pinky: I think so, Brain. But Sleet! Sleet! The
gangs all here! just doesnt have the same ring to it.
Brain: (ignoring the foolishness) No, Pinky. I think Ive just
found my suitable individual.
(Dissolve to Sharlay behind a word processor in the Writers Office, typing
disinterestedly. The open 150 Plots manual is before her, a fax machine beyond
that. High on the wall behind her is a ventilation grid; close in on this as Brain appears
behind it, regarding Sharlay purposefully.)
Sharlay: (looking sharply behind her) Whos that?
Brain: I am Calliope, the Muse of Eloquence.
(Having pinpointed where the voice is coming from, Sharlay regards the grid with
Sharlay: The Muses are metaphorical. Who are you really?
Brain: All right, youve got me. I am simply a concerned party,
unhappy to see you debasing your writing talent by applying it to this substandard
Sharlay: (still eying the grid, but with her main attention on the
conversation) Well, it isnt the sort of assignment Id hoped for- but
this is my first professional writing position. If I do a satisfactory job with it, it can
be a stepping-stone to better things.
Brain: Youve written two childrens books about animals,
and had a short play produced. Youre already qualified to do more then, as you so
aptly put it, this paint-by-numbers stuff.
(Sharlay is now intrigued enough to stand on a chair and peer directly into the grid.
Brain sidesteps into a branching duct to keep out of sight.)
Sharlay: (speaking into the grid) How do you know all that?!
Brain: Does it matter? You know Im right. You should do a script
you can be proud to sign your name to. Once he reads it, Producer Skuz just might
appreciate it enough to change his mind about forcing your use of those
guidelines. And if he does turn out to be completely inflexible in the matter,
wouldnt you rather find out now? Before youve worked here long enough to
compromise your self-respect?
Sharlay: (still searching the duct) Is there any chance youre
encouraging me to rock the boat, because you have some beef with the studio?
Brain: (just a bit chagrined) In fact, I do have a sound motive to
create difficulties for this project. Do you recall those mice in the holding room? Most
of them are purloined properties. Producer Skuz engaged a pair of miscreants, Skid and
Matty Krok, to commit the actual thefts.
Sharlay: Thats a pretty serious charge! I hope youve got
something to back it up.
Brain: I can tell you how to acquire the evidence to verify it. Simply
call Rodent World, Far Out Pets, Sirius Studies and
Acme Labs, and ask them to fax you photos of the mice which were recently
stolen from them. Then compare them with the Mouseyville cast.
Sharlay: (thoughtful) All right, Calliope, I just might do
that. But Im telling you now; if this turns out to be a hoax... itll give me a
very low opinion of you.
Brain: Fair enough. And, Sharlay: whatever my personnel agenda with
the studio may be, I was sincere when I advised you to give proper respect to your
abilities. Adieu for now. (Brain scampers away down the duct.)
(Lips pressed thoughtfully, Sharlay returns to her word-processor. She contemplates the
screen display for a few seconds... then, drops the 150 Plots booklet into the
recycling bin, pushes Clear, and begins typing with new enthusiasm.)
Brain: (making his way along the dimly lit ventilator system) There is
some satisfaction in discovering that the time I spent learning to negotiate mazes at Acme
Labs was not completely unproductive.
(Coming to the grid he wants, Brain pushes it open and steps out onto the Holding Room
Brain: Pinky! Ive made some significant progress... (Noticing
Pinkys cage is empty) Pinky?
Pinky: Over here, Brain! (Brain spots Pinky by the cages further down
the counter, obviously making friends with the other mice.) Im just getting to know
(Brain starts down the counter to join Pinky, is delayed by Diplo bracing herself on
the cage wall beside him, chittering a friendly greeting.)
Pinky: That brown one with the matched tails seems to like you, Brain!
Brain: Indeed. Diplo and I have been of some recent assistance to each
other. (Brain gives her the usual petting on the head, to Diplos evident enjoyment.)
Pinky: (sweetly) Oh, Brain! You like her too!
Brain: (ever so slightly embarrassed).Yes, I suppose there is a
certain bond between us. But, I have other concerns now. (He gives Diplo a final chin
scratch and leaves her; she continues to follow him with her eyes.)
Brain: Pinky, to what degree are you able to communicate with these
Pinky: Well, there are dialectic differences, but weve been able
to tell each other a few jokes. (Demonstrating, he chatters at the pudgy mouse, who
chatters something back. Pinky promptly falls to the floor, laughing uproariously.)
Brain: (dryly) Dare I ask what was just said?
Pinky: (barely getting it out between laughs) Sorry, Brain... Im
afraid... it wont... translate! Hahahaha!
Brain: (picking Pinky off the floor) Focus now, Pinky. Are you able to
instruct the other mice to follow you on command?
Pinky: Yes, I should be able to do that. If theyre not busy
doing something else. Zort!
Brain: Commendable. That will be extremely useful to my plot.
(Brain thinks a moment, then runs to fetch his hairpin and a small tape dispenser. He
proceeds to unlock each cage, and fasten each door on the inside with a strip of tape.)
Pinky: Ooo, are you decorating the cages with elegant shiny plastic
Brain: No, Pinky. Part of my plan requires that we be able to turn our
fellow inmates loose on short notice, then instruct them to follow where we lead. This
will be my signal for you to do so. (He makes a rotary motion with his arm.) Can you
remember that, Pinky?
Pinky: I think so, Brain.
Brain: Repeat it, then.
Pinky: When you make your arm into a whirlywind (copying the gesture),
I let all the other mice out of their cages, and tell them to follow us.
(Makes the requisite chittery command; all the mice take notice.)
Brain: Excellent! Now, the other thing you must do...
Pinky: Oh, Brain, I dont know if I can memorize much more then
Brain: Dont worry; the other role you have in this plan is very
easy to remember. Theyre going to take you and the other mice to the sound stage
soon, to begin the first days filming. They will probably put you on the set first,
to do your screen test. When that happens, I want you to behave in the most
energetically fun-fun, silly-willy manner you possibly can. And dont
worry about anything you break.
Pinky: (brightening) Narf! I like this part!
Brain: I thought you would. Theres just one restriction: laugh
as much as you want to, but dont speak.
Pinky: Act really silly-willy, laugh, dont use words.
Brain: Youve got it! Just one other thing: if at all
possible, try to keep an eye on Diplo for me.
Pinky: Arent you going to be there, Brain?
Brain: No. On my air duct tour of the studio, I noticed some items in
the sets Storage Room that I can make use of. Im going there now, to prepare a
surprise for our captors. And, I need to check up on another matter. (Distant sound of
cart approaching) Thats your taxi! Quick, into the cage!
(Brain hurries Pinky to their cage, hastily locks him in with the hairpin.)
Pinky: Dont I get the shiny plastic, Brain? How will I get out?
Brain: Theyll unlock you when they put you on the set. I
dont want any suspicions aroused before that point. (Brain rushes to the air grid)
Remember what I said- no talking! (Brain vanishes into the duct.)
(Dim Guy enters and loads the cages once again. As he lifts Pinkys cage, he
Dim Guy: Hey, didnt you use ta be shorter, with a big fat head?
Pinky: Haha! Big fat head! (remembering, he covers his mouth.)
(muffled) Sorry! Forget I said that.
(Dim Guy looks momentarily startled, then decides its none of his concern.)
Dim Guy: Special effects- who can keep up with em?
(Pinkys cage is loaded and the cart wheeled off.)
Pinky: (murmuring to self) Dont talk, dont talk,
(Pullback shot as the cart is pushed down the hall, toward a door marked Sound Stage
(Cut to another part of the studio; the Writers Office.)
(Within, Sharlay is taking the last of the printed Stolen Mouse pictures from the fax
machine, and sliding them into her tote bag. Without warning, Producer Skuz storms
into the office, waving a script tagged with little yellow stick ems.)
Skuz: Would you mind explaining this to me, Ms Sharlay?
Sharlay: (taken aback, but answering evenly) Thats the shooting
script you requested, Mr. Skuz.
Skuz: I didnt request any such script as this! (opening it to
first tagged page) Why do you have Gadget Mouse talking about how someday hed like
to give up building gadgets to become a sculptor?
Sharlay: Its character development. Im exploring what
motivated him to become an inventor in the first place. Creative personalities often
Skuz: Kids dont care about motivations! Gadget Mouse is supposed
to produce gadgets when the other mice need them. Period! (opens to next tag) And
whats with this Andrew Jackson reference? No kid is going to recognize
Sharlay: (tightly) In the first place; many kids will. The ones who
dont can ask their parents about it, and find out Andrew Jackson was an American
President notorious for his hot temper.
Skuz: We are doing an entertainment show here, not an informational
Sharlay: I dont see that theres any need to draw a rigid
line between the two...
Skuz: Spare me your philosophies! (turns to another page) And on the
hike, when Girly Mouse stumbles into the quicksand, you have her pulling a Campers
Manual out of her pack, and figuring out how to get herself out!
Sharlay: Of course! Thats what I would do!
Skuz: Getting her out is the boy mices job! Girlys role in
the stories is to land in trouble so they can rescue her!
Sharlay: (getting mad in turn- this is a sore point with her) Im
drawing the line there- what kind of message do you think that sends to the girls in
your audience? That they cant accomplish anything without male assistance? I
wont do that kind
Skuz: Then youre Fired! You can just pack up your things,
and those flaky post-modern ideas, and be out of this Studio by noon! (stomps out.)
Sharlay: (baffled) Post-modern? (Deciding its
not worth figuring out, Sharlay sighs just a little, stuffs her few items into the tote,
and walks from the office.)
(As she steps out into the hall, Brains voice issues from the corridors
Brain: I overheard, Sharlay.
Sharlay: (somewhat reproachful) Hello, Calliope.
Brain: I regret that following my advice has cost you your employment.
Sharlay: (more forgiving tone) Well, dont be too sorry. It
probably wouldnt have worked out anyway. (jerks thumb after Skuz) That man is really
hard to get along with.
Brain: On a possibly more productive subject; did you manage to obtain
images of the stolen rodents?
Sharlay: (voice dropping a bit) Yes. All of them. Im on my way
to the Sound Stage now, to make comparisons. At least Ill get that much more use out
if this. (She fingers her Staff ID badge)
Brain: I appreciate your efforts, Sharlay. And now I, too, have a
mission to attend to. (sounds of Brain retreating further into the
(Giving the grid a last searching look, Sharlay squares her shoulders, and turns
left down the hallway. Behind her, Denny steps into view from around the right
corner, looking after Sharlay, and at the grid, with an unreadable expression.)
(Cut to interior of Sound Stage One. The mouse cages [where Pinky sits with hands
clamped around his snout] are lined up to the left of the platform holding the
Mouseyville set. The latter looks like it was designed by someone on sugar OD-
all the Mouseyville buildings are shaped and decorated like fancy cupcakes, with
smiley-face windows and doors, and cutsey mouse-related graphics on every possible
surface. The filming and lighting crews are setting up to shoot it.)
Director: (addressing cameraman) Producer Skuz said theyre going
marketing models of all the Mousey Houses, so be sure you get clear shots of em.
Cameraman: Geesh, doesnt that guy think about anything besides
(Beside the mouse cages, Matty Krok is setting out rows of tiny accessories- a red
polkadot bow, miniature leopard skin, green eyeshade, mortarboard, etc.- under the
unamused eye of Jon, who wears a prominent Humane Society Observer badge. Jon is
African-American, barely more then half Mattys size, but not about to take any
Jon: Now explain to me exactly how these items are to be used, Mr.
Matty: (condescending) Its simple, Mista Jon. We stick this one,
(lifts the red bow) on Girly Mouses head, an this (lifts mortarboard) onta
Smarty Mouse, an...
Jon: I get it. What kind of adhesive do you intend to use?
Matty: This one. I dont see no problem wi it.
(Matty hands Jon a crumpled glue tube. Jon unrolls it to find a strip of masking tape
blocking the back label. Jon peels this off, raises the tube and reads loudly.)
Jon: Warning: Avoid All Contact With Eyes And Skin.
Matty: (less embarrassed then annoyed) Well, we never had no trouble
with it before. An theyre just mice!
Jon: (looking Matty straight in the eye- hes dealt with this
type) Id better make something clear. The whole reason I became a Humane Society
observer is because I believe that animals- any animals- used in media productions deserve
to be treated decently. If I catch this studio in non-compliance of the guidelines, I will
make report to the proper authorities, and Ill include your name, and you will be
brought up on charges. (pokes Matty in the chest.) Do we understand each other?
Matty: (tightly angry) Yeah, we do, already!
Jon: Then get yourself down to Stores, and bring back an approved
Matty: (going, while muttering to himself) I gotta talk ta the old
man, about getting that pipsqueak replaced.
(Just as Matty reaches the Sound Stage entrance, Sharlay enters.)
Matty: (reflexively) Hello, Nurse!
Sharlay: (barely glancing at him as she passes) Grow up, Junior.
Matty: (fuming a moment, before calling after her) Well, youre
(Sharlay ignores this completely. Matty exits, chuckling at his own cleverness.)
(As Sharlay approaches the mouse cages, Jon politely steps in her path.)
Jon: Pardon me, Ms; I just need to make sure you have official
business with the animals. (Sharlay points out her badge, Jon checks it.) Youre a
Sharlay: Well, to tell the truth, I just got fired. Creative
differences with the producer- he didnt like me straying from the prescribed
Jon: From what Ive seen of the production so far, I can believe
it. (low voice) Between you and me; if any of my kids start watching this show regularly,
Ill be concerned. (normal voice) But Im not here to do a critique, just to
supervise the animal handling. I guess you want to take a last look at the mice?
Sharlay: Thats about it.
(Jon gestures permission, and goes back to inspecting the mouse accessories.) (Sharlay
peers into every mouse cage, while
surreptitiously checking the pictures poking from the top of her tote bag. With every
comparison, she frowns more deeply.)
Sharlay: (sotto) Calliope was right- these are stolen mice! Im
calling the cops.
(Without another word, Sharlay leaves the Sound Stage. As she steps out, Dim Guy comes
in with a large cardboard box, labeled Mouse Costume.)
Dim Guy: I got the costume for the Mouseyville narrator!
Director: Were not using that today- just stick it into Storage.
(Dim Guy turns toward the Storage Room door, to the right of the Set.)
(Inside Storage, Brain is just completing his rearrangements. The Storage Room has
banks of speakers and TV screens on either side, including some quite large ones,
and a big cabinet dominating the far wall. Brain is atop the left bank of sets, [where the
usual handy ventilation grid is]; hes used string from a ball of twine to turn two
filming cameras w/ microphones toward the wall, and has hooked up a little control switch
to both of them. He flicks this to On, steps to the first camera, notes his
picture now on every set on the right wall.)
Brain: (speaking into microphone) Testing! (His voice resonates
through the room. Nodding with satisfaction, Brain goes to the second camera. We can see,
tho he cant, his image stepping into view on the left-wall sets.)
Brain: Testing! (Same audio result.)
(Dim Guy enters the room with the box, is slightly surprised to see Brains on every
left set. Seeing this as a chance to confirm what the camera shows, Brain waves, and Dim
Guy unthinkingly waves back at the TVs. Brain steps out of camera range, smiling.)
(Shrugging, Dim Guy sets down the box and returns to the Set, leaving the door slightly
ajar. Noticing the Mouse Costume label, Brain uses the ball of twine to lower
himself down to the box, opens it to find a human-sized blue plush costume with a comical
Brain: (hefting the costume and dropping to the floor with it) I can
make use of this, too!
(Brain pushes over an adjacent wastebasket, starts removing crumpled papers and
stuffing them into the body of the costume. As he does this, he can hear, through the
partly open door, whats going on on the Set.)
Directors Voice: Lose that adhesive for now, Matty. First
weve got to give Silly Mouse his screen test. Just put him on the
Mattys Voice: Right away, Mista Director. (Beat) Hey, quit it,
Directors Voice: Try to get him to hold still, Matty! (small
Pinkys Voice: Hahahaha! (medium smashing sounds)
Directors Voice: (louder) Matty! What are you doing?
Jons Voice: You just be careful how you use that pencil, Mr.
(Having completed the body stuffing, Brain attaches the head, rolls several little
paper cones, and sticks them in the mouth to give it sharp teeth.)
Mattys Voice: (starting to sound desperate) I dont know
whats got inta him, Mista...Hey! What are you... Stop that, ya crazy mouse!
Directors Voice: Somebody call Producer Skuz! This animal has
(From the Set comes even louder clunks and crashings, accompanied by a rising hubbub of
alarmed human voices, punctuated by Pinkys screaming laughter.)
Brain: (dryly gratified) It would appear that, for once, Pinky is
carrying out his instructions flawlessly.
(Cut to Producer Skuz, hurrying down the hall with a cell phone at his ear and
cigarette in his mouth.)
Skuz: Im on my way- but just what do you think I pay you people
to do, pull me out of meetings? With representatives of the most cost-effcient toy
manufacturers in China? Yes, yes; Ill be there in a minute! What are we trying to
do, set a record for things going wrong in one day?!
(Reaching the Sound Stage One door, Skuz stows the phone, gives the No
Smoking sign a dirty look before discarding his cigarette, and charges in. Everyone
in the room is staring, aghast, in the direction of the Mouseyville set.)
Skuz: All right; just what is the big prob... (His voice chokes off,
and he also stares.)
(Pan to the former Mouseyville set, now reduced to low heaps of
garishly-colored fragments. At the center of the ruin sits Pinky, rocking and laughing
merrily, despite the several small bumps on his head.)
Skuz: What in the name of James Cameron happened here?!
Director: I dont know, Mr Skuz! We put Silly Mouse
on the platform to do his screen test, and he... (At loss for words, Director gestures at
Skuz: (turning on Matty) You told me that mouse was trained!
Matty: (shaken) I kept hittin him wit the pencil, Mista Skuz,
but all he did was laugh!
Skuz: (voice completely disproportionate to his size) Do You Know How
Much Its Going To Cost To Rebuild This Set !?!
(Matty is spared having to answer, by the sudden urgent entrance of Skid Krok.)
Matty: Oh, pardon me, Mista Skuz; I gotta talk ta my brother.
(Matty gratefully hurries over to the right to confer with Skid, while, in the
background, Skuz starts issuing clean-up orders. Mattys relief is diminished by
Skids first words.)
Skid: (sotto) Matty, did you drop any kinda business card or anything,
when we did the Acme Labs job?
Matty: (also sotto) No chance a that, Skid! We dont have
Skid: You musta dropped somethin! Because I just got a visit from the
cops- they say they found our phone number in the lab!They searched our place, an
didnt find nothin, but that Sergeant Monday said they might be back.
Voice of Sergeant Monday: And here we are.
Skid and Matty: (whirling toward voice) Huh?!
(Monday, with six substantial cops behind him, enters the sound stage. Some ways beyond
them, Sharlay also comes in, wanting to see this.)
Monday: (lifting his badge to show Skuz and the film crew) Police,
Sergeant Monday. We just got a phone tip, that all the recently-stolen mice were
looking for are ensconced on this Sound Stage. And we have reason to suspect Skid and
Matty Krok are the parties who stole them.
Skid: (smiling nervously) Ah, come on, offissa. Ya can ask anyone who
knows us an theyll tell ya; we aint responsible!
Matty: (same expression) Yeah! We was outta the country last
Thursday... no, that was last Friday... an the Friday before, too! Theres
gotta be some mistake!
(As they speak, the Kroks, shoulder to shoulder, back in the direction of the
Storage Room door, still partly open. With all attention on the Kroks, no one notices as
Brain emerges from behind that door, carefully positioning himself against the wall beside
Brain: (hissing whisper) Pssst! Skid! Matty! In here!
(The brothers turn, see the beckoning door, promptly dash inside and lock themselves
in. As most of the police converge on the door, and one officer directs the muttering
studio staff back, Brain manages to make his way along the wall to a clear space in view
of Pinky. Brain raises an arm and makes the whirly-wind gesture.)
Pinky: Its time to set the Neighbor Mice free!
(Pinky happily leaps down to the cages, flinging the doors back and giving each mouse
the follow me chitter. Brain joins the group just in time to open the last
cage; Diplos. Though concerned about the commotion, Diplo immediately bounds to
Brain: A most laudible performance, Pinky!
Pinky: Thank you, Brain! Ah, is that good?
Brain: Yess! Now bring our friends this way!
(Brain hurries the mice over to a floor-level air vent, pulls back the grid and leads
them all inside.)
Brains Voice: (fading out in distance) Now, Pinky, when we get
to the cameras, Ill need you to...
(Cut to interior of the Storage Room, where Skid and Matty are bracing a sturdy chair
under the doorknob, ignoring the racket of pounding fists.)
Mondays Voice, from outside: Just what do you two think
youre doing? Theres no exit from that room!
Skid: (jeering) Yeel never take us alive, Copper!
Matty: Hey-hey! Good un, Skid!
(Neither man observes the line of mice emerging from the air duct onto the left bank of
TV screens, and approaching the two cameras. Two new modifications have been added;
lengths of twine running down to the light switch, and to the latch at the top of the big
storage cabinet door. Brain stands, with Diplo and Smarty, in front of the first camera.
At his gesture, Pinky and the remaining mice take their positions at the second camera.)
Mondays Voice: Come on, boys. This stunt wont do you any
Skid: (continuing to jeer) You cant get us, Copper! Were
gonna hold out in here till King Kong comes!
Matty: Or maybe even longer!
(Brain yanks the string to switch off the lights; suddenly the room is lit only by the
eerie glow of the television banks.)
Skid: Hey! Whyd ya shut off the lights, Matty?
Matty: I didnt! I thought you did!
Brain: (speaking directly into his cameras microphone, in his
most sternly authoritative voice) Skid and Matty Krok!
(The aforenamed miscreants start, looking frantically about the room for the source of
that resonant vocalization.)
Skid: Who is that?
Matty: Yeah! Who is that?
Brain: It is us, the Mice!
Pinky: (sounding the harshest hes able to) Yeah! Us, the Mice!
(The other mice begin to make chittering rodent noises- amplified, this has a most
Brain: We mice dont like the way youve been treating us.
Pinky: Thats right! We dont like it at all!
(Brain throws the switch to activate the cameras- Skid and Matty suddenly have huge
angry images of Brain and Pinky glaring at them from either side.)
Matty: Thats Grouchy an Silly!
Brain: (pointing accusingly) You, Skid Krok, abducted me from Acme
Labs, because of my large head. You compared it to an apple on a stick!
Pinky: (also pointing) And you, Matty Krok, stuck a big finger over my
mouth that tasted like pencil lead! You should wash more often!
Matty: (getting unnerved) Its gotta be somethin the cops
are beamin in!
Skid: (same condition) But-but howd they know about all that
(The heads of the other mice appear beside Brain and Pinky, baring their teeth
aggressively, chittering more loudly. Skid and Matty begin to emit frightened
eee-eee sounds, just like Sid in Toy Story.)
Brain: We have all been stolen from our homes, prodded with pencils,
used in degrading and painful ways- for Your profit!
Pinky: Though I did rather enjoy the part where I got to smash up
Brain: Quiet, Pinky! For your crimes against Mice, Skid and
Matty Krok, you must... Pay The Penalty!!
(Brain signals; Pinky reaches down and pulls the second piece of twine. The
storage cabinet door unlatches and creaks open, revealing the mouse costume, erect and
with arms outstretched. In the dim lighting, the paper-cone fangs and claws look most
convincing. And as the figure starts to fall from the cabinet, its resemblance to an
attacking giant mouse is immistakable.)
Skid and Matty: (completely freaked) AAAAAAHHHHHHHHGG!!!!!!
(Skid and Matty bolt from the room so fast they collide with the waiting
officers, knocking everyone to the floor.)
(In the Storage Room, the mice celebrate with triumphant high-fours, muzzle-rubbing,
and congratulatory hugs.)
Skid: (panicked) Dont let him get me! Dont let him get me!
Matty: Save us! Save us from the mice!
Monday: (picking himself from the floor and brushing off) Grown men,
afraid of mice?
Skid: Jus get us outta here! (throws a terrified look toward
(Monday steps into the room- a moment too late to see the real mice disappearing into
the air duct- turns on the light and takes a curious look around. But theres nothing
there except a crumpled blue plush heap on the floor. Monday shrugs, returns to his men.)
Monday: Officers, since these clowns are so anxious to leave the area,
book em with Failure to Cooperate with a Police Investigation. For now.
(The four burliest cops handcuff Skid and Matty and lead them out- theyre only
too happy to go.)
Monday: Now, where are these allegedly stolen mice?
Jon: (noticing Pinky and Brain leading their rodent troop back out of
the floor air vent) Theyre all over here, Sergeant.
(Monday steps over, pulls from his pocket a paper with pictures of the missing mice,
makes a quick comparison.)
Monday: Confirmed! Skid and Matty will do time for this! (To Jon) Son,
could you please put these mice in their cages, so we can return them to their proper
Jon: Ill do that. (He proceeds to, handling the animals with
proper care. Brain, deciding he has reason to remain at liberty a bit longer, slips away
toward the platform.)
Monday: (turning to Skuz) Do you want to explain how your studio came
to be in possession of six purloined rodents, Mr. Skuz?
Skuz: I am shocked, shocked, to discover the handlers I hired in good
faith have been procuring animals by unlawful means!
Dennys Voice: (cold) Are you really, Uncle Harold?
(Unnoticed until now, Denny has come in, carrying a folder which she now hands to
Sergeant Monday. Monday opens it, frowning as he reads.)
Monday: This looks like a communication from you to the Krok Brothers,
saying you want to engage their services, because you know theyll use any
necessary means, not limited to legal, to get the specific kinds of mice you need.
Skuz: (glaring at Denny with angry disbelief) You took that from of my
Denny: I overheard a conversation between Ms Sharlay and an informant.
I had to check it out for myself.
Skuz: After all Ive done for you! All the time you were just
waiting for a chance to stab me in the back, so you could take over!
Denny: (sternly regretful) On the contrary, Uncle Harold. Ive
been more supportive then I should have been, of decisions youve made that
werent in the best interests of this studio, or our audience. Ive taken on
duties that arent in any Associate Producers job description, because
youre family. But when you start involving Skuz Studios in seriously illegal
activities... I know very well, Grandfather would never have approved of that!
(This hits home. Skuz flinches, looks toward the other studio workers, who also appear
resentful. The police officers are scowling, getting ready to move in. Skuz steps back,
toward the Set platform, bumping into a spotlight pole.)
Skuz: (dangerously low voice) Just one question, Denny. Who is this
Brain: (jumping onto the platform) I am! (Everyone stares)
Denny and Sharlay: (simultaneously recognizing the voice) Calliope!
Pinky: (in Jons hand) Does this mean were allowed to talk
again? (Jon doesnt know who to be more surprised at.)
Brain: I did it, to put a stop to this! (kicks a piece of the
destroyed set- a miniature Welcome to Mouseyville sign post) Theres
already more then enough mind-fogging toy-infomercials around, masquerading as
entertainment for juveniles!
Skuz: (unnaturally calm) Yes, it all makes sense now- the day you got
here was the day this place started coming apart at the seams. I should have avoided
acquiring experimental animals.
Monday: Harold Skuz, Im going to have to place you under arrest,
for Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny.
(For a moment Skuz looks on the verge of surrendering... then suddenly he whirls and
seizes Brain. To everyones horror, he snatches a cigarette lighter from his pocket,
and holds it under Brains face.)
Skuz: Everybody back! Or the rodent is toast!
Pinky: (still in Jons hand) Oh, no! Brain!
(The one mouse still loose on the floor, Diplo, is not only horrified, but furious. She
dashes to the spotlight pole behind Skuz and begins to climb, entwining her two tails
about the slippery pole for leverage.)
Denny: Uncle Harold! You cant!
Monday: (keeping a cautious distance) Mr. Skuz, put that animal down.
Youll only make your situation worse!
Skuz: How much worse? Im not going to get the chair for
murdering a mouse, now, am I? But Ill take real satisfaction from it!
(He moves the lighter closer to Brain, who nervously tries to turn his face away.)
(The determined Diplo reaches the top of the spotlight, just above Skuzs head,
and crouches like a cat preparing to spring. Brain, seeing her, lets out a gasp.)
Skuz: (turning attention to Brain) Whats the matter, mousey?
Didnt expect me to play so rough? (His thumb tightens threateningly on the lighter
switch. Brain swallows.)
(Diplo launches herself, landing jaws first on Skuzs thumb, chomping HARD.)
(Skuz flings out his bitten hand, sending both lighter and Diplo flying. Diplo slams
into the wall, sliding limply to the floor.)
(Monday and the two cops rush Skuz- one of them grasps his hand and forces him to
release Brain. Brain immediately jumps to the ground and races to Diplo, now laying
motionless. He tenderly cradles her head, an anguished expression on his face. Jon, with
Pinky, also hurries over, followed by Sharlay.)
Monday: (looking over from where the cops are hand-cuffing Skuz) Do
you need any help there, Son?
Jon: (kneeling to carefully examine Diplo) I have a veterinary degree-
I can handle it.
Brain: (sick with anxiety) Will she be all right? (Pinky, similarly
upset, moves behind Brain and sets hands on his shoulders.)
Jon: Theres no serious injuries. Shes just knocked out.
Sharlay: (poking her finger into the walls padding.) Its
lucky for her, these are sound-insulated walls.
(Diplos beautiful brown eyes slowly open, and she smiles bravely up at Brain.
Brain is relieved beyond words.)
Pinky: (hugging Brain around the neck) Oh, thank you, Diplo, thank
you! You saved Brains life!
Sharlay: (admiring) Whod have thought such a shy little mouse
would have such courage?
(In the background, the fuming Skuz is hauled away by the police, Monday reading him
his rights as he goes. Beyond them, the crew proceeds to clear away the mess.)
Jon: I should take Diplo to the Humane Society clinic, where she can
get some medication and rest undisturbed. Shell probably be fine by tomorrow
Sharlay: I live near there. (to Pinky and Brain) Perhaps you two
should spend the night at my place. We can pick up Diplo first thing after breakfast.
Brain: (grateful) That would be most appreciated.
Sharlay: Well, I do owe you one. Youre my Muse.
(Sharlay produces a clean handkerchief, folds it to make a soft bed. While shes
doing this, Denny comes up to them.)
Denny: How is Diplo?
Jon: I think shell be okay. She just has to sleep off the shock.
(He eases Diplo onto the handkerchief.)
Denny: Im glad. And, Jon, I needed to talk to you.
Jon: (standing, with Diplo in hand) What about?
(Sharlay also stands, tucking Brain and Pinky carefully into the top of her tote bag.)
Denny: With the, departure, of Producer Skuz, Im now acting Head
of this studio. And I want to avoid any trouble of this sort in the future. Id hoped
you could use your Humane Society resources to provide me with a list of legitimate animal
suppliers and handlers.
Jon: No problem. Will you be wanting replacement mice?
Denny: Not at this time. Im canceling the
Mouseyville production. (rolling eyes) I honestly think its the most
ill-conceived idea for a series my Uncle has ever had.
Pinky: Even worse then Superpizzaman? And Red
Hot Kumquat Coyotes?
Denny: Even worse. (to Sharlay) I think, for our next project,
Id like to do an entertaining-and-informative show about animals, based
on your childrens books. Could you possibly convert them to script form?
Denny: Good! You are officially rehired as writer- try to have a
script ready by next week. Now, if youll excuse me, I have a clean-up to supervise.
(walks back to Set)
Sharlay: (giving Brain a bemused look) I guess thats Mission
Brain: My name is Brain.
Pinky: And Im Pinky!
Jon: Well, Brain, Pinky; lets be off to the clinic. (to Sharlay)
Can you give us a ride?
(Jon and Sharlay leave. Sharlay considerately carries her tote bag high, so Brain can
keep Diplo in sight. He smiles at her encouragingly. Diplo returns the smile, before
dropping off to sleep. Brain continues smiling a moment, then turns his face away,
Pinky: You should be happy, Brain- your plan worked! And Jon said
Diplo is going to be all right.
Brain: It isnt that. (He closes his eyes, murmurs to himself) I
cant think about it now. Ill have to think about it tomorrow...
(Pullback shot of Jon and Sharlay getting into her car, driving from the Studio. Cut to
outside shot of the Humane Society clinic. The car pulls up, Jon gets out and carries
Diplo inside, Sharlay drives away.)
(Time-lapse image of night falling over the clinic, the moon crossing the sky,
(Resume real time. Sharlays car parks in front of the clinic again. Close in as
Sharlay gets out. Pinky and Brain are in the passenger seat, Brain looking sadly
Sharlay: Perk up, Brain; be glad that shes fully recovered.
(glancing at Pinky) And try to keep Pinky out of trouble, til I get back.
Brain: I will.
(Sharlay shuts her door and goes into the clinic.)
Pinky: (regarding Brain with concern) Are you sure you want to do
Brain: It isnt a matter of wanting to. Its a matter of,
Pinky: But if the gene splicer...
Brain: (haunted expression) Dont even bring that up! You
remember what the results were, the last time I tried to use it that way.
Pinky: But that wont happen with Diplo- she already loves you.
Brain: Yes. And I have, similar feelings for her. But the fact
remains; even if I did give her comparable intelligence, we would still belong to
different worlds. Diplo is a wild creature- she could never be happy living in the lab.
And can you even imagine me spending my whole life scampering among dead leaves,
scratching out burrows, nosing around for seeds?
Pinky: (downcast) I guess I understand. It just seems so...(trails
Brain: (equally downcast) Yes. It does.
(Sharlay emerges from the clinic with a small cardboard carrying case, Jon seeing her
off at the door. Brain smiles in anticipation at her approach. Sharlay opens the
passenger-side door of her car, and carefully releases Diplo from the case.)
Sharlay: Look whos here, Diplo!
(Seeing Brain, Diplo eagerly runs to him, setting her paws on his shoulders and
nuzzling her face against his. Brain returns the embrace in kind; for a moment the two
appear completely happy. Pinky, just beyond, looks more regretful then ever.)
(The following scenes are shown while Brain sings a VO, to a tune resembling My
Heart Will Go On. Sharlay drives out of the city, her passengers nestling behind
their collective seat belt. Diplo, looking fully content, rests with her head against
Brains shoulder, her tails playing about his ears. Brain, trying to enjoy these last
moments with Diplo, pats her head. Pinky says nothing, but stays supportively close. The
car drives past a Game Refuge sign and into a forested area; Diplo, catching the
wilderness scent, lifts her head and sniffs with interest. The car parks beside an
intermediate growth wood, the passenger door
opens and Diplo enthusiastically leaps forth. Brain and Pinky follow at a more moderate
pace. Sharlay watches them sympathetically, but stays in her car, to allow them
privacy. Diplo frisks joyfully about in the leaf litter, pausing briefly to sniff at
rocks, twigs, mosses and herbs, as if greeting old friends.)
Brain VO: Born in the shade of deciduous forest
No other place is your home,
Though you have moved me, I cant keep you by me,
I must continue alone...
I have, a World to win,
Sometimes thats a harsh fate to bear,
I cant, discard it for you,
No matter how much I may care...
Each time I look on a woods or a wildflower
Ill be remembering, true;
A mouse with two tails and the heart of a Hero,
Never another like you...
You make, me wish I could be
Content to live under the trees,
I will, go on as I have
But Ill mourn for what never could be...
(The last line fades out over an image of the happily romping Diplo vanishing from
sight among the trees, as the two lab mice watch. Brains ears droop to their lowest
setting; Pinky sets a consoling arm across his shoulders.)
Pinky: I guess you were right, Brain. More then anything else, Diplo
needs to be in her natural habitat. (Brain wipes away a tear or two.) So, I guess now
its back to the lab, to prepare for tomorrow night?
Brain: (distracted) I guess.
Pinky: Or maybe you wont feel like taking over the world for a
Brain: (rallying) On the contrary! Taking over the world is more
imperative then ever! (Pullback shot, emphasizing the beauty of the forest.) This planet
needs a ruler who will see to it places like this are always preserved, for Diplo and her
kind! Even if I never see her again, Ill want to make sure her home is safe.
Pinky: This is a game refuge- isnt it already safe?
Brain: The point is, I want to be the one who keeps it that way. Come!
(Brain marches back to the car. Pinky follows, slightly confused but glad to have his
old Brain back.)
Pinky: On our way out, Brain, do you think we could pick up a game or
two? Maybe Monopoly?
Brain: (as they climb back into the passenger seat) That isnt
exactly the kind of game they have here, Pinky.
Pinky: How about table tennis, then? (Sharlay leans over and
shuts their door.)
(Cut to shot of Diplo in the woods, hearkening to the distant sound of the engine
starting. Suddenly realizing shes alone, she hurries back toward the parking area,
just in time to see Sharlays car drive out of view. Diplos expression saddens,
but theres also a trace of determination in it, as if shes thinking,
(Closing shot of Diplo in sylvan paradise, continuing to gaze down the
road, her two tails curled into a heart-shape.)
THE END (?)