The Lost Six

An inquiry into the fates of the six that were blown away

By DIJIT the Great

Chapter One

            It was early summer and Mrs. Frisby was resting in the cool shade just outside the entrance to her summer home by the brook. It had been a very remarkable spring, but she was thankful that it was over and was very much enjoying the wonderful weather and relaxation that the summer had brought her. At this point she had no real worries, there was still quite a bit of the summer left before she had to start worrying about preparing for winter and her four children were out enjoying the beautiful summer day with some of the other children who lived by the brook.

            It was during this time that she noticed the approach of another mouse. This in itself wasn’t strange because there were five different families of mice living in the immediate area. What was unusual was that Mrs. Frisby was unable to identify who it was, because she was fairly confident that she new most of the mice at the brook. Although, the fact that she did not know this particular mouse did not alarm her, for she reasoned that although she did know her neighbors well there were so many that missing one wasn’t all that surprising. This approaching mouse did for some reason seem unusual, she was a female mouse only slightly larger in stature than Mrs. Frisby, she also had very light fur that was very much like her daughter Cynthia’s color of fur, but what struck Mrs. Frisby as most fascinating was her eyes they shone with an intelligence and love that she had seen only once before in the eyes of her dearly departed husband, Jonathan.

“Good-day,” the strange mouse called out in such a friendly voice that would have dispelled any worries that Mrs. Frisby had if she had, had any to begin with “my name is Andrea.”

“Hello Andrea,” Mrs. Frisby replied very politely with a bit of curiosity “can I help you?”

            “Why, yes” she said quite pleased that Mrs. Frisby had not scurried away at first sight of her “I am looking for a Mrs. Frisby.”

            “Well in that case,” Mrs. Frisby said slightly bewildered “I guess I can seeing that I am Mrs. Frisby.”

            “Mrs. Jonathan Frisby?” Andrea questioned cocking one eyebrow slightly.

            “Yes,” Mrs. Frisby said with a bit of a sigh at the mention of her dead husbands name “Jonathan was my husband”

            With these words Andrea fidgeted a bit looking a bit lost for words before saying “I am glad to meet you,” pausing a bit before going on “you see I knew your husband very well…”

            At this comment Mrs. Frisby could no longer contain her questions. After all how could this strange mouse come along out of the blue claiming to know her husband and very well at that, “How,” Mrs. Frisby interrupted with a slight sob in her voice “how did you know him?”

            “Please!” Andrea said with a slight tone of strain in her voice as if she was trying to keep her emotions under control “try to understand that this is difficult for me. You see Jonathan was my brother.”

            “What?” exclaimed Mrs. Frisby “but how can that be Jonathan was from NIMH and the only other mouse … oh but.”

            “But there were the others,” Andrea continued in a somber voice letting the pain of the memories show through despite her best efforts “as you appear to know there were six that didn’t escape with the others.”

            With that they both stopped and stood quite for a minute, before the silence was broken by the sounds of the Frisby children returning from their play for supper. Upon hearing the sounds of her children Mrs. Frisby broke the rather embarrassing silence. “That would be my children,” she said with the smile of joy only a proud parent can possess “they’ll be returning for their supper, will you join us I know that they’d love to meet you.”

            Having the tables turned on her so quickly Andrea barely managed to say “I’d love to” before Timothy and Cynthia came running in up to the house in a friendly race followed closely by Teresa and Martin who being older felt that it would be better to take a more dignified pace. As Timothy and Cynthia drew closer though they slowed down a little at the sight of the guest giving the older two a chance to catch up. Timothy, having recognized Andrea as a stranger, immediately took it upon himself to do the introductions.

            “Good evening,” Timothy said in his most sincere voice while gesturing to his family “ I am Timothy Frisby, and this is my favorite younger sister Cynthia, and those two slowpokes behind me would be my older brother and sister, Martin and Teresa.”

            At this last comment Martin took a loving swipe at his younger who as if in a well rehearsed play deftly dodged it, while Teresa just looked at her brother and laughed silently to herself knowing that it was all in fun and games. Before anything else happened Mrs. Frisby introduced Andrea to her four children then sent them off to wash up for supper. Mrs. Frisby now feeling a bit more in control off the situation said almost to herself  “I’m so proud of my children.”

            To which Andrea said, “They remind me of Jonathan, especially your youngest son Timothy.”

            Sensing where this conversation was quickly leading Mrs. Frisby hastened to say “Yes they do don’t they, but if you’ll follow me I’ll, we’ll be able to discuss these things while we eat supper.”

            At that Mrs. Frisby turned to go in waiting for Andrea to follow her before entering her house.

 

Chapter Two

            Upon entering the Frisby home Andrea noted that it was actually a quite large and comfortable room. It was actually the hollow under the roots of a large oak tree by the stream. The ceiling a network of roots and the floor of smooth hard packed earth. Towards the end of the room the whole room shrunk in diameter just to open up again like a giant hand had squeezed it at that point separating the house into to rooms a smaller back one, presumably a bedroom and the room she was in now. In the larger of the rooms where she now stood there was not much the dominating piece of furniture was a table fashioned of a large flat piece of bark supported by stones, around this there were smaller stream smoothed stones that served as she soon found out surprisingly comfortable chairs. In addition to the large table off to the side there was a smaller very flat stone that seemed to serve as a small desk on it there was some red berries and some sticks that had turned red from the juice of the berries. Off to the side of the desk there was also a small pile of bark scrolls.

            Timothy having seen Andrea enter stood up and offered her a seat next to him, which she graciously accepted. As she sat down she noted that Timothy and Cynthia were sitting next to each other and directly across from their older siblings so that Mrs. Frisby who was at this moment putting the food on the table that she had just got from the whole in the wall behind the table that was the pantry would be sitting directly across from her.  After finishing setting the table Mrs. Frisby sat on her stone at the table with her children and Andrea.  Seeing that upon sitting down the children who had been politely waiting for their mother before they began eating had started to eat she soon followed suite. It was a simple affair but surprisingly tasty it was comprised of some young button mushrooms and some fresh watercress from the brook by the Frisby home. Normally, Andrea would have avoided eating the mushrooms that made up the main course of there meal because she new the dangers of accidentally mistaking edible mushrooms with those of poisonous ones, but upon seeing how the rest of the family took to eating them she wasted no time in trying them herself.

            Mrs. Frisby new that all of her children were intensely curious about her visitor but still being unsure as to the situation found she was at a lack of words to relate to her children what she had just learned even though the were already quite aware of their father’s relationship to the rats of NIMH. The burden of this introduction was lifted when her youngest daughter Cynthia who no longer being able to contain her curiosity asked “Andrea, where are you from?” then almost as an afterthought added, “I don’t think that I’ve seen you around here before.”

            “Well, your correct” then glancing over to Mrs. Frisby to see if it was alright continued by saying, “I’m not from around these parts. I am from NIMH.”

            At the mention of the name NIMH it was if someone had dropped a bomb, even Mrs. Frisby who new this startling fact felt herself being surprised at this fact so simply stated.

            Timothy was the first to break the silence “Does that mean you are one of the lost six?” he said in a very calm and quiet voice that only betrayed the turmoil inside him. What did all this imply?

            Andrea who could see through the calmness of Timothy’s voice simply replied, “Yes, I am” and was going to go on to explain but was bombarded by questions from the other three.

“Did you know are father?”

“How did you escape?”

“And where are the others?”

Mrs. Frisby thinking that her children had a right to know did nothing to curb their curiousness after all it was it did involve them to and Andrea was obviously capable of answering these questions when she could not.

            “Wait,” Andrea, exclaimed with a smile it gave her much joy to see that she would have such an attentive audience and that her brother’s great curiosity for life had not died with him, but did in fact live on in his children and even in the spirit of the wife he loved. “I can I may have two ears to hear but I only have one mouth to answer with!” with this the Frisby children quieted down and let her explain further, “First off, I did no your father you see he was is related to me to. I am his sister.”

            “I could believe that,” Martin retorted, “your eyes do remind me of him but that doesn’t explain how you managed to survive the fan and where are the others, and for that matter how did you find us?”

            “Those aren’t easy questions to answer the former is quite a long story but the latter I can give an answer that might quell your curiosity for the moment. The rest of my group are at this moment are at the moment resting in our base near the Fitzgibbon’s house, I could tell more but I feel that I would be getting ahead of myself in telling my story, so if you don’t have anymore immediate questions…” she said pausing a moment to see that there was no objection “then I’ll begin.”

 

Chapter Three

            “I’m assuming that you know of NIMH and the lost six judging by your reactions and what you have asked me thus far” Andrea said and seeing the nods of agreement continued on to say “So I will not go into what happened to us while we were being experimented on at NIMH.”

           

            My tale begins in the moments after we were separated from the rest of the group. Whilst the fan was blowing us away I was knocked unconscious and so were the others.  I have no idea exactly how long I was out but all the while I was it seemed I dreamed of nothing but are failure to escape. It was awful I would see my self at freedoms door only having to reach just a little farther to touch the early summer sky, and then in a flash it was gone I found myself useless grasping at stainless steel ducting sliding backward to oblivion past crouching rats. The last thing I remember seeing before being blown away down one of the side ducts was Nicodemus grabbing Mr. Ages by the hind leg to prevent him from being blown away.

            When I finally awoke from this nightmarish slumber to an unbearable reality. It was dark and I was alone with bruises from head to toe. I suppose I should have felt lucky to be alive, but I was afraid. It was dark and deathly quite. I was so dark that I could see nothing behind me but I knew I was still in the air duct because I could feel the cold metal beneath my feet and a cool breeze of fresh air blowing past that seemed to cut right through my fur.

            Upon waking up to this I broke down and cried I don’t know why I just sat down and cried and softly called out for the others all the while thinking of the events that had led up to now and how I would probably never see any of them ever again. As you have probably been told there were originally eight of us Jonathan, Luke, Naomi, Andrew, Jessica, Karissa, Mr. Ages and I. Although, Mr. Ages unlike the rest of us, he was born and raised at NIMH. He was the end product of the end product of the series of experiments by Dr Shultz leading up the experiments that he did on the rats and us.

            The other seven of us though were born in the wild along with 42 other field mice. I thought about the fateful day when Jonathan and I were captured. We were out together for some reason or other I couldn’t remember then and I still can’t remember now but how oft have I wondered how it would have been if we hadn’t gone out that day for that unknown reason. No matter though, we did go out, it was a glorious day and we were enjoying our errand immensely. It was then that Jonathan pointed a strange object to me. I probably should mention that even then Jonathan was exceedingly smart, smart enough to get us in trouble. He was always trying to understand the world, fathom the unfathomable, and I daresay that he understood more than many field mice learn in their entire lives. What he saw was some strange metal object glinting in the distance under the morning sun. It was unusual but nothing particularly frightening about it so, knowing that the task at hand could wait, we carefully proceeded to walk closer to it. At length we got close enough to get a good view of it. It was what appeared to be a box made of criss-crossed metal bars the open end on one side and some small yellow object inside. It appeared to be safe enough so going carefully we slowly inched closer. When we got there it appeared safe enough so we walked around it a couple times. After Jonathan had thoroughly inspected the outside he voiced his suspicions of something being awry to me. I guess in the end though his curiosity to find out more won out because not long after we went in to investigate. What had caught our attention after initially checking out the box the thing that caught our interest was the yellow substance that was inside the cage. It was unlike anything that we had ever seen or smelt before. It had an unnatural but sweet smell but we soon forgot all about it because when we got close to it we heard a loud snapping behind us. The entrance had closed and we were trapped! I then proceeded to panic. I had never been in a cage before. Although Jonathan had never been caged in before he didn’t panic he was calm and collected and eventually got me to calm down too. After he managed to get me calmed down we futilely tried to find a way out. After a while we realized that the only way out was the way we came in and that was blocked by a sturdy door held in place by springs that were as big as we were.

            So there we waited for our fates. It was getting on towards evening when two men came up to our cage and picked it up.

            “See,” said the one who had picked while he opened the cage and tilted it so we slid out into the cage the other man was holding “my bait did work, it caught two of ‘em too!”

            “Come on,” the second one said has he closed the top of the new cage we were in with several other mice “they didn’t even touch your stupid Twinkie they just probably were just playing around.”

            “Oh well,” he said and with that he picked up the piece of Twinkie that hadn’t fallen out with us because it was stuck to the bottom of the cage and popped it in his mouth “all the more for me!”

            “Gross, how can you do that?”

            “Hmm? What do you mean? Anyway you know with these two we now have all forty-nine”

            “Really, well then let’s get all of them down to the lab and get this job down.”

            “Sounds good to me!”

            And with that they carried us and some other number of mice back to their truck. Then again for the second time that day we were tipped out into an even larger cage of mice. They then closed the doors to the back of the truck and all was dark. It seemed like ages that we rode in the dark crouched in fear but it couldn’t have been that long because it was just after dusk when we were taken out of the truck and into a large white concrete building and put into separate cages. That must have been the hardest part of the whole ordeal up to that point I had my older brother’s there to comfort me, but there was nothing we could do to stop it. Although, one thing was comforting and that was the fact that we were put in cages that were next to each other. Unfortunately though, there was some kind of barrier separating the cages, making it very difficult to speak to one another. After we were placed in our separate cages we were given something that we found to be some strange kind of food, (which we later learned was chemically balanced nutrient enriched pellets) and a bottle of water to drink from and then the humans that had put us there and we were left in the dark.

           

           


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