It was the last straw. I knew it would be. I knew it was coming for a long, long time and just didn't want to see it. I really didn't want to see anything my visions showed me. I didn't want the job I took so long ago. Being a hero had sucked. I wanted to quit. I was swallowed in grief and I wanted to die. You won't understand unless you've been that miserable at some point in your life, and I'm betting you have been, even if it was only for a second until the "this isn't happening to me" defenses of denial set in and blinded you to your damage. Everyone has experienced some horrible thing they cannot handle. Everyone. Well, my soul had been doing the freefall for a long, long time now - over a year of my mousey life, and it finally hit rock bottom when I saw my master pass into the west without me.
I simply didn't care anymore. About anything. All done. Game over. Squibble quits, Mousegod. Do you hear? Squibble quits! You can take your stupid job and shove it, cause it sucks! Nobody's gonna wanna work for you, you sadist! No one is even gonna like you anymore, you overweight egotistical jerk. You got issues. You need therapy.
So I wandered along the beach all night, not caring if I got eaten, or mauled, or whatever. It couldn't be worse than I was going through already. No way.
All that time I was thinking, and my thoughts grew dark. Nemo had never warned me about a dark side, he only made mention that negative thoughts never helped anyone. I knew that, you know? But I couldn't help it. I was in my own personal hell, and I hated life. That made me hate everyone and everything. Bad people, for the most part, are just in pain. I understood that now. I became a bad mouse. If you are partial to my "heroic" visage, then you might wanna stop here, because it got pretty ugly. I had thought my life could get no worse than it had been, and boy was I wrong. Without the black mouse to help me whatsoever, I made his efforts to knock me down seem like a light, pleasant rain on a summer day.
No one can kick you where it hurts like yourself.
Assuming Scratchy and Percival were both dead, I wandered into the city. Starving, hurting from my injuries to body and much worse ones to my spirit, I aimlessly went from place to place. I didn't eat much, and when I did, it was trash. I didn't care. I drank sewer water and never groomed myself. I was heedless of dangers - all the dangers a mouse could suffer. I crossed streets, I stood out in the open, I even went into a coffee shop and ate right out of the display case once. The people screamed. I laughed and lunged at them. They ran from me. Stupid humans. You're the cause of all our woes, I thought. You deserve to suffer.
I hate the city. It was a fitting hell for my demise. And make no mistake - I was planning on demising. I was an old mouse by now. Almost two. At the end of spring I would be. Any mouse that lives to two is usually counted lucky. My life had been a nightmare, except for the beginning. Except for sporadic beautiful parts...my master, our adventures, my daughter...that little runt and his stupid heroism...all my nice friends...the...the kind human...
Ahh, hell with it.
I chose to forget everything good in my life, and wouldn't you know, it went away when I asked it to. Unlike the bad things.
I hung out in dark places at night and darker places in daylight. I hardly slept. Time stopped having meaning. I finally got sick. I got something really bad. I didn't know it, but I had gotten one of the only mouse diseases more deadly than Mycoplasma pulmonis, may that bug be damned forever. I got the Sendai virus. I knew it because my eyes bled and I began to go blind.
I probably got it in a pet store. I went there on occasion to eat, and to slum about, yelling at the mice to free themselves when I was sick from eating something bad or drinking something with alcohol in it. Anyway, it hit me as I slept behind some trash cans one evening, and I immediately knew I was in deep trouble. My legs went shaky, my vision blurred, my entire body ached, and I got a fever.
Fear kicked in, and I panicked like any normal mouse. I knew I didn't have long, and I really didn't want to go that way. Truth was, I was terrified of death, and though I thought I wanted to go, I didn't want to go like that. It reminded me too much of the damned plague at the safe house. I snuck onto busses, took daring rides along with humans in their shopping bags, and slowly worked my way back to the lab.
I knew how to get in, and by this time I was seriously ill. I barely got up to the table and freed some of the rats. At first they had it in mind to eat me, of course.
"No wait," one of them said. "That's...that's Squibble!"
"You are so full of it," another said. "Squibble is dead."
"No - that's him. My dad was a Sword of Michael. That's him!"
"You...you're not joking."
"No. That's him dude."
"Why does he look like that?"
"He's sick, stupid."
"I thought Squibble wore armor and paraded around all command like."
"I quit," I moaned.
They looked at me with fear.
"It is him."
"I told you, pellets for brains."
I looked at them wearily. "If you're gonna eat me, can you get it over with? If not, can you turn the computer monitor on for me, please?"
One of them inched over to the monitor.
It came on, and it only took me half of eternity to reach the keyboard. I was almost blind.
Finally, one of them spoke. There were about twenty of them loose now, and apparently they had all been informed God was among them. Whee ha.
"What...what are you looking for, Sir?"
"The cure to the Sendai virus," I said, almost passing out from the effort.
"There isn't any," one said. "Right?"
"Wrong," I said. Button. Must...press...button. You know, I was really sick of being sick. "These labs can't have their precious inhumane experiments messed with by ordinary virii. They have a cure. I'm sure of it."
"Do they have one for SDA?" A rat asked. SDA killed alot of rats. Way alot.
"Yeah," I said.
The rat picked me up and put me down near his friends, who all bundled up around me to keep me warm. Someone tried to feed me something tasty.
"Tell me what to push," the rat who had picked me up said. "We'll help you, sir."
"Why?" I asked, full of dripping cynicism.
He looked at me. "For my father. He served you."
"He's toast," I said. "They all died." I paused and sucked on my lower lip. "It was my fault."
The room was quiet. Finally, the rat said, "Yeah. Well, we're all toast sooner or later, but he was pretty darn proud to be a Sword of Michael. It was better than being a stupid lab rat."
"Okay," I said.
So I told them what to push. We found the cure. Sure enough, the humans had it. They simply didn't want it getting out to the public, curing beloved pets, actually doing any good.
I slept in a dark corner of the lab in the daytime and listened to the horrifying sounds of the animals in terror and pain. I dwelled on my hatred of humans and sympathized greatly with Shiva and Thor, who, as far as I knew, were still alive. They had been right all along. Humans were evil. Most of them, anyway. Selfish, no-good, greedy, destructive, dangerous, hostile apes. Vermin.
I had bad dreams. Whoa. Big surprise there, eh? News flash. Over a few days my strength and sight came back. I had failed to prevent myself from going on. What a wretch I was.
In the night the rats and I planned the complete annihilation of the lab. But before we carried it out, we schemed. Oh yes, we schemed hard.
We collected data on every single formula they had. Every experiment, every note they took. We took samples of their potions and drugs. I collected quite a sackful for myself, for later, and the rats built backpacks for themselves. We hid by day and worked by night, and the humans knew no better than one night there had been an escape. They thought us long gone. They were going to wish we were.
By the time we were ready to move, weeks had passed, and we knew the human's data better than they did. Every single animal in the lab was in on our plan. They all called me Sir all the time, to which I responded, "Don't do that." If they did it again, I bit them hard. No one ever bit me back. Damnable respect thing.
On the last day, instead of blowing the place up, or some other blatant act of terrorism, we did much, much better.
We altered their experiment.
We put vitamins and painkillers in place of the normal experiment drugs. I myself used some hocus-pocus I had learned to magically alter the formula and enchanted it to make the animals super smart and super strong. Ubermice. Uberrats. I didn't know if it would work, but it was better than what they were getting. They'd all get out of here soon anyway. No one was staying.
We slipped the humans their own experiment drugs, the old bad ones, into their cigarettes, their prescription pills, their cough syrup. We got into the bathroom and put it in their mouthwash. We loaded it into the toilet paper. We set it loose in the air vents. We even had some really ticked off mice deliver it by biting the humans. I gave them some Rg-10. I remembered the formula like it was yesterday.
The entire time I was drinking, smoking, and using whatever recreational drugs I could get my hands on. I was whacked out of my mind, but in some strange way, those dangerous things opened my consciousness to broader horizons. I began to think out of the box. Wayyy out of the box.
When it came time, we called it D-Day, the humans were staggering around like morons and dropping like flies. The few who were still semiconscious could barely read the computer screen. It said: Up yours, humans. Have a really bad day.
Then, before their very eyes, we all escaped. They were powerless to stop us. We took all their notes, their potions, and the cures for Sendai and SDA with us. We flaunted it in their faces. We spit on them and bit them. I did a jig on someone's face while all the rodents laughed, then we dashed off.
To be quite honest, I loved every minute of it.