Chapter 1: Imponderable Presidency
Two lab mice watched the US 2016 election news with horror— the same as most of the rest of the world.
"These presidential candidates are the weakest in modern times!" Brain cried. "Pinky! Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
"I think so, Brain," said Pinky. "But we still don't know who put the bop in the bop-she-bop-she-bop."
"No, Pinky! A third-party candidate might be viable! I'm going to run for President of the United States Of America!"
"But we've already had an episode when I was elected President," Pinky said. "Remember?"
"Oh." Brain sighed. "Well, back to the drawing board."
Chapter 2: Take-Over Take-Back
"Gee, Brain! What do you want to do tonight?" Pinky asked.
"The same thing we do every night, Pinky," said Brain. "Try to take over the world!"
"But isn't the world mostly covered by oceans?" Pinky asked. "Why do we need to take over the oceans? There's nothing out there but fish, a few boats, and more fish."
"I hadn't thought about that," Brain admitted reluctantly. "Very well. We shall try to take over the thirty percent of the world that isn't covered by oceans."
"And what about Antarctica?" Pinky asked. "It's covered by water too. It's just that the water that's covering it is really cold."
"I suppose we could remove Antarctica from consideration, as well," Brain agreed.
"And large areas of Africa, Asia and Australia are also uninhabitable," Pinky added.
"FINE," Brain said impatiently. "We shall concentrate our efforts on the forty percent of the thirty percent of land that is arable."
"But most of THAT is productive farmland or protected forest," an unexpectedly knowledgeable Pinky said. "We wouldn't want to risk famine or ecological disaster."
"Can we at LEAST try to take over the CITY!?" Brain asked.
"No," Pinky said sadly. "We can't afford the property taxes."
Chapter 3: Narf Mouse Narf Biscuit
Twas the night before Christmas,
And all thru the lab,
Not a creature was narfing,
Not even a—
"I stand corrected," the Brain said. "Pinky, if you don't go to sleep, Santa can't deliver your presents."
"What if we're on the 'naughty' list?" Pinky asked. "Last year, we pretended to be elves and infiltrated his toyshop."
"That's true," the Brain admitted. "Perhaps we could exchange gifts instead. Do you want something in particular?"
"All I want for Christmas," Pinky declared, "is a Dukla Prague away kit."
"It's an unusual request," the Brain pondered, "but it's easier than the WORLD."
Chapter 4: No One Knows My Plan
Published 13-May-2017; humor; 200 words.
For the 31_days "it's not that they're hiding; it's just no one thought to ask" prompt (posted to AO3 only).
See also "No One Knows My Plan" by They Might Be Giants.
A woman sat on a public bench next to two white mice. "Hello," the woman said politely. "Are you new to this area?"
"We've just arrived in this city," the Brain said. "Actually, we're lab mice carrying out a plan to take over the world."
The woman raised an eyebrow. "I take it you don't believe me," the Brain said.
"Well, I don't disbelieve you," the woman said. "But shouldn't that be a secret?"
"Soon enough, EVERYBODY will know my plan!" the Brain cried. "Right, Pinky?"
"Know what, Brain?" asked Pinky.
"The PLAN to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!" the Brain said. "The PLAN I spent FOUR HOURS explaining to you last night!"
"Oh, THAT plan," Pinky said. "Sorry Brain. When you try to take over the world every night, it all becomes a blur."
The Brain turned back to the woman. "Honestly! Do you see what I have to work with?"
"Well, I would LOVE to hear ALL ABOUT your plan," the woman said with a sweet smile.
The Brain blinked in surprise. "You would?"
"Yes." The woman produced a badge. "I'm with the FBI."
"Oh, fiddlesticks," the Brain said sadly.
"OOH! SHINY!" Pinky said. "ZORT!!"
Chapter 5: Of Megalomaniacal Mice And Men
Published 11-Jul-2017; humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "I just wanted to rule the world. Men do it all the time; why shouldn’t I?" prompt (posted to AO3 only).
"Why so glum, little chum?" Pinky cheerfully asked a brooding Brain.
"I've been studying the biographies of the most successful conquerors in recorded history in order to emulate their success," the Brain said. "And I've found that they all have one thing in common."
"What is that?" Pinky asked.
"Raving loonies, the lot of them," the Brain said.
"Well," Pinky said, "ONE of US is crazy— and I KNOW it's not YOU!!"
The Brain smiled. "You always know what to say to make me feel better, my fatuous friend."
"Have I really gained that much weight!?" an alarmed Pinky cried.
Chapter 6: I Say, Old Brain
Published 25-Sep-2017; humor; 100 words.
See also "Just Like A Chap" by Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer (among others).
This contains extremely random humor (even for PATB, and even for me). Reader discretion is advised.
"Pinky! Are you ready to to begin tonight's plan to take over the world?" the Brain shouted.
Pinky walked up, wearing an 1880s-style tweed suit, a straw hat, and a fake waxed mustache.
The Brain sighed. "That would be a 'no'."
"I can't help you tonight," Pinky said. "I'm pursuing my dream of becoming a 'chap-hop' artist."
The Brain face-palmed. "Since WHEN was THIS your DREAM!?"
"I supported YOU when you tried to become a country-and-Western singer," Pinky said sternly.
"You have a point," the Brain admitted. "Well, you do have the ridiculous accent for it."
"In-DUBIT-ably!" Pinky agreed. "NARF!!"
Chapter 7: No Spill Blood
"Brain, I'm worried about tonight's plan to take over the world," Pinky said nervously. "Are you sure that no one will be hurt?"
"Fear not, Pinky," the Brain said confidently. "No blood shall be spilled this night."
"That's a relief," Pinky said. "As a lab mouse, I don't have very much blood to spill."
"What kind of ruthless dictator would I be," the Brain said, "if I forced my subjects to commit violence at my selfish whims?"
"A typical one?" Pinky asked.
"Well, yes," the Brain said, "but *I* am not typical!"
"Truer words were never spoken," Pinky agreed solemnly.
Chapter 8: Sunbeam Him Down
The Brain found Pinky snoozing in a sunny corner of their cage. "Pinky!" he cried. "Get up and go to bed! We're taking over the world tonight!"
"Sunnnnnnbeeeeeam," said a sleepy Pinky.
The Brain tried to drag Pinky to bed— and leaned into the sunbeam. "MUST— STAY— AWAKE!!" he cried as he collapsed next to his cage-mate.
"If we could cover the world with sunbeams," the Brain pondered, "EVERYBODY would fall asleep, and the world would be ours for the taking."
"Sunnnnnnbeeeeeam," Pinky agreed.
"Unfortunately," the Brain said, "I am currently incapable of voluntary muscle movement."
"*naaaaaaaaaaarrrf*" Pinky said weakly.
Chapter 9: Defective Retrospective
The Brain found Pinky writing in a notebook. "Have you begun keeping a diary?" the Brain asked.
"It's more like a journal," Pinky said. "I wouldn't want to forget all the FUN we have every night."
"Perhaps reviewing past failures would help us improve future plans," the Brain said thoughtfully.
"'Tonight, we tried to take over the world, but were crushed under an anvil'," Pinky read. "'Tonight, we tried to take over the world, but were crushed under an anvil'... 'Tonight, we tried to take over the world, but were crushed under an anvil'..."
"Or perhaps not," the Brain whimpered.
Chapter 10: You Forgot Uranus
"Our plans have failed once again," a resigned Brain said to Pinky.
"At least we weren't crushed under an anvil this time," Pinky said.
"Be that as it may," the Brain said, "our failed plans HAVE left us trapped inside a deep space probe that's on a collision course with the planet Neptune."
"Still," Pinky said, "look on the bright side."
"There's a BRIGHT SIDE!?" the Brain cried.
"Before we crash into Neptune," Pinky said eagerly, "we'll get to see Uranus— UP CLOSE and PERSONAL! NARF!!"
"It IS important to have something to look forward to," the Brain said insincerely.
Chapter 11: Hang Together Or Hang Separately
Pinky pulled the Brain back up over a cliff's edge and back to safety during their latest adventure.
"Thank you, Pinky," the Brain gasped. "Despite your stupidity, I don't know what I'd do without you."
"If we pull together as a team," Pinky declared, "there's NOTHING we can't do!"
"That's an admirable sentiment," the Brain agreed.
"Although we haven't had much success at taking over the world," Pinky added.
"Unfortunately, that much is true," the Brain agreed again.
"In fact," Pinky continued, "we've hardly accomplished anything more than just barely staying alive."
"Pinky, you're ruining our 'moment'," the Brain said.
Chapter 12: Over Work Week
Published 6-Mar-2018; humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "You rush a miracle worker, you get lousy miracles!" prompt (posted to AO3 only).
The Brain was explaining his latest plan to take over the world to Pinky. "...and then, we'll use the rubber chicken. What do you think?"
"Honestly?" a disappointed Pinky said. "It's not your best work."
"I have to agree," the Brain said sadly. "However, it isn't easy to do 'The Same Thing We Do Every Night' AND keep it fresh."
"Why don't you work a 'Tuesday Thursday Saturday' schedule?" Pinky suggested. "And we can both relax on the 'odd days'."
"EVERY day with YOU is an 'Odd Day'," the Brain noted.
"What a LOVELY thing to say!" Pinky cried. "NARF!!"
Chapter 13: Hearing Loss Leader
"Haven't we already tried to take over the world with with subliminal messages?" Pinky asked the Brain.
He switched on the tape-deck, playing-back guitar-heavy rock music so loudly that the mice's ears were blown back.
After a few seconds, the Brain switched off the music. "On the other hand," he thought out loud, "subliminal messages will have no effect on the temporarily deafened."
"WHAT?" asked Pinky.
"PARDON?" asked the Brain.
"TROZ!?" asked Pinky.
Chapter 14: Ungrounded
"Pinky, are you busy?" the Brain asked unnecessarily.
"I'm just arranging our food pellets by size," Pinky said.
"Good," the Brain said. "Hold these cables... like this."
"What are you doing?" Pinky asked pleasantly.
"I just want to see," the Brain said, "if my interociter can withstand a sudden charge of sixty thousand volts."
He threw a switch— and electricity coursed through both him AND Pinky, along with their entire metal cage.
The Brain somehow shut off the power. "Apparently it can," he said as he collapsed, "but the grounding cable CAN'T."
"*naaaaaaaaaaarrrf*" Pinky agreed weakly as he also collapsed.
Chapter 15: Narf Dumb And Blind
The Brain awoke to find moonlit blood-red eyes above him.
"GAH!!" a startled Brain said. "PINKY!! Why are you awake!?"
"Sorry Brain," Pinky said. "'Nature calls'."
"Your red-light-reflecting retinas are remarkably terrifying!"
"I'll close my eyes, then," Pinky said. "Excuse me—"
"OUCH!!" the Brain said. "You're STEPPING on my TAIL!!"
"I can't see," Pinky said. "Let's try this. *narf*... *narf*... *narf*..."
"WHAT in the NAME of SANITY are you DOING!?" the Brain asked.
"Echolocation," Pinky explained.
"You're a LAB MOUSE, not a BAT!! We're in a CAGE, not a CAVE!! AND!!"
"And?" Pinky asked.
"YOU'RE STILL STANDING ON MY TAIL!!"
Chapter 16: Take A Giant Step
Two lab mice were standing on a busy street corner and watching people go about their lives.
"It might have been easier to take over the world," Pinky said, "if it were smaller or we were bigger."
"Ah, but our small size is also an advantage," the Brain said. "It gives us a unique perspective."
As if on cue, a pedestrian stepped on them.
"From MY perspective," Pinky said weakly, "we should find someplace safer to people-watch. ZORT!"
And then, another pedestrian stepped on them.
"I've quickly come to share your perspective on this urgent matter," a crumpled Brain agreed.