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Fanfic / Abigail and the Rats of NIMH

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A crossover fanfic by Masked Bard that links several movies and series featuring rodents, namely Once Upon a Forest, The Secret of NIMH, Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, and The Rescuers.

A month after the ecological disaster that wreaked havoc on Dapplewood, the forest denizens face a new threat; scientists from NIMH, who received word from cleanup crews on the strangely advanced dwellings the animals lived in. What follows is a disaster that threatens the lives of every sentient rodent. Dapplewood is ransacked by NIMH's scientists, thinking it to be the dwelling of the intelligent rats that escaped their facility years earlier, that is until they find more than just rats living in an intelligent manner. The furlings, a group of four young forest creatures, are forced to journey alone as refugees, in a frantic and seemingly hopeless search for their families.

The complete fanfic can be read on FanFiction.Net here, or on DeviantArt here.


  • Adaptational Villainy: Dr. Nimnul becomes much more evil after being let out of the insane asylum and joining NIMH, stalking Penny and becoming hell-bent on killing intelligent rodents.
  • Air Vent Escape: Justified as they're rodents. Dale lampshades it later on, quipping that they'd never get anywhere without air vents.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Stone, which only works for someone with courage of the heart, and is unlocked by love. Abigail is only able to use it to kill Nimnul when he is directly threatening the life of Brutus.
  • Animal Testing: NIMH has quite a history of doing testing on animals; some are relatively minor, for example Cornelius is put on an experimental arthritis drug, however it is never shown but heavily implied that many of the intelligent animals recovered from Dapplewood receive lobotomies, or are dissected.
  • The Atoner: Penny becomes this, hoping to atone for her treatment of the animals at NIMH.
  • Bamboo Technology: Gadget is impressed with the Flapper Wingamathing, built of fully organic materials.
  • Berserk Button: Waggs picks the wrong time to tease Edgar and imply that they abandoned their families.
  • Big Applesauce: The story assumes, like many Rescue Rangers fanfics, that they're based in New York.
  • Big "NO!": After Dale finds out there's no TV at Thorn Valley.
  • Buffy Speak: It's common for Dapplewood residents to explain human inventions beyond their understanding in these terms, hence for example, 'monsters-on-wheels' for cars.
  • Break the Cutie: Michelle pretty much starts off broken, having lost both her parents, having her vision damaged and severe asthma from the gas. Abigail breaks soon after.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The Secret of NIMH II is disregarded, and both NIMH and Thorn Valley are re-imagined more along the lines of the first movie.
  • Cats Are Mean: The son of Dragon, like his father, is a monstrous cat that all rodents fear.
  • The City vs. the Country: The furlings are Fish out of Water when they arrive in New York, none moreso than Willy who'd been living much like a feral field mouse up until that point. Dale playfully mocks them for it.
  • Civilized Animal: The closer they are to human contact the more civilized they become; Dapplewood being somewhat of an anomaly in that regard. Mr. Ages guesses an animal from the city must have brought technology to Dapplewood at some point in the past.
  • Country Mouse: The furlings to a degree, but Willy most of all (and a literal example).
  • Crisis Crossover: A crossover of several mouse-related stories caused by a crisis.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: What Thorn Valley is like, with it's many crystals that seem to be used to conduct energy.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Dr. Penny Stacy, as is slowly revealed, has one. She's the same Penny from The Rescuers, having lived through being an unwanted orphan, being kidnapped, and then being told she was delusional her whole childhood when she insisted mice saved her.
  • Death by Adaptation: In Rescue Rangers, Nimnul was shown alive in his last appearance. Here, he gets killed by the Stone thanks to Abigail.
  • Deconstruction Crossover: The story explores many of the logical consequences of a universe where a Mouse World exists, deconstructing the trope.
  • Delicate and Sickly: Though cured of her coma in Once Upon a Forest Michelle will still suffer the after effects of inhaling chlorine gas for the rest of her life, such as asthma and poor eyesight. She suffers asthma attacks throughout the story.
  • The Dreaded: NIMH is feared by all the cast for their gruesome experiments, and that’s before Nimnul takes over.
  • Fantastic Racism: Waggs, as in the film, is a squirrel-supremacist.
  • Happy Ending Override: Far from the optimistic ending Once Upon a Forest is given, we see the logical fallout from the events in the film; the forest is still dead, and Michelle, due to inhaling chlorine gas, has asthma and bad eyesight. Not to mention she suffers depression due to the deaths of her parents.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Cornelius sacrifices himself by letting the scientists capture him.
    • Chip and Monty do the same for Michelle later on.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: The furlings see them this way.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Discussed, with different characters giving different opinions. Mr. Ages, and almost all the NIMH survivors, see humans as evil. Cornelius and the Rescue Rangers however have a more balanced view of them. The furlings aren't sure what to think of them. Penny, at the very least, is revealed to be a good person once she starts to realize just what NIMH is doing.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: When the furlings reach their first suburb.
  • Jumped at the Call: When Willy is informed that the furlings are attempting to track down their families, he immediately offers to go with them, just as Abigail predicted he would. Willy explains that he wants to do something other than "steal acorns all day", such as helping the furlings.
  • Lovable Coward: Dale is always trying to get out of doing something dangerous.
  • Mad Scientist: Professor Nimnul is even madder than before. Being thwarted repeatedly by the Rescue Rangers has not been good for his mental health.
  • Mega Crossover: Of 80's and 90's Mouse World cartoons, which at least could in theory take place in the same universe.
  • Mouse World: The entirety of which is in jeopardy as scientists discover more about it.
  • Mythology Gag: Occurs when Martin Brisby utters the phrase "Just say yes!". NIMH II is in no other way alluded to besides this one solitary joke.
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • Penny is given the last name 'Stacy' after the surname of her voice actress, Michelle Stacy.
    • Mrs. Brisby is given the popular fanon first name Elizabeth, after her voice actress Elizabeth Hartman.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: The intelligent mice to Dr. Penny Stacy, as it slowly turns out.
  • Period Piece: Distinctly takes place in July 1993. This becomes more apparent when the furlings meet the Rescue Rangers, but can be figured out in the prologue when Justin mentions it'd been eleven years since the Rats of NIMH moved to Thorn Valley (The Secret of NIMH having debuted in 1982).
  • Puppy Love: Abigail and Willy continue their romance from Once Upon a Forest, though it somewhat takes a backseat to everything they're going through.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Penny breaks a mirror after her reflection reminds herself of how she looked as a child.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Daily Nibbler mouse newspaper is still in publication in 1993.
    • Dale takes the furlings to see Jurassic Park, the very film that killed Once Upon a Forest at the box office, ironically, though the film itself isn't mentioned.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog is name-dropped in chapter 8 . Gadget also mentions working on a rodent sized Sega Game Gear.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Penny finds that she still has the gift to speak to animals, but she doesn't want to believe it.
  • Swarm of Rats: The test subjects at NIMH become this after being let loose and going after Dr. Nimnul.
  • Tag Along Kid: Michelle, who throughout the story hates being told to stay behind when they're off doing something dangerous.
  • Tempting Fate: Chip refuses to call the Rescue Aid Society for help, confidently believing the Rescue Rangers can take care of it on their own. He and the rest of the Rescue Rangers end up getting captured by NIMH and rescued by Bernard and Bianca.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Turns out Nimnul, after being institutionalized, was right all along about the existence of intelligent rodents.
  • Third Line, Some Waiting: The Cast Herds are the furlings and the Rescue Rangers, Dr. Penny Stacy and everyone at NIMH, and Bernard and Bianca, later in the story. Different chapters focus on different groups/characters.
  • Those Magnificent Flying Machines: The Flapper Wingamathing, the Ranger Wing, and finally The Ranger Wingamathing.
  • Woodland Creatures: The citizens of Dapplewood are woodland creatures.