Nobody was quite sure how they had gotten from the Dark Forest
to a large city in California. He-Man surmised they had unknowingly stepped
through a mystical portal. Tabby suspected Orko had conjured up a strange
teleportation spell, but had no proof of this. Whimzee just thought the city was
built on the edge of the forest. Eleanore figured that there would be more
opportunities to show off her villainous nature in a city, anyway.
Whatever had happened, though, they were definitely in a large city
in California. "Tarquin, get the map out," Tabby instructed.
"That's what we always do," Ursa Minor complained. "I like being
"I wouldn't worry about the mystical portal thing," Sam
commented. "We do this all the time."
"Yeah, and we still don't know how!" Max agreed.
Tarquin shrugged as he rolled out the large map of the universe in
a grassy patch of a park they had stopped in. "We're in California. That's all I
"Wherever we are, I just want a nice place to rest," Tess
"I've always dreamed of a vacation in California," Petunia Petal
"We mustn't stop!" He-Man urged.
"We must catch up to those evil movie things."
"Have you remembered what they look like yet?" Tweeg asked. "I
thought they were snake men when we first met up with you."
"I'd like to meet up with these things you keep talking about, He-Man, whatever they
are," Eleanore added. "They sound like powerful
"I could conjure up a powerful ally for you," Orko offered.
"Orko..." Tabby threw him a threatening glance.
"Does this have anything to do with that one rule on the list?"
Whimzee whispered timidly.
"Spearow!" Spearow squawked.
"No monsters, methinks," Jar Jar added. "Orko, yousa be
Tabby had to wonder how none of the human inhabitants of the
city took any notice of the group. They were quite a large variety of creatures-- Merry Treat and
Tabby, the ponies; Tess and Tarquin, their Meowth Pokèmon;
Merry Treat's Spearow; Tweeg, the green-skinned alchemist who desperately
wanted to do something truly evil; Tweeg's mother, Eleanore, the very model of
villainy; He-Man, the muscle-bound oaf, set on destroying all of King
Grayskull's snake movies (or however that went); Orko, He-Man's magic-loving
friend; Whimzee, one of the Moon Dreamers, who lived on the Milky Way; Ursa
Minor, a small baby bear who came from the Milky Way, as well; Jar Jar, a rather
clumsy Gungan amphibian-type creature from a planet called Naboo; Sam and
Max, the freelance police; and Petunia Petal, a Tea Bunny who wanted dearly to
make her relative, Max, a "proper Tea Bunny".
"It's getting cloudy," Merry Treat noted. "We should find a place to
stay for the night."
Tabby cocked an eye up at the gray sky and the twilight air.
"Hmm. I guess so."
"Wheresa we be stayin'?" Jar Jar questioned. "Meesa never been in
a place like this."
"Row, spear!" Spearow chattered helpfully.
"A hotel," Merry Treat translated. "If we can find one."
"Will it be a really expensive one?" Ursa Minor questioned excitedly.
"With room service and all that?"
"I'd like to curl up in a nice, soft place right now-- room service or
not," Tess said tiredly.
"We'll find a place, don't worry," Tarquin assured her.
"I wonder how L.B. is keeping up the tower," Tweeg sighed.
"Probably better than you could," Eleanore snapped.
"Don't insult your son like that," He-Man
chided her. "He deserves better."
"Does anyone need a spell cast?" Orko said eagerly. "I haven't cast
a spell for so long."
"You'll have plenty of time for that later,
Orko," He-Man said.
"Nice spells aren't bad," Whimzee said after a moment's pause.
"It's just that monster thing I keep hearing about..."
"Well, let's not stand around talking all day," Petunia Petal piped-up. "Let's get going,
or we'll never find a place for the night!"
So, the group set off through the unfamiliar streets, in search of a
hotel or some-such place to get lodgings. "Eh, I believe people are beginning
to look at us strangely," Tabby commented. "How're we going to find a place
that accepts... umm... creatures like us?"
"I don't know," Merry Treat shook her head, and then stared up at
the gray, industrial-looking buildings towering above them. "This doesn't look
like the hotel-y part of town in the first place."
"Well, that looks like a somewhat decent establishment over there,"
Tabby finally said. She pointed to a large, square building a few blocks down.
A bright, yellow neon sign above it read "ACME LABS".
"It's our last hope," Merry Treat gulped as she felt a drop of rain on
"Ac-me Labs?" Jar Jar sounded out slowly. "Thatsa bein' a strange
Tess shivered. "At least it's somewhere to take cover. Let's
Ursa Minor skipped around merrily. "Rain, rain, rain..." she said in
a sing-song voice.
"Tess is right. Come on! Ursa Minor, don't fall behind!" Merry
Treat took off running down the sidewalk, with everyone else trailing behind.
The raindrops started coming down faster.
They paused for breath as they reached the entrance of the Acme
Labs building, whatever Acme Labs was. They ducked in the doorway just as
rain really started to deluge down; the doorway went rather deeply into the
building, so everyone was able to stand around comfortably.
"I love a good rainstorm," Tabby said blissfully, staring out at the
cold sheets of rain pouring down.
"I remember when I was stuck in a terrible storm
while tracking an evil snake man," He-Man began.
"Oh, that must have been uncomfortable," Petunia Petal shivered.
"What did you do?"
"No self-respecting villain would be stopped by a storm or two,"
"Meesa be thinkin' that wouldn't apply to He-Man," Jar Jar pointed
"Meesa like yousa talkin', Jar Jar," Ursa Minor giggled, picking up
his Gungan accent.
"I wish L.B. were here to transport me around," Tweeg
"I have a nice teleportation spell--" Orko began, but shut his
mouth when he saw the glances from his companions.
"No more talk of spells," Whimzee pleaded.
"Are we going to see if anyone's home?" Tarquin prodded.
"Good idea," Tess nodded.
"Row!" Spearow agreed.
Merry Treat tried knocking on the heavy, steel door. "Hello! Is
anyone in there?" she called in a loud voice.
"I don't think there is anyone home," Tabby said after a
moment in silence. No one came to open the door.
"Well, we'll just have to stay in this doorway for the night, or until
the rain stops," Merry Treat decided.
"There's a mouse looking at us out that window," Tarquin suddenly
"That's just an ordinary lab mouse," He-Man said, looking up
at the slender white rodent Tarquin was staring at.
"He's cute, isn't he?" Petunia Petal commented.
"Nothing I've ever seen before in Grundo," Eleanore sniffed.
"Itsa rather tall for a mouse," Jar Jar noted.
The mouse stared out the window with a wide-eyed and happy
look on his face. However, he abruptly turned and walked away down the
counter that he was apparently standing on. "It's running away," Tarquin
"Do we look that forbidding?" Tabby said in disapproval. "Really!"
She held an ear up to the window.
"I wonder why that mouse isn't in a cage," Tess mused. "Unless
he's a wild mouse."
"What are you doing, Tabby?" Merry Treat asked, walking over to
her friend at the window.
"Listening," Tabby whispered. "I think that mouse we just saw is
talking in English. Listen!" She thrust Merry Treat's head up to the glass
"What kind of a lab is this?" Merry Treat gasped. "I didn't
know they had talking mice like this in California..."
The slim mouse they had seen was now talking to another white
mouse, farther over on the counter under the window. This other lab rodent,
however, was rather short with a strangely large head. "Pinky, don't bother
me," they could just make out the short mouse saying in annoyance to his
companion while scribbling something on a pad of paper with a human-sized
pencil, which was enormously large in his tiny paw.
"But, Brain," the other mouse pleaded, "can't we let the fun-fun,
silly-willy circus in? And--"
At that point, the two walked out of sight from the window. Tabby
or Merry Treat couldn't hear what conversation was going on between them
anymore. "Weird," Tabby breathed.
"Creepy," Merry Treat agreed.
"That's what I was going to say," Sam said.
"Me, too," Max agreed.
"What's going on here?" He-Man
"For once, I agree with him," Eleanore said.. "Are there thieves
inside? I don't want anyone checking the place out before I get there!"
"Not thieves!" Whimzee squeaked.
"At least I don't have to worry about anyone stealing my gold
recipe, since it's safe at home with L.B.," Tweeg said. "Oh, I hope it's
Sam and Max immediately whipped out their weapons at the
mention of robbery.
"No, no break-ins," Tabby clarified. "We were witnessing a
conversation in English between two lab mice."
Tarquin's eyes lit up. "Really? I never thought we'd run into
anything like that in these parts." He jumped up into the windowpane to see
for himself. "I can't seem them," he frowned.
"I wonder where they went..." Petunia Petal trailed off. "What would
talking lab mice be up to?"
"Don't let them get me!" Whimzee shivered.
"Meesa wants to see talkin' mice," Jar Jar said curiously. "Meesa
never seen a mice."
All of a sudden, the door began to open. Eleanore, who had been
leaning up against it, jumped away quickly. "They don't make doors like they
used to," she said in annoyance. "Or villains." She glanced at Tweeg.
Tabby peeked through the door as it opened a crack, and saw a
very strange sight. The short, large-headed mouse was down on the ground,
operating a strange machine with a rubber hand mounted on top of a long wire.
This was apparently what he had used to turn the doorknob.
"Aw... lookit, Sam!" Max exclaimed. "A cute little white mouse with
a grossly swollen head! Can I keep him?"
"Heck, no, Max," Sam rebuffed. "You don't know where it's been.
And besides, remember what happened the last time you tried to hold an
abominable freak of nature against its will?!"
"Actually, I'm still trying to forget," Max sighed.
"You see, Pinky," the mouse said to his slender companion, who
had come up behind him, "there is no circus out --" But just then, he looked
up, and beheld the strange group with surprise in his eyes.
"Hello-o-o-o," Tabby said cheerfully, sticking her head inside.
"We're just looking for lodgings for the night."
"Na-a-a-rf," the thin mouse breathed. "A circus!" He began
laughing hysterically. "But where's--"
"Don't tell me they've sent in new lab experiments," the other
mouse said in exasperation after the initial shock of seeing such a group for the
first time had worn off. "This will throw the whole night off--"
"Don't mind about lab experiments; we're just
looking for snake kings," He-Man declared, interrupting the
mouse's line of speech.
"Wow. Real, talking lab mice," Tarquin said in wonder. "We're not
experiments. We're.. uh... from all different lands."
"So, do you have a place we could stay for the night, or not?" Merry
Treat prodded, pushing past Tabby and forcing the heavy door open a little
farther. The interior of the building looked like a typical science lab. All sorts
of cages, microscopes, and other strange-looking devices covered the steel
"Let them stay, Brain!" the thin mouse began pleading as soon as
Merry Treat's head appeared in the doorway. "And then they can make balloon
animals for us! Zort!" He let out another high-pitched laugh.
"We're not a circus," Tabby said threateningly. "I don't like
circuses, because there're clowns at circuses, and I very highly dislike clowns,
so don't you dare mix us up with a circus."
"No balloon animals?" The mouse's face fell, as well as his
"Pinky, this is a waste of time," the short mouse said. "I have
important plotting to do. They're not a circus and they're not new
experiments. Although she does have the right idea about clowns." He made a
motion towards his machine to close the door.
"Plotting? Did you mention plotting? I love plotting," Tabby said
"What are you two, anyway?" Orko asked. "Aliens? I could cast up
some really cool aliens--"
"I think they're cute," Tess said sleepily.
"They're just lab mice, Orko," Eleanore said impatiently. "And
definitely nothing worth stealing and taking back to M.A.V.O."
"I've never really liked little creatures like them," Whimzee
quivered. "They're... they're... mice."
"Yeah, I can't stand little white talking animals," Max
"Careful, Max. You resemble that remark," Sam corrected.
"Can I play with ‘em?" Ursa Minor asked excitedly.
"Meesa thinkin' they don't wanna be played with," Jar Jar said.
"Actually," the short mouse explained after the storm of comments
had ended, "we're two genetically-altered lab mice intent on taking over the
"Cool," Tabby breathed. "Can we help? Is it terribly exciting to try
to take over the world?"
"I would appreciate it if you'd step out the door," the mouse
Sam pushed open the door and stepped inside. "Don't mind if I
Max immediately followed his companion inside and jumped up on
a table. He began poking at a microscope. "O-o-oh, what's this? It looks
expensive. I think I'll break it."
"You're heartless, Brain! Heartless!" The slim mouse suddenly
began sobbing. "They can't help it they're not a circus! The least you could do
for them is let them stay for the night!"
The other mouse stared at his companion in disgust. "That's not
why I'm turning them away, Pinky."
"So it's because you don't want me to have balloon animals; is that
it?" the other mouse wailed.
Tabby stared down at the two mice. "Um," she started. "Um. Is
this, um..." She was unsure of what else to say.
"Are there any hotels around?" Merry Treat asked hopefully.
The slim mouse wiped some tears from his eyes. "I'll never forget
this circus," he said sentimentally.
"Oh, fine then, let them come in, Pinky," the short mouse stormed.
"And I'll probably be put behind another night in dominating the world!!" He
stomped off into the lab.
"We really appreciate it, you know," Merry Treat said, trotting up to
the mouse. "It's raining, and--"
"Exactly," Tabby nodded vigorously, in a way that meant she hadn't
been listening to Merry Treat's past comment. "So, what's this world
domination thing? Do you two have names? I've never known any genetically-altered lab mice
before." She stared intently at the two mice as they jumped up
on a counter.
"I am known as the Brain," the short mouse introduced
"And I am Pinky," the thin mouse added energetically. "Troz! Will
you make a balloon animal for me now?"
"I'm not going to make you a balloon animal," Tabby said, sticking
her nose snobbishly in the air. "I would never stoop so low."
"We would if we had any balloons, though," Merry Treat added
helpfully, not wanting to hurt the little mouse.
"Max sort of looks like a balloon animal, especially after he's had
too much helium," Sam commented.
"They're not a circus," Brain said explicitly to Pinky. "Stop talking
about such frivolities as balloons."
Everyone else had wandered into the lab by now. Tess curled up
on a shiny countertop. "Goodnight," she yawned.
Whimzee laid her head down on the soft, cat-like body. "I could
rest a bit right now, too..." she murmured drowsily.
"But world domination. You haven't told us about the world
domination thing yet," Tabby prodded, not in the least tired.
"We are trying to take over the world," Brain said simply. "Humans
have been too stupid to embrace me as their leader yet, but someday I will
"Maybe one of my spells can help," Orko offered, floating up to
"Remember that line on the regulations form about monsters,"
Tabby was listening intently to all this, but Merry Treat abruptly
pulled her around the corner. "Merry Treat, this is very interesting," she chided
her friend. "Think of all we can learn about taking over the world."
"But that Pinky dude has been staring at me strangely ever since we
came in," Merry Treat whispered. "What do you make of it?"
Tabby took a peek at Pinky, who had a wide-eyed and hopeful
expression on his face. "O-o-oh," she said slowly. "Toby was looking at me
like that once."
"Should I be afraid?" Merry Treat queried.
"Yes," Tabby affirmed. "Be afraid. Be very afraid."
"Oh, boy," Merry Treat sighed.
"Well, anyhow, Mr. Brain and Mr. Pinky," Tabby continued,
straightening up and pushing her way up before the two again, "excuse my
absence. I had to discuss something of utmost importance with my
"Zort! We've got plenty of time!" Pinky said cheerfully.
"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?" Brain groaned,
glancing out the window.
"I think so, Brain," Pinky began, "but won't that cause the catfood
to look like sunflower seeds?"
"No," Brain sighed. "It's too late to carry out tonight's plan. The
moon has already passed its zenith because of this interruption. You--"
"Well, we can just chat a bit with these travelers then, hmm?" Pinky
"I suppose," Brain said hesitantly. "There's nothing else to do...
except to prepare for tomorrow night."
"Why, Brain? What're we going to do tomorrow night?" Pinky
"The same thing we do every night," Brain said in exasperation.
"So, can we tell our story now on why we're here?" Tabby
questioned eagerly. "We've got lots to tell. We've been all over the place.
"Certainly. Go ahead," Brain said, somewhat impatiently. "Tell us
your life history."
Max, during all this, was aimlessly walking around the lab and
shooting at cockroaches. "Run, run for the hills, you vermin, lest you wish to
feel the sharp sting of my really big gun!" Sam was providing backup, but they
failed to hit any of the bugs.
"We are going to eliminate all the skeletor castles in
the world," He-Man explained.
"Narf!" Pinky exclaimed.
"No, He-Man." Merry Treat shook her head, and glanced at Pinky.
Was he still looking at her like that? "We're going to seek revenge on an evil
movie reviewer. We just get confused sometimes."
"A movie reviewer?" Brain's ears suddenly perked up.
"We don't exactly know who he is or where he is, but we'll find
him," Tabby affirmed. "He's very evil and deserves a good whacking over the
"Just like I used to do with Tweeg as a boy," Eleanore
"Either a whacking over the head or a good moon-dusting," Merry
Tabby wrinkled her nose. There went Merry Treat again, babbling
some nonsense about "moon-dust". "Umm... whatever," she shrugged.
"Poit!" Pinky exclaimed. "That sounds like a fun-fun silly-willy
game! Even more fun than balloon animals!" He glanced wistfully at Merry
Brain appeared to be deep in thought. "Do you know anything at
all about this movie reviewer you mentioned?"
"He's evil," Ursa Minor said helpfully.
"He's trying to discover all the secrets of Castle
Grayskull," He-Man added.
"He gave a bad review of the My Little Pony movie," Tabby put
"And who knows what other evils he's done," Tarquin
"Why, Brain?" Pinky asked excitedly. "Is it one of your old plots? Is
"No, Pinky," Brain sighed. "It might be worse than that."
"Worse than what?" Petunia Petal queried.
"Yeah, wassa you talkin' about?" Jar Jar questioned.
"Perhaps he's seen one of those snake-men," He-Man said,
unsheathing his sword and striking an attack
stance. "Where is it, Mr. Brain?"
"I'm just wondering," Whimzee murmured, extremely drowsy,
"whether or not genetically-altered lab mice would make a good dream."
"Make a dream with lots of gold in it," Tweeg suggested.
"Make my son's far-fetched dream of becoming a real villain come
true," Eleanore snorted.
Pinky was staring over Brain's shoulder as the shorter mouse made
some quick calculations on a pad of paper. "Is it the seachimps?" he asked
anxiously. "You've finally found them?"
"No," Brain declared. "I think it's Snowball."
"A snowstorm? Yipee!" Ursa Minor exclaimed. "Rain, snow...
"Snowball? Is it dangerous?" Merry Treat questioned.
"The plot thickens," Tabby said gleefully.
"Perhaps it's one of King Hiss' aliases,"
He-Man said mysteriously.
"Meesa don't know nothin' about any Snowball," Jar Jar said.
"Spear..." Spearow said cautiously.
"Keep it down," Tarquin quieted them. "Don't wake Tess up. Or
Whimzee," he added after a pause.
"I hope this Snowball is another fellow villain I'll meet," Eleanore
"Eleanore, stop going on about villains," Petunia Petal chided.
Pinky just gasped and stared at his friend. "Snowball? Narf!"
"Yes, Snowball," Brain affirmed. "My arch-rival in taking over the
world. He's a genetically-altered hamster," he clarified for everyone else.
"Does this mean we can go with the silly-willy circus?" Pinky said in
excitement. "Wha-hoo! It's always been my dream."
"It's too bad you can't dominate the world by acting in circuses, or
you would've gotten me there years ago," Brain muttered. "This movie reviewer
business sounds exactly like a plan Snowball would think up."
"Ooh! And you've got to stop him?" Tabby said, her eyes growing
"I'll do anything to stop these snake
men," He-Man declared.
"Do the snake men look like hamsters?" Orko asked of his
"No one knows exactly what they look
like," He-Man explained.
"Na-a-arf," Pinky breathed.
"I don't know about the rest of you, but I need my beauty sleep,"
Eleanore yawned, walking off to one of the corners of the lab.
"I'm not goin' to bed tonight," Ursa Minor said firmly.
"Any good little bear would've been in bed hours ago," Petunia
Petal said in disapproval. "Really, I should have seen to that earlier."
"I'm not a good little bear," Ursa Minor declared.
"Yousa should behave yourself better," Jar Jar advised.
"So, Brain, what are you thinking about?" Tarquin finally
"Row!" Spearow agreed.
"That's right," Merry Treat chimed in. "Do you want to go with
"It's the only way to stop Snowball," Brain decided.
"Yay!" Pinky cheered. "Zort! We get to go with the circus! I know
you'd see it my way, Brain!"
"I'm not seeing it your way," Brain sighed. "I have different things
on my mind than balloons."
"You really ought to get more interests, then," Pinky chided. "Merry
Treat, can I ride on your back?"
Merry Treat stared at him. He looked like his heart would just be
broken in two if she didn't agree. She broke down. "Of course," she said,
"O-oh, o-oh, me next!" Max exclaimed.
"You crack me up, little buddy," Sam chuckled.
"Troz!" Pinky laughed hysterically.
"We'll start out again tomorrow, Brain and Pinky," Tarquin planned.
"So we might as well all get some rest."
"Wait!" Merry Treat broke in. "Tabby, you forgot about the Rules
and Regulations list." She whipped out a paper from her backpack.
Brain read it intently and carefully printed his name down. "Pinky,
write your name," he instructed, handing the paper over to his
"Does this entitle me to a free balloon animal?" Pinky laughed
hysterically as he scribbled something under Brain's signature.
"No-o-o, that's just a signed agreement. You don't get anything
out of it," Tabby explained.
"Pinky, come with me. We must prepare for tomorrow morning,"
Brain said, walking towards a metal cage.
"Why, Brain? What're we doing tomorrow morning?" Pinky asked
"The same thing we do every morning," Tabby piped-up. "Setting
out on our quest again!"
It's a crossover, a crossover and it's insane, insane, insane,