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Note: This story is set in a fictional version of Walt Disney World Resort, and all referenced material is used in like fashion. The Walt Disney Company has not authorized or endorsed this story.
“Thank you for letting me have a copy of Johnny’s health records, Amber,” Bob Iger said at a side office as he paged through the manila folder Amber Merichello gave him. “Nothing’s too much out of the ordinary. Johnny was originally a common field mouse residing on property, in that field Walt found. We later found out that the mice there were descendants of lab escapees.”
Amber nodded. “Yes, sir. My dad traced it to an experiment in UCF in regenerating brain tissue.” (UCF, being University of Central Florida.) “I heard that some of the interns there, as well as some Imagineers, monitor the colony.”
Iger just shrugged. “We just make sure the place isn’t paved over. The College kids just wanted to study on the rate of their biological evolution by descendants…” He picked up a form that showed red cell count in blood. “A-ha, here we are. This is the one I was looking for.”
“That’s the study my mother made when we first found him,” Amber said. “Does that have to do with the secret thing you wanted to talk to me about?”
“The same,” Bob said. “I trust you can keep it a secret.”
Amber nodded. “Johnny might talk of it, but it sounds too fantastic to be believed, shades of that ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ movie.”
Bob continued. “But he doesn’t go into specifics.”
Amber shook her head. “He was too busy getting outta there.”
Bob chuckled. “Well, the movie reference isn’t too far from the truth.” He handed her a folder of his own. “The device Johnny mentioned is one of Imagineering’s more private efforts. It’s just like the film, it’s designed to expand and reduce the molecules of matter, causing them to shrink and grow. It’s basically made so that we can store and transport objects better, such as stage props or ride floats, or even company records. We have no intentions, emphasis added, to use it on living organisms, which is why Imagineering wanted those records. It’ll be part of the hazard precautions for the device once we really start using it.”
Amber mulled it over. “I agree with you about the no living part. Johnny was a bit touch and go for a bit. If he were much bigger he wouldn’t’ve survived it.”
Bob nodded. “Yes yes, that’s another reason why I want you to keep it a secret. I don’t want any uproars by it leaking.”
Amber just returned the file back to Bob. “Your secret’s safe with me, Mr. Iger. Besides, I’ll have my hands more or less full keeping up with Johnny.”
Bob laughed. “Especially with that Lifetime Pass I got him.” He shrugged. “He might not be from Disney, but he’s from this place, like it or not. I basically gave him the Kermit package. But that’s not what I also want to talk about. It’s about a new character of ours that’s an armful in his own right. Or at least, he’s new to us. He’s actually been around long before his younger and more famous brother…”
“Aaaaaah,” Johnny said as he arched back a bit He tried sitting in the side room where Amber put him so she could talk with Bobbie, but he was just too restless. “Bored bored bored bored. I hope Iger and Amber get done soon. Rather get chased by security than sit here in this dump.”
His ear twitched to pick up the sounds of a woman CM (Castmember) walking into the room on heels. She had a Barbie-like figure and had a business casual dress with a knee length skirt. She brought with her a large snack tray.
“Oh,” Cheryl said when she looked down, her name on her name-pin. “You must be Amber’s little friend. Johnny, right?”
Johnny just smiled as he looked up. He then blinked and looked around. “Well, I don’t think there’s any other large mice in the room. Must be talking about me.”
Cheryl beamed at him as she set the tray down. “I thought you might want to nibble on something. You might find another guest coming in a bit…”
Johnny sniffed at the cheese tray with bagels and cookies, while Cheryl pulled out four bottles of juice and two milks. “I’ll leave something for him.”
His cute smile proved infectious to Cheryl as she walked out of the room, but she was stopped a bit while she was down the hall. Johnny could hear her talking to someone, but his ears didn’t pick up any details since he was nibbling on a bagel. The other voice sounded like a toon voice, not unlike his own, but he couldn’t quite place the character.
He just shrugged and went back to his chair when he saw another nose poke into the room.
“Oswald the Lucky Rabbit?!” Amber brightened up a bit. “I heard you got him back.”
“And don’t ask me how on earth he’s still alive and frisky after all this time,” Bob said. “From what I heard, Yensid had a hand in it, and that wizard is more tight lipped than we should be.”
Amber blew up a lock of her Ariel-style hair. “So, how is Ozzy?”
“Depends on who you ask,” Bob said with a sigh. “When we got him back, I thought we could ease him into the Disney life like another character. But I didn’t count on him being wary of us corporate stiffs. Can’t say I blame him, after how Walt lost the bunny. We also worried about his relationship with Mickey.”
“From what I heard,” Amber said, “He’s got a bit of jealousy going on.”
“A bit?” Bob asked. “Some say Disney should have been the House of Rabbit, Amber. I wouldn’t fault Oswald one iota for his issues. But he seems to take it in stride, nowadays. He knows the truth about what happened in the 20s. He saves his sharp tongue for Universal. And he warmed up to not just Mickey, but the general populace as well. Especially with those who actually remember his classic cartoons.”
“Three cheers for YouTube,” Amber said.
Bob nodded. “Indeed. I can see that Ozzy wants a share of the spotlight, but he has to deal with having to adjust to the modern day. I don’t know where he was between then and now and I don’t think there was much for him to know about the outside world. I’d like to see him meet up with Johnny, maybe make friends, go on some adventures together. Maybe keep him out of trouble.”
Amber had to laugh. “Keeping out of trouble? Bob, Mickey would bail Oswald out of jail. Johnny Briz would be in the same cell with him. I speak from personal experience.”
Bob couldn’t help but laugh along. “I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Amber sighed. “Well, I suppose I can keep an eye on both of them. By the way, where’s Oswald now?”
“If I hear that commotion behind us right,” Bob said, “he might be meeting Johnny right now.”
Chapter 1 End.
Decision Point: This is where you the reader can influence the story. What do you think should happen next? How would Johnny and Oswald meet each other? And would there be anyone else in the room? Would Mickey be in there as well? And just what, if anything, would Oswald’s issues be? Just because he doesn’t hate Mickey doesn’t mean he’s not a rival, friendly as it is.
Go to chapter two.
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