"Ooooh, I love it!" Daffy exclaimed, sizing up his latest client, a tall, menacing android which appeared perfectly human – and yet studiously deadly all the same. It was clad in denim and leather – stolen from some poor soul who had wandered too close upon the robot's arrival – and had a powerful firearm in each hand. The perfect killing machine. "It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!" Daffy exclaimed, rubbing his greedy palms together in delight. "Or, more precisely, until a certain rabbit is dead!" Daffy corrected himself.
The Terminator did not flinch during all of this. "Where is Bugs Bunny?" it asked, his flat, monotonic voice laced with a heavy Teutonic accent.
"This is the spot, bucko!" Daffy chortled, producing a map. "Right here!"
The machine's eyes scanned the map for a mere second, storing it in his memory banks. He then let the paper fall to the floor. "I'll be back." Was all he said in response. Little did the scheming duck and the remorseless cyborg know that at that very moment they were being watched by a small pair of eyes that were taking very much interest in the towering robot.
"Yes!" the small white mouse with the oversized cranium enthused, a small handheld device displaying a technical readout of the Terminator that proved even better than he had conjectured. "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?" he asked his taller companion, his somber voice tinged with obsessed anticipation.
"Uh, I think so, Brain," the more obtuse mouse replied, a hint of a Cockney accent in his voice, "but I personally think you'd look terrible in fishnets."
"No, Pinky." The Brain snapped, pounding his companion over the head with a balled fist. He stared at the taller mouse for a moment, pondering more violence, before his more rational self returned to the fore. "Let's review, shall we?" he sighed, producing a series of photographs to accompany his explanation.
"Oh, I love a good picture show, Brain!" Pinky affirmed.
Ignoring this, the Brain continued. "Fact: several decades into the future, the world as we know it will be ruled by a corporation known as Skynet." He declared, producing a picture of a barren, post-apocalyptic landscape, a half-ruined city silhouetted in the background. "Fact: the enforcers of Skynet are the T-800 Terminator models, as we see before us." He continued, gesturing at the tall robot. "Are you still with me, Pinky?" he asked.
"Hey, Brain! Look what I can do! Narf!" Pinky replied, grabbing and stretching his snout, and then cramming his entire nose into his left ear. "Hyah ha haaah!" he giggled hysterically. Sighing, the Brain reached up and forcefully gripped Pinky's nose, yanking it towards him and letting go, causing it to snap back like a rubber band and knock the taller mouse off his feet. "Zort! That was fun!" Pinky giggled. "Can you do that again, Brain?"
"Your attention span is a mystery for the ages, Pinky." The Brain sighed. "Focus!" he produced the next photograph. "Fact: the T-800 Terminator model bears an uncanny resemblance to the current Governor of California." He continued his lecture, producing a photograph that compared the Governor to the Terminator. Indeed, the two were nearly identical.
"Naaaarrrrrf!" Pinky exclaimed in awe. "You think that fellow's the robot's brother, Brain?" he asked.
"Somehow I doubt that, Pinky." Brain simply responded. "Fact: at the moment, there is a large movement to amend the United States Constitution; an amendment that could well send that selfsame Governor into the White House!"
Pinky watched in rapt anticipation as Brain's fervour heightened. Now came the exciting part. "Therefore, we will commandeer that T-800 unit for our own agenda." Brain explained. "Once it is in our power, we will use it to impersonate the Governor and ascend to the position of President of the United States! Once we have the power of the United States Government on our side, we shall bankroll Skynet in its fledgling years! Whoever controls the United States controls the present, Pinky, and whoever controls Skynet controls the future! We, my friend, will have both under our command, and the world will be ours!"
"Egad, Brain! Brilliant! Magnanimous!" Pinky exclaimed, jumping in glee. Suddenly he hesitated. "No, wait… no, no… Why would that huge robot listen to us, Brain?" he asked. "I mean, he doesn't seem to be the chatty sort."
"We will not have to reason with him, Pinky." Brain replied. "We will simply…"
"Oh, oh! I've got it!" Pinky shouted. "We could break the ice by telling him a bit of joke! Auntie Sybil always said that laughter was the universal language! Let's see… hmmm…" he murmured, rubbing his forehead intently.
"Exercise caution, Pinky." Brain grumbled, even as Pinky began kneading his temples with his own fists. "I don't want the friction to burn away the few brain cells you have left."
"Oh, I've got one!" Pinky declared. He giggled slightly. "And it's a good one! Knock knock!" he simpered, punctuating this by rapping twice on a very unamused Brain's forehead.
"Who's there?" Brain asked, sheer morbid curiosity in his voice.
"Why, it's me, Brain!" Pinky looked hurt, the joke forgotten in what passed for his mind. "Don't you remember me?"
"It would take a great amount of hallucinogenics for me not to." Brain scowled.
"Oh, wait! I know!" Pinky shouted, clapping his hands. "We could figure out something we have in common and have a nice chat about it!"
"Yes, Pinky." Brain cajoled. "I'm certain that a pair of genetically-altered laboratory mice and a time-travelling assassin robot from the future must have a plethora of common interests."
"Exactly!" Pinky replied. "Um, I know! Watermelon!"
"Watermelon?" Brain's voice was verging on the edge of homicidal.
"Oh, everybody enjoys a good watermelon, Brain!" Pinky insisted.
"Pinky…" Brain sighed, holding out two fingers. "I'd like you to take a close look at my fingertips."
"Yes, Brain?" Pinky replied, leaning in for a closer look.
"Look closer, Pinky." Brain insisted, and Pinky did so. Brain then judiciously gave his dimwitted associate a nice hard poke in the eyes, sending him sprawling. "Was that a close enough look, Pinky?" Brain asked.
"Zort! I'd say, Brain!" Pinky replied, rubbing his eyes. "I got a real eyeful that time! Poit!"
"Sadly, your eyes are much more full than your cerebral cortex." Brain scolded. "We will not need to reason with this Terminator unit, Pinky." He continued. "I have created a controlling device that will allow us to fully manipulate the T-800 from the inside. Every move he makes will be our bidding: a willing puppet! And we, the future leaders of the world, will be holding the strings!"
"Ooh, Brain!" Pinky remarked. "Are we going to be making needlepoint with those strings, too?" He was rewarded with another furious blow to the face.
Finalizing his agreement with Daffy, the Terminator turned and stiffly walked towards the door. "Now, Pinky!" Brain whispered.
Pinky grunted as he hoisted the comparatively large shoulder-mounted device onto his shoulder, but he managed to raise the aiming sights, pointing directly for the back of the robot's head.
"Fire!" Brain shouted. Pinky pulled the trigger, the recoil knocking him off his feet. A small metal dart whistled through the air as it shot for its target. The Terminator's sophisticated scanners detected a hint of movement – too late.
The small dart drilled a golf ball-sized hole in the back of the cyborg's head, small devices whirring and clicking. The Terminator's metal body seized up and went rigid as its central processor was overridden. The red glow in its eyes dulled to a cool blue. A hiss and a puff of steam, and the Terminator suddenly stood at attention. It was now but a drone, ready to serve its new master.
"Success!" Brain gloated. A thin metal cord attached to the back of the dart now served as a lifeline between the robot's head and the mice's hiding place. "Make haste, Pinky!" Brain demanded, slinging a handlebar-shaped device over the wire. "Destiny awaits!" A jump and the megalomaniacal mouse was gliding towards his conquest.
It was a very nice moment, and it was utterly ruined by some random passerby stumbling over the wire, causing it to vibrate wildly. "Oh, dear." Brain mumbled as he was suddenly tossed off of the wire and to the floor, where he was unceremoniously stepped on.
"Troz! Wait for me, Brain!" Pinky dithered. "That looks like so much fun!" He attached his own device to the wire and went sliding down. "Wheeeee! Narrrrrrrf!"
He then jumped off the wire and went into free-fall, landing squarely on a still-prone Brain's back. "Hyah hah haaaaah!" Pinky giggled. "Can we do that again, Brain?"
"I'll consider it once my spinal column reassembles itself, Pinky." Brain hissed, throwing the other mouse off of his back. He then jumped and scrambled vertically up the cyborg's back, Pinky following. The two rodents crawled into the hole and found themselves in the cool ultraviolet glow of the Terminator's head unit. Lights blinked and flashed, levers clicked and clanked, and a perfect view of the outside world was visible through the robot's eye units. "Oh, yes!" Brain cackled as he situated himself at the controls. "I can feel the power!"
"Gee, Brain! It's just like something out of Tron!" Pinky cooed.
Familiarizing himself with the controls, Brain made a quick scan of the layout. All systems we go, except for one small blinking light. "It seems that there is one slight snag, Pinky." Brain muttered. "This unit apparently has a tamper-proof failsafe in its memory banks that burns in the last command it received. We will not be able to fully utilize this unit until we have removed its memory by completing its prime directive."
"What's that, Brain?" Pinky nonchalantly asked. "Tiddlywinks?"
Brain pressed the corresponding button and brought up a holographic readout of the Terminator's final mission. Various profiles, models and rundowns of Bugs Bunny popped up in front of the two mice. And then the entire screen was dominated by a red bar with a simple but meaningful message in white letters: TERMINATE.
"Hey! What's holding up the works, here?" sputtered an irate voice.
"Uh-oh, Brain! That duck is coming back!" Pinky gasped.
"I'll handle this." Brain replied, pressing the controls to make the massive robot turn around.
"What are you waiting for, Washington Day?" Daffy demanded as he stormed up to the robot. "I told you to get that rabbit! Get a move on! I'm not paying you by the hour, you know!"
"Er… yes." The Terminator replied in a somewhat different voice than before. "I was just… recalibrating my sub-hydraulic regulator. Fear not. I am now on my way to eliminate that rabbit!"
"Gee, Brain!" the Terminator then chirped in a higher voice. "This thing makes your voice sound all echoey and sinister! Roooooo! Roooo-ooo-ooo-oooo!"
"Belay your incessant blather, Pinky." The robot growled in its first voice, smacking the side of its own head with a metal fist.
"Owtch! Narf!" the robot's higher voice yelped.
"Well, farewell." The robot stammered in its lower voice. "I shall return!" It then staggered out of the room and wobbled through the corridors in a most clumsy fashion. It nearly walked into the woman's restroom, before yelling "No, Pinky! This way!" and stumbling out the door.
Daffy looked on with disgust. "I think I'd better find somebody else. Lousy cheap foreign models…"
The moon was full and bright as the Terminator remorselessly stalked his prey. Remorselessly, if not silently. "Ooh, oh, Brain! There's a hill ahead!" Pinky's voice hooted. "Coast, Brain! Coast!"
Brain looked over his shoulder in annoyance. "We have little time for frivolity, Pinky." He snapped. "The sooner we eliminate this rabbit and clear the unit's memory, the quicker we can set our plan into motion. Every moment we waste is… Pinky, what are you eating?"
"Gouda!" Pinky chirped, a few crumbs dribbling from his stuffed cheeks. "Want some?" he asked, holding up a well-bitten piece of cheese.
"No, Pinky." Brain grumbled. "And keep that cheese away from the controls! This is the most sophisticated and vulnerable part of the robot's circuitry. Any damage to it could well prove irreparable."
"Oh! Right-o, Brain." Pinky shrugged. "So, how much farther until we meet this rabbit, Brain?"
"According to the perimeter scan, not far." Brain declared, examining the heads-up display. "I'm picking up a matching bodily scan now. Strange, though." He murmured thoughtfully. "Why would anybody go through all this trouble to get rid of a rabbit?"
"You got me, Brain." Pinky shrugged. "Maybe he didn't get enough candy in his basket this Easter."
Brain disgustedly rubbed his forehead. "Pinky, when I rule the planet, remind me to proclaim you Global Whipping Boy." He sighed.
"Oh, I love Global Whipping, Brain!" Pinky grinned. "Especially on ice cream! Zort!"
Before Brain could continue this discourse, the Terminator's sensors went off all at once. No doubt about it; the rabbit was in the burrow directly in front of them. "Finally!" Brain declared. "Watch closely, Pinky." He commanded. "For you will be the only witness to the first step of the incredible journey that will end with myself as ruler of the world! For our rabbit friend…" he added. "…will not be around to tell the tale!"
"Narf!" Pinky squealed, jumping up and down in anticipation.
It seemed as though Brain's luck was at its peak. Even as the unit's weapon systems were brought online, the rabbit himself drowsily poked his head out of the hole and glared at the towering cyborg with an emotion more akin to annoyed ennui than terror. "Don't that screwy duck know when to give up?" he sighed.
Brain pulled the lever that brought the Terminator's arm level, the semiautomatic drawing a bead directly between the peeved rabbit's eyes. His finger tightened around the trigger…
Brain was thrown out of the control seat as the entire head unit was rocked backwards with violent force. He ended up landing on top of a prone Pinky. "Ooh, Brain! I didn't know you wanted to play Twister!" Pinky commented, getting another conk on the head as his reward.
"What on earth could have transpired…?" Brain muttered as he climbed back into the control seat. An emergency report confirmed that this was the rabbit's doing. In a burst of movement – so quick the replay unit needed to slow its clock cycle by 20 just to see it – the rabbit had reached up and twisted the barrel of the gun around, sending the bullets exploding back into the Terminator's face. A technical readout showed that the consequences were mostly cosmetic damage – but WHAT cosmetic damage. Most of the synthetic flesh on the robot's face had been shredded clean off, exposing a somewhat charred metallic skull. The stylish sunglasses were now lying broken on the ground. "Oh, well." Brain growled. "Synthetic flesh can be replaced. Let's see if the rabbit can say the same for his."
Though the view of the outside world was now slightly obscured by static – damage to the ocular units, no doubt – Brain could see the rabbit making his escape. Snarling, Brain broke the robot into a run, tossing the now worthless rifle aside. The pistol would suffice, especially since it lacked a long barrel for tampering with. Powerful hydraulics sent the massive machine into actions, racing across the hills far faster than any human could run. "Do not fret, Pinky." Brain said, more to himself than to his assistant. "We still have the upper hand."
"Oh, I'm not fretting, Brain." Pinky replied between mouthfuls of cheese. "I rather enjoy marathons, actually. When do we get to hold the torch?"
"Pinky, what did I tell you to do?" Brain scolded, pointing at the cheese.
"Oh, wait, I know this one." Pinky mused, deep in thought. A few crumbs fell from the Gouda and rolled to the floor.
"The cheese, Pinky! The cheese!" Brain shouted. Pinky nervously clutched the Gouda to his chest. "If so much as one crumb falls into the machinery and damages it, I will jam the entire volume of your nose into that… that physics-defying vacuole that you harbour within your brain cavity! Understood?"
"Zort! Duly noted, Brain." Pinky replied, trembling slightly. Brain turned back to the controls in satisfaction. "So that means you don't want a bite, Brain?" Pinky cheerfully added.
A large vein stitched its way across Brain's ponderous forehead, and sparks were resulting from the intense grinding of his back molars, but other than that he kept his calm admirably. The long-range motion sensors revealed that the rabbit had sought refuge inside a nearby steel mill. The Terminator smashed down the door and stepped inside. Everything went black.
"Hmm. We'll have to switch to infra-red vision." Brain declared, hitting a switch. Immediately the blackness lightened, and the two mice suddenly found themselves face-to-face with a hideous, grinning ghoul. "YAAAAAAAAAH!" the mice screamed, Pinky jumping up into Brain's arms.
The ghoul removed its mask, revealing a chuckling Bugs Bunny. "What a boid-brain!" Bugs laughed. A vengeful burst of gunfire blasted his way, but Bugs was too quick, darting for safety behind a metal pillar.
"Pinky, I'll need your help for this one." Brain ordered. "I'll handle the main controls and the weapon sights. I need you to scan for obstacles so we don't run into anything. Can you handle that?"
"Sure, Brain!" Pinky responded. "When have I ever let you down?"
"We don't have all night, Pinky." Brain replied. "Now keep your eyes on the area scan and tell me if anything stands in our way. I'll take care of this troublesome rabbit."
"Yes, sir!" Pinky saluted, his saluting hand happening to hold a chunk of Gouda. A few crumbs scattered across the control room. Pinky grinned in embarrassment at a glowering Brain before darting towards the area scan and looking at it intently.
The next few minutes were quite stressful for all involved; a deadly game of catch-me-if-you-can. Every time Brain was able to jockey the Terminator into an optimum firing position, he was only able to let off a few shots before the rabbit found further cover. This cat-and-mouse continued for a while until Brain noticed that the rabbit was seeking refuge behind a large metal turbine. However, were he to climb onto the catwalk at the end of an adjoining hallway, he would have the ability to snipe at his leisure. "Pinky!" Brain asked. "Are there any obstacles in the corridor ninety degrees to our right?"
"Uh… well, it looks okay to me, Brain." Pinky shrugged.
"That's not good enough, Pinky." Brain insisted. "Are there any conveyor belts blocking the way?"
"Uh… no." Pinky confirmed.
"Any ventilator hoods?" Brain asked.
"Nope, none of those neither." Pinky nodded.
"Any overhanging slag boxes? Coolant sprayers? Cutting blades?" Brain asked.
"No, no, no." Pinky replied. "None of those are in the corridor."
"Good!" Brain replied. "Now, here we go!" The Terminator stepped forward – and into open air.
"Oh, poit!" Pinky piped up. "I just remembered something…!" Too late.
The Terminator tumbled several stories down into the basement sublevel, landing waist-deep in a massive smelting pot. "Pinky!" Brain scolded. "Why didn't you tell me there was an open shaft directly in front of us?"
"Well, I didn't want to upset you, Brain." Pinky rationalized. "You've had rather a long day…" Further explanation was halted by Brain throttling him to within an inch of his life.
Ignoring the intense heat, Brain examined the diagnostics – absolutely no response from the Terminator's legs. Lurching forward, Brain made the robot hoist itself out of the pot; its top half, at least.
"Gosh, Brain." Pinky pointed out as the Terminator's torso lay on the ground. "How are we going to be President if we only have half a body?"
Brain idly wiped perspiration from his forehead. "Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise, Pinky. Having no movement from the waist down did not stop Franklin D. Roosevelt from becoming one of the greatest Presidents of the century!"
"Narf!" Pinky exclaimed. "You mean that little fellow from Sesame Street?"
"Well, it doesn't matter." Brain declared. "We will defeat that rabbit, so long as we still have two arms, a firearm and my superior intellect!"
CLANG! Suddenly a large piece of metal shielding fell from above, neatly shearing the Terminator's left arm off. Wrenching the robot's head up, Brain saw the rabbit grinning coyly at them from above. "Eh, don't worry, Doc. You can get workman's comp for that!" he smirked, running off.
"Maybe we should just call it a night, Brain." Pinky suggested. "That rabbit seems to be a bit too much."
"Give up? What kind of mouse are you?" Brain demanded. "I have not yet begun to fight! What would Napoleon say if he were here?"
"I don't know, Brain." Pinky replied. "I don't speak French!"
Outside the mill, Bugs sat on a nearby cliff, watching the first glow of dawn creep over the horizon. And he tried very hard to pretend that he was not aware of the badly-damaged automaton creeping pitifully behind him. The Terminator now consisted of a head that housed two very flustered mice, a torso, a single arm that was slowly dragging itself along the ground, and a pistol tenaciously held within a set of metallic teeth. Pricking his ears up, Bugs heard voices emanating from the robot's voice box.
"All right, Pinky. This task is so simple that not even you could foul it up." Brain explained.
"Zort! Really?" Pinky asked.
"Well, no. There isn't a task in the universe immune to your unique touch." Brain conceded. "But nevertheless, you should have no difficulties if you do exactly as I say. I will manoeuvre the robot into position. As soon as I say 'fire', you will activate the weapons arm. You got that, Pinky? No 'are you sure, Brain', no 'do you really mean that, Brain'. As soon as I say fire, no matter what, you pull the trigger. Any questions?"
"Uh, just one, Brain." Pinky replied. "Why don't we just shoot him from here?"
"Conqueror's honour." Brain replied. "This rabbit has proven a worthy foe even to my superior brainpower. I may as well enlighten him as to our intentions before we eliminate him."
The Terminator brought itself to an upright position, the pistol raised in its right arm. "Hear me, oh persistent rabbit!" Brain's voice boomed from the speakers. Bugs casually turned to face his assailants.
"Yeah, I can hear ya, Mac. What's your beef?" Bugs asked.
"We have you covered with a heavy automatic pistol. Behind you is a 200-foot drop. Any attempt to escape would be a martyr's gesture." Brain's voice continued.
"Yeah, yeah. I got that." Bugs replied, impatiently. "Let's hear your piece already."
"I realize that my words are difficult for such a simple creature as yourself to understand." Brain's voice replied. "Suffice it to say that eliminating you will be the catalyst towards me taking my rightful place as ruler of the world!"
"Don't forget California, Brain!" Pinky's voice piped up.
"Yes, and California too." Brain's voice muttered. "Nevertheless, I have decided to grant you your choice of last words. Speak now, my worthy opponent."
"Okay, Doc." Bugs replied. He then reached behind him and produced a fire extinguisher. "I bet I can beat you with this little baby!"
"Don't be ridiculous." Brain sneered. "Even you must realize that the only thing that contrivance is useful for is extinguishing a fire!" He suddenly realized what he had been tricked into saying. "Pinky, no!" he shouted. Too late.
The instant Brain was distracted, Bugs leaped up, forcing the Terminator's arm down. The bullets fired at remarkable frequency, shredding the robot's chest unit instead of the intended target. Bugs calmly sauntered away as the mice were sent spinning out of control. Brain was barely able to have the robot's arm grab the cliff face to prevent their fall. The cliff began to crumble.
Brain wrenched the controls furiously as he fought for stability; both the robot's and his own. Intellectually, he knew that the Terminator had suffered too much damage, both cosmetic and structural, to be of any more use to him, but still he fanatically fought with all of his white-knuckled might. He would win. It was the only logical outcome. The rabbit would pay for this.
"Pinky!" Brain barked to his associate, who was back at his beloved Gouda. "Cease your hedonistic indulgence and help me!"
"Oh, right-o, Brain!" Pinky replied, jumping up and tossing the cheese over his shoulder. "Poit!"
"Pinky! The cheese!" Brain yelled. But it was already too late. The cheese hit the wall and crumbled, sending a myriad of crumbs into the sensitive circuitry. Electric arcs raced and crackled through the area. Lights flashed and sirens blared. The controls snapped off in Brain's hands.
"Oh, cruel destiny. Why must you do this to me?" Brain lamented, his eyes on the heavens, his voice broken.
"You got me, Brain." Pinky shrugged. "Maybe you should send her chocolates."
"Shut up, Pinky." Brain snapped.
The robot finally lost its grip and fell.
Mere seconds later, what was once the Terminator was now a twisted mass of smoking metal on the canyon floor. A fuming Brain pulled himself from the wreckage, his conquests once again crushed. Crushed, just like the destroyed machine beneath him. "Another bitter failure." Brain sighed.
"Well, look on the bright side, Brain!" Pinky piped up. "We could use this pretty blinking light on our Christmas tree! Poit!"
Brain examined the light. "WARNING: INTERNAL NUCLEAR REACTOR UNSTABLE" it warned.
"Duck, Pinky!" Brain yelled.
"No, Brain! I'm a mouse!" Pinky argued. "The duck was the fellow who we talked to earlier…"
The explosion was heard for miles, a towering mushroom cloud serving as the Terminator's pyre. Bugs watched as he preened from the cliff-top. "Eh, that's definitely gonna come up at the next UN meeting." He commented.
Finally, the fallout settled and two somewhat charred mice pulled themselves from the ashes. "Narf, Brain!" Pinky hooted. "We should go on these outings more often!"
Brain stood in stolid silence for the longest time, before determinedly turning and walking away from ground zero. "Come, Pinky." He muttered, his businesslike tone back in his voice. "We have much planning to do for tomorrow night."
"Why?" Pinky asked as he scampered along behind his friend. "What are we gonna do tomorrow night, Brain?"
"The same thing that we do every night, Pinky." Brain replied, a hint of emotion in his otherwise flat voice. "Try to take over the world!"
The two rodents walked off into the sunrise. Tomorrow would be different. Or at least that's what they told themselves.