Title: Initiative Secrets
Disclaimer: neither fandom belongs to me, listing of who they do belong to at the end.
Author's note: I rarely answer challenges, but this just came to me today, and I thought it was too good to not use.
Willow sucked in a sharp breath, frowning deeply as she studied the information on her monitor. Even though it had been six years since the Scoobies had shut down Project Initiative for the government, it had taken so long to get through all the bureaucratic red tape that the New Watcher’s Council, under Giles and Buffy, had only managed to get the NSA to release the hard-disks containing their files a month ago. Willow had been working practically round the clock to decrypt the files on the drives that had been delivered to their new base of operations, located ten minutes outside Cleveland, Ohio, ever since.
Pressing a button on the speakerphone on the corner of her desk, she didn’t look away from her computer as she called out, “Giles, could you come in here for a minute?” When the grizzled Watcher came through her door, she turned perplexed eyes on him. “Take a look at this.”
Bending over her shoulder, he squinted at the screen, as puzzled as she over the information displayed there. “NIMH? What on earth is NIMH?”
“The National Institute of Mental Health,” the redhead replied, absently, scrolling down the file slowly. “what I don’t get is why in the world she’d have twenty megabytes of files on a bunch of rats that escaped from the place back in the seventies?”
Blinking in consternation, Giles cleared his throat and shook his head before commenting, “Well, perhaps it will become clearer after a bit of study. However, for the moment, you may wish to save your progress and get some rest. It’s nearly four am.”
Willow looked at the clock in surprise. The digital readout proclaimed the time to be 3:48am. “Goddess, I had no idea I had been at this so long today! Maybe that’s why none of this is making any sense. You’re right, I need to sleep. Go ahead and go home, Giles, I’ll lock-up.”
Ten minutes later, Willow shut down her computer and left her office, the last person out of the building for the night. The Junior Slayer pulling third shift guard duty at the desk in the front lobby gave her a friendly wave as she headed out, and returned her attention to her PSP. She never noticed the flicker of motion on the monitor from the security camera in the witch’s office.
The next day, all of the files on the rats of NIMH had vanished without a trace, from the original Initiative hardware, and from Willow’s computer, and there was no sign of any hacking. Try as she might, she could not find the information anywhere, and eventually she let it go, deciding she’d probably hallucinated the entire thing out of exhaustion, and made a resolution to not let herself work such long hours anymore.
She never noticed the light brown mouse watching her from the molding near the ceiling of her office that day, or the several that followed, and the secret of the rats of NIMH continued to remain secure.
Buffy and all things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon et al.
The Secret of NIMH was hailed as Don Bluth's masterpiece, is distributed by MGM/UA, and was released on DVD in 2007 by 20th Century Fox, so my best guess would be it belongs to them. I'm not them. I have no legal right to anything having to do with the rats of NIMH, nor am I profitting financially in any way from this work of fiction. It was written for fun, and I mean no harm by it.
I adored that movie as a little girl, and when I actually READ the September challenge, this was literally the first thought that came into my mind.
I'm not sure what that says about me, but...
Reviews are always appreciated. *winks*