Could the mice from NIMH realistically have survived?

edited July 2013 in Main

I'm talking about the mice from NIMH that got blown down the air vent tunnel. My friend says the mice got chopped up by the fan blades. But I thought that couldn't happen because fans usually have a covering on them to prevent debris from falling in. But does it cover both sides?

Even if they didn't get chopped up by the fan, would they have starved to death down there? The wind prevented them from going down the correct tunnel where there was only one exit. Maybe once the fan stopped they could crawl back up the tunnel. But if it turned on and off constantly, then they would make their way up each time, only to be blown back down again and again.

Maybe they were forced to turn back. But there's no way they would want to get back in their cages.

The rats left an opening for the mice in case they got out. Suppose the scientist somehow saw the holes, put two and two together and found the mice in the tunnel.

Couldn't the rats have made more of an effort to save the mice? If each mouse had grabbed one rat, they could have all crawled up safely. If they hadn't save Johnathan in the first place, no one would have been small enough to slip through and open the lock in the first place.

Comments

  • edited July 2013

    Interesting question. There's a lot of factors that go into this. Guess I'll explain.

    First, perhaps a scientist walked by a thermostat, the little gust of air caused by his passing could have been just enough to confuse the air conditioner into thinking it was too warm for a few seconds(excuse the personification). Probably more than enough to cause the 9(or 6, if you support the book) mice to lose their grip on the string or even break the string itself. The scientist passing scenario is possible, because it was around midnight when the escaped(citing both the book and the movie) and it would have been cool inside.

    But perhaps that didn't happen, perhaps it really was warm enough that night to trigger the AC. Here's where the first dumb luck could come into play. There could be a grate over the fan, as Greta said. Or there could be a vent with a cover removed(for maintenance) and they spill out there. Or maybe they were going fast enough, and their timing lucky enough, that they passed through the fan unscathed. Things like that.

    But maybe there was no grate, it was warm enough, and there was no maintenance going on. Perhaps the impact of a large mouse on a fan blade could have broken the fan entirely, and perhaps spared the mouse too. It could have been that badly made or corroded. Depends on the size of the fan.

    So now that the fan has stopped, the mice have reoriented themselves, and now what? Perhaps they find the fan and chew the wires in half to make sure it doesn't bother them again. Dr. Schultz taught the rats to read(in the book), perhaps he thought the mice were more intelligent and taught them more? About mathematics? Science? Physics? Electricity maybe? Very unlikely, but they were in there a long time, so it's within the realm of possibility.

    Now what? They obviously wouldn't just sit there. They would try to find their way out. Best case scenario: They find their way out through where the rats exited before the fan starts up again(or it doesn't because the mice broke it). They could follow the rats' scent to freedom. Maybe easier said than done, I don't know. It's still conceivable.

    Perhaps they can't catch the rats' scent, can't see the moonlight to guide them out. And they get lost. The fan could start up again(if the mice didn't break it). They could be able to get a grip on a grate, the seam in a corner, etc. and ride it out. Or they could be sucked back to the fan. Perhaps they survive it again, catch the rat's scent(or notice light coming from one of the shafts while flying down again). If they can't find their way out this time(before the fan gets going again), they could use their sentience to establish a timing pattern for the fan, and not loose their progress every time. Or maybe they stumble back into the room their cages were in, and one of them remembered the general direction of their way out.

    Now the chances of them getting out after getting totally lost rely on a lot of factors. For example, was the NIMH building just a small warehouse divided into rooms? Or a gigantic monolith of human architecture? We don't know. Was the ventilation system simple or very complicated? We don't know. Were there multiple exits to the outside? We don't know. Was there an easy way to exit the vents without going back to the room their cages were in? We don't know. They could die of dehydration(more probable than hunger), get found by the scientists before they die, or find another way out in 15 minutes. There's a huge amount of factors that go into this last part. I'll stop there.

    Now what happens if they get recaptured? We don't know the scientists' plans for them. They could be euthanized, sold to the government, sold as pets, kept as pets, studied further, or even let go. It all depends on the character of the scientists. Nicodemus spoke of "unspeakable tortures". Perhaps the scientists were really that mean or dedicated to science. Perhaps they weren't. Perhaps they were just doing this for the money. Perhaps they were trying to create a race of sentient rodents(and obviously succeeded). The fact is, we don't know much about them. The book doesn't go into any detail about their character and their names weren't even mentioned in the movie.

    In short, it's well within the realm of possibility that they get out alive and free. Luck and what we don't know will be the two largest factors determining the outcome. Intelligence, strength, sense of smell, nocturnal vision, and know-how could play a part, but not as much as luck and the unknown.

  • I agree wholeheartedly with you on this one. The mice could very well have survived their ordeal in the ventilation shaft(s), but I feel that it would have taken an extraordinary stroke of luck to so, and even more to find their way to freedom in the same manner as the rats. With no light (except for that which eminated from the moon), it would have been pretty difficult navigating the various shafts and ducts of the ventilation system without getting lost.

  • They lived but wish they hadn't because they ended up in the sequel...Sorry =P

  • It's a mixed blessing, they also get put in some of the best fanfictions I've ever seen.

  • ChrisS said:

    They lived but wish they hadn't because they ended up in the sequel...Sorry =P

    Well, not to worry because I’m writing an alternate sequel on DeviantArt here: http://drew47at.deviantart.com/art/Thorns-and-Fire-Chapter-1-360947571

    It will deviate completely from it, have the mice survive, and even bring back Jonathan Brisby too along with Jenner for him to fight off.

  • edited August 2013

    ARAJediMaster said:

    ChrisS said:

    They lived but wish they hadn't because they ended up in the sequel...Sorry =P

    Well, not to worry because I’m writing an alternate sequel on DeviantArt here: http://drew47at.deviantart.com/art/Thorns-and-Fire-Chapter-1-360947571

    It will deviate completely from it, have the mice survive, and even bring back Jonathan Brisby too along with Jenner for him to fight off.

    Does Vader/Anakin Skywalker make an appearance? Does Yoda/Obi-Wan fit in at all? Earth was never apart of the Star Wars Universe, so maybe I'm wrong in asking such questions. You do have a good set up with Sidious and Jenner. And resurrecting him actually makes sense in the context of the narrative. Hope you have fun with it.

  • ThePuppetMaster said:

    ARAJediMaster said:

    ChrisS said:

    They lived but wish they hadn't because they ended up in the sequel...Sorry =P

    Well, not to worry because I’m writing an alternate sequel on DeviantArt here: http://drew47at.deviantart.com/art/Thorns-and-Fire-Chapter-1-360947571

    It will deviate completely from it, have the mice survive, and even bring back Jonathan Brisby too along with Jenner for him to fight off.

    Does Vader/Anakin Skywalker make an appearance? Does Yoda/Obi-Wan fit in at all? Earth was never apart of the Star Wars Universe, so maybe I'm wrong in asking such questions. You do have a good set up with Sidious and Jenner. And resurrecting him actually makes sense in the context of the narrative. Hope you have fun with it.

    Thanks! Oh, and if you read this paragraph here, it should answer your question on the Empire reaching Earth.

    “The Republic, however, had the technology and resources to travel through time and space. In fact, it was a simple matter of modifying the hyperdrive on their vessels in order for the ship to travel to the certain destination in time, generally forwards in time with some limited capacities of going backwards. As for the issue of space, it could take theoretically months to years to reach the intended galaxy on hyperdrive only, even with the right modifications. Fortunately the Republic had found, and manipulated, wormholes in hyperspace to reduce the travel time to reach another galaxy to a few hours or days.”

    Yes, Vader is involved in the story. Yoda has some involvement too, but indirectly as he must hide Dagobah. I may feature a special Jedi character who aided in the NIMH experiments before Order 66 and he subsequently escapes.

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