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Five figures stood in the moonlight on the roof of the museum that had just a night before held a mysterious jewel. But that jewel had been stolen by Shredder, and the Turtles were here to look for any clues that might lead them to him.
They stealthily made their way inside, keeping to the shadows. There were guards on patrol, but for ones trained in ninjistu, they were no problem. The Turtles stepped underneath the yellow tape and entered Dr. Thompson's office.
"Okay, brothers," Leo said, "let's get to it."
They quickly set to searching the room. Leo examined the marks Shredder had left on the door. "What do you think?" Leo called to Ninjara. She walked over and ran her finger along the cuts. Then she bent her nose close and sniffed them.
"It's Shredder, all right," she said, bringing her face back. "I'd recognize his stench anywhere."
"Wonderful," Leo said.
"So, Leo," Raph said, shuffling through stuff on the desk, "just what exactly are we looking for here?"
"Anything that will tell us where Shredder is or what his plans are," Leo replied.
Don walked over to the computer and turned it on. "What are you doing?" Raph asked as if Don had lost his mind.
"I'm going to copy Dr. Thompson's research," he answered matter-of-factly. "I can search through it and find why Shredder wanted the jewel."
"Who wouldn't want it?" Raph asked. "The thing's huge!"
"Quiet, Raph," Leo ordered. "We don't want anyone knowing we're here."
They continued searching around the room for several minutes, while Don started copying the computer files to his disk.
"Well, I didn't find anything," Mike said. He was walking towards the others when his foot slipped on something on the floor and he fell into the table. It tipped over with a large crash and spilled everything onto the floor.
Raph swore. "Nice job, Mike!"
"Quiet," Ninjara whispered urgently. The sound of rushing footsteps was coming nearer. "There'll be time to yell at Mike later. Right now we need to get out of here."
"Agreed," Leo said. "Everyone out the window. Don, hurry up."
"I'm almost done," he said. He waited furiously as the computer finished copying the data. Finally it was done, and he snatched the disk from the drive and headed to the window. He barely made it outside before the guards burst into the room.
Don ran after his brothers, who were heading for the nearest sewer cover. "That was close," he said.
"Wouldn't have been if Mike hadn't flubbed up," Raph commented.
"It wasn't my fault," Mike protested. "I slipped on some oil."
"Oil?" Don asked. "It could have leaked from Krang's bubblewalker."
"We already know who stole it," Raph said. "We just don't know where they are."
"Or if they even still have it," Ninjara added. "A gem like that would fetch a lot on the black market. Maybe it's already been sold."
"Maybe," Mike said, "but what would he need the money for?"
"Probably for some weapon of destruction," Don said.
"Whatever Shredder's doing," Leo said, "it's a sure thing we'll find out eventually."
"Yeah," said Raph, "but I'd sure like to know what we'll be going up against."
"So would I," Leo replied, "but there's not much we can do now, except wait."
A week passed and nothing happened. This worried the Turtles, so they decided to check with April and see if she had heard anything. They arrived at her apartment in the afternoon.
"Come in," she said when she saw them. "What brings you here?"
"The jewel that was recently stolen," Leo said. He didn't continue until they had all settled down in her living room. "We know that Shredder took it, but beyond that we're clueless. We're wondering if you had heard anything."
"Well," said April, leaning back in her sofa, "the police haven't come up with anything."
"The police can't do jack squat," Raph said.
"I know you feel that way, Raph," she said, "but they're my best source for information."
"How about the black market?" Don asked. "Do you have any contacts you could talk to?"
"I've tried that," she replied. "I've found nothing, though several people are offering big money for it."
"That bothers me," Leo said. "What else would Shredder want it for if he wasn't planning to sell it?"
"Maybe for that force field," Ninjara offered. "If he could figure out how it works, he could make hundreds of shielded foot soldiers."
"I've been looking into Dr. Thompson's research," Don said. "As far as I know, that field is impenetrable. That would make his foot soldiers invincible, but it would also make it impossible to figure out how it works."
"An interesting quandary," Leo said. "However, I'm sure there's something more here than meets the eye."
"I'm sorry I couldn't help you guys," April said.
"That's okay," Mike said. "Update us if you find anything more."
"I will," she promised. "Thanks for coming over, but I have to leave now. I'm researching a story about a mysterious illness affecting the homeless."
"What's that?" Mike asked as the Turtles started to leave.
"Recently, dozens of homeless people have turned up in the hospital exhibiting extreme exhaustion."
This made Don perk up. "Extreme exhaustion, you say?"
"Yeah," April said, "but it lasts a long time. Medication doesn't help to make them better. Doctors are unsure as to the cause." She noticed the broad smile on Don's face. "Why are you so happy?"
"You might just help us after all," Don replied. "Do you have a map of where they were found?"
"Sure," April said. "I can print one off of my computer." She walked into another room.
"Don," Leo asked, "how will this help?"
"The people who had touched the jewel showed the same symptoms April described," Don answered. "These homeless people might be having encounters with the jewel."
"But why?" Raph asked. "Why would Shredder go around zapping people that probably nobody cares about?"
"I don't know," Don said, "but at least it's a lead."
April returned and handed Don a sheet of paper. "I never really noticed it before," she said, "but they do seem to follow a pattern."
Don looked at a series of red dots on the map. The dates next to the dots showed that they progressed in a straight line. He pointed to the next place in line. "That's where they'll go tonight."
"Awesome," Mike said. "Thanks, April."
"Any time," she replied.
It was night again. The Turtles arrived at the alley between two condemned buildings. This was where Shredder was supposed to strike. A few homeless people were sleeping among the shadows. Raph kicked over a trashcan and woke them up. They all turned to look at the strange newcomers.
"Due to circumstances beyond your control," Mike said, "we suggest that you vacate these premises immediately."
"Hey, now," one of them said forlornly, "you can't just kick us out of here."
Raph brought out one of his sais. It flashed in the moonlight. "Out," he ordered. "Now." They quickly packed up and left.
Raph turned to look at Mike. "'Vacate these premises'?" he asked in a what-the-hell-were-you-thinking tone of voice.
"So sue me," Mike responded.
"Enough," Leo said. "Let's get in place for when Shredder comes."
They hid in the shadows and waited. A half-hour passed and nothing happened. "Are you sure he's coming?" Raph asked anxiously.
"He'll be here," Leo assured. "We just need to be patient."
"Quiet," Ninjara said, sniffing the air. "I smell someone coming."
The Turtles hushed as Shredder and Krang entered the alley. Krang was holding the stolen jewel in a strange claw-gun. They were in the middle of a heated conversation when they arrived.
"Someone's bound to notice eventually," Shredder said.
"What if they do?" Krang countered. "We'll just start someplace else."
"How long is this going to take?" Shredder asked. "How many more people does it have to drain?"
Leo raised his hand and prepared to give the signal to attack.
"As many as I need to reach full power," a third voice said.
Leo froze. Where had that voice come from? It seemed like it came from the jewel, but that was impossible, right?
"Well," Shredder said, "I suppose we should get to work. Is there anyone here?"
"Five," the strange voice said, then hesitated. "But they're strange ones."
That voice definitely seemed to be coming from the jewel. It floated away from the claw-gun and hovered in the air. Leo was very confused. What in the world was going on here?
He was brought to action when an energy projectile shot out of the jewel and demolished the wooden crates he was hiding behind. He froze, completely exposed, and saw the surprised expressions on the bad guys' faces.
"The Turtles!" Shredder shouted in astonishment.
So much for the element of surprise, Leo thought, and gave the signal to attack. The Turtles jumped out of their hiding places with weapons drawn.
"Hello, Shred-head," Raph said, twirling one of his sais.
"How did you find us?" Shredder asked.
"It was a piece of cake to follow the trail you were leaving," Don said.
Shredder glared at Krang. "It doesn't matter now," Krang said. "They're in the way; let's destroy them."
"And drain their energy," the third voice said eagerly.
"Is that…" Don asked.
"What's up with that jewel?" Raph demanded.
"I am the Genastone," the jewel said, "the smartest entity in the universe, at least before those stupid Egyptians damaged me." Lightning crackled on the surface of its force field. "I must have your energy to satisfy my hunger."
A tendril of energy shot out from the force field and forced Mike to dodge behind a trashcan. Raph threw a sai at the Genastone, but it bounced off. The Genastone laughed. "You feeble animals," it said. "Nothing foreign can pass this force field. You cannot possibly hurt me."
"I can try," Raph said, and flung his other sai as hard as he could. A tendril of energy caught the sai, turned it around, and shot it back at Raph. He ducked just in time, and the sai buried itself into the wall behind him.
Meanwhile, Shredder charged at Leo. He held his swords up to block a strike from his right hand, then blocked another from his left hand. Shredder relentlessly swung at Leo, trying to get his wrist blades behind Leo's defenses. Leo was forced to back up, until he jumped to the side and swung his sword in a wide arc that caught Shredder along the arm.
Shredder paused to examine the cut on his upper arm. "A scratch," he said, turning to face Leo. "You'll have to do a lot better than that."
Someone kicked Shredder from behind and made him stumble forward. He turned to see Ninjara behind him. "Two against one," he said. "The odds are still against you." He charged into battle.
Donatello warily circled Krang. They both stared at each other, not wavering away from each other's eyes. "What's your game, Krang?" Don asked, his bo gripped tightly.
"Why should I tell you, turtle?" Krang retorted.
"I'll find out, one way or another," Don said, and rushed in to attack.
"Meet my anti-grav gun," he said, and pulled the trigger.
Don suddenly stopped. He tried to move forward, but some force was pushing against him. Krang smiled and used his other tentacle to manipulate a dial on the side of the gun. The force pushing against Don grew stronger, and he was flung against the wall.
Krang laughed. "Have a nice trip," he said, and aimed the gun upward.
Don followed the motion of the gun and slid up the wall, his shell grating against the bricks. He reached the roof several stories up and grabbed the edge to keep from flying away. He was flipped upside-down, the force of the anti-grav gun pushing upward with Don trying to hold on.
Krang, still laughing, turned the gun off. Don fell down and hung from the edge of the rooftop. "Like my new weapon?" Krang asked. "It can also fire short blasts of force."
With that, he adjusted another knob and fired again. Don swung to the side to avoid the invisible shot that hit the wall and shattered it. The edge Don was holding on to broke and he fell to the ground, landing heavily on his shell. He had just enough time to stand up before Krang leveled the gun at him and fired. The strange force again gripped his body, and Krang started playing a game of tossing him up and catching him again.
Raph tried to pull his sai out of the wall, but it was stuck fast. "That won't work," the Genastone said, and shot an energy projectile at him. Raph dodged, but he couldn't escape the small cascade of bricks and dust that fell on him.
Mike rummaged through a trashcan and picked out an old tin can, which he tossed at the Genastone. It bounced harmlessly off. "Why do you persist at throwing things at me?" it asked. Mike tossed a banana peel, which landed on its shield and vaporized. "Oh, well," the jewel said, "if you insist."
It fired a shot at Mike. He picked up a trashcan lid to protect him, and the shot hit the lid and burned a hole in the middle. Mike looked at his now-useless shield and tossed it to the side. Then he ducked as the Genastone fired again.
He crawled over to Raph. "How do we defeat it?" he asked.
"I don't know," Raph said. "Ask Don; he's the genius around here."
But Don was occupied. I'm going to lose my supper, he thought as he was lifted by Krang's anti-grav gun, let go, caught before he hit ground, and the process was repeated. Krang didn't seem to tire of the game.
Don waited until the anti-grav gun let him go and he started to fall. Then he tossed a throwing star right at the gun. It hit true and knocked the weapon from Krang's tentacles. Don landed on his feet and ran to attack Krang. He grabbed the bubblewalker's leg and flung it away.
Krang's bubblewalker rolled along the ground, but he eventually turned it upright. He saw Don charging again, pulled a laser gun out of his bubblewalker, and started firing. Don leapt out of the way, and the shots hit the building. It started to tremble.
Leo, Ninjara, and Shredder stopped in the middle of a fierce sword fight, alerted by the noise. "The building's going to collapse!" Leo shouted.
"Tough luck," Shredder said, and shoved them both towards the falling building. They landed next to the other three Turtles. Shredder waved goodbye as hundreds of bricks fell on the heroes.
Shredder, Krang, and the Genastone quickly ran away and watched as the building fell down. A great cloud of dust hung over the rubble. People were starting to gather around it.
"They couldn't have survived that," Shredder said.
"It was rather easy," Krang commented.
"A waste of good life energy," the Genastone said. "They had quite a lot of it."
The three bad guys watched the scene a little while longer. "Well," the Genastone said impatiently, "we can't wait around here all night. There are people to be drained, energy to be recovered!"
"If you insist," Shredder said, and they left.
Among the pile of bricks, several figures popped out. "I love being a turtle," Mike said haggardly.
"At least now I know how much stress these shells can take," Don said.
Raph was brushing the dust off his shell when a feeling of horror hit him. "Not all of us have shells," he said. "Where's Ninjara?"
Leo heaved a load of bricks off of him. "I've got her," he said, revealing Ninjara protected underneath him.
Raph ran over to Ninjara and hugged her tight. "Don't freak me out like that," he said.
"Not that I want to break up the moment," Leo said, "but we should head for home. Something like this is bound to draw a crowd of people."
Battered and bruised, they picked themselves up and entered the sewers. On the way home, all they could think about was the battle and how in the world they were going to stop this new threat.
to be continued…
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all related characters are the property of someone else. This is a work of fanfiction and no copyright infringement was intended. The Genastone is my own creation.