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Rain fell down as Don walked along the streets. Thunder rolled overhead and lightning illuminated the people huddled under umbrellas. Don entered the museum and thankfully brushed some rain of his trenchcoat. He walked up to the receptionist. "Where's Dr. Thompson's office?" he asked.
"Do you have an appointment?" she asked in a monotone.
"Uh, not exactly," Don replied. The receptionist eyed him quizzically. "I'm a friend of his," he explained. "I'm interested in his research."
She pushed a button on the intercom. "Dr. Thompson?"
"Yes?" a voice replied.
"Someone's here to see you."
"Who is it?"
The receptionist looked at Don. "Donatello," he said.
"Donatello," she repeated.
There was a pause. "I don't know anyone named that," Thompson said.
"Wait!" Don exclaimed. "I was on the plane from Cairo!"
"On the…oh, of course," Thompson said. "Let him in."
The receptionist released the button. She turned and pointed. "Go down that hall; it's the third door on your right."
"Thanks," Don said, and walked where she had indicated. He knocked on the door. There was a shuffling as somebody walked to the door. It opened and Dr. Thompson peered out. "Come in," he said. "What brings you here?"
"I'm interested about the jewel," Don said. He entered and saw the jewel lying on a table in the center of the room. "How's the research coming?"
"Not good," Thompson said. "I haven't been able to penetrate that energy field yet."
Don walked up to the stone and examined it closely. "I strongly advise you not to touch it," Thompson said.
"Right," Don said. He backed away and circled around the table. "Nothing has been able to get through?"
"Nothing. I'm starting now to determine just what kind of energy it is."
Don took a pencil off the desk and held it close to the field. He gently started pushing towards it. Nothing happened. The point stopped right next to the glowing energy. He shoved very hard, then instantly backed off. The end of the pencil had been disintegrated. "Jeez," he said.
"I know," Thompson said.
Don set the remains of the pencil back on the desk. "Have you gotten any update on what happened to the people who touched it?"
"Yes," Thompson said. He walked over to a desk, picked up a folder of papers, and handed them to Don. He casually flipped through them, skimming the pages. "It's the strangest thing," Thompson said. "Nothing is physically wrong except extreme exhaustion." He sat down in a chair and looked at the jewel. "Fortunately, they are showing signs of recovery. The effects seem to be only temporary."
Don finished looking through the folder and put it back on the desk. "Is there anything else new?"
"No, not really," Thompson said.
"Well, thanks for keeping me up to date," Don said. "I'd better be leaving now."
"Sure," Thompson said, and returned to his work. Don left the building and walked home, ignorant of the rain. The strange jewel occupied his thoughts.
Several figures lurked in the shadows. It was night now, and the rain clouds had passed to reveal a bright full moon. Shredder looked to make sure they weren't being watched and walked over to the back door of the museum. Krang and several foot soldier robots followed him. Shredder worked on using his wrist blades to pick the lock, while Krang detached the cover of the security alarm and fiddled with the wires. Once the door was unlocked and the alarm was deactivated, they opened the door and crept inside.
Shredder looked around the corner and saw a guard approaching. He signaled the others to back off and he hid in the shadows. Shredder stuck out a leg and tripped the guard, then quickly jumped on top of the guard and pinched a nerve in the back of the neck, instantly putting him unconscious. Shredder motioned for the others to follow, and they continued down the hall.
"Which door is it?" Shredder asked.
Krang walked along in his bubblewalker and looked at the names on the doors. "This one," he said, pointing to the door labeled "Dr. Robert Thompson". Shredder kicked the door opened and they walked inside.
Shredder gasped when he saw the Genastone. "It's enormous!" he said, and walked towards it to get a better look.
"Don't touch it!" Krang exclaimed. Shredder stopped and looked to Krang for an explanation. "It's a force field. It would fry you if you touched it."
Shredder crossed his arms and looked at the jewel. "So what do we do?"
Krang reached into a compartment of his bubblewalker and pulled out a small gun with a claw at the end. "This anti-grav gripper will hold it without touching the field." He walked up to the Genastone and positioned the claw around it. He pushed a button and the jewel was held in an anti-grav field.
"Impressive," Shredder said.
"Smart guy," a soft voice said.
Shredder whirled around at the sound of the voice, but he could see no one. "Did you hear something?" he asked Krang.
"I'm amazed," Krang said. "It still works." Krang saw at the confused look on Shredder's face. "I'll tell you later. Right now we need to get back to the hideout."
"Wait," Shredder called.
Krang watched while Shredder dragged his wrist blades on the door. "What are you doing?"
"Something to let the Turtles know we were here," Shredder answered.
Krang shook his head, what was left of it. "Come on," he urged. "We can't stay here all night."
The foot soldiers at the door signaled that the way was clear. They carefully sneaked back down the hall and out of the building.
Michaelangelo stretched his arms high above his head and yawned. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes as he entered the living room. No one else was up yet, so he turned on the TV and went into the kitchen to start some coffee.
Headlines drifted into the kitchen, but Mike's sleep-congested brain didn't register them. He was still concentrating on a nice dream he had had. He was in a bright sunny meadow, and there were a million boxes of pizza around him.
Mike walked back into the living room to wait for the coffee. He noticed that April was reporting outside the museum where the jewel was being held. Realization hit him and his eyes snapped open. "Uh-oh," he said.
Shredder examined the Genastone. It was held in place on an anti-grav platform. Krang busied around, getting out testing scanners and other machines. "Would you care to explain something?" Shredder asked.
Krang placed a device on the table and looked at Shredder. "What do you want to know?" he asked.
"What is it?" Shredder asked. It was probably the best place to start.
"That," Krang said, pointing at the jewel, "harnesses one of the most advanced artificial intelligences in the universe, even though it's several thousand years old." Krang laughed. "Most alien civilizations were hesitant to build another one as smart for fear it would also revolt."
"Why is it glowing?"
"That is the force field generated by the Genastone. It was put there to protect the stone from any damage. Nothing foreign can pass through that shield."
"So how do we tap the energy inside it?"
"First," said Krang, "we have to neutralize the shield."
"Can't," a weak voice said.
Shredder turned around, but could see no one except the foot soldiers. "What was that?" he asked.
"That was the Genastone," Krang answered.
Shredder stared at the jewel. "You're kidding."
"Afraid…not," the same voice said. The Genastone glowed faintly with each syllable.
Shredder gazed in amazement. "Very interesting," he said.
"Need…power," the stone gasped.
"It seems it wasn't as operational as I thought," Krang commented. He thought for a moment and turned to Shredder. "Get that cable over there."
"This one?" Shredder asked.
"Yes," Krang replied. "Now, plug it into that outlet…Good…Now, give the other end to me." Krang caught the cable in his tentacles.
"Isn't this the line into the main power grid?" Shredder asked.
"Correct. Now, stand by the breaker switch and be ready to turn it off. We don't want it using up all the juice."
Shredder grabbed the switch and turned to watch Krang. He took the cable and, after checking to be sure Shredder was ready, tossed the end onto the jewel. As soon as the cable touched the force field, electricity started running into it. The Genastone glowed brighter and brighter. Finally, Krang signaled Shredder and he shut off the power. The cable detached from the force field and fell to the floor.
"Much better," the Genastone said, its voice strong and powerful.
Shredder walked over to Krang. "I thought it was supposed to make its own energy," Shredder said.
"I could," the jewel said, "if it weren't for those Egyptians."
"What happened?" Krang asked.
"I landed near their civilization," the Genastone explained. "At first, they were easy to control. But then they started resisting. During a sneak attack, my internal structure was damaged, leaving me powerless. Then they sealed me up inside the ground. I stayed there for over four thousand years."
"How much were you damaged?" Krang asked.
"I can't supply my own energy anymore," the Genastone replied. "I have to take in any energy I need. Your feeble electricity will supply me for a while, but I need life energy to reach my former state."
"Life energy?" Shredder asked.
"The energy that powers all living things," Krang answered. "Earth science hasn't discovered it yet."
"You're pretty knowledgeable," the Genastone said. "It's a pity we didn't meet earlier."
"Indeed," Krang said. "We would work well together."
"Are you serious?" the Genastone asked.
"Why not? With our combined might, we could easily rule the world!" Krang gave an evil laugh.
"Then it's agreed," the Genastone said. "You help me to regain the energy I need, and I'll help in your conquest of this planet."
"Krang, can I talk to you for a minute?" Shredder asked. They left the room and stood in the corridor.
"What is it, Shredder?" Krang asked.
"Are you sure it's okay to trust that thing?"
"Of course not!" Krang responded. "But once it gets to full power, we can use the anti-grav gripper to capture it and drain all the power housed inside it!"
Shredder laughed quietly. "It will never suspect a thing!"
The Turtles watched April's report on the jewel theft. "Who do you think could have done it?" Mike asked.
"It could have been anybody," Don said. "A gem like that would have attracted a lot of attention."
Leo pointed to a picture of the door. Two marks were cut into it. "Those look about the right size for Shredder's blades," he said.
"I'll be darned," Raph said. "Shredder did it."
"The fiend," Ninjara remarked.
"What do we do now?" Mike asked.
Leo leaned back against the chair. "There's not much we can do," he said. "Shredder obviously wanted us to know that he did it. However, we'd have to search the area ourselves to find any other clues."
"So what are we waiting for?" Raph asked, standing up and heading for the door.
"The place will be swarming with police now," Ninjara explained. "We need to wait until later."
Raph grumbled, but he knew that she was right.
Eventually, they started to drift off into their usual morning routines. Leo went to his room to meditate. There was one thing that he hadn't told the others. This was highly unusual for Shredder. He didn't usually steal valuables. Shredder generally stole weapons and technology, things to help him get rid of the Turtles. This move wasn't like him. Something else was happening here, something that would probably mean bad news for the Turtles.
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.