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The Genastone took a moment to survey its subterranean fortress. It seemed like everything was proper. The traps were set, and its creations were restless to attack something. That something should arrive soon.
The alien jewel floated through the hallways and returned to the throne chamber. This had taken it several days to build, cutting it from the rock underneath New York. Its life energy reserves were down to half. Most of it had been used as structural reinforcements. However, the mutants were strangely full of the stuff. Perhaps the mutagenic process had increased their levels somehow. It was an interesting prospect to consider.
Unfortunately, the Genastone couldn't. It hadn't realized how damaged it had been until recent days. The whole planning of its fortress had taken almost an hour. It should have taken only seconds. Its condition was worsening more rapidly. Whatever the Egyptians had done (disturbingly, it couldn't remember), it had been far reaching.
But the situation would soon be rectified. The Genastone had redirected a phone line down into his fortress, as a connection with the outside world. It floated up and patched in. Time to lure its prey.
Donatello was sitting in front of his computer and drumming his fingers on the desk. The screen before him was full of calculations. He had been working on Dr. Thompson's Genastone data extensively in the past couple of days. There was an answer in there somewhere. Unfortunately, it was buried deep.
Don sighed and turned away. He shouldn't expect it to be easy. He was dealing with a completely new form of energy here. "Life energy," the Genastone had called it. And here he was trying to understand its workings in a few days. But a few days might be all he'd have.
He scratched his head and looked at the model again. Leo and Mike watched him work. "Is this healthy for him?" Mike asked.
"He's the only one of us who can figure this out," Leo answered.
Mike walked over to Don and rested his hand on his shoulder. Don didn't look up. "How's it coming, bro?" Mike asked.
"Slow and tedious," Don replied.
Mike watched the data and computer models being displayed on the screen. "What are those?"
Don sighed. "I would appreciate no distractions," he said.
"I'm just curious," Mike defended himself.
Don sighed again and rubbed his temples. He had been working almost non-stop on this. Maybe a break would help him think better.
"What is the big problem anyway?" Mike asked.
"Only the whole thing!" Don said in exasperation. "It's almost ridiculous to think that I should understand a new form of energy in just a couple days, especially one that acts like nothing science has seen before."
"But we just want to know how to stop it!"
"And how can I know that without understanding how it all works?"
"Look," Mike said, "we know that when Shredder shot those energy creatures, they disappeared."
"Well, why is that?"
Don huffed and looked at the computer. This new line of thought sent his mind racing. He grabbed the mouse and started clicking buttons.
"Well," he said, manipulating the data on-screen while talking, "this model shows us the energy matrix. It's not actually solid material, but a strong collection of repellent force. Any matter that touches it will be repelled or incinerated." He paused and put his hand to his chin. "But any energy that touches it should be absorbed into the matrix. Shredder's laser blasts should have been harmlessly absorbed. The matrix isn't that fragile...wait."
He started furiously typing. His excitement was pervading through the lair. By now, all the Turtles had gathered around Donatello.
"Aha!" Don exclaimed, triumphantly tapping a last few keys and leaning back in his chair.
"Aha what?" Ninjara asked.
"The Genastone's force field can absorb any energy, but that's because the jewel provides a storage device for the energy. The matrices created outside the jewel have no central storage, which forces all absorbed energy to flow through the matrix. The matrix cannot take this added strain and collapses under the effort."
There were a few seconds of silence. "In English?" Raph asked.
Don paused a second to compose his thoughts. "The energy creatures will destabilize if they absorb any excess energy."
"Then we need a way to give them excess energy," Leo said.
Don smiled. "I think I can whip something up," he said. "Portable electrical discharge seems like the best bet. I can have them ready by to-"
He stopped when he saw the computer screen. The diagrams and data sets were gone, replaced with a black screen and a simple text message.
"What the heck?" Don said. He tapped a few keys, but there was no response.
Another message displayed itself below the first one. "After the assault on our base of operations a couple nights ago, I know you would appreciate the opportunity to face me again."
"It's the Genastone," Leo said.
"It's found some way to tap into the phone lines," Don said.
"Therefore, you may come to the site of previously mentioned base to challenge me."
"They're not ones to be subtle," Mike said.
"It's obviously a trap," Raph commented.
"True," Leo said, "but it's an opportunity we may not have again. Besides," he continued, "we know how to fight the Genastone now."
"Not exactly," Don said. "We can fight his energy creatures, but the dischargers won't work on the Genastone itself."
"Still," Ninjara said, "it's better than nothing."
"We'll go tonight," Leo said. "If you can get those...dischargers ready by then."
Don nodded. "I'll start right away."
"Good," Leo said. "In the meantime, the rest of us should prepare."
It was nighttime. A cool wind blew as the Turtles made their way to face the Genastone, Krang, and Shredder. Raph fingered the discharger that Don had made for all of them. It was about the size of a remote control, with two prongs at one end. When the button was pushed, electricity would arc between those prongs, killing any energy creature thingies or giving Shredder a considerable sting.
Soon they arrived at the site of their last battle. "What exactly are we looking for?" Mike asked as they surveyed the wreckage.
"I expect they're waiting for us to show up," Don said.
"Look there," Ninjara said. She pointed to a glowing red circle on the ground amidst the wreckage.
"What is that?" Don asked.
Raph drew his sais. "I don't like it."
"Nonetheless, we'd better check it out," Leo said.
The Turtles silently walked towards the mysterious red circle, Leo leading the way. Don bent down to examine it, while Raph and Ninjara kept a steady watch for danger.
"It looks like an energy matrix seal to something," Don said.
"Can we get through it?" Leo asked.
Don brought out his discharger. "Let's see how well these things work." He placed the prongs next to the seal and pushed the button. There was a small flash, and the seal dissolved away. It left a dark gap into the earth.
"Well, that worked very well," Don said with a smile. He placed his discharger back in his belt, and gestured into the hole. "Shall we?"
Leo walked forward. "Let's go," he said, and dropped into the hole.
One by one they followed him. They landed in a small chamber with one doorway leading out. The moonlight leaked inside to provide a little illumination, but there was also a faint red glow coming from somewhere beyond the doorway. Leo motioned silently to his brothers and they moved through the door.
They entered a large shaft extending down into the earth. The shaft was lit by a red glow coming from the walls. It looked like they were made entirely of life energy. A staircase twisted down along the shaft wall. The Turtles walked down it.
They descended for several minutes. "How deep are we?" Mike asked.
"We must be below sewer level by now," Don said. He pointed at the wall. "It's a good thing this life energy is holding everything up. Without it, this whole place would collapse."
"Well, then," Raph said with a mischievous tone in his voice, "let's collapse it." He pulled his discharger from his belt.
"Don't, Raph!" Don yelled. "Not while we're still in here!"
"Then let's leave and collapse it," Raph suggested.
"That wouldn't be honorable," Leo said.
"And besides, the Genastone would be able to save them," Don added.
Raph growled and put his discharger away. "Shredder wouldn't hesitate to do the same to us," he muttered under his breath.
"You're not Shredder," Leo replied softly so only he could hear. Then he raised his voice to speak to everyone else. "Let's hurry. I see an end ahead."
Indeed, they were almost to the bottom. At the end of the staircase was a archway. Leonardo halted the Turtles with a gesture, and drew his weapons. His swords had a red tint from cavern walls. The others drew their weapons, and cautiously they passed through the door.
They entered a circular chamber. Everything except the floor was coated in life energy. At the far wall were five doorways leading down tunnels away from the central chamber.
"Yep," Raph said. "Definitely a trap."
"Has it had the last two days to prepare this?" Mike asked.
"I'd hate to think of how many people it's had to drain to make this place," Don commented.
"I know who two of them are," Ninjara said. Everyone turned to her and followed her gaze up. Strapped to the ceiling were Krang and Shredder. Their eyes were closed, and their breathing could barely be heard.
"A warning," Ninjara said.
"Eh," Raph said with a shrug, "that's just two less bad guys to worry about."
"We must be careful," Leo said. He looked away from the ceiling and turned his gaze to the five doorways. "We don't want to end up like that."
Don walked up to Leo and stared with him down the tunnels. "Should we?" he asked.
"I still say we collapse this place," Raph said, still looking at Krang and Shredder.
"It wouldn't work," Don argued.
"What, Raph, you afraid to face the Genastone?" Mike taunted.
Raph growled. "Never," he spoke gruffly, and marched towards a doorway.
"Raph!" Don said, and moved to stop him, but Leo restrained him with a hand on his shoulder.
"It's okay," Leo said. "Let's see what surprise the Genastone has for us."
One by one, each Turtle chose a tunnel and entered it.
Don absent-mindedly twirled his bo as he walked down the corridor. He still wasn't sure they should be here. They knew how to fight the Genastone's creations, but they still were no closer to figuring out how to stop the Genastone itself. Maybe a few more days at the computer...but he had been working on this for days and not getting any closer. However, he realized as he walked, it was a relief to get away for a while. This night activity was refreshing his mind.
And besides, he thought as he approached the end of the tunnel, maybe we'll come up with something while fighting. We always do. He reached out and touched the wall. Dead end. Then why-
He was alerted by a sound behind him. Turning quickly, he noticed a rush of crimson approaching him. A wall filled with sharp, deadly spikes was rapidly coming closer.
Trapped, he realized. There's no time to be clever. He turned and pressed himself against the wall. There was a sickening thunk as the wall hit his shell and stopped.
That's going to cause a few scratches. The spiked wall was still pushing against him. He carefully reached his arm to his belt and pulled out his discharger. A quick flash and the wall was gone.
Don quickly surveyed his shell, sadly noticing a few chunks gone, then turned back down the tunnel. After a few minutes, he figured that the trap was done. I'd better see how everyone else did, Don thought, and he started walking back towards the central chamber.
Leonardo kept a vigilant watch of his surroundings as he made his way down the corridor. All his senses were on alert. Whenever the trap sprung, he would be prepared for it.
So, he noticed the restless pawing from around the corner. Something was waiting for him. He silently put away one sword and took out his discharger. Then, he slowly edged his face around the corner.
It was a dinosaur. As it paced, Leo examined it. Walks on two legs, long snout, sharp teeth, probably some predatory dinosaur. Sort of like a mini-T-rex. Don would know what kind it was.
Suddenly it turned and looked him right in the eyes. Leo froze. The two stared at each other for a couple seconds. Then Leo started to slowly inch away. At the first sign of movement, the dino snarled and attacked.
Leo ducked around the corner and held up his sword to deflect a blow. He felt something latch onto it and yank it out of his hands. The dino shook the sword in its jaws and threw it away against the wall. Leo tried to pull out his other sword when the dino leapt. It leapt. Leo was thrown back against the wall, his arm trapped behind his back.
The dino pressed a foot squarely on Leo chest, then brought its jaws close to Leo's face. The crimson teeth glittered.
"I'm not your meal today," Leo said, and brought his other hand, with discharger sparking, against the dinosaur's neck. In a few seconds, it was gone.
Leo took a few deep breaths and picked up his other sword. He looked around the corner again and saw that it was a dead end. Nothing to do except go back, he decided, and hope that the others have had just as good luck.
Mike twirled his nunchakus as he strolled down his corridor. This place freaked him out a little. He nervously glanced at the walls. It was a little sickening to think that they were made of people's life essence, or whatever it was called. He tried to think about something else.
A soft humming came to his ears. He strained his eyes and looked ahead. It seemed like a red glow was approaching him. And it was buzzing.
Soon it was upon him. Then the truth was made painfully apparent. It was a swarm of wasps! There were dozens, perhaps hundreds of them! He felt a million stings all over himself. He flailed and tried to hit them away, but there were just too many of them.
Mike ran. He dashed further down the corridor, but the wasps followed him. His mind raced, and he tried to think of something. He looked back and laughed to see that he was putting distance behind him. Then his laughter was cut short.
He had come to the end of the tunnel. There was a solid stone wall in front of him. He turned and saw the swarm racing towards him. He was in trouble.
He reached to his belt and took out his discharger. There was no way he could hit all of them. That is, unless...it was a wild idea but it might work.
He set the discharger on the floor and set his commlink on top of the button. The discharger was now constantly turned on. Sparks sprang from the prongs. Then Mike stepped back and drew his nunchakus. His years of practice better not fail him now.
The wasps converged upon him. He started rapidly swinging his nunchakus. Each wasp he hit spun out of control, landed on the discharger, and disappeared. Soon, the whole swarm was gone.
Mike waited a few tense seconds just in case more came, then heaved a big sigh of relief. "That was more stress than I needed in one day," he said to himself, and retrieved his discharger. "I wonder how the others are doing."
Ninjara stealthily crept down her corridor. Her sword was held up in readiness, her acute fox senses scanning her surroundings. A faint stench floated in the air. It seemed to emanate from the life energy walls. She involuntarily wrinkled her nose in disgust as she walked.
She soon came to a corner in the tunnel. She thought she heard something slithering along the floor out of view. Whatever it was, it would probably be good to strike fast. After grabbing the discharger from her belt, she jumped out around the corner.
She was immediately halted as tentacles wrapped around her arms and legs and lifted her taut into the air. The gigantic octopus turned its large eyes to bear on her. She tried to activate her discharger, but another tentacle reached across and grabbed it from her hand.
It knows what that is, Ninjara thought. Another tentacle whipped over and plucked her sword from her hand. She still had a dagger on her belt, but what use would it be?
Actually, it could be quite useful, Ninjara realized. Before more tentacles could reach her, she bent her leg and grabbed her dagger with her toes. Then she tossed it. The dagger soared through the air and landed right on its target, the button for the discharger. It fired and caught the octopus, making it disappear.
Ninjara fell to the floor. She landed on her feet and quickly ran to pick up her sword and discharger. However, nothing else attacked her. That must have been the trap, she thought, noticing the stone wall in front of her. I guess I should check on the others.
Raph stormed down the tunnel. His eyes scanned ahead of him, daring any beast to make an appearance.
One did. A gorilla was sitting on the ground at the end of the tunnel. It grunted as it saw Raph approach. "All right, Kong," Raph said, "are you supposed to scare me or something?"
It growled and ran towards Raph. He held his discharger ready. As the gorilla leapt at him, Raph held the sparking prongs in front of him. The gorilla ran right into it and faded away.
"Dumb animal," Raph said.
"Yes, you are," a voice said.
Raph turned just in time to see the Genastone fly at him and latch to his chest. An excruciating pain went through his body as all life energy was drained from him. Then consciousness left and he slumped to the floor.
"Incredible!" the Genastone exclaimed in satisfaction. "The level of life energy you mutants contain is positively remarkable. With the rest of your brothers, I'll be able to enslave this miserable planet and take my revenge against the Galactic Judiciary."
The Genastone started to move away, but then it focused its attention on Raph's limp body. A wonderful idea had come to him.
One by one, the Turtles filtered back into the central chamber. Nothing was said, but one look told the whole story. Each of them had fought some energy monster, and met a dead end.
Soon they were all back, except for Raph. A couple worried minutes passed, but still he didn't return. Ninjara glanced nervously at Krang and Shredder, then back at the corridor he had taken.
"Something's happened to him," she said.
The Turtles glanced silently at each other. Then they drew their weapons and headed for the tunnel.
"Leave it to Raph to get in trouble," Mike muttered. Don shushed him.
"Raph?" Leo asked. A figure was approaching them. It looked like Raph...but something was wrong.
"Raph, are you all right?" Mike asked.
Raph smiled wickedly. "I'm just fine, Mike," he said evilly.
His eyes were glowing red.
The Genastone floated out from behind him. "Greetings, mutants," it said. "How do you like my new puppet?"
to be continued...
|Chapter 4<--||Back to Ninja Turtles||-->Chapter 6|
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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.