The Turtles travel to Texas to answer the pleas of a young boy whose father has vanished…only to find themselves in the midst of a land dispute, old enemies, and fearsome fish from beyond the depths of Dimension X!
The Turtles travel to Texas to answer the pleas of a young boy whose father has vanished…only to find themselves in the midst of a land dispute, old enemies, and fearsome fish from beyond the depths of Dimension X!
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES:
THE ORDER OF THE DAY
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Disclaimer: TMNT and all related characters are trademarked by Nickelodeon. No profit is made from this story.
Note: Takes place within the continuity of my ten-book TMNT series.
Krang was badly in need of some down time.
Manufacturing and distributing his patented truth serum soda Pen Pal to the unsuspecting people of Earth had been a trying task for the Dimension X warlord, and with Saki away on a special assignment to the farthest corners of the galaxy, and Bebop and Rocksteady tearing up the lunar landscapes playing land rover hockey with high-speed moon rovers outside, Krang felt he was lacking sufficient company.
A good thing he had everyday favorites to watch on the television.
Taking time out from his conniving and calculating plans, Krang retired to the main command hub of the Technodrome, sat down in his chair, and patched into the television feeds of the planet to watch his favorite soap opera couple John and Marsha once again strive and struggle through everyday life.
Thirty minutes into the broadcast however, he hit a snag.
A fierce stream of static interrupted the feed, the screen went into a vertical hold, and the hiss from the static proved so harsh that Krang had to place his tentacles in his own ears as well as his android body doing the same to its own.
“Infernal technical difficulties” Krang rasped, “It’s always when the show is it at its most interesting”
The image eventually solidified , but rather than be met with more heart-breaking moments from his cherished couple, Krang was instead faced with a modestly appeasing sight of his old partner in crime, her hair moist and wrapped in an emerald towel, a hair brush in one hand, and fingernails still partially wet from a polish.
“Krang, how dare you hack in to my private channel” the female snapped.
“Shreeka…how dare you interrupt my favorite programme on your private channel” Krang responded.
Shreeka glared at him coldly
“You’re not even denying it?” she asked
“Certainly not” said Krang, “There must have been a slight jilt in the mainframe and it cut to the feeds I’ve barely been using since our split”
“Barely? You shouldn’t have been using any of the feeds on my channel at all” said Shreeka, “All this time since your betrayal, and you’re still keeping tabs on me?”
“You’re the one I left with all of the top-range premium packages available for anyone existing outside of Earth’s jurisdiction. Think of it like a neighbor coming in to watch a game when he has been denied the privilege in his own home”
“That only applies to friendly neighbors Krang…we are on different sides of the coin”
“Not entirely Shreeka, we both have that deep desire to cause untold destruction in our search for ultimate power” Krang argued.
“True, there is that” said Shreeka, “The point is, you have no right to still be moving in when I’m moving on”
“Are you moving on Shreeka? Really?” said Krang, a slight calmness in his rattling voice.
“What is that supposed to mean?” said Shreeka.
“You returned my hench-mutants to me before you departed this sector of the galaxy in our last encounter. That is a rare act for you. You usually cling on to whatever you can grab”
“Those two were pests, they ruined my whole plan, and I lost my priceless energy ring. You deserved nothing less than those two failures returned to you, so you were guaranteed more failure in future” Shreeka explained.
“Or maybe you know about my preference for watching humans and animals suffer, and getting a kick out of seeing representations of both does me a world of good” Krang pointed out.
“Don’t read into it” Shreeka said, trying not to smirk.
“I can read you too well” said Krang.
“So…what’s been going on in that accursed soap of ours…erm…yours? I’ve been out of the loop the last few days; my eyes have been glued to this galactic tournament presently active in my corner of the galaxy”
“Marsha’s mother…she’s …unwell” Krang replied.
“Really? I knew her actress wasn’t too kindly, but they’ve actually written it into the storylines?”
“Their way of coping I guess” Krang responded.
“But what if worse comes to worse, would they…could they…” Shreeka asked.
“It seems to be dramatic custom to go that route in these daily dramas…slice of life stories are easy to write, those tiny moments where you bear your soul and do nothing but talk. On occasion there’s a hurricane, a car crash, an elevator accident, but they’re so spaced out between moments of nothing but commonplace interaction”
“How can you possibly stand it?” said Shreeka.
“It’s why I often like to think that’s why their called ‘daytime’ soap operas, it’s to represent the order of the typical day. We’re warlords, we are accustomed to chaos, we don’t have an appreciation for the little moments like this because we are so used to resistance and reducing all to ruin. Chaos thrives in our routine…the order of the day is something worth escaping to, because it rarely exists and doesn’t last in our line of work” Krang mused.
“Oh listen to you, you sound just like you were in college” said Shreeka.
“Feeling nostalgic?” Krang said
“Is that the word they use? I’ve always considered it a pastime…you know, as in past-time. Get it?”
“I never got you” said Krang.
Shreeka tapped her shoulder lightly with the tip of her polished finger nail, letting a warm memory overtake her.
“Yeah, you never did…not even in the formal sense” she said
“First time for everything” said Krang.
“Krang, don’t…” Shreeka replied, “You betrayed me, I can’t shake that”
“You know that Swift song don’t you?”
“Not really” said Shreeka.
“I’ll patch it in to your audio processors…music helps map out your mind, you’ll come to some conclusions once you hear it” Krang replied.
“Any chance you’ll tell me what the ulterior motive is for this?” Shreeka replied.
“A chance to match the order of the day” replied Krang.
“I’ll consider it then….so long as you wind up being well-mannered by the beginning of it” said Shreeka.
“I’ll be on top of that” said Krang.
“Enjoy the show Krang” said Shreeka, steadily adjusting the feed to take Krang back to the soap opera.
“Trust me, I already am” replied Krang gleefully.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES:
THE ZOO AT THE EDGE OF THE CAGE
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Note: Just a fluff piece set in the universe of my ten book TMNT novella series; feel free to check those fics out.
Irma probably shouldn’t have been so harsh judging Donatello the night before. For putting his work ahead of her.
He had just completed work on his Bio Tan system, a device capable of giving you the searing sensation of an inward tanning experience that would stay with you for a four month cycle. Ideal for wintery conditions.
He was entitled to go out with his brothers and celebrate.
She knew she had needs of her own, needs that men in her life needed to fill, but she had to be honest with herself. She wasn’t living with a man. She was living in a Zoo.
And in a Zoo, many creatures keep to themselves rather than keep to humans, even if it’s the human’s job to look after them.
She knew Donatello cared for her, but so many distractions had come between them, such as A.P.E, trying to play catch up with his brothers, and depending on her to be there with a nice hot meal and a reluctantly warm face, and not expected to demand why he’d been out so late or question what he’d been up to.
She felt like a proper Shirley Valentine sometimes. Taken for granted by her man, or mutant, and needed some alone time to reflect on a side she felt had been caged for so long.
Caged in the Zoo.
She was supposed to be at A.P.E today filing up a psychological assessment of Donatello for the community, but she felt there had been enough instances of her doing someone’s dirty work. She was going to spend this day with her mutant and try to inject a little bit of ‘Shirley’ into her surely dour lifestyle so far. Don’s hunt was over; it was time to relish in his dependable prize.
So she had come to the lair to surprise Donatello, who was working on a few new devices for the team. When she arrived at the lab portion of the lair, she found it empty.
She took a gander at his notes, some of it was ramblings about cross universal inversions, another was trying to tell the difference between stream of consciousness writing and a set plan, and investigating why human beings never seem to create logical or satisfying follow-ups or massive pay-offs to years of slow build-up in arc driven storytelling.
She wondered aloud if he was trying to tell a theoretical God or whoever was in charge of their destinies to stop insulting their intelligence and trying the patience of whatever audience he was trying to satisfy in controlling their destinies.
Irma shook up the philosophical urges and waltzed around the lab, looking at the devices. In a way, this was the cage at the edge of the Zoo. With machines designed to create maximum comfort and capability for himself and his brothers, and in doing so, help them fight the good fight against the usual crop of crooks.
Several noises made her turn. Instinctively, she followed them to its source, heading out of the lab, and indeed, out of the lair.
She recognized instantly where the noises were emanating from. She and April had discovered that watering hole a mere seven days earlier, back when Raph was feeling blue, while the one that usually wears blue, Leonardo, was feeling quite chirpy and bordering on sheer bursts of overconfidence.
She walked over and there they were. Three of the four Turtles.
Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello. Masks off, weapons and belts scattered across the concrete surrounding the hole and the sandbags encircling it, playing happily in the waters. To Irma’s relief, Raphael seemed in brighter spirits than he was a week or so ago.
“Irma, what a surprise, I thought you were heading to work?” said Donatello, his arms folded behind his head as he comfortably dipped in the waters, his toes outstretched and playfully curling up.
“Oh I’ll GO Ape if I have to stomach those brown-nosers for another all day mostly all night notebook bender” said Irma
“I can’t help but feel that whole thing with the Diamond heist mystery last week was just one big anti-climax. Is that how life works?” asked Raphael, “At the end of it all, we caught them in the act of delivering the goods, but the cops brushed off how they were receiving them, there wasn’t much mystery to it. Just a heart hand shake, a good profile of us for the news and that was it. It’s only a string of big, important things you let linger and build in your head, and then when the time comes to bring it all to order, it’s as matter-of-fact and less sensational than you want it to be?”
“Sometimes we try to over complicate people’s motives so much that we just don’t see how basic they can be. We set ourselves up for disappointment that way” said Leonardo
“Life and soul you are” Raphael replied
“Hey, at least I’m not trying to sap the soul out of the party like you did last week” said Leonardo
“Hey, don’t let your thriving dating success with that Asian broad make you so giddy that you can judge my moods. You know why I was down last week. It was the day Crys-Mu took one for the team and saved us all”
Leonardo composed himself and dashed over to Raphael, putting a hand on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry Raph, you’re perfectly right, I am too confident at the moment, and it’s allowing in some arrogance. I should have clear sight, especially since I have to lead by example”
“So where’s April and Mikey then?” asked Irma
“Covering a story at the Zoo. Someone’s been leaving diamond-tipped fangs in the mouths of outback snakes that have been brought in”
“Oh, diamonds again…hey, maybe that’s where the Diamond smugglers were getting the diamonds FROM” said Irma. “Someone at the Zoo must have connections, they go into the Zoo at night, break into the snake’s cages, remove the diamond-tipped fangs, forge them back into proper diamonds, and then deliver them to the employer”
“See? Connect a dot, then all you need do is connect it to us four, good call Irma” complimented Raphael
Irma blushed, “Oh, think nothing of it guys”
Donatello rose up from the water and grabbed a towel, “Want to come back to the lab with me when lunch is over and done with? I have some great theories I’d like to share with you on the deconstruction of stream of consciousness structure”
“I sort of noticed that when I was browsing your lab, but…really? Lunch? We’re having lunch? Wait, was I supposed to get that? I can never separate errands from entertainment where you guys are concerned anymore”
“Oh no Irma, I took the liberty of getting the food this time, I figured you could do with a break after all you’ve put up with from me over the last few months”
“Oh Donny, you DO have my needs firmly in mind! C’mere you” Irma said, beaming with joy, she ran over to Donatello and hugged him, forgetting that he had yet to really dry himself off.
“Oh poo, now I’m all wet. That probably sounded better in my head than coming out of my mouth”
“Hey no worries Irma plenty of time to let that dry off and have some fun at the same time” said Raphael
“Yeah, the offer from last week still stands, why don’t you join us?”
“It’s not exactly past the watershed” said Irma
“Who can tell? It’s a fanfic” said Raphael.
“I think she simply means she’s not exactly one for the watershed” said Leonardo, “It’s ok Irma, you don’t have to come in el natural, but I think it would lift the weight of the last few weeks clean off your shoulders”
“I’d listen to his advice Irma; we’re all in a good place these days, it’s best to revel in those days while we can”
Irma bit her lip tight and twiddled her fingers. Finally, she conceded defeat
“Well…Oh all right” she said
“Great, I’ll go get the Pizzas” said Donatello, kissing Irma on the cheek
“You’re going to eat and swim at the same time? Isn’t that a bit hazardous health wise” Irma said
“Standards and practices don’t count for much in free-form literature”
“Oh it’s perfectly safe Irma, so long as you take one of these” said Leonardo, giving Irma a veil of pills.
“Donatello’s invention. Just take two and it’ll clear of your body of contractions after you chow down”
“You know, I reckon I’ll pass on a Pizza. If you’re going to look at my body, it’s going to be a trim one, cut off from as many calorie casseroles as possible”
Irma set about undressing, and when Donatello returned with the food, his face froze into a priceless and awkward expression at the sight of his girlfriend freed from her dapper and unassuming bookworm guise, with her glasses off her hair allowed to cascade down, she looked a sizzler.
“Suddenly I don’t feel that hungry…at least for food” said Donatello, his heart melting.
As the four individuals played about in the water, only two of them now chowing down on the feast before them, Irma snuggled up to Donatello, wrapped her arms around him and rubbed his nose with hers.
She knew his needs, and the best news all day for her was she knew how much he appreciated her for it.
She allowed him to natter on about his theories on the deconstruction of stream of consciousness. And her thoughts flooded back to earlier.
She knew the feelings of being trapped in a cage of sorts would crop up again, it always happens in moments of weakness, but so long as there was a zoo like this at the edge of the cage, she could afford the luxury of spending jail time in it.
SPIN THAT WHEEL
Or, “What If TMNT Were More Like The Thick Of It and VEEP?”
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
DISCLAIMER: TMNT is trademarked by Nickelodeon, The Thick of It is trademarked by the BBC. This parody fanfic is for non-profit purposes only
Note: Ok, for the uninitiated, The Thick of It is a political satire comedy series which starred Peter Capaldi (of Doctor Who fame) as Malcom Tucker. It inspired a movie called In The Loop and led also to the cult HBO political comedy VEEP. This is an attempt at taking the first season of the original TMNT animated series and developing it as if it were happening within the tightrope UK political system
Department of Associated Spin For Onorthodox Original Trendsetters (DASFOOT)
“Here’s what you want to hear Sensei, I’ll spin it to your satisfaction, so in the very instance you hire me for being able to give you convincing rope to hang me on in one of your spiteful afternoons tinkering with what to send your mates via e-mail on the off chance you choose to toss me to the curb, in this very instance you hire me for this, you also get to play a part in our family drama once again, so you replace the “son, I told you so” stare on your complexion with “son, I am there for you and my words carry great weight”. Ready? Here it goes: I don’t understand this” said Raphael as he slouched backwards in the chair opposite his mentor Hamato Yoshi in the main offices of DASFOOT, “I can’t write this, I sure as shell can’t say it.I am a rubber bullet. I will bounce off everyone and they will not feel a thing. I’ll be resigning before resignations become the hot topic of this department seven years well off from now”
“I would counter that by saying , on a private record and even a public one, that those were unwise words” said Yoshi as he sipped his mug of soothing herbal tea, “And I would remind you and any who listened to my proposed answer that one must always remember the path you were placed on”
“The path I was placed on was a POND Sensei, sitting all day chewing on fucking leafs expecting Kermit the Punk Frog to start belting out rainbow connections like a fanny”
“Everything after your genesis is important” continued Yoshi
“Did you ever see me in that University class? I was bawling my fucking eyes out thinking a bunch of alien greys were mincing with me. ‘Alien Abduction’ as the Grant Morrisons of this world go on about, take a few steps down a hill and you have enlightenment, bull and cock you do, high as a kite they were. You know those 80s yankie drug ads where the boy goes “you’re a turkey?”, that’s me, right gobbledygook I was typing up in there, my mind was going through a right royal bollocking all because of the expectations you were placing on me. Fucking embarrassing that. I have no education in this field. Zero”
“In time, you will run your course. All you need is a solid foundation to form a footstep” continued Yoshi, happy to keep playing the game of spin and counter-spin.
“They passed me out of pity, probably afraid I’d cave in and top myself. Could have done that you know” Raphael continued, staring out at the huddled pool of lively bodies at work in the department cubicles outside of the main office, oblivious to his private pain
“..Back there in the mincing hospital, there was a window open where the telly room was. I almost popped out, would have been a breeze to have a breeze knocking me over, better than staying here listening to your zen fucking nick lowe shite”
“You long for home, it is written in your eyes. Home is where the first steps were taken, perhaps it is where you will flow forward from also” continued Yoshi, taking a soothing sip from his mug of hot tea.
“The same damp den where either science rules, or surf’s up, or where “fearless leader” comes up with another excuse to play renascense man and cosplays as a fucking Musketeer? I signed up with your department to play the right kind of pool, they want to play in the kiddie shallow end so badly they’d make Rolf Harris red with impatience”
The pair were swiftly interrupted by a bespectacled woman with long hair tied back in a bun wearing a bright blue turtleneck sweater.
“You might want to switch over to 24 guys. There’s been another break-in, and a reporter was attacked”
“24? They haven’t called BBC News that in years, you still living that golden year of 2003 where that wanker musician gave you that sweater, which probably passed for a blanket for his fucking knitted cats?”
The woman tugged at her sweater ever so slightly, a cross expression on her face. She turned and stormed down the corridor of the main DASFOOT hub muttering small insults pertaining to Raph under her rather audible breath.
Raphael followed her out, as he did, he bumped into an unnerving individual in a pink collar shirt, brown braces attached to his unflattering patchy brown trousers. He stumbled with his words and fiddled with his touchpad, bringing up a website.
“What are you looking up Vernon ?” asked Yoshi as Vernon took the seat Raphael had been sitting in.
“For the record, I am never going to get used to that giant thing lounging around the office.” he said
“If it sooths your shaken soul, I am requested he spend time with his family” said Yoshi, “Now tell me, what are you looking for?”
“Trying to find if Baxter’s program started trending. We had to divert some funding over from the housing project to fund a fraction of it, I just hope it’s made the ’rounds”
“If it hasn’t, we can always try again in another few months, this is a project that does not lose traction” said Yoshi
“What do you bloody care? You don’t see a problem with rodents. If you did, the pet you keep in your cage over there would be the first thing fed to Baxter’s boys”
“Not every problem can be handled with as much care as I give my pet problems” said Yoshi, getting up from his desk and taking a few crumbs of leftover chocolate biscuit over to a rodent encased in a hamster cage. It disembarked from it’s treadmill and stayed anchored to the spot as the crumbs of biscuit were dropped into the cage via the small gaps in the grid surrounding the cage.
“Shit, not even in the recommended stories files. Chris Fish was right, nothing we send out on this issue will matter to anyone. Ever. I bet even Baxter’s sodding manifesto is barely enough to cover two pages. Christ, we’re going to have to cut the funds or the project, and I know that fucker Burne will be wanting the latter”
“Results are never immediate, that is a concern of the national press with our affiliated parties” said Yoshi
“You’re well keen to spread some tender loving mercy to a fucking flat-liner of a project” remarked Vernon as he stared upwards at the spinning fan above.
Raphael observed the television in the center of the room playing out a live news report relating to a recent attack on an American news reporter investigating robberies from three scientific departments. She had asked what many of the stolen devices
“Listen to this guy, it’s magic. A fucking classic this” said the bombastic Burne Thompson to Raphael as they watched the news report cover the journalist’s archive of interviews with top scientists at the institutes that were burgled
“They acquired two positronic accelerators, four reverse polarity indicators, and one sideway generator”
“What does all this equipment do?”
“I have absolutely no idea”
Burne laughed coldly, “That’s exactly why I’m looking to cut these departments. Big words fed to the wrong guys, a principle example of poor media communication relations. Who needs to yank them off the stage when they’re hanging themselves free of charge?”
“Suddenly I don’t feel like the lone voice in the fucking wilderness” said Raphael, nudging Thompson, “Might as well call Baxter and give him the good news we’re freezing the project. He’ll assume like a paranoid putz that it’s because of the robberies”
“We’ll formerly announce the closures this coming Thursday, how does that sound?” said Thompson
“Try and make it a 6 o’clock deadline, no way is BBC Breakfast sparing time to the announcement of that Bond movie”
“Are you going to pay attention to the rest of the news cast?” said the bespectacled woman, folding her arms, “This is the second time they’ve ran the story on the channel, and you have’nt gotten to the good stuff yet”
“Like her saying she was saved from a mob by a Ninja” said Irma, “And it fits your handsome mug”
“I was held up in the Hilton hassled about on the telephone by a media buzzard trying to egg me to go on Question Time, eyewitnesses and everything, how the hell could I have been there? Oh god, that has to mean one of our band of brothers played knight in shitting armor”
“She claims she heard Yoshi’s name dropped during the attack, she wants to arrange a meeting with you, your sensei, and the family. All in one room. She says she wants to help, she’s afraid her eyewitness account has implicated your family in the thefts…”
“And you happened to fucking schedule it” Raphael said
“I wasn’t going to, but you did make fun of my sweater” she said
“Irma…you’re way more knitted than your fucking sweater, you’re the kind who’d fucking bake it it in a cake if a former pop star giant with no willy came to you with an appointment. Anything to spite a bloke with a chip on their chin” Raphael cussed.
Irma waved to him as she turned her back and headed for the water fountain to the left of the swing doors
Burne put a hand on Raphael’s shoulder, “Cheer up lad, this is your first real attempt at spin at last, remember how that song goes…I keep going to the river to pray…”
“See me Burne? Yeah, my vote sent that one OFF the X-Factor. Don’t be like me”
SEVERAL DAYS LATER
“They’re thinking of doing away with double jeopardy, you hear about that?” said Leonardo as his brothers huddled around the quiet office littered with novelty paintings, herbs, spices and half torn pages of Ian Rankin Rebus novels, the stench of cigarette ash everywhere.
“What’s double jeopardy?” said Donatello, fidgeting with a rubix cube apprehensively
“It’s when you’re not capable of being convicted for two separate crimes if you’ve only been charged for one, and one of those crimes on your end is not listening to a fucking word I’ve been saying” said Raphael as he stormed into the office, snatched the cube from Donatello’s hands and threw it in the bin
“Hey, what was that for? I was attentive. Sharp and alert” said Donatello
“These things have been around since the fucking stone age, back when computers and mobiles were made out of fucking bricks and where people wore shells all their owns for suits, don’t pay attention to the cashed checks of the past, your maximum port of power is now”
“He’s just being curious, his sort usually are, that’s what leads to inventions from him, that’s all how he gets things done” said Leonardo in defense of his brother
“What does yapping about the pigs on this concrete farm contribute to what ought to be a fucking spot-on topic?” asked Raphael
“I’m trying to make some sense of the world we’re living in. Your world” said Leonardo, “We all share it”
“Keep your faggot friendly ‘all is shared and connected’ with the dodgy Wonga ladies”
Raphael noticed the most youthful of the group in terms of energy and attitude, Michelangelo, walking in with the subject of the meeting
“What’s he doing with her?” he asked
“Oh we sent Mike ahead to pick her up” said Donatello
“They sound like they’re having a laugh”
“They were having a drive actually. Took a selfie while taking the van out for a spin”
“It’s not on his Facebook is it?”
“We shouldn’t do any form media…we shouldn’t technically be doing this” said Leonardo
The lady, attired head to toe in a yellow jumpsuit, and Michelangelo, wearing slacks over his legs with braces attached to his shell, both waltzed into the office
“Sorry I’m late guys, April O’Neil, Channel Six; traffic held me up, then the Sony hacks leak broke so they got me covering the entertainment area to get their perspective on pulling The Interview”
“Yeah, brilliant strategy from Korea…look everyone, Angela’s a brat and James Franco is responsible for Sony’s biggest disaster than that Spider-Man movie where he wasn’t the fucking Goblin” snarked Raphael.
“Well shall we ease us in with the friendly formalities like I did with Mike here, or should I cut things down as cold and calmly as possible?” she said
“Perhaps we should wait for our master, it is who she expects to see” said Leonardo
“Oh no, I’m keeping the line here” said Raphael, “We’re not going up and down recounting our birthday to fucking banana trousers over here”
“Watch it dude” said Michelangelo, “She really wants to help, and I think April here has a good campaign prepped”
“You were behind those robberies” said April.
Raphael looked at Michelangelo, “When you’d concoct this strategy? Four fucking Twenty?”
“Look, I want to help you guys, but that’s what my editors want to run with, not me, they say If I don’t get to see your ‘sensei’ is it? And put him on the spot, I have to run with that story. You guys fight like ninjas, ninjas are behind most of these ‘tech robberies, and I heard one of my attackers use the name ‘Saki’, which, if I recall correctly from my research, has a history or so with Yoshi”
“Can I just impart a little bit of wisdom, and by little, I mean something of grander proportion than the average side of a Turtle’s cock…Hamato Yoshi is no giant rat of Sumatra, he is a mouse in a maze, and he can’t find the cheese, because I’ve eaten it. Put it on a fresh pizza-whoosh-away. Like that. All he’ll give you is the scoop, you can’t spin anything, that’s why he’s caught me up to do the deeds in these case by case scenarios…if you try to publish that story, I promise you will emerge from it in a manner befitting a bum nursing his wounds with the water piling in from the sodding sewers”
“Is that a threat?”
“No, it’s a fucking Jane Austen novel. You took a picture. A pretty little picture”
“Actually, I did” said Michelangelo.
“He did. And he’s got a Facebook. The only one of us four, shrouded as we are, to be thick enough to put one up. No photos. As yet. But I’ve got two things, a selfie, and selfishness”
April caught on to what he meant
“You’ll put it up”
“And implicate you. As a playdate”
“You’ll expose yourselves just to make it look like I’m in league with you”
“You want to try and sell us a different story? One that doesn’t work around your chosen perimeters?”
“You don’t have the balls”
“I don’t need the balls, I’ve got a cock that’s like a wrecking ball and I know people like you just can’t resist netting it in the hole”
“You’ll publish the photo, and then suggest I’ve SLEPT with one of you?” realized April
“Won’t that make good human interest. Probably get the creationists all peeved too. It’ll take their penniless eyes off of the morality cow known as “Gary and Steve”, the slogan for your type will be “Shells lead to hell”
“You’re a bastard” said April
“No, I’m your lifeline, work with us, or be worked, that’s how it’s spun with my department” said Raphael
April elbowed Michelangelo
“This is your fault” she said
“Does that mean our date is cancelled?”
“…Not on Skype it isn’t”
“You have Skype too? How are we…at all…concealed from the public when we’re drifting online and in here?”
“I wear my facial on the chats…she thinks it’s a turn on” Michelangelo said
“Pipe down” April muttered
This was music to Raphael’s ears.
“Oh…oh so you ARE fucking then? And here I thought ‘a little bit of truth so they always believe the lie’, but we’re talking full disclosure now? Aw you and your big fucking gorgeous mouth Mike”
“Ok, ok, no Yoshi, but I need to track down who’s causing these robberies. You…you Turtles, creatures…guys, bastards, whatever, going to tell me anything?”
“We’d be happy to help Ms. O’Neil” said Leonardo, “Maybe it’s best we tell you our side of the story, perhaps we ought to grow with this experience and take charge of our own destiny”
“Pick your own adventure with Leonardo, just land on any pages where you meet a grizzly end, I’ve reserved page 69 for a fucking leak” said Raphael.
SEVERAL WEEKS LATER
Burne stepped out of the taxi, his foot stepping into a puddle which seemed far too deep for the curb it was placed on. Even with a drain nearby. Nature, it seemed, was conspiring against him, determined to make his day as problematic as possible.
New Year had not long sprung, and with it the usual issues atop key problems. The news had become dominated by recent tragedies abroad, which had taken the focus off of a cycle of repetitious coverage of policies from the opposing parties in the run-up to the general election. On top of that, there had been fresh complications arising from the closure of the Stockman programme. He had been recruited by an anonymous third party and implicated in the attack on April O’Neil’s apartment complex. His mousers having raised it to the ground
Burne was now trying to maintain damage control, on the phone to his peers in the party.
“Look, can we please just get her a house that does not have some kind of party project attached to it? No constituency wall, no renovation promises, It’ll make her look like she’s part of the agenda” Burne spoke over the phone, “Just strip it down to the apple core…”
He paused briefly while the other end of the phone spoke for a bit.
“I am not the worm wriggling about in the center. Don’t use resignation analogies on me. I know full well what the implications are. No…well, yes, well…no and yes, I cannot commit to resignation until a month-long span has passed, I need to wait it out so everyone can get their bearings. I’ve always wanted to work more in news anyway….”
As Burne entered the offices of DASFOOT, he was greeted by people in the party needling him like a bunch of anxious schoolchildren. Someone even threw a crumpled piece of paper at him and very gingerly sliding back into his seat, which he spun around in a delighted whirly motion.
“Oh yes Gallows, twist and turn like you’re on the fucking Magic ‘Roundabout, it’ll be time for bed pretty soon given how lazy you royal fucks are” Burne yelled.
“You’d be best to thaw yourself out Ice Man, ‘least I throw my feet into the fire and burn you like Baxter did” Gallows taunted.
Burne sat down at his desk and stared up at the tiled roof of the offices, playing a game of mental shapes with the walls, making each line in the tiles out to be some sort of cross from which he would be crucified on.
“Anyone got urinal information?” asked Irma as she stepped two-and-fro and sideways from her desk.
“What the fuck are you doing?” asked Burne
“Line-dancing. I used to do it on Wednesday, then it got moved up to Tuesdays, but I’m working around then stuck with the coalition of cubicles, so I have to settle for the old day, and it just so happens I work this day too, so you must all suffer for my art”
“What’s this about urinal information?” asked Vernon
“It’s not a girl thing, so don’t expect your curiosity to be piqued by what goes on in our privates with our privates” said Irma, “Something I picked up from Raphael, anytime the big wigs who are taking a stand in the elections take a stand in the toilets, he eavesdrops on what they’re exchanging to one another while slashing and then sends it up to me to take notes of. Raph is off today, so I need someone to take his spot there. Obviously I can’t do it because the dicks are attached to all the heads”
“Put someone in there that leaks more than pee” said Vernon. “Crass joke there I know, just trying to matter on a Wednesday for once”
“Stick Burne in there, so we can see what frozen urine is like” said Gallows
“Oh leave him alone, you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s resigned, that’s your problem” said Irma, walking up to Burne and putting a hand on his shoulder
“Pay them no mind Mr. Thompson” she said, “You want to try line-dancing? I might stick some music on next”
“Please make it running tracks cut, Burne needs to empty the physical fridge he’s carrying” sneered Gallows
“Now you are just bang cock out of order” snapped Irma.
“Oh go bang-A-Cock Langestien; I know that’s a rare feat for someone who hasn’t tried it since 1987”
“Can we please get off this subject?” said Burne
“Oh I can get off alright, easiest thing to accomplish”
“You’re really bringing the week down; I’ll have you know Thursday is the start of my weekend”
“Then how am I ruining YOUR week if it’s only a three-day stint?”
“All this bathroom humour is putting me right off my dinner” replied Irma, “Forget I said anything”
“Retcon your personal time stream, gonna need a big DeLorean for that, try riding Burne, he’s known to freeze up whenever he comes back from the stone age”
“I’m sorry Mr. Thompson” said Irma, close to tears, “I think I’ll definitely put a track on”
“That’s fine Irma…it’s just…Baxter’s in the asylum now, cutting his project drove a man to insanity, how do I live with myself even in the wake of a resignation? Do I take up the moral crusade and try to redeem him in whatever paper I’ll end up running?”
“You can always try campus ‘sheets, give the youth an impression, give them a voice” replied Irma
“Yeah, so long as they don’t squeak because their beach-sized balls have yet to fly past the ‘net and drop” continued an ever so sly Gallows.
SEVERAL DAYS LATER
“Wow, that was quite the blizzard…really odd conditions given the time of year” said Irma as she looked outside of her office window.
“It’s March, what else do you expect?” said Vernon.
“I remember the 2012 heat wave we had”
“Do people catalog the years as they advance in age?”
“I have a top ten” said Irma
“Really? Who hosts it? Jimmy Saville?”
Raphael waltzed in with a phone attached to his ear.
“The weather may have been a bit unpredictable for a couple of hours, but there’s no need to be slapping ASBOs on the kids involved in the skirmish at the arcades, all facts point to them sort of letting my brother get close to the device…”
“Bad huh?” said Irma as Raphael took one step through the doors of his office with a rather intimidating and grim imprint on his face, slowly stretching his lounge slightly towards the inside of his cheek and matching her eyes with his trying to intimidate her into averting her gaze.
“Put yourself in his shoes for a bit you tit, his brothers just saved us from a freak weather control device, but prior to that they were throwing their lot in with those weird Neutrino lads and lassies all over the fucking joint. The minute they saw a Burger King in the train stations, they pissed about more than the tramps do down there” explained Vernon, taking the butt-end of a pencil eraser and chewing it off.
“They were supposed to be from another dimension…so wouldn’t they have to pass some sort of immigrant red tape?”
“Oh that’s all we fucking need isn’t it, Little Ms. Cloudy with a Chance of No Balls?” snapped Raphael as he put the phone down, “Pay attention to the details of late rather than gallivanting off to your shitty line dancing classes right after you spend five hours staring at a blank or blue computer screen working out what the on/off buttons do to symbolize your own catastrophic sex life. Farage ditched the decision to reduce net immigration, he wants future plans for that to focus on the highly-skilled, I’m trying to save the Neutrinos some face in this country should they decide to stay in it, their top-level flying fucking Cadillac, you know the ones from that dated fucking Milky Way ads they run all the time, are a class example of finesse that we can use to justify their stay and more importantly, their ongoing function”
Another call came in, Raphael picked it up.
“Hello? Leo, yeah…What do you mean they tailed it back to their home dimension? Where the hell are you at the moment?” said Raphael, grabbing one of the pencils and chewing the back end of it right off and spitting it back on the floor.
“You’re in a giant ball with one eye? Yeah, a few pints at the YMCA will guarantee you that, c’mon be serious here, you just saved the fucking city…when…”
Raphael slowly bit his lip tensely as the details came in
“Listen ‘fearless leader’, do you have any idea what dropping those kids in and then seeing them out does to the immigration net debates? Nobody can debate anything without keeping track of the numbers, they can’t make caps or targets, and now they’re trying to spin this as people in this sad sack being bored of the trend. Not that hard to see their point either, it’s been swamped by people having more digs at how close the SNP are getting to fucking Labor. We have to make this a priority, to make it look as if these kids and others like them are somehow worth the net migration”
“Hang on, are you actually siding with fucking UKIP?” said Vernon, a little panicked
“I’m just appropriating a dead issue, nothing’s ever wasted” said Raphael
The conversation came to an end and Raphael stared out at the window, marveling at a massive yellow and black aura in the sky
“To think, snow, and thunder, and lightning, all coming out of the arse of a scientific instrument rather than God…and they’ll still spin it as something of divine intervention, just to be fair sports. That’s what this immigration net back-and-forth is. It’s Tennis. We’re batting the ball to each other and doing things with it, transfixing everyone, keeping the issue firmly in sight, it’ll never get boring, it’ll take on a life of it’s own, ’cause there is life attached to this issue, and because of that, it will always have some sort of beat, we just need to make that pulse a lot stronger”
“So….big ball and one eye?” said Irma
“No idea what that means…but…I feel it’s a good analogy for the situation. One guy’s ball drops; another grows a big one, and keeps one trained gaze on the slip ups”
“So how do you think it’s going in there?” asked Vernon to April as she worked on polishing her fingernails, “You reckon he’ll bring up the Daily Mail story by with Mildband over the giant brain attack thing? I mean, It’s not exactly the most harmonious article out there though is it? It…it GOES places. Tries to project this mental image of a dim and dapper chap fornicating in the bedroom, twisting his little knife into a woman.Kids can read it you know. They might want to reference it in essays in schools. It’s the contemporary alternative to doodling dicks on the beards of Matthew from Sooty“
“Oh my god, that DID happen to you didn’t it?” April said, realizing why Vernon seemed so familiar to her.
“Vernon, we went to school together, Kinder-garden”
“We don’t call it Kinder-garden here, it’s Primary”
“Well, ok, that too. But I was on a stateside exchange programme for a couple of weeks, you were the lad that kept putting crayons on the radiator and bringing in all those outdated Look-In annuals to class thinking people were the slightest bit interested. I remember when you brought that Superman annual”
“Please tell me you weren’t the one to tepex that enormous dong on his underpants”
“You seemed well up for it” she said.
“Well you ought to know, given your preference for giant Turtle shlong” Vernon replied, “You HAVE seen that scientifically accurate video haven’t you? Went viral after your relationship got leaked out over the media”
“You reckon that’s why Raph sent me over here?” April asked
Raphael casually walked back out of Hamato Yoshi’s office, clutching in his hand a newspaper. Yoshi quietly followed him out
“Right, you two, pay attention, I’m going to read this little piece out later. You on the other hand sensei? You’ve got a fucking floodgate about to open the minute you step through that door. Scurry away now. You’ve found the cheese, now cut it open in front of the wafting farts”
“You are excelling at this” said Yoshi, “I am proud of your progress. A bold step leads to a bold front”
“Yeah, you’re bold alright, like that detergent that covers you in fucking hives. You put this entire party at risk, you put our immediate family at risk trying to spend the party funding on rehabilitating Stockman, he goes off on one of his episodes and thinks he can just drive a massive tunnel beneath the streets looking for rats. He comes storming into the sewer network like the knob from Kick-Ass. No, no, when I said to you, I wasn’t good at this, I meant it, I’m not good enough to protect YOU, you of all people. So now I have to be more shrewd, and I can’t do that when my great failure is sitting here, trying to get the humanitarian thing done. To think, in any other situation, that would make you a hero to me. Well now, look this one up. Yo, banana raincoat, quote me”
“This is why you brought me in?” April asked
“Quote me. Right now”
April took out her microphone and recording equipment and casually walked up to the intimidating Turtle.
I’m one of four. Collect them all. We’re all toys. We’ve all been played with, if you’re watching this, you probably have felt played too. They say ‘never meet your heroes’, well, they’d be right.
The heroes you meet? See, in here, in their heads, they think they are heroes, they think they’re the law, they think their word is God, they think its High Noon all of the time, and that’s not what you need in your life, you don’t need to contend with a hero, you need to contend with the people around you, the people closest to you. Your community at large.
This is Britain, we recently had to go through a referendum, our community was nearly splintered, but we persevered. Some people think we’re all ok with that. Nice happy family, but we have a little something you cannot easily insult, and that’s our intelligence. Intelligence is everywhere. Why? Because it fucking LEAKS, and when it leaks, that’s when everyone thinks “Oh, we’re all heroes, we’ll all rise up from the under-carriage, we’ll all be somebody. Show the fat cats what Joe Public can do. We give them a little helping hand, what do they repay us with? Riots. Anarchy. You can’t feed them anything but droplets.
This, this MOUSE here? This is Hamato Yoshi, and he’s being forced to resign because he dared to feed someone something that I told him he couldn’t personally find. He reached out and told someone to eat the cheese. He doesn’t have any, and he takes time and money out of our pockets to try and scurry along trying to make it all flow one way, the right way. That’s not what we’re about. You know what way we look? The opposite way, we look to the actual opposition, and think ‘that’s exactly the kind of situation they’d bugger up’, they’re the rats, they scurry everywhere without taking the time to process it all. This department? We’re Turtles. In my case a literal one. We take it SLOW”
“You don’t want me to repeat any of this in the press do you?” April asked
“Color it up a bit” suggested Raphael
“I can only find two or three bullet points in that whole rambling speech, is that why you stuck that bit on at the end?” April continued
“The basics, aye” said Raphael, opening the door for Yoshi as he couldn’t open it himself due to carrying a box full of his personal effects.
“Come on, scurry off, don’t stand there just fucking waiting”
“That took…a lot of guts boss” said Vernon, “I mean..your own…”
“It was the only way I could spin it” said Raphael, “We were too quick, and it didn’t vanish without a trace. You can’t have Ninja politics in this field of expertise.
“Just a second, I have to take a call” April said, taking out her phone
“Mike, hi. Yeah I’m fine, I may be home a little early. What movie do you want to watch? It Came From Dimension X? You sure it’s a bit appropriate after the fight you had back home? What? Oh cut out the dire sex jokes, or I’ll come on you something fierce…no, no that wasn’t an innuendo. Christ Mike is this all that’s on your mind?”
“So life goes on for everyone” said Vernon, “You sure you’re alright?”
Raphael opened up the newspaper and read aloud from it
If the Mail’s story is to be believed, Miliband cared deeply for all the women he’s ever been involved with. This simply will not do. We cannot allow ourselves to vote in a prime minister who possesses the capacity for love. What if we find ourselves on the brink of all-out nuclear catastrophe and, when the time comes to nuke the Russians into outer space, our leader is off carving his wife’s initials into a tree or cooing over a YouTube video of some baby ducks?
He has killed his own political future. He strangled it to death with his willy. The man is a menace”
“Kids will read that” said Vernon.
“That last bit is what I’d love to see greet their faces on page three. Perfect way to bring their packed lunch right back up”
“So how do you reckon your first few months as spin doctor have gone down?” asked Vernon
“Isn’t it obvious? Like something you can dine on. Like soup”
THE END…FOR NOW
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES:
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Note: Yet another short story set in the world of my TMNT novella series. Read them if you want to catch up on some developments in this
Disclaimer: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are trademarked by Nickelodeon. No profit shall be made from this
Bernard Flanagan checked to see if there were any flies hovering about.
The window to the left of him was open.
One would think something bigger flying in would annoy him, like a Pigeon.
But no, he was most paranoid about flies.
It was probably the fault of all the practice runs with the new molecular teleporter his folks were working on, the one powered by priceless razor-tipped diamonds, he didn’t want any bothersome buzzers getting in the way of the machine when it was powered up.
He’d seen one too many movies where the worst case scenario unfolded.
And he knew what kind of world he was living in.
A world that would entertain so many children on weekend morning if they so happened to tune in.
A world where crazy town bananas could run down the street curbs
Where giant androids could dismiss a skyscraper with a simple flick of the wrist
Where buildings could be levitated to great heights, come crashing back down, and conveniently slot back into their original place without crashing down in heaps of rubble and pillowed wisps of concrete.
So much of this world made sense, so much of it could frighten anyone who lived on the outside looking in experiencing life here for the first time.
He liked to think they could be entertained.
So that thought pacified him.
He would much rather simulate personal insecurity than be faced with a daily real reminder of actual insecurity. Pretending there was a saner world kept him, in turn, sane.
There was a knock at the door. Flanagan composed himself as one of his assistants opened that door, allowing a tall slender woman with a fine build, purple heels, mink skirt, and an emerald green sleeveless shirt to enter the premises.
“Ms. O’Neil, good to see you” said Flanagan from his chair as Channel Six reporter April O’Neil pulled up a chair of her own and placed a microphone and tape equipment out of the purse she was holding.
“Sorry it took me so long, I was covering the fight outside” April said.
“The f-fight?” asked Flanagan.
“Look out the window and peer down” said April
Flanagan rushed over to the open windows. Flies be darned, there was actual commotion going on, greater fears were being realized. Something important was going on. He suddenly had no time for small insecurities
He looked out at the sight on the street below.
Four colorful mutant amphibians clocking in a dazzling defense of the perimeter surrounding his building, pitted against fifteen or seventeen robotic Foot Soldiers.
One, in a blue bandana, spun feverishly around, cutting into the soldier’s heads with his twin Katana blades in a precise propeller motion.
Another, in red, swiped his sais left and right, severing the hands and fingers of some of the soldiers. At one point, he leapfrogged over one that was advancing on him, used two soldiers behind him as platforms for his feet, stood atop their heads, and dived into the last one following in line, plunging the sai deep into its chest, and then, with the sai still in place, used the Soldier as a battering ram against the ones he had leaped over and walked across.
Another, in purple, twirled his ridged bo staff around, two soldiers came forward and grabbed both ends of his stick, the Turtle jumped in the air, stood atop the staff, and with a swift kick to the chin of one of the two, sent it backwards, he walked over to the vacant side, lept off of the Bo, grabbed the end of it, snapped off the half, and plunged it into the chest of the one he had knocked aside, and then exchanged with the other solider in a battle of the bos.
Taking a brief break from the mock ‘swordplay’ on hand, this Turtle took a small capsule from his belt buckle, and applied a grey liquid to the splintered remains of the piece he was holding, when the bos clashed again, the piece slotted back into place, the Turtle hoisted the staff out of the soldier’s hands, and with a swift spin, decapitated the soldier with it
There was one other, more laid back, who simply perched the back of his shell on the ground, took out a grappling hook, shot the line around of the Foot Soldier’s legs,
“You have nothing to worry about Professor, the Turtles are professionals at holding evil at bay”
“Yes, you would know all about that wouldn’t you? I’ve seen you on some of your little play dates with them” noted Flanagan. “Your courage in the face of public criticism regarding those outings is admirable”
“Oh I’m quite the topic, which makes any story I cover a guaranteed spike in the ratings leads, so give a Turtle lover like me something to really attach myself to. Tell me what you can about the Spirited Mentality project”
“In detail?” asked Flanagan
“I work in news. Describe it like there’s the slightest chance the sky will start falling, we want the anti-Illuminati types staying vigilant on tumblr”
Flanagan took off his glasses, breathed a little bit on them, polished them up with a napkin taken from his right pocket, put them on again, cleared his throat, and began
“There exists in our head very vivid pictures. Not just pictures. Purpose. A very clear vision for what could be. Places, people, not of memory, but of invention. We write about them, we can illustrate them, we can put the spoken word into their lips and we can animate their very movements…but the one thing we have never done, while we have a sense of true symbiosis with them in our mind’s eye, is never match them with our real eyes”
“Not getting the shakes here, put some fear into it” said April.
“My project will make all what you see in the mind’s eye come out and scare the clappers off of you” finished Flanagan
“Juicy” said April, “So your imaginary friend would be free for dates?”
“Must you think about that trashy sort of press?” asked Flanagan
“We have an obligation to our sweethearts watching Professor ” said April.
“Ah, the young, exactly who I want to target with this…I want them to experience a face-to-face with their own personal muse, stare them right in the eye, and ask them ‘why haven’t YOU inspired me to get out and vote? And now that you have a physical presence…will you vote at all?'”
Everything these days was about election rates.
She slept-walked her way through the rest of the interview. She shouldn’t feel too bad, given that often had high ratings, but it simply wasn’t the audience she wanted for this segment.
Upon completing the interview, April walked out of the building to cover the fall out of the Turtles’ battle with the Foot Ninjas.
“How’d the interview go babe?” Michelangelo asked, kissing April on the cheek.
“Didn’t really have a beat to it, but it’ll work out well for a piece for our resident zero tolerance spinsters. That always has a big ratings figure. I should have been covering your tussle down here”
“Yeah, when you think about it, if we hadn’t intercepted the Foot when we did, your story would have proven more exciting” said Raphael, “Suddenly I feel there’s a down beat to this”
“A down beat to a beat down, how appropriate”
“But since they didn’t appropriate the device, you could say it’s an up beat beat up” joked Donatello.
“Cornballs” April said, smiling
“Now all we have to do is skip this beat before the cleaners come to sweep this mess off the streets” said Raphael
“Turtles, let’s make tracks” said Leonardo.
As the Turtles made their way to a nearby man hole, April grabbed Michelangelo by the arm,
“Not you mister, you’re buying me lunch, then you and I are going to work on combing out my hair”
“Are we going to have tea with Mrs. Nesbitt afterwards?” Michelangelo said, annoyed slightly at being invited to what he perceived as strictly gal activity, before giving in and following that up with something with sincerity attached to it
“…Because, like, the only baby doll required is you”
April’s eyes lit up and she smirked, placing a hand over her shoulder and stroke the edge of Michelangelo’s chin. She placed her hand firmly on his chest.
“See this?” she said, pointing at where her hand was placed and putting another hand on her own chest, “This beat you give me right here? That’s the one any story finds hard to top”
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
TO DISCIPLINE A SHADOW
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Disclaimer: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are trademarked by Nickelodeon. All rights reserved
Note: This fic takes place in the same continuity as my TMNT novella series. You might want to take a read of them before advancing
Additional note: Pepperami is not a typo. It’s a food snack.
The scent was unmistakable. Saturn velvet. A strong kind of perfume with an enticing aroma. Only worn by the brave on a special occasion, usually a date, and there were plenty of handsome evenings that could weave themselves around the aroma picked up by one Chad Dawkins.
He clenched the crowbar in his hand tight as he checked the alley nearest to the warehouse he was safeguarding. Inside a deal was going down, a trade of over $17,000 worth of silver skeleton keys, a jewel embedded in the center of each one. A prize catch, and a dangerous asset to either party if they were caught handling them in these circumstances.
Chad’s job was to sniff out, literally, anyone who was capable of exposing them.
And he had pulled through. What he was sniffing out was indeed intrusive. It was a threat.
Better yet, it was a woman.
“You can’t hide anywhere” he said aloud, hitting his own hand with the crowbar ever so gently. Upon stumbling on a nearby trash can, half of it’s contents oozing out from under the lid, he kicked it to one side with his heavily laced right boot and then jumped down on it, attempting to partially crush it, he then wildly began beating the can with the crowbar, letting out frustrated wolf-like howls, he was seeking to intimidate, the response he got was far from feeling anything of the sort.
“Impressive” a voice rang out from the silk shroud of cool night air.
“Show yourself broad, ain’t no outdoing this sniffer dog, and my bite is a lot worse than my bark”
“I’ve read up on you, bit of an animal, but in the Pepperami sense”
“Pardon me, just reminiscing on my boyfriend’s taste for well over-processed salty snacks, I need to do some errands tomorrow and get him more of that. Such a drag”
“Don’t give me food for thought when I can easily have you for seconds, once I get a minute” threatened Chad
“You’re going to have to cover a lot of dark to bring me to light” replied the voice
“Say, I know that voice…you’re that reporter from Channel Six aren’t you? April O’Neil”
“Covering the latest breaking developments, always on time with things as they happen” replied the voice.
“Where are you hiding? I’m gonna make you the story”
“Answer a question first…unless you prefer not to catch me at my best” said April from the shroud of evening.
Chad turned to his right, believing he had heard a small footstep, he darted over the left side corner and stumbled on a wild kitten
“Careful around cats..you never know when they’ll pounce. That sure takes me back to when I had claws that were hard to cut off” replied April
Chad was slowly showing signs of irksome impatience.
“This hide’n’seek’n’destroy mission is gonna go my way broad” he said, “Don’t try to delay the inevitable”
“I’m trying to conduct an interview with someone at the heart of the matter, the least you can do is afford a girl like me something to leave behind before I sleep with fishes”
“Word on the street is you sleep with Turtles” said Chad
“Ah, well informed, I’ve picked a right fruit, now let’s make sure you’re no lemon…answer my question”
“I will if you come out of hiding”
“Answer my question and I’ll take a bold leap forward”
“Ask away” Chad said.
“You’re a shadow aren’t you?”
“A shadow. A guardsman for the mooks making the mint back in that building. You’re not paid to sit around, your job’s to sniff out any intrusions, to make sure that prickle on the back of their necks isn’t the breath of a cop or a rival gang member standing close enough to seize an opportunity to snarl or to snare. Answer me truthfully, do you consider yourself a shadow?”
“Yeah, I guess I am” said Chad, slightly taken aback by the calmness of the questioning, and the stimulating ease he was finding in this conversation. His hold on the steel crowbar loosened a bit, he put one hand to his jaw and scratched underneath it slightly to do away with an unsteady itch
“Now, here’s the next question, two of two, after this, I’m in the clear. Ready?” she said
“I guess” said Chad, now very confused, and not liking such a state of mind.
“What are they to you?” she said
“They…I…do I have to answer this?” he said
“If you don’t, I don’t appear, I go straight to the cops, I give them the location and details of the deal going down, we’ve got trackers in that building monitoring everything, I’ve got friends in very low areas, and they don’t mind getting high either…in a blimp, not on the funky mushrooms on their pizza toppings”
“Ok, ok…they’re…dependable, I guess. I got a family back home, had a kid just a week ago, money’s not so tight, so figured I’d…”
The impact was sharp, heavy and sudden, Chad felt his knees buckle. Somehow, incredibly, he could only stagger from what had hit him over the head. He immediately checked, rubbing his hands over his scalp, in it he found pieces of glass.
Another blast came from behind, he heard something compress, he tried turning around, only to have his forehead come head-to-head with the nozzle of a camera. It hit him hard, blasting and breaking his nose.
“Shouldn’t have went into detail like that” April said, revealed in full, emerging from the shadows in an attempt to bring discipline to one. “A family huh? Wonder how they’re feeling right now, wondering what their dependable shadow is up to?”
Chad groaned in pain, feeling the full weight of the impact from the camera to his skull, he got up and ran towards April, who let his gut feel the fury of a sharp thrusting kick from her right leg. As Chad clutched his stomach, April elbowed him on the back and brought her kneecap into his chin, before clenching a tight fist and, like a lightning bolt, it brought a sudden and sharp jolt of pain to Chad’s noggin as it struck him.
“April, don’t become the story” snapped a snarky voice from behind her. It was Vernon.
“Relax, we’ll just pin on the guys when they get down here”
“Graphic violence isn’t key to their demographics” said Vernon.
“And that’s why they lost their popularity to import sensations from Japan, slight scandal will do them wonders and do good ratings for us. Think big Vernon, this isn’t the 90s anymore”
“I didn’t think we ever left the 80s” snapped Vernon, “Those decades sort of bleed one into the other”
“I was going to let you off easy pal, but you had to bring family into it…that just raises my ire and it ignites a fire” April said to the groggy and near unconscious Chad.
“Just so you know April, that damage to the camera is coming out of your check” said Vernon as he picked up the remnants of the equipment.
“Small price to pay for enforcing perspective” April replied, before she removed her Turtle-com from her belt buckle and patched in to Donatello, high up on the Turtle blimp.
“Boys, swoop in, they’re all yours”
High overhead, the Turtle blimp flew down, ropes descended from atop it, and the four familiar forms of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles slid down onto the roof of the warehouse. Donatello popped open a hole in the thatched sky loft of the structure with his Bo, and with a familiar cry of “Cowabunga”, the Turtles dealt their own swift brand of vintage vice to the dealers of the silver skeletons.
“April…” began Vernon, only to find she was gone, with only an open manhole left to provide a clue to her whereabouts
April made her way through the sewer network, using her Turtle-com to follow a homing beacon that her boyfriend had placed in one of his spare coms in the desk drawer of their bedroom.
Once she found her way to the Turtles’ lair, she creaked open the door and gently walked through the murky interior. She spotted Splinter deep in meditation, a half-finished game of Mouse Trap laying beside him.
April made her way over to the Turtles’ bedroom, stretched her arms, and sat down on the bed belonging to her and her boyfriend, she slipped off her boots and delicately peeled off her yellow jumpsuit and changed into a silk nightdress that Michelangelo had left nicely folded for her on the spread. She clambered into the bed and checked the right side to check if the book she had been reading the last night she had spent here was still in the same position she had left it. It was.
She spent the next couple of hours immersed in the pages of her book, and slowly but surely the warmth of the soothing romantic prowse contained within was settling her down, and she ultimately drifted into slumber, that is, until she heard several footsteps, followed by all too familiar overzealous, cool, cocky, and a little inch of crazy, yells and self-congratulatory chit-chat from the four Turtles.
As soon as they entered the sleeping quarters of their lair and saw what appeared to be April’s still and snoring frame, they immediately backed off, leaving only one amongst their ranks as the only other occupant in the room.
Smiling, Michelangelo tucked into bed beside her.
“You’re not getting any better at this April, I can totally tell we woke you again” he whispered
April opened one eye and grinned mischievously, “Playing sleeping beauty always gets me alone time with the prince”
“You missed out the word ‘handsome’ in that title” joked Michelangelo
April turned around and faced him with her strong and caring eyes
“So, like, what’s got your brain frying this time?” he asked, observing the novel, “It really can’t be this mush”
April swung her arm over his shoulder and rested her head gently on his chest
“Family” she replied
“We’re having the same chat we had last night at your place aren’t we?”
“It’s not a job interview…I’m a reporter, different sort of beast, just think of it as a press conference and relax, imagine a crowd, an audience, imagine all the people…”
“Raph was right, bring romance into the fab four and watch the Yoko factor play out” groaned Michelangelo
April sighed, and kissed Michelangelo on the nose before snuggling back into his arms.
“Look, I had a rough night, I played mind games with a mook and it really preyed a bit on my own head…people will take ridiculous risks for the people they care about, I was curious about the nature of the those that have thankless jobs on both sides of the coin, be they good or evil, the ones that stick by our side even if we sometimes take them for granted, I asked what were those we protect to them…and I got two things out of it…dependability, and…and family. I guess I expected the last thing, but that’s it is’nt it? The shadows, they’re our constant companion, they’re an imprint of life in the city as much as real shadows are moving on walls…it got me to thinking, if we start a family, what would I be to my shadow, my companion, you, would I be just as dependable to you? Would I be able to provide something you need?”
Michelangelo smiled “Babe, you provide plenty…and I’m not just talking about the Pepperami or the cheese’n’chilli Pizza on a cold Thursday night, you bring me not just love and laughter…you bring this loyal shadow discipline”
April trailed her fingers across Michelangelo’s rough stomach, whilst Michelangelo placed a hand on her head,stroking it through her hair like a tender brush
“Shadow…nice name for our kid don’t you think?” April asked
“Oh so we are having the exact conversation…i thought for sure you were trailing off, but never one to subvert expectation are you?” asked Michelangelo, folding his arms. April laughed
“All you fear is the paperwork, not the responsibility” April said, and turned off the nightlight beside the bed
“Don’t worry” she whispered, “If Shadow ever asks what we mean to you, I’ll be sure to say one thing…”
“Discipline?” asked Michelangelo
“Drive” she whispered back.
“I hope that doesn’t mean you’ll be taking Shadow on road lessons…I’ve seen you trying to ride the Van…