The members of Hisako’s rescue party all watched in a mixture of fear, horror, and anger as Dr. Baxter Stockman came walking towards them, slow clapping like some evil villain from a cartoon. The turtles all drew their weapons, but stayed where they were, wary of a possible trap.
“I must congratulate you on your successful defeat of Project Fishface.” Stockman told them, his voice coated with sarcasm and malicious intent. “You’re the first of many to survive.”
“Oh yeah?” Raph taunted, “Well our pal Leatherhead made filets out of your little pet.”
“No matter,” Stockman replied with a dismissive wave of his hand. “I have an entire tank of anglerfish just waiting to be mutated. What I don’t have though, are mutant turtles, or a mutant rat.”
Stockman then chuckled, lightly conking himself on the head.
“Oh silly me, of course I do.” he said with a smile. “I have you.”
“We ain’t gonna be your science experiments Stockman!” Raph shouted, stepping closer with his Sai twirling in his fingers. “We’re here to get our sister back!”
“Sister?” Stockman asked, feigning confusion. “I only have records of four mutant turtles.”
“She’s a human.” Donny corrected, spinning his Bo staff before pointing it at the evil doctor. “A very special human, and we want her back!”
Stockman snapped his fingers as if remembering.
“Oh!” he replied. “You mean Project Oracle! I’m so sorry, but I’m afraid I can’t let her leave.”
Mikey laughed, spinning his nunchuks slightly before tucking them under his arms.
“You sound like we’re giving you a choice.” He retorted.
“Give us our sister, before things get ugly.” Leo threatened, pointing one of his swords at Stockman.
Stockman fished into his lab coat, pulling out a small remote.
“Too late for that, turtles.”
He pressed down on a large red button and the group heard a loud chorus of doors unlatching and opening. Down the hallway behind Stockman, they could see a line of what they could only guess were holding cells opening, allowing a tidal wave of large, mutant monsters to come barreling out. These new monsters stopped directly behind Dr. Stockman, all of them crouched on all fours and snarling.
“Turtles, meet Project Dogpound, my personal guard dog army.”
Everyone took a step back, Splinter putting himself between Casey and April and the mutant dogs. Leo looked at Donny, nervousness etched in his face.
“Donny, what are we looking at?” he asked.
“Pitbulls, Rottweilers, Akitas, German Shepard… basically we’re looking at a culmination of the deadliest dog breeds known to man.” Donny explained with a gulp. “And that was before Stockman mutated them!”
“Well it’s a good thing we ain’t men.” Raph quipped.
“So be it.”
He let out a whistle, then pointed at the turtles. The mutant dogs all rushed forward, fangs bared and claws out. The turtles charged forward as well. Finally the two sides clash. Stockman then took the opportunity to slip away from the action unnoticed.
Raph bashed one dog on the head with the blunt head of his Sai before stabbing into the chest of another one. A third tried tackling him, but Raph just picked it up and threw it into the sea of mutant dogs.
Leo wasn’t doing much better. After dispatching one dog, he quickly turned around and kicked one coming up from behind him. As he brought his swords up to block the attack of another killer canine, he turned to see Donny swatting away dogs like flies with his staff.
“Donny,” Leo called out pushing the dog off his swords. “We can handle the dogs! Get to a security console! Find Hisako!”
“On it!” Donny called back.
He then pole vaulted over the seemingly endless onslaught of dogs, taking off towards another part of the lab the second his feet hit the ground. As he disappeared around the corner, his brothers were left to deal with the mutant dogs.
Mikey kept bashing every dog that came close to him with his Nunchucks. Suddenly, a dog tackled Mikey to the ground, snapping at the orange turtle over and over. Fortunately, he was able to hold back the dog’s teeth with the chains of his Nunchucks.
“Nice Doggy.” Mikey said nervously. “I can find a bone for you if you don’t eat me.”
The dog kept trying to attack, ignoring Mikey’s words. Just then, a Sai went straight into the dog’s head, killing it. Its dead form collapsed on Mikey, who quickly pushed it off as Raph came up.
“Careful,” Raph said extending his hand to his brother. “Or you’ll give him all the bones he could ever want.”
Mikey took his hand and Raph pulled him to his feet.
“Thanks bro.” Mikey said.
“Don’t mention it.” Raph responded spinning his weapons. “Now let’s end this.”
Mikey nodded before the two rushed forward weapons drawn.
Leatherhead meanwhile had no difficulty tossing aside one attack dog after another. One dog was able to attack him from behind and bite into his shoulder. This enraged Leatherhead as he cried out in pain. He then grabbed the dog and threw him to the ground, then lunged at him taking a bite out of it. Mikey looked over in disgust.
“I don’t think we have to worry about feeding Leatherhead for a while.” Mikey quipped.
“Less joking! More fighting!” Raph called out as he bashed another dog.
Splinter was quick to bash away every dog that should dare try and attack him. He also tried to keep April and Casey behind him, unwilling to let them get hurt.
“You two find a place to hide and bar yourselves in.” Splinter instructed, knocking a dog away with his tail. “I do not know how much longer I can hold them off.”
“Hey. If you think I’m gonna sit this fight out, you got another thing coming.” Casey retorted, pulling his hockey mask down over his face.
He then charged forward towards the mutant dog army, pulling a hockey stick out of his bag.
“Goongala!” he shouted as he came down on the dogs
As he bashed dog after dog, April ran down an adjacent hallway, away from the battle. She kept running, unwilling to look back and unable to process what she had seen. She just prayed that she would be able to find something, anything that would help her make sense of all this madness.
Donatello continued though the lab, looking for anything that resembled a security booth or a server room. He managed to find a door marked Personnel only, and quickly kicked it down.
“Come on Donatello.” He muttered, scanning the different doors of the new hallway he’d found. “Everyone’s counting on you.”
He pulled open the first door to find what looked like a lounge for an entire swarm of guards. They all paused what they were doing, looking over at the purple turtle.
“Whoops.” he winced. “Hehe… sorry guys… Carry on.”
The guards attempted to swarm the door, but Donny quickly slammed it shut. For added measure, he smashed the door knob. He could hear the guards attempting to free themselves, but it seemed even the break room doors were reinforced.
“Okay, wrong room.” he told himself. “Next one?”
He went to the next door, opening it to see a bathroom. Luckily, it was unoccupied.
“Nope.” he said as he closed the door again. “Come on… where is it?”
He opened the third door, and grinned when he saw the rows of security cameras and computer terminals.
He walked in, sneaking up on the sole guard, whose attention was currently held by the fight going on with his brothers and the mutant mutts. He tapped the guy on the shoulder.
“Excuse me.” he said. “That’s my seat.”
The guy turned, only to get a face-full of Bo staff as Donny knocked him out of his chair. After bringing his staff down a second time for good measure, Donny took a seat and produced that same drive April had used before.
“Turtle Hacker, don’t fail me.”
He jammed it in the computer and the screen became a flood of green text as he broke through the system. After about a minute, there was a small ding and Donny smiled.
“Hang on Hisako.” Don whispered as he cracked his knuckles. “We’re coming.”
Leo pulled his sword out of the last attack dog as his brothers came over to him.
“That’s the last one right?” Mikey asked. “Please tell me that was the last one?”
“Yeah,” Leo answered. “That was the last one.”
“Congratulations.” they heard Stockman say over an intercom. “You’ve managed to survive against Project Dogpound. It’s going to take me months to collect that many dogs again. Even more to train them.”
“Does this mean you’re giving up now?” Raph asked.
“Hardly.” Stockman responded. “I have plenty of other projects to deal with you. Project Tusks! Project Horns!”
With that, the hallway was filled with the sound of two more cells opening. From one emerged a large, fat reddish creature with bristling hair that almost seemed to look like a Mohawk. When it faced the group, they saw that it had a strange snout, almost like that of a pig, and had two sets of strange tusks. Two seemed to be coming out from under the thing’s nose, while the other two seemed to be jutting out from the thing’s jaw.
“What is that thing?!” Mikey asked with a terrified gulp.
“I think it’s a mutant warthog!” Leo replied, equally frightened.
“Then what does that make his friend?” Raph added.
That’s when the second figure emerged. This one was grey, with thick limbs that rivaled even Leatherheads, though the muscled almost seemed to resemble armor plates. Its upper lip seemed to droop down slightly over its mouth, its nose dominated by a large horn.
“It’s a rhino!” Casey exclaimed.
“Where the shell did Stockman get a Rhino and a warthog?!” Mikey cringed. “EBay?!”
Raph took a moment to glare at the orange turtle.
“You know, if we weren’t about to get pummeled by two mutant monsters, I’d clobber you.”
“These two may not be my brightest creations, but they get the job done.” Stockman told them. “Finish them!”
The Rhino, obviously Horns, scuffed his feet against the ground.
“No hard feelings, eh?” he asked. “We ain’t got nothing against ya.”
“Yeah!” The warthog, Tusks, added, also scuffing his feet. “We hate Stockman just as much as you.”
“Then why fight us?” Leo asked, stowing his swords. “We can help you guys get out of here.”
“I doubt it.” he said. “Ya don’t think we’ve tried.”
“Hell, yer friend Leatherhead there escaped twice, and yet here he is again.” Tusks added, tapping a strange metal collar that adorned his, and Horns’ neck. “Besides, we try anything and these necklaces here will go-”
Before he could finish, blue electricity danced across the warthog’s body. He let out a pig-like squeal of pain as he fell to his knees. Horns helped him to his feet as Stockman’s voice came on the intercom again.
“Enough chattering, lest you wish to become the next ‘volunteer’ for the genetic splicer.”
Both Horns and Tusks shivered, and from the way Leatherhead started quaking, it was obvious that this was not an idle threat.
“Like I said.” Horns muttered. “Ain’t got nothing against you, but you gotta go.”
With that Horns and Tusks charged towards the turtles. Tusks picked up Mikey, spun him around for a bit, and then threw him into a wall. Mikey slowly picked himself up, nursing his aching head. He regained composer just in time to see Tusks charging towards him. Mikey then dove out of the way as Tusks collided with the wall.
Horns tried to smash Raph into the ground, but the red turtle was quick enough to leap out of the way. Once he landed, he unloaded a series of punches at Horns stomach, the Rhino just looking at him with pity as he did.
“Will! You! Just! Fall! Down!” Raph cried out.
This didn’t faze Horns at all, and just slapped him away causing him to crash into a wall. While Horns turned to face Raph, Leo leaped up from behind him and tried to slice the collar around his neck. However, his swords didn’t even scratch the metal, these collars obviously more sturdy than the one Leatherhead had been wearing. Horns turned around to see Leo standing there and attempted to smash him. Luckily, Leo quickly rolled out of the way, looking at the rhino.
“Will you stop trying to kill us?!” Leo shouted. “We’re trying to help you!”
“Sorry.” Horns apologized, getting into a crude fighting stance. “But it’s just something we gotta do.”
Before Horns could continue, Leatherhead tackled him to the ground. Horns and Leatherhead wrestled with each other, trying to pin the other down.
“Get away from my friends!” Leatherhead shouted before shoving Horns off.
As Leatherhead got up, Horns got to his feet as well and the two charged at each other once more. The two locked arms and tried to bring the other down to the ground.
“Come on Donny.” Leo muttered as he prepared to leap back into the fray. “Hurry up!”
Donny scoured through file after file on the security network, trying to find even the slightest trace of his sister. He’d found an archive of old experiments dating back to the early 90′s, and as he went through them, the purple turtle found himself getting sick to his stomach.
“Project Dirtbag… Project Overdrive… Project Quarry… Just how many innocent animals and people did Baxter Stockman mutate?”
Looking at the list, Donny was horrified to see that Stockman had over 123 different mutant experiments on file, not including all of the individual mutants under Project Dogpound. Still, even amongst these files, Donny couldn’t find a trace of his sister.
“Come on Stockman, where did you hide my sister’s files?”
As he went down the list, he spotted a subfolder for Other Projects. On a whim, Donny clicked it, and found two separate files. The first was simply labeled ‘Specimen 051984’, and the second was labeled Project Oracle.
Donny opened the file, finding an entire slew of what looked like video logs, dating back to 2002. Donny didn’t know if it was morbid curiosity, or if he just needed to know exactly what his sister had gone through, but the purple turtle selected the Play All button.
On the screen, Doctor Stockman appeared. He seemed much younger than he was now, approximately 14 years younger if Donny had to wager a guess.
"Stockman private archives, date December 2nd, 2002.” Stockman narrated off screen. “The Master has brought me a unique specimen to analyze.”
The camera focused in on an unconscious girl with sandy blonde hair pulled into pigtails, wearing a dirty pair of overalls and a stained t-shirt underneath, obviously Hisako as a child. Donny gasped, surprised at how small and fragile she looked. He placed his hand against the screen, wanting so much to reach through the video and take her from this place before any of the horrible things Stockman had planned for her ever occurred.
"Approximately three years of age, the subject is a human female that seems to be in the 95th percentile for physical growth. However, this is not why she was brought to me."
The camera panned to what looked like an early MRI scan of Hisako’s brain.
"According to The Master, this child possesses an innate ability to read mind, project mental images, and even manipulate another person’s brainwave frequencies. He has tasked me with unlocking all of the secrets of this girl’s power, and finding a way to harness her abilities for the ultimate plan. I think I shall call this study Project Oracle."
The screen went static before switching to the next video. The security guard attempted to get up as it did, only to be knocked back down again by Donnie’s Bo staff.
"Year 1 into Project Oracle." Stockman’s voice narrated. “The subject is now approximately four years of age, and yet, despite her youth, she continues to try and resist. She continues to insist that her ‘Momma and Daddy’ will find her and that they will ‘blow this place to Pluto’.”
Donny’s fists clenched at Stockman’s mocking and condescending attitude.
"I have continually told her of her parents’ demise at the hands of my master, but she refuses to believe me. Perhaps after I show her the footage of their slaughter at his hands, she’ll finally realize that nobody knows she exists anymore."
The static returned and Donny felt like Raph had used him for a punching bag. Stockman hadn’t just tortured Hisako physically, he’d tortured her mentally too, making her believe she was alone.
“There’s a special place in hell for scum bags like you, Stockman.”
"Year 4 into Project Oracle. The subject is now approximately seven years of age and her mental capabilities continue to grow. Unfortunately, with her increase of power, she has developed a nasty habit of projecting a menagerie of red images on the staff. Many of the guards in charge of the S-Wing have had to be terminated due to a sudden onset of madness, and I’ve lost 17 different doctors to a persistent vegetative state. Luckily, I have recently developed a new way of disciplining Oracle into curbing her mental abilities for more constructive uses."
The screen shifted as the camera seemed to be put on a tripod, focusing on 7-year old Hisako. Donny gasped at the sight, the wood of his staff creaking in his grasp he was gripping it so hard. She was pale, sweaty, and had electrodes stuck all over her head. Some of them were attached to machines while others just seemed to be sticking there. Donny had a sinking suspicion why.
"Test one of the new disciple system."
There was a small click, like someone pressing a button on a remote. All of a sudden, Hisako just began screaming. As she did, Stockman just seemed to chuckle.
"This machine affects the pain censors of her brain, turning them on and making her feel like she’s in excruciating pain when, technically, there is none. While actual physical punishments might still be in order, I do believe this test has proven successful."
Donny felt sick. As the screen devolved into static, the purple turtle scrambled for a trash can, throwing up violently as the images of Hisako screaming continued to haunt his vision. He’d thought he’d seen all of the horrors Hisako had experienced through her nightmares and through her Red Images.
He was so wrong it wasn’t even remotely funny.
Stockman’s voice came back on the screen, returning Donny’s focus back to the footage.
"Year 7 of Project Oracle. Attempts to recreate a subject displaying even remotely similar powers to Oracle has proven… impossible. After 7 years of intense study of her, the origin of her powers continues to elude me. Even a complete DNA deconstruction has proven fruitless in unlocking the secret of her power. I’ve contemplated dissecting her brain, but the parable of the goose who laid the golden egg prevents me from doing so. Still, even if I cannot create more of her doesn’t mean I can’t make use of her. After all, a weapon that is one of a kind is unlikely to have a proper defense."
Static once more, then the next video played.
"Year 8 of Project Oracle. The Master has provided me with a mission perfect for Oracle’s power. His ongoing search has become impossible by conventional means, even with that simpleton Hun’s connections to the criminal underworld. Thus, I have developed a machine that can amplify Project Oracle’s telepathic abilities on a city-wide scale. More than that, with some minor calibrations, I should be able to focus her energies onto the specific signatures The Master is looking for. While the machine does seem to cause Oracle some physical and mental anguish, it is but a minor annoyance."
There were only two videos left to watch, but Donny didn’t know if he could take much more. He knew he would need to watch them to get any clues as to where Hisako was. So far, all he had was S-Wing, but he instinctively knew he’d need more before he could go back to his brothers.
So, with a hesitant gulp, he settled in for the next one.
"Year 10 of Project Oracle. There has been an incident involving one of my Mutation experiments, specifically Project Leatherhead. The behemoth escaped, destroying most of the S-Wing and eradicating a total of 42 different mutation projects. It even went as far as to destroy the only container of Specimen 051985 that I kept at this facility. However, it also made off with Project Oracle. Teams were sent to retrieve them, and though Leatherhead was successfully recaptured, it would seem that he destroyed Project Oracle as a final act of defiance. The Master is… quite displeased with this development and has ordered to reattempt to build an Oracle 2.0. I fear that this may be the end of the project."
Donny couldn’t help but smile, finding no small amount of pleasure from Stockman’s belief that he had failed. The final video began to play, and it was obvious that it was recent.
"This is a momentous day for TCRI. Previously believed to have been destroyed, Project Oracle is alive and well. More than that, her mental prowess has increased exponentially in her four year absence. Now, she is back where she belongs, safely locked away in her old S-Wing suite."
The camera panned the right, showing a view on Hisako from outside of the ‘suite’. Donny practically jumped out of the chair when he saw men in black suits and hospital gloves looming over her. The tools they had in their hands could only be described as torture devices. The camera panned again, showing Stockman’s face for the first time in the video logs.
“I take no small amount of pleasure when I say this: Project Oracle is back on schedule!”
Donny was two seconds away from busting the screen when he noticed something in the background. There was a cell directly behind Stockman, but it was completely dark. This allowed for a reflection to appear in the dark glass. Right next to Stockman’s ear, Donny could make out a small, blurring rectangle, most likely a room number like in a hospital.
“Please work, please work.” he muttered as he began typing away.
The purple turtle zoomed in on the small rectangle, enhancing the footage and flipping it. When the process was finished, Donny was staring at a plaque that read S-23.
Leo collided with a wall after being tossed into it by Tusks. He regained his composure as Mikey came flying towards him. He rolled out of the way just second before Mikey made contact. Climbing to his feet, the blue turtle offered his brother a hand.
“This is ridiculous!” Mikey shouted, getting back up. “How are we gonna beat these guys?!”
They both ducked in order to avoid the body one of the mutant dogs being hurtled at them.
“I’m open to suggestions.” Leo answered back, running to face Tusks.
Mikey thought for a moment, thinking back to all of the comic books he’d read and the superhero shows he watched. Whenever the good guys dealt with an enemy that was too strong to beat, they always tried to trap them somehow. Looking at the cells that Horns and Tusks had come from, Mikey had an idea.
“Hey Leo! Remember that Batman tv show we use to watch on Saturday mornings?”
“Now is not the time for nostalgia Mikey!” Raph shouted, just barely holding Tusks back with Leo’s help.
“Remember when he dealt with Bane and Croc after they broke out of Arkham?” Mikey continued unfazed. “He lured them into the maximum security wing-”
“And tricked them into going back into their cages!” Leo finished.
“Mikey, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but that’s not a bad idea.” Raph complimented. “Come on!”
The three ran towards Tusks. Tusks managed to get ahold of Raph, where he tried to crush the red turtle. Mikey leaped on top of the warthog’s head and hit him with his Nunchuks over and over again. This caused Tusks to drop Raph, grabbing his head in pain. Mikey jumped off seconds before Tusk’s hands crushed him, flipping in the air to land near Raph.
“Thanks Bro.” Raph said.
“We need to get these guy back in their cells.” Mikey instructed. “Stockman probably rigged them to hold anything those guys can throw at them.”
Raph looked at the cage near Tusks and got an idea.
“Hey Pumbaa!” Raph called out, getting Tusks attention. “Come and get some you walking rump roast!”
Enraged, Tusks ran over to him, but Raph was quick enough to leap out of the way. Tusks turned to see Raph standing in front of the cage. Raph gave a “come on” gesture with one hand, the other brandishing his weapon. Tusks then charges at him full speed as Raph waited. As the two came close to impacting, Raph slid under Tusks, sticking his tongue out as he disappeared from sight. Tusks looks back as Raph got up, only to run face first into the wall of his cell. The large warthog slid to the ground as Mikey slammed the door shut and Leo reduced the cages control server to scrap with his sword.
“One down, one to go.” Leo declared.
Horns was still wrestling with Leatherhead, along with Splinter and Casey. While the croc dealt with most of the fighting, Splinter and Casey did their best to provide distractions for the rhino, jabbing at his sides with judo chops and hockey sticks alike.
“Leatherhead!” Leo shouted. “Bring him this way!”
Leatherhead complied and started pushing Horns towards the cage. Each step harder than the last as Horns kept trying to resist.
“Give up croc breath!” Horns taunted. “You’ll never beat me.”
This enraged Leatherhead as he continued to push forward. Leo took note of this.
“Mikey, I need you to do what you do best.”
“Leo, I don’t think this is the time for a pizza eating contest.”
“Not that, shell-for-brains!” Raph snapped. “Go make Leatherhead mad!”
Mikey nodded, then jumped in the air, propping himself by the door of Horns’ cell.
“Hey Leatherhead!” He shouted. “I thought you wanted to save Hisako! If that’s true, then why can’t you beat one rhino?!”
Leatherhead’s eyes began to glow brightly as Horns began to slide across the ground towards his cell.
“I mean, come on! You tossed us around like ragdolls a few days ago, and yet you can barely hold your own against one opponent! Some savior! No wonder you had to leave Hisako behind the first time!”
That was the final straw. Leatherhead ceased pushing, which caused Horns to stumble forward with all the forward momentum he had. Leatherhead used this to pick the rhino up over his head, tossing him into the ground where he slashed at his face several times. Horns tried to cover himself, but Leatherhead just picked up Horns again, this time by the throat, and threw him right into the cell. Leo was quick to close it and Mikey made short work of the control server.
“Way to go LH.” Mikey called out.
Leatherhead turned towards Mikey, eyes still glowing as he stalked toward him. Mikey gulped and began slowly backing away.
“Um, you do know I didn’t mean a single thing I said, right?” he asked nervously. “I was just trying to help you… umm… hulk out?”
Leatherhead raised a hand and Mikey flinched, awaiting a painful blow. However, the croc just patted Mikey on the head, the glow from his eyes gone.
“I know...” he said with a small smile.
Mikey looked up at Leatherhead’s hand as it ruffled his hair, then let out a large sigh of relief. It was then that Donny reappeared, practically barreling around the corner.
“Guys, I think I found-”
When he saw all of the dead dogs, the two trapped mutants, and Leatherhead’s hand still on Mikey’s head, he paused.
“Wow… what did I miss?”
“It is a long story, my son.” Splinter interrupted. “Did you find your sister?”
Donny’s face lost any emotion.
“Yeah, I found her.” he replied in a hard tone. “And I learned a lot about what she’s had to deal with in this place. She’s in the S-Wing, room 23.”
“Then what are we waiting for?!” Raph demanded. “Let’s go!”
The turtles all ran down the hall, Leatherhead right behind them. Splinter and Casey went to follow, but the latter paused.
“Wait, I should probably go find April.” he suggested. “You guys obviously have this down, but April’s never been in a fight. She won’t stand a chance if someone finds her.”
“Go, Mr. Jones.” Splinter told him. “Regroup with us once you have Miss O’Neil once more.”
Casey gave a nod and took off as Splinter went to catch up to his sons.
April had managed to find a custodial closet and was currently hiding behind a mop bucket. Every sound outside made her flinch, every shadow that passed by the door made her want to shrink even farther into the shadows than she already had. Never had she been more terrified, or more overwhelmed.
Everything she knew, everything she had come to believe had been completely and utterly shattered. Her once normal life had been uprooted by mutant turtles, psychic best friends, and her megalomaniacal mad scientist of a boss.
As she huddled in the dark in utter fear, she heard a series of shouts and cries, like someone was getting beaten up. April squeaked in fear as she heard someone hitting the ground, then someone fiddling with the door to her closet. She just prayed her makeshift barrier, made out of various supplies she’d shoved under the knob, would hold.
“April?” Casey’s voice called through the door. “You in there?”
April scrambled to her feet, shoving her barrier aside and opening the door. Once she saw Casey standing there, pushing his hockey mask up to give her that cocky grin she loved so much, she practically tackled him with a relieved hug.
“Whoa there.” Casey told her, gently holding her. “It’s alright.”
“No it’s not!” April cried, tears of fear rolling down her face. “Nothing is alright! This entire thing is messed up!”
“Calm down April.” Casey whispered, petting her hair. “Believe me, I know how crazy this whole thing is.”
“I don’t think you do, Casey!” April exclaimed, pulling herself from Casey’s grasp. “Yesterday, the only thing I was worried about was if I was gonna get a good grade on my Science Term paper. Now, I’m hiding in a broom closet, in an underground, illegal genetics lab while a group of mutants try to rescue their psychic ally, who just so happens to be one of my best friends!”
Casey gave her an understanding nod.
“You’ve got a point.” he admitted. “I mean, it’s not every day you learn your boss is a complete and utter psychopath.”
Despite the seriousness of the situation, April couldn’t help but snort at Casey’s joking tone. He put his arm around her, gently ushering her down the hall.
“Come on.” he said. “The others found Hisako. We need to get to the S-Wing now.”
“I’m so sorry.” Stockman interrupted, walking in between them and the hallway leading out. “But I’m afraid you won’t be making your rendezvous.”
Casey pushed April behind him, drawing his hockey stick again.
“Stockman.” He hissed.
“In the flesh.” the doctor replied, walking towards the two. “And you must be Casey Jones. I must say, you’re exactly as Miss O’Neil described you.”
“Funny,” Casey retorted. “Because you’re nothing like what she’s told me about you. She said you were some great scientist trying to do some good, not this sadistic freak who gets his kicks making monsters and torturing kids.”
“Greatness is often mistaken for madness.” Stockman told him. “Just look at Van Gogh, DaVinci-”
“Hitler, Stalin, Frankenstein.” Casey interrupted.
Stockman paused for a moment, his eye twitching. He coughed, regaining his composure before continuing.
“I digress.” he stated. “As I said, you two will not be making it to your rendezvous with your mutant friend.”
“Oh yeah?” Casey questioned. “And who’s gonna stop us, you? I don’t see any of your little pets with you.”
Stockman chuckled, removing his glasses and tucking them into the pocket of his lab coat.
“I do not need my creations to deal with you two.” He replied as he loosened his tie. “I can handle a musclebound jock such as you quite easily.”
“Then bring it, Poindexter!” Casey shouted, yanking his hockey mask down over his face before running towards Stockman. “Goongala!”
The group managed to find the S-Wing after what felt like hours of searching, even if it had probably only been about 20 minutes. It was a completely sealed off hallway, most likely an added security measure after Hisako’s first escape with Leatherhead.
“This is it guys.” Leo whispered. “Hisako’s somewhere on the other side of this door.”
“Step aside boys.” Donny said heading towards the door. “This is all mine.”
Donny got right to work trying to hack the door. Mikey leaned on the door waiting for his brother to finish. As he looked over his shoulder he saw several SWAT troops heading towards them.
“Guys,” he called out. “We got company!”
“I need time to get this door open.” Donny informed them. “Keep them busy.”
“Do what you must Donatello.” Splinter told him. “We will handle the guards.”
The group charged towards the guards. Leo quickly delivered a roundhouse kick to one troop while slicing through another one’s taser stick. Using his forward momentum, he swung his swords, cutting through about three more tazers before delivering another round of kicks to the newly disarmed goons.
Mikey went wild, swinging his chuks at each and every troop he came across. He knocked around a few, punching some more for good measure, and just for fun, split kick his final pair. As he landed on his feet, he looked around him to see the slew of unconscious guards.
“Whoa.” he whistled, tucking his weapons under his arms. “I’m good.”
Raph kept bashing and kicking every guard that dared come close to him. One troop actually got close enough to Raph to stab him in the gut with his taser stick. Raph screamed out in pain due to the volts of electricity surging through him, but mustered up the strength to grab the guy by the shoulders. Current still going through him, the red turtle head-butted the guy, knocking him out and causing him to drop his stick. The current stopped and Raph let out a thready breath as he tried to regain his senses.
“Ow.” Raph said before returned to fighting.
Splinter seemed to be having the least difficulty fighting these goons. While they were highly trained, he was a ninja master. He struck several down with precise jabs to the arms and chests. Others were unfortunate enough to meet the blunt end of his walking stick. His rat hearing allowed him to hear his foes approaching from behind and he used his tail to trip them up. One guard got picked up by the leg, where Splinter quickly turned around and knocked him out before discarding him.
Leatherhead also felt no challenge in the fight. These troops were no match for his massive strength. He just tossed or smacked away all the troops that dare get in his way.
“Donny,” Leo called blocking a taser stick with his swords. “These guys just keep coming! Tell me you got that door open!”
“Almost...” Donny answered slowly before the doors finally opened. “There! Got it!”
“Great!” Leo exclaimed. “Guys, doors open! Let’s-”
Before Leo could finish, protective barriers slammed in front of the entry way.
“Aw come on!” Mikey cried out. “What gives Donny?!”
“I didn’t do anything!” Donny shouted, trying frantically to get the door open again.
“I did.” Stockman called out.
Everyone froze as the guards stopped attacking. In fact, they parted ranks so Stockman could come forward. The doctor had a bloody nose, as well a small cut on his forehead. In fact, his clothes seemed a bit rumpled and his tie was loose.
“This is the end of the line. Surrender now, while you still have the option.”
“Or what?” Raph demanded. “You’ll bore us to death with your science mumbo?”
Stockman just laughed.
He snapped his fingers as a group of four guards came forward. Two of them were dragging an unconscious Casey between them. The guy had a serious black eye, a swollen lip, and his broken mask hung loosely from his face.
The second pair had April in between them. She seemed to have her hands tied behind her and a piece of cloth between her teeth. She looked terrified, struggling as hard as she could in the grip of her captors.
“No...” Splinter gasped.
“April, Casey!” Leo exclaimed.
“Let them go, Stockman!” Raph shouted.
“Or what?” Stockman jeered.
“Or you’ll need to mutate yourself a new pair of eyeballs!” He threatened.
Stockman just laughed.
“Is that so?” he taunted. “Well, then I have a quick question for you all.”
He took one of the men’s stun batons, flipping open a small hatch to reveal the voltage meter.
“How many volts of electricity can the human body withstand before going into full cardiac arrest?”
“You wouldn’t dare!” Donny screamed.
“Come now Donatello, you’re supposed to be the smart one.”
He turned the voltage up, the electricity on the baton buzzing loudly as he closed the hatch. April tried to squirm away, but the guards just held her still as Stockman brought the stick closer and closer to her face.
“Stop!” Leo shouted.
Stockman looked up expectantly as Leo threw his swords on the ground, putting his hands in the air. His weapons were soon joined by Donny’s staff, Mikey’s Nunchucks, Splinter’s walking stick, and finally, Raph’s Sai. Stockman just smirked, looking at the mutants as they all put their hands up in surrender. Turning the stun baton off, he gestured to the turtles.
“Take them.” he ordered.
The guards all jammed their batons into the mutants, causing them all to fall to their knees in pain before they all fell unconscious.
“Put the turtles and their rat master in the J-Wing.” He ordered. “Make sure they have cells nearby. Don’t want to break up the family. Put Leatherhead back in his holding cell as well.”
“What about these two?” one of the guards holding Casey asked.
“Send them to the B-Wing. I’ve been hoping to get my hands on human test subjects for a while now.”
As Hisako’s would-be rescuers were carted off, Stockman pulled his cellphone out of his pocket, hitting his speed dial.
“Master.” he greeted as the master picked up. “I have excellent news. The plan succeeded. The turtles and Project Leatherhead are now in my grasp, as well as two human test subjects and a new mutant for me to study.”
“Excellent work Stockman.” The master told him. “I look forward to reading your results.”
Stockman closed his phone, straightening his coat and adjusting his tie.
“So do I.”
In her cell, Hisako’s eyes opened as a single word graced her lips.