A Dangerous Mouse Trap
Of all places to be, why did the portal send me here?
I had found myself in one of the most popular cities on the North American continent. The Big Apple itself. New York City. I was able to recognize it when I saw the Statue of Liberty across the way. If I knew this large city correctly, it was full of gangs, thugs, drug dealers and smugglers, homicidal maniacs, the works. The only way you could ever survive a large city such as this is to keep your head down and not see, hear or know anything. But I knew better than that.
Hiding in a trash strewn alley, I pulled a trench coat and fedora out of my backpack. I would’ve gotten out my favorite leather jacket, but the hole on the right sleeve was too much an eyesore since the recent victorious final battle against the Chimera aliens back in Tokyo. And the present that Ichigo gave to me… I didn’t see fit to open it now. I was in a new place where nobody knew my name. Or, as of Jump City, my powers. 'Twas a fresh start for me. Putting on my trench coat and fedora, I slung my backpack on my shoulder and headed out into the streets, my long brunette hair in a ponytail. As I walked down the sidewalk, block after block, there would be at least two or three punks who think they’re so cool sniffing out citizens as if they were slabs of meat, and then cornering them until they got what they wanted… and then some.
I was just walking past the electronics store, the window just full of TVs when a special news report came on. I stopped walking to watch. I’ve developed a tendency to watch the news now and again to see what’s going on.
“In a press conference today at Stock Tronics Incorporated,” the news said, “New York’s leading new technology firm, founder and CEO Dr. Baxter Stockman was on hand to unveil his latest innovation.”
The television showed an African American man wearing glasses and lab coat and had a buzz cut hairdo.
“A wise man once said,” Stockman started, “build a better mousetrap, and the world will seek a path to your door. I say let the path seeking begin, for I, Dr. Baxter Stockman, have designed the solution to the city’s ever growing rat problem.”
‘Ever growing?’ This just became interesting.
“Ladies and gentlemen…” He reached behind him, pulling a sheet off a tiny robot with a large head and the legs of a raptor. “I give you the ultimate expression of rodent termination technology, the Stock Tronic Mouser!”
Mouser… The word just echoed in my head. I started to feel a bit uneasy, as if there was something about Stockman or the Mouser that just didn’t feel right. I kept watching the news as the camera panned to a red haired woman in a lab coat holding a box. Her eyes were the color of emeralds, and her hair was in a neat bun; she was actually very pretty.
“My lab assistant, Miss April O’Neil, will release several rats into the simulation chamber. April, proceed, my dear.”
O’Neil walked over to a miniature maze and released the rats that were in the box. The rats quickly ran in different directions.
Okay, time to see what that Mouser thing can do.
Stockman released the Mouser to an opening of the maze, the little robot taking off quickly. “Now observe the sheer genius of my Mouser in action.”
The Mouser went after the rats, exterminating, as I’ll call it – for in order for the rat to be exterminated the robot had to eat it, one rodent after another, until all the rats were taken care of once and for all.
“And the Mouser’s search and retrieval functions are all ingeniously controlled by a remote mother computer,” Stockman concluded.
That is impressive, but I’m sure there’s a more humane way to deal with rats. If all else fails, call the Pied Piper.
When the newsfeed ended, I continued down my path, but I could not relax. I kept thinking that either the Mousers were bad news, or Stockman was. One way or another, I had to relieve my conscience with a little bit of detective work. Find Stock Tronics, find Stockman. Find Stockman, find the Mousers. Find the Mousers, relieve my conscience. But since I was new to the city, I couldn’t just wander around until I’d come across it. At a news stand, I found a map of the city, which was more than helpful.
'Twas late when I finally reached Stock Tronics. The building was a pyramid shape, a very dull golden yellow, practically brown. It was pretty big, actually. Plus, all the employees had gone home for the evening so I had a better chance of getting in undetected. As I snuck through the hallways, I checked for any and all security cameras as I made my way. I finally came across an open door, but no one was in the room. It looked like an office for the head honcho Stockman. I walked in the room, walking toward the computer. I sat down in the chair, and looked at the screen. There was a mysterious symbol blinking on the desktop. I had the strangest feeling that symbol could be used by the devil himself. The bottom starts out as a triangle, which diverts into three points, almost like the devil’s pitchfork.
That’s an unusual icon…
I clicked on the symbol, then suddenly an elevator door opened. A new clue! I walked in and the elevator doors closed, instantly taking me who knows how far down until I heard a loud thunk. The elevator doors opened and I saw it: Mouser Central. I knew there was a rat problem occurring in NYC, but I didn’t expect an entire army – no, an arsenal of Mouser robots. It was overkill at its finest. I walked down the pathway to the control room which controlled the machinery for building the Mousers, while at the same time looked out for any cameras or sensors that were around. It wasn’t very long until I came across the control room and there sat a familiar red head. O’Neil sat at the mainframe, typing things in on the computer.
“Rat problem, my eye,” she mumbled. “What are you really up to, Stockman?”
“So you wanna know too,” I said.
She gasped and turned around to face me. “Who are you? And how did you get in here?”
“That doesn’t matter now. What matters now is Stockman and that Mouser arsenal.”
“Uh, well… What do you think he’s up to?”
“Now, now, Miss O’Neil.” We turned and saw Stockman approaching us. “That would be telling.”
I stood in front of O’Neil as she backed away, and I was ready to fight off Stockman. “Baxter Stockman, I presume,” I spoke as Stockman stopped a few feet from us. “Why do you have so many Mouser robots made? The rat problem isn’t so great.”
“Sufficed to say,” he responded, “my army of Mousers will make me a very rich and powerful man.”
“But aren’t you already a very rich and powerful man?” April countered.
“Ah, Miss O’Neil, so brilliant yet so naïve. I will truly miss working with you.”
“What?! You mean I’m fired?”
“In a manner of speaking.”
And by that, he means…!
Just then, I happened to turn around to see a mechanical claw come from the assembly line and grab onto O’Neil, carrying her out over a sea of already manufactured Mousers. The claw shook her out of her lab coat and the Mousers instantly activated, ready to eliminate her.
“I’m afraid I can’t let you live, Miss O’Neil,” Stockman said to her as he headed toward the mainframe. “You’ve seen far too much already, and… Well, let’s just say I have trust issues.”
I turned back to Stockman, a glare in my eyes. “You’re a twisted man, Stockman.” I jumped out the open control room and headed to O’Neil’s aid. The Mousers already started for her, and she quickly grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed the first Mouser that she saw, and then using the extinguisher to try to smash its head in. A few Mousers tried to stop me, but I pulled out my duo shuriken and decapitated them. I was at O’Neil’s side as she tried to whack another Mouser with the extinguisher’s body, but it quickly bit into it, causing the extinguisher to explode all over the place. When the smoke spread all over, she started running. Putting my shuriken away, I had to follow her, or she would be hurt otherwise.
“You two can run,” Stockman said, “but you cannot hide from my Mousers.”
O’Neil pulled a switch, revealing a hidden doorway that led into the sewers. We took off in one direction, O’Neil wanting to not be eaten alive by little robot menaces, and I wanting to keep O’Neil out of harm’s way. We came across an intersection, full of many ways to go. But for me just arriving in this city, this was going to be difficult traversing through the underground of the city.
“Which way out?” O’Neil asked hurriedly.
If only I could tell you.
She instantly took off in a random direction, and I followed suit. We kept running until we saw a horde of Mousers in front of us. We tried to go back, but another horde was already there. We found another tunnel to the right of us. We kept running, but then O’Neil tripped behind me. I quickly grabbed her by the arm, but we were caught at a dead end. Four Mousers came at us. I stood in front of her, ready to fight to the death.
I was about to pull out my shuriken, but suddenly four shaded figures came and destroyed the mechanical menaces with – this might sound crazy – ninja weapons. A pair of sai, nunchucks, a bo staff, and twin katana blades. They put their weapons away and walked toward us.
“Oh, oh thank you!” O’Neil said to the strangers. “Thank you so much! You saved our… our…”
One of the shaded figures leaned into the light, revealing his face. They weren’t ordinary people, I learned. They were actually giant turtles! They were banded in different colors – blue, orange, red and purple.
“Hey,” said the orange banded turtle who came into the light. “How ya doin’?”
The shock of seeing the giant turtle may have been too much for O’Neil because I heard her swoon, then she fainted. I saw the turtles’ aura, which was cobalt blue with golden specks. I thought that I could trust them as I stepped aside and let the orange banded turtle pick up O’Neil bridal style. He turned back to his friends.
“Hey, so, can I keep her?” he asked.
This is one thing I haven’t seen before…
I stared at each turtle individually until a conclusion popped into my head. Of course, my staring had annoyed the turtle banded in red. “What da hell are you lookin’ at, girlie?” he asked.
“First of all,” I started, “don’t call me girlie. Second, I couldn’t help but notice it. Genetic mutation?”
“I think she’s referring to us,” the turtle in purple answered for me.
I nodded. “That’s correct. I figured you four were genetically mutated, since it’s not every day you see four anthropomorphic turtles walking the sewers of New York, while practicing in the art of Ninjutsu, ergo the ninja weaponry that you four possess.”
“Wow, are you psychic?” the orange banded turtle asked in amazement. “’Cuz that would be, like, totally awesome!”
I merely stared at him a moment until I got the conversation back on track. “I have some information about the Mousers in case you’re interested. I also found something out about a Mr. Baxter Stockman as well.”
The turtle banded in blue looked at his friends. “What do you think, guys?” he asked.
“You mean bringing both of them to the lair?” the turtle in purple asked. “Well, one of them did faint…”
“I guess I should mention that fainted woman knows a little something about both Mousers and Stockman,” I spoke. “You should talk to her when she wakes up.”
The four turtles looked at one another, agreeing with one another to let me accompany them.
This ‘lair’ the turtles spoke of was actually kinda homey. It definitely had that lived-in feeling to it. We all waited for O’Neil to wake up from her fainted sleep. In all the meanwhile, the orange banded turtle and I were having a conversation. Well, actually, he did most of the talking.
“So you’re actually a detective?” he asked. “That is so cool! Tell me about all the mysteries you solved! The unmaskings! The clues! The puzzles! The-”
“I believe you’re thinking of Mystery Inc.,” I retorted. “And I don’t solve mysteries. I solve cases.”
“The point is you’re a detective who doesn’t work with any agency! The lone wolf detective, who travels the world solving all sorts of crimes is the coolest kind of detective! Nobody else can ever compare!” As the guy talked, he had the lingo of a surfer from California.
A moment of silence had passed until I made a small laugh. “You seem like the kind of guy who likes telling jokes. And you’re really laid back, despite your training as a ninja. You seem to be the really fun guy to hang around with, although it bothers some people. Also, I can’t help but think that you may not be really smart. But overall, you’re a fun loving guy. I believe you have quite a fascination with super heroes, so that would mean you would read all sorts of comic books featuring said heroes who save the day. But when it’s time to be serious, you can be serious.”
“It’s like you’ve known me all your life!” the turtle said in awe.
“It just depends on one’s personality and how they think, that’s all.”
“I think it’s a bunch of bullcrap,” the turtle in red objected as he got in my face. “There’s no way dat dis chick’s a detective.” As he talked, he had the Brooklyn accent.
I remained unfazed. “Oh, really? Who do you think I am, an FBI or CIA agent? If I’d explain it either way, you would have to be killed.”
“Oh, I’m sooo scared.”
“It’s a little more than obvious that you have anger issues. If I’m not mistaken, you have quite a temper that could very easily make you violent, like the Tasmanian Devil on an energy drink. But of course, it would be unintentional if a friend or family member was caught in that kind of fire. You may act all tough, but I know that you have a bit of a soft spot – er, soft shell in this case.”
The red banded turtle remained silent a minute before growling and turning away in defeat. I smirked in satisfaction. Works every time.
“Aw man, bro,” said the orange banded turtle, “you totally got owned by a girl!”
“Shut up!” said the red banded turtle.
“My sons, what is going on in here?”
We looked over and I couldn’t believe what I saw: a mutated rat wearing a brown Japanese robe and walking with a walking stick.
“Curiouser and curiouser,” I muttered.
“Master Splinter, we can explain,” the blue banded turtle started.
The rat known as Splinter looked over at me, and then at O’Neil passed out on the couch. “You have brought humans to the lair.”
“Don’t blame them; it was my fault,” I spoke. “I was just trying to protect O’Neil from an army of Mousers when the turtles came and helped us. Of course, upon natural reaction to seeing something very unusual, she fainted. I told them that we had information about the Mousers and of their creator Baxter Stockman. I followed them here on my own terms, so you can go ahead and kick me out.”
The old rat said nothing as he looked at me for what seemed like eternity, almost as if he was peering into my soul. “Who are you, young lady?”
Okay, he asked for your name. Go with an alias. “Call me Mouse, unrelated to the case at hand.”
“Hmm…” He took a few steps back before turning his back to me, walking back from where he came from.
Okay, that was weird…
“I couldn’t tell if he was mad or not,” the purple banded turtle spoke. “But he seemed to be really focused on you.”
“Probably because I’m human,” I replied. I looked closer at the turtle in purple. “You look like you’re incredibly smart, especially when it comes to the array of science and technology. You also seem to be the most grounded, sensible guy. Yes, you’re definitely analytical, and I’m pretty sure the others would go ballistic if you were to suddenly disappear off the face of the planet because they wouldn’t live life without you.”
“Well,” he chuckled, “that’s some good, uh, detective skills.”
I can’t tell if they’re gaining trust in me or not. May haps if I told them about Stockman now…
Just then O’Neil started to wake up. I stood back as the turtles surrounded her around the couch. She woke up in a bit of a daze, thinking she fell asleep with the TV on. But then she fully woke up, seeing all four turtles, looking around the lair. She started saying, ‘I’m asleep’ repeatedly, wanting it to be true. To be honest, it was hilarious as hell. But I didn’t laugh; I was trying to stay professional. When she assumed that she was still dreaming and that everything was fine, Splinter came back to the scene.
“Then perhaps you are ready to answer some questions,” he said.
“You’re… You’re a…” she stammered before fainting again.
“Oh dear,” I muttered as I rejoined the turtles.
“You sure have a way with the ladies, Master Splinter,” the turtle in purple spoke. “Now what do we do?”
“Let’s nudge her,” suggested the turtle in blue.
“I’ll snap ‘er out of it,” said the turtle in red.
“Raphael, no!” Splinter objected.
“Somebody get me when she wakes up,” said the turtle in orange as he walked away from the group.
This might be a while... But perhaps not.
I pulled off my backpack, opened it and pulled out a very thick stick. It was a type of wood that, when broken, will release a scent that would make your nose hairs curl. I instantly broke it in half and a strong smell wafted – and the smell was not all that pleasant. The turtles really didn’t like the smell. I think I had the worst of it since I was the one who broke the stick. But luckily, it was enough to get O’Neil to wake up. I pulled out a little Ziploc bag out of my backpack and put the two stick halves in and zipped up the bag, putting in my backpack.
Splinter turned to the turtle in blue. “Leonardo, would you make some tea for our guests?”
“Yes Sensei,” the turtle known as Leonardo replied and went into the other room.
“Raphael… Leonardo,” I pondered aloud, then laughed a bit. “New York Turtles training in Ninjutsu with names of the Renaissance masters. Funny, very funny.”
Leonardo returned with two cups, handing one to me and the other to O’Neil as she sat up. She definitely appeared calmer than she was a moment ago. Just then, the turtle in orange returned to the group after the turtle known as Raphael brought him back.
“So, you okay now?” the turtle in orange asked with a cautious smile.
“Yes,” O’Neil replied, “thanks. I’ve decided this is either a very long dream I keep not waking up from, or it’s the weirdest thing that ever happened to me.”
“Young woman,” Splinter spoke as he sat on a chair. “We have something most important to discuss.”
She looked up at Splinter. “What?”
“Please explain,” I said.
“We have never revealed ourselves to the upper world,” the old rat explained. “You two have placed us all in great danger.”
“But Master Splinter,” Leonardo spoke. “They were in trouble and we helped them.”
“Yeah, aren’t you always teachin’ us to do the right thing?” Raphael asked.
“As you grow older,” Splinter continued, “you will learn there are many ways to do the right thing.” He let out a small sigh and looked down. “But there is no going back.” He looked back up at O’Neil and I. “I’m afraid we find ourselves at… your mercy.” He bowed his head in what appeared to be surrender.
“Oh, I would never tell anybody,” O’Neil objected. “I mean, who would believe me?” She placed her hand over her heart. “Seriously, I promise.”
“And once I know a secret it never again hears the light of day,” I added.
Just then, Splinter got up from off the chair, walked over to us and looked us right in the eyes. It wasn’t very long until a smile came across his face. “I believe you.”
“Is this another lesson, Master Splinter,” Leonardo asked, “how to sense the truth?”
“No. This is called trusting your gut.”
“What exactly is your secret,” I asked the sensei, “if we’re keeping it for you? I mean, what’s your origin story? Where exactly did you come from?”
“I have memories,” the old rat replied, “memories of what you might call normal. I remember a day that started like any other, but ended up changing the course of many lives. I witnessed an accident. A young boy carried a glass jar with four pet infant turtles. An old blind man was crossing the street when he was almost run down by a large truck. Another young boy ran to help, causing the first to drop the glass jar, and the turtles were sent down into the sewers. As the truck swerved, a metal canister bounced out of the back and it smashed open, releasing a glowing ooze which covered their bodies. I took pity, gathering them up in a coffee can. I picked up one of the turtles, and he shook the ooze off himself and got it on me. I took them to my burrow.
“The next morning, I awoke to find the four had doubled in size! The ooze had affected their growth. It changed me also, making me larger and more intelligent. They followed me everywhere, except above ground. I knew the people of the surface would not understand. We are so… different. I was amazed by their dexterity. But even so, I was not prepared for what happened one day. They actually spoke my name! Soon, they all were speaking. Intelligence followed soon after. Realizing that the world above is sometimes a dangerous place, I began teaching them Ninjutsu, the secret arts of stealth and power, and all that I knew of this world. From a battered book on Renaissance art that I fished out of the storm drain, I chose names for each of the m. Leonardo.” Leonardo bowed his head. “ Donatello.” The turtle in purple waved his three-fingered hand. “Raphael.” Raphael just smirked. “Michelangelo.” The turtle in orange showed a big goofy smile. “So we have remained in secret. And that is our story.”
This is fascinating stuff! I knew that they were genetically mutated, but the ooze is the key player in the whole genetic mutation of the turtles and Splinter. The only question I have is where did the ooze come from? And one more thing…
“How did you know martial arts?” O’Neil asked.
“That is a story for another time,” the old sensei replied.
“Hey guys, look at this!” Michelangelo called as he stared at one of the TVs that were on. It showed a local bank and police cars were outside, and pictures of the crime scene.
“And the police are completely baffled by this daring bank robbery boldly executed in broad daylight,” the news reporter said. “If anyone has any information, the police urge you to call the crime stoppers hotline.”
“So, anybody wanna take a wild guess what did this?” Michelangelo asked as a pair of Mouser footprints were shown on screen.
“So that’s what Stockman was planning to do all along,” I deducted. “Remember what he said, O’Neil?”
“This must be what we heard Dr. Stockman talking about,” she replied. “He’s got the Mousers robbing banks.”
“What do you know about this Stockman guy?” Raphael asked, sitting on the couch.
“He’s a genius. He’s also nuts. I used to work for him, but when I got suspicious he turned the Mousers on me.”
“I saw that interesting news report earlier about the Mousers,” I explained. “Neither the robots or Stockman settled right with me, so I went to Stock Tronics to find out the truth. That’s why he tried to kill me as well. He said something about trust issues, but I know that’s complete bull.”
“Luckily, we ran into you guys,” O’Neil finished.
“He destroyed our old lair,” Leonardo said angrily.
“Your old lair?” I asked.
“Must’ve been one of his Mouser test runs,” O’Neil added.
“But that was our home,” Michelangelo lamented.
“Now he’s graduated to banks,” Donatello spoke.
“Then what are we waitin’ for?” Raphael asked as he stood up and pulled out his twin sai. “I say we shut down Mouser Central permanently.”
“I just love those action movie lines,” Michelangelo said with a laugh, then turned to his brother. “You write those yourself?”
“It won’t be easy,” O’Neil started. “Stock Tronics is rigged with the latest up to the minute security tech.”
Michelangelo scoffed. “Bring it on! Allow me to introduce our very own secret weapon: the techno turtle himself, Donatello! Take a bow, Don!”
“Ah, cut it out,” Donatello said modestly.
“Can we go, PLEASE?” Raphael impatiently asked.
Well, as long as he said please.
The turtles, O’Neil and I were walking along the sewers back to Stock Tronics to confront Baxter Stockman and his Mousers once and for all. Along the way, we heard a beeping noise, and I knew right away that silence would be key into furthering the expedition. However, Michelangelo didn’t see fit to keep quiet. He wondered that to have alarms in the sewers is a sign of Stockman’s paranoia. Raphael tried getting him to shut his mouth, but that didn’t quite work. Donatello insisted that he and O’Neil were to have quiet, for it was delicate work. But the nunchuck wielding turtle didn’t see the seriousness in the matter all that well.
We were able to sneak in undetected, but the door to the lab was locked. Raphael pulled out one of his sai and was able to pick the lock. He had pretty good lock-picking skills if you ask me. After getting the door unlocked, all six of us rushed in and April ran over to the computer.
“Okay, I’m in,” O’Neil announced. “I’m blanking the cameras along that corridor at ten second intervals, so you’ve got to keep moving.”
“We’ll be right back,” Leonardo said, and the turtles and I quickly left the room out to the hallways, reaching the work room. It was empty and dark, nobody in sight. I didn’t like that it was quiet, neither did Leonardo. “This is too quiet.”
“Um, guys,” Michelangelo whispered. “My turtle sense is tingling.”
Just then, the door behind us slammed shut, and the lights turned on in the assembly and in the control room, where I was able to see a clear silhouette of the one and only…
“Baxter Stockman,” I said.
“Intruders?” Stockman demanded. “Here to steal my secrets? You leave here with nothing, not even your lives.” He paused a moment. I realized he may have us on some kind of camera that was in the control room to get a closer look at us, for he then said, “What on earth are you?!” But then, his tone turned dark again. “I suppose I’ll have to dissect you to find out.” A bunch of lasers were aimed right at us.
One way or another, I have to get to Stockman.
The lasers started to fire, and the five of us split up to avoid being hit. But apparently, I wasn’t paying attention, because Michelangelo called out to me to look out behind me. I quickly pulled out one of my shuriken and deflected the laser fire right back at the laser. Donatello then jumped on one of the lasers, it destroying other lasers in the room, then he made the laser he used explode. There was only one laser left, and it was protecting Stockman, but not all that well. Raphael ran right underneath the control panel. Michelangelo quickly ran to his brother, and Raphael threw him right up to the control panel window. Stockman backed away as Michelangelo broke the window, and we all piled in and surrounded the madman of a genius.
“Your reign of terror is over, Stockman!” Leonardo declared.
“What are you?” Stockman asked.
“They’re with me.” O’Neil had entered through the elevator doors.
Stockman turned around. “April! You’re alive!”
“And kicking. I’ve got enough evidence to put you away for years, Dr. Stockman.”
“The police would absolutely love to hear this,” I said.
Stockman pressed a button before Raphael grabbed him by the lab coat. “Dat’s enough!” Raphael shouted.
“Too late!” Stockman retorted. “I recalled the Mouser horde from their latest mission. They’ll be here any second. They’ll tear you to pieces!”
Son of a bitch pulled a fast one! My eyes narrowed on the psychotic man.
“I’ll have to shut the whole system down,” O’Neil stated as she sat at the control panel, starting to frantically type things in.
“I’ll help,” Donatello said as he went over to her side.
“You’re doomed,” Stockman said in his dark tone. “Listen.”
The door to the assembly line opened, and the Mouser horde came in. There had to be hundreds, possibly a thousand of them, and they were headed our way.
“You should never have matched wits with me.” Stockman was in the elevator, but it was too late to reach him, for the doors closed before Michelangelo or I reached him.
“Let him go,” Raphael said to us. “We’ve got bigger problems.”
Everywhere we looked, Mousers had surrounded us a thousand to one. It seemed that there was no sign or hope of escaping the Mousers’ wrath.
I’d never thought my life would end by the massive maws of little robots that were supposed to help the city, not tear it to bits. I would say I have no regrets, but I know that’s a lie.
“At least we’ll go out fighting,” Raphael said.
“Actually, I don’t wanna go out at all,” Michelangelo objected.
The Mousers closed in on us, one little step at a time.
“Well, it’s been fun guys,” Raphael declared.
“Even me, Raph?” Michelangelo asked.
“Even you, Mikey. Especially you.”
Just when it seemed that we were to become Mouser food, they stopped right in their tracks. Leonardo poked at one with his katana, and it just stood there like a statue. I took a closer look at one, and its optic was blinking. In fact, all of their optics were blinking. The guys were cheering and whooping that they won when O’Neil spoke up.
“Guys, I wasn’t able to shut them down,” she said.
“They look pretty shut down to me,” Michelangelo stated as he held one.
“Then why are their optics blinking and red?” I pointed out.
“The only way I could stop them was by initiating an overload sequence,” O’Neil explained as smoke was coming out of the Mousers’ heads.
“In other words… LET’S GET OUT OF HERE!” Michelangelo shouted, dropping the Mouser.
Everyone quickly vacated the premises, running for their lives as the Mousers exploded, taking Stock Tronics and everything inside with it.
“And the authorities are completely perplexed by the destruction of the Stock Tronics building and the sudden disappearance of Dr. Baxter Stockman,” said the news reporter. Everyone had returned safely to the turtles’ lair, and we were watching the news of what had occurred that evening, cups of tea in our hands.
“What will you do now, Miss O’Neil?” Splinter asked. “You are most definitely out of a job.”
“I’m not exactly sure,” she replied.
“We’ll help you get back on your feet,” Donatello proposed.
“You guys, you’ve all been, well, great. And by guys, I guess I mean four big, green, talking turtles, and a giant talking rat.” She looked over at me. “And a teenage detective.”
“Who also happens to be a ninja!” Michelangelo exclaimed. “The perfect combination of mystery and awesomeness!”
It seems that I’ve been able to gain everyone’s trust after all. Well, I’m not sure about Splinter, but I think he thinks he’s seen me somewhere before. Nah, not possible.
“So, what are you going to do now, Mouse?” Leonardo asked me.
“I’ll be hanging around the city for a while,” I answered. “You know, help clean up the trash.”
“You stayin’ anywhere?” Michelangelo asked.
“Not exactly. And it doesn’t help that I’m an insomniac. I haven’t been able to sleep in 15 days.” And that’s the truth.
“Hey Mouse,” O’Neil started. “Since I got you tangled up in my mess, I’ll let you stay at my place.”
My eyes widened. I didn’t expect that kind of surprise at all. “Uh, I appreciate the hospitality, O’Neil-”
“Please, call me April.”
“But April, after what you just endured, I rather not be a burden. Plus, I can get kind of… dangerous.”
“You don’t look dangerous to me.”
“Looks can be deceiving. Although…” I paused, thinking about the good things about sharing a home with April. I would have a place to eat and sleep, wash my clothes. And as long I don’t give away any sign of my powers, everything will be okay. “April…” I held up my drink. “You’ve got yourself a housemate. And guys… I’ll be seeing you around.”