Alright, folks! Batkevin74 is currently on a trek to a secret location, so he asked me to do the voting thread. His contest was in honor of the TMNT this time around, and the challenge was to come up with a Teenage Mutant Ninja _____ ...Something (anything but
Thank you guys so much for the turnout! With TEN writers this time around, this contest was just one writer away from tying the CCC record for the most writers in one contest. We have not had this many writers since CCC #10!
So...yeah, ten entries to read. Guess I should let you get started. If you will, read the entries and vote for your favorite. And remember:
- You can only vote once.
- If you wrote, you should vote!
- No voting for yourself (it's just not sporting).
Batkev' said you folks get two weeks to vote, and this is his contest, so we'll go by Sydney, Australia time. So voting deadline is 11:59pm Sydney time, on July 30th, 2016 (for us USA folks, please remember that Sydney is 14 hours ahead of our East Coast time). If you get down to the last minute and need to know the time in Sydney, and Google will show it to you.
Thanks for reading, thanks for voting, and safe travels to Batkev'!!!
Without further ado, here's the entries:
A Simple Taste
Every Eye On Me
The darkness holds many wonders.
It is scary and it has many things hiding in places unknown to anybody.
How much room is in the dark?
What threats does it hold and where will the dangers come from.
More then one writers has brought our fear of the dark to the light and we see monsters and we beg for the dark to return.
I did not wish to see the truth they say.
As Plato would say when Socrates wrote his work The Great Republic.
Put me back in the cave chain me to the rock and take away my understanding of a greater universe.
Do not let me see the world and all its dangers.
The dark can be a very dreadful place.
Then something happens and it says.
Look for something more in the dark.
A sign of a hero.
The bringer of understanding and the sign of good things to come.
He whom has the fire and he whom fights back the demons in the night.
Sitting high on top a very old building is Master Splinter.
Unchanged by time he is a character that has withstood the elements.
Never written about by Socrates but he has his own story to tell.
His words and his actions highlight a time when the dangers of man came from man itself.
He sat before the old home and he reached into a bag that held secrets to long ago.
He pulled out four orbs shiny like steel and he marked them with names.
Old souls they were warriors all in the struggle to understand the universe.
Teachers of the arts.
Splinter had other names he went by.
To the maid he was the grand father she had known since child hood.
To the kind policemen on the corner he was uncle.
To the crime element of the city he was a peace of despair and a pain when they crossed paths.
To the universe he was a lone star shining in the night but no longer could he shine alone.
His students would have to step forward and battle with him.
Tossing the orbs into the air they began to orbit around splinter.
Come take your place young ones.
From the shadows they emerged and each grabbed an orb with their names on it.
Then they said nothing they simply looked out over the city and meditated on the things to come.
Sitting down around Master Splinter they prepared for the war ahead.
In the casting of every story , in the pool of life.
Every hero has a soul whom just wants to understand and spread the word.
April goes to class she is the school paper reporter.
She has been hardened by the idea that if you want to see change immerse yourself in the effort.
In this cause she has hardened mind and soul to fight and to sneak and to find a way to gain knowledge few have or ever will.
She looks down on the group this night she is amazed by the power of Master splinter and his group of Orphans.
April steps in shadow and takes her place behind the leader of the youths.
Where have you been April says Master Splinter.
She does not answer he knows the answer.
This leaves only one lost soul.
Where was he this dark night.
Over the side far into the city flash after flash and then a park all around him death.
Casey shows up just long enough to strike and stop the attack on a young women and then in the next instant not a single word to anybody he is gone.
To appear in his place by Splinter.
April takes his hand.
Do not speak she says.
The Master is troubled.
The doors open up behind the group as all the orphans poor forth and pile up on the teens.
We missed you they scream and the joy spreads like a virus only the good kind.
There is plenty of bad things in the dark.
How do you ever see the good things if you never turn on a light to see.
Every tale is just a taste of what could be something more if you look further into the back ground.
You walk through the hallways and into the rooms.
You go up to the floors waiting for exploration.
How bold are you my friend?
Do you see the possible in the future of man kind.
When dangerous minds wait and the cave behind us.
Has been torn down and left scattered to the winds.
No safe place to hide.
You must fight.
Growing up in German Town, Memphis, Tennessee isn't necessarily the most exciting thing in the world. Being a few miles out from downtown Memphis makes this town a shadow town which also makes it perfect for those who prefer the shadows. Donatello “Donte” Steward is just one such person. Donte, a young man who is roughly 17 years old and a senior in high school has many other “electives” that your average American teenager does not. It all started with a cancer, a cancer found in his liver.
At the ripe old age of 14 Donte was faced with a crisis and it looked as though he would be one of many Americans that would not graduate that year.
The cancer was in his liver, passed down to him through his father whom he never knew, the young man was not diagnosed until it was considered “too late to operate” and was thus given a time frame for life expectancy. That’s when the good Doctor Koren appeared, an older gentlemen in his late 60’s this man was researching ways to cure cancer apart from traditional radiation treatments. When he heard of Donte’s case, he saw an opportunity to try his new “anti-cancer serum” an antidote to the genetic code that causes cancerous cells to form. Donte was taken to a laboratory for testing, being physically inept and too weak to survive the process that the serum used in order to remove the cancer, the doctor arranged for an archaic form of training known as the “Art of Ninjutsu” to be taught to Donte.
For three months, using most of his allotted time, Donte trained until he was ready for surgery. A small phial of anti-cancer was shipped to the lab’s medical center and Donte was taken in to the O.R for surgery. As Donte was on the table and being operated on by Dr. Koren and his four assistants, an explosion was heard across the lab facilities. A noxious gas had been released and was flooding through the laboratory, as the containment protocol was activated to effectively seal off most parts of the lab from contamination. However the primary ventilation center of the facility was breached by an unknown infiltrator, this man or woman opened the hatch which allowed the poisonous gas to leak into the Operating Room that Doctor Koren was in with Donte. Just as the anti-cancer serum was being injected into Donte’s liver, the gas spread throughout the room and caused the doctors in the room to pass into unconsciousness. The assailant from before came into the room and mixed the anti-cancer serum with artificially enhanced steroids before re-injecting the serum into Donte and closing up the incision left during the surgery. The man then took the unconscious boy along with some needed medical supplies to keep him alive, to an undisclosed location where he nursed him back to health.
When Donte finally woke up it had been 2 weeks since his surgery, but something was different. His body which had been somewhat toned from the intense training of the ninjutsu training, had become even more fit. His muscles were more condensed but larger in mass, his joints had more elasticity and he could react to outside stimuli nearly two times faster than he could before. The assailant who had “kidnapped” him revealed himself to be a Grand Master of a School of Ninjas known as the Iron-fist. These ninjas swore to protect the United States from those who would doom it, as the man removed his face-mask it revealed the face of Donte’s own father. After an explanation as to why he kidnapped his own son, his father: George Steward, inducted Donte into the family business. The Iron-fist work in the shadows, they are headquartered in Memphis which is a major hub for shipping and transferal of goods, making it easy for various squads of Iron-fist ninjas to reach the different locations within America; as well as being the old founding spot of the order itself.
Donte has a strength level above that of an average human of his age and height. A result of the anti-cancer is that he is able to lift roughly half a ton in weight, he can focus his “chi” in order to deliver a punch of roughly 1,500 psi. This makes his physical strength well above your average human, and even above many ninjas within the Iron-fist Order.
Donte’s agility, balance, and bodily coordination are all enhanced to levels far beyond the finest human athlete. His tendons and connective tissues are twice as elastic as the average human being, and due to his high level training he is capable of performing complex acrobatic stunts with minimal difficulty in most situations.
Though not actually an ability, Donte is able to achieve extreme levels of mental focus, he can consciously activate parts of the brain normally inaccessible to the average human mind, making him able to physically perform on a level above the average human athlete or combantant.
Donte is a high level fighter, using not only ninjutsu but also various martial arts including Marine Martial training, Kung-fu, Boxing, Kickboxing and Judo; mixing all of these into a unique fighting style of his own.
Donte caries two sheathed katana on his back, he also has two harnessed double-ended sais just below his lower back, and a sheath strapped to his left leg that holds 6 kunai. A pouch strapped to the other leg holds wire, flint and other handy trinkets.
They say the bomb was so strong its effects ran through time itself. The Origin, as it's now known to us, is nothing more than a wasteland of a universe, hoping to pull itself back together before the final collapse. We knew about this, though we shouldn't. We existed within our time, but our knowledge came from without. We were the products of a travesty that would not happen for many more years than I could count off in a lifetime. We were mutated, unnatural, and detestable.
By we I refer to those who banded with me in the first weeks of my sentience. We were like one, a family that stuck together, if for no other reason than we understand each other's pains. Yet, for all that, we were not the only ones to mutate. There were others, not entirely like us. They were too bloodthirsty, too angry, and they lived purely for destruction and ruin. It reminds us how lucky we were that we found each other in the beginning, rather than them.
We were born with natural instincts to protect, and our master, Splinter, nurtured it further. He, unlike us, was aged when the mutation came upon him, yet, somehow, he retained his sanity. He put up with us while we grew, and he taught us how to survive, as well as how to protect those who could not protect themselves. He was no pushover himself, though, we can only guess that his martial arts knowledge came to him, somehow, from the bomb. In any case, it was lucky for him, and for us. We four were given names by Splinter: Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo. They gave us a focus to put our identities in, and then we were further tied together under a banner, something we could all call ourselves as one group rather than four individuals.
We were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Raptors.
We were young, we were fit, we were intelligent. We were so much more than we were ever meant to be, and yet, we had a lot to learn. In a world where it was eat or be eaten, kill or be killed, our heightened senses of morality at best served to unbalance the food chain. We might save one life, but that life could be extinguished on the next day, and there would be nothing we could have done. Splinter warned us of this, and still it stung as each and every day made it that much clearer just how true it was. We might protect, but so long as those around us were void of the all too human features that had been born into us, our efforts would be both in vain, and perhaps even misplaced.
Some people say travesty breeds travesty. Others say it gives rise to a strength that urges for a better tomorrow. They are both correct, in a manner of speaking. It's hard to judge intent in relation to cause and effect. One's intent does not always correlate well to the effects of their cause, but surely the fault still lays with them as strongly as if they'd meant for it to happen all along. Ignorance is a plea that often falls onto the deaf ears of those who remember too strongly the wrongs that were not meant to be, but still were.
That is how we were born, and that is how we were given another chance. The details of the rift are not entirely known, but be it by some strong unknown magic, or hyper advanced technologies, nigh countless realms of time and space were gathered together like so much scrap, and harvested.
Give welcome to the universe composed of many. Marvel at the time where the past, present, and future are no less than next door neighbors. It's changing every day, and nobody knows how to deal with it, but we really have no choice, so we do the best we can.
It feels wrong for it to feel so right, but in the events of the rift, we were given a chance to fulfill the lives we had always imagined for ourselves. A diversity had broken out greater than any faced in any single point in time.
An enemy appeared from the throng, a creature that would have seemed human if not for the demonic will it possessed. It was hard to know if it was born that way, or if it was a monster born of the bomb, but it hardly mattered. With its army it carved a name for itself in the shadows. It took power for itself, and forced people to obey.
It would be a lie to say that the appearance of this being calling itself Shredder did not, in some manner, spark an interest in me. It shouldn't have been that way. I should have relished peace, and known that me not having to use my skills was a good sign. Still, when it appeared, a smirk grew on my face, and when it began its reign of terror, my smirk grew wider. I had needed for so long to take what I had learned and to apply it to a worthy cause.
Shredder's aims were endless, and we stood against it, a wall, small in size, but great in spirit. We shut down its operations, and took the first chance we could to bring it down. At least, we tried. Shredder was too much for us, its army was too much. We were too young, too inexperienced, too naive, and too drunk on ourselves.
Splinter's death at the hands of Shredder shook us to the core. It threatened to break us apart. It also gave us clarity. Let it be known that we will stand as one, and we will find others to join us, and together we will strike down Shredder's dominion. We won't do it for ourselves, we will do it for each other, and because it is the right thing to do.
Antarctica, a chilling spine tingling atmosphere that most people couldn't live in. But, I and my brothers did, we did for very long, living normal lives with our families, until the incident. Toxic waste was spilled all over our homes, and for help, people took us back to America so we could be put in a zoo.
The zoo didn’t help, but I and my brothers, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael and I, Donatello, were beginning not to feel like we did back in Antarctica. Leonardo thought it was the air, or maybe just the warmer climate of North America, but that wasn’t the truth at all.
The toxic waste had messed with our bodies, made us things that weren’t what we were, not the things that we had been. We were once normal teenage penguins living in Antarctica with our families, but toxic waste turned us into TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA PENGUINS!
Okay, we weren’t ninjas yet, but an old wise monkey from the zoo name Splinter taught us the ways of a ninja. We were trained when the keepers left, and one night, us five escaped. We fled to the sewers. It was our only place of safety.
Splinter was probably one of the nicest people that had ever helped me and my brothers. He taught us the wisest advice, tips and tricks, and he put us into a whole different world when he introduced us to pizza. I thought fish was good, but pizza was the best!
We stayed in the sewers for most of our lives, until the city needed us. At the time, the toxic waste turned us into abnormally large penguins, and I came up with the ideas of eye masks, I didn’t really know why, they just looked cool.
Splinter just didn’t train us, he gave us super cool weapons. It was one of the first nights that the city was in crisis. We had just exited the sewer armed with our awesome Sais and other stuff. I put on my eye mask and we prepared for where the crisis was coming from.
We sprinted towards the action, well, more of fast-waddled towards the action. A man, or somewhat of a man wore metal armor, and had a metal helmet, and he was armed with the exact same weapons as us, but his were more, fatal.
Master Splinter said they called him Shredder. He was evil, indeed evil. He wrecked havoc on the city, and he captured Raphael. Master Splinter said he would help us on the “mission” and he did. He helped us truly, and he will always be remembered.
We were racing out of the warehouse that Shredder owned, all five of us. Shredder reached for us, and Master Splinter wasn’t fast enough to dodge the grasp of Shredder. We tried helping, but it was too late. Shredder slaughtered Master Splinter in cold blood.
Since, we have been tracking down Shredder across the city while he wrecks havoc across the city, we eat pizza, and sometimes we get to save a hot chick named April, who I think is hitting on me, but I don’t know. The world would be doomed without THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA PENGUINS!
Aliens. Robots. Monsters… Shredder.
The adventures they had would be a goldmine to any science-fiction writer. And the stories, the stories they could tell you were so unbelievable. You would object, and then kick yourself when you remembered who—or what you were talking to. Every day gave them something new. And against all these troubles, they chose what mattered most: family. But now, the most surreal feeling came not from an outside enemy, but one of their own.
Leo would relive this moment continuously when awake. He lay in his hammock, staring at the ceiling. We’ve come far from being mere gorillas in a lab. We can get through anything together. He closed his eyes, hoping for at least a few hours sleep. But he couldn’t stop thinking about Splinter. He was old, they knew he would die eventually but it didn’t have to be that way.
Leo summoned the scene in his mind. He watched as the frail body of Splinter tackled him to the ground, taking his place from a fatal stab to the chest. The rest was a blur. Raphael took care of the machine, and the man who piloted it. The explosion was so deafening, Leo could not hear his masters dying words as he lay in his arms. He died against a machine, Leo thought. Where’s the honour in that?
It was Splinter who saved them from being test subjects. He too, was a subject. Like them, his animal body was mutated into the body of a man. He took them to the place they now call home. It was an underground city directly below London with sewers, tunnels, bridges and underground structures.
The place they dwelt was colossal-sized. It resembled a super-advanced jungle gym equipped with ropes, climbing nets, bars and scaffoldings. Even the hammock they slept in was made of rope.
Leo rocked back and forth in his hammock, enough to gain momentum to lazily tip his body out. He was built like a tank and yet, he landed silently on his feet. It was cat-like. He was over thinking things. He sat on the cushion that belonged to Splinter. It hadn’t been moved since. It was cold. Leo crossed his legs and hoped an hour of ru jing could relieve him. Splinter always meditated. He said ru jingwas entering a state of silent awareness. It was tranquillity. It was nothingness.
It was as if the spirit of Splinter was with him. His mind was calm and his internal state open for observation. I can’t use his wisdom without them. I’m afraid I’ll lose them forever. After the incident, Leo expected them to draw closer, instead the opposite happened. He never felt more alone. He broke his mental silence and turned around. There his brothers lay asleep. Except for one.
Raphael remained still on a rooftop, like some stone gargoyle. He glared down as a man was running from the 23 gang and was headed for an alleyway. The situation was hopeless, if he wasn’t watching.
He hadn’t trained since Splinter died, none of them did. They rarely talked either. Raphael couldn’t take it. It was always at night when intense emotions would rise. He needed to channel it into something violent. The Nightwatcher was created for this reason.
As the man reached a brick wall he seemingly gave up. He knew he was going to die. The 23 were notorious for killings. Before they could close the gap between them and him, something happened. What appeared to be a metal man fell from the sky. The gang froze in their steps.
The armour Raphael wore was originally a Shredder android. It was made into a performance-enhancing exoskeleton by his super-intelligent brother. It was samurai-like and on the back Raphael carved the words ‘Never Forget’ in Chinese characters.
‘The only thing between him and you is me,’ he said, his voice tough. ‘So what are you gonna do?’
The gang was frozen and gave no response. Raphael pressed several buttons on his wrist which was accompanied by a humming sound like the roar of motorbike. He ran and leaped into the centre of the gang. He was too fast for even the man to follow. All he could see was bulky figure performing unbelievable feats. The gang, all twenty three members dropped as if dead. He clenched his fist causing a blade to extend from his gauntlet. He raised his arm and was ready to bring it down. This was the pinnacle of his ‘therapy.’
‘Back off Raph,’ a voice warned.
It was familiar. He looked up and saw Leonardo standing on the same roof. His boots made a high-pitched noise. Something was spinning. Raph jumped and to Leo’s amazement, ran up the building walls.
‘Finally,’ he smiled. ‘The great one speaks,’
‘You always were the most stubborn,’ he said, unveiling his trademark blades.
‘What does it look like?’
‘You—you wanna fight,’ he laughed.
Both of them knew Leo was out of shape. Yet for some reason he seemed refreshed. Suddenly, Raphael’s gauntlet blade slid back into his wrist. Leo leapt and spun a kick that knocked Raphael back, his helmet flying off.
His feet were steady again and he charged at Leo. The two returned blow for blow and counters endlessly. However, Raphael’s exoskeleton provided him with extra speed. And he was getting faster. Leo was forced to defend most of his brothers blows. They wouldn’t stop coming. It reminded Leo all too well of the times when they use to train.
Raphael’s middle finger flipped out his fist and flicked Leo in the nose. He tumbled back. Before he could fall off the building Raphael grabbed him by the hand and pulled him back.
Finally he seemed exhausted. All his anger had left him. He smiled—
Both of them ducked at the firing of gunshots. Some gang members awoke and were now firing.
‘Some people never learn,’ Raphael smiled.
The two brothers leaped off the building towards the gang.
NYC Sewer System
Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael gathered by the bedside of their master who lay there wheezing in his orange crate bed. Leonardo moved the blankets up to cover the old rat. Storm water runoff dripped rhythmically around them in time with the faint rumblings of the underground trains.
“M-my…sons.” He said in a low voice. “You have made…me so proud.”
“Don’t talk Master Splinter,” eased Donatello “Save your strength.”
The old rat smiled “I…am not long…for this world my son. Gather close…and I shall tell you…h-how we came to be…”
“Cool, origin story,” joked Michelangelo before getting a stern look from his brother Leonardo and a sharp jab in the ribs from Raphael.
Splinter reached out and patted Michelangelo on the hand. “It...was thirteen years ago, w-when I witnessed an accident. A blind man was nearly killed…by a truck. A young man leapt to his rescue…as the truck narrowly swerved away. A canister…flew from the truck and smashed into a bowl of turtles…being carried by a small boy. The turtles, glass and canister…fell into the sewer. Now since arriving from Japan and surviving on the streets, I must admit…I was going into that sewer to eat those small turtles.”
“Gross!” muttered Michelangelo.
“But fate…had other ideas. I arrived to see the four baby turtles…coated in purple glowing ooze. I scurried down into it…when you four arrived. You were very young, nearly blind and…abandoned. You had the same…instinct I had. Seeing you four struggle, I decided to help you…and after devouring a turtle for myself…I fed the other three to you four.”
Splinter looked up at his charges who were quite horrified at the story.
“You fed us radioactive turtle meat?” exclaimed Donatello in disbelief.
“It was that…or watch you starve.” replied Splinter.
“Go on master,” said Leonardo.
“After we had fed, I could feel the ooze somehow changing, mutating myself. It also affected you. It was you Raphael who named me Splinter within the first weeks.”
Raphael was taken aback. Michelangelo patted his brother on the head “Way to go dude.”
“I named you all from a book of Renaissance painters…that I found here in the sewers and began training you in the art of ninjitsu that I had learnt…by watching my owner when I lived in Japan. Now as I lay dying my furry children, I have something…to ask.”
“Anything,” said Leonardo without hesitation.
“I ask you to avenge...the cruel death of my owner, Hamato Yoshi and his wife Tang Shen. I ask you...to find the leader of the Foot Clan, a man known as Oroku Saki, and...to kill him! Will you do that for me my Teenage Mutant Ninja Raccoons!”
Leonardo’s paw drew his katana and held it out. Donatello rested his Bo staff on that, Raphael placed his sai and Michelangelo flopped his nunchaku to complete the pile. “We will!”
“Thank you…my sons,” Splinter exhaled and slipped into unconsciousness.
The raccoons bowed and quietly slipped out of their master’s bedroom into the living room area of their sewer home. Leonardo scratched his furry chin “Donnie, I need you to check the web and find out everything on this Oroku Saki, the Foot Clan. Raph; you and I are going to get some weapons.”
“What about me?” protested Michelangelo “I’m in! I want to help.”
“Mikey,” said Leonardo as he held his brother close “You have the most important job of all.”
“Yup, order us some pizzas!”
The middle aged, fat man lumbered down the sidewalk, pulling his windbreaker over his head to shield himself from the rain. Rain on a New York day in the summer? It just didn’t seem natural. Especially not to Hamato. Hamato was the son of a Caucasian woman, and an Asian man. His Caucasian roots had won out in the battle for his physical appearance, and oddly enough, here he stood with red hair and a bushy red beard. Enough about he himself though, this is not a story about who Hamato is. This is a story of what he’ll do.
Hamato found himself turning abruptly, and opening the door to the small petshop, entering inside. The sudden blast of heat from the indoors forced him to smile as he shook himself off, the cashier merely glaring at him, noticeably unimpressed by this action. Hamato quickly found his way over to a cage, which held four hamsters, all of which were white. He smiled. A male worker approached behind him.
“They’re cute little buggers. They’re still pretty new, just got ‘em in a couple weeks ago, but they’re a couple months old. They’re in their teenage phase if y’know what I’m saying? Litter of four, all males. They’re really unique, y’see?”
The worker opened the cage and picked one up, pulling it out to show him. He pointed to a series of black spots on it’s stomach.
“All of ‘em have these spots, y’see? Don’t know why. This breed is generally one solid color. They’re real cool. Y’might say that they’re….Mutants.”
The man chuckled at his obviously dumb joke, but it was no joking matter to Hamato. Not at all.
“Mutants? I’ll take them all.”
He declared. It wasn’t long before Hamato carried them up the stairs of his dingy apartment building, still in their cage. He had been talking to them the entire walk, making jokes and such. Soon enough, he had entered his apartment and placed them on the table. After washing his hands and changing out of his work clothes, he sat down at the table. His eyes landed upon the now open, empty cage. Panic swept over him, and he immediately began search frantically.
It didn’t take him long to find the obvious smallest, who had fallen into his trash can and thus trapped himself. He then found another, tearing up a couch cushion. After placing the two of them back in their cage, he set eyes upon the final two. On the other side of the apartment, his cat loomed over them, hissing. The larger hamster of the two stared right back, seemingly standing in front of the other, as if to protect it. Hamato instantly plucked the newspaper off the table, rolled it up and smacked the cat on the head, which then proceeded to sprint off to another room. Hamato dropped the paper and picked the other two up.
“Don’t let Old Hob get you. He’s a kind cat at heart, but, he’s always trying to act tough.”
Hamato let out a small chuckle, before putting them back in their cage.
“How’d you guys sneak out? You’re like little ninjas!”
A smile crept onto the man’s face.
“I’m going to need to be able to tell you guys apart….”
With that, the man ran out of the room, and after searching within his closet for a few minutes, he rushed back out to the cage, holding a palette of paints and a brush. His eyes immediately fell upon a National Geographic magazine also on the table, which had it’s main article on ‘the artists of the renaissance’. He pulled the first hamster out, the youngest and smallest, who had gotten caught in the trash can.
“I will name you Michaelangelo. Mikey for short.”
With that, he took a dollop of orange aint and put a dot on the animals back. He put the hamster back and pulled out the destructive of the bunch.
“You I’ll call Raphael.”
He placed a red dot on him, before putting him back, and pulling out the one who was being protected.
A purple dot was placed on his back, and finally, Hamato pulled out the bravest of the bunch.
The man grinned as he placed the blue dot on the creature. He then locked the cage once again, and retreated to his bedroom. The animals spent the night staring across the kitchen, at a machine on the counter. A blender.
The next morning, Hamato awoke and went about his usual routine. He bid the hamsters farewell, and explained something along the lines of ‘I have to get to work, or Mr. Stockman will have my head’. The animals didn’t really care, they were very focused on the blender.
The day was spent attempting to break free of the cage, hours later, they did. All four of the silent creatures scampered across the table, and each took a large leap to the counter. Below, on the ground, Old Hob slept, never hearing a single thing. Once reaching the machine, they sat in awe, staring at the heinous contraption, taking note of the name brand on the front:
The four got more and more courageous as time went on, getting closer and closer, until finally, Michelangelo had crawled into the machine, and Donatello, being the curious creature he was, started to lightly press against the buttons, though not hard enough to start the blender, though as he clued in and started to use more force, the apartment door swung open.
Hamato called out. He rounded the corner into the kitchen and lay eyes on the hamsters. His eyes widened, and a scream leaped from his throat. He instantly scooped all four into his arms, carrying them back to their cage.
“What do you think you guys are doing!? Just because you’re Teenage Mutant Ninja hamsters doesn’t mean you’re ready to take on….”
He glanced at the blender.
Teenage Mutant Ninja <Insert Word Here>
April O’Neal trotted down the dark alley towards the abandoned construction site, unaware of the person stalking her. She was brave and nothing scared her, nothing that was until a figure jumped out of the dark and placed a blade against her throat.
“April O’Neal?” The assailant asked in an Australian accented voice.
“Y…yes.” April replied as she saw something move in the dark, something that looked as if it had a domed shell on its back. “Who are you?” She asked as the man dragged her into the construction site.
“You don’t need to know.” The man stated as he looked up at the domed figure. “Hey Jenkins we got her, tell James to deliver the message.” He added as a streak of colour accompanied by a gust of wind left the construction site, only to return seconds later.
“Done, took me a while to find their lair but I delivered the message.” James told the others as two more figures came out of the darkness. Not that April found them frightening, not after the initial shock had worn off. As far as she was concerned the men who had kidnapped her were clowns masquerading as hard men.
“You sure that this Shredder guy will pay us for our services?” A man dressed in what looked like a quilt asked the domed figure, the man stepping into the light to reveal what looked like a humanoid beetle.
“Sure, this Shredder figure is offering a quarter of a million per target.” Jenkins explained. “The Foot Clan seems legit, even if I hadn't heard of them until a few days ago.” He added as something moved in the shadows, causing all five thugs to follow its movement. “James, got check it out, the rest of you cover the girl.” He ordered as James sped off, scaling the side of the building and reaching where the shadow had been in just under two seconds.
“Nothing here Abe.” James announced as he walked along the scaffolding. “Hang on wait is that, is that a daffodil?” He asked as he spotted a flower growing out of the scaffolding. “And is it holding ...” Before he could finish the daffodil sprung to life and leapt over him before slashing out with a pair of Sais, the move catching James off guard and slicing through his tendons.
“Is this the best opposition the writer could find for us?” The daffodil asked.
“Silence Raphael, these crooks have April and we don’t know how dangerous they are.” A nearby ninja pigeon told the other three members of its flock.
“So what do we do Leo?” A Californian accented pigeon asked as Raphael picked up James and threw him onto the floor.
“Oh great telegraph our position why don’t you?” The last pigeon announced as the thugs looked up in shock and amusement.
“They’re Cats!!” The quilt man yelled as he pointed up to the four cats standing on the ledge.
“I see that Herman.” Jenkins replied, “Blast them!!” He screamed as waves of sound, photonic blasts and a few boomerangs went whizzing up towards the cats, only for the felines to dodge the projectiles and dive towards the thugs.
“Bench wash them away!!” Jenkins ordered as the fifth thug liquidized and surged forward, three of them dodging to the left as the forth was picked up the humanoid ocean and swept away.
“Mickey!!” One of the cats yelled as the thugs advanced on them.
“No problems Donnie.” Mickey stated as he surfaced, his cat form gone, replaced with the form of a porpoise. “Cowabungga dudes, I’m hanging ten on the Hydroman!!”
“Not for much longer.” Bench roared as hands made from solid water reached out to grab the Porpoise only for the marine mammal to swipe at them with its nunchucks. Howling in rage Bench formed a massive humanoid torso of water, mouth open ready to swallow Mickey, only for the cetacean to slam his weapon into a tank of liquid nitrogen, the chemical flash freezing bench in place.
“I did good right?” Mickey stated as she landed next to the other teenage ninja cheerleaders.
“Sure Mickey.” Leo stated, “We still have problems though.” She added as a pulse of sonic energy ripped towards them like a freight train. Leaping aside the Cheerleaders landed gracefully before sprinting towards the remaining three thugs, their lithe forms ducking and weaving through a hail of boomerangs thrown by the Australian goon.
“That is very sophisticated battle armour.” Donnie told Jenkins as she landed next to him, lashing out with her bo-staff only for the armoured mercenary to block it. “I almost thought you were a beetle.” She added as her foe sent an electric pulse down the weapon, causing the teenager to shudder backwards. “You have the manners of one.” She added as her female form turned into a massive black spider.
“Stay away from me creep!” Jenkins ordered as he dodged left only for Donnie’s staff to smack him in the face, an electric pulse running down his suit, effectively immobilising the armour’s servo-motors. Looking over Donnie saw Leo fighting hand to hand with the man dressed in the quilt, katanas bouncing off a vibrational energy shield.
“So who are you the Sleeper, the Quilt Man?” Leo asked Herman as he slashed at his foe, each block causing his body to shake no matter how hard and fast he hit him.
“I’m the Shoc…” With a swift punch Herman was down, his nose bleeding out from under his costume. “Fred…help…help us. We need help because we’re incompetents and cowards.” Herman moaned. “We couldn't even beat some teenage mutant ninja pebbles.” He groaned.
“Wait, wait, wait.” A voice stated interrupting the action as the writer finally came to her senses.
“What?” Fred asked as he finished chucking the turtles he was keeping out of the window into a sickly green looking puddle. “It could have happened.” He added with a surprised looking smirk on his face.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Spiders - 8/11/14
"C'mon honey we both know I’m totally going to get fired for this. We need the money the paper pays me to write about Hockey! April if I do send this to my editor, he will put tear me limb by limb and then fire me!" His voice was a mix of stress and worry; he needed money to pay for his upcoming child.
"CASEY BERNID JONES, YOU ACTUALLY HAVE THE CHANCE TO BE A REAL REPORTER! YOU'RE GOING TO DO THIS!" Under the obvious rage is a undertone of certainty like she knows everything is going to be fine.
"HEY! I like writing about Hockey and have you even read what I wrote? It sounds like a cheap science fiction novel you'd get at the dollar store. No one is going to believe it's real for a second. Just sit and listen to what I wrote and maybe you'll understand why I can't publish it."
That was all she needed to hear to make her sit down on the couch. Casey turns on his laptop and opens the word file which contains the elusive story they are arguing over.
His voice soft "April, baby, promise me you won't speak while I read this?"
Her eyebrow is raised and his intentions are questioned but she replies with a quick “Yes, Casey"
Thus begins the reciting of how Casey met Teenage (That's what they say when people ask their age but it's highly questionable) Mutant (It's obvious they're abnormal) Ninja (Everyone is a ninja nowadays) Spiders (Or arachnids, either/or really, they probably don't care either way)
"It was about two weeks ago when my pregnant wife April wanted pizza at the ungodly hour of 2:39 AM. I being a loving husband went out and walked to the nearest pizza place. As any good New Yorker knows there’s a pizza place on every corner so I was able to walk to it in a quick five minutes. Now here is where everything takes a turn into the twilight zone. Four large spiders are standing in the shop, while the owner who I know moderately well is nowhere to be seen (I later find out he fainted after seeing the spiders). I'm an average guy so I did what an average guy would do when placed in this situation. I ran like the four horsemen had just arrived, honestly at that moment it wouldn't have surprised me if they had. Now what stopped me dead in my tracks was a "COWABUNGA DUDE!"
I stopped and turned around because the voice couldn't have come from a human. No, it was well; different you'd have to hear it to know it. As it turns out it came from a spider that was orange-ish I found this piece of information out when the orange-ish spider in the same demented voice yelled out "DOOOD, WHY ARE WE RUNNING?"
The spiders rush towards me and the only thing I can think is where are the cars? WHERE IS ANYONE? THIS IS NEW YORK THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS! I would of thought more but the spiders had surrounded me and if you didn't think my night could get weirder you'd be wrong. The red-ish spider spits out at me "You no good punk! Who runs from the protectors of this city?"
The light blue one responds for me "Leave him alone Ralph, he's probably as scared as that pizza dude"
This was surreal I was in the middle of an empty street in the middle of the night surrounded by giant talking spiders. So I hope it is excusable when I freak out, I shut my eyes and screamed "PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!!!"
I open my eyes and they're gone. I walked slowly to my home with no pizza. This is how I know what the city is wrong. Those mysterious criminals who were hung up by webs were not done by a "Spider-Man" No, it was done by 4 charismatic and terrifying spiders. I know this from experience and I wish them luck in saving are city as long as they keep away from me." -- Casey Jones."
Wearing a beige suit and dark shades, Henry Peter Gyrich watched silently as the techs rolled in two matching tables. One held a specially made device that looked a bit like a high tech shop vac, and the other held the specimens that had been so carefully chosen for this project. The techs, all in lab coats, were buzzing around the tables and the rest of the room, getting ready for the experiment.
Looking at the specimens, Henry pointed at a young, blonde tech, and said, "Jensen! What is that?"
Jensen jumped when the agent barked his name, and looked at Gyrich with some confusion. Looking at the table nervously, he answered, "I don't understand, sir. They're what you reques..."
"Not the plants, you idiot!" snarled Agent Gyrich. "That!"
"Oh!" smiled Jensen. "The ribbons. Those were Meredith's idea. It's to help tell them apart." It was obvious he had a crush on Meredith.
Henry suppressed the urge to slap him. "Might be a good idea," he said noncommittally.
"Yeah, she's great," agreed Jensen.
With revulsion in his voice, Henry snarled, "Get on with it!"
With that, Jensen and everyone else focused in on their specific jobs. His was manning the pump on the first table. There was a brief countdown from three from someone at a panel on the wall, and then they pointed at Jensen. "Goop 'em!"
Jensen pulled a lever much like a slot machine, the pump hummed to life, and a vaguely glowing goop coated the four plants on the opposite table. Once they were covered, he shut off the machine and they waited. Nothing happened immediately. "Are we sure this is going to work?" asked Gyrich.
"Well," started Jensen, "they're called 'experiments' for a reason. This goop hit a bat flying around a streetlight and a kid who tackled an old man out of the way of our truck, and it produced one of the finest agents S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever had."
"Murdock's good," agreed Gyrich. "But plants?" The four small plants just sat there, the glow of the goop pulsing slowly.
"We couldn't very well purposely try this on humans, could we?" answered Jensen.
"No, of course not." Henry sounded disappointed.
Jensen continued, "Right, and the animal rights whiners would go into spasms if we tried it on animals...although Meredith had the cutest little turtles picked out before that idea got axed."
"Jensen!" snapped the agent.
"Oh! Uh, right. Anyway, if this works, we can make an unlimited amount of footsoldiers for S.H.I.E.LD."
"Plants were really our best option?" asked Gyrich.
"Well, we have a vampire problem right now. Something to do with those mutants out of Westchester," Jensen shrugged. "So the wooden limbs will be lethal to those bloodsuckers."
Gyrich raised an eyebrow. "Great. Saved by Pinocchio. And how are we making them mobile?"
"The goop, of course. And DNA culled from the brightest young minds our education system has to offer. 'Lice checks' allowed us to collect what we needed." Jensen waggled his eyebrows when he said "lice checks."'
Gyrich again suppressed the urge to slap him. Then he pointed and hollered, "Look!"
The goop moved. The plants shuddered. Then they swayed. Then they bent and moved in ways not natural for plants. They grew limbs that they used like hands, and they stepped from their buckets, roots serving as legs and feet. Eyes and other facial features formed in the foliage, and then they grew to about five foot seven inches each. They started changing shapes, forming into various shaped plants- cats, chameleons, squirrels, etc.
The room held its breath- even Gyrich- then the techs burst out into cheers and whoops, high fiving each other.
"It's worked!" shouted Jensen. "Agent Gyrich, I give you plant soldiers that can camouflage themselves! I give you Teenage Mutant Ninja Topiaries!"
"Ninja?" asked Gyrich.
"I will teach them that," said a quiet voice from behind him.
Henry spun to see a four foot tall rat with a red robe and a walking stick. "What the hell is that?" he exclaimed.
Jensen sounded a little sheepish. "Um, well, that old man that Murdock saved? He was carrying a pet rat, and they got gooped too. Turns out he's a ninja master."
Gyrich looked at Jensen incredulously. Then back to the rat.
Bowing his head slightly, the rat said, "My name is Splinter."
Henry looked at Splinter for a few moments, saying nothing. Then, "A 'ninja master,' huh? And you couldn't dodge a truck on your own?"
The rat seemed to smile as it shrugged. "Had I done that, our young Mister Murdock could not fulfill his destiny, could he?"
Gyrich took his shades off and rubbed his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. He then glanced at Jensen.
Jensen leaned in and said, "He trained Murdock, sir."
Henry looked at Jensen blankly, then nodded. Putting his shades back on, he glanced again at the Topiaries. Just before he headed for the door, he looked at the rat and said, "Do it."
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