"Everyone ready?" April asked.
"Casey Jones was born ready." Casey answered, as he lowered his mask over his face.
"Let's do this." Raph encouraged, as he drew a pair of dusters.
It was a quiet day today. A few days since the incident with Bigfoot and the Finger. Since it's quiet, April thought it would be a good idea to keep our skills sharp and clean the house.
Everyone readied their assigned cleaning utensils and got to work. Raph was assigned to the living room and the chimney. With his struggling mobility, Leo was assigned to the windows. Mikey took care of the places we couldn't reach. Donnie was in charge of the mopping. April chose to wash the walls. And I was assigned the duties of vacuuming and sweeping.
The only one who was slacking off was Casey.
Casey rolled out of the bathroom and bumped into Mikey. Mikey flew off the chair he was using, and rolled down the stairs, into Raph. Raph and Mikey fell to the bottom of the stairs, in front of Leo and I. A bucket of water fell onto Raph's head.
"Aw man, Mikey! I just vacuumed!" I shouted, then I turned to Leo, "I did vacuum, right?"
Leo nodded. Raph got back to his feet and removed the bucket from his head, "Yeah? Well, I'm about to mop the floor with him."
Mikey recovered and looked at what he landed on, "Whoa, guys. Check it out!"
The others joined us and saw what it was. A trap door hiding underneath the rug. How long has that been there?
"A trap door?" April tilted her head, "I didn't even know we had a basement."
"What do you suppose is down there?" Leo asked in wonder.
Mikey stared blankly for a second, then hid behind Raph, "Evil clown. Evil clown!"
Raph drew his sais, "Only one way to find out."
He used his sais to open the trap door. A flight of wooden stairs welcomed us to darkness. It was literally pitch black in the basement.
"Uh, who's going first?" Donnie asked.
Quickly, everyone but Leo called in unison, "Not it!"
Leo noticed and groaned. He entered the basement first, followed by the rest of us. I created an orb of light from my hand, so we can see.
Inside the basement, we found something we never thought we'll be able to find this far out of the city.
We gasped and Leo spoke up, "The Kraang!"
Mikey, Raph and Leo gasped, "Whoa." "It's impossible." "It can't be."
"It's a Kraang Stealth Ship." Donnie identified.
Casey smiled, "Wicked!"
"But how- How did they find us?" April asked.
"I don't think they did." I spoke up, as I cancelled my light and wiped the dirt and dust with my free hand, "This ship has been buried down here for years."
"What the heck is a Kraang ship doing underneath my house?" April asked with a raised brow.
Leo looked at me, "Ellie, do you sense any Kraang inside?"
I closed my eyes and raised my hand. I could only sense a dim aura inside, but nothing else. I opened my eyes and lowered my hand, "No Kraang, but there is something else in there."
The Kraang ship activated and the door opened. Everyone took a step back.
"Only one way to find out." Leo spoke up, as he entered the ship, "Come on."
We followed after him. I created another orb of light as we entered the main room.
The entire ship was empty, but Raph noticed something, "Guys look!"
In the center of the room, there was a cryo-hibernation pod. Someone was inside. Its aura was dim, so I couldn't tell if it was friend or foe.
"Is that a person in there?" Casey asked, then glanced at me.
I shook my head, "The aura is too dim. I can't sense anything."
Donnie kneelt for a closer look, "Okay, don't touch anything." Then glanced at Mikey, "I repeat: Do not touch anything!"
Mikey sheepishly smiled and backed up a bit. His elbow nudged into the main console of the ship and the entire ship lit up.
"Mikey!" Donnie shouted.
Mikey looked around and noticed what's happening, "Ooh! He, he... Oops." He gave Donnie a sheepish smile, "I promise not to touch anything starting now."
The pod activated and opened, releasing cryo-stream and the person started to stir. It was a woman around her early thirties. Shoulder-length blonde hair. Light bluish grey eyes. Light Caucasian skin. And she wore a blue blouse over a dark blue dress.
April gasped as her eyes widened in recognition, "Mom?"
"'Mom'?" Casey repeated with a raised brow.
The woman stepped out of the pod and was about to tumble over, but Donnie and I caught her.
"Take it easy, ma'am." Donnie assured her.
"You're gonna be alright." I told her.
The woman looked at us. Instant reaction was fear. She screamed, elbowed Donnie and I and ran, "Mutants!"
She lost her footing and fell. Luckily, Casey caught her, "Oh, uh, don't worry, Mrs. O'Neil. These are good Mutants."
The woman looked at the Turtles and I. We smiled at her.
Then Casey added, "Except for Donnie. He's kind of a jerk."
Donnie scratched the back of his head, "Yeah-" Then realised what Casey called him, "Hey!"
The woman looked around, "Where am I?" Then she looked at Casey, "And how do you know my-"
She turned and looked at April, who was looking like she has just saw a ghost from her past.
The woman's eyes widen in shock, "A-April? But- But how? Just a few days ago, you were only... Six years old!"
Then she fainted.
"Mom!" April gasped, as Casey caught the woman.
Then April fainted from the shock. Mikey caught her, "Snap."
*A Little Later, Back in the Living Room...*
April and her mother finally came to and we decided to go to the living room, to help Mrs. O'Neil feel more comfortable. I made some tea to help out. The Turtles smiled at Mrs. O'Neil, but Mrs. O'Neil was still a bit shaken about them.
I gave her a cup of tea, "Here, Mrs. O'Neil." She looked at me, "It's chamomile, lemon balm and hops leaves. It'll help you feel better."
She took the cup, "Thank you, dear. I'm still a little shaky."
Mrs. O'Neil took a sip and turned to April, "I know this is hard to believe, but The Kraang ship has been here for years." She explained her story, "It was your great-grandfather who discovered it. He made the mistake of awakening the Kraang. They paid him back by experimenting on him and his entire bloodline. They knew we were the key to unlocking their precious mutagen. We were their guinea pigs."
Mikey smiled, "Aww! Guinea pigs are so cute."
"I told you not to be stupid, you moron." Raph scolded.
He flicked Mikey on the forehead. Mikey yelped, "Ow!"
Mrs. O'Neil continued her story, "After you were born, it was clear you were very special. We knew it was only a matter of time before the Kraang came for you. We escaped. Kirby fled with you to the city. I was recaptured and put into stasis."
She finished her story. Everyone was shocked. I raised a brow at the woman. Something in her aura felt off.
April decided to speak up, "All these years, I never knew what happened to you. I never knew what to think. Dad would never tell me."
Mrs. O'Neil stood up and took April's hand, "Now you know, and now we never have to be apart again." Then she looked around, "Where is Kirby, anyway?"
"Kirby?" Casey smiled, "Oh, he got turned into a wicked Kraang-headed Mutant."
Raph nudged him at the upper arm, "You had to pull a Mikey, didn't you?"
Mikey laughed and pointed at Casey, "Ha ha! You pulled a Mikey!" Then he went into thought.
Leo decided to speak up, "He's just kidding, Mrs. O'Neil. Kirby's... Uh... On a Safari... In Puerto Rico. He won't be back for a while." He assured Mrs. O'Neil.
Mrs. O'Neil turned to April, "I'm just so glad to have my April back."
April smiled back and hugged her mother tightly.
The boys smiled at the reunion, until Mikey tilted his head and asked, "Is it me or does April's mom seem a little bit off?"
Raph laughed, "Ha! Like you're one to talk."
Mikey shook his head, "I'm serious, dude. I got those ninja vibes, yo. I don't trust her."
I nodded in agreement, "I sense it too, Mikey. Something feels very wrong."
*Later, That Night...*
I was on the roof again, looking to the woods. April and her mother were on the bench, looking out at the stars. It was nice and quiet, until Mikey shouted, "Booyakasha!"
He swung his nunchucks at April's mother. Mrs. O'Neil screamed.
April stopped him, "Mikey! What are you doing?"
"Get away from April! I'm warning you!" Mikey shouted at Mrs. O'Neil.
Mrs. O'Neil screamed and ran into the house. Mikey chased after her, but April stopped him.
"What the heck is wrong with you? Have you lost your mind?" She asked the young Turtle, then shook her head, "Don't bother answering that."
Then April chased after her mother. Mikey followed after her, "April, wait! I can explain!"
"Mom!" April called, ignoring Mikey and entering the house.
"April, hold on!" Mikey shouted after April, only to be blocked by Raph at the door.
Raph, Leo, Donnie, Casey and I took Mikey into the dark barn. We shined a light in his face and readied to interrogate him.
Donnie spoke first, "Michelangelo..." His voice grew with every word, "You... Attacked... April's... Mother!?"
"Mikey, have you completely cracked your shell?" Raph asked.
"I don't trust her." Mikey explained, "She's all kinds of wrong. You guys got to believe me."
Leo raised his hand, "Oh, just like the time tiny elves stole your nunchucks and replaced 'em with mozzarella sticks?"
Mikey nodded, "Yes!"
"Or the time you and Ice Cream Kitty entered a break-dancing contest?" Raph asked.
Mikey nodded again, "Exactly!"
"Stop it, Mikey." Casey shouted, "Do you have any idea how much this means to April?" Then began threatening Mikey, "If you ruin this for her-"
Mikey marched through him and out of the barn, "Fine! If you don't believe me, I'll prove it."
I raised a brow and followed after the young Turtle. Once I got him outside, I reached my hand over his shoulder, "Mikey, wait."
"Are you gonna yell at me too?" Mikey hissed.
I lightly smiled, "Come on. You know me better than that." Mikey glanced at me, "I believe you. I sensed something strange coming from her aura, the moment Mrs. O'Neil woke up."
Mikey smiled at me and threw his arms around me, "Finally! Somebody gets me!"
I hugged the young Turtle back, but looked at the farmhouse with narrowed eyes.
*A Bit Later, Elsewhere...*
I followed after my mother to the other side of the house. I found her in the backyard, staring at the trees.
"Mom?" I called, as I walked toward her, "Are you okay?"
"I was just thinking about when we picnicked in the woods, by the stream." Mom answered, her eyes not leaving the woods.
I nodded and smiled, "Those are some of my favorite memories."
Mom smiled at me and we hugged. Then Mom told me, "We should go somewhere. Just the two of us." She released the hug and looked at me, "Just drive off. Leave these creatures behind. I don't trust them."
My eyes widened in shock. Leave my friends behind? I can't do that.
"I... I can't do that." I told her.
"Why not?" Mom asked me.
"They're like family." I explained, "They've always been there for me." A smile grew, "Even Ellie's been like a sister to me."
"I'm your mother! Your family." She told me, "Not them. They're just a bunch of freaks!"
With that, she marched back into the farmhouse. I reached after her, but I didn't know what to say.
*A Little Later...*
It's been getting awfully quiet tonight, since the boys' interrogation on Mikey and April's chat with her mother. Donnie was in the Kraang ship, trying to get answers about Mrs. O'Neil's story. Mikey wondered off somewhere. Casey and April were outside talking. Leo, Raph and I were in the living room, watching a Halloween marathon.
Leo saw April's mother enter the basement, and decided to follow her. After a few minutes, there was screaming and crashing.
"What the heck?" Raph asked.
He and I walked toward the basement and the door was closed. Weird, Leo didn't close the door, and neither did Donnie when they entered.
Raph drew his sais, but I stopped him, "Stay here, Raph. I'll be back."
Raph nodded and stepped back.
I opened the door and gasped. Leo was on the ground, struggling to get back on his feet. He looked like he was attacked by something.
"Leo!" I called, as I ran down the stairs and helped him to his feet, "You okay?"
"I think so." Leo answered, as I helped him to the chair nearby.
"What happened?" I asked him.
"Mikey was right." Leo answered, "April's mom really is a creature."
My eyes widened, "What?" I looked around, "Where is it now?"
Come to think of it, where were Mikey and Donnie? It was like their auras just disappeared.
"Here." Leo answered in a dark tone.
A chill ran down my spine and my tail tensed up. Oh no...
I drew one of my eskrimas and charged to attack Leo. Leo grabbed me with a tentacle coming from his wrist. Both of his hands were tentacles and there were four more protruding from his shell. His eyes were pure white.
This wasn't Leo I was looking at. It was whatever Mrs. O'Neil was.
The creature smiled at me and threw me over the roof of the Kraang ship. Before I could recover, the creature grabbed me by my ankle and dragged me toward it.
It lifted me into the air. I activated the taser of my eskrima stick and shocked it. The creature screamed and let me go. I rolled away for some distance. The creature roared and charged toward me.
"Too bad you don't have Leo's memories." I pointed out, as I threw a smoke bomb to the ground, creating a smoke-screen, and teleported back to the main floor.
Once I reappeared, I quickly closed the door and locked it with one of my katana blades. I fell to my knees in exhaustion.
"Ellie! What happened down there?" Raph asked me, as he helped me to my feet.
"It-It's Mrs. O'Neil. Mikey... Mikey was right. She's not- She works for the Kraang. She's done something to the others." I answered between breaths.
"What?" He gasped, the drew his sais, "Where is it?"
"In the basement. I've locked the door." I explained, "We gotta get April and Casey out of here!"
Raph nodded, "Right."
With that, he and I ran out of the house and found April and Casey of the bench-swing.
"April! Casey!" I shouted.
"Ellie, what is it?" April asked, as Raph and I ran to them.
"It-It's your mother, April. She's not-" I tried to explain between breaths. I caught my breath and started again, "Mikey was telling the truth. Your mother is not human. She's done something to the others."
April shook her head and glared at me, "No. No, you're wrong."
"Aw, come on, Allie. Not you too." Casey glared at me.
Raph shook his head, "Ellie's telling the truth."
I nodded, "She's not what you think she is."
"April." Mrs. O'Neil's voice spoke from the house.
Raph and I turned to see that the creature was on the patio, and in the form of April's mother. How did it get out? I locked the door!
"April, I told you to pack your bags." It told April in a stern tone.
I stepped in front of Raph, Casey and April, "Stay back, Kraang!" The creature continued to walk toward us. I drew my eskrima sticks, "What have you done with Donnie, Mikey and Leo?"
The creature ignored me and told April, "April, now."
I took an offensive stance, "I said stay back!"
April lowered my arm and stepped in front of me, "Stop it, Eleanor! Stop it right now!" Then the creature grabbed her arm, "Ow!"
"That's it." The creature growled.
"Mom!" April cried.
The creature turned and dragged April with it, "We're leaving now!"
"What's going on?" April asked.
"I'm your mother!" The creature roared, turning to April, revealing its true face.
April screamed and the creature's hand morphed into a tentacle.
"What the heck?" Casey gasped, then charged, "Let her go!"
Raph drew his sais and he, Casey and I charged to fight the creature. The creature fought back, but Raph jumped out of the way and cut the creature's arm around April.
The creature roared in pain and we got April to a safe distance. The creature fell to its knees and started changing.
It transformed into a creature you see from horror-monster movies. Six legs, with the first pair being a pair of arms. A round body that looks similar to a small volcano or geyser. Blue-pink skin. Pointed ears. Flared hair. Spikes and spines across its body.
"Oh, my gosh!" April gasped.
"I think I'm gonna puke." Casey gasped.
"Move!" Raph told us, pointing toward the barn. April, Casey and I followed after him. The creature chased after us, "Hurry! Hurry!"
Casey fell behind and grabbed the axe from the wood-chopping block.
"Casey, come on!" Raph shouted to him.
Casey caught up with us and ran into the barn, Raph and April quickly closed the door before the creature could enter. The creature roared and attacked the door. I used my psychokinesis to keep the door sealed.
After a few attacks, the creature stopped and everything fell silent. The others lowered their guards, but I felt movement under the ground. I gasped as the creature burst into the barn from under the ground.
April, Casey, Raph and I stepped back, as the creature roared and split its head in perfect half. Then attacked us with a tentacle. It grabbed April and threw her toward the barn's door. Thinking quickly, Raph used his sai to slice into the tentacle. April landed against the door, struggling free.
Casey climbed a few creates and tried to attack the creature, but the creature grabbed him with its split-head. It threw him across the barn, on the top floor. Raph and I tried a double-team, and were able to strike some attacks. The creature got smart and climbed to the ceiling of the barn.
It shot green slime at me and Raph, but we were able to jump out of the way. Casey came swinging by and attacked the creature with the axe. The creature fell to the ground and roared at us.
"There's no way to stop this thing!" Raph shouted.
April was able to get free from the tentacle and noticed, "She was frozen when we found her. Maybe we can freeze it again."
"No!" Casey replied, as he landed, "We fry it!" Then he quickly dashed underneath the creature to the fuse box, "Time for Casey Jones to play some offense. Goongala!"
The creature attacked Casey, but Casey stepped aside and opened the fuse box. The creature attacked the box and got shocked. Casey returned with us and smiled.
The shocking finished, but the creature was unaffected. It turned and roared at us, angry.
"Okay, that didn't work." Raph noted.
The creature advanced toward us.
"We just got to hack it to pieces!" Casey suggested.
Raph readied his sais and joined Raph in the fight. However, the creature saw them coming and grabbed the boys with a large tentacle with multiple suckers.
"Get your slimy suckers off of me!" Raph shouted, as he and Casey struggled against the tentacle.
"Casey! Raph!" I cried, then anger burned in my heart, as I drew my katana blade and attacked the creature, "Let my family go!"
However the creature roared at me and raised me into the air with one of its hands. I struggled free from the creature's grip, but to no avail. Casey and Raph were dragged into the creature's center hole.
April started to panic, "This is not happening. It's not. It's not!"
Then the creature decided to speak, "April, we can be together. No more pain. No more sorrow."
It's abdomen turned red, as the faces of Donnie, Leo and Mikey emerged, moaning, "Join us." "Become one."
"Mikey... Donnie... Leo!" I gasped, then continued to struggle free.
The boys continued to moan, the creature morphed its head to look like April's mother and moaned with the boys, "One of us! One of us."
"You are not my mother." April shook her head, then ran for the door, "No! No!"
The creature morphed its head back to normal and grabbed April with it's large, red tentacle, "We will be a family again. It's all we ever wanted."
I felt something powerful surge through me. Something powerful, but kind. Everything around me went black.
Ellie screamed and her body began glowing like a bright, cyan star. The creature turned its attention to her. Waves of powerful energy erupted from the star and engulfed the entire barn in cyan light. After a second, the light faded and the creature was nowhere to be found.
What was laying in its place were the Turtles and Casey.
The boys and I got back to our feet and I asked, "Are you guys okay?"
"Let me put it to you this way." Donnie answered, about the topple over, but I caught him, "I'm pretty sure I swallowed about 15 pounds of slime."
Mikey stood up and moaned, "I feel like if puke could puke, it would be us."
He covered his mouth and turned to vomit into the hole the creature made.
Leo patted his younger brother's shell and smiled at me, "Thanks, April."
I shook my head, "It wasn't me who saved you. Thank Ellie."
Casey looked around, "Where is Allie, anyway?"
I gasped and turned to where Ellie was grabbed. Ellie landed on the ground, purple markings on her body and enveloped by a spiritual blue flame. She opened her eyes and looked at us. Her eyes were blank, there was a familiar feel to her stare.
The flame and the markings vanished and Ellie was about to topple over.
Leo quickly caught her before she fell, "Whoa. Easy, Elle."
Ellie opened her eyes, which were back to their normal amber-brown, "Leo?" Then she looked around, "What happened? Where is the creature?"
Leo, the boys and I looked at each other.
*Later, back in the Kraang Stealth Ship...*
"So when I downloaded the data from the Kraang ship, I discovered the creature wasn't really April's mom. It just had her memories." Donnie explained, as we looked over his findings the now deceased creature.
"So what was it?" Raph asked.
"Some sort of early infiltration experiment that utilized a combination of Mrs. O'Neil's DNA and Kraang DNA." Donnie answered, "But it was too dangerous."
"So the Kraang put it in a deep freeze." Raph summarised, "It all makes sense."
Leo looked back at April, who was sitting against the wall, hugging her legs close, sulking.
He turned to Donnie and Raph, "Guys, do we have to talk about this right now?"
I walked over to April and kneelt to her level, "April, you okay?"
April nodded, "Yeah, it just feels like I've lost my family all over again, even if it really wasn't my mom." She sulked and looked away from me, "Maybe she really is gone forever, but maybe... Maybe she's still out there somewhere."
"You can't give up hope." Leo spoke up, extending his hand to her, "Trust me on that."
April regained her smile and took Leo's hand. Leo helped her back to her feet.
"And you haven't lost your family." Mikey spoke up with a smile, then hugged his brothers, "'Cause we are your family."
April smiled with a giggle.
Then Mikey added, "And I want to say to my bros..." Then he did a little victory dance, "I was right! In your face! In your face!"
I couldn't help but giggle.
Then Donnie waved his hands and spoke up, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up." He asked Mikey, "Didn't you mention something about Mutagen being spilled in the woods?"
Mikey thought for a second, "Uh..." Then nodded, "Yeah."
"Well, do you remember where it was?" Raph asked.
Mikey closed his eyes and concentrated for a moment, "Mmmm..." Then shook his head, "Nope."
Leo face-palmed, "Oh, no." Then looked at us, "You know what this means, right?"
Realization hit me like lightning, "Oh crud..."
If Mutagen was spilled in the woods, who knows what has happened to the woodland creatures. We can be looking at more Squirrelanoids. Another Creep. Or much, much worse.