Part Three

I groan as I feel agony cutting its way through the blissful numbness of the unconscious.

When I open my eyes, I'm blinded by the dim light of the room I'm in. "Bright...too bright...ohhh..."

I slowly open one eye, trying to get used to the light. I blink, opening the other one to look at the pipes running along the ceiling.

I wince as I start to lift my right hand to my aching head.

"Owww....wha'?" I look at my hand. It's all bandaged up.

"Hand still hurtin ya?" asks a newly familiar voice resonantly.

I start to sit up to greet Raph, but grunt softly at the pain in my torso.

"Ugh...hell yeah...along with the rest o' me..."

"Yeah, thought so," he sits in a chair by the couch somewhat gingerly, and I see he's bandaged up in several spots. "You were out fer 'bout 12 hours."

"What?!" I try sitting up, the blanket draped over me slipping a little lower over my chest. "Shit! I gotta call work and..." I trail off, clenching my jaw and squeezing my eyes shut. "Ohh..."

Shit...I REALLY don't want to repay his hospitality by barfing all over his couch...

As I lie back down, I hear an unbearably cheerful voice asking loudly, "Hey, Raph! The babe up yet?"

I grumble, "Now I wish I wasn't," as Raph answers with a smirk, "Yeah, Mikey, an' if she wasn't, youda woken 'er up wit' yer hollerin'!"

I lean back and open my eyes, pulling the blanket farther up my chest before they see my birthmark.

Another humanoid turtle comes bouncing in.

While Raph wears just an extremely worn out pair of black jeans that look extremely comfortable, this new turtle wears a pair of baggy bright orange pants and a loud Hawaiian shirt.

"Hey babe! Ya hungry?" he asks enthusiastically, holding a piece of pizza with what smells like...peanut butter, caramel, salmon and celery on it.

"UGH! Gods no!" I flinch back, slapping my good hand over my mouth, the nausea coming back.

This guy seems familiar...

"Heehee...more for me!"

I manage a grin as a bent over rat wearing a frayed old kimono steps in holding a folded kerchief in his hand. He's followed by yet another turtle wearing a pair of loose pants and a gi jacket tied with a belt.

"Ah, I see our new guest is awake," the sage old rat says in a serene voice. "Leonardo, please fetch Donatello."

"Hai, Sensei," Leo then obediently goes into another room to get yet another turtle.

I finally manage to sit up, holding the blanket up around myself, my body hurting like hell. The wise rodent sits by me.

"How are you feeling, Miss HLM?" he asks.

"Not very good, sir. Where am I?" I say politely, feeling slightly embarrassed to be speaking to an obviously sophisticated old gentleman while as good as naked.

Leonardo returns with another turtle, presumably Donatello, who wears a set of sweats that can obviously use a good washing.

"This's where I live wit' my sensei and brothers," Raph speaks up.

"Oh..."

The rat stands, "I believe introductions are in order. I am Splinter," he bows, then motions to the turtle in the gi jacket, "this is Leonardo." Leo bows and Splinter motions to Raph, "You have met Raphael already," he motions to the turtle in the sweats, "This is Donatello." Don waves and Splinter moves onto the turtle in the Hawaiian shirt, "And this is Michelangelo."

"Hey, dudette! Raph's got a crush on you!" Mike starts laughing before getting a pillow tossed in his face.

"Uh...huh...well, uh...nice place," I say after a pause, looking around.

"Yeah, as nice a place as a sewer can be," Don quips good naturedly.

The look on my face must be priceless because everyone took one look at me and laughed, even Splinter got a few chuckles in.

I smirk, "I was wondering what that smell was. But why do you live in the sewers when you could get apartments of your own?"

"Ah, that would bring us to our story of origin," Splinter speaks up.

I nod, holding the blanket securely about myself and blinking as Leo drapes his gi jacket about my shoulders.

"Oh! Thank you," I smile at him as I pull it a bit tighter around myself before turning back to Splinter.

"We were not born with our bodies as they are now. I was originally a simple pet rat of a man by the name of Hamato Yoshi.

Yoshi was the leader of a clan of ninjas in Japan called the Foot. He would practice the secret arts of Ninjitsu in the same room where my cage was. I mimicked his movements and therefore learned how to be ninja. He was also in love with the beautiful Shen.

However, there was another with an interest in Shen. His name was Oroku Nagi. One day, Yoshi came home to find Nagi beating Shen brutally.

This enraged my master, and he and Nagi fought. He killed Nagi in battle, and Shen convinced Yoshi to flee with her to America. He took me with them to New York.

We lived there for a number of years, not knowing that Nagi's younger brother, Saki, was training to avenge his brother's death.

When Oroku Saki tracked us to New York, I could only watch in horror from my cage as he slaughtered Shen. When Yoshi came back to find Shen lying dead on the floor, Saki attacked him. In the struggle my cage was knocked to the floor, breaking. Immediately after Saki slaughtered my beloved master, I leapt to his face, blind with rage. I was able to scar his face before being knocked to the ground, one of my ears being cut by Saki's katana.

I grieved for my beloved master, and I had to learn how to survive in the New York City sewers with the other rats.

One day I came across four baby turtles crawling around in a glowing green ooze. I saved them, getting some of the ooze on myself as well. This ooze made us humanoid. I named the turtles after my favorite Renaissance artists that I read about and raised them, training them all in the art of Ninjitsu."

"Woah," I say in awe, "so you're all Ninjas?"

There are nods all around.

"What happened with this Saki?" I ask, tilting my head slightly.

"We killed 'im," Raph answers with a shrug. Splints sends a glare at Raphael for, I guess, his wording.

"Hai," Splinter finally speaks after Raph clenches his jaw and looks down. "He made himself into a creature named the Shredder and warped The Foot into a gang of criminals. There was a long battle. Once should never be proud of the death of another."

I can almost feel Raph's anger thickening the air.

"Ah...I see...uhm...you've all had very interesting lives," I say in my most soothing voice.

Don nods, obviously eager to avoid an explosion of temper. "Yeah, I guess we have, but you look like you've had an interesting life, too..."

"Yeah, dudette! Tell us about yourself!" Mikey pipes up, finishing Don's thought.

I look around at the faces of my new friends gazing at me expectantly. Even Raph is looking at me.

Well, I don't think they'll be to freaked out about what I am...

"Uhm...well...here goes nothin', somewhere around 18 years ago, I was created in..."

Mikey interrupts me, his face confused, "Created?"

Splinter shoots him a look for interrupting.

I simply nod. "Yeah, created in Washington DC by the Department of Defense. They were trying to make the perfect living weapon by splicing the DNA of several different humans together to make a synthetic egg and sperm. Then they joined the two together and exposed the resulting embryo to many different chemicals and radiation up until it was ready to be "born".

They got me, and I wasn't what they wanted, I guess. Mom says that I was extremely weak looking and fragile as a baby.

The scientists were going to destroy me by dropping me in a vat of some kind of acid. If it weren't for a lab assistant who persuaded the scientists into letting her take me, I wouldn't be here today. As far as I know, the government doesn't even know I'm still alive. I'd like to keep it that way."

For a few minutes, no one says anything and I start to get nervous.

I'm about to apologize when Splinter reaches over and places his hand over mine.

"You sound as if you have had an, as you put it, 'interesting life' as well," he comments.

Don nods "Do you have any powers resulting from the experimentation done on you during your development?"

I nod. "Well, yeah, I have a bunch of powers."

Splints unfolds the bundle he's holding to reveal six or seven partially desolved bullets. "Would any of these powers explain these?"

I smile wryly, reaching over and picking one up between thumb and forefinger. "Yep, that would be the one where my body dissolves anything that enters it. These fell out of me, right?"

Splints nods as Don leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "But why weren't those dissolved all the way?"

"I have my limits. So far I've been shot far more times than I care to remember, and the biggest number of bullets my body's been able to dissolve at the same time is four, and that's provided I don't have any more injuries that my healing factor needs to deal with."

Again there's silence.

"Wull..will ya be able ta heal yerself the rest o' the way?" That's Raph.

"Yeah," I smile and catch a whiff of what Mikey's eating and feel what little I've eaten over the past two days try to swim upstream. "Uhm...in a day or two at this rate," I murmur, feeling a cold sweat break out over my body. Don reaches over and touches my damp forehead.

"Woah, HLM, you're burning up," he comments with a worried frown.

I swallow and lean back, not at all liking the black outline around the edges of my vision.

"Get her to your lab, my son, I am afraid she may somehow be poisoned," Splinter orders, and shortly after I feel myself being picked up by a strong pair of arms.

The black begins closing in on my sight.

"By what, Master?"

My vision is but a pinprick of light and I feel my mind rapidly fogging over.

"I do not know, but we must find out."

As I'm set down, consciousness flees my body, and I hear no more.

 

Alone. Alone I stand in infinite nothingness.

I turn in a full circle to see, hear, smell, sense the no-color around me.

I realize I'm wearing no clothing, and I don't care.

A breeze ruffles my hair, and I look to where it seems to be coming from.

At first I see nothing but the strange limbo I somehow came to be in, but suddenly I see the form of a woman walking towards me. Her long silky hair is jet black; her eyes a gentle brown-red and almond shaped. Her skin is clear and a light tan, and her body is slender and slightly smaller than my own. She wears jeans, a t-shirt of sky blue and tennis shoes.

"Mom?" I whisper in a cracking voice.

She nods and holds her arms out to me. I all but run into her gentle embrace.

"I've missed you, my sweet little Ellie," she whispers in her soft voice, gently stroking my powerful back with her graceful hands.

"I've missed you, too, Mommy! I've thought of you every day," I whisper back, unable to prevent myself from sobbing into her shoulder as she holds me close. "W...will I be able to stay with you now?"

"As much as a big part of me wishes you could, I know you're not finished."

"Finished? Finished with what?"

"Finished with your current life."

"But...but...what do I HAVE there?" I ask, my voice full of desperate anguish. "You are my only family! I have no hope of making my own, and even if I was physically able to do it, who would I do it with? Why would I want to bring a family into a world where they'd only be hunted and ridiculed? I want to stay here with you! I want it to be just you and me like it's always been!" I sob, clinging to her. "I don't want to be without you again, I don't want to be alone!"

I cry uncontrollably, it just feels so good to be in the embrace of my mother again. I've missed having her with me so much!

She lets me weep for a few moments in the timeless void.

"Little one," she speaks lovingly, tilting my chin up to look at her. I see her eyes are wet with tears of her own. "You are never without me. You hold me in your heart, and because of that, I am always with you.

Your new friends hold the keys to your hopes and dreams, and can help you find the answers to conquering your fears. You will never be alone, sweetheart. Never forget that. Now go. They need you to return." She gently kisses the crown of my head as she always did when I was a little girl. "I love you."

I hug her again, tears flowing down my face. I then straiten my back and stand tall for her. "I love you, too. I'll do my best to make you proud of me."

A single tear slips down her delicate cheek. "Oh honey, you make me proud every day."

Darkness prevails yet again.

 

Slowly I open my eyes and draw a shuddering breath.

I look around, realizing with sudden terror that I'm in a lab of some kind.

I gasp, sitting up and clutching the blanket around myself, whimpering with pain as white hot pain shoots its way through my brain. I fall back, whimpering in terror and curling into a small ball.

Suddenly I feel a cool hand on my naked back.

"Shh...shh...it'll be alright, woman," I hear a deep voice tell me soothingly.

I whimper, recognizing the voice but not knowing from where, and I move closer to the resonant voice.

The owner of the voice sits on the bed with me and pulls me gently into his strong arms.

"Where's my mommy?" I whimper. "Jus' saw her...no' under the rocks no more..."

"Hush, HLM...shh...ah'm here fer ya...ah'll protect ya," the voice comes back, gently turning me over in his arms and cradling me like one would cradle a baby.

I whimper again, feeling as weak as a kitten and forgetting my surroundings as I feel a cool, wet compress being placed on my brow.

"She awake, Raph?" a new voice asks.

"Yeah, Donnie...she's still really warm, though."

I feel someone trying to pull the blanket back over me and I push it away. "Too hot," I murmur.

Another cool hand touches my face, the skin on this one is a little softer than the skin of the one holding me.

"She been talkin' weird stuff, Donnie...askin' fer her mom an' cryin'..."

"Yeah, I think she's delirious, Raph. I can't even tell if she's cooled down any though. I don't want to try to take her temperature again, though. I'm still bleeding from the last time."

Raph chuckles softly, "Yeah, she's a tough one ain't she?"

"Yeah, seriously, though," the softer hands are back, this time on my neck.

I flinch away and start crying again, "Don' kill me..."

"I'm not gonna hurt you, HLM...it's ok...it's ok...I'm just taking your pulse," Don tells me soothingly as he takes my left wrist gently.

Suddenly it feels as if my body temperature had just plummeted by about 20 degrees, and I curl into a tight ball against Raph.

Don pulls the blanket up over me and sighs softly.

"Just rest, HLM," Don tells me as he strokes my hair.

I close my eyes and curl more into Raph's embrace.

"I'm scared, Raph...real scared."

"Yeah...me too, Donnie...me too.."

Moron Story Index
Part Two
Part Four