Welcome, welcome! I apologize for not writing as often as I should, but I've had a lack of inspiration lately and have just fallen into other things. Luckily, Pasteljellyfish on tumblr posted a fantastic drawing of "captive April", and knuczema suggested an idea where April had been captive her entire life before the turtles rescued her on a mission. I'm crediting these two for the idea of the story. This is a UA (Universe Alterated), and I hope you enjoy! I haven't written in a while, so I apologize if anything sounds weird. I need to get back into the habit of writing things...
Sometimes the experiments were painful.
Given the fact that these creatures preferred amusement over cleanliness, it sometimes surprised her that she wasn't in constant pain and agony. In fact, a few tests were even painless. It was more or less due to the fact that they needed her alive and in good health, and she took pleasure in her preservation. Who wouldn't? If it meant she'd breathe without struggle, she could face these tests. It wasn't like she had any choice.
Even so, sometimes she'd catch a burst of pain from the many complicated devices her captors held. They found enjoyment in her hurt. Sometimes she'd question, and other times, she would grin and bear it. What else was there to do?
Her name was April O'Neil. Or so… that's what she had heard the Kraang identify her as. April O'Neil. Sixteen earth years of age. DNA: Unstable for extraction. That's what it read on her nameplate, positioned outside her cell on a purple screen. Sometimes the number of her age would change. It would only grow. She wasn't sure what they meant by "earth years of age", though she wondered if it established her time spent living in this cell. She couldn't remember when the number was very small.
The rough hands holding on to her forearms were sturdy and stiff, belittling any extra thought of breaking away from them. It's not like she had any reason to. These beings fed her, sheltered her, and took care of her. Even if they were sometimes abusive. The one gripping her right arm leaned his head forward, scanning against the panel for entry. When the door shhhhushed open, April O'Neil was mercilessly shoved inside. The door shut behind her.
There was a shadow of a memory that always haunted her in the corners of this room. Sometimes, she could have sworn that she wasn't alone before. Someone used to share this room with her. She had asked one time, and the Kraang had more or less responded "The cellmate that you are inquiring of is that which is your earthly mother figure."
"What's her status?" April had asked curiously.
"Status of that which is your earthly mother figure: deceased."
Deceased. Huh. She wasn't sure what to feel about that. Frankly, she wasn't at all certain what a mother was in the first place. She tried to ask, though the Kraang's answer was pretty vague. A female authoritive figure of their offspring or adopted child. April O'Neil had spent the entire afternoon sitting on her cot hugging her knees, trying to think about what that meant, if it did at all. This person she shared her cell with gave birth to her? And she took care of her? It was interesting to think about.
Her English was stable. She picked up on many things the Kraang conversed over, as well as from the books she was allowed to read in her free time. Boredom was a problem among these walls, especially since the Kraang weren't too keen on playing. She had overheard them talking about books one day, and asked if she could try to read a book for herself. The next day, a horde of books had been dropped into her room, which were now neatly stacked against the opposite wall to her cot. An entire range of stories were given to her, from children's books to adult horror. Because she was still learning, she started with the easiest picture books.
It was odd, seeing pictures and scenes that she would have never imagined in her mind. This Kraang facility and building were all she knew… and these books told her of places far-away and beings she had never even heard of. She lived in a world. But sometimes, it was hard to believe. The sun, the grass, the horses, the dogs, those things sounded insane. She had never laid her eyes on these things, nor did she believe she ever would. It was hard enough attempting to picture them, even if a drawing was included.
The door to her room was locked behind her every day, though she had already figured out how to override it from the inside. Their place was huge. Overwhelmingly. Sometimes she'd read spy stories, where the character would have to wear all black to blend in to his surroundings so he wouldn't be seen. However, it was quite the opposite here, what with the silvery white walls and lights around every corner. Her clothing, much like her home, was white. Right down to the headband. The only problem was her ginger red hair.
While one would think venturing the facility was dangerous, she never received any penalty when she was caught out of her room. The Kraang would simply grab her and take her back. The idiots never even fixed the lock. But she never complained, nor did she expect any different. It was her life. Her meal was slipped through the door every day, like it would be soon, and she would eat.
Her meals were always the same. She hated the way they felt on her tongue, but knew that if she didn't eat, she would be hungry and her stomach would hurt. In her books, they'd sometimes talk about different kinds of foods. Chicken, pasta, pizza… but it was mythical. All of it was. For a while, she had thought, and wondered if these books told truth. But she had given in to safety in sight fairly quickly, due to the fact that all the things these books ever talked about she had never seen with her own eyes. There was nothing outside these walls. Nothing that would make eating things feel good. The world she fantasized didn't exist outside her books.
But sometimes… while she lay awake in her room on a dark night after a painful test, she would hug her pillow and pretend they were real. And that one day, she'd get to see them for herself.
"This is what I've been trying to encrypt all night." Donatello groaned, rubbing the back of his hand against his head with a tiresome sigh. "I just can't seem to get it."
Mikey snorted. "Did you try-"
"…I was going to say 'giving up', but whatever, man."
The New York skies were dark, though stars were scarce. Too many lights crowded the streets, ruining the illusion for anyone that were to stay in the light. A chill bit the air, the early October weather making it's appearance. Four brothers stood atop the roofs as if they had done so all their life. "Shut up, Mikey, this is important." Donnie elbowed him, his eyes never escaping the screen. He felt pairs of breaths tickle his skin as his brothers joined in peering over his shoulders at his phone, and he held back a strangled sigh. "Guys. I cannot concentrate, when you are all breathing down my neck."
Leo took a step back, his eyes surveying the rooftops around him with intense care. While he had adjusted to the roofs of New York fairly quickly, they were still new and young to his eyes. Tugging at one of his katana belts, he sighed, feeling them cling tighter against his shell. "Donnie, I think we have enough information. Can we just get a move on?"
"I want to make sure we know what we're getting in to." He defended, finally breaking his gaze away from his screen to face his older brother. "These Kraang have a large, possibly deadly, project that they've been so keen to work on. We need to take it down, I get that, but what if we get there and it's this huge, complicated machine? I need to-"
"Donnie, for someone so smart, you're so stupid." Raphael interrupted, leaning an elbow on his brother's shoulder and receiving an irritated glare. "It doesn't matter how complex the thing is, we just have to destroy it. It's taken them years to create this, right? It'll take them years all over again, and it'll leave us plenty of time to wipe them out. Done and done."
"No, it's not done and done. I want to be prepared."
"And I want to head in and take it down before things get out of hand." Leonardo agreed, more on the side of subtlety, and turned away. "You've been at it for hours, Donnie. And you're not any closer. I think it'd be wise to move in. If we wait any longer, we may be too late."
He leaped the alleyway, his motions slow to allow his brothers time to catch up. Donnie watched, blinking tiredly, before Raph put a hand on his shoulder and nodded in his direction. With a sigh, the genius tucked away his phone and took off, sticking to his group of brothers as they approached the building of TCRI.
Getting in was the hard part. Getting to the secret project was the harder part. With the little information they had access to, they were able to pinpoint its location in the tower. With this, Donatello led the way, his brothers a single step behind him with weapons drawn at ready. The halls were long, curving, winding, and more than once, they had veered off the track. The Kraang were in hundreds, and the turtles took them down each time with as much effort as they could put forth.
They were panting at one point, actually panting, from the excessive fighting. Usually, the trained ninja had stronger builds and shapes. But even the strongest Warrior could get tired. And these young creatures, still fifteen years of age, found themselves catching their breaths as Donatello picked up his pace once more.
"It's just around the- oh give me a break!" He had cried out at one point, the hallways stuffed with the robots and their blasters behind the bend. Alive with the energy of battle, though exhausted from their wall of defenders, the turtles took on and took down each Kraang in that hallway, weapons ablaze.
"Dude, I know I said I was excited for some Kraang-pounding and all, but this is ridiculous." Mikey panted, leaning against his knees as Raph took down the last Kraang in their way with a simple shot of his sai. Nothing fancy anymore. Fancy fighting meant more work, and Leonardo didn't think he could handle anymore than the minimal.
There was no time to waste. Their steps echoing the halls, belts and buckles clashing against each other, the four made their way through the hallways. Every once in a while, a stray Kraang would show his face, and would die at the slash of a weapon. No bothering. Just finishing the job.
And on top of it all, the alarm was blaring nice and loud.
"Here, over here!" Donnie ordered, veering down the hall on his left with his Tphone beeping away. In the middle of the hall, two Kraang were walking the opposite direction. Mikey and Leo each sprung out, taking both down easily and turning around. The door had a retinal scanner on it. Without another word, he turned back, reached down, and tore off the head of one of the fallen Kraang. The two pink creatures that had escaped the body were already halfway down the hall in their escape, but they couldn't be worried about now.
Shoving the faceplate up to the lock, Donatello mentally prepared himself to take in whatever complex machinery was behind this door.
The room was opened, and he saw the last thing he could have ever expected.
She would be expecting her meal soon.
It was always a small amount of time between the end of her testing and her meal. And while the taste was disgusting, she had to eat before she got hungrier than she had already fallen captive to. Usually, she would venture to her bed and wait for her meal to slip through the door. Usually, she'd pluck the waterbottle off her table and drink the whole thing, so that when the meal came, she could ask for a new bottle. Usually, she'd try to read a little more before she was forced to turn her lights out.
Now, standing in the center of her room in the dark lit only by a lamp, April lingered. Because every night, when she was escorted to her room, she could usually hear the footsteps of the alien robots making their way to the end of the hall. But tonight, this very night, there was a difference. She heard the slicing of metal, the malfunction of machinery, and the hiss of her door re-opening. All of which she was unfamiliar of. No, no this was wrong. This was different. She spun on her feet, the hallway light spilling into her room, and she visibly froze. Because for the first time in her life, something… someone… some creatures… had broken her routine.
And they were green.
They wore belts, with cloths over their faces. The one with the purple cloth, bandana tails trailing down his left shoulder, had frozen as if he had been slapped. His gaze, a chocolate color (she had read about chocolate, another type of food, and heard of it's delicious taste), looked up and down at her in disbelief, his mouth agape.
The other three were behind him, staring at her with the same mix of confusion and fear. It wasn't until seconds later, blaster fire erupted at the end of the hall and the blue one shoved the others into the room. Getting down to business, he shoved the purple-masked one to the side and approached April O'Neil. "Is the project in here?" He asked, his gaze searching the room instead of looking to her for answers.
She was too dumbfounded to speak.
"Umm, guys…" The orange-masked one snatched a device from the stiff fingers of the purple-masked one. The red-masked one's eyes turned to the orange, and followed him as he stepped towards her. With a look of curiosity, the device was held up to her. A distant bleeping picked up it's pace, and her heart raced in time to it.
"…Oh…" The red one muttered in disbelief.
The Kraang had reached her room, and blazers lit the room. "Kraang, watch fire so that you are not to blast that which is known as April O'Neil."
"Affirmative, Kraang. I will watch fire so that I am not to blast that which is known as April O'Neil."
"Don't those guys ever know how to shorten sentences?" The orange one was dancing. No… he was flipping around and dodging the lasers. April finally forced her feet to move, and began to run to the side, her eyes wide with fear. She didn't know what was going on, she didn't know who they were, she didn't know why… some of their blasts were tearing through her shelf of books. Fury boiled in her chest and she straightened up.
"Don't hit those!" She cried out angrily, reaching a hand out, and retracting it shortly after as a blast nearly blew her head off. She retreated to the corner, holding her hands at her chest. It was a small room, but the creatures were doing fine making use of the space. The Kraang were being sliced open, and the actual pink creatures were escaping and retreating down the halls. What on earth was going on? Why where they killing the robots?
"We'll figure it out later, just grab her!" The blue one spat out the order as he took down the last Kraang, and the red one took two heavy steps towards her. Suddenly the world was spinning and she was thrown over his shoulder, his arm wrapped around the pits of her knees. Her chin banged against his shell, and she bit her tongue.
"Ah- let me go!" She cried out, squirming in his hold. But his grip was an iron one, and it reminded her of the Kraang's stiff hands. Though whatever held her was warm, with skin unlike her own or the Kraang's. It almost made her want to resist the temptation to fight.
She tried bashing her hands against his back, but came to realize that whatever this part of him was, it was strong and sturdy. So she attempted kicking. His other arm came around and braced her ankles, and suddenly she was terrified. "Please- let me go!" She reduced to begging, squirming in his hold though making no purchase.
"Stop squirming!" He barked with irritation, and she was beginning to fall into panic. "Leo, what are we doing?"
The blue one replied with soft, confused eyes, as if he had no idea. "Improvising." He said simply, and proceeded to take on the number of Kraang coming around the corner.
"Alright, listen girl," The red one sneered, tightening his grip. She swallowed. "I don't know who you are, or what you know about the Kraang, or if you're on their side or not, just know that if you try to fight me and I end up dropping you, they'll probably end up shooting you on a bad shot. They're all lousy shots."
"I've cleared a path, the ledge is this way!" The orange one cried out, but April couldn't see anymore. She was staring down at the floor helplessly, surrounded by purple gunfire, her chest slapping against the shell of her captor with each step. She had stopped fighting, mostly because she knew there was no use, and finally just closed her eyes. There was a perfectly good explanation for this. She was dreaming. Of course she was dreaming. She probably fell asleep reading again.
The white floor beneath them suddenly disappeared, and a chill of air slapped against her face with a gust of wind. A sound like shattering glass filled her ears, and the bits and pieces were falling down the side of the building. At the bottom, there lay a scene so unlike anything she could have ever imagined. It suddenly didn't matter that her captor was kidnapping her, or that the Kraang were still firing, or that she was hundreds of feet in the air, her ponytail slapping against her neck wildly at the sweep. Because for the first time in her life, she was outside the Kraang facility.
And she was terrified.