So, apparently I'm nearing 10,000 words for this story - give or take a few dozen for author notes and such. So much for finally writing a one shot that was less than 5k words. And wow, didn't quite mean for the update to take a month to get out, but thanks to JadeWolf28-woops! I mean WolfJade28! for sending me a little nudge via pm. The last half of this chapter gave me the most trouble but all in all I find it satisfying. Oh! And got a new cover art for this, squee! Though it cut the top off I noticed even though I have the dimensions right... anyway! Enjoy and thank you for reading! I'll try to get the next one out faster but no guarantees. Rocket League can be quite distracting. ;)
btw, as readers do you prefer the FFnet line break or the simple -TMNT- line break?
"Technology moves us forward," the talking head on the TV screen announced with flair as a clip played behind him. "It allows us to travel, to talk - even helps you with your bills! But!" here the man paused dramatically as the clip behind him changed. "Technology has a dark side to it. It can ruin ice cream, destroy friendship and even run amok! Is it worth it? In our next mini-series, you decide!"
Shredder chortled as the last clip to play was from his visit last week. They had even kept the part where Vernon faceplanted onto the machine. He reached over and smacked Krang's robot arm. "You see that Krang? Not bad for only having two hours to program the chip!"
"Only if you were talking about an infant programming it," Krang grumbled darkly. "What wasted potential you just threw away! That chip could have done so much more-"
"Oh, shut up." Shredder rolled his eyes in exasperation. Leave it to Krang to not see the amusement in such 'human' things. "And answer the phone!"
"Why should I?" Krang crossed his arms and did not move.
"Because," Shredder growled, leaning over so he could stare at Krang's face as the phone continued to ring in the background. "It was your fault that we got on the telemarketer's list! My Footbots still haven't located where they keep their database."
"You mean my Footbots!" Krang corrected, lifting a tentacle up. "Don't forget you get them manufactured here in my TechnoDrome."
Shredder waved a hand dismissively and turned away. "Minor detail. You're still answer the phone. Or would you rather I let Bebop answer it again?"
"I know you humans are brain damaged, but are you insane on top of that?" Krang squawked, wrapping his tentacles around the levers inside his robot body and started shuffling over to the phone. "After that last incident with the subscription based cookware? If it wasn't for me buying out their entire stocks we - yes, what is it - oh, well hello to you too!"
Shredder stopped dead in his path to the exit. When Krang's voice turned suddenly sweet and polite he knew this wasn't an ordinary phone call and that in itself couldn't be good. Turning back around, he hurried over to Krang's side and hissed, "Who is it?"
"Uh-huh, uh-huh," Krang gave him a sour look and waved at him in a shooing motion. "Oh yes, I totally agree with you on that."
Krang, agreeing with someone? This was not good. Shredder got a sudden sinking feeling of who it was and quickly reached for the phone. Krang shuffled to the side and out of reach, then covered the phone receiver. "Fine, fine, it's that mother of yours you haven't introduced me to. Fine head on that woman, I must say. Oh and by the way she says you look awful in that uniform on TV." Krang turned his attention back to the phone. "You would think so, Mrs. Shredder - I can call you Mrs. Shredder right? After all-"
"Give me that!" Shredder snapped, lunging again and this time managing to swipe the phone away from Krang. There was no way he was letting Krang and his mother get together, even just by phone. He didn't know why, but he had a feeling that things just wouldn't end well. "Kaasan,"
"Oroku boy, is that any way to greet your mother?" the old but still strong voice chided right away. "And what was this I see you doing on TV, are you actually working for a TV station?"
"No, of course not!" he protested immediately. "Who do you think I am? I wasn't named Shredder for taking acting positions!"
"And how would I know? You hardly call your poor mother anymore, Oroku boy, and you never tell me anything about your recent plans. Where's your family pride and honor?"
Shredder rolled his eyes at his mother's attempt to make him feel guilty. It only had the opposite effect. "I called you last month, mother. You said you were doing fine and said not to bother you so often."
She sniffed dismissively over the line. "If you don't smarten up and put more effort, Oroku boy, I don't see how you'll ever succeed and stay ahead of that law abiding brother of yours. What were you trying to do anyways? It wasn't very global panic inspiring in case you didn't notice."
"It was all Krang's idea," Shredder declared over Krang's protest. "He needed the Turtles distracted so he could steal some energy."
"It worked!" Krang snapped. "I did steal some energy!"
"No," Shredder eased the phone away from his ear, automatically tuning his mother out. "You stole eels. There's a difference, Krang."
"They're electric eels," Krang stressed. "That's the difference. If you actually paid attention to your own planet you wouldn't be so stupid."
"I know enough to know that they're not really eels." Shredder snorted and smacked his hand down. "Bottom line, big deal, they make a little spark. What are you going to do with them, charge your nightlight with them?"
"Very funny, Shredder, but we'll see who's laughing once I've perfected my Super-size serum and... did you just hang up... on your mother?"
Shredder looked down to see he had indeed put the phone back on the cradle and did his best not to cringe. Shredder, the one and only deadly ninja who would be famous did not cringe - especially not at the mention of his mother. Before he could say anything the phone started ringing again.
"You answer it," Krang told him immediately.
"Are you insane?" Shredder hissed, backing away from the device.
"No, that's why I'm not going to deal with the doom you just brought on yourself."
"She's in California under guard, there's no way she can make good on any of her threats." None the less Shredder still hesitated for a split second before he snapped his hand out and sliced the phone line. "There, now I won't have to worry about that for the next month."
"Oh great, just great!" Krang threw up his hands - both sets of them. "You couldn't of just yanked it out of the wall like a normal person, could you? Nooooo! Now I have to go through the trouble of getting that thing replaced!"
Krang walked over to a nearby computer, muttering about the complications of getting such a rudimentary communication system replaced. Shredder just snorted at his whining and went back to the TV station. He was curious to see if they would actually air more of the faux copy machine demonstration.
"If you're not going to be doing anything," Krang snapped at him just as he was starting to sit back down in his seat. "You could at least go check on your two bumbling idiots for me. Make sure they haven't broken anything."
"They're your idiots too, you know, it was your mutagen," Shredder pointed out with a scowl even as he got back to his feet.
"Just because I created mutagen, doesn't mean I was responsible for how you used it," Krang slurped with a fanged grin thrown in his direction. Shredder threw up his hands and headed for the doorway.
"Make sure they didn't eat that fish food I bought," Krang told him over his shoulder.
"What?" Shredder stopped, hand on the doorway frame and raise an eyebrow at Krang. "What on earth do you need fish food for?"
"For the electric eels, of course!"
"Wait, let me get this straight." Shredder crossed his arms and leaned a shoulder against the doorway. "Are you telling me that you stole the eels but decided to buy the fish food?"
"At the price offered it was practically a steal already!" Krang crowed, rubbing his hands together. "There was no need to do any stealing when the stupid store owner was practically handing it to me."
Shredder gave Krang a blank stare but when it was obvious the alien wasn't going to add anything more, Shredder shook his head and shoved off the door frame. "And you call yourself diabolical."
"I heard that Shredder," Krang's voice took on an edge that signaled an end to his limited patience. "And make sure they leave my serum alone! It needs to sit without any disturbance for at least two more hours."
It was easy to know where Bebop and Rocksteady were. If they weren't stomping about somewhere on the TechnoDrome, you could always track them from their loud voices. Especially when you were a ninja.
"Hey, try sticking your tongue in there Bebop!"
"No! I ain't gonna get it zapped. You stick your tongue in there."
"Aw, Bebop these things can't zap anything. See, look. I've got my finger in the water and I'm just fine."
"That's cause yous got thick skin, Rocksteady. You ain't gonna feel anything through that."
"Oh... maybe you're right."
Shredder came into the room to find Rocksteady, not with a finger in the circular glass tank, but his whole hand swishing around in it. Shredder huffed in annoyance and snapped.
"Gaah!" The mutant human-rhino squeaked in surprise and yanked his hand out of the tank, staggering back as he clutched his hand. He glanced apprehensively between the tank and Shredder. "Boss, I think they zapped me! They actually zapped me!"
Why me? Shredder asked, not for the first time, hand on his forehead. Why did I think having them for muscle was ever worth this?
"Gee, maybe you're not so thick skinned as I thought." Bebop thoughtfully deducted, nibbling on a finger. "Those are some fish Krang brought back."
"They're not called fish." Shredder couldn't stop himself from scoffing. "And they certainly can't power anything more than a light bulb. Which is something you two never will have."
"I never need a light bulb anyway, boss." Rocksteady tipped his horn up proudly.
"Yeah, who would want a light bulb anyway," Bebop agreed, snorting. "That's totally stupid."
"I'm so glad you agree," Shredder bit out. "What are you two doing here anyway?"
"We was putting those boxes away," Rocksteady backed up to point at five large haphazardly boxes stacked up. "Something that Krang wanted."
"Yeah, probably for that alien fish soup he's making!" Bebop turned to point at the metal pot full of swirling magenta colored goop. In doing so he succeeded in bumping into Rocksteady who in turned stumbled and knocked against the nearby table. The motion set off a series of musical chimes as the various jars and beakers clattered against each other, one falling over and rolling to the floor to shatter.
Just what he needed, his henchmen creating a mess and Krang blaming him for the inevitable failure. He waved his arms wide and towards the door. "That's it! You two, out! Go vandalize Central Park or order take-out or something!"
The two henchmen moved out of habit and headed out the room, Rocksteady mumbling under his breath while Bebop hesitated by the doorway. "Aw, but I wanted to taste the alien soup!"
"Out!" Shredder gave Bebop a kick in the leg that got the man moving again. With the two mutants gone Shredder stomped back to the table and pot of what had to be Krang's serum to see if there had been any damage.
Picking up one of the tipped beakers, he flipped it around in his hand, trying to see if there had been anything in it. But the glass was clean and a cautious sniff didn't reveal any odd smells. There didn't seem to be anything spilled on the table either. Shrugging, Shredder placed it back on the table then used his whole arm to shove everything five feet away from the edge and the gooey filled pot. Someday Krang would find the brain space to learn that he shouldn't leave things just laying around. The pieces of broken glass he kicked behind the boxes.
Finished with doing the bare minimum, Shredder turned to leave but movement in the glass tank caught his attention. He leaned closer to the tank and watched as one of the electric eels poked around the bottom.
"Hmph, stupid alien brain didn't take the time to set this up properly." Shredder muttered. Not that he was going to do anything for Krang. But he did open up one of the fish food boxes and sprinkle a generous amount of the pellet food in before leaving for his office.
After an hour of checking on various projects and reports from connections he had on the streets, Shredder found himself back in his office.
Which had a working phone. He sat and stared at it for a minute.
Sure, his mother was on the other side of the States and it wasn't like he hadn't hung up on her before. But there was the worrisome knowledge that she still had her own connections from her time as a villain (even if she never quite made ninja) before retirement. Perhaps it would be prudent to call, just to check out how mad she was. Then he could at least have an idea how to maneuver his own connections to block any of her attempts to teach him a lesson.
He picked up the phone and started dialing, looking over his shoulder as he heard Bebop and Rocksteady running down the hallway, their voices taking on a doppler effect as they passed by the doorway.
"Oh, oh! Pizza's here!"
"What? But I ordered Korean takeout!"
"No you didn't I was-"
Shredder tuned out their voices as he heard the phone start to ring. He already knew the general idea of what he needed to say so when the connection clicked he started talking before his mother had a chance to say anything.
"O-Kaasan! So sorry about the disconnect, would you believe the phone suddenly broke on me? And just so you know I care so much about you, I spent all this time getting another phone working just so I could call you back. You know I could never forget such a wonderful mother like you, right? Do you want to hear what I have planned for this week?"
There was a heavy pause after he finished talking.
"Umm... Mystery Caller?"
The voice was feminine but years younger and definitely sweeter sounding than his mother had ever sounded. "Irma!"
"It is you!" Irma cheered. "Wow, for some reason your voice is sounding really familiar today, are you sure you don't work in my building somewhere?"
"Er," Shredder was still fumbling with the sudden shift in thought process. "No. Definitely not."
"Aww, too bad - oh say, I better let you get off, yeah? Sounded like you were calling your mother and all. She must be really sweet!"
"No she isn't." Shredder scowled, too tired to even think of a polite phrase for his mother. "I'm just making sure she isn't too mad at me."
There was another pause, but this one felt even heavier.
"Oh." Strange how English had simple words that could hold so much more meaning. "Dear me, sounds like your mother is just like mine, one of those mothers."
"What, she sends henchmen after you if you don't follow her plan?" Shredder snorted in disbelief.
"That's a wonderful way of putting it." Irma laughed. "Yes she would. She'd call up all her friends and they'd come after me and try to take me down."
Shredder felt his eyebrows go up. Irma had a villainous mother? This was certainly surprising and unexpected news. He would need to look into this further, especially if Irma had to survive power plays.
"So were you calling your mother because she's mad at you for not calling her, even though she said she was fine?" Irma asked dryly.
"It's more like what is she not mad about," Shredder sighed and slouched in his chair. "I don't know why I call her anymore, there's always something that I've done or didn't do that's disappointed her greatly."
"Mine would always try to compare me to my cousins." Irma confessed timidly. "It's gotten so stressful that I'm trying to not call her anymore."
"Huh, she does that with my brother, even though I know she hates the career my brother has chosen." Surprise and the understanding he could hear from Irma loosened his tongue before he could catch himself. He coughed, forced himself to pull back and draw his politeness around like a shield. "Yes, well, thanks for listening. I didn't mean to take up your time."
"Oh it was nothing!" Irma quickly reassured him. "Mr. Burne is out of the office dealing with wild turkeys on his roof so it's all calm at the office here. Besides, after that sweet little note you left me yesterday to cheer me up, I couldn't do any less."
"...note?" Shredder asked apprehensively.
"Oh, don't be so shy!" Irma chided. "Who else could it have been? Especially when you wrote a line like 'your voice is the only light I need, to walk with you down the Boulevard.' So now that you have outright said you like me, what time is our date?"
"Uh, that is, I mean..." Shredder stammered, somehow unable to deny anything Irma was saying. He grasped at the first thing he could use as an excuse. "Oh my, mother's calling on the second line, I have to go!"
He slammed the phone down and was back to staring at it.
What had that florist clerk gotten him into? What in the world was he going to do about it? He should have read that card. If he had, he would of known to shred it on the spot, regardless of trying to cheer Irma up. She would of done just fine with a rose and chocolate. But no, he had to give her a card.
The card. Yes, the card. If he could manage to get the card he could destroy it and any evidence of this silly issue that was suddenly becoming worse than he ever imagined.
Yes, Shredder nodded to himself and sat up straight. He was a ninja, if he could put the card on Irma's desk there was no doubt he could whisk it away like a kitsu.
He was so busy planning how to sneak into Channel Six News that he forgot to take into account the luck dragon sitting on Irma's shoulder.