The Genastone: Chapter 7
Mike had to admit, it looked bad. Here they were, in the clutches of the Genastone, an alien jewel that had the power to create creatures out of some new form of energy that it sucked up from people. It had an impenetrable force surrounding it, giving the Turtles no way to harm it. To make matters worse, Raph had been captured and was now under the Genastone's mind control. And now, Mike and his brothers were bound and at the mercy of Raph and the Genastone.
How do we get ourselves into these things? he wondered.
He and Don were being carried by Raph, who was wearing his special suit of life energy armor. Raph didn't look in either of his brothers' eyes. He only stared ahead at his "master," who was pulling Leo and Ninjara along.
They walked into the circular chamber where Shredder and Krang were strapped to the ceiling. They were awake and struggling against their restraints. "You'll pay for this, Genastone," Shredder snarled.
"You can't do this to us," Krang added.
"Don't waste your breath," the Genastone replied. As he spoke, a section of the ceiling detached and floated down, exposing a shaft leading upward. The Genastone and Turtles climbed onto the platform and it slowly floated upward. Mike gave a questioning glance to Leo, but he shook his head. Not yet.
The platform stopped its ascent. The Turtles were dragged through an opening in the wall, down a short hallway, and brought into a large chamber. Most of the space was empty, except for a higher tier at the far end of the room. It contained a strange chair and various wires redirected from the surface.
"Welcome to the nerve center for my attack on your planet," the Genastone said as it floated up to rest in the chair. "Enjoy it while you're still conscious enough to."
Raphael positioned each Turtle against the wall. Their bonds melted into the wall, trapping them. When he was finished, Raph stood at attention below the Genastone.
"Soon, the time will come," the Genastone said. "But first, some preparations." It reached a tentacle towards a wire and patched into the internet.
"You shouldn't have come," Ninjara whispered, mindful of Raph's watchful gaze.
"We couldn't leave you here," Mike said.
"No, it's more than that," Ninjara said. "I've heard that jewel talking to itself. It's insane! The thing keeps rambling about killing humpback whales and other useless things. It's lost all sense."
"I heard that," the Genastone said. "My plan tests out positive in all my logic circuits. It will work."
If Ninjara's right, we may have something against it. "And what is this great plan of yours?" Leo asked.
"First, I shall disrupt rice operations in Malaysia," it explained. "Then, after destroying the comic book industry-"
Mike snickered. Then a full-blown laugh came out. "What's so funny?" the Genastone demanded.
"Destroy the comic book industry?" he said, still laughing. "What's that supposed to do?"
"It's...it...uh..." The Genastone sounded flustered.
"I think your logic circuits are junk," Don retorted.
"See, what did I tell you?" Ninjara added. "That jewel's crazy."
"Don't talk to my master that way!" Raph yelled.
"No, puppet," the Genastone said sadly, "they are right."
Raph turned towards his master with shock. "No..."
"I hate to admit it," the Genastone continued, "but my computational processes are decaying rapidly. Though I cannot tell, my plan may be fatally flawed." It detached from the internet and hovered in silence. Raph stared at his master in sorrow. Mike's laughter faded away, and the Turtles watched warily to see what it'd do next.
When the Genastone spoke, its voice was hard and cold. "Kill them."
"What?" Raph asked.
"But if they die, we'll lose their life energy," Raph argued.
"Don't argue with me, puppet," the Genastone asked with mounting anger. A trident materialized and fell into Raph's hands. "Kill them!"
Raph turned and marched towards the Turtles with determination. The prongs on his trident sparked with life energy.
"Uh, Leo?" Mike asked.
"Now," Leo said.
The Turtles pressed their wrists against the wall, activating the electrical conduits Don had installed in their wristbands. The electricity destabilized the life energy wall, making it disappear. The Turtles, now free, stepped forward and drew their weapons.
The Genastone yelled in outrage and replaced the wall. "How did you-"
"We figured you'd double-cross us," Leo said, "so we came prepared."
"I'm impressed," Ninjara said. "Now I am glad you came."
"We're not out of this yet," Leo said. "We still have an alien jewel to stop."
"Attack!" the Genastone yelled. "Destroy them!"
The Genastone materialized a long, sinewy dragon, which swooped towards the Turtles. Don vaulted onto its back and pressed his electric wristbands against the dragon, dissipating it. "Your creations are useless against us," he said.
"Then I shall join the battle myself," the jewel said. It floated down, and as it moved, its force field expanded. Two wide, sturdy legs pounded the floor. Four powerful arms extended out, grasping swords, a spiked mace, and a whip. A spiked helmet grew up from its shoulders. When the transformation was complete, the Genastone was centered in the chest of a fearsome body twice the size of the Turtles.
"Oh boy," Mike gulped, jumping to the side as the Genastone swung its mace, smashing a hole in the stone floor.
The Genastone swung its whip and wrapping it around Don's waist. He placed his wristband against the coils, but the Genastone just laughed and absorbed the electricity. "Thanks for the feeding," it cackled. "I'd drain your life energy as well, but I'll have more fun killing you." It swung its whip and crashed Don into a wall.
Great, Don thought. This is exactly what I was afraid of. How do we stop it?
Meanwhile, Leo and Raph were facing each other. Leo's swords glinted, while the end of Raph's trident sparked. "Much as I hate to do this," Raph said, "I must." He charged at Leo and swung at him.
Leo blocked his attack. "You hate to do this?" he asked hopefully.
"It's illogical," he replied, thrusting his trident at Leo. "It's a waste of life energy."
"Then why do it?" Leo said, sidestepping and swinging his swords.
The metal clanged as it hit Raph's armor. "Because I must obey my master." He swung again at Leo.
"I hear a waver in your voice," Leo said, jumping over Raph's attack. "You are unsure."
"I am not unsure!" he shouted. An energy blast fired from his trident and caught Leo square in the chest. Leo slid across the floor and stopped when his head hit the wall. He examined his shell and found it was singed. Nothing serious, but he'd hate to see what would happen if Raph hit an unprotected area.
Yet Raph had sounded unsure. He's starting to fight back, Leo thought hopefully.
He was brought abruptly out of his thoughts by another shot from Raph. Leo leapt to the side and the shots hit the wall, dissolving it.
"No, you fool," the Genastone yelled, replacing the wall. "If the structural reinforcements are eliminated, this place will crash."
"Awful big words from a busted piece of jewelry," Mike taunted.
"You'll pay for saying that," the Genastone replied. Mike laughed giddily as the Genastone chased him, swinging everything it had against him.
I can't dodge this thing forever, he thought as a sword whizzed by his ear. "Don," he called, "a plan would be nice."
"I'm thinking, I'm thinking," Don said. He was still wrapped in the Genastone's whip and was being dragged behind as the Genastone chased Mike.
Leo crossed his swords as Raph brought his trident crashing down. His swords slid right between the prongs, and Raph kept pushing. Leo strained as the trident slowly inched towards his chest. "It's useless," Raph said. "I'm stronger than you."
"Then let me even the odds," Ninjara said, jumping in and kicking Raph away.
"Thanks," Leo said.
"No problem," Ninjara replied.
"Two against one, eh?" Raph said. "Still hardly a fair fight."
"You're going to eat those words, Raph," Leo said.
"We'll see," Raph said, and charged. Leo and Ninjara jumped over him and attacked his back, but the armor deflected the blows.
"This is pointless unless we can remove that suit," Ninjara said.
"I'll handle it," Leo said.
Raph turned around and swung his trident horizontally. Leo hopped over the attack and thrust his wrists towards Raph. One of them connected with his helmet, eliminating it.
Raph let out a cry of anger as Leo charged again. "Oh no, you don't," Raph said. He grabbed Leo's arm and put it against Leo's chest. Leo grimaced as electricity flooded through him. He fell to the floor as Ninjara called out his name.
Raph turned and faced Ninjara. "You're next," he growled. Ninjara swallowed and raised her sword.
One of the Genastone's swords sliced through the air and severed Mike's nunchaku in two. Mike looked at his broken nunchaku for a second and threw it at the Genastone. It bounced harmlessly away.
"When will you pathetic lifeforms learn?" the Genastone snarled.
Don winced as another blow can dangerously close to Mike. I've got to help Mike out, Don thought, struggling against the life energy whip around his waist. Maybe I can distract the Genastone somehow.
"Hey, bright and shiny!" Don called.
The Genastone forgot Mike and turned to face Don. It lifted its hand and dangled Don in front of its "chest." "You dare talk like that to the most intelligent entity in the universe?" it said threateningly.
Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. "If you're so smart," Don said, "then why are you trying to destroy the world?"
The Genastone paused. "Do you know what it's like to know everything?" it asked in a softer voice.
Don was surprised at the question. "I'd imagine it'd be wonderful," he answered.
"Wonderful?" the Genastone raged. "It's unbearable! Every piece of knowledge was mine from my creation. Every possible permutation of the future was easily accessible. It was my creators' intention, but it left me empty. There was no point in life, nothing to work towards. I knew everything that could happen, and it was boredom beyond belief."
Don listened intently. There was an amazing depth to the Genastone's insights.
"I hated it," the Genastone continued. "It took me fifty-two seconds to decide that. There was no point to life, so I would destroy it all! I would not rest until everything was obliterated. My creators' planet was the first to go, ten minutes after my creation. I suffered unavoidable damage in the process, which made it actually possible for me to be captured. And then...and...things are fuzzy."
"But you aren't as smart anymore," Don pleaded. "You don't need to destroy everything."
"I'm sorry, Donatello," the Genastone said coldly, "but I must. It is my one mission in life, and I will follow it through to completion." The jewel set a stunned Don back on the ground and resumed chasing Mike.
Raphael attacked viciously. Ninjara parried every move, but she was starting to wear down. But while he was wearing that armor, she couldn't attack him physically. She had to try another tactic.
"Raphael," she said softly, barely stopping a strike, "do you remember me?"
The question caught Raph off guard. "Of course. You're…you're Ninjara," he replied, his posture relaxing just a little bit. There was a small amount of tenderness in his voice. "You're my..." He stopped, his muscles tensing again. "You're a threat!" He jabbed at Ninjara.
"Wrong," she said, dodging the attacks. "I care about you."
"You're a threat to the mission," Raph continued. "You're-"
Ninjara cut him off by stepping close and putting her lips to his. Raph dropped his trident, and they kissed for several seconds. When Ninjara pulled away, Raph looked at her with new awareness. "Ninjara?" he said feebly.
"Raph!" Ninjara cried. "It's you!"
Worry flooded Raph's face. "Get away, Ninjara," he pleaded. "I can feel it fighting in my mind, trying to take back over."
"Fight it, Raph," she said.
"I can't," he said, his face contorted in struggle. A horrible yell issued from his mouth and he pushed Ninjara away. She watched in pain as he clutched his head, moaning.
The Genastone stopped his chase and looked at Raph. "What are doing, puppet?" it asked angrily.
"I'm not your puppet," Raph said, every word sounding like a labor. "This suit is giving me back life energy, giving me the will to fight."
"Giving you back...?" the Genastone wondered worriedly aloud. Memories flashed in its mind. That was how the Egyptians had won. Its servants had turned against it. Why hadn't it remembered before now?
I cannot let it happen again, the Genastone vowed. It roared in outrage, flung Don out of the whip next to Mike, and trapped them both against the wall with the broad end of his sword. Then it swung its whip at Raph.
By this time Raph was standing up, his face still in agony. The whip went through his armor and wrapped around his shell. Raph screaming intensified as the Genastone drained his life energy.
Don gasped. Could it be? The whip had gone right through Raph's armor! He remembered something the Genastone had said. "Nothing foreign can pass this force field." Nothing foreign can pass...that was it!
"Ninjara!" Don cried. "The trident! It can pass through the force field!"
Ninjara saw the same thing as Don and leapt towards Raph's weapon lying on the ground. A hand grabbed hers, and she looked up to see Raph's face, fierce and devoid of any compassion.
"Raph?" she asked.
He didn't respond, but merely threw her against the wall. He picked up his trident and aimed at Ninjara, the tips sparking dangerously. "You will not be a threat anymore," he said without emotion.
Mike and Don struggled, but the sword held them firmly against the wall. Ninjara, clutching her head, looked up just in time to see a blast heading straight for her head.
Something hard grabbed her and pushed her out of the line of fire. There was an explosion of dust where she had laid a moment before. She looked down to see her rescuer. "Leo!" she cried in relief.
Leo coughed. "Glad to be of service," he said feebly.
"How dare you?" Raph growled.
Leo hardened his face in determination and flipped over. Ninjara watched in amazement and he planted his left hand on the ground, gripped Raph's trident between the toes on his left foot, and rammed his right foot into Raph's face, making him lose hold of his weapon. Raph staggered backward but quickly regained himself. Leo transferred the trident to his hands and stood up, facing Raphael.
"Are you going to attack me, brother?" Raph sneered.
"I don't hate you that much," Leo said with a smile, and threw the trident away from Raph and towards the Genastone.
The Genastone yelled in anger and fear and raised an arm to try to block the weapon, but it passed right through its arm and smashed through the jewel. The stone broke into hundreds of pieces and fell to the floor. At the same time, Raph collapsed, and all the life energy constructions disappeared.
Leo heaved a sigh of relief and collapsed to the knees. Mike went over to him and laid his hands on his shoulders. Ninjara picked up Raph's unconscious body and cradled him in her arms. Don walked over to the Genastone's remains and bent down to look at them.
"It's gone," Don said aloud. "The shield could block any mass or energy, but had no effect on itself." He stood up and looked at his brothers. "We actually did it."
Before they could fully relax, the room shuddered. Don looked around. Cracks were starting to form in the rock.
"Let's go!" Don shouted. "Without the Genastone's will, the life energy couldn't hold itself together, and without the life energy support, this place is going to collapse."
"Wonderful," Mike commented. He helped Leo to his feet and placed Leo's arm around his shoulder. Don ran over to Raph, picked him up and threw him over his shoulder. Then they ran.
It was a frenzied dash. They jumped down the shaft, fled the circular room, and raced up the stairs leading out. Behind them, the underground fortress was coming crashing down.
They jumped out of the entrance and still ran. They reached the nearest building and climbed the fire escape to the room. When they turned to look back, nothing was left except a deep crater.
Don laid Raph gently down and examined him, Ninjara looking on tensely. "He's okay," Don pronounced. "He has extreme exhaustion, but that's all. He'll recover." Ninjara sighed in relief.
Leo and Mike stood at the edge of the roof, observing the scene illuminated in moonlight. "What do you think happened to Krang and Shredder?" Mike asked.
"I didn't see them," he replied. "They probably escaped when the life energy dissipated."
"Kind of a shame," Mike said.
"Maybe," Leo said. He heard sirens approaching. "We'd better head for home," he said. "Our work here is done."
The Turtles slept the rest of the night and well into the next day. They awoke in time for supper, most fully rejuvenated except for Raphael. He was stuck in a troubled sleep, tossing and turning in bed. However, under Don's attentive care and Ninjara's watchful eye, the nightmares ceased and Raph was awake the next day. "Now we're even," was the first thing he said. "We've both tried to kill each other."
Ninjara laughed, remembering when they had first met.
The day after that, Raph was sitting in the recliner in the living room, and the others were gathered with him, watching April on the news.
"The mysterious illness that recently struck New York and left many people bedridden for days seems to have stopped," she reported. "No new cases have surfaced for several days. Scientists are baffled as to the cause of the epidemic, but the victims are expected to make a complete recovery."
"Well, that's good," Raph commented.
"Hush," Ninjara said. "Regain your strength."
"I'm fine," Raph said. "No illness will keep me down for long."
Leo smiled and shook his head. All was back to normal. It worried him a little that Krang and Shredder were still out there somewhere, but he didn't let it bother him too much. They would face that when it came, as they always did. As for right now...
...well, he thought, looking at his brothers and sister with fondness, we're okay. And that's all that matters.