Disclaimer: I was poking through the Blast from the Past section of the TMNT website and stumbled across the proposed costumes for a movie that was never made. Those costumes kind of prompted the story, but most things have changed quite a bit at this point. I own nothing!
Summary: We all know how the story began with a canister of ooze transforming four turtles and a rat into humanoid form. What if now, 21 years later, the ooze had more in store for them?
A/N: A GREAT BIG, HUGE THANK YOU to Midnight Heir for the beta and all the wonderful help she's given me in making the mutations fit.
pacphys:As this will be very important later in the story "talking"… thinking Get it?
Readers: Got it.
Splinter was leading his sons through their morning exercises. Leonardo was throwing his heart and soul into the workout, as he usually did. Michelangelo was physically present, and his brain did make the occasional appearance. Predicting whether he was paying attention or not was like predicting when the sun would peek out from behind the clouds, but that was usual for the turtle. Splinter's gaze panned across the room. Donatello, like his orange clad brother, was physically present, but he wasn't all there either. He was paying enough attention and giving just enough to appease his sensei, but Splinter could tell that the turtle was going through the motions today. It wasn't an everyday thing, but it wasn't unheard of either. Raphael was putting everything he had into the workout, like Leonardo was, but he had selective hearing again. Raphael heard what he wanted to hear, either that or he obeyed when he felt like it. Either option was equally likely, but that also was nothing unusual. All in all everything seemed to be progressing like any other morning. So why was his gut tied up in knots? It was a feeling that Splinter had learned to listen to long ago, but today he just couldn't figure out what he was so worried about. Something was wrong; he just had no idea what it was. Near the end of practice Splinter found out rather forcibly what had been bothering him all morning.
"Aah!" Donatello dropped the katana he had been using in his spar with Michelangelo and collapsed. They were not his normal weapon, but that was the point of the exercise.
"Donnie!" Mike shouted in surprise. He hadn't even touched his brother. There was no reason that he could see for this. He threw his staff to the side and all but dove down to where Donatello lay in a heap. In a flash Michelangelo felt his other two brothers and Master Splinter arrive at the scene.
Donatello had his hands clasped around his head and lay curled up on his side. All attempts to get a response from the turtle resulted in failure.
"Michelangelo, what has happened here?" Splinter finally asked.
"I-I don't know Master Splinter. One second he was fine, the next he just dropped the swords and fell. I-is he gonna be ok?" Mikey sounded scared.
"I do not know, Michelangelo. Come, we should get him to his room."
Mike knew there was nothing that he had done, but he still felt responsible for this somehow. He was still standing there in shock when Raph and Leo each put one of Don's arms over their shoulders and carried the fallen turtle to his bedroom.
Raphael and Leonardo carefully laid their brother on his bed then stepped aside to allow their sensei through. Splinter watched as the turtle struggled on the bed, he would not stay still. The movements were small, but they were there and they were not only distracting to him, but they were detrimental to Donatello as well. Splinter could sense his son's distress, but could not find the source.
"Leonardo, Raphael, was he doing this when you carried him in here?"
"No, Sensei, he was still." Leo responded quickly.
"Like deadweight." Raph cringed at his incredibly poor choice of words. "Oh man, I am so sorry, I didn't mean that!"
"I know, Raphael, it is ok." Splinter kept searching for the source of his son's discomfort and repeatedly came up dry.
"I have an idea." Michelangelo inserted quietly from the doorway where he had been standing to remain out of the way, but still close to his brother.
"What is it, Michelangelo?" Splinter asked.
"uh, may I…"
Splinter moved aside and let his orange clad son through. Mikey moved to the bed and carefully rolled Donnie over onto his plastron. Immediately the struggling stopped and Don visibly relaxed.
"How did you…" Leo started, looking at Michelangelo in surprise.
"He never could sleep on his back." Mikey answered simply.
Splinter recalled a dare Michelangelo had put before Donatello when they were children, a dare to sleep on his back all night. Donatello had lain on his back all night, but he hadn't gotten any sleep. During practice the following morning Splinter had actually thought the child ill and had sent him to bed. When he went to check on the little turtle he had found him sound asleep but otherwise fine, and later that day Michelangelo had confessed to the dare. While his brothers had long since come to a point where they didn't mind being on their backs Donatello still objected to the position, and whatever state he was in now probably called back every instinct that he ever had, and knowing that being on one's back was bad certainly fell into that category for him.
Splinter sent the three standing turtles out of the room so he could better focus on taking care of Donatello.
"What do you think happened to him, Leo?" Mikey asked.
"I have no idea. He just collapsed without warning?"
"Yeah, dropped his swords then fell to the floor. That was it. Does it mean anything to you?"
Leo shook his head sadly.
"Think it would mean something to Donnie?" Raphael asked quietly. "He's always the one who knows the medical stuff."
Splinter emerged from Donatello's room just in time to hear Raphael's comment.
"That, my son, is not exactly true. Your brother is an engineer and scientist, not a medical doctor. Everything he has learned to help you in the past has been from research he did on the spot.
Three sets of eyes turned to the computer sitting silently in the lab area. Raphael was the first to make a move. He hesitantly walked over to the computer and hit the power button. White words filled the black screen, scrolling down when there was no more room for them at the bottom.
When the username and password screens came up Raphael accessed the computer using his own name. Donatello had put Debian on the machine and while Raph and Mikey had been saddened that none of the good games would run on the computer Donnie was the only one who really used it anyway, and for his uses Linux just made more sense.
When the desktop appeared Raphael opened a web browser and started searching.
Some time later Leonardo heard a frustrated growl from the computer area and went to see how Raph was doing, it didn't sound good. When he got close enough to speak he didn't even get a chance to open his mouth.
"Leo, this is hopeless. So much information out there and absolutely none of it is useful!"
"Calm down Raph, why don't you take a break? I can do this for a while."
Raphael nodded and made a move to take a swing at the computer.
"Ah, Raph, if you have to hit something I'd prefer you hit me. Break that and it's gone. Even if it isn't useful now we might need it later."
Evidently Leo said just the right thing, because he watched Raphael's anger drain and the red-masked turtle left the room. It wasn't long before he heard fist on a punching bag.
A surprisingly short time later Leo was feeling the annoyance that Raphael had just been relieved of. He rubbed his face with both hands in frustration before trying another search. Even if there was something out there that might help them Leo had no clue what he was looking for. The closest thing he could find to matching Don's symptoms was a migraine, and he was pretty sure that wasn't right.
A/N: Ok, the Windows/Linux thing, Donnie just strikes me as a Linux guy, and Debian is the one that I am vaguely familiar with. My home machine is running Windows, but my office machine, newest and supposedly fastest machine there, but definitely a POS, is running Debian now because it just didn't play nicely with Windows even though that is what it was specifically designed for.