Title: The Choices We Make
Rating: Part 1 -PG13, NC17 overall
Word Count (fic portion) Chapter 1: 1987
Warnings: This is going to be DARK DARK ANGSTY TORTURE AND MORE! Lots of not-so-nice details, including Bishop, turtle-torture, drugs, psychological problems and even more unspeakable acts that will be NOT be labeled for fear of giving the whole plot away. There WILL be a happy ending (eventually) but the road from here to there is going to be long and painful.
Notes: This is a 11 part story, with each section falling under a different them in LJ's fanfic100 community, character: Michaelangelo. This is chapter one, theme 22: Enemies.
Michaelangelo had had some pretty nasty dreams in his lifetime.
It was to be expected. The lives he and his brothers led, the battles they'd fought, the things they'd seen; neither their losses nor their wins made for very pleasant dreams. More then once in his life, Mikey had woken up, screaming in terror from the visions plaguing his dreams, his nose filled with the scent of blood, the taste of hot ash burning his tongue from never-ending flames.
All of them had had their fair share of nightmares over the years. Each time they squared off against a new enemy, Mikey knew that it was only a matter of time before one of them – if not all – would wake up, screaming. Well, at any rate, he'd scream. Raph had a habit of coming awake, cursing and swearing, trying to fight the folds of his blanket he'd gotten wrapped up in during his thrashing, determined to break free. Donnie would shiver silently and sleep through most of his, waking in a cold sweat he'd try to wash away with a lengthy shower. And Leo – well, Leo was the one turtle Mikey hated to see having nightmares. Leo didn't wake up screaming, shouting or shivering – no, Leo woke up fighting. The first time Mikey had tried to wake his older brother from an obviously less-than pleasant dream, Leo had nearly gutted him with a tanto he had hidden under his pillow.
Mikey was positive that his current experience would be no different. Strapped to a cold metal exam table, tilted to an upright position, his arms and legs were held completely immobile. A wide length of stiff, scratchy, canvas-like material was banded across his chest and stomach. Neck restraints prevented him from even turning his head when sounds of a drill being fired up, came from beside him.
The four of them had been captured by Bishop's men when they'd tried to infiltrate the man's stronghold. Bishop's men were not trained foot soldiers; they did not fight the same way Karai and her foot soldiers did, and no matter how skilled he and his brothers were in combat, they did not stand a chance against over fifty guards armed with automatic weapons and laser rifles.
Mikey refused to back down and lower his gaze when Bishop reappeared in front of him, arms folded. The drill was nowhere to be found; a scare tactic, Mikey realized, and he bared his teeth in a silent snarl, trying to let anger replace the helpless fear attempting to overtake him.
"Are you ready for round two?" Bishop asked. His voice was relaxed, almost jovial. Mikey shuddered – the man sounded as though he truly felt no guilt, no remorse for what he was doing. Even your typical animal abusers showed more signs of upset after kicking a dog then this monster did for treating him as less than even a lab specimen.
"Ya sure you don't need time to analyze the stuff you've already taken?" Mikey asked weakly, hoping to distract the scientist-slash-government agent, but the man seemed relentless. His eyes, cold and hard, seemed to look through Mikey, beyond him, to a future only Bishop could see. The faint hope of sidetracking him died a silent death, leaving Mikey cold and sick with fear inside. "I don't mind if you wanna take a break, you know. I hear government types work long hours."
Bishop chuckled, the light tone gone now, leaving in its place a frozen sound devoid of any humanity whatsoever. "I...appreciate your concern. However, I assure you, I will have ample amounts of time to study your own, unique genetic material." His eyes flashed behind his darkly-tinted glasses. "After I have examined all four of you, that is." One hand reached under the table, rummaging for something.
Mikey closed his eyes and waited. He'd been poked, prodded, sliced at and drained of blood, vial after vial flowing away through a maze of tubes while he could only sit and watch. His mouth had been swabbed, the cottony fibers thrust down his throat in Bishop's supposedly earnest attempt to be 'thorough'. Swatches of skin had been stripped away without any kind of anesthesia, painful shell and plastron scrapings collected with a razor-sharp scalpel to be tagged and stored away.
God only knew what was next, and the guys could call him a chicken if they wanted to, but he didn't want to see anything else coming towards him. His admittedly girlish scream was good for a laugh at other times as a tension breaker, but he had no intention of giving the agent the satisfaction of hearing him cry out.
He felt a sharp jab in his shoulder, the feeling of something being injected, and his eyes snapped open. "What was that?" he couldn't resist asking, even though a part of him was deathly afraid to hear the answer.
"A sedative," Bishop said casually, setting the syringe down and picking up a cloth. The agent wiped his hands carefully, eying the captive mutant as though trying to analyze him through mere observation. "And now, it's time for you to make a choice."
"A choice?" That did not sound good.
Bishop smiled again, making Mikey cringe. "Yes, a choice. I am in the process of testing a new formula for my super soldiers – one I hope to begin testing on normal, human soldiers, pending the outcome of certain...experiments." Flicking a switch, the neck restraints unlatched and slithered away inside the table, like a seatbelt retracting. Mikey could move his head, and his eyes automatically began tracking Bishop as the man moved to the other side of him, gesturing to a table filled with vials, test tubes and other apparatus Mikey vaguely recognized, having seen a similar setup in Donatello's own lab. Bishop held up a vial of a light blue liquid, twisting it in the light, letting it swirl in front of Mikey's eyes. "This is a hormonal serum, designed to loosen a person's inhibitions, much like alcohol. But the added effect is that it increases one's natural aggression." Bishop moved closer to Mikey, who flinched. "It greatly increased aggression in rats and lab mice that had previously coexisted harmoniously. Now it's time to move up the evolutionary ladder. You and your kin are not human, but genetically, you do have human DNA within your structure. That's why your mutation has you walking on two feet instead of four, why your brain is exactly like that of a humans, and not that of a simple red-eared slider." He smiled. "You are the perfect 'next step' before I begin the human trials."
Mikey blinked, confused. For a minute, it had been like listening to Donnie trying to teach him science. But Donnie was nothing like this creep. "So what's the choice?" He was incredibly surprised – and thankful – that his words came out without a single tremor.
"You get to choose who gets the serum." Bishop turned around and walked in front of Mikey, heading for the wall. A flat switch was embedded into a steel panel and Bishop pushed it. The metal walls suddenly pulled apart, revealing an inner chamber – with two very familiar figures securely strapped down, side-by-side, on matching stainless steel exam tables. "I need to test whether or not a subject can resist the aggressive side effects, if they can fight back against it and restrain themselves. It's an important step, on the road to achieving the perfect soldier for this great country. To have the ability to destroy everything, carry out any mission, without being hindered by something so paltry as a conscience. You should feel proud to be a part of history."
"No!" The word escaped Mikey's mouth automatically as he saw his brother push weakly against the restraints, nearly out of it but obviously trying to fight his way awake. "Raph?" On the other side, Leatherhead was completely unconscious, head dangling down loosely on his massive chest. "Leatherhead!"
"Which one shall it be, hmm?" Bishop stepped between the two groggy mutants, like a game show host showing off a pair of prizes. "Which one do you want to try and attack you? Which one would you like to subject to the serum and whatever interesting effects that could possibly happen?"
Mikey glared at the man. "You must be totally cracked if you think I'll make a choice," he growled, twisting futilely within his restraints. "You're going to do what you want anyway – nothing about this is my choice at all!"
Bishop laughed, sounding truly amused. "True enough," he allowed. "One of them will be injected, regardless. But think of it as a kindness on my part. You can have your brother subjected to it – maybe it won't affect him. Maybe your bond as brothers will let you reach him in a highly aggressive state." He tapped Leatherhead's table. "Or maybe your friendship with this one will allow you to do the same? Though I wouldn't be too sure of that – the crocodile is particularly aggressive even without the serum, reverting to animalistic rages with amazing ease." He smiled again, his teeth gleaming white in the harsh lights of the lab. "Either way, the results will be interesting and informative. Make your choice."
Tears bit the corners of his eyes, but Mikey held them back desperately. He didn't want to do this! He didn't want either of them to get stuck with any kind of needle and serum drummed up by a mad scientist! But...Mikey looked up, biting his lower lip.
Flashes of his first memory of Leatherhead came back to him; thoughts of a mindless rampaging creature bent on tearing him limb from limb. He recalled how easily Leatherhead was able to get a hold of him, slamming him into the cement wall, cracking it like a spiderweb of concrete. It had taken all three of his brothers to wrestle him to the ground and hold him there.
Right on the heels of that memory came another, a more recent one, where in concern, he had tried to comfort a shaky Leatherhead – and he'd been struck aside with such ease. There had been no reaching him, and that was when Leatherhead had been in control of his own mind. Traumatized, sure, but not under any kind of drug. His brothers had rescued him after he'd been knocked for a loop. He'd been lucky to get away with only a few bruises to remind him of that encounter.
The crocodile was ridiculously strong. In a way, so was Raphael, but Mikey would bet more on his bond with his brother, no matter how tenuous it sometimes was (particularly after Mikey pulled any of his pranks), than he would on the relatively new one of friendship they shared with Leatherhead. Which meant...
Tears filled his eyes, and he couldn't hold them back. He was going to betray his brother because he was a coward, because he was afraid of being killed by Leatherhead. His brother was going to pay the price for his cowardice. Mikey's head lowered as he whispered brokenly, "I... choose my brother."
Bishop nodded, looking amused, and not particularly surprised. "I thought you would," was the only comment he made as he opened a drawer by Raph's table. A needle had already been prepared and Mikey forced himself to watch, refusing to hide his eyes from what he had chosen, as the agent leaned over his brother, injecting it into his shoulder. Raph muttered something, shifting in discomfort, still half-out of it, and Mikey closed his eyes.
The sedative he'd been injected with suddenly began to take effect, and Mikey let himself willingly be taken away into the darkness, wanting to leave what he'd done behind him. The last thing he heard before he went under completely, was Bishop addressing a sentry at the door:
"Take them both to the cell."
End part 1 of 11.
Notes: While writing this part, I was researching the episodes where Bishop had them captured. I know Leatherhead's trauma-induced attack on Mikey happened later, after they all escaped, and so I'm placing this fic at a time after that, making it an AU ep, a time when thy had been captured again. Being attacked by LH twice would make Mikey less inclined to choose him then if it had just been the one time (and Mikey HAD been able to reason with LH th first time), and I needed him to choose Raphael. Hope this doesn't confuse you too much.