Chapter 1


Ace Mona Ellwood stood behind her "father" as he had his meeting with Dr. Baxter Stockman over the computer. She stood, listening intently to what the two adults were saying; knowing very well that she would have to do something for whatever it was they were talking about. That was what Ace always had to do. She was more of a worker than a "daughter" to the man she called Master or Sensei. Which seemed rather strange to anyone who didn't know their background story.

Ace was a fifteen year old girl who was rather on the short side. She was five feet tall and had been that way for a while, not growing in height since she was twelve. She had long, shiny red hair that hung down to the middle of her back. Her strange red eyes almost seemed to glow in the dark. She was a fit girl. She was a very active person, being a ninja and a Geno, after all.

A Geno was a person who was genetically altered before they were even born. Her DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, had been altered. They had handpicked what traits she was to receive before she was even in the whom. They had not only picked what her hair color was going to be, but what abilities she would posses. They made sure her immune system was strong along with her physical abilities to become a ninja. She had also been given a very intelligent brain.

After her "father" had paid a woman to be a surrogate, she was taken and raised as his own. She was more of his worker than a daughter. He trained her, taught her everything he knew and had her do a lot of his work. She, along with some of his other workers called the Foot Ninja, did whatever bidding he wished.

Dr. Anfri was the scientist that had created Ace. He had also been her teacher, teaching her everything that she would have been taught in a school, but at a much faster rate. She had graduated high school when she was ten. She could speak several other languages other than English. She could speak Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and German. She was very smart and enjoyed learning, but she was much more interested in ninjutsu, what her "father" taught her.

"Are the Mousers ready, Stockman?" Saki asked the doctor. His deep voice gravely, harsh and demanding. It was hard for anyone to disobey him when his voice was like that. It could be rather frightening. Ace was used to it though. It didn't frighten her unless he was threatening her.

"The Mousers will be ready when I decide they're ready," Stockman replied. Ace knew her father wasn't going to be pleased to hear that. Nobody spoke back to him like that, not even Ace. "Our first field test was -" he couldn't finish because he was interrupted.

"Was a complete failure," Oroku Saki said. "I do not tolerate failure."

"Which is why you'd make a lousy scientist," Stockman pushed.

He has a point there, Ace thought. But he's not getting any brownie points for talking back like that. I'm surprised he's still alive.

"The test was supposed to expose any possible design flaws," he continued to explain. "As a result I've already upgraded the Mousers for greater durability and I assure you they will perform flawlessly for the next phase of the plan."

"They had better, Dr. Stockman. For your sake," Saki threatened.

The call ended there. Saki hung up and turned to Ace. His black, almost blue looking long hair was behind his ears. His black eyes looking at her like they usually did when he was going to give her an order. He was wearing his kimono. His brown sash went across his stomach and tied in the back. The top part of his kimono, almost like a vest but in kimono form was grey with two of the red three toes Foot symbol on each side. Under that he had a light tan kimono. That was the color of the pants part of his kimono and the sleeves. His socks were white and his sandals tan. That was what he usually wore, other than his battle uniform.

"I want you to go down there," he ordered. "I want you to make the assembly line of Mousers is working as planned. I don't want him screwing up."

"Of course, Sensei," she replied, bowing respectfully. Of course, the girl had no respect for the man that was called her father. He was a cruel man that only thought of himself. Ace was only created for his benefit. There was no other reason for her being. She didn't like that. She was grateful for him creating her because otherwise she wouldn't exist, but she did wish he was more of a father and cared more about her. That wasn't going to happen though. She knew that for a fact.

She got up to go changing into her ninja outfit before heading out to leave to go to the Stocktronics building, but stopped and turned around, looking at her father curiously. "Master?" she asked.

"What is it?" he answered, looking up from the table in front of him and to the child.

"What is the Mousers purpose, exactly?" she asked. She had not once heard of why they were creating the robots. They told the public they were for cleaning up the cities rat problem, but that surly wasn't the case. Saki didn't care about stupid rats in the city. There had to be something more to it than that. She just knew it.

"Do you recall my enemies that I've been searching for, for many years?" he asked her.

"Of course, Master. The Utroms that imprisoned you. You crash landed on Earth, many, many years ago. You're searching for them, no?" she said. "You are searching the sewers with them?"

"They could be anywhere," he replied. "Now, be off with you."

"As you wish, Master," she said. She bowed politely and turned to leave the room.

Oroku Saki wasn't the kind billionaire he looked to be. No, he was actually an alien species called Utrom. He actually looked almost like an octopus with little legs, two big eyes and a mouth with sharp teeth. His slimy skin was red. He was rather scary and creepy looking. Ace had grown up seeing him like that, and in his exoskeleton, the robot that he used to make himself look human. He controlled it by placing himself in the stomach area of the robot and working leavers there.

It didn't weird the girl out on bit. She had grown up seeing him like that. She had seen other thing he had his scientists created. She had seen mutants, aliens and other completely strange and abnormal things. She was one of those things. It wasn't normal for people to be genetically altered. She was rare. Some might have said she was special, but she saw nothing special about herself. She was a freak.

Ace walked into her room and changed into her ninja outfit. It was just simply a one piece black suit. She didn't know what the material was made out of, but it resembled something like spandex, but she could tell it was stronger than that. It was completely black except for the red Foot symbol on the left breast. It was very form fitting to her fit, curvy teenage body. Her hair was pulled back in a tight bun. Over her head, covering it completely along with her neck was cover with a black mask. It didn't let any of her features show except for her red eyes through the little slits she was to see out of.

Her weapons consisted of a black steel fighting fan, a black manriki chain, a black steel tanto, and her favorite, her black katon katana. Her black steel fan had the Foot symbol printed on it. It couldn't be distinguished unless it was fanned out. Other than that, all of her weapons were completely black. She could blend in with the shadows better that way. Not that she had couldn't do it on her own, but it just made her job even better.

Ace quickly made her way out of the building, jumping from rooftop to rooftop with stealth and skill to the Stocktronics building. She avoided the cameras and snuck her way into the office of Baxter Stockman. His office was quiet. Ace assumed that he was down in the secret lower floor of the building. She walked over to the computer in the middle of the room and pressed the icon on the desktop to open the secret door to the elevator behind a book shelf that went down to the room where the Mousers were manufactured.

The girl stood in the elevator for what seemed like forever. She was a patient girl, but she couldn't help but feel like she wasn't going anywhere. Plus the small space was starting to bother her. She might have been a ninja, but the small space made her feel claustrophobic. She gave a slight sigh of relief when the elevator came to the bottom. The doors opened and she stepped out, quickly jumping into the nearest shadow to conceal herself.

After Ace saw there was nobody around except for Stockman in the control room, she stepped out of the shadows and casually walked in the glass enclosed hallway to the control panel where Baxter was. She looked out of the glass briefly after jumping over a motion detector she not only saw, but sensed.

Below her was where all of the Mousers were being assemble. Hundreds and hundreds of Mousers were moving in assembly lines being put together. Ace figured that father had ordered a lot of the Mousers to look for the Utrom, but she didn't think that many were needed. It was overkill. How much money was he spending on those little robots? Wasn't there something better he could be spending his millions on? Maybe on third world countries? Yet, Ace knew very well that he wouldn't do that. He wasn't a very good person, to leave it at that.

When Ace got to the control room, she stood there for a moment watching Dr. Baxter Stockman work on the computer in front of him. It was amazing that he didn't realize that she was standing there. Then she remembered that she was a ninja and he wasn't. Her senses would have been able to pick that up, but his wouldn't. She was trained to notice things like that. So him not being able to tell she was there was normal.

Normal is boring, Ace thought.

"You babies are going to make me rich," Stockman muttered with a joyous laugh.

"Now, now, Stockman. Let's not get greedy," Ace said smoothly, stepping out of the shadows of the wall behind her so he could see her. He had jumped and turned around at the sound of her voice. "For greed all nature is too small."

The African American man huffed in annoyance and turned back to his work as Ace walked closer to him. She leaned against the machine with her arms crossed and her back to the glass where you could see the manufacturing of the Mousers. She had gotten bored with watching them be made.

"But from the first day to this one, sheer greed was the driving spirit of civilization," Stockman said, still working on the computer and not looking at the girl. She found it rather rude. She preferred it when people looked you in the eyes when talking to you. It was only common courtesy.

Ace shook her head and looked at Stockman. "Greed has driven the whole world crazy. It has taken the whole universe," she said. She was right, though. Beings from other planets were just as greedy as humans. Her "father" was one of them. She tried to just be thankful for the things she had, knowing very well she could lose it all in an instant. "Just remember, Stockman, greed may be the inventor of injustice, but it is also the current enforcer of it."

"It seems to me that you are in the injustice category, my dear. You're just as bad as I am, maybe even more. I wouldn't be talking if I were you," Stockman retorted slightly peeved. He didn't like that the girl was as smart or maybe even smarter than he was.

"Don't call me dear," she spat. He had no right calling her that little pet name. She didn't like it. "I'd be careful with what you say, Stockman. I'm stronger than I look. I may be small, but I can do more damage in one blow than you could ever try to do with a million."

His facial expression didn't change as he worked, but Ace could see him gulp. She smirked at him, knowing she won. He couldn't see the smirk through her mask, but she didn't care. She won that little verbal battle. She wasn't fond of him. She wanted him to know just exactly the position he was in and the higher one she was comfortably sitting in watching him work as she sipped on lemonade.

"Does the boss not trust me?" he asked after a couple minutes of silence. "I can assure you that I'm doing as instructed."

"As am I," she laughed. "I won't say anything about Master, but I will say I don't trust anything that has to do with you, Dr. Stockman."

"So disrespectful," he muttered. Ace wanted to hit him for that, but she restrained herself and remained still. "Genomes, what good are they?"

"Excuse me?" she asked very irritated. "If I am correct, which I am, I am genetically superior to you. I have no sickness. I have more abilities that you could only dream of. I would not be talking if I were you, Stockman. You should be quick to learn if you know what's good for you."

Sure, Ace had been genetically altered. She had everything chosen out for her. She was smarter and stronger than most humans her age are even older. But she also knew that it didn't make her better than anybody else. It wasn't just based on a person genes. It was also the environment that they were raised in as well. That was a very big factor. She was just made at Stockman and wanted to insult him. She knew he thought that Genomes were better. She knew it would hurt his ego.

"What is it you want, Geno?" Stockman asked, turning to the girl in an irritated manor. "If you didn't know, I'm quite a busy man and if you want your boss to be happy, you'd be sure to back off while I try to complete what he wants."

Ace wasn't really fond of the code name "Geno" that had been given to her. It was short for Genome. She knew it was to keep who she really was a secret, but she just preferred the name Ace, the one she had been given when she was "born." Sure, it was strange and something people didn't hear often, if not ever, but it was her name and she liked it.

"Master wanted me to see how things were going," she said. She was interrupted before she could continue.

"You can see things are going as planned," Stockman hissed. "Now you can leave."

"I suppose I could," she trialed. "But I think I'll stay a while. You know, get into the project a little more." She smirked knowing very well that he wouldn't like that. She pushed off of the computer she had been leaning against and walked over to the hallways as if to leave. "Just remember," she said. She stopped and turned around and looked at him. He had stopped what he was doing to look up at the girl. "I'll be watching."

With that, she jumped into the hallway and quickly found a dark, small place to hide. She sat there relaxing. She closed her eyes and tried to think of something other than business things. All she seemed to find was work though. The girl worked too much. All she had was, "I have to do this" or "I have to do that" running through her mind. She made a mental note to take a break later that night or the next to get a piece of pizza from her favorite little parlor. Sadly, that was as much of a break as she could think of to take.

I need a life, Ace thought sadly. Ace didn't get to leave the Foot building very often. When she did it was either for work or to run to the store to get something. She didn't know anybody her age. She didn't really have any friends other than one of two scientists in one of the labs. Even then, they were older then her and were more of acquaintances than friends.

She didn't have to go to school like a regular kid. She didn't have to go to the doctors like regular kids. She had already graduated and she had her own doctors. There usually wasn't a need for her to do things like regular kids. Although, she did enjoy the sport hockey very much. She did sneak out of the building to go play that every once in a while and would watch the games on TV.

Ace heard movement from the control room and then saw Stockman stoke by and over to the elevator. He looked around trying to find Ace. When he couldn't find her, Alex smirked triumphantly. She loved being good at when she did. The elevator doors opened and he stepped in. Ace continued to sit where she was as the elevator went back up to Stockman's office. She really should have gone back up with him, but she didn't feel like it. She already had to be around him enough as it was. She didn't want to be stuck in a small elevator with him. She didn't like elevators as it was.

Ace jumped down out of her hiding spot and was about to take a step towards the direction of the elevators, but stopped when she heard the elevator coming back down. She quickly jumped back into her spot and watched the doors in anticipation. She was guessing it was stockman. He probably forgot something and had to go back down to get it. Ace smirked at the plan that popped into her head. When he was in the control room she would take the elevator and make him wait till she was up till he could go back up it. It was a simple and only a sliver bit of evil, but it made her day. She really didn't like this Stockman fellow.

What shocked the ninja in hiding was that it wasn't stockman who had come back out of the elevator, but a female. The woman had dark red hair, like Ace's. Her eyes were green and she was taller than Ace. She looked to be in her early twenties. Under her long white lab coat was a short, tight purple shirt that stopped in the middle of her breasts and belly button. It showed her nice womanly figure quite well. Her long tan cargo pants seemed a little plain, but they suited her nicely.

Ace curiously watched the woman walk through the hall and into the control room. She quietly jumped down and crept into the control room. She leaned against the back wall, like she had done earlier and watched the woman work on Stockman's computer. Ace wondered if she was authorized to be down there. She guessed not since she had been cautiously moving about. However, she didn't know about the motion detector in the hall, the one Ace had jumped over. She had walked right through it, setting it off. Stockman would be down there soon enough.

Ace just sat back to watch the show.

"Rat problem my eye," the woman said, typing away at the compute. "What are you really up to, Stockman?"
Ace smirked. She liked this woman. She not only had the same hair color as Ace, but she didn't like Stockman either. She seemed smart, but what Ace could see her doing with the computer. However, she wasn't sensing that Stockman was behind her. Ace had heard, seen and felt him coming. She wasn't good with that like Stockman wasn't. Ace was starting to feel that she was the only human in the world that could do that.

"Now, now, Ms. O'Neil," Stockman said, like Ace had done with his name earlier. "That would be telling."

Ms. O'Neil quickly turned around to see Stockman walking in and Ace leaning up against the wall casually. Ace pushed herself off of the wall and closer to the woman before her. She didn't really want to have to do anything to the woman, like she had said before. She liked her. She found her interesting. Baxter on the other hand…Not so much.

"Suffice it to say that my army of Mousers would make me a very rich and powerful man," Stockman started to say. Ace just wanted to take him down right then and there for even starting to explain things to her, but she didn't think her Master would be very pleased with her.

"But aren't you already a very powerful and rich man?" she asked trying to stall for time. She didn't know that Stockman had a remote behind his back. He pressed a button that started to lower the glass in front of the computers. Just outside the window was claw devise that could easily pick her up and drop her down to the mousers. That's what Ace thought he was going to do.

"He's just very greedy," Ace said. She got a rather annoyed look from Stockman who turned back to the woman.

"Ah, Ms. O'Neil. So brilliant yet so naive. I will truly miss working with you." He gave her an evil look at could send a chill down any normal person's back. It didn't creep Ace out due to the fact that her Master was a much more threatening person to her than Stockman was. Plus, things didn't weird her out easily. Not with what she had grown up with. Not with what she was raised by.

"What? You mean I'm fired?" she asked.

Ace didn't really want to see what was going to happen next. She knew very well what was coming, but she didn't want to have to watch it. She turned around and walk back down the hallway and to the elevator. The doors opened and she stepped in. The doors closed and as the elevator went up she thought, Plus, I don't want to be the one to clean up the mess.