NOTE: This story takes place after "Turtles Forever" and is Book Five of a Ten book series. The other titles so far include, "So Long, No Thanks For All The Fish", "My Seer, My Secretary", "Raphael Counts 'Em All" and "The Lotus and The Sun"

DISCLAIMER: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are trademarked by Nickelodeon, the 1980s cartoon characters are trademarked by Fred Wolf. All original characters are mine


Christmas was many things, but the one word that could best describe it on a consistent basis was "frantic". Frantic shoppers and frantic traffic littered the pavements and roads of New York City. For a large contingent of people there was very little time for real recreational activity when there were presents to purchase and job obligations to fulfill.

Yes. Job obligations. Christmas, even in the present time, still carried with the Bob Cratchetts of the age, working tirelessly for their Ebenezers, and unlike that wonderful carol , there would be no ghosts to put their greed notions to rest.

For those with the good fortune to not be so committed to the workplace, or obligated by the pull of good parenting to shower their offspring with expensive gifts, there were a few places where they could entertain themselves, but sometimes one good place is all you need. Such a place came in the form of the nearby ice rink in the heart of Times Square, where many a couple and an aspiring skater glided across the smooth and slippery floor in graceful motion. For a period that felt so out of control, many skaters felt like they could master just about anything. Not just their bodies, but their troubles too.

Situated at the center of the rink was another mistress of her particular element. April O'Neil, ace reporter for Channel Six news, covering the jubilant activity for her station.

"This is April O'Neil live from Times Square in New York, where, as the countdown to Christmas slowly ticks away, many are flocking to the beautiful and bustling skating rink to take their minds off those scrambling to make it home and prepare their purchased presents for the big day in three days time when they will be unwrapped by family members young and old. What will YOU be waking up to Christmas morning? We'll be back with you live in a few hours when yours truly will be taking to the ice with the elegant, dynamic, mysterious and talented skater, our very own "Phantom of the Arctic", see you then"

As the live feed was cut, April's assistant and cameraman, Vernon, was quick to criticize her.

"April, keep in mind kids are watching, drop a line about good old Saint Nick when we come back" he insisted.

April sighed.

"Santa? Why?" she said

"You don't want them to think he's not coming down the chimney do you?" Vernon replied

"Oh grow up Vernon, It's hard pressed to find any kid that believes in a Father Christmas anymore" April countered.

"Mr. Thompson's NEPHEWS do, and if you want a big surprise this year in regards to bonuses, it's best you keep ALL the children in mind" Vernon replied.

"Oh fine" April said, complying with some resistance in her tone, "But I'm leaving you to SUPPLY me with a Santa. If I'm going to drop a line about him, he may as well show up as a surprise"

"Oh leave that to me, I have the perfect candidate, it's a sure thing" Vernon replied. A thought suddenly occurred to him.

"Say, April?" he asked.

"What is it?" April said

"Who is going to be our "Phantom of the Arctic" this year? Our usual man quit Channel Six last month"

"Just you worry about finding a Santa Vernon, I've got this covered...that is, IF he says 'yes' to it" April replied. Vernon nodded, letting her get on with it.

As he turned his attention to lecturing more of the news crew about just about anything that came to his snobbish, quasi-perfectionist mind, April took to her handy Turtle-Com and activated it. A friendly face soon materialized on the main screen, that of April's best friend, the party animal of the four maverick mutants known as the Ninja Turtles: Michelangelo.

"Hey dudette, what's hanging?" Michelangelo said.

"You free?" April asked.

"As a bird, no wait, I'm a Turtle, scratch that" Michelangelo replied. April giggled, and pressed forward with her inquiry.

"Ok, that's covered, do you SKATE?" she said.

"I'm a champion at that babe, got a real knack for the time I accidently froze up the whole lair" Michelangelo confessed.

"Well you better get back in the swing of things, I need you to put whatever skills you got to good use. Every year we stage a dance at the ice rink with a reporter and a "Phantom" skater who whisks his partner off on a whirlwind routine. I've been selected for it this year, but our main man quit over a pay raise a month ago, and we've been in the lurch ever since. What do you say Mike, You up for it?"

"Gee April, I'm good at slipping and a sliding, but dancing on ice? I think that's best left to British TV" Michelangelo admitted, scratching his head.

"Please, just talk it over with the guys, I'm sure they'll understand" April said.

"Oh yeah, of course, Raph would be really up for it" Michelangelo replied, April wasn't impressed.

"Talk it over with them, not talk yourself out of this" she replied.

"Fine, you win...again" Michelangelo said

"Just what I wanted to hear from my leading amphibian. Ciao" she said, and turned off the Turtle-com. Vernon once again approached her

"Remember April, all the pick-up shots of the skaters are your responsibility. Burne trusting you with the directing gig could lead to bigger things for you behind the cameras, and bigger opportunities for me in front of it if you like the taste of such a job. You better have asked all the right questions around those with the technical know-how"

"Oh I ask the right questions all the time...I only wish the time came where I could give the right answer" April said. Vernon was confused

"What do you mean by that?" he said

April looked up at the sky, placing a hand out to catch a falling snowflake. As it evaporated in her hand, she clutched it close to her.

"My business Vernon. Mind your own" she said, and set to work on the pick-up shots.