Hi! Welcome to my second TMNT fanfic "Force of Habit!" My first was "Unlinked Chain!"
All my stories are written from the TMNT movie-verse, which is why the turtles don't have t-phones/shell cells/turtle coms in this tale, because they don't have them in the movies. ^^; I'm bringing in a character from the 2k12-Nick series, one Dr. Victor Falco; he has not met the turtles before because he is now in the movie-verse and his backstory and introduction are naturally a bit different.
My story is rated for Violence and Angst. Please enjoy what follows! ^^
Force of Habit
Chapter 1: Target Acquired
Don tapped on the phone's hookswitch and frowned – the line was dead. "Wha–?" He looked at the old pay-phone in shock and tapped the switch faster.
"What's the matter?" asked Mikey, sitting up in his chair at the dinner table.
"The phone–!" exclaimed Donnie, angrily setting the receiver back on its hook, "It's broken again!"
Mikey's features melted into a visage of horror. "What? But I thought you just fixed it!"
"I did!" snapped Donatello, looking around for his toolkit.
Mikey almost started. "But Don–! What about the pizza?! How're we gonna call it in?!"
Don sighed in exasperation as he crouched beside his open toolkit. "Obviously I'm gonna have to fix the phone."
"But that could take hours!" whined Michelangelo, "Dude! It's already dinnertime! I'm hungry NOW."
Don's fist tightened around his wrench and he rose, spinning to face his brother. "LOOK Mikey!" he snapped, shaking the tool in Mike's direction, "If you can't bring yourself to have just a little patience and wait while I repair the phone, then why don't you just go topside and get the pizza yourself!" Donatello stared angrily, waiting for Michelangelo to say something.
Mikey frowned. "Fine then!" he snuffed and rose from the table, "I will!" He left the kitchen and went straight into his room.
Don snorted and returned to his tools. In the dojo, Raph and Leo shrugged to one another; they'd both paused at the sound of their little brothers' upraised voices, but quickly recommenced sparring when the shouting stopped.
A minute later Michelangelo emerged from his room wearing a big black hoodie, baggy and long enough to cover his whole shell; only his green legs were showing. He headed right for the stairs that led up and out.
"Yeah!" he suddenly barked in Donnie's direction, "I'll go get the pizza! And we'll see if I bring back any for you!"
The screw Don had been trying to get in position slipped suddenly from its mooring and tumbled to the floor; angrily the purple-masked turtle spun towards the stairs. "OH that's real mature Mikey! Considering I'm the one doing all the work around here!"
"Whatever!" shrilled Mike, hustling up the steps and up to the brick wall that split to each side as he passed through; the wall shut behind him. Donatello grumbled as he turned back to the payphone, and sighed as he bent, looking around on the floor for the lost screw.
"Donnie," came Leo's voice as he and Raph emerged from the dojo, their skin shiny with sweat, "What was all of that? What's going on?"
Donatello found the screw, and stood, turning to Leo as he approached. "Mikey's stupid stomach is bigger than his brain."
The hard scrape of metal against pavement issued forth as Mikey pushed the manhole cover aside. The young turtle lifted his head into the night air of the city, and looked around; another dirty back alley, but it was the right one.
Mikey smiled and hopped out of the hole. He slid the heavy metal cover back but didn't set it in place, leaving instead an inch of space so he could easily move it away when he came back.
Standing, Mikey proceeded to straighten his hoodie; he pulled its hood as far down around his face as he could, then his eyes suddenly widened. "Oh shell..!" he spat, quickly reaching into his pockets; they were empty. He patted around his belt, and then palmed his face with a smack. "Oh doof! I forgot the money!"
Michelangelo rolled his eyes, lolling his head from side-to-side as he briefly considered returning to the Lair; he shook his head. 'Nah,' he thought, 'Can't do that.' He shoved his hands in his pockets and sighed through his nose; what to do? He tapped his wrapped foot against the cracked pavement.
After a moment of thought, his face suddenly brightened. With a mischievous grin he turned toward the backdoor of Roy's Pizza parlor, and casually approached as he'd intended to do from the beginning. He gave the door three hard knocks, quickly remembering to adjust the hood around his face.
The door opened, and a large man wiping his hands on a grimy towel frowned out at the hooded figure standing before him. "Yeah?" he groaned, "Heh, don't tell me: you're here to see Keno again?"
Mike quickly cleared his throat while also trying to keep his head down. "Yeah." he answered, attempting to make his voice sound gruff and deep.
"Ch," said the man, briefly shutting the door as he turned to shout through the kitchen, "Hey Keno! That weird guy in the green mask and tights is back!"
Mikey blinked, scuffing his foot against ground as he waited; he could hear muffled voices and hurried footsteps. The door came open again and the surprised face of Keno was there; he quickly stepped out to join the turtle.
"Mike!" said he, looking around, "What're you doing here?"
Mikey gave the human a very sheepish smile. "Simple answer? Hungry dude."
Keno frowned confusedly. "So why didn't you just call it in? You know I would've been happy to bring it to you!"
The orange-masked turtle puffed out a sigh. "Phone's broken."
"What? Again? I thought Don just fixed that."
Mikey frowned. "The fix didn't stick." he grumbled
"Oh." the pizza deliverer nodded in understanding. There was a mutual pause; then Keno spoke up again. "So, what? The usual?"
Mikey nodded excitedly. Keno smiled and held his hand out; Michelangelo sweat-dropped at the sight of the open palm. "Uhh," he said, nervously tapping the ends of his pointer fingers together, "Here's the thing. I didn't bring any money with me." Keno's eyes widened. "So I was hoping you could, like, maybe give us a couple of pizzas, and then we could, you know, pay you back later?"
"Mike!" huffed Keno, "What? I can't–!"
"Please!" entreated Mikey, giving the young human his best puppy-dog face, "Please! You know we'll pay you back! I just didn't bring any money this time. Please man, pleeease! I'm SO hungry!"
Keno stared for a moment, ultimately growling in defeat. "Argh! I can't believe I'm going to agree to this."
"Yay!" celebrated Mikey, giving a happy hop. He did a little dance, the hood of his baggy hoodie slipping off the back of his smooth head.
Keno was about to go back into the parlor when he suddenly turned back. "But you better make sure I get that money!" he barked, pointing a rigid finger at the turtle.
Mikey gave a thumbs up. "It's guaranteed dude!" And he winked. Keno gave an exasperated sigh, and went back inside. "Mmhmm!" Mikey hummed, eagerly rubbing his green-skinned hands together. He licked his lips as he envisioned the steamy hot-n-ready pizzas with their gooey cheese and tasty toppings.
He turned, looking around for a place to sit while he waited. There was a battered lump of a trash can up against the opposing wall, and it was on this that Mike plunked himself to wait. He suddenly pulled his hood back up over his head, giving a momentary glance around to make sure no one had seen him.
Cars were passing by in the open street beyond, even a few pedestrians on the sidewalk, but none noticed him. Mikey smiled and leaned back against the wall. For a moment he idly hummed a show-tune before his stomach abruptly growled; Mike's expression soured. He glanced over at the door, wishing it would open – but it didn't, so he sighed and leaned forward to look at the ground; the pavement was stained and cracking.
Mikey gave a wry smile. "Gotta love New York," he mumbled. That's when he felt something tingled across his senses—his eyes widened. There was a rush of air—
And Mikey sat bolt upright just as a man swung down a telescoping baton, right where his head had been. There was a crackle and a spark as the end of the baton came into contact with the ground. Mike's eyes widened: it was an electric stun baton!
The man swung it out at Michelangelo as the turtle sprang away. Doing a backward flip, Mikey landed further down the alley. He crouched forward, legs slightly bent, his weight resting on the balls of his feet; with the tips of his fingers touching the ground, he looked up at the man.
'Is it the Foot?' wondered Mike. But the man was decked out in gray and khaki green with gear strapped to his vest and around his thighs; he looked nothing like a Foot Soldier, especially wearing a dark cap and a strange metal breather-mask over his nose and mouth. 'Purple Dragon?' was Mikey's next thought.
The turtle suddenly tensed; he had been hit from behind by his sensei's staff enough times over the years to know when a strike like that was coming. Mike instantly jerked to the side as another man with a stun baton swept passed. This man was bigger than the first, and he aggressively rounded on the turtle, slinging the buzzing baton back and forth. It was obvious the man had had some kind of combat training for his swings weren't wild or loose, but very well-aimed with force behind each strike.
'Not a Purple Dragon.' thought Michelangelo, managing to avoid each and every blow. Of course it didn't really matter what kind of training the guy had undergone, because no training could rival that which one received from a mutated sewer rat.
Mikey could see from the man's face that he was swiftly becoming frustrated at not being able to tag the turtle. Mike had seen that same look on Raph's face hundreds of times, and he knew that if the man wasn't disciplined enough to keep his tempter in check, that he'd soon leave himself wide open.
This moment came sooner than Mikey expected. The man raised the baton high over his head, and lunged toward the mutant turtle. Mikey grinned. The man swung his weapon down at Michelangelo, but Mike caught the man's arm and turned, launching his attacker into the alley trash cans with an expert hip throw.
This cued the first man to come forward again; Mikey turned as this man charged at him. The man aimed low, trying to tag Mikey's legs with his baton; his movements came faster this time, his aim now more precise. But Mike had an idea.
With a mighty spring, the turtle jumped backward, yanking off his hoodie and threw it at the man's face. The man knocked the garment aside, but in that same second, Mike launched into the man's gear-laden chest with a fierce kick. The man sailed back, landing among the pizza boxes discarded in the alley.
Already the bigger, more aggressive man was on his feet; he was staring at Michelangelo angrily. He could see the turtle fully now that the hoodie was gone.
Mikey reached into his belt, and pulled out his nunchakus. He knew he shouldn't touch the stun batons with his chucks because he remembered Donatello saying something about metal conducting electricity. But, as the first man rose to join the second, Michelangelo began swinging his chucks around in a show of force and skill. 'Hopefully I can scare them off.' he thought.
Then there was a sound like a gunshot, and Mikey yelped as his left nunchuck sparked and went flying from his hand. The chuck hit the ground, buzzing with electricity.
Mike's gaze swung up to the rooftop of the opposing building, where he sighted the outline of a sniper against the dark sky. He jerked back as another sparking bullet whizzed past. It lodged itself in Roy's back wall, shooting out electric sparks.
'They've got electric bullets too?!' Mikey's face creased, and he turned tail as the other two charged at him in tangent. He leapt over the manhole he'd come up through and ran, because there'd be no way for him to move the cover and get down the hole before the men would lay their batons across his back.
He skidded 'round the corner only to find the flat face of a compact military-grade semi-truck blocking his path. Its lights flashed on, forcing the young turtle to shield his eyes. Heart pounding Mike spun away, wincing inwardly as another shockround bullet whizzed past his head.
The two men with the stun batons came racing towards him. Mikey gritted his teeth and shoved his remaining chuck into his belt. He turned, charging towards the wall of the pizza parlor, pouring all the strength he could muster into his legs. Mike sprang up against the wall and leapt out, flying clean over the men's heads.
He landed, awkwardly, but unharmed, and raced back into the alley behind the parlor. Michelangelo reeled to a stop — more men in gray and khaki were there blocking his path; they leveled their guns on him.
Mikey's face creased with fear and panic, his eyes darting left and right; there was nowhere else to run in the 'L' shaped alley. Down one side the baton men were coming, the truck at their backs, while down the other side were five other men armed with shoulder-fired net cannons and more guns loaded with shockrounds.
Mikey began backing away, grimacing as he glanced upward; the sniper was still there, and another was now atop the parlor roof. They had him utterly surrounded.
'Wha'do I do? Wha'do I do?!' It took no effort at all for Michelangelo to wish his brothers were there; he didn't want to handle the situation alone anymore, and was seriously beginning to doubt he actually could. 'Leo would be coming up with a plan right about now. And we'd all be kicking major butt!'
Then, all at once, the men halted their advance. Having just been backed up against the alley wall, Mikey blinked in confused worry. He couldn't know that inside the semi-truck, the ops leader had just ordered them to wait. The man, with his nicely trimmed beard, tapped a button on the communicator in his ear.
"Yes," he said, after a brief pause, "We have the animal cornered. How do you want us to proceed?" There was another pause.
Mikey's eyes widened as he spotted some movement in the rear alley, beyond the five men. The turtle clenched his teeth, for the backdoor to the parlor had just opened; Keno had just stepped out to keep Mike company while the pizzas were baking.
Keno's eyes widened at the startling sight before him. Mike tensed severely but managed to get Keno's attention before the young man drew attention to himself. The roof snipers thought it was strange when Mikey suddenly pointed up at them.
Keno quickly looked up. That's when Michelangelo dramatically waved his arm in a sweeping motion away from himself, signaling for Keno to go back inside. Keno saw the men turning in his direction and managed to duck back inside just in time.
"Roger that." said the ops commander, still in the truck; he tapped off his com. "Alright," he said into the on-board mic in the truck dash, "Orders are as before. The animal is not to be harmed. We're to subdue it, and bring it in."
"Copy that." Mikey heard the foremost man with the gun say. 'Here it comes!' he thought to himself, 'I've only got one shot!' He could feel the tension rising around him as the men's fingers tighten around their triggers.
Keno was breathing quickly, his brow creased in stark puzzlement. "Wha–?" He couldn't quite wrap his mind around what he'd just seen. He was about to open the door again when Roy called over to him.
"Hey Keno!" he shouted, plunking down a stack of pizzas, "We got an order called in! You gotta get these over to Bleecker Street ASAP!"
"What? But, I—!" Keno glanced at the door.
In the blink of an eye the ops men fired their shockrounds, but Michelangelo had already launched himself toward the truck. The men with batons were caught off guard and didn't have time to react as Mikey dropped to the ground, sliding passed their legs and underneath the truck.
"It's under the truck! It's under the truck!" sounded the head gunman; he dropped low, peering at the turtle through his gun-scope.
"Well don't fire under the truck!" commanded the ops leader, turning from the cab.
Mikey shimmied forward, low-crawling with such speed any boot camp sergeant would've been proud. Unfortunately, Mikey didn't know the ops leader had moved into the back of the small semi, and was opening the rear door. So when Mike came passed the rear tires and raised his head, it was a shock in more ways than one when the commander reached down, jabbing a two-pronged taser into the back of his neck.
Michelangelo shrieked, the sensation of a million needles sweeping through his body. The ops leader held the charge against Mike's skin for over three seconds before finally pulling it away. Mikey collapsed, limp and dazed against the ground.
"Quick!" the commander called to the man in the cab, "Drive forward!" He hopped out the back as the semi rolled forward; the driver stopped at the end of the alley, opening a door in the semi's side that allowed the men from the rear alley to file in. The snipers were quick to join the rest of the crew, having swiftly abseiled down onto the top of the truck and entered through the roof-hatch.
Several men jumped out to join their ops leader who'd grabbed the turtle's arms and was dragging him towards the truck. "Get the ramp down!" he shouted.
One of the men ran back, slapping a button along the side wall of the truck; a ramp extended out from above the rear bumper. As soon as it touched ground, the commander and his crew got Michelangelo up into the back of the semi.
'No! No!' cried Mikey, from his mind; he knew what was happening, and it terrified him. 'Leo! Raph! Donnie!' he thought wildly, as the men set him upon the cold metal floor. 'Help me! Please!'
The rear access of the truck was closed and sealed with a magnetic lock. The semi backed out of the alley, and joined the steady stream of traffic heading out of New York City.
Ahhhh! Mikey! D8 H-he's been abducted to parts unknown! But WHY? And what is Keno gonna do next?
Oh yes, and in case you were wondering why I made reference to the Purple Dragons when I said this story takes place in the movie-verse - it's because in the storyline of the TMNT PS2 video game, which is an extension of the 2k7 TMNT Imagi movie, the turtles actually fight the Purple Dragons SEVERAL times. ^^;
Stay tuned for Chap 2!