Deadly inGenuity: Prologue

Darkness. The feeling of fear crawled through the room, creeping along the walls with long fingers, reaching towards the frightened eyes of a child. In the small room, empty except for of a pair of bunkbeds, the wear and tear of previous usage showing strongly in its character. Soft whimpering barely escaped the lips of the boy before being lost in the cold night air. Nightmares, bad dreams and scary thoughts filled his mind with frightening images. He sat up, wrapping himself in a tattered blanket, motionless and undetectable to monsters unseen. Soft movements outside the door made him draw in a quick breath. Images of the beast coming through the door told his instinctual mind to back away, into the dark recesses of his bed. His mind lurched into high gear, creating shadows with serrated teeth, sharp claws, and large eyes. Those eyes. He could see the slanted eyes, looking, thinking, calculating and plotting its attack. He half closed his eyes, unsure of what he would see. The sudden presence of a glowing candle made him blink. The candle entered his sight, casting small rays of comfort throughout the room. Soon a hand and arm joined, until eventually the full figure stood in the room. Light reflected from the adult's black eyes, and met the frightened young one's. He approached slowly and sat on the bed's edge, setting the candle on a nearby table. The young child emerged from the shadows, feeling the dangers depart. "What is wrong, my son?" The Sensei asked softly. The small turtle slid forward, taking shelter in his master's steadfast presence. "I had a bad dream", the little one replied, "Can you stay with me?" The tired mentor sighed inwardly. The night had been short enough already because of this one's earlier antics, much less the antics of his brothers. He laid a gentle hand on the little one's head and nodded. "I will stay, but only until you are no longer frightened", he answered. He went and sat in the rocking chair by the table, only to find the small turtle at his side. The look on the child's face revealed to him that this had been no ordinary nightmare, as well as the obvious fact that it was going to be a very long night for the both of them. "It's too dark in bed.can I-sit with you?" the young son pleaded. Ah, yes, the Master was well familiarized with his fear of the dark. Many a night he had to stay in the room, trying to coax this one into sleep. Prolonged efforts to getting him to sleep in his own bed, not to mention the endless stories, lullabies, and 'night whites'. Pulling his mind back to the present, he looked into the boy's pleading eyes, and felt his heart give in. So much for being the stoic sensei. He nodded once, and the little one scrambled up into his lap as fast as his short arms and legs allowed him. Once the young turtle was seated, the master put a hand on his student's shoulder. "How about you talk about your dream. It may help you feel better." He said softly. The little turtle nodded hesitantly, and gave a quick glance around him before beginning his tale. "Well, I was in some strange place, and I was older, like a teenager or something." he began, " I could see this girl. A human girl.she was being attacked by something-a monster! I was calling her name, but I couldn't move to help her." The mournful expression in the child's eyes made his Master arch an eyebrow in interest. "You knew his girl?" he asked. The little turtle hesitated to answer. He knew that letting humans know of their existence was against the most important of all the rules. He scrunched his face in thought. "I don't know her, but in my dream I did! We were doing stuff together, like those people on-on the soup oprahs! " "Soap Operas", his Sensei corrected him, hiding his amusement. "Yeah, that's it! But in my dream, we were walking out on the surface, and we were gonna do all that weird mushy stuff grown-ups do," the little turtle's icky face suddenly glanced sheepishly up towards his master," um.well, not bad.like the grownups." The suddenly reddish hue on the youth's face made the adult rat shake his head slightly. "My son, you let your imagination take control of your emotions too easily," The sensei said in a gentle rebuke. "But, but it was so REAL, Master! I could hear things and feel stuff, like I was really there when it happened. We were walking through a big muddy place. I could feel the mud under my feet.uh, it was cold-really cold! There was stuff in the air that was really wet too. I think Don once called it 'fog'. The girl.she was tall, almost as tall as you, and her fur was really long and soft-" "Do you mean hair?" The sensei said, hiding a small smile. "Umm, yeah! Hair, that's it!" The little turtle grinned. The grin soon dissipated as he continued to tell the dream. "Suddenly, the girl got hurt. By a big monster.I tried to run to her-she was making a lot of noise and crying, and there was red stuff all over her. It got on me too. It was awful.no matter how I tried, I couldn't get all the stuff off." The little one's voice wavered, raising the sensei's concerns, but he took on a determined little kid look and pressed on. "The scariest thing was all the noise the girl and the monster were making. It was really loud, and then-nothing.I tried to talk to her, but she wouldn't talk to me, not even look at me! That was when the monster came after me, and-that was when I woke up. It was so real, I just-I.I watched the girl die!" The master took a breath after he realized he had been holding it. The little one wiped back a small tear and sniffed silently. The rat sighed, and pulled his upset child close. "Hush now, it was only a dream, little one", he said soothingly, "it did not happen, you are safe, and everything is all right." The child nestled into his father's embrace, casting a worried glance towards the occupied bunks. "But-but Raphael said," He said between yawns, "he said that.he had a dream about. about a human girl too." The little turtle's words grew quiet, and a soft purring soon let the Master know that his small student was sound asleep. He picked his young son up and put him into his bed, pulling the covers up to his chin. His mind wandered to his son's last comment. Raphael's dream stood out strongly in the teacher's mind. His dream had also been very disturbing. Much more disturbing.could they somehow be linked, or be as windows of the future? It couldn't possibly be premonitions.or could they? A mind such as theirs held endless possibilities. The abilities they presently possessed alone were more than anyone could have ever imagined possible. He checked one last time on his sons before exiting, and shook his head. There would be plenty of time to worry about that later. He departed to get some rest himself before his sons would inevitably wake him in the early hours of the morning. The light dimmed, and the room darkened once more.