I shall never admit to the fact the Master Splinter might have had a valid point to be worried about me leaving the house. I am not a child, which is true.
But I might have forgotten that I tend to… get caught in strange and weird situations when I am on my own.
Such as, being corner by a giant green monster.
Yeah, this is pretty weird. And terrifying. It is weirdly terrifying.
With my back pressed firmly against the tree, I gulped. The monster slowly sauntered over to me, sniffing.
I wonder if it is scavenging? Looking for food? Oh well, that isn't very helpful since I am sitting just a few feet in front of it.
Maybe this thing is some weird sort of bear? I doubt bears are green though. Maybe it is a mutant bear!
It doesn't exactly have that rounded sort of look of a bear though. So what is it?
Turning its head towards me, our eyes locked.
Ah, I've been spotted.
Sniffing the air again, as if smelling my scent, it moved closer.
With its snout only inches from my face, it sniffed again. Turning my head to the side, I visibly winced, trying not to make a sound.
Of course the first thing that happens to me is that I run into some sort of monster. Just my luck.
Opening its mouth, I flinched at the large canines it had. Leaning a little bit more, I prepared to punch it in the throat if it tried to bite me.
What? What else was I suppose to do? I'm in a tight spot here.
Rolling my hand into a fist, I narrowed my eyes, but froze when the creature suddenly licked my cheek. Completely caught off guard, I blinked.
Stepping back a bit, the creature titled its head, looking sort of… happy. Leaning forward a bit it nuzzled the side of my face. Stiff, I slowly relaxed into the affectionate touch.
This… creature wasn't trying to hurt me. It was friendly.
Oh, that is a relief.
"H-Hello." I chuckled when the creature nuzzled my again. Taking a step forward it almost barreled my into the ground from the sudden hug it tried to give me. At least, I think it was a hug. "W-Whoa." Knocked over to my side I laughed when the bear stepped back and titled its head at me again. Sitting up, I brushed the snow out of my hair.
This was definitely a weird day. At least I seemed to have made a new friend though.
"Who are you big fella?" I asked as if the creature could respond. Sniffing the air again, the big creature stepped towards me and sniffed me. It seemed to like my scent for some reason.
It must have been that perfume April had lent me. It was this sort of mint and pine tree mixed smell.
Rising to my feet I smiled at the beast. I could tell it wasn't going to hurt me, but I wasn't exactly sure what to do next.
Nudging me a bit more, I couldn't help but reach out and stroke the creature's head. It seemed to enjoy the contact and leaned into my hand. With a small laugh I scratched a little harder. "Who is a good boy- girl? Uh… Who is a good big green monster?" I cooed.
Oh well, that just sounds weird. I can't go around calling this little sweet heart a monster. That is just rude.
"I should name you." I concluded, cupping the sides of the creature's face. Blinking at me with large blue eyes it licked my hands.
Heh, it reminded me of a puppy. A really big puppy.
"What would be a good name though?" I rubbed my chin in though. Tilting my head, I started to circle the creature. It stood there, watching me, shifting it's body to follow my movement. Moving back to stand in front of it, I nodded.
How about George?
Oh wait, what if it was a girl? I can't really tell with giant green monsters. Oh! How about Lily? Oh wait, then again it could be a boy.
So maybe… Aspen?
Oh, I like that name. It is strong yet gentle too. Perfect for a creature that I am not sure of what gender they belong to!
"Aspen." I grinned. Reaching out again I petted Aspen's head. It seemed pleased with its new name and circled me. Following it with my eyes I smiled. "Say Aspen, do you have a family out there? I've never seen an animal or anything like you."
Aspen continued to circle me. It isn't like it could answer me any way, but oh well.
Suddenly snapping into alert, Aspen snapped its head left and right.
"Aspen?" I asked.
With a small growl Aspen turned and fled away from the clearing we were standing in.
"Oh-wait!" I called to Aspen as it barreled into the bushes. Unsure of what spooked it, I was surprised when something suddenly came running from the trees behind me.
Prepared for it to be some other type of animal, or an enemy, I whipped out my blade.
Leaning against the tree, I could hear large stomping coming close.
It didn't exactly sound human… but it didn't sound like an animal either. How could I explain what it sounded like? Okay, it sort of sounded human. It was like a human was walking over hot coals though.
"Ohh. C-oooold! Oohhh." A voice filled the air. Eyes widening, I peeked out to find Donatello and Michelangelo running pass me, they bodies covered in frost.
What in the world?!
"Boys?!" I gasped. Freezing, they paused to look at me.
"M-M-Mom?" Mikey stammered from within the cold.
"Oh in the-" Placing my sword away, I moved towards them. "What happened to you two?!"
"F-Freezer… H-Hunter… C-Cold." Donnie could barely get out his explanation. Not sure what he was talking about I frowned. Seeing that he was trembling terribly though I got worried. It was never good for someone cold blooded like him to be out in the cold like this.
"Oh honey." I said softly, yanking off my jacket and handing it to him. While he took the jacket, I gave Michelangelo a tight side hug, trying to warm him up the best I could. "We have to get you two back to the house."
"S-S-Sounds go-od." They nodded vigorously.
Worried to how they both ended up this way be quickly rushed back to the house. Flinging the door open they both sprinted inside and headed straight to the fireplace. Stunned at the sight of the frost covering his son's bodies, Splinter rose to his feet.
"My sons. What happened?" he asked, worried.
"That is what I would like to know." At the sound of my voice, Splinter looked at me.
"Arinna." He greeted with a nod. I nodded back, moving to grab the boys some blankets.
"April!" I called. "Please, bring the boys some hot water and one of those mini tubs."
There was a pause before April stuck her head out from the kitchen, looking confused. "Okay, but why?"
"H-H-Hurry!" Mikey shivered, inching as close to the fire as he was able to without burning himself. Needing nothing else, and seeing what needed to be done, April rushed off. She soon re-appeared with Casey, who was carrying the mini tub while she carried a large jar of hot water towards the boys.
Grabbing the boys some chairs we herded them to sit down, wrapping the blankets around them tightly. They sighed with relief when they placed their feet into the tub and April poured the water inside.
"My sons." Splinter asked, a little sterner this time. "How did this happen?"
"I-It was Dr. Finn. Mikey and me got c-caught in her crazy containment chamber." Donnie stammered to explain.
…Whoa, hold the phone? Dr. Who? Containment Chamber? Exactly what happened in those few hours I was gone?!
Seeing my confused look, Donnie began to explain. "She is a scientist, well, biologist to be precise. Extremely gifted. She is also a brilliant technologist. She runs this small program involving Monster Hunting. She came here in search of the Green Man."
Monster Hunting? That is crazy. This lady came all the way out here to find monsters? That- oh, wait a minute. Monster Hunting? M and H? OH! That van I saw before must have been Dr. Finns!
Okay, that makes sense.
"She showed up this morning." April added, moving to grab more hot water. "She was after Mikey." She sighed.
"What?" I gawked at her. "Why? How did she know about him?!" the room grew silent and Michelangelo grinned sheepishly.
Frowning at his brother, Donatello rolled his eyes. "Genius here decided to go for a stroll through the woods today and got caught on video."
"Vid- Mikey!" I scolded him, making him flinch.
"I'm sorry." He squeaked.
Oh, this was… this was great. Not only had my Son been exposed, but now this loonatic was after his head.
And she threw them in a containment chamber where they were almost frozen?! This lady was heading higher and higher up my black list.
If Splinter hadn't just placed his hand on my shoulder I would have stormed out the door and after Dr. Finn right now!
But man, Splinter's grip is strong.
"Yeah, now that Loonatic is out there chasing after Mikey, thinking he is some Green Man." Casey spoke. "She is obsessed! Ya should have seen her when she first got her. What a nutjob!"
"…That is wild." I shook my head. I couldn't even imagine being that obsessed over something.
"Those who are obsessed often become their own worse enemy." Splinter sighed.
"So wait a minute- that still doesn't explain how you boys ended up in her containment chamber. Did she catch you?" I asked, worried. If she did, then that must mean she knows they are out there. She will come looking for them again.
Plus, for her to actually catch them isn't an easy thing to do. She must be pretty tough.
"Uh… Not really." Mikey looked at his feet, laughing nervously.
Donnie looked down, looking just as bashful as his younger brother. "We sort of… walked into the containment chamber on our own."
"…What?" I frowned.
"To be fair, Mikey walked in there first." Donnie said quickly.
"Wha- Dude! Not cool! You can't sell me out like that!" Mikey kicked at his brother, spilling out some water form the bin.
They walked right into it?
…Honestly, that makes so much more sense. It is kind of sad.
"When we stepped inside the doors closed and they were leaking in liquid nitrogen." Donnie mumbled, looking embarrassed to have been caught so easily.
Yikes, instant deep-freeze. Not fun. The boys are lucky they got out of there in time.
With a small sigh, I leaned forward and patted their heads. I was made at them, and they were completely grounded… but I'm so glad they are safe "At least you boys are okay." I smiled at them.
Leaning into my touch, the boys gave me small smiles.
Behind me, Casey was cackling wildly. "I can't believe you Bozos walked right into her trap!" Casey almost fell to the floor clutching his stomach.
"I believe it." Splinter said within his meditation.
"Splinter." I scolded, placing more hot water into the tub, making the boys swoon with relief from the bitter cold.
"All I know is that it is a good thing the Green man's not real. If that Doctor Finn ever got her hands on him, sheesh." Donnie shook his head.
I nodded. "Yeah, that would be-" I paused.
Hey wasn't that monster thing I saw earlier gre….gre…
"Oh my gosh." My eyes widened and I covered my mouth.
"What is it Mom?" Mikey titled his head.
"U-Um-" I stammered, rubbing the back of my head. How was I supposed to say this? "Is this Green man… real?"
"Of course not. It is just a legend." April answered instantly.
"Really?" I frowned.
"Yeah. Why do you ask?" the room stared at me, confused.
"…Cause I think I might have… met him." I mumbled the last bit.
Eyes growing wide, the boy's jaws dropped in shock. "You met him?!" they yelled in perfect unison.
I flinched a bit at their tone. "No boys, you might want to scream louder. I think part of the world didn't hear you say that." I rubbed my soar ears.
"That is… impossible Mom!" Donnie was the first to speak up. "The Green Man isn't real. It is illogical."
"Was he big?!" Mikey's eyes beam with excitement.
"Mikey!" Donnie scolded.
"Boys. Please, stay calm." Splinter said soothingly, moving towards us. Placing his hand on my shoulder, Splinter gave me a long stare. "Please, share with us this encounter Arinna."
"Well-" I looked at my hands. "I was in the woods, just a little bit before I ran into the boys. I was heading back because I saw Dr. Finn's van and got worried. On my way back though I ran into this big green monster! It was huge! Really big and menacing, but… kind of cute and sweet." I cooed a bit. "I named it Aspen."
"…You named it Aspen." Casey repeated slowly.
"Yes." I nodded.
Slowly looking at everyone, Donnie narrowed his eyes and leaned forward. I was surprised when he suddenly lifted up my bangs a bit and pressed his palm to my forehead. "Hmm, no fever." He deducted.
Pulling back I frowned at him. "I'm not making this up. I swear, I saw that Green man."
The room didn't look very convinced, and perhaps that is to be expected since I just recovered from a large cold and high fever.
Still though! It is just rude!
Huffing I whirled around. "Believe me or not, but I know what I saw. I also know we can't let Doctor. Finn get her hands on the Green Man! If she is as nuts as you say she will tear that poor thing apart."
"Hey!" Mikey suddenly perked up, standing up. Reaching forward April made him sit back down. "If that crazy lady wants Green Men, then I say we give her some!" he proclaimed
I tilted my head, confused. Did I not just say we can't let Dr. Finn find the Green Man?
"Kick butt Ninja Green Men!" Mikey cackled.
Oh boy. I think I have an idea of what he is thinking now. And by the way Donnie suddenly frowned, he does too.
"I, have a plan!" Mikey cackled.
Yup, I called it. This isn't going to end well, I just know it.
…Well, who knows actually. I should have faith in my son. Michelangelo is definitely not someone you should underestimate.
"A plan that probably won't end well." Donnie sighed.
"Shh." Mikey shushed him. "It will work. Casey! You need to help too! Go get some leaves and stuff! A lot of leaves!"
"Why?" Casey frowned.
"No time to explain, just go!"
With a huff Casey threw his boots on and trudged out of the house.
"Mom?" Mikey pointed to me. "How well can you sew?"
Blinking a few times, I felt myself smile. "I've been sewing my own cloths for years!"
"And you look fabulous!" Mikey nodded, clearly pleased. "So I'll need you to make us some Green Man costumes."
Too pleased to be called fabulous, I sort of ignored the detail of Michelangelo's request and agreed. "Leave it to me!" I beamed.
"Arinna I'm not so sure this is a good idea." April sighed.
"No way, it will work fine!" Mikey cackled.
Feeling pumped I got together my sewing stuff and began to make the costumes. It was a little difficult to make a monster costume out of leaves, but I managed to make it work.
I had to make them huge to fit the boys, but they looked so cute in the outfits! Casey even looked adorable in his own.
I think April thought so too, but she didn't want to say anything. She should really just tell Casey how she feels. Oh wait, she should actually realize her own feelings first.
I think she is mistaking her love for the annoying feeling she gets whenever he is around. I mean, watch them fight, it is OBVIOUS that they like each other.
And they make such an adorable couple. The violent punk and the sophisticated lady. Perfect pairing, right there.
"Mom, these look awesome!" Mikey cheered, turning around to stare at himself and his new costume.
"Yeah, how did you get the leaves to stick together so well?" Donnie gasped.
"Great patience my son." I smiled.
"Right." He laughed.
"Okay, so lets get goin'. It is getting' dark." Casey motioned to the door.
"Be careful." April called.
"We will." Mikey promised. "Hurry Mom!" he grinned, throwing the door open.
Now while I'm not going to be dressed in a monster costume like the boys, I was still going with them to watch their backs, in case something were to go wrong.
If this lady was really after the Green Man there is no way I am sitting out.
"OH!" I gasped. "Wait a second, I need my hat!"
"Hat?" the boys frowned, watching me run to the couch and pulling out the wide hate from behind it. It was the hat I took from that Foot Elite when they attacked us before.
"Oh! It is that awesome hat!" Mikey clapped, forgetting I had it.
"You can always hand it to the Foot to have amazing head gear." Donnie nodded in agreement.
"Got that right." I beamed, tossing the hat up and letting it land on my head. Satisfied, I nodded and followed the boys out of the farmhouse. "We'll be back soon Splinter."
He nodded to me. "Be careful my friend."
Nodding back I closed the door. It wasn't until I spotted the small light from the farmhouse that I realized Leonardo was still within.
He was still in there? I hope he is keeping himself warm.
"Oh, boys." I caught their attention. "Just give me 5 minutes really quick, alright?" I motioned to the farmhouse. Realizing that I wanted to go check on Leonardo they nodded.
Rushing to the barn I slowly opened the door, and was instantly met with a loud banging sound, like a hammer hitting metal.
Peeking my head into the barn to check on Leonardo before we headed out, I was surprised to find that Raphael was in there as well.
Raphael had the fire going while Leonardo was hitting a piece of metal with a blacksmiths hammer.
What were they-
Seeing the intense look in my boy's eyes, I began to realize what was going on. They were making new swords for Leonardo.
…Aww. That is so sweet of you Raphael.
Smiling softly, I tapped lightly on the door. Pausing from their work, they look up at me.
"Mom." Leo's eyes widened.
"Hey boys." I grinned at them. "Donnie, Casey, Mikey and me are heading out." I explained. "We got some... work to do. We'll be back soon. Make sure you keep the fire going if you are going to stay out here all night, okay?"
Smiling at me, my boys nodded. "Okay Mom." They agreed.
Happy I felt so proud of my oldest sons. Not only were they staying in the same room and not fighting, but they were also working together.
It made me the proudest mother alive to watch Raphael support Leonardo like this. Raphael may not be one of those touchy feely type of guys, but he definitely knew when someone needed support. And he would always have Leo's back.
And, not to mention, Leonardo seemed to be in a much brighter mood now that Raph and him were working together. His determination was burning in his eyes, and he was actually depending on Raphael too. He wasn't trying to force everything upon himself and was accepting help.
Slowly closing the door, I smiled brightly at my oldest son. "I'm glad your injuries on your side are healing nicely Leonardo." I smiled, seeing that Leonardo had removed the bandages around his waste.
Surprise I had noticed, Leonardo nodded at me. "Thanks Mom. I like your hat."
Beaming at him, I readjusted the old Foot Elite's hat on my head. "Thank you too. I'll see you both later."
Seeing them wave slightly to me I closed the door and moved back to Casey and the boys. "Alright." I smirked at them. "Lets roll."
"Yeah, lets go hunt a Monster Hunter!" Michelangelo cackled, running into the forest.
"Mikey! Wait!" Donnie called, running after him, Casey and me right at their heels.
…What would you call that? If a person who hunts monsters is called a Monster Hunter, what would we be called? A Hunter Hunter? That just sounds weird.
We could call ourselves Dr. Finn hunters. Oh but wait, what if there are other Dr. Finn's out there? That would just scare them and freak them out.
Okay, okay, so we'll just not call ourselves anything and go after Dr. Finn.
…Oh but that is not fun going hunting without a name. How about we call ourselves the Super Awesome Ground Of Green Mutants? I'm not a Green Mutant though, and Casey is only dressed as a Green Monster.
Gah! Okay, I'll think of a name later. I should just focus on keeping track on the boys.
Slowing down and standing in place, I blinked wildly at the towering trees surrounding me.
Where are the boys? Uh-oh. This is bad. I think I lost track of them.
Of course Arinna ended up getting lost in the end. That is what happens when you are too distracted with your own thoughts. Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed this new chapter!
And though it might be a little late I all wish you a happy Valentines Day/ Single Awareness Day!
I adore all of you and you have all been such a supportive audience. Really, you truly have. You have welcomed Arinna with such open arms that I don't know what I can do to possibly repay all of you.
Arinna: Thank you everyone! You are all Wicked in my books! Every single one of you! Love you all too! Keep up the awesome Reader creeperness! Oh wait, no, that came out wrong. Sorry. I mean, you are sort of creepy cause you keeping coming into my thoughts and such, but you are creepy in a good way! And I love creepy so it is fine! Well I mean, I love the GOOD type of creepy, which is what you all are. And...yeah. I'm gonna stop talking now.