Title: Out of Character
Author : Hannurdock (Using Cumber's storyline)
It had been several weeks since Casey and April's marriage. Splinter had been recovering well from his ordeal with the decompilier. April and Casey had been on their honeymoon to Barbados, and had returned tanned golden brown with stories of their exotic adventure together. The Turtles meanwhile had been helping Donatello with his latest project. He'd been re-creating some of the gadgetry he'd experienced in 2105 with a lot of success. The problem was that the lair was becoming overcrowded with Donny's inventions, and Leonardo had demanded they organise and put away the majority of the new devices.
"Its not safe having all this stuff lying around, Don." Leonardo lectured, moving a small gun out of his way with his foot as he disappeared into the kitchen for some food. "Just imagine what happens if Mikey get's bored and starts playing with these things."
Donatello had to admit Leo was right. Mikey had been eyeing up the gadgets for a while now, contemplating stealing a few away for his own amusement. "All right. You guys can help me sort all this stuff out. Sort them into piles in size order and I'll label and put them away."
"This is crud" Raphael moaned as the Turtles started their inventory. "Why'd ya have ta make so many, Don. We aint been back that long either. Can't believe you found the time to make all of these."
"What do they do, anyway? Are any of them advanced video gaming?" Mikey asked, enthusiastically delving into a pile of machines and devices. "Cool, this looks great. Can I hook it up to my Playstation?"
"No, Mikey. You can't hook that up. Leave it alone." Donatello grumbled as he began the exasperating task of labelling over a hundred different machines. "I'm going to implement a traffic light system. Red, do not touch. Green, safe to touch. Amber, you ask me first. Got it?"
Mikey nodded, his eyes shining with excitement. "Anything you say, brainybear."
"I still say this is crud." Raphael kicked at a pile of gadgets and watched as a small handheld device rolled across the floor. He picked it up, staring intently at it. It was small and seemed like a rock with buttons. One green button and one red button. There was a screen that kept blinking the word 'empty'. "What's this do, Don?"
Donatello looked up. "Its something I've adapted from future law enforcement and criminal rehabilitation. The original was called a PerpCalm, and it was used to control particularly aggressive felons by modifying their personality. Seemed cool, so I copied it."
"Sounds like Raph could use a dose of that." Mikey laughed, hugging his shell and grinning widely.
"Yeah, yeah, la'ff it up." Raphael sat down and examined the device closely.
"Raph, put it down. You don't want to mess with that" Leonardo ordered, glowering at the hotheaded brother with a scowl.
Raphael merely grinned, pleased he was annoying the eldest and possibly most annoying brother he had. "Scared I'll press a button and your head will explode, Fearless?"
Leonardo shook his head angrily. "Its your funeral, Raph."
"Raphy, don't do anything." Mikey suddenly looked terrified. "It'll end bad. It always does."
Raphael was torn. He knew he shouldn't press the big green button, and Mikey was right - bad things always happened when they did stupid things. However, Leonardo had riled him up being high and mighty, and it was fun seeing Mikey squirm.
Taking a deep breath, Raphael pressed the button. Instantly, a red shimmering field enveloped the startled Turtle, driving him backwards and into the wall. The field shone brightly for an instant, and then dissipated. Raphael was stunned.
He looked down at the gizmo in his hand. The screen was still flashing. But it was no longer empty. Now the device read 'FULL.'
"What the shell?" Donatello muttered angrily. "You just had to do that, didn't you?"
"It didn't hurt." Raph seemed relieved. "Kinda tickled."
"What's he done this time?" Leonardo was on full alert, his eyes scrutinising Raphael for any sign of distress.
"Nothin' Geez, Leo. Take a chill pill before you hyperventilate yourself into next week." Raphael smirked. Shrugging, Raphael had to do it. He pressed the red button just as Donatello was shaking his head and mouthing no. Just as Leonardo was saying "I don't think you should do that." Just as Mikey closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable hellfire to reign down on them.
The blinding red field shot out of the device and captured Raphael's brothers full in the beam. All three were frozen to the spot as Raphael realised he had made a terrible mistake. Fiddling with the device, Raphael tried to turn it off. "Guys, I'm sorry. Hold on."
The light faded and Raphael's three brothers slumped together.
"You guys ok?" Raph ran over to Mikey, shaking his shell. "Mikey, wake up."
As Mikey's eyes shot open, Raphael sighed with relief. However, he was not expecting the reaction he received from the youngest. Mikey slapped away Raphael's hands and got to his feet shakily. "Shake me like that again, and I kick ya from here to Liberty Island."
Raphael's eyes opened wide. "Sheesh, sorry Mikey. I didn't want you guys to get hurt."
"Crud. Told ya not to mess with that thing." Leonardo got to his feet. "Bonehead."
"Yeah, what a duffuss." Donatello added from the corner, sitting with his hands crossed on his plastron. "He aint playing with a whole deck, guys."
Raphael was speechless. Everything seemed slightly weird. His brothers were alive, which was a good start. There was something different about them though. And something very familiar.
Raphael checked the device in his hand. The screen flashed "EMPTY" once more. "Look, whatever happened, we got off easy. No harm done." Raphael chuckled nervously and put down the device.
"No harm done?" Leonardo asked, his eyes narrowed in rage. "Did ya lose every brain cell you got when we zapped back to the future? Ya don't press buttons without knowing the score."
"Leo, I ..." Raph looked curiously at Leo's defensive posture. He was definitely riled up and angry. His hands folded over his chest and he glred at Raphael fuming.
"Leo's right, shell fer brains." Mikey piped up with a growly low voice.
"What the shell is up wit' you guys?" Raphael was becoming annoyed.
Then it clicked. The device must have changed his brothers' personalities. In fact, they were acting a lot like Raphael.
"Haha! Think I figured it out guys. You've turned inta me!" Raphael threw his head back and laughed manically. "This is gonna be fun."
Leonardo, Donatello and Michelangelo exchanged glances.
"You wanna bet?" Donny asked, smirking at Raphael. "Things gonna be a lot harder than you think!"
A Nice Cup of Green Tea
Splinter walked into the kitchen and put the kettle on for a cup of nice green tea. He acknowledged one of his sons with a gentle smile. "How are you, my son?"
Leonardo was scowling and acting most strangely. "How can ya drink that stuff, Masta Splinter."
Splinter raised a furry eyebrow and looked at his eldest in surprise. "I should not need to lecture you on the merits of green tea, Leonardo. You drink it regularly yourself."
"Yeah, well, ya know. I been thinkin' and I don't like it." Leonardo scuffed his foot against a cupboard.
Master Splinter approached his son warily. "I am not sure I like your tone with me, Leonardo."
Leo shrugged and turned away. "Not my fault. I'm just standin' here."
Splinter ignored Leo's gruff tone and continued to pour his own tea with careful concentration. "Am I to understand you don't want a cup, Leonardo ... Leonardo?"
Splinter raised his head and looked around at the empty kitchen. Sighing, he wiped the bottom of his cup and entered the living area. "Kids."
Raphael was sitting on the sofa with a sheepish expression on his face. From the dojo came the sound of a ferocious attack on a punching bag. Curious as it wasn't Raphael beating on the bag, Splinter went to the dojo and looked in surprise at the two turtles laying into the bag angrily.
"Michelangelo ... Donatello ... kneel before me." Splinter asked, his eyes widening as his sons merely shrugged and continued to punch the life out of the punchbag.
"Do I hafta, sensei?" Donatello asked, mimicking his hot-headed brother, Raphael.
"Very funny, Donatello. You are copying your brother perfectly. Come, kneel before me." Splinter pointed to the dojo floor with his walking stick.
"What's up, sensei?" Mikey asked gruffly.
"You both seem to be very angry this morning. Has Raphael upset either of you?" Splinter counselled his sons.
"He used a ray on us, sensei." Donny admitted, rolling his eyes. "We tried ta warn him."
"Slow down, my sons." Splinter advised. "Explain what happened to me."
After a five minute conversation about personality rays, Splinter came to the conclusion that his troublesome son, Raphael was once again causing mischief in the Lair.
"Raphael!" Splinter barked out angrily. After a moment's pause, Raphael appeared looking incredibly sheepish. "What have you done?"
"I just pressed a button, sensei." Raph muttered, looking downcast. "I swear it was an accident."
"It always is, Raphael." Splinter added with a shake of his head. "This could prove to be a costly mistake."
"I don't see the problem, sensei." Raph admitted with a small smile. "I mean, I aint that bad."
"Raphael, the success of a team depends on its members individuality. Each of you had different qualities that brought something unique and helped this team to survive incredible odds." Splinter explained.
"But Donny's still smart. He's just an angry kind of smart." Raph shrugged. "Leo's still the leader, he's just got an attitude problem."
"What about me, smart mouth?" Mikey growled from the corner. "Got any insights about me?"
"Yeah, actually I do." Raph turned and faced his brother, smarting. "At least I aint gonna get pranked for a while."
"I'm still Mikey." Mikey crossed his arms and looked over at his brother in disgust. "I'm gonna prank you double-time for a while. Wipe that smug grin off your face."
"That is not all Michelangelo brings to this team." Splinter stepped forward to intervene. All the turtles were hot-headed and rash and he could see this heading for trouble. "He is exceptionally empathic and gifted in speed and is unusually quick to learn."
"Thank you, sensei." Mikey smirked at Raphael and then turned away, still with his arms crossed.
Work in Progress