The with a professionalism beyond what one would

The last of the lights had gone dark in the apartment building. Not that it made a difference as to the bright light level of the city. Around Times Square, people were always bustling with energy, and you always knew in which direction that was from all of the lights. But here, in this darker, calmer section of the city, it seemed that there would be nothing off about this night.But, you always had to be sure.That’s why, if you were to squint, you could see shapes moving across the rooftops, shrouded in the blackness of the night. Their speed and agility also were in their favor, and the four had successfully gone unnoticed for over four years.The masked mutants were now 19, almost no longer teenagers, but still with the mindset of such. They leaped along the rooftops with finesse, with a professionalism beyond what one would expect. This was meant to be just an ordinary patrol of theirs.As they looked on from a rooftop over the city, all was calm as ever.”Alright, guys,” Leo announced. “I think we’re good to—”Crash.Something had happened in the alleyway ahead of them. They ran to the edge of the rooftop, careful to not make a sound. They peered over the edge, expecting to see your average bad guy there, but there was none. Instead, a large black cloud of what appeared to be smoke rose out and above them, surrounding them in the front. A low groaning sound could be heard within.”Whoa! What is that?” Leo asked.”It doesn’t seem to be any vapor I’ve ever seen,” Donnie answered. “Maybe if I could get a sample of it, I could take it back and find out…”Just then, something happened. A pair of glowing crimson eyes peered out of the miasma, simply blinking themselves into existence. They scrutinized the turtles closely.”It’s a ghost!!” Mikey cried, pointing at the cloud.”It is not a ghost, Mikey,” Donnie explained.”Well, whatever it is, it’s going down,” Raphael announced before launching forward with a shout. He ran to the nearest group of haze that still was on the roof, spinning a single sai before stabbing forward. Unfortunately for him, the haze was thusly so; the force of the strike caused him to fall forward and nearly fall off of the roof.Raph coughed and sputtered, feeling a burning sensation as he inhaled the gas around him. He got up and ran back, breathing heavily. “That—that thing isn’t normal! Anyone have a better idea?”Then, joining the pair of eyes burning into the darkness, several more smaller eyes opened up, too. The cloud advanced, and a single voice rang out.”Run!” Mikey shouted.The four brothers ran in the direction they had come, yelling and hopping across the rooftops at lightning speed. It must have been a full five minutes before they ran out of breath and looked back.Nothing had followed them. Two red lights could faintly be seen in the distance.”What do you think they’re up to?” Donnie asked.”I don’t know, but we’d better get going until we figure out what this thing is,” Leo said.”I will actually need to get a sample for that to happen.””Whoa, no way, dude,” Raph declared. “I was right inside that thing. It’s definitely alive. I could feel it… invading me. We can go back, but getting a chunk of it might not be a smart idea.””Let’s just go, guys.”Upon returning to the site of the smoke-like cloud, the turtles found that it was gone. Nothing remained, it had all disappeared. Nobody knew what to make of it.”I guess it’s gone. Let’s go home now, nothing else should be happening,” Leo said.The four were about to turn back, when Donnie noticed that something was glowing in the very corner of the rooftop. It looked otherworldly, giving off a primarily pink hue. He let his theme go ahead as he ran over to the light and found that it was a stone. It was definitely glowing, giving off a translucent mix of reds and blues and purples. He picked it up, cradling it, admiring its smooth surface. The stone seemed to glow brighter under his touch, or even vibrate. What was it…?”Are you coming, Donnie?”Donatello snapped out of his state of awe when he heard the voice of his older brother. He turned back. “Yeah, I’m coming!” He gripped the stone in one hand and made his way back home.* * * “So what is that thing?””I’m not sure; I just found it sitting on the roof. Somehow I was just… compelled to take it. Curious,” Donnie explained, “I’ve never seen anything like it.” Mikey’s eyes sparkled as he picked up the jewel. “Whoa! Guys, do you think it’s magic? Oh, that would be so awesome–!””It’s not magic, numbskull… right, Donnie?””If I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t know. With everything we’ve seen so far, it’s not outside the realm of possibility. I would just need to run some tests…””Are you sure this thing is safe, Donnie?”