A Tale of Two Clans

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A Tale of Two Clans

MsMarvelDuckie
Inhuman
Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

28 Jul 2013, 04:20 #1

Woot! I've been brainstorming some new ideas lately, and this one came up as something fun to do with my TMNT fics. Naturally, since they are both set in New York, the idea came to me for Goliath and his clan to meet the Hamato family. The possibilities abound with these two groups, both as allies and for perhaps facing some new and dangerous enemies. so, without further ado.... Here we go!!





“A Tale of Two Clans"
Chapter 1: Clan Hamato



It was night in the city. Leonardo gazed out over the rooftop, scanning the streets below for signs of trouble. Beside him, Raphael leaned against a chimney stack, boredly twirling one of his sais. Donatello sighed as he paced back and forth; Michelangelo was sitting on the ledge, dangling his feet over the side and making a cat’s-cradle from a bit of yellow yarn from Klunk’s yarn ball.

“Can we go home, Leo? It’s a pretty slow night. I’m BORED!” Mikey complained in frustration. “No Foot, no Purple Dragons, not even a robbery to bust!”

“Ya’ got THAT right. I still say we should’a gone over to the Bowery instead of hangin’ out here.” Raph growled in agreement. “Startin’ ta think I should’a gone wit’ Casey instead of you guys.”

“I’m with Raph and Mikey on this one, Leo. Maybe we should call it a night?” I said, sighing. I was just as bored as they were, sitting next to Mikey with legs crossed on the casement. I absently flipped one of my gunsen open and closed, staring down at the mostly empty street.

“It’s still early. Give it a little longer. Something will turn up.” The blue-banded leader replied. I tapped my fingers idly on my knee, wishing SOMETHING would happen to make our nightly patrol worthwhile. Almost as if on cue, we suddenly heard the sound of an alarm about a block down on the street below. Leo turned to us and grinned. “See? Patience is a virtue. I TOLD you something would come up! Now let’s go, team.” He said. I wanted to punch him in his smug beak.

We raced across the rooftops to the source of the sound, and quickly spotted four men- judging from the number of figures inside the jewelry store below us- smashing cases and scooping up baubles like kids in a candy store. I looked down and scowled in disappointment. “Well, poo- looks like there aren’t enough playmates to go around. Guess I’ll have to sit this one out, guys.” I said sourly. I might be spending too much time patrolling with Raph and Casey. But then, how ELSE am I supposed to get experience?

Donatello shook his head and chuckled. “You can have mine if you want. This is more your kind of game than mine anyway.” He waved gallantly down at the street. “Ladies first, after all!” I laughed, and patted his arm.

“Thanks, Donnie, don’t mind if I DO! Better luck next time!” I replied, and followed Leo and the others down while he waited on the roof to play look-out. If he spotted trouble- which would probably come in the form of NYPD squad cars- he would signal us on our shell-cells.

It was a quick and easy battle, so much so that I almost wished I’d let Don go instead. I’m not even sure I could call something that one-sided a battle, since the thieves gave up as soon as they realized their shadowy opposition had them outmatched. In little more than a minute, we had them trussed up like a Christmas turkey. Leo and Raph left them hanging from a lamp-post outside, just in time for the police to arrive. We vanished like smoke in the wind back up to the roof across the street.

“Well, THAT was a fun way to kill five minutes,” Raph muttered in disappointment. “Anybody got any ideas how to spend the REST of the evenin’?”

“I say we pack it in,” Donnie said with a sigh. “It HAS been kind of a slow night. I could be home working on those new tracer shuriken. I upgraded the design.”

“And I could be hittin’ the next level on my new game!” Mikey agreed emphatically. I stifled a laugh at his latest gaming obsession. He glanced over and shrugged. “What?! At least it’s more entertaining than watching traffic!”

“Face it, bros- crime just ain’t what it used to be in this town,” Raph growled roughly. Leo chuckled at his hot-headed sibling’s frustration.

“Let’s head over to Soho and see if there’s anything going on there,” he said at last, realizing the natives were restless. The last thing we needed was a bored and annoyed Raphael on our hands- it tends to lead to mayhem and destruction….

Several blocks later, we finally ran into some excitement in the form of a group of armed men attempting to kidnap a woman dressed in a fancy evening gown and fur stole from a high-class hotel. They were holding a gun to her head as they dragged her into a waiting car and took off. Raph let out a shout of elation and bounded off across the rooftops after the car. Donnie just shook his head, resigned to his brother’s rash tendencies, and pulled a throwing star from his belt pouch.

“Well, now’s as good a time to test the new model out as any!” He said with a gleam in his eyes from the edge of the roof. He chucked the star forcefully down at the back of the car as it screeched away, and nodded in satisfaction when it stuck in the back bumper. Then he and Leo took off after their brother, and I followed close behind.

I paused when I realized Mikey wasn’t with us; I glanced back to find him standing on the edge of the rooftop, looking over at the clock tower atop the police station across the street with a puzzled expression. I leapt back across to rejoin him, wondering what held his attention. He seemed to be contemplating something, and the oddly intent look in his eyes told me that something was amiss, even if nothing appeared out of the ordinary.

“Mike? What’s wrong?” I asked curiously, following his gaze. I didn’t see anything of interest, but with Mikey, one never knew what might catch his eye.

“There’s somethin’ funny about that tower,” he said after a moment, scratching his head. “We came by here last week, and there were a bunch of gargoyle statues on that casement in front of the clock. Now they’re gone. And this isn’t the FIRST time I’ve noticed ’em missin’, either.”

“Maybe you’re thinking of a different building, Mikey, There must be dozens of buildings with gargoyle statues on them in this city!” I said, shrugging. I wondered why he was so concerned with a bunch of “missing” statues- but then, he was known to be easily distracted by even the most minor of oddities, and knowing Mikey, I wouldn’t have put it past him to have cooked up some new prank.

“No way. It was right THERE, I’m SURE of it! I know, ’cause I’ve been wantin’ to come up here and draw ’em. They’re not like any others in the whole city! These are the most life-like ones I’ve ever seen, and I could almost SWEAR they change position. I think- well, don’t laugh, but I think maybe they’re alive!”

I gave him a skeptical stare, but decided to humor him. After all, I’d seen enough weirdness since meeting the brothers to realize that almost ANYTHING was possible. “Maybe they’ve just been removed for repairs or something. Maybe someone just got tired of having them there, or wanted to put them somewhere safe, away from the weather and the pigeons.”

“Nope- don’t think so. Every time we patrol this part of town, I see ’em sittin’ over there, but sometimes they just- look different. It’s hard to explain, y’know? Like when you feel like someone’s watchin’ you, even though you don’t see anyone there? It’s like that, only the statues look like they’re not in exactly the same pose every time, or sometimes a couple of them are switched. And then a few times, they’ve been just- gone. Like tonight. It’s just plain fishy, if ya’ ask me.”

“Okay, but can you PROVE it?” I asked pointedly.

Michelangelo frowned, deep in thought for a few moments, then suddenly snapped his fingers with a look of inspiration. “I got it! You have your phone on you?” He asked, and gestured impatiently at me to hand it to him when I nodded. After a few seconds spent futilely trying to press buttons, he handed it back to me with an annoyed sigh. “Here, YOU do it. These buttons are too darn small for my fat fingers!” He said, exasperated. “Look up photos of the station. Those gargoyles are bound to be in ’em!”

“Hey, good thinking!” I replied, then swiftly searched the web on my phone. In seconds, I had pulled up dozens of photos of the tower. It didn’t take long to notice a glaring inconsistency; in all of the daytime shots, there were several gargoyle statues. The older images showed six, but the latest ones had added a seventh- and that one was clearly female, while the others- with the exception of one dog-like one that was different from the rest- were all apparently male.

What was more interesting was that they did indeed seem to change poses slightly in some of the photos. It was subtle; an arm shifted, a tail curled one way in one image, and held out behind in another, or a change in the expressions of their stony faces. But the most glaring detail was the conspicuous absence of any statues in the photos taken at night. It was as if the statues simply disappeared from the casement once the sun went down. And it was the same in EVERY ONE.

I also noticed that the statues had only been there for a little over two years. Further searching revealed that they had previously been part of an ancient Scottish castle that was transported stone by stone and reassembled here in the city- at the top of one of the tallest and most well-known buildings in Manhattan- the Xanacorp tower. Somehow the statues had been moved from the castle to the clock tower above the police station. I was beginning to think that the gargoyles themselves had decided to move.

Mikey gazed down over my shoulder curiously, his eyes lighting up when he saw the images on the small screen. “See? I KNEW it! I’m NOT crazy!” He exclaimed, and I shot a sideways glance at him, wondering if he was saying it to convince ME, or if he had begun to doubt his own mind. Knowing Mikey, maybe a bit of both.

“Okay, so now what?” I asked. “Should we tell the others?”

He shook his head, and grinned. “Nope. I say we do a little recon- NINJA-style! If those things ARE alive, I want to see ’em close up!” He pulled out his grapple and gave me an impish look. “Care to join in a bit of sleuthing, mademoiselle?” He said, holding out his elbow gallantly. I laughed, and stepped close with a nod of excitement.

“Sure, why not! I’m always up for a little fun with my favorite mutant hero!” I chuckled; he swung his line out across the street to anchor on the casement of the police station.

“Heh, just call me the Turtle Titan,” he replied smugly, as he bent down for me to hop on his back. “Teen Turtle Titan, GO!” He shouted, and leapt off to swing across.




*Mikey's goofy battle cry is a play on the one used by the Teen Titans (the Nick TMNT Mikey is voiced by the same actor who also does Beast-Boy in the Teen Titans cartoon, LOL!!)
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491
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MsMarvelDuckie
Inhuman
Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

13 Aug 2013, 22:26 #2

Here's chapter two! Now we get to see the Wyvern Clan out for a night on the town- or above it, as the case may be. Enjoy!!






Chapter Two: Wyvern Clan


Elsewhere-

“I’m beat, Lex. Let’s just go home and get something to eat. It’s a slow night.” The larger of the two figures gliding above Midtown grumbled, sounding bored. He sported a row of short spikes down the middle of his head to his neck, and large, frill-edged ears. His short, lithe companion, light olive-hued shape riding the wind currents easily, looked over at the heavy-set clan-mate beside him with one spiny brow-ridge raised, and chuckled.

“Broadway, we’ve only been patrolling for an HOUR! Besides, you need the exercise. You’ve gained weight again. Don’t think I didn’t notice you’ve been having trouble maintaining altitude.” The small winged creature chided his large partner. Like his companion, his ears were long and pointed, though without the large frills. Both wore only a simple loincloth secured by a wide leather belt, and both sported long sinewy tails.

“That’s only because I eat more when I get bored. And let’s face it, Lex- it’s been pretty slow for a couple of weeks now. It’s almost like the criminals are scared to come out any more!” The big blue-green skinned flyer complained.

“Ha! Maybe they have good REASON to be scared?” His small clan-mate laughed, gliding lower to search the streets below for signs of trouble. “But hey, at least it makes our job easier!” They both laughed at that, and pivoted in mid flight around a corner to follow 48th Street west toward Hell’s Kitchen.

At that moment, a lean, red-skinned figure swooped in from above, winging close to join them. His horned head sported a sharp beak and a long mane of thick white hair. He shared the same pointed ears and long tail as the other two, and like the others, glided over the city on large, bat-like wings that sprouted from the back of his broad shoulders.

“Goliath sent me to find you guys. He says to pack it in and come home. Angela spotted those suspicious figures near the station again.” The newcomer said seriously. The other two traded a glance.

Lex frowned. “Again? Who do you suppose they are? And what do they want?”
Broadway sighed. “Oh, well. I was getting bored, anyway. Come on Lex. I’m hungry.” He turned back the way they had come, his enormous wings fluttering briefly before catching the next current.

“Brooklyn, do you think we should check it out? This is the fifth time this month we’ve had those sneaky shadows lurking around; I’d like to know what they’re up to!” Lexington asked his red-skinned clansman.

“Goliath thinks they might have something to do with all the crooks that have been turning up in the neighborhood tied up and unconscious. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to look around and see if we can find them.” Brooklyn nodded, and all three made for the 23rd Precinct police station. But instead of flying straight home to the old clock tower atop the station, they began a wide sweep above the neighborhood, scanning the rooftops below for signs of the mysterious figures who had lately been lurking about.

After three passes, they were nearly ready to give up, when Lex spotted movement in an alley a few blocks away, and signaled his clan-mates to move in closer. They saw three short, bulky figures moving in the deep shadows, but when they reached the alley, the shapes were nowhere to be seen- though they heard the slight metallic scrape of something large and heavy being moved further down the alley. They landed on the roof of an adjacent building, but all they saw was the empty alley, with a manhole cover where the sound had apparently originated.

“What do you make of it, guys?” Broadway asked, cocking his head and frowning. He scratched his head, and glanced from Lex to Brooklyn. “You don’t think they went into the sewers, do you? Why would they do that?”

“I don’t know,” Lex said with a puzzled look. “Maybe that’s how they keep disappearing. Whoever they are, they must be up to SOMETHING if they’re trying so hard to hide.”

“Yeah, and I don’t like it. There’s something weird about all of this,” Brooklyn added, eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Too bad we can’t follow them down there.”

Lexington thought for a moment, tapping his chin with one clawed finger, and then suddenly brightened. “Maybe we CAN! I bet if I hack into the city’s data files, we can find some maps of the sewer system, and maybe figure out where they go!”

“Alright, LEX! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” Brooklyn exclaimed, and the two larger gargoyles high-fived each other, with Lex jumping up in an attempt to add his.

Broadway nodded emphatically, eager to discover the identity of their mystery men. “Yup, that’s our boy- always has a solution!” He said, chuckling.

Just then, they heard the sound of police sirens from a street nearby, and the three leapt off the roof, their wings unfurling as they winged toward the disturbance. “You think they might need out help?” Broadway asked, to no one in particular, as they neared the source of the noise.

They braked hard in mid-air, with Lexington almost colliding with Broadway as they saw what had brought the cops. Three jaws dropped in stunned amazement at the sight before them.

“I’d say that’s a no,” Brooklyn answered, gaping down at the three men tied to a telephone pole near a wreaked car, with a large note taped above them. The vehicle looked as if someone had taken a heavy, blunt object to it repeatedly, and the tires were all slashed. A very distraught-looking woman in an expensive evening gown with a fur stole, bedecked with glittering jewelry rose slowly, as if she wasn’t quite sure where she was. She ran toward the approaching officers, yelling incoherently, and pointing at the tied-up men.

“Hey- you guys don’t suppose this has anything to do with those guys we just followed, do you?” Broadway asked, stating what all three were thinking.

“Oh, yeah. I’d bet money on it.” Brooklyn didn’t even glance at his brother. “Looks like we’ve got some competition, guys. Whoever those shadow-guys were, they’re some kind of vigilantes.”

“You think we’ll run into them again?” Lex asked curiously. “I’d really like to find out how THAT happened.” He pointed down to the car, which had a conspicuous pair of long, straight slashes in the hood. “It looks like someone cut it with something really big!”

“Yeah, I’m curious about that myself. Looks like something Hudson would do with his sword.” Brooklyn replied. “We’ll see those shadow-guys again. I’m SURE of it.” With that, he took off again, headed back to their roost. The others merely traded concerned looks, and then shrugged and followed him.

"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491
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MsMarvelDuckie
Inhuman
Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

18 Aug 2013, 05:05 #3

Looks like these two have stepped in it big time. Yeah, anybody want to take bets on how ticked off Leo's gonna be when he finds out what they've been up to?




Chapter Three: Turtles and Cops Don’t Mix


I began to have doubts even before we had climbed up his rope to the casement of the clock tower’s wide balcony. For starters, Leo and the others were already long gone, chasing down the car with Donnie’s tracer on it. I was pretty sure we were going to get an earful from Leo for running off on our own, but I had to admit that I was curious now that I’d seen the images of the statues Mikey had mentioned. He might not be the most brilliant individual, but he had a way of seeing things others might miss; a way of pointing out the seemingly insignificant- yet obvious in hindsight- details that more often than not proved crucial. I had a feeling this might be one of them.

Once we stood on the lookout that surrounded the base of the clock tower itself, I dropped down from Mikey’s back, and glanced around cautiously. Sometimes I think hanging around with those boys has made me paranoid. “What now?” I asked, hoping he had some kind of plan.

“Um, dunno yet. I guess we should look around for clues. That’s what the Scooby Gang would do,” he said, shrugging.

I rolled my eyes, chuckling at his remark. “Why does it NOT surprise me that you’d take your cues from a cartoon?” I asked, as I looked up at the huge clock. Its face stared blindly out into the bright lights of a New York night, the hands forever pointing to the eight and the four. I had a brief mental image of some old woman down on the street handing out flyers and telling people to “Save the clock tower!”. I decided I’d been spending too much time in the sewers watching 80’s movie marathons.

“Well, have you got a better idea?” Mikey asked bluntly, drawing me out of my reverie. I had to admit that I didn’t.

We began to examine the area, and almost right away came across something strange. There were odd piles of what appeared to be gravel dust and small stone flakes on the balcony beneath almost every cornice, and even a few deep scratches in the stone of the casement. From the shape and placement, it was obvious that they were made by claws- really BIG claws, at that. I started to worry that maybe Mikey WAS right. What if whatever made those marks was hostile, and what if they came back while we were right there in their territory?

“What do you make of these?” Michelangelo asked curiously, holding up a handful of the flakes of dark gray stone. They were thin and brittle, crumbling easily, even though they seemed to be made of granite. And some of the larger pieces were curved slightly, and even looked as if they had covered something else.

I knelt down by the largest pile, in the middle of the casement in front of the big clock. I began to shift through the pile, and found a piece that looked like part of a claw or a horn, and another that could have been an eye. “This is strange,” I mused. “It’s like they shed their skins or something. There’s enough dust and debris here to coat all of those statues we saw in the photos. Do you think they hibernate during the day somehow? That would explain why they’re only in the daytime photos.”

“Yeah, that makes sense,” he answered, coming over to lean down over me, studying the bits I had pieced together. I’d already put together part of what might have been a taloned foot from the pile in front of the clock. He looked around, scratching his head with a puzzled scowl. “Seems kid of weird that they just disappear, though. Where did they go?” Then he straightened, and pointed toward the clock face. “Hey, there’s a door over there in the clock! Let’s check out the inside.”

I started to protest, but he was already heading for the small door. I jumped up, rushing past him to block it before he could simply barge inside. “Wait! We need to be careful. What if those things are inside? They might not be friendly, and they sure won’t be if we go marching right in there. Think- we don’t know what kind of creatures we’re dealing with. They could be dangerous!”

Mikey looked crestfallen for a moment, but quickly shrugged it off. “Yeah, you’re right. Guess I’m just so excited to find proof, I almost got carried away. I can’t WAIT to find out what those things are! So, do ya’ think they can talk?” He really did seem excited, almost as if he expected these living statues to walk up and shake his hand. Personally, I was more inclined to think they would bite our heads off. From what I’d seen in the photos, at least two of them were larger than a human, and if they could put claw marks in solid stone, I had no doubt they could do far worse to flesh if they were hostile.

“Mikey, maybe I should go in first,” I said, as he moved to open the door. “If we run into any cops inside, I can always pretend to be lost up here. Just be ready to disappear if we get caught.” I had just remembered where we were, and I knew there was always a possibility that someone might be up here.

“Uh, good idea.” Yup, That’s my Mikey- a real way with words, that one….

I turned and tried the knob of the narrow door; I was surprised to find it unlocked. So I opened it. And that was when I first realized we had forgotten to take into account the possibility that we might not be the only ones who knew those so-called “statues” were more than mere stone embellishments. I hadn’t taken a single step inside when I found myself staring down the barrel of a gun. A Glock .9mm police issue, to be exact. I stood gaping for a moment, and heard a soft gasp of surprise from behind me, followed by the almost inaudible swish of movement as Mikey pulled a ninja disappearing act that would have made David Copperfield envious.

“Not another step. You’re trespassing in a restricted area. Who are you and what are you doing up here? This area isn’t open to the public. Now back up nice and slow, with your hands up.” I was being addressed by an attractive woman who appeared to be in her mid-twenties, with long black hair, a dusky complexion that seemed a mix of Latino and African-American, and a red leather jacket over a simple black top and comfortable jeans. I didn’t miss the badge pinned on her belt, either.

“I’m sorry, and YOU are….?” I asked, aware that getting cheeky with a cop might not be in my best interests. I just needed to keep her attention on me, and hope she hadn’t seen my green companion. “I was here to make a statement about a gang fight, and got curious to see what was up here. Didn’t know it was off-limits.” I hoped that my deceptive skills as a kunoichi were good enough to get past this officer without getting myself arrested. To be honest, I’ve never felt good about lying, and I had never considered lying to a cop before! I really need to spend more time with humans- I’m starting to THINK like a ninja….

“Detective Elisa Maza, 23rd precinct. Nice try, but there are signs posted downstairs, and there’s only one way in- and that door was locked. Now, why don’t you start over with the truth, and while you’re at it, tell your friend to come out where I can see him.” Damn. She didn’t miss much, evidently.

I tried to stall, hoping Mikey would take a hint and make himself scarce in case she decided to look around outside. “There’s no one else here!” I protested, looking around as if wondering who she meant. “Look, I wasn’t hurting anything, I just came up to check out the view. No big deal, I’ll just be going.” I started to move toward the door, as though to go back down the way I’d supposedly come up. But the lady cop wasn’t buying, from the suspicious gaze she leveled on me.

“I HEARD you talking to someone else out here, so don’t try to play games with me. Where is he? And you still haven’t answered my question- what’s your name, miss? For that matter, why are you dressed like a cat-burglar? You didn’t come up here just for the view- you’re obviously up to something. So spill it.” She was persistent, I had to give her that. She was also still holding a gun on me, which made me distinctly nervous. The fact that she had noticed I was wearing close-fitting black leggings, my calf-high boots, and a long-sleeved black shirt, with a simple belt with my tool pouch on it and my hair in a low ponytail, didn’t help, either.

“I told you, I’m alone. I just wanted to see what was up here.” I knew she didn’t believe me, but then, she wouldn’t believe the truth, either, so it couldn’t hurt to stick to my story. “Weren’t there supposed to be a bunch of gargoyles up here? They seem to be missing,” I added, giving her a suspicious stare of my own. Maybe I could rattle her enough to get out of this without giving anything away.

“Tell your friend to come out of wherever he’s hiding, or I’ll have to take you both in for trespassing. Your choice. And I know he can hear me, so he might as well answer, too. Who are you?” I was starting to dislike this particular member of New York’s Finest.

Mikey chose that time to speak up, though he stayed out of sight. “Uh, no offense, Detective, but you REALLY don’t want me to come out there, and I ain’t movin’ as long as you’re wavin’ that pea-shooter around. I’ve already been shot at enough for one night.” I almost groaned at his last comment. Great. Did he HAVE to be so damned chatty? Now she knew he was there, and she knew we had been involved in a shooting. He’s sweet, but sometimes he doesn’t know when to shut up.

“Did you say you’ve been shot at? Just who ARE you two? Gang members? Would-be thieves? Or maybe terrorists? And how did you two even get up here? I happen to know you didn’t come up the drop-down steps that lead up from the station. Someone would have seen you.” This just kept getting better. This detective was full of questions, and we couldn’t reasonably answer a single one.

“Mikey! Way to go, lover-boy. You just HAD to open your big mouth!” I carped, and grumbled in annoyance. “You want to tell her your life story while you’re at it?” I could just imagine the lecture we were going to get from Leo when he found out about this little escapade. It was bad enough that we’d been caught somewhere we clearly weren’t supposed to be, but now he was at risk of being exposed. And by a cop, no less. I was pretty sure Raph would jump our case, too. He was always quick to back up Fearless when it suited his purpose- namely when it involved someone other than himself getting into trouble. He’s such an altruistic soul….

“Uh-huh, and YOU just told her my name! At least I wasn’t THAT careless!” He shot back from somewhere in the shadows, and I kicked myself mentally. Oops.

“Would someone like to tell me what’s going on here? I asked you nicely, but if I don’t start getting some answers, someone’s going to spend the night in jail.” That was the detective, and it was evident that she was fast loosing patience. I started to say something in reply, but Mikey beat me to it.

“Okay, I’ll explain, but first you gotta’ put that thing away. I don’t want to get shot at on sight. Been there, done that- more times than I care to count.” I turned toward where I knew he was hiding, fear sending an icy shiver down my spine. “But I gotta’ warn ya’- I’m not your average dude. Let’s just say I’m not like anyone you’ve ever met.”

“Don't be so sure,” muttered the cop. I wondered what that meant, but kept my mouth shut.

“Michelangelo Hamato, don’t you DARE! Leo will KILL you!” I yelled at the shadows. The last thing we needed was to reveal to the NYPD that mutants were running around in the city- especially mutant NINJAS.

“Relax, babe. It’s cool. I think we can trust her- if she can keep ONE secret, she can keep ours, too. Right?” I whipped around to stare at the detective. He still hadn’t shown himself, but I could barely hear him moving closer. I knew exactly where he was, even if Detective Maza didn’t.

“What?” Now he had me confused. What did that even mean?

“I think she knows somethin’ about those missing statues. DON’T ya’? That’s why she’s UP here!” Mikey replied. I gaped at the woman, who had lowered her gun and stood eyeing the shadows closely, searching for him. At last she sighed, and holstered the weapon.

“I don’t know how you know about them, but your friend is right. I DO know something. Your name is Mikey? Why don’t you both step inside, and we’ll talk.” I noticed that she kept her hand near the gun. She moved back inside the door, and I slowly followed. After a few seconds, a shape melted out of the darkness out on the balcony, and Mikey stepped into the dim light from inside the tower. The detective’s eyes widened, and she stepped back with a look of utter astonishment for a moment. Yet she seemed to recover quickly from the shock of seeing her first mutant turtle, and didn’t even flinch when he offered his hand.

“Hi. I’m Michelangelo, but my friends call me Mikey.” He smiled at her warmly, and after a moment of hesitation, she shook his hand for a brief shake, before remembering where she was.

“What ARE you?” She asked, staring at him curiously. “I’ve seen plenty of strange things in this city, but nothing like you! No offense.”

“Eh, none taken. I’m a mutant. Uh, mutant turtle, that is. Chrysemys scripta elegans, to be specific. At least, that’s what Donnie says. That’s a red-eared slider, just so you know. We were born in a pet shop, but we’ve spent most of our lives in the sewers hidin’ from humans, for obvious reasons. Actually, you’re probably one of the only people who hasn’t totally freaked when they see us. I’d call this an improvement over the kind of reactions we usually get.” Mikey shrugged, and Detective Maza kept watching him with intense interest, no doubt wondering where he had come from.

“WE?! You mean there’s more than one of you?” She glanced from Mikey to me, and I nodded in agreement.

“Yeah, I’ve got three older brothers! Well, we’re not really sure who’s older, but since father picked out our birthdays when he named us, we just sort of go with it. There’s really no way to know when we were bor- uh, hatched.” He gave her a half-smile and shrugged again, before turning to move closer to me. He wrapped one arm around me protectively, but I realized it was as much for his own comfort and support as for mine. He was nervous in the strange surroundings, meeting a stranger who might well decide to expose him to the world. But he seemed to think he could trust her, so I let him take the lead in this encounter. I just hoped his instincts were right.

We followed her down a set of stairs just inside, to a large area that had been turned into a sort of living space. Mikey gazed around cautiously, ever alert for danger. We heard a soft growling from somewhere nearby, and turned to see a large, dog-like creature approaching us slowly, teeth bared menacingly. It stood on four muscular legs, with large claws on its feet. It was about the size of a Saint Barnard, with a short muzzle like a bulldog, but it was furless, gray, and had bat-like ears, a stubby tail, and three spikes down the middle of its back. I was reminded of the demon dog from Ghostbusters; I just hoped THIS beast was friendlier! It growled again, and only Detective Maza’s hand on its head held it back.

“Whoa! Easy, Bronx. These two are with me. It’s okay, boy- go keep Hudson company.” She said, and the beast cocked its head almost as if it understood her, then whined and lowered its head as if disappointed. It shuffled over to sniff Mikey closely, circling him as if studying him carefully, its head cocked curiously.

Michelangelo cautiously knelt down, reaching out with one hand toward the huge creature to let it see he was harmless. “Hi there, fella. You must be the one I saw in those pictures that was different from the others. I bet you wish you had wings like they do, huh?” He grinned when the big dog-beast snorted and seemed to nod. It sat down just in front of him and nudged his hand with its massive head, then licked his face. He laughed. “Hey! You’re just a big softie, huh, boy?” He said, and I was amazed at how easily he had made friends with the creature.

The detective stared at the two, clearly stunned. I watched in complete astonishment at Mikey’s uncanny ability to befriend almost anything. It was one of his gifts, something I’d discovered while watching him with Klunk, or when he would secretly go out to feed some of the strays that lived near the garage where the guys kept their van.

“I don’t believe it,” Maza said after a moment. “Bronx has never taken such a liking to a stranger that way before!”

Michelangelo glanced up from where he was now scratching behind the big beast’s ears and grinned. “Guess he must like turtles!” He said, and laughed again as the creature gave a snort and playfully knocked him over. “Wow, our bros are gonna’ FLIP when they hear about this! A real, live gargoyle dog! I bet April would LOVE to see him! You think it’d make a good news report?” He turned to me, with a questioning look. I just shook my head emphatically.

“I wouldn’t, Mikey. Not our secret to tell. Besides, I’m sure these- whatever they are- don’t want to be exposed any more than you guys do. Ninjutsu IS the art of invisibility, remember?” I decided it might be a good idea to remind him of what we were, to drive home the need for discretion.

He grimaced, and rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I guess not.” He rose, giving the strange dog-beast a last pat on the head, and looked around at the space inside the tower. There were steps down from the inside of the clock, and the huge gears that once ran it were perched high above us, while the main floor was mostly empty save for a small area that had been turned into a makeshift kitchen, and a corner with a television and a comfortable old recliner and footrest, with a table beside it and a rack of DVD’s. Another area held a workbench covered with tools and several small appliances in various states of repair, and a bookshelf half-filled with books on mechanical repairs, building projects, and computers. Mikey’s eyes lit up when he saw it all.

“Wow! Not a bad place ya’ got here. So where are the guys that live here?” He asked, turning to the woman with us. She tried to hide a smile behind one hand, as she looked at something just beyond his left shoulder. I gaped, while a large shape approached him from behind, half-hidden in the darkness below the steps leading down from the giant clock-face. Mikey saw my stunned expression, and looked puzzled for an instant; then realization kicked in, and he paled. “There’s one behind me, isn’t there?” He asked, not even waiting for a response before he slowly swiveled his head to look.

“Aye, lad. There is indeed.” The reply came from a nearly six-foot, winged creature with long white hair and a thick beard, a wrinkled, aged face, and a scar slashing down over one eye. It was clearly male, muscular and fit in spite of his obvious old age, with some sort of ancient leather armor and a belted loincloth over a pair of short leggings, with a curved sword at his side. A long tail and a pair of short head-spikes over his brows completed the intimidating appearance.

“Oh, boy. Th- they’re a LOT scarier up close than I thought they’d be!” Mikey said, backing away slowly. I tensed, ready for anything. Suddenly, I started to think we should have gone with Leo and the others…..
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491
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MsMarvelDuckie
Inhuman
Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

05 Sep 2013, 02:59 #4

And another chapter is up! Looks like our boys in green are having a little tiff with the new kids on the block. Let's hope they can settle this without resorting to bloodshed....






Chapter Four: Rooftop Rumble


“Good evening, Elisa, lass! Who are your friends here?” The winged oldster said, eyeing us both closely. The large-dog-beast moved over to sit beside him, calmly scratching behind its left ear with a hind foot. If not for its strange appearance, it could have been an ordinary family pet. We gazed back at the creature’s master cautiously; I wondered what he must have made of us- especially Mikey.

“I’m not sure, to be honest, Hudson. He says his name is Michelangelo, and that he has three brothers, but I haven’t seen them yet. The girl STILL hasn’t given me a name. I found them out on the balcony. Heaven only knows how they got there- they didn’t come up past me.” Detective Maza replied, giving us both a narrow gaze.

“That rope and hook on the lad’s belt would be my guess. They must have climbed or swung up here.” The old gargoyle-man said, pointing to Mikey’s grapple. “And what be ye’, if ye’ don’t mind me askin’?” The white-bearded stranger asked bluntly. “Never seen the likes o’ yer’ kind before. Where do ye’ come from?”

“Uh, originally? A pet shop over in Clinton, I think. I guess that makes us native New Yorkers, but I’m not sure if it counts. But mostly, we’re from the sewers. Been there most of our lives. It’s not much, but it’s home.” Mikey shrugged, as if living in a sewer was nothing unusual. He half-turned to point over his shoulder to his carapace. “And I’m a turtle. Mutant turtle, that is. See? Got a shell and everything! Oh, um…. Sorry we walked in on ya’ like that- didn’t know anyone lived up here. I was just curious about this place so I wanted to get a better look around; we didn’t mean any harm.” Great, Mikey was rambling again, a clear sign that he was nervous. I didn’t blame him, though.

The gargoyle looked at me as if confused, and shook his head. “Is he always like this? A right talkative one, he is.”

I chuckled and nodded in agreement. “You have NO idea.” I replied, getting a dirty look from my companion. “He’s pretty easy to talk to. Usually, it’s getting him to SHUT UP that’s the problem.”

“Hey! I’m RIGHT HERE, ya’ know,” Mikey protested, scowling. I laughed, and gave him a playful punch to the shoulder. “So, uh- who are YOU?” He asked the winged stranger, curiosity winning out over anxiety.

As often as they call Leo “Fearless”, sometimes I think Mikey is the one who truly is. Even in th midst of life-and-death situations, he always seems to have a ready joke, and often dives head-first into situations where even Raphael might hesitate, usually with a grin and a snarky quip. The big goofball sometimes seems to have little fear of anything. Even on those rare occasions when I’ve witnessed him scream like a girl and beat a hasty retreat, as often as not, he bounces back into the danger the moment he finds an advantage- almost as if his retreats are merely strategic gambits intended to lure enemies into a more favorable battlefield. Leo may be the master tactician when it comes to forming plans, but for sheer manipulative cunning, Mikey has him beat. There’s a reason he usually ends up being the bait in their traps- he’s just so darn good at playing the part of defenseless mark. He’d have made a terrific actor.

“The name’s Hudson, like the river,” answered the old gargoyle. “And I see you’ve already met Bronx. Apology accepted, lad, though I’m curious how ye’ found this place. Not many folks ever bother to look up, and fewer still have ever been curious enough to come up here.”

Mikey seemed to relax, and gave him a lop-sided grin. “Oh! Well, my bros and I do a rooftop patrol run through this neighborhood about once or twice a week; I like to draw, and I thought the statues out on the balcony might make some cool subjects. Then I kept noticin’ how they would be gone sometimes. I’ve seen enough weird stuff in this town that it made me real curious how that could happen, so….” He cocked his head to the side, and made a nonchalant shrug. “Here I am! And our sis here decided to tag along with me for the heck of it. We were mostly just bored.”

The gargoyle and the detective traded glances, and he turned back to me with a raised brow. “I see what ye’ mean about gettin’ him to shut up. This lad’s chattier than our boy Lex!”

“ANYWAY,” Mike continued, “I just wanted to see if I was right about ’em bein’ alive. It’s all good. So, uh- where are the rest of ’em? There’s like, seven of you guys, right?” I was starting to wonder about that myself. Mainly because if they could put gouges in stone, I didn’t want to be around if any of them decided we were a threat.

As if his words had summoned them, a pair of gargoyles entered the tower, folding their wings down around them like cloaks. I recognized one as the lone female of the group; she was obviously young, with long raven hair, soft, delicate features, and a pair of tiny horn-spikes upon her brow. She was actually quite pretty, in a dark, strange way, with dark, heather-gray skin and a slender yet curvy figure. She stood about average height, and wore only a short tunic-dress that almost revealed more than it hid. In spite of the claws that tipped her hands, she hardly seemed threatening.

The massive male beside her, on the other hand, was possibly the most intimidating individual I’d ever seen. He stood well over seven feet tall, with wings to match; a pair of small horns sprouted from above his brows, and a mane of thick ebon hair fell to halfway down his back. His physique was like an ideal of masculine perfection- only bigger- with powerful muscles and nearly flawless skin the same dark shade as the female’s. Even his face had an almost noble, handsome quality, with chiseled, saturnine features that managed to be both devilishly attractive, yet calm and contemplative. He wore nothing but a loincloth belted at the waist, and unlike the older male, carried no weapon. I suspected he needed none.

“Wow, talk about tall, dark, and handsome!” I muttered, half to myself. Mikey glanced from the newcomers to me and back, with a puzzled scowl.

“What’s HE got that I DON’T? Besides wings, I mean.” He asked, looking mildly annoyed.

I elbowed him playfully, with a mischievous smirk. “Mmm, rock-hard abs?” I teased. He just tossed a mock glare my way.

“Funny, REAL funny. Sorry, I’m just not seein’ it.” Mikey grumbled.

“Elisa, Hudson- who are our guests?” The huge male inquired, in a deep, commanding voice. Something told me that he was in charge here. His tone was polite, yet hinted at a suspicious nature and a protective streak that would brook no threats to those close to him. He reminded me a little bit of Leo.

The one named Hudson answered him. “They climbed up here to snoop around a bit, or so the green one says. It seems he had figured out that we’re more than mere statues. They seem harmless, though I’ve never seen anything like him before. He claims to be a mutant, and said he lives in the sewers with three others. Not quite sure what to make of him, to tell the truth. And he called the lass his sister, if ye’ can believe it.”

“I see.” The enormous newcomer moved closer, and I felt his dark gaze on us as he studied us both intently. “How were you created? Do you know a man named Dr. Anton Sevarius? Were you one of his experiments?” He asked Mikey curiously. The questions were spoken calmly, but I got the impression he was seeking something from us.

Mikey was about to answer him, when both of our shell-cells chose that moment to sound off. We exchanged a disgusted glance, and both spoke at once on hearing the familiar tune. “Great- Leo.” We both groaned, knowing damn well what our leader wanted. No doubt we were about to get a royal ass-chewing for running off on our own.

“Uh, we’d better take this call- it’s my big bro, and he’s probably wondering where we are.” Mikey apologized, as he opened up his communicator. I flipped mine open with a sigh, since Leo had obviously wanted to talk to both of us if he had opened both links at once. What a pain.

“WHERE ARE YOU TWO??!!” The angry shout that greeted us as soon as the cells were open made me wince. Yup, Leo was pissed.

“Woah! Take it easy, dude! We’re fine, we just, um- kinda got sidetracked, that’s all. I spotted somethin’ suspicious and we stopped to check it out. No big deal.”

“We could have used your help, Michelangelo. Those jerks almost took out the power lines for the entire neighborhood when we put out the tetsubishi. Not to mention they threatened to take out the hostage to get away. Raph settled it with a sai in the neck of the one holding the gun on her. I don’t think he’s getting up again.” Shit. No wonder Leo sounded ticked. It was bad enough that we had run off without telling anyone, but now he had to deal with Raph having possibly killed someone in his attempt to defuse the situation. It wasn’t the first time the hothead had acted too rashly, either. Now there would be no living with either of them for a while. Raph would mope and turn sullen and withdrawn until he got over the guilt, and Leo would be an insufferable tyrant for days.

“Crap. Emo-Raph strikes again. Sorry, dude, but I thought it might be something important, so I made a choice. I figured you guys could handle that one without us. Anyway, now’s NOT a good time, Leo. We’re, uh, in the middle of some delicate negotiations here, and things could go south in a hurry.”

Leo’s eyes narrowed on the small screen. “What KIND of negotiations? What did you two get into NOW?” If there’s anything worse than Leo angry, it’s Leo when he’s angry and suspicious.

“Excuse me- did he say something about someone holding a gun on a hostage? And what’s this about a sai in someone’s neck? Who ARE you guys?!” That was the detective speaking, and I groaned again, realizing she’d heard every word of Leo’s tirade. Double shit. How were we going to explain this?

I tried to stall her while Mikey kept Leo busy. “We’re what you might call an unofficial neighborhood watch. Citizens’ patrol, more or less. Mostly we help people who need it, clean up the local trash, and occasionally retrieve things that have wandered off from their owners.” It was a polite way of putting what we did, to be sure, but I wasn’t about to use the ugly “v” word.

“In other words, you’re vigilantes.” Okay, so she obviously had no problem using the word herself.

Personally, I hated the term. I prefer “emergency troubleshooters”. But it is what it is, I suppose. I sighed. “You know, that’s such a dirty word. Can we just call it garbage take-out and leave it at that? Anyway, we do the same thing you do- just without the badge to pretty it up. And we’re much more discrete. Usually.” I grimaced, wondering if she was going to try to take us in now.

Leo must have heard the detective, because he suddenly broke in. “Who are you talking to, sis? Did you just say something about badges? Just WHAT IS GOING ON?!” Great. Leo didn’t miss a thing. He was getting really steamed, no doubt about it.

“We encountered some new players on the field, that’s all. We’ll tell you all about it when we get back, unless someone has to bail us out of jail now. Your voice really carries on this thing, did you know that?” I told him acidly. It seemed to shut him up- for a moment, anyway.

Finally, he said something to the others, muttering something to Donnie about tracking us on the T-com. Then he lowered his voice, apparently realizing that someone else was listening in. “Don’t go anywhere- we’ll come to you. Mikey, you’d better have a good explanation for this.” Then he hung up, and I traded glances with my green-skinned companion, both of us knowing that this was far from over.

“Uh, sorry about that. He’s kind of a control-freak.” Mikey apologized to Detective Maza and the three winged strangers. I nodded an affirmative.

“Perhaps introductions are in order. I am called Goliath, and this is my daughter Angela. I am leader of our clan. And forgive me for being persistent, but you did not answer my question earlier. Are you one of Sevarius’ creations?” The big gargoyle gave a sweeping bow, and I found his courtly manner at odds with his daunting appearance. Indeed, he surely fit his powerful name.

“Nice to meet ya’! I’m Michelangelo. Sorry, but we never heard of anyone by that name. And we weren’t anyone’s experiment. We fell down in the sewer ’cause some kid almost got run over and dropped our bowl, and we were mutated later when this alien dude named Krang lost a canister of some green ooze stuff and it broke and got on us. That was almost eighteen years ago. It was all just a freak accident. We’ve been down there ever since.”

“That’s terrible! How did you survive? You must have been so very young,” The female finally spoke, a look of sympathy on her lovely features. She had a soft, almost musical voice; I could see where she had gotten her name.

“We were taken in and raised by our Sensei. His name is Splinter. He’s sort of like our dad- and he’s also a mutant rat. He got splashed by the same stuff that changed us, but before that, he was a pet of a ninja Master named Hamato Yoshi. He used to watch his owner practicing his skills, and he taught it to us after we all mutated, so we’d be able to stay hidden and safe, and defend ourselves if we ever had to.” Mikey replied eagerly; he was only too happy to make new friends, though I had misgivings about revealing so much of his history to these strangers.

“And this alien? What became of him? Or your teacher’s owner?” Goliath asked. He seemed more accepting of our presence now, though clearly he still had doubts. I supposed it was only natural.

“Well, it all goes back to Hamato Yoshi, believe it or not. See, he was the Sensei of a ninja clan in Japan a long time ago, until a rival framed him for tryin’ to assassinate the Grandmaster, and he got kicked out. He came here to New York, and brought Splinter with him- but the guy who plotted to take over his place was exposed by Yoshi, and HE got booted out too. He came after Yoshi and killed him out of revenge, for uh, rattin’ him out. Then he wiped out the rest of the clan except for the ones who had followed him. He calls himself Shredder. Anyways, the creep met that alien dude, and they became partners. Krang wants to conquer the world, and Shredder- his real name’s Oruku Saki- is helpin’ him. They’ve got this huge fortress-tank under the harbor. And ninjas. And some mutants they created to work for them. It’s complicated.”

“An interestin’ tale, lad, but a bit hard to swallow, if I do say so.” The one who called himself Hudson said dubiously. “Aliens? Ninja clans? It all sounds like some bad science-fiction movie.”

“Is it any less believable than battling Norse gods, or waking up King Arthur? Or fighting claw against sword with the real Macbeth? Or magic spells that turn everyone in the city to stone?” Detective Maza asked her friend.

The old gargoyle sighed. “Aye. Point taken, lass.” He shook his head.

I was about to ask about the city getting turned to stone- you’d think someone would have remembered that happening- but our shell-cells went off again. This time it was Donnie’s ring-tone. I looked at Mikey, wondering what his brainy brother would want. He just shrugged, and waved for me to answer it. I opened it with a sigh, hoping it wasn’t more bad news. “Yeah, Don? What’s up?”

“We’re almost to your position, so Leo says stay put. And we WERE sort of wondering- is there any particular reason you’re on top of a police station? What if someone sees you up there?!” Donnie must have tracked our location by now, and had probably told Leonardo exactly WHERE we were. This was getting worse by the minute.

“I don’t think that’s really an issue, Don,” I said, glancing up at the detective. “Besides, we’ve found something- interesting- here, but we’re in a delicate situation and it might not be a good idea for you guys to come barging in. Our hosts might take offense.” I put the warning as plainly as I could without saying exactly what we were doing, or what we’d found.

“Hosts?! Are you guys being held captive? Don’t worry, we’ll be right there!” He asked, suddenly frantic. Terrific. I had tried to give him a hint to stay away to avoid unnecessary complications, and instead he’d jumped to conclusions and decided we were being held against our will. Then he hung up, and I face-palmed as I realized we were about to have three very upset and angry teammates bursting in for an unnecessary rescue. You know that saying about how when it rains, it pours? Well, right now we were caught in a monsoon of cats and dogs- metaphorically speaking.

The three gargoyles and Detective Maza all looked at me curiously, and Mikey glanced nervously from the winged trio to me and back. “Does that mean what I think it means?” He asked, groaning when I nodded with a grimace of annoyance.

“’Fraid so, Mikey. Well, uh, Goliath, it looks like you might be meeting our family sooner than you thought. They’re on their way here under the mistaken belief that we’re being held prisoner or something. I’m sure they’ll be climbing up here any minute to try to ‘rescue’ us.” I gave the hulking creature an apologetic half-smile, and sighed. “For what it’s worth, we DO apologize for the intrusion. Mikey tends to get a little over-enthusiastic when it comes to anything new or unusual. He’s sort of our resident thrill-seeker. Weird sometimes, but mostly harmless.”

“Hey, YOU agreed to come with me! Didn’t hear any complaints, either.” His protest reminded me that I had indeed gone along with his idea, to my chagrin.

“True enough. But you DID say life would never be boring with you around! Besides, weren’t you the one complaining earlier about it being a slow night for patrols? Guess this is karmic payback.” I retorted, teasing him mercilessly.

“Ahem, are ye’ sure you two are siblings? Ye’ bicker more like a married couple,” Hudson observed, stroking his beard thoughtfully. “How did ye’ come to be their sister, anyway? Or is there somethin’ I’m missin’ here?” He turned to me with a questioning look.

“Their Sensei adopted me into the clan as kunoichi- that’s a specially trained female ninja. And yes, since you’re obviously wondering, we ARE a couple- just not married. It’s- complicated.” I shrugged, knowing they would probably never truly understand all the intricacies of our relationship- both as family and as lovers. Then again, I thought, noticing the way the big guy who called himself Goliath had taken an almost protective position next to the detective, with one clawed hand resting lightly on her shoulder, maybe at least ONE of them could….

“Exactly how did ye’ get mixed in with such an odd bunch? Ye’ certainly SEEM like a normal lass,” the old one asked, still curious. I got the impression that he didn’t get much excitement.

“That’s sort of a long story. You know that Shredder guy Mikey mentioned? He killed my parents a couple of years ago, and I was a witness to it. The police never really believed what I told them, though, so they stopped looking for him a long time ago. Then I ran into these four one night by coincidence, and asked Splinter to teach me once I found out they were enemies of my family’s killer. I just want to make sure he never hurts anyone else again. I want to protect innocent people from monsters like him.” I said, staring determinedly back at him.

“Protection- I understand that objective all too well,” Goliath said, nodding. “Our clan lives to protect our home and all who live there. This city IS our home. And its people are under our protection. That is our way.”

“Aye, lad. As we live and breathe. Which reminds me- shouldn’t the others be back by now?” Hudson added, glancing at his leader. “Ye’ don’t suppose they ran into trouble, do ye’?” He asked, looking a little worried. I could only assume he meant the remaining three members of their small family, whom I now realized were conspicuously absent.

“Indeed. I sent Brooklyn to bring back Broadway and Lexington some time ago. I was concerned about those suspicious figures we’ve seen lately. They were lurking about the area again earlier tonight.” Goliath replied apprehensively; then he eyed Mikey and me with one raised brow, and chuckled. “But perhaps I need not have worried, after all. I suspect we may have found our elusive shadows.”

Mikey was about to say something to him, but his shell-cell went off again at that moment. It was Leo again. He rolled his eyes and tossed it to me. “Tell him I died of embarrassment ’cause he keeps checkin’ up on us. Man, he’s a pain in the butt!”

“Oh, sure- stick ME with having to deal with ‘Splinter Jr.’ You’re all heart, Mikey!” I replied with distaste. I reluctantly opened it up, and was greeted by Leo’s confused face.

“Orlene? What are YOU doing with Mikey’s T-com? Where is he?!” He yelled frantically.

“He said to tell you your mother-hen routine embarrassed him to death. He doesn’t want to talk right now.” I answered, relaying the message with a huff. I had to agree that he was being more nosey than usual.

“Well, get your butts over here! We’re on the roof across from that tower, and we’re under attack!” Leonardo shouted, his image jerking as he apparently ducked low to avoid a hit. He sounded distinctly worried, so it must have been serious.

“Attack? Who is it- the Purple Dragons? Shredder’s Foot soldiers? Is it Big Louie’s Mob?” I asked, while I heard a clang of steel that told me he had just blocked an attack with one of his katana.

“No, they’re some kind of flying monsters!” He answered desperately; I saw something shove him from behind, knocking the shell-cell from his hand. I groaned, realizing what was happening.

“Goliath, I think your family and our family just met- and it DOESN’T sound like a friendly get-together!” I said, turning to the huge, winged leader. “We’d better get over there before they kill each other!”

“Agreed. Coming, Hudson?” He asked his clan-mate, as he turned to stride swiftly back out to the balcony.

“Aye, lad. I wouldn’t MISS this,” the oldster chuckled, following the other two out. Detective Maza seemed torn for a moment, then sighed, and ran after.

“Might as well join the fun,” she muttered resignedly.

Mikey and I traded glances, and raced up the steps and outside, in time to see what was clearly a battle going on the rooftop across the street. Three winged figures were swooping down on the short, stock shapes on the roof, and we could hear the sounds of shouting even from our distance.

“Angela, you bring the girl. Hudson- you can carry our green friend. I’ve got Elisa. Let us end this nonsense before someone gets hurt.” And without any further warning, I found myself grabbed from behind by the waist by the young female gargoyle, as she leapt up off the casement and unfurled her wings. There was a moment of panic as I felt us plunge briefly off the tower; then the wind currents caught us, and carried us upward. Fortunately, I managed not to scream. Mikey wasn’t so collected- I heard his distinctive shriek of surprise as the old one made his jump, and sniggered.

“Hey! Warn a guy when you’re gonna’ do that!” He protested anxiously, prompting a laugh from his “ride”.

“You’re not afraid of heights, are ye’, lad?” Hudson asked, amused by his reaction.

“No, but if turtles were meant to fly, we’d have our OWN wings!” Mikey complained.

“Exactly what is it you see in him?” The female who carried me asked, looking puzzled. “He seems- odd….”

“He grows on you,” I replied with a grin. “Kind of like a cheesy movie where you can’t figure out WHY you love it- you just DO.”

“Ah! I think I understand- Broadway is like that, too.” I wondered what a famous street had to do with anything, but by then we were coming in to land. She back-winged to a stop, and dropped me lightly onto the roof. I looked around, and saw Leo using his blades to fend off a large blue-gray gargoyle who was nearly as tall as Goliath, and quite a bit bulkier. They were nose-to-beak, with the big gargoyle shoving against Leo’s swords, pushing him back inch by inch.

“Why are you creeps snooping around our home?!” The big one growled, as Leo stepped back and let his opponent’s own weight carry him off-balance. But in spite of his size, the big one was hardly slow. He whirled around, his tail whipping out to last at Leo’s feet. The ninja nimbly leapt over it, though, and pressed the attack with his blades- only to have them caught in the hands of his larger antagonist.
“What are you TALKING about?” Leo answered, confused. “We were looking for our brother!”

“So, there IS another one of you guys! I THOUGHT we saw four of you…. Nice blades, by the way. Never seen anyone use TWO swords before- you’re pretty good with those!” The big one replied, glancing appreciatively at Leo’s katanas, ignoring the fact that they were cutting into his hands. He must have been very tough, because he continued to grip the blades in spite of the blood that trickled from his palms.

Raph was several feet away from them, wrestling heatedly with a lean, red-skinned one with a shock of long white hair and a pair of prominent horns. They were snarling like a couple of wildcats fighting over territory, and I wondered which was the more ferocious-sounding. Both looked ready to kill. “I don’t know who you weirdos ARE, pal, but you’re REALLY startin’ ta’ piss me off!” Raph snarled at the red gargoyle.

Meanwhile, Donnie was holding off a relatively small opponent, with olive-green skin and a short, wiry build. He was quick, though, easily dodging Donatello’s bo, only to retaliate with a swipe of his long tail. He knocked Donnie off his feet, and tackled him, growling angrily. “Get off of me!” Don yelled, fending off the smaller- yet apparently very strong- gargoyle. “What did we ever do to YOU?!”

“Leo, STAND DOWN!” I shouted, as he slammed the pommels of his katanas into the back of the big gargoyle’s head. He ignored me, instead delivering a side-kick to his back. “Damn it, Leo, I said STOP!” I yanked out my kusari-gama and whipped the chain out to entangle his blades. Metal screeched against metal, and he turned to glare at me darkly.

“What the-! Are you out of your MIND?!” He yelled, while the heavy-set gargoyle shook his head to clear it from the blow he’d taken, turning to eye Leonardo warily. He looked more surprised than angry, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t still dangerous. I could see that I was going to get one of Leo’s famous lectures when this was over, though for once, I really didn’t care. At last, seeing his team outnumbered, and with two of us urging against a fight, he slowly lowered his blades, a wary attitude in his narrowed eyes.

“Dudes, listen to her! There’s no need to fight!” Mikey asserted, stepping between Raph and the gargoyle he’d just been wrestling with. Raphael sent a warning growl to his brother, his blazing amber eyes promising severe consequences if Mikey continued to interfere.

“ENOUGH! Stop this- ALL of you!” Goliath roared out over the battle. His booming voice cut through the snarls and sounds of weapons meeting claws like a siren in the night. As one, all three of the attacking gargoyles paused in surprise, turning to gape at their leader. Donnie used the distraction to toss off his opponent, flinging him away with his bo. Raph punched his in the beak, and rolled away to flip back up to his feet, sais at the ready. Even Leo stared at the hulking figure who had landed beside Mikey and me. The other two stood just behind us, while Detective Maza sidled up to lean against the gargoyles’ leader. I couldn’t help noticing how his wing curled around her, drawing her closer to his side.

“Goliath- why’d you stop us? We finally found those sneaks that have been snooping around!” The red-skinned one said sullenly, rubbing his long beak with a dark glance at Raph. The others seemed inclined to agree.

“They are not our enemies, Brooklyn. We have enemies enough already without creating new ones. On the contrary, it seems we have a common purpose with these- strangers. We have no quarrel with them.” Goliath answered calmly. I was starting to see why he was the leader. He reminded me of Leo in some ways.

“Alright, guys- you heard him. Fight’s over.” Leonardo said, straightening as he sheathed his swords. He shot Mikey and me a look that said we were going to be in a shit-storm of trouble later. “You two had BETTER have a really GOOD explanation for all of this.” He made a sign to the other two, and Donnie slowly rose to his feet, and stood leaning on his bo with a curious look our way. Raph shot a glare at the white-maned gargoyle, before finally slipping his sais back into his belt.

“Dude, chill! This was all just a really BIG misunderstanding….” Mikey said, stepping in to placate the eldest turtle. “Besides- aren’t you guys just a LITTLE curious to know where they came from?” He glanced over at the brainy member of our team, smiling slyly. Oh, but he was good. He knew exactly how to entice Don over to his side in a conflict.

“All’s I want to know is- WHAT’S GOIN’ ON?!” Raph finally yelled, unable to restrain his temper any longer. Naturally, he was itching to continue the fight. Typical Raph….

“Bro, it’s pretty simple- these dudes are real live gargoyles! And they’ve been livin’ here right under our noses!” Well, maybe over our heads, but you get the idea.” He smirked, clapping his brother on the carapace. “If you play nice, Raph, maybe you’ll even have a new partner to patrol with!” He glanced sideways at the gargoyle Raphael had been fighting, and I could almost see the wheels turning in his head. I realized that he was already figuring out ways to turn the obvious newfound rivalry between the pair to his own purpose. Sometimes, I think that boy LIVES to create drama and chaos…..
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491
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MsMarvelDuckie
Inhuman
Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

16 Oct 2013, 22:04 #5

Hmm, looks like a meeting of minds is in the cards for all involved- if the sour grapes among them can ever get along! Heh, don't you just LOVE family get-togethers? And it seems that at least two of the boys in green have found kindred spirits....







Chapter Five: Enemies and Allies


Once it was clear that a truce had been called, we all put away our weapons. Leo stepped cautiously toward the gargoyles’ big leader and gave him a guarded bow. He seemed surprised when the behemoth returned it with a perfect traditional bow, and even greeted him in Japanese.

“Konichiwa,” Goliath said politely. “Your brother has told us you are warriors, like us. He called you ninja. I was unaware that such practices still existed. Please accept my apology for the unprovoked attack by my rookery brothers. They can be overzealous at times.” He held out a hand, and Leo slowly reached out and shook it cautiously.

“You know Japanese?” He asked, surprised and a little impressed. I glanced over at Mikey, and he nodded back at me and grinned. One of the quickest ways to win Leo over was to appeal to his sense of honor and propriety.

“Some. My daughter Angela and I spent some time in Japan not long ago- we met another clan of our kind there, and learned of the Bushido code they live by. It was a most enlightening experience.” The giant gargoyle said, nodding. “Still, I find it strange that we have never encountered any of you before.” He looked around curiously from one turtle to another, his horned brows furrowed.

“My name is Leonardo,” replied our leader politely. “You’ve already met Michelangelo; the others with me are Donatello and Raphael. We practice Bushido, as well. It’s one of our Sensei’s most important teachings. And I’m not surprised you’ve never run into us- we’re VERY good at staying hidden. At least SOME of us are.” Leo replied. He turned to glare directly at Mikey and me; I smiled back at him innocently, while Mikey just pretended he hadn’t heard, and began whistling idly to himself. Leo grimaced, but said nothing.

“You guys are named after Renaissance artists? Cool!” The smallest of the winged strangers piped up. “Did you pick them yourself, or did someone else give them to you?”

“Our Sensei named us when we were little,” Donnie supplied in a casual tone. “His former master was fond of Renaissance art, so our father named us after Master Yoshi’s favorite artists.”

“Neat!” The short gargoyle replied. “Oh, I’m Lexington. But you can call me Lex. That’s Brooklyn, and the big guy there is Broadway.” He pointed to the other two in turn. “So, you guys are mutants, huh? You’re turtles, right? We’ve seen mutants before, but not like you guys!” The short one seemed excited; he reminded me a little bit of Mikey with his wide-eyed attitude. I stifled a laugh, hearing him chattering eagerly with our genius brother. I was beginning to understand what the one named Hudson had meant when he’d mentioned their own chatty clan-mate.

“Why’d ya’ attack us? We ain’t never done nothin’ to ya’,” Raph said, cutting in at last. He glared darkly at the red-skinned one, a hard glint in his deep golden eyes.

“You guys have been sneaking around on the rooftops in this neighborhood a LOT lately- what are you after?” shot back the red gargoyle. He met Raph’s stare without blinking, his wings fluttering in anticipation of another fight. I glanced at Mikey, and he met my gaze with a disgusted look and rolled his eyes in annoyance at the way the two seemed to be trying to goad each other into a rematch.

“Hey, pal! WE was here FIRST!” Raph barked, pulling out his sais again and twirling one menacingly. “We was out lookin’ for our little brother there when you jerks swooped in on us! What- you never heard of just ASKIN’?!” He took a step toward the gargoyle again; I quietly pulled out my kusari-gama, ready to intervene again if need be. His ego had been bruised, and now it looked like his infamous short temper was flaring up again. I sighed. This was getting us nowhere, fast.

“That is enough- BOTH of you!” Goliath snapped, as he swiftly stepped between the two antagonists. “Brooklyn, that is no way to treat a stranger. You are my second- you should not let your anger or suspicion get the better of you. This is NOT the behavior I expect of my second, OR of a true warrior.” The one he had called Brooklyn hung his head guiltily, chastised by his leader’s words.

“Forgive me, Goliath. We were just trying to protect our home. I guess we DID jump to conclusions. It won’t happen again.” He made a submissive bow to the taller gargoyle, then glanced over at Raph. “For what it’s worth, we’re sorry we attacked you. I guess we’re just used to strangers always being out to kill us. We haven’t found many people we can trust.”

Raphael eased up a little, but didn’t put the sais away. “Yeah, we know what THAT’S like. Fo’get about it. I guess we ain’t exactly your average next-door neighbors.”

“Ahem- excuse me,” Detective Maza broke in, moving to the center of the rooftop as she waved for attention. All heads turned to look at her questioningly. “I’d like to suggest that we move this little pow-wow somewhere a little less exposed. We may not be visible from the street, but if anyone in one of the taller buildings around here sees us, things could get dicey in a hurry. Besides, I’m going to be late for my shift if we don’t get back over to the station soon.” She tossed Goliath an impatient look, and he nodded.

“Agreed. Let us retire to someplace safer. Our roost is more comfortable than this rooftop. Please, join us, and we can speak further.” The powerful leader gave a brief nod to Leonardo, who considered for a moment as he waited for confirmation from the rest of us. Donatello strode casually over to stand just behind him to the right, his curiosity openly visible on his face. He kept eying each of the gargoyles with a critical gaze, as if trying to analyze them. Michelangelo and I joined them, followed by a reluctant Raphael.

“We’d be happy to accept your invitation,” Leo answered at last, curiosity getting the best of him. He seemed to have decided that the gargoyles could be trusted- I knew that was not an easy feat for him, as his natural distrust of outsiders tended to make him slightly paranoid of possible traps and signs of betrayal. Then again, considering their history, I didn’t really blame him for being suspicious.

The one named Hudson unfurled his wings. “We’d be happy to give ye’ a lift across if ye’d like,” he said helpfully. “Unless ye’ have any objections,” he added, eying Mikey with an amused half-smirk.

I was just about to accept, when Raph pushed past Leo and spoke up. “Thanks, but no thanks. Ain’t nobody gonna’ pick up THIS turtle. We got our own ways o’ gettin’ around. Besides, how do we know ya’ wouldn’t drop us?” He glared suspiciously at the one called Brooklyn, as he tucked away his sais and pulled out his grapple-line.

“Don’t worry, the only way we’d drop you is if your fat head was too heavy to carry.” The red gargoyle shot back, grinning wickedly. Raph made a warning growl and tensed to launch himself at the other, only to have Leo’s hand yank him backward by the rim of his shell.

“Raph, cut it out! Would you stop trying to pick a fight?!” He stared down his brother, who had turned his head to glare back at him defiantly. Leonardo sighed and shook his head in annoyance. “Good grief, I can’t take you anywhere.” He raised his other hand and pinched the spot between his eyes as if he felt a headache coming on, before taking a deep breath and nodding to Hudson. “Actually, we appreciate the offer, and SOME of us would enjoy the ride. Thank you.” He made a quick bow toward the old warrior, finally letting go of Raph’s shell. The red-banded mutant jerked away angrily, and stalked over to the low barrier around the edge of the roof, where he flung out his line and tossed his siblings a withering glance before swinging across.

“Awesome! I’m up for it!” Mikey said excitedly, stepping up.

“I thought ye’ said ye’ weren’t meant to fly?” Hudson asked, puzzled by the change of heart from the young mutant.

“Oh, that was before I discovered how fabulo-so flyin’ is! That was the coolest ride E-VER!” He looked over at Donatello with what I could only call a flash of enthusiastic inspiration. “Hey, Donnie? Can you build us some jet packs or somethin’? Or maybe some kind of blimp or power-glider? PLEEEASE??!!” Leo face-palmed, and I groaned softly, knowing that he would never let us hear the end of it until Don agreed to do the project. It was his most annoying habit- pestering Donnie for something until he caved, just to shut him up. Donatello’s workshop was full of such half-finished projects started in response to one of Mikey’s wild ideas, and most of them had ended in frustration and failure.

“We’ll see,” Don said, rolling his eyes, though I could already see the gears in his head turning at warp speed as he tried to gauge the possibilities. Great. This had all the makings of a future Donatello techno-disaster….
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491
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MsMarvelDuckie
Inhuman
Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

29 Dec 2013, 05:07 #6

Well, it took me a while, but I finally got more of ToTC up! Looks like an interesting partnership may be in the making. Enjoy!





I watched with amusement as Leo stiffened when the large, bulky gargoyle hoisted him up with ease. “Huh, you’re heavier than you look. I bet that shell adds a lot of weight!” The big gargoyle noted brightly. “But don’t worry, I should still be able to lift us both. Maybe.”

Leo did a double-take. I snickered, knowing he was terrified of heights. “What?!” He shrieked, for a moment sounding almost like Mikey.

The gargoyle chuckled. “Ha, ha! Just kidding.”

The lean, red-skinned one stepped over to Donatello, eying him cautiously. “YOU’RE not too good to fly, are you?”

“Well, judging from the ratio of body mass to wing-span, the normal metabolism of a humanoid body, and the fact that your activity cycle appears to be nocturnal, I’d guess that you’re only able to glide on air currents, rather than actually fly. But sure- I’ll give it a shot!” Donatello replied, as usual turning a simple answer into a scientific discourse.

The white-maned gargoyle gave him an odd look, before twisting his horned head to regard the smallest one. “Hey, Lex! This guy talks like you do! Maybe you two should date!”

“Oh, VERY funny, Brooklyn. Maybe if he was a GIRL, and had wings!” The shortest one said, taking the ribbing in stride. Donnie just stood there staring at them with an irritated grimace.

“Um, actually….” Mikey began, only to receive a “thwack” on top of his head from the end of Don’s bo, that stopped him cold. “OW! Hey!” He protested loudly, and turned to find Donnie shooting him a withering glare; Mikey’s eyes went wide, and he clamped both hands over his mouth as he realized belatedly what he had almost revealed. “Oops. Uh- never mind,” he said, embarrassed.

“Mikey, you’re an idiot,” Don muttered, rolling his eyes, as the red gargoyle took a few running steps at him, hopped into the air, and grabbed hold of him under his arms, lifting him up with a flap of his long wings. The big one followed suit with Leo in tow, and I couldn’t help noticing that our “fearless” leader gasped worriedly as his “ride” cleared the edge of the building and soared out over the street far below.

Once again, I found myself picked up by the young female, while Mikey eagerly allowed Hudson to hoist him up under the arms as he made a down-beat of his wings and jumped up to take off. This time, however, my orange-clad companion gave an excited whoop as they caught an updraft and swooped toward the clock tower. As before, the big leader scooped up Detective Maza in what I was beginning to understand was a tender embrace before leaping out into the air with wings spread wide. I noticed she held onto him trustingly, and that the pair seemed quite comfortable with the close contact.

Thankfully, we arrived back across the street onto the casement of the police station’s tower without incident, though Leonardo’s legs quivered like jello as he landed. It was rare for him to ever show any sign of weakness, but being held aloft with his feet dangling down more than a hundred feet above the ground was enough to unhinge even our stoic leader a little. I filed the incident away for later, as something to rib him about back in the comfort and privacy of the lair. Like the others, I had learned to take his overdeveloped sense of honor and pride for what it was- a sometimes annoying quirk that nevertheless proved advantageous at times.

Raph was already pulling himself up over the edge of the casement, watching us land with a cocky smirk. “Okay, Leo- since when do we take rides from flyin’ weirdos we don’t know nuthin’ about? Ya’ wanna’ explain that?” He raised one brow-ridge accusingly, as he pulled up his grapple-line and wound it back onto his belt.

“Raph! Just drop it! We’re guests here, so stuff the attitude!” Leo barked in his “command” voice, shooting an annoyed look back at his hot-headed brother. He turned to follow Goliath and Detective Maza inside, firmly making his feelings known by turning his back on Raphael. It was his way of showing that the discussion was over; Raph growled softly at the implied dismissal.

“Yeah, Raph; would you chill out, dude? Why do you always got to be such an ass?” Mikey asked, hopping down as Hudson released him. “These dudes are cool- and you should see their dog! Or, uh, whatever he is.” He said, glancing over at the one named Broadway, who was giving him a strange look.

“Butt out, Mikey. You’re the one that got us into this! What the Hell were ya’ thinkin’, anyway?” Raphael shot back, glaring at the youngest. He stalked after Leonardo, fists balled at his sides.

“OH! Well, EXCU-USE me for takin’ a little initiative to check out somethin’ unusual! Like it’s some kind of crime to do anything on my own- pot callin’ the kettle black, much?!” He snapped back at the bigger turtle’s back, before padding over to where Donnie had just landed with the one named Brooklyn. Raphael simply ignored him, rolling his eyes in frustrated anger.

Angela moved close to me, leaning in to speak quietly. “Are they always like that? I thought you said they were brothers?”

“They are- unfortunately, they don’t always get along. And Raph is hard to live with most of the time. He’s not exactly the most friendly of the bunch. More like the lone wolf. He’s always butting heads with somebody. You get used to it, after a while. But he’s not so bad, once he gets over being over-protective and suspicious around new people. He just has a hard time trusting others.”

She didn’t reply, but gave the red-clad sibling a wide berth as he passed. Michelangelo and Donatello traded glances and shook their heads at Raphael’s display. “What’s his problem, anyway?” Mikey asked the brainy one, letting out an annoyed huff.

“He’s still kicking himself for what happened with those guys that tried to abduct the rich lady. We tied up the other three, but the one who had her started to drag her off and was using her as a shield- so Raph threw a sai. Pegged that creep right in the neck, and now he’s upset that he missed the guy’s hand. Raph was just aiming to incapacitate, but the lady tried to pull away, and tugged the guy’s hand. That might not have happened if you two had been there.” He turned a slightly accusing look on Mikey, as if to say that he was partly responsible for the bad mood his brother was in.

“Hey, it’s not MY fault he got sloppy, okay?! Like I said, we wanted to investigate this place, and figured you three could handle a simple kidnapping attempt without us. I’ve had my eye on this tower for a while, and thought it would be a good time to see if I was right about the funny business with the statues, that’s all.” Mikey stared back at him, scowling. “Anyway, he’ll mope around and go postal on his punching bag for a few days like he always does when this stuff happens, and then he’ll get over it. It was an accident, Donnie. I know we’re supposed to be careful about that sort of thing, but he keeps forgettin’ that we’re all carrying dangerous weapons. He treats those things like they’re just big toothpicks, half the time!”

Donnie sighed, for once not having an answer. I stepped between the pair, gently draping an arm over both of their shells. “You know, it doesn’t matter now, Don. We can’t change what was done, and there was no way we could have known that would happen. And Raph DOES need to learn some restraint. He could have handled that better. How many times has he gone overboard during practice? Sometimes I think he doesn’t know just how dangerous he is. But we can talk about this later. Let’s just go inside and get to know the new kids in the neighborhood.”

“Amen to that, babe.” Mikey nodded, and we all followed the others into the tower.

Inside, we found Goliath and his clan-mates waiting for us. “Welcome to our home. I realize that we did not meet under the best of circumstances, so perhaps we should explain our presence here. We once lived in Scotland, over a thousand years ago. We had a pact with the humans who lived in the castle built upon our cliff-side home, to protect the castle and its inhabitants, and in return they guarded over us while we slept. But there was a traitor among them- and among our own clan, as well. We were betrayed and our clan was nearly destroyed, and a magus of the humans blamed us for the castle’s fall. He wove a spell that put us into a stone sleep until the castle should rise above the clouds. And now, we have awakened in this time, to a world we barely recognize, and understand little of.”

Donatello listened intently, and when the powerful gargoyle leader finished, he began to pace thoughtfully for a moment, and then whirled toward Goliath suddenly, looking excited. “You’re talking about the castle at the top of Xanacorp Tower, right? I’ve heard the owner had it taken apart overseas and rebuilt there stone by stone! So, when it was moved, that must have broken the spell!”

The gargoyle nodded. “Yes, it seems he had heard the legend of the castle, and acquired the Magus’ spell book. In its pages he learned of the spell, and figured out a way to break it. He wished to see if the story was true. But he used us for his own purpose, knowing that we knew nothing of this world and would be dependant on him to teach us the ways of this new time. He is our sworn enemy now, for all the crimes he has committed, and for betraying our trust.”

Leonardo spoke up, nodding as he waved toward the four of us. “We have enemies, too. Our sensei’s human master was murdered many years ago by a rival from his clan; that man is now OUR enemy, as well. He kidnapped our father and sensei three years ago, and tried to convince us to join him in his quest to take over the city, but we refused. He’s allied with a genocidal alien warlord from another dimension, and he’s also the head of a crime syndicate that runs half the gangs in the city, with ties to the Mob AND the biggest street gang in town.”

The smallest gargoyle stepped closer, his eyes wide in amazement. “You mean the Purple Dragons? We’ve run into some of those guys, and they’re BAD news! We’ve had some run-ins with Tony Draco’s Mob, too!”

Leonardo nodded. “I don’t know much about Draco’s boys- we’ve never tangled with them. But the Dragons and Big Louie’s faction are both working for the guy we’re after, one way or another. His name is Oruku Saki, but he calls himself the Shredder.”

“The Shredder? Sounds like a cheese grater.” Broadway commented, earning a chuckle from the two smaller gargoyles.

“Yeah, that’s what we thought, too,” Raph said. “But he’s one nasty customer- murder, stealin’, forgery, fraud, assassination, money-launderin’, weapon-smugglin’- ain’t NOTHIN’ that snake won’t do. Same goes for his partner, an ugly little alien creep named Krang. We’ve seen the place he comes from, an’ it AIN’T pretty. Mostly ’cause his army went through and either took over or wiped out everything in sight. And now he wants OUR planet next!”

“Geez, and I thought Xanatos was bad!” Broadway said.

“It would seem we have a common cause,” said Goliath. “I agree- anyone who poses so great a threat must be stopped. Perhaps we can be of assistance. Your brother said this man had created mutants to aid in his conquest. What manner of creatures are they?”

Leonardo grimaced, the reminder of our enemy’s minions a sore spot that had long given the team’s leader headaches. “His two main allies are Rocksteady and Bebop. One’s a rhino, and his partner is a warthog. They USED to be a couple of two-bit street-thugs, but they actually volunteered to have him turn them into mutants after we kicked them around a couple of times and they wanted some paybacks. They’re idiots, but dangerous just the same. Saki also has another pair he calls Tokka and Rahzar- they’re a wolf and snapping turtle. I’m pretty sure he meant the snapper as an insult to us. They’re even dumber than the other two, but also bigger and meaner. But the worst one is Baxter Stockman. He was a scientist and inventor Shredder conned into working for him. Baxter was accidentally turned into a mutant fly when Shredder tried to get rid of him after one too many failures, and somehow he convinced Stockman that WE were responsible for his mutation. Now he hates us. But he’s been stuck in Krang’s home dimension for a while, now.”

“Sounds like this Saki guy would get along great with Sevarius. He was using human test-subjects to create mutant variations of us, using DNA from big cats, bats, and electric eels. One of them happened to be Elisa’s brother,” commented Brooklyn. A dark look passed over the detective’s face, as his two clan-mates nodded agreement. I sensed a deep hatred of the man from all of them, especially Maza. I could hardly blame her.

The detective sighed, clearly upset by the reminder of what had been done to her brother. I felt a stab of sympathy, having lost family to the machinations of evil men, too. I strolled casually over to her, and offered her my hand. “I’m sorry about your brother being used like that. I know what it’s like to see someone you love taken from you by sick bastards who don’t care whose lives they destroy.”

She turned to me, eying me closely as she nodded and shook my hand hesitantly. “Thank you. By the way, I never did catch your name, miss,” she said pointedly.

I stared back steadily, and replied with a small smirk. “I know. Call me Venus,” I quipped, using the pet name Mikey had taken to calling me when out on patrol. It had started as a private joke between us, but it was as good an alias as any.

“Venus? I know that isn’t your real name, so just who ARE you?” She replied bluntly. I shot a glance toward the gargoyle clan and my own small “family”, pondering my next move. Should I tell her the truth? Then again, Mikey had suggested that someone who could keep the existence of these strange creatures secret was probably trustworthy enough to keep ours as well. I hoped he was right.

“That depends. What do you intend to do about them? You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m rather protective of those four, after all I owe them. That goes double for Mikey- I’ve grown very fond of that goofball. I’d die to keep their secret. So you can understand my reluctance to give away my identity, especially to a cop. It would be too easy for someone to find them by using my connection to them against us.” I answered candidly, leaning against a support beam and folding my arms as I waited for her reply.

“You really don’t trust me, do you?” She asked, glancing from Goliath to the turtles. “Even after what you’ve seen tonight?”

“Loose lips sink ships,” I reminded her, “and this would be a bigger disaster than the Titanic if the word got out about these guys.”

She let out an exasperated sigh, and pulled her hair back away from her face in frustration. “Look, we’re on the same side here. I have someone to protect, too. We have to trust each other to keep them all safe. Agreed?”

I nodded slowly. “True enough, but you were threatening to arrest me. I can’t let you do that, for obvious reasons. Unless you REALLY want people to find out that the “task force” that’s been keeping the lid on gang violence the past few weeks was actually four mutant turtles and one teenaged girl. I assume you’re aware of the little gifts we’ve been leaving for the NYPD all over lower Manhattan?” I smiled back at her smugly.

“So it WAS you and your friends who were responsible! I suspected as much when you were asking if the Purple Dragons were attacking. Your friend Leonardo confirmed it when he mentioned tangling with them.” Her answer came as no surprise; I’d already determined Maza was perceptive and intelligent.

“Like you said- we’re on the same side,” I said, casually smiling back. Her eyes narrowed as she tried to discern whether I was mocking her with her own words. I sighed, and shrugged, deciding that she already knew enough about us to cause trouble, but if Goliath and his clan trusted her, I could do no less. “If you really must know, My name is Orlene, and I work as a camera operator at Channel Six. I run the equipment for April O’Neil on the Happy Hour News. Maybe you’re familiar with it?”

“O’Neil- I’ve seen some of her interviews with high-profile tech types. And that lab break-in at Stock-Tronics a while back- there was a hostage kidnapped by the thieves. They stole some sort of prototype mech-suit. I was called in on the case when they killed the engineer who designed the suit.”

“Yeah, I know. I was there. I was the hostage that was kidnapped.” She went silent for a long moment, frowning as understanding hit.

“That was you? How did you get away? I’m guessing it was this Saki person who was responsible.” She asked.

“Yes, and yes- and Mikey managed to slip into the get-away vehicle. He freed me after Saki and his goons got back to their base. I’d be dead if it wasn’t for him.”

“Well then, it looks like we have more in common than I thought. Goliath has saved my life a few times, and I’ve tried to return the favor whenever I have the chance. But I appreciate your honesty. Look, we got off on the wrong foot, I’ll admit that. If it helps, I’d have too much explaining to do myself if I arrested you now. Plausible deniability. So why don’t we just agree to be allies and keep each other’s secrets? Deal?” She held out her hand, and I finally nodded and shook it.

“Deal,” I agreed, giving her a cautious smile. “So, you heard about our little street-cleaning program?” I joked, giving her a little smirk.

“Are you kidding? The entire force has been talking about it- behind closed doors, of course. The higher-ups have been going nuts trying to figure out who’s behind all the gift-wrapped thugs and mobsters. At first I thought it was Goliath or one of the others, but they didn’t know what was going on, either. But mutant ninjas? Now some of the things I’ve been hearing from the perps are starting to make sense. And the odd part is they aren’t even the strangest thing I’ve seen lately. Not even close!”

“Mutant ninja TURTLES,” I emphasized, grinning. “I guess that DOES sound kind of crazy. Heck, I thought I was either dreaming or in some weird parallel world when I first met them. But you’re right about seeing stranger things than mutants or living gargoyles- I’ve even seen that alien creature they mentioned. Looks like a little pink brain with fangs and tentacles.” Maza laughed, apparently finding the image of a talking brain amusing. That seemed to settle it; I decided that cop or not, we had a lot more in common than I had realized. Before long, we were trading “war stories” of our adventures with our respective friends.

The turtles and I spoke with the winged warriors for a while, and discovered that our two clans had much in common. Donnie warmed up to Lexington quickly, especially once he realized they shared a common interest in science, computers and complex machines. Before long, the two were chatting like old friends. Broadway mentioned a movie he had recently seen, and the next thing I knew, he and Mikey were laughing and trading jokes, and talking about movies and comics. Even Leo seemed to have found a kindred spirit in the gargoyles’ leader. The two seemed to have formed an unspoken understanding based on mutual respect and values that somehow transcended all differences between the two leaders.

Raph and the red-skinned gargoyle named Brooklyn, on the other hand, seemed content to insult and one-up each other in every way imaginable. What had begun as an intense anger and rivalry seemed to have turned into some kind of competition to determine who was tougher. My money was on Raph. I’ve seen him go toe-to-toe with a half-dozen of the biggest and most well-armed Mob thugs you’d never want to meet, and come out on top of a pile of unconscious bodies. It was only later that I realized that the odd insult war was Raph’s way of sizing up Brooklyn as a possible friend. Apparently, the horned gargoyle met with our resident hot-head’s approval.

All too soon it was time to leave, but we promised to meet our new friends the next evening atop Radio City Music Hall, to work out the details of a partnership. It was decided- by Leo and Goliath, of course- that we should work together in teams when on patrol, with one of the gargoyles providing aerial reconnaissance, while the Hamato boys (and myself) worked the rooftops and alleys. In spite of the rocky beginning, it seemed that things were finally looking up. Little did we know….
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491
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MsMarvelDuckie
Inhuman
Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

15 Feb 2014, 06:06 #7

I've been doing some thinking on this story and it's parent tale, and realized that there is one area where it has been somewhat lacking- namely, good villain characterization and motivation. So I thought I'd shine a little light on the thoughts and actions of the bad guys we all love to hate. So here we are! Shredder gets some time to shine, and introducing- David Xanatos!





Chapter 6: The Best-Laid Plans


Next day-

David Xanatos studied the latest news report, listening as the reporter- a stunning red-head by the name of April O’Neil- talked about New York City’s new secret anti-crime task force, which had been responsible for a series of major gang busts over the past two months. He’d seen her reports before, had even been interviewed by the woman once. He smiled to himself, knowing just by looking at the scene of the latest take-down that it wasn’t police who had done all of this. A foiled kidnapping- which had left one of the would-be kidnappers dead from a severe neck-wound- also bore the stamp of outside forces.

“So, Goliath, when did you start using weapons, I wonder? Or is this the work of that other group of vigilantes I’ve been hearing about?” He mused aloud, rubbing absently at his beard. There had been whispers for years of a small band of crime-fighting individuals who seemed to be, of all things, ninjas. Personally, he would hardly be surprised to find ninjas in New York; after all, the Yakuza had been a presence in the city for years, and he had certainly seen stranger things. Perhaps it was time to bring these “shadows” to light.

He pushed a button on the office phone on his desk. “Owen, get me Jackal and Hyena on line one,” he said, speaking into the intercom.

“May I inquire as to the purpose of this call, sir?” Came a calm, steady voice in reply.

“Tell them I have a job for the Pack,” Xanatos answered. “I want them on the first flight back to New York.”

“Understood, Mr. Xanatos,” said the voice of his assistant. Xanatos leaned back in his chair, hands steepled as he gazed at the television on the wall, smiling as a plan began to form.


Elsewhere-

Oruku Saki opened the hatch of the transport module, and surveyed the abandoned building they had surfaced behind. It had once been an opulent hotel, but it had long ago fallen into disrepair, and now stood empty and filthy. The vehicle was poking out of a gaping hole in a stinking, roach-infested alley, strewn with trash from an overflowing bin. The stench of stale urine and feces from vagrants and stray animals made him want to gag. He decided that once he had taken over the city, his first act would be to execute every homeless bum, mangy dog, and flea-ridden alley-cat in the city. Once again, Bebop had managed to surface in the most disgusting place possible. Sometimes, he wondered why he allowed the pair to live. “Bebop, you cretin- how many times have I told you to bring us up INSIDE the building!” He snapped, turning to glare at his subordinate darkly.

“Uh, sorry, Boss! ’Dis ting’s hard to steer!” The half-warthog mutant groveled.

“Why do I keep you incompetent oafs around?” Saki muttered to himself in disgust, carefully stepping over a putrid-smelling brown puddle that was likely vomit. He approached a locked door at the back of the building, and broke the lock with one swipe of his gauntlet blades. He passed through a hallway with moldy wallpaper, stained carpeting, and used syringes and other garbage strewn everywhere. He stalked along the corridor like a hungry tiger, scaring a skinny rat in his path. It scurried off, and he absently chunked a shuriken at it. The rat squealed as it was easily dispatched, impaled to the floor.

“Filthy rodent- I HATE rats….” He snarled, retrieving the bloody star as he passed. As they reached the main foyer, he scowled at the torn carpet, the peeling paint on the walls, and the sitting area furnishings with their ripped padding. Hun had chosen a truly dismal place to meet. But that was to be expected when dealing with such loathsome, uncultured scum as Hun’s street trash. The man himself was little better, though perhaps more intelligent than most. His main usefulness was in keeping the Dragons under control, and in dealing with the usual petty criminals of the city.

A stairway leading up to the floors above was guarded by two well-muscled thugs of indeterminate age, each sporting a tattoo depicting a variation of the gang’s symbol on their left bicep. They moved from his path silently as he approached, eying both Saki and his two hulking mutants with trepidation. He barely glanced at the two guards as he passed, but the pair behind him growled at them menacingly, snorting in amusement as the humans backed away from them.

“Stop fooling around, you two. We have important business to attend to.” His sharp command cut their intimidation attempt short; both grumbled their compliance, and followed him up the stairs. They marched up five flights of stairs to another long hallway; a door at the opposite end stood guarded by two more Purple Dragons- a young black man with an afro and a black leather vest over an old wife-beater tee, and a tall, skinny man sporting a similar vest over a bare chest, a goatee with sideburns, and the gang’s dragon symbol tattooed on his left arm.

Saki was vaguely aware of their names, as they were among Hun’s most trusted lieutenants in the gang. Xever and Fong, he seemed to recall. Both were decent fighters, and more intelligent than the average street thug. He occasionally wished he had been a little more discriminating when he had sought volunteers for the mutation experiments that had led to Rocksteady and Bebop’s current state. Still, at least they were loyal, and were useful for their brute strength, if little else.

He spared the two only a glance, as he strode purposefully up to the door. Fortunately, they were familiar enough with their leader’s shady associate to step well out of his way, Xever even reaching over to open the door for him. As it should be, Shredder thought with satisfaction. Perhaps he SHOULD consider enhancing one of them into a more intimidating and useful form. Hun, of course, was far too valuable as he already was to ever be turned. He had already begun to contemplate replacing his inept and clumsy henchmen with someone more competent. Yet it was their very stupidity which made them so blindly loyal. He entered the room without breaking stride, and saw Hun standing behind a large desk, looking out a grimy window. Hun turned at the sound of the door, and scowled as he saw his “boss” approaching. Rocksteady and Bebop followed Shredder inside, the rhino’s beady eyes glittering with sadistic glee as he noticed several thugs edging away as they entered.

Shredder strode right up to the gang leader’s desk without waiting to be invited in, and slammed both hands down on the dark wood. “I know how busy you must be, Hun, so I’ll get right to the point. You and your Purple Dragons continue to fail me miserably. Give me ONE good reason not to gut you where you stand. I give you simple orders- WHY are you unable to carry them out?!” Saki snarled angrily.

Hun grimaced from behind his desk. “I’ll give you FOUR very good reasons. Those freaks have opposed my efforts at every turn. My boys can’t even shake down a shop owner anymore without them showing up. I’ve got more boys in jail than I do on the street!”

Shredder bristled at the news. “Then I suggest you rectify that at ONCE! Those shell-backs have been a thorn in our sides for FAR too long. You have eyes and ears on the streets- surely ONE of your informants must know how to find them! Don’t give me any more excuses, Hun- just get RID of them!”

The blonde behemoth sent him a glare that made his feelings regarding the situation very clear. “As you wish, MASTER.” He made the word seem almost like an insult.

Shredder stood and gazed coldly at the gang leader for a long moment, before he snapped his fingers and the mutant pair behind him stepped forward. “Bebop, Rocksteady- you will work with Hun to root out those accursed reptiles. Do NOT return to me until they have been destroyed. I want their shells as trophies!”

The mutant thugs snapped to attention, giving Hun their most intimidating stares. “Sure thing, Boss!” They said, almost in unison. Hun grimaced again, unimpressed. Saki turned to leave, having concluded his business- or so he thought.

“One more thing,” Hun added, stopping the ninja leader in his tracks. “Lately some of my men have started babbling about some kind of flying monsters attacking them. I know those damned turtles can’t fly; there may be some new mutants loose. You know anything about it?” He folded his arms and gave his “boss” a searching look.

“Are you certain?” Shredder asked as he spun back to face him again, suddenly interested. “They’re none of MY doing. The last batch of mutants I created were failures, and have all been disposed of. Perhaps these are someone else’s work, like that annoying lizard-girl or that fish-man who are friends with the Turtles. I’m not the ONLY one interested in human-animal hybrid mutations, you know.”

“Forgive me, Master, but I had to ask. I was worried that one of your experiments had gotten loose,” Hun replied apologetically. “It’s bad enough those turtles pop up every time I turn around, but we don’t need MORE stinkin’ mutants running around the city.” He eyed the mutant pair before him with a sneer, his distain for them and all their kind clearly evident.

Shredder nodded his agreement, his eyes hard as stone. “Keep me informed, Hun. If it happens again, I want to know immediately. I will put a stop to it ONE way or another.” With that, he turned and walked out of the room, his dark purple cape fluttering behind him like an ominous flag.

Hun let out a soft growl of anger and frustration, turning his gaze to glare darkly at the two mutant thugs he’d been saddled with. Just like that, he’d been turned into a glorified babysitter for a couple of stinking, filthy idiots. He turned back to the window, idly wondering if there was some way for them to be conveniently killed while under his command….
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491
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MsMarvelDuckie
Inhuman
Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

23 Feb 2014, 06:21 #8

Introducing- perhaps our most cold-blooded villain(ess) of all. Yes, it's Demona! This gal's so bad, it's hard to believe I named my sweet little kitteh after her, LOL! But she's very badly damaged, and her story is actually rather tragic. Sometimes, it's the truly weak and lost souls who become the most cruel and vindictive....





Later that evening-

A dark shadow fell over the spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, under the fading light of sunset. She had awoken only ten minutes earlier, but already she was on the prowl, restless with the seemingly unquenchable rage and hate that burned in her heart. Though her body had changed from stone to flesh with the setting of the sun, her heart never truly softened, not since that night over a thousand years before, when all that she had held dear had been smashed- literally- into oblivion. Her clan, her rookery brothers and sisters, all gone. Only the feeble remnants who had been placed under the Magus’ spell had survived. And her daughter, she amended absently, remembering the newest addition to Goliath’s small family with bittersweet sentiment that was almost regret. If Goliath was to be believed, the eggs had been saved, raised by the same ungrateful humans whom she and her kind had defended until they were betrayed. Yet here she was, cast out. Alone. Clanless. And it was the humans’ fault. They had betrayed her, time and again. They had to pay. Even her second clan had all been destroyed by the Hunter, until at last she had been forced to ally with a filthy human.

MacBeth. Even the thought of the man made her blood boil. A low growl escaped her lips, her eyes glowing red with fury. She had made a pact with him, to give him her aid against his enemies in return for renewed youth and strength to help defeat her own. Yet the magical spell woven by the Weird Sisters had bound them together for eternity, and only death at one another’s hand could break it. There were times when she wished she COULD simply let him kill her, because she was just so tired. Tired of the long miserable, lonely existence of centuries spent seeking vengence against the humans. And now Goliath- her once-love, her MATE!- had found happiness and companionship with that pathetic human female. It was an abomination. Even HE had betrayed her. Had their vows meant nothing to him? Had he so fallen to the wiles and ways of humans that he had forgotten the TRUE ways of their kind? She growled again, the sound growing until it erupted into a full-throated howl.

Tonight she was on the hunt. An ancient artifact was on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Sword of Nowhere, a weapon said to hold mystical powers. On the surface, it appeared to be a simple katana, though made of an unknown metal. Where it had come from, and who had forged it- even the name of the weapon’s original owner- were lost to time. Only the tales whispering of its power to make its owner appear and disappear at will remained. Together with the spell she had torn from the Grimoram Arcanoram, and a gem known as the Dragon’s Eye, she intended to use the sword to finally pay back the humans who had overrun the world and taken away everything she held dear.

The sword had been lost for centuries, until two years ago, when it had suddenly turned up, only to be lost again. Rumors had it that it was of some alien origin, and had been taken back to the stars by a ship from another world. Yet it had somehow reappeared, and now it was encased in glass- its potential wasted- like a useless trophy or souvenir. And tonight, she meant to steal it.

She took off into the night sky, gliding above the city like a silent, deadly shadow. She soared over Central Park, heading north, avoiding the region most often frequented by her former mate and his clan. She needed no interference from them. They had caused her far too much grief already. The memory of how she had turned nearly the entire city to stone, only to be undone by Goliath’s clan and that traitor Xanatos still rankled. And she had been so close to destroying that human bitch Detective Maza! But with the sword and the Dragon‘s Eye, she would finally have her revenge on all those who had caused her so much pain. Especially Goliath and that human female he had grown so fond of- they would be among the first to die….








PS: Sorry this is short, but I thought it best to end the chapter here, before giving away too much of the plot of our titular antagonists. Rest assured, you'll be seeing more of their schemes, but meanwhile, we have our hero clans to get back to!!
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491
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MsMarvelDuckie
Inhuman
Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

25 Feb 2014, 05:16 #9

And back to our good guys! While Demona is off doing her thing, the rest of the gargoyles- and their new friends, are enjoying an evening get-together. But will their peaceful night last?





Family Night


23rd Precinct Station, same night-

Leonardo sat across the table from the gargoyles’ leader, contemplating the board between them intently. Goliath rumbled softly to himself, stroking his chin, brows furrowed in deep concentration; then he picked up a black rook, moving it a half dozen squares across the board to take Leonardo’s queen. He raised his eyes to gauge his opponent’s reaction, smiling in satisfaction.

“I’ve taken your queen, Leonardo. How do you plan to win from a position of such weakness?” The giant gargoyle asked, chuckling.

Leo stared down at the board for a few moments, before he finally looked up at Goliath with a cocky smirk. Very deliberately, he slid a white bishop more than halfway down the board, taking Goliath’s own bishop. “Checkmate. You left that piece open, and it was the only thing protecting your king. It’s cornered with no moves to get out of check since my knight and rook guard the other squares, and you have no other piece in position to take them out.”

“Very clever. I did not even see that coming,” The black-maned gargoyle nodded appreciatively.

Leo grinned. “A wise leader plans for every contingency, always thinking at least five steps ahead of his opposition. I had you beaten ten moves ago. I just had to wait for you to fall into my trap.” He replied smugly.

“You are indeed well-suited to the position your sensei has given you. Most impressive.” I glanced over at the pair, to see Leo almost glowing at the gargoyle clan leader’s praise. He gave a slight bow.

“Thank you. I try very hard to be worthy of his trust in my abilities, though it is often difficult.” Leo didn’t often talk about his responsibilities as leader, but he had quickly found a kindred soul in Goliath, and the two had discovered many common interests, chess among them.

At another, larger table, the rest of the turtles sat with Lex, Brooklyn, and Broadway, engaged in a cut-throat game of Hold ’Em, using M&M’s as poker chips. “I see your four orange and raise you two green,” Mikey said, pushing the colored candies into the middle of the table. Already the pile was fairly large, as each player had made his bets while the hand progressed.

Broadway looked down at his cards, then at the cards lying face-up in the middle. Showing were a five of diamonds, the king of spades, the eight of hearts, the ace of clubs, and the six of diamonds. “Too rich for my blood,” Broadway said, putting down his cards. “I fold.”

“He’s bluffin’.” Raph stated bluntly in reply. “No way Mikey’s got anythin’ better than a pair of eights. I call.” He tossed out his “chips” and turned to look his little brother in the eye. Mikey just grinned back at him.

“You sure about that, Raphie?” He asked, challenging Raphael.

“I wouldn’t be so sure, Raph,” Donnie said from Raph’s left. “Mikey almost never bluffs. He must have something good.” He tapped his chin for a moment, and finally dropped his M&M’s into the pile. “I call.”

Lexington sighed. “I’m out. I’m almost out of chips anyway.” He had already placed most of his candies into the pile, and only had a couple of red ones and three yellows left. “Brooklyn?” He looked questioningly at the remaining player.

“I call,” the red-skinned gargoyle said, sliding his pieces out into the pile. “Show us what you got, Mike,” He leaned back in his chair, folding his arms and settling his gaze on the youngest turtle.

Mikey made a dramatic show of placing his cards down on the table with a flourish, grinning like a Cheshire cat. “Read ’em and weep, fella’s. Triple Crowns!” He replied smugly, as all three of the remaining players saw what he had put down, and groaned. In his hand were the kings of clubs and hearts. Raph swore, thumping his fist on the table; Donnie shook his head, and Brooklyn tossed his cards down in disgust.

“How does he DO it?” The red-skinned gargoyle asked in disbelief. “I’ve never seen anyone get lucky THAT often!” He watched as the orange-clad mutant raked the pile of M&M’s toward him. Mikey plucked up a small handful and popped them in his mouth, grinning smugly as he ate his winnings. I grabbed another handful from my perch on his right thigh, and glanced around at the others as I ate the sweet morsels. The game had been going on for some time, and with almost every hand, Mikey’s pile had grown larger, earning grumbles from the two most belligerent players.

Raph glared at his little brother darkly. “Yeah, I shoulda’ known he had somethin’ when he started fidgetin’ with his ‘chips’. He only does that when he’s got a good hand.” He paused, as if realizing he’d just revealed an important secret. His eyes narrowed, and he suddenly sprouted a wolfish grin of his own. “That’s his tell. He don’t do that when he’s got nothin’.”

“Heh, that’s what you think. How do you know I haven’t just been screwin’ with ya’?” Mikey replied slyly. I giggled, only vaguely aware of his arm curling tighter around my waist in a light squeeze. I knew very well that he was fond of using a false front to hide his real intentions. In this case, it seemed to have worked- perhaps better than he had anticipated.

“Yeah, sure, bro. I got your number, now!” Raph shot back.

“Uh-huh. I’ve been doin’ that on purpose just so you’d think that.” He paused, suddenly doing his best impression of Splinter, “‘Deception is a ninja’s greatest weapon,’ What better way to convince ya’ ya’ found my tell than to make one up?” He grinned even wider, and I laughed out loud at Raph’s stunned expression as his jaw fell.

“Son of a snapper!” Raph swore, glaring at his brother. “You set this up!” He grew even more annoyed when the rest of the table erupted in laughter.

“Looks like you underestimated him, Raphael,” Brooklyn chuckled, shaking his head in disbelief. “So much for MIKEY being the dumb one!” Raph turned to give him a dirty look at the friendly dig, as Donatello nodded agreement.

“Raph, I keep telling you our baby brother’s not as dumb as he acts! Maybe now you’ll believe me!” He chortled, snorting as he nearly fell backwards in his chair. From across the room, we heard a snort of assent from Bronx, who was keeping Hudson company while he watched Letterman.

“Bunch’a jerks,” Raph muttered disgustedly. “Yeah, laugh it up, you clowns. Next time, he ain’t gonna get away wit’ ’dat, though. Can’t pull the same trick on me twice, Mike.”

“Nah, that just means I’ll just come up with another way to mess with ya’. Face it dude, you’re just no match for the Mikester!”

Just then, the movie Hudson was watching was interrupted by April doing a Channel Six news bulletin. “We interrut our regular programming for this special news report. As of ten minutes ago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has been the scene of a stand-off between police and the former TV stars turned criminals known as The Pack. The gang, led by siblings Jackal and Hyena, have reportedly taken several security guards hostage while attempting to steal a priceless Japanese relic from the museum. And in a bizarre twist, a second group of what appear to be ninjas has also become involved. We now go live to the scene, where NYPD negotiators are trying to resolve the situation.”

Leo stood up swiftly, knocking over the chess pieces he had been resetting for a new game. “Shredder!” He cried, pointing at the television. Sure enough, a large cylindrical vehicle with tank treads on one side and a huge drill on its nose poked up from the ground.

Brooklyn and Lex both rose at the same time, bounding over to gape at the screen. “The Pack! I knew those guys would show up again sooner or later.” Lex growled angrily. From the way his eyes began to glow, it was clear that he had a deep hatred for the gang.

“I’d say it’s time to put those creeps away for good. Let’s go, guys!” Brooklyn said, his tail lashing in agitation. From the way all the others were reacting, and Leo’s angry glare, I decided that our night of fun was at an end. Even Mikey shoved back his chair, sliding me off his leg as he got up, growling softly deep in his throat as his eyes fell on the image of the transport vehicle on the television. As it turned out, I was more right than I could have imagined….
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491
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MsMarvelDuckie
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Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

27 Jul 2014, 07:09 #10

New Chapter! The Hamato and Wyvern Clans join forces to combat their worst enemies in a battle royale- in a museum full of priceless art! And what's so special about the sword everyone's after? Shredder faces off with The Pack, and an even more dangerous menace lurks in the shadows....








Chapter Eight: Showdown!


We raced to the scene swiftly- on gargoyle wings, no less- much to Leo’s misgivings. Still, I had to admire his willingness to accept the faster mode of transport from our friends, in spite of his fear of heights. Raph, of course, was also reluctant, mainly due to being adverse to depending on someone else for assistance. He’s always been the self-reliant type. Mikey, naturally, was ecstatic, relishing the opportunity to fly once again. Hudson carried Bronx, and Angela carried me. Broadway picked up Mikey, Goliath took Elisa, of course, while Brooklyn was Raph’s “ride”. Donnie had rigged up a tethered glider for himself and our leader, which Goliath pulled behind him like a kite.

We landed on a rooftop across from the museaum less than five minutes later, to discover a large hole in the front doors. “I take it this Pack of yours isn’t big on subtlety?” I asked no one in particular. There were at least a dozen cops surrounding the front of the building with five squad cars, and a helicopter hovered overhead, shining a spotlight on the museum. We were lucky their attention had been elsewhere, or we might have been spotted. No doubt there were other officers at the other exits, but I suspected they wouldn’t be enough.

“No, but they don’t NEED to be,” answered Broadway. “These guys are BAD news. One’s been genetically altered, one’s a robot, and the other two had a bunch of cybernetic parts installed.” He pointed to the strange drill-nosed vehicle poking up from the ground next to the left side of the building, and asked, “What is THAT thing, is what I want to know.”

“That’s one of Shredder’s transport modules. He must be after something in the museum.” Leo replied grimly.

“I thought you said he was out to take over the world? Why would he be breaking into a museum?” Brooklyn wondered, his brow-ridges furrowed in confusion.

“Doesn’t matter. Whatever he’s after, you can bet it’s not for anything good.” Leo answered, as he drew out a grapple to slide down to the ground below.

“Why do these things always happen to us?” Raph wondered aloud. “I mean, seriously- Shred-head and this Pack BOTH showin’ up at the same time?! It’s like bad karma, or somethin’!”

“So how do we get in?” Lex asked, perplexed. “They’ve got that place surrounded. We’re sure to be noticed.”

“Not if we slip in from underground,” Donnie replied smugly, holding up a computer tablet. “I pulled up the blueprints for the museum just now, and there’s a grate down in the basement that leads to the sewers. There’s a manhole in the alley below us; we can use it to go under the barricade.”

“The sewers? Ugh, gross. Well, I guess there’s a first time for everything….” Broadway muttered, as we all used grapples to make our way down to the ground below. The gargoyles, of course, simply glided down. Once on the ground, Maza placed a small audio transmitter in her ear and told the team she would stay in contact to keep us informed of what was going on outside. Each of the gargoyles had one, and I took one, as well. Then she took off across the street to join the police and other officials surrounding the museum.

Raph lifted the manhole cover, and we began climbing down into the tunnel below. We quickly made our way through the sewer to the basement of the museum. However, the trip was not without its difficulties, as we soon discovered when Broadway proved too “broad” to fit down the hole, as did Goliath, and even Hudson could barely squeeze himself down it. The two largest gargoyles opted instead to enter through a storm grate nearly half a block down the street, along with Bronx, who had difficulty climbing down the shaft. The three met up with the rest of our party, and we continued on.

When we emerged from the maintenance shaft entrance into the basement, it was decided that we should split into two groups once we entered the museum proper. Goliath took Donnie, Raph, and Bronx, along with Broadway and Angela, while the rest of us went with Leo. The plan was to pin both Shredder and the Pack between our two teams, and put both off balance by forcing them to face unknown opponents. It was a given that anywhere Shredder was to be found, his goons were sure to appear, so Leo swiftly appraised the gargoyles of what to expect from the mutant thugs in Shredder’s employ.

“Broadway, you and Lexington have been here before, correct?” Goliath asked before we opened the door leading out of the basement. “You fought Hyena here when she tried to steal the Mayan sun amulet. What can you tell us about the museum?”

“Sorry, I don’t remember much. We were too busy trying to stop her to look around. We were in the Mayan art section anyway, and I think that’s on the other end from the Asian stuff.” He shrugged; Goliath sighed and frowned, looking disheartened.

“At least we kept her from destroying the amulet of Saffira’s clan,” Lex added. “The museum has three levels of galleries. I think the Asian section is on the upper levels. I could be wrong, though.”

We ascended the stairwell up to a small side door that led into a short hallway. The hallway was part of the administrative office section, and the other end led to the art galleries. The door was locked, but Donatello made short work of picking it, as well as the video cameras that we encountered along the way. All it took was a bit of strategically placed putty over the cameras’ “eyes” by Donnie’s bo, and we were effectively invisible. Once inside the public part of the museum, however, things were far more complicated.

On first glance, the main foyer of the museum was quiet- perhaps too quiet. However, steel bars had decended over all of the main entrances and windows, for all intents trapping any intruders within. It was no wonder the thieves had taken hostages, under the circumstances. We stealthily ascended to the second level, being careful to avoid cameras along the way. We ignored the Greek and Roman galleries; likewise the Renaissance Art section, though Mikey commented that he wished he could take a peek inside, as he had heard that there was a sculpture by his namesake on display there for a short time, and he had always wanted to see the man’s work first-hand.

“You sure we can’t just take a quick look after we wipe the floor with these guys?” He grumbled to Leo in a petulant tone. “C’mon, haven’t you ever wanted to see one of da Vinci’s paintings? I hear they have one here that’s supposed to be another version of the Mona Lisa!” I was occasionally surprised by the things Mikey took an interest in, and this was no exception. Trust the artist of the family to be the one to seek cultural enrichment by viewing art from the very masters he and his brothers were named for.

“For the last time, Mikey, NO. We’re not here to admire the art, we’re here to stop whatever scheme Shredder has up his sleeve.” Leonardo hissed softly. “Now keep quiet!”

“Party pooper,” my green paramour muttered under his breath, earning a harsh look from the eldest.

“I’m surprised you’re even interested in art- I thought video games were more your thing?” Brooklyn asked quietly, as we slipped along a wall toward the entrance to the main Asian art gallery.

“Well, I like comics, too, and those mostly use art to tell the story. That’s what got me into drawin’ myself. Turns out I’m even pretty good at it. What’s so strange about that?” The orange-clad turtle replied with a shrug.

“Focus, guys. We need to stay sharp. Shredder and his goons are close- I can feel it.” Leo warned sharply.

“Is he always this serious?” Brooklyn inquired.

“Yep, pretty much,” Mikey and I both replied at once.

Hudson remained silent, but Lex muttered to himself. “Sounds like Goliath. No wonder they get along so well.”

The outer gallery was quiet, but we could hear the muffled sounds of a battle from behind the doors to the Japanese art exhibit. The distinctive sound of blaster-fire rang out, along with glass breaking and shouts from one all-too-familiar voice- and several others I didn’t recognize. At least two of the voices sounded vaguely animalistic.

“That doesn’t sound like Bebop and Rocksteady,” Leo said in a low voice, signaling us to stop.

“Nah, dude. Sounded more like Tokka and Rahzar!” Mikey agreed. “Wonder why he brought THOSE two?”

“Doesn’t matter. But if it IS them, that changes things a bit. We’ll need our heavy-hitters on those two. The rest of us will focus on this Pack. But just so we’re clear, Shredder is our main priority. The gloves are off- this time he goes down PERMANENTLY.” Leonardo’s eyes turned hard, as he drew his katanas.

We cautiously opened the doors, to find the gallery a shambles. Glass cases were shattered, their displays scattered about, some artworks broken or torn. A life-size model of a samurai on horseback lay on its side; several suits of armor were in pieces on the bottom of their case. Pottery shards- some quite ancient- lay everywhere. Several unconscious guards- six in all- lay in a heap next to one wall; all of them appeared to be wounded, though still alive, which was a small miracle, considering who we now faced.

And in the midst of of all the destruction, two warring groups vied for possession of a single object. A large, wolf-like creature snarled in rage, one clawed hand grasping a lacquered scabbard holding what was obviously an ancient katana. Struggling against him was an eight-foot robot with black and gold armor plating.

Elsewhere in the open part of the gallery, an enormous, spike-shelled mutant turtle with a sharply-hooked beak and wicked talons fought with a wolf-man, while a pair of cybernetic-enhanced individuals faced off against an all-too-familiar figure in bladed armor.

“Who are the human cheese-grater and the zoo rejects?” Lex asked in a bewildered tone.

“That would be Shredder, and two of his mutant thugs. The overgrown, ugly excuse for a turtle over there is Tokka, and the big bad wolf is Rahzar.” Mikey answered with a grimace. “Man, Tokka’s got a temper worse than Raph on a bad day- he gives turtles a bad name….”

Leonardo suddenly gasped as he saw what the two groups were fighting over. “That’s the Sword of Nowhere! It’s not even supposed to BE here! Guys, we HAVE to get that sword away from them!” He exclaimed, his expression a mixture of surprise and outrage. The huge robot had yanked the weapon away from the monstrous wolf-beast, and was now using some sort of laser blasts to keep him at bay as it backed away toward its team-mates.

“Sword of Nowhere?” Hudson spoke at past, clearly confused about the significance of the weapon. He wasn’t the only one- I was clueless, too.

“It’s an ancient blade forged from alien metal, that can cut holes in space or even between dimensions. If Shredder gets his hands on it, he could go anywhere in an instant, at will. He could use it to get in and out of almost anywhere. Or even open a door to another dimension and let something unspeakable into our world!” Leo explained, as we watched the robot toss Rahzar away like a rag doll when he tried to lunge at the giant machine again.

“Okay, so sword equals bad mojo- got it.” Brooklyn nodded, affirming Leo’s revelation. “Must be why the Pack are after it, too. Do you think they know what it’s capable of?” He pondered aloud, but no one seemed to have an answer. Meanwhile, Tokka was still grappling with the wolf-man, and the odd pair of cyber-freaks had Shredder cornered.

“Okay, enough chatter. Hudson, you and Brooklyn take Rahzar and the giant tin can. Mikey, Orlene- you two have the robo-twins. Lex, you’re on Tokka. I’ve got Shredder.” Leo hissed softly.

“How am I supposed to fight that guy? He’s HUGE!” Lex protested weakly.

“You don’t have to fight him- just keep him busy. It shouldn’t be too hard; he’s big, but not too bright.” Leo answered impatiently. The two opposing forces had not yet noticed our arrival, but that changed swiftly when Shredder was sent crashing into a display stand nearby, sending the stone statue sitting on it toppling to the floor. He looked up, and suddenly saw us all about to attack. He leapt up instantly, his body going tense as he seemed to realize he was outnumbered.

“Tokka, Rahzar! Get that sword NOW! Those blasted shell-backs are here! And who the Hell are those freaks with them?!”

The mutant pair both turned and looked our way, snarling as they prepared to obey their master. The wolf-like mutant bit down on the arm of his robotic foe that held onto the scabbard, shaking it like a dog with a chew toy. His companion threw down his opponent and rushed over to aid him, slamming into the humanoid machine with enough force to knock it down. Rahzar grabbed its forearm and yanked hard, pulling the sword free at last. The robot let go of the scabbard as its arm sparked and whirred, visibly damaged. The mutant wolf then bounded over to Shredder with his prize, his bushy tail held high in hopes of praise. I was reminded of a dog playing fetch, and suddenly felt a little sorry for the brute, for his badly misplaced loyalty.

“They’ve got the sword! Come on, brother, let’s roast these turkeys!” The female half of the enhanced pair said, cackling hysterically. My hackles rose at the sound; clearly, she wasn’t playing with a full deck. Her appearance was freakish- her hips, chest, and neck were covered by some sort of metal plating, with a bare midriff and what appeared to be robotic arms and legs. Her chest-plate was adorned with a small stylized fox symbol. Her face, while pretty enough, was frozen in what I decided was a more-or-less permanent cocky smirk, framed by dark brown feathered-back bangs that swept into an upswept, short coiffure that came to a peak in back, and two locks on the sides left long, down to her collarbone. The fingers of her right hand ended in what I could only describe as long blades like carving knives.

“With pleasure, sis,” answered the other. He had dark brown hair to his shoulders in a full, straight mullet cut that gave his face a rakish appearance- but that was the only NORMAL thing about him. One eye had been replaced with some sort of implant, and the rest of his body- if any of it was left- was covered in metal armor in the same color-scheme as the huge robot, with the same fox symbol on his chest. He had clawed fingers on his gauntleted hands, which were lethally sharp.

Leo held one sword up in challenge and leapt toward his target with death in his eyes. “Okay, everyone- let’s take them DOWN!” He made a flying kick at Saki, but missed when Rahzar leapt at him, knocking Leo aside. They went down in a tangle of shell, steel, and fur; Leo ended up on his back on the floor with Rahzar above him. He fended off the much larger mutant with his katanas while the giant wolf-mutant snapped at him with powerful jaws.

Leo grappled with Rahzar desperately, while Tokka turned his attention on Lexington, who had jumped up onto his spiked carapace and was clinging to his neck in a vain attempt to put the huge turtle into a sleeper hold. The mutant’s clawed hands reached back to grab Lex, but the nimble gargoyle released his hold and jumped away. Tokka growled and turned around, lumbering toward him, his claws swiping at the diminutive gargoyle, who leapt and dodged about the enormous turtle like a jumping bean. The mutant hissed, and Lex slowly lured him toward a large open space where a display of three Samurai on horseback dominated the center of the room. Lex began to taunt him, leading him further away from any delicate artwork as he kept the vicious mutant busy. “Leonardo, I hope you have a plan to deal with this guy! I’m not sure how long I can keep this up!” He shouted back, hopping away from another swat from Tokka’s sharp talons.

Leo had finally managed to roll away from his opponent, and was now on his feet again, slashing at Rahzar’s snapping jaws. “Just try to keep him away from anything breakable! We don’t want to destroy the REST of the museum’s collection!” Leo shouted back over the din of the fight. Hudson and Brooklyn were tag-teaming the huge robot, with Brooklyn attacking from the front while Hudson attempted to maneuver around to take its legs out from behind with his sword.

“Sure- easy for YOU to say….” Lex grumbled, dodging another swipe from the massive mutant snapper, as Mikey and I advanced on the pair of cyber-freaks, who were intent on going after the now retreating Shredder and his prize. The man extended one arm to an inhuman length to try to grab the sword from Shredder’s hand, while his partner’s arms and legs suddenly became elongated and spider-like, disjointed from her body at hip and shoulder and attached only by some sort of hydraulic pistons; she used her clawed appendages to climb the wall of the display room in an attempt to flank Shredder. They had referred to each other as siblings, and I was beginning to see the resemblance, both in appearance and personality. They were clearly both nuts.

The cyber-twins had cornered Shredder once again in the outer gallery, where a number of statues on low pedestals- among them an ancient Chinese lion and several Hindu gods- stood scattered about. Saki shoved a statue of a half-naked man missing its hands at the pair, knocking it over and forcing them to dodge out of its way. “I don’t know who you fools are, but your interferance will cost you dearly.” He warned, his voice cold and flat. The two just traded a glance and grinned wickedly. It seemed his threats had fallen a bit flat, and I decided they either didn’t know what kind of man they were dealing with, or- and this was even worse- they might even be just like him!

Mikey glanced from our enemy to the two former television stars turned criminals, and shook his head. “I don’t know whether to go after Tin-head, or those two clowns,” he whispered to me, seeming torn. “Maybe we should just sit back and let ’em take each other out.” I was half inclined to agree.

Then the male half of the pair held up one hand, and the “fingers” of that mechanical appendage shot out like tiny missiles, blasting into Saki and throwing him backward. He dropped the sword, and the female pounced, grabbing the weapon. She held it up triumphantly, cackling madly.

“Okay, looks like we’re up,” Mikey decided. “Can’t let ’em leave with that sword!” He leaped into the fray, his nunchaku flailing into the woman’s metal limbs with loud clangs. Unfortunately, they seemed to do little damage, though he managed to disarm her of the sword, which went skidding across the floor again. She twisted around to face him with a look of surprise, which soon turned to derision.

“Ha, ha, ha! Oh look, the cute little frog-man wants to play, too!” She laughed, flinging him over her shoulder to land up-side-down on his shell against a marble statute of a Hindu god.

“Oof! HEY! I’m a turtle, not a frog, lady! Wait- you really think I’m cute?” He asked, both angered by her misnaming him, and flattered by the backward compliment.

“Mikey! Now’s not the time, sweetie! And no flirting with the enemy!” I yelled back, as I tackled the other member of the psychotic pair. I slashed out at him in a series of attacks with the fans; the man blocked the first two with his metal limbs, bent backward impossibly far to avoid the third, and then elongated his legs to step over me and come at me from behind. I was caught off guard by the maneuvers, having never fought such an opponent, but I growled and spun to kick out at him as his legs shrank back down. His chest plate took the impact, and he simply laughed darkly.

“Nice try, girlie, but you’ll have to do better than that,” he said, smirking. He made a swipe at me with his sharp claws- which had somehow been replaced after he shot them at Saki- and I was forced to go on the defensive to keep from getting disemboweled. He spun toward me with a side-kick, and I dove past to slice out with one fan at his leg, the other one held closed like a short club, slamming into his arm. He barely seemed to notice the hit.

“Is that all you’ve got?” He asked, clearly unimpressed. I decided a change of plan was needed. I glanced over at Mikey, who was now squaring off against the female again. “Mikey- let’s trade!” I shouted, spinning over to stand next to him, my fans open once more.

He glanced at me, and nodded. “Good idea, babe- I never really liked fightin’ girls, anyway- they like to play dirty.” He grimaced, and I wondered if he was still sore about my tactics during our sparring match several days earlier.

“All’s fair in love and war!” I reminded him; he groaned, but flipped back and spun to ram hard into the cyborg male’s middle. They went down in a heap, Mikey’s shell protecting his head from the impact. He began to slam his ’chucks against the man’s metallic limbs, until the other flipped him off, sending him sliding across the floor on his shell. Mikey rolled to his feet, and came in again with his ’chucks spinning fast.

I faced the female warily, having already seen what she could do. Hoping to catch her off guard, I feinted left, then dove into a slide that sent my feet slamming hard into her right leg. It buckled with a metallic crunch, though the impact jarred my feet and made me wince in pain. She went down onto her back, and I slashed upwards instinctively as she came back up and bore down on me with some sort of small buzz-saw that had sprung from a compartment in her forearm. Fan met arm, and I was elated when I saw the appendage and its deadly blade separated from its owner and get sent flying.

“Why you little-! You’re going to pay for that, little girl!” The crazed female cried out, clearly furious. I just grinned at her and continued the assault.

“Hey, Mikey- go for the limbs!” I yelled to my partner, realizing that those seemed to be their weakest points.

“Can do!” He called back, without even looking my way. I was flattered that he felt confident enough in my abilities not to check on me, even though I knew he must be worried for my safety.

“Stop playing with your prey and finish them off, Hyena.” A metallic voice called out, coming from the over-sized tin can on legs. The cyber-bitch just laughed crazily again, and grinned wickedly. I felt my stomach begin to twist in knots as I realized she was battier than a dozen belfries.

“Oh, but Coyote, dear, I’m just getting started! You never let me have fun anymore, handsome.” The woman called Hyena pouted, taking aim at me with the odd laser in her palm. I ducked behind a marble foo-dog, only to see its head explode into fragments of rubble and powdery dust. I felt my blood chill, knowing that could have been MY head. Strangely, the arm I had sliced off was crawling back to its owner; the lunatic cyborg scooped it up, and was now attempting to reattach it. Great- just what we needed, I thought darkly.

“Crap! Why didn’t someone TELL us these guys could put themselves back together?!” I shouted, while I watched Hyena snap the hand I’d just severed back into place.

“Oops! Sorry!” Lex called back, looking chagrined as he clung desperately to the spikes on the lower half of Tokka’s shell.

“Tough break for YOU, sweetheart!” The psychotic female cackled, sounding eerily like her namesake. She fired again, blasting another piece off of the now headless foo-dog.

“Well, I guess that just means I’ll have to slice you into smaller pieces!” I countered as I dashed from behind the statue, and kicked out at her middle with a feral grin to match hers. She grunted in surprise and flew back, crashing backward into a clay figure of a Chinese warrior. It fell over onto the other half of the cyborg pair, who was too focused on trying to cut Mikey to ribbons with his finger blades to notice it in time. He went down under the weight of the statue, and Mikey took advantage of his predicament to thwack him in the head with one of his sticks, hard enough to knock the man out.

“Heh, guess he got caught between a rock and a hard place,” Mikey quipped, sticking his tongue out at the downed criminal. I just rolled my eyes and advanced on Hyena, who stared down at her unconscious sibling in dismay. I decided to use the distraction to my advantage, and swiped at her again.

“Ooh, you ARE a feisty one, aren’t you, honey?” She purred, turning her attention back to me. “You don’t know who you’re dealing with, doll-face. I’m going to teach you a lesson, sweetheart, and when I’m through with you, I’m going to turn your handsome green friend’s shell into a foot bath!” I didn’t know which was more unsettling at that moment- the fact that she was obviously completely off her rocker, or that her sexual orientation seemed to ambiguously lean toward male, female, mutant, and apparently even over-sized robots. Yup, Freud would’ve had a field day with her.

At that moment, Goliath and his team entered the gallery from the other side, and as soon as Goliath saw the oversized wolf battling Leo, he roared and charged in with eyes glowing eerily. He tackled Rahzar from behind, knocking him flat onto the floor and pinning the mutant wolf. Bronx sniffed and growled, then bounded toward the smaller room where Hudson and Brooklyn were still fending off the enormous robot. He chomped down on the machine’s leg, snarling and digging his claws into the floor as he held his opponent back.

Broadway rushed over to help Lex battle Tokka, using his muscular tail to sweep the huge mutant’s feet from under him. “Pick on someone your OWN size, Spike!” He roared, grabbing the turtle by his legs and holding him down until Raph could knock him out with the pommel of a sai. The giant, ugly mutant terrapin- and from his appearance and bad attitude it was suddenly obvious to me that he’d once been a snapping turtle- grunted once as Raph thumped him hard on the back of his thick skull; then he slumped down, out cold.

“One down,” Raph growled, turning his attention toward the next target, which happened to be the fourth member of the Pack, the large grey wolf-man. He snarled as he sprang at the altered human, while Lex made sure Tokka was out. The two came together in a green and grey blur, the Pack maniac swiping at Raph’s head with long sharp claws, snarling just like his canine namesake. I was beginning to understand the reason behind their gang’s name- they acted like a pack of wild animals.

Meanwhile, Broadway had seen Shredder slinking off with the sword, and bounded after him, leaping over his head with wings outstretched to head him off in the outer gallery. “That’s far enough, Ginsu-guy. Hand over the sword, and you won’t get hurt- much.” He rose up to his full height, tail swishing angrily as he growled menacingly at the armored man.

“What manner of beast are YOU?” Shredder asked, eyes narrowed as he took in his opponent’s appearance. “Are you yokai? Tengu, perhaps? Never had I thought to see such creatures with my own eyes. Why do you aid those wretched reptiles?”

Broadway shook his head, but glared determinedly at the man before him. “I don’t know what yokai or tengu are, but those are my friends you’re insulting! You’re gonna’ wish you hadn’t said that, pal. And it’s gargoyle- and don’t FORGET IT!!” He roared, tackling Shredder. The armor-clad ninja fell backward, the ancient sword clattering to the floor as he struggled to fend off the larger gargoyle. The sword slid across the floor, while the two rolled away toward the still-unconscious Tokka.

Donatello had rushed in to help Hudson and Brooklyn, and now he was swinging his staff at the oversized robot like a baseball bat. However, his bo did little against the metal behemoth. Still, I knew it was just a matter of time before he found a weak point and took advantage of it. Angela leapt in to assist me with Hyena, growling softly at the other female as she came in low and fast, claws swiping at Hyena’s face. She had a look of intense hatred on her face, which seemed out of place there. I sensed some animosity between the two, though why, I couldn’t tell. The cybernetic psycho just smirked and turned her fingers into long sharp claws once more, slashing at the young gargoyle in retaliation.

I circled around, seeking an opening, and tried to use a grapple-hold on her from behind, but was surprised when her right foot swung up behind her at an impossible angle and kicked me in the back of the head! Dazed, I let go, and was doubly surprised when her head spun completely backwards. Shades of Linda Blair! I was starting to think we’d need an exorcist to deal with her. She reached back- again at an impossible angle- and grabbed my by the neck, tossing me over her head like a rag doll. I felt myself hit something that might have been another body, breaking my fall. A pair of hands came up from behind to steady me, and I glanced back to find Angela smiling at me.

“Thanks, Angela,” I muttered, before turning back around to face our opponent again.

Hudson and Brooklyn still clung to the gleaming robot calling itself Coyote, trying to rip off its huge arms, to little effect. Bronx had leapt up onto its back, biting down at the head that vaguely resembled its namesake, but that didn’t do much, either. Hudson tried stabbing his sword into the robot’s hip joint, only to have the machine grab his sword and crumple it. He shook off the pair pulling at his limbs, throwing them into the wall near a large rice-paper painting. Donnie tried to ram his bo into it’s “eyes”, but found himself picked up and flung across the room to crash against a clay soldier, which toppled over and shattered. He groaned, and started to get up, only to have the robot pick up a second soldier and throw it at him. He was knocked back down onto his shell, pinned under the weight of the figure.

“I’ve had enough of this nonsense,” Coyote said in an irritated tone- did robots get annoyed? I’d never met one before, so I didn’t know. He yanked Bronx off his back, and tossed him into the other two gargoyles, who were just getting up. All three went down again in a pile, while the robot turned toward Broadway and his opponent. “Hyena, Jackal, Wolf- we’re done here. Get the sword and let’s leave this crowd to duke it out amongst themselves.”

“Broadway, look out!” I yelled, just in time to warn him of the giant metal monster about to grab his tail. He dove away, ignoring the man he’d been grappling with for the moment. Shredder saw the distraction and swiftly got to his feet, swooping to grab the katana as he ran toward the door. He kicked at Tokka in an attempt to wake the turtle, and yelled back at the remaining mutant.

“Rahzar! To me, NOW! I have what I came for- these fools can all kill each other for all I care!” He growled, racing out the front of the gallery. I threw a shuriken after him, and it stuck in his shoulder blade. He snarled in pain, but didn’t pause in his retreat. The wolf-mutant bit Goliath’s arm and shook it, causing him to lose his grip. Rahzar howled, and then bounded after his master, ignoring the gargoyle leader. He paused only long enough to pick up the fallen turtle-mutant, and began to carry him as he backed away, trailing after Shredder with his tail wagging like a lap-dog.

“Hyena, they’re getting away! Go after them, I’ll keep this bunch occupied!” The robot shouted; the crazy cyber-chick turned to comply, but I wasn’t about to let her get away. Leo was already chasing after Shredder, with a pissed-off Goliath right behind him, so I wasn’t worried about our enemy getting far. Lex and Angela bounded off after them, leaving Broadway, Mikey, me, Donnie, and Hudson. Brooklyn was down for the count, along with Bronx. Raph was still engaged in a fur-flinging wrestling match with Wolf, the pair sounding like a couple of- well- wolves snarling over a piece of meat.

“Oh, no you DON’T!” I shouted, tackling her again, this time using the blunt outer sheaths of my fans to thump against her head. If she felt it, she gave no indication. Her head spun around again- yup, we definitely needed a priest with some holy water and a crucifix right about then- and she simply grinned at me, laughing sadistically.

“You’re ALL mine, honey,” Hyena purred at me, her blade-fingers clicking together menacingly. I was reminded of a feminine Freddy Kruger- only more demented. She started to reach for me again, but this time I ducked and yanked backward on her arm, throwing her off balance. She fell backward, but didn’t fall far. Still holding her cybernetic arm, I braced and swung hard, slamming her sideways into a stone bench, before letting go and booting the back of her head, HARD. THAT, she felt.

“That’s for threatening to turn Mikey into a foot-bath, bitch,” I snarled, ready to deliver a second kick if she decided to press the fight.

Her sibling had finally managed to climb out from under the statue, and he stood facing Mikey and Donnie. “That’s my SISTER you just kicked, girlie. You’re going to pay for that!” He said, just before he raised his arms, taking aim at me with what I immediately realized were finger-missiles. WHERE in the Hell did these people get their weaponry?! MARS?!

“Oh shit!” I exclaimed, diving for the nearest statue for cover. Mikey yelled, nunchaku twirling madly as he slammed them repeatedly at the cyber-man’s arms and body. It ruined his aim- fortunately- and he was forced to turn back to deal with the immediate threat. Donatello used his bo to sweep the mans legs out from under him, then kicked him in the head when he fell. He moaned, then went limp.

Meanwhile, Wolf had managed to throw Raph off of himself, and now the two were circling each other in the outer gallery like a pair of tigers about to get into a giant-sized cat fight. I decided that my life had somehow become a zoo, and maybe it was time to consider a vacation. A nice, LOOONG vacation.
I was about to turn and rush over to help Raph, when my leg was grabbed, and I suddenly hit the floor on my rear. Hyena had recovered from the boot to the head, and she looked pissed. “Dammit, what does it take to make you stay DOWN?!” I carped in an irritated tone. This was getting old, fast.

“More than you’ve got, sweetheart,” she retorted, swinging me around by the leg she had hold of. I shrieked in a panic, and tried to curl up for protection against the impact I knew was coming- except that it didn’t. I heard a yell that would have made Tarzan proud, and suddenly saw my assailant getting knocked down by one hundred seventy-five pounds of flying turtle. She let go of my leg, but it hardly mattered, since I was already airborne. I ended up smashing into the unconscious Brooklyn, which thankfully was a softer landing than I’d expected. Still hurt, though.

“Leave her ALONE, you psycho-slut!” Michelangelo yelled angrily as he slammed into her, his eyes ablaze with fury. I’d rarely seen him so pissed, but then again, he wasn’t known for being very forgiving when one of his family was threatened, either. He landed atop Hyena as she hit the floor, and flailed at her wildly with his nunchaku, battering at the crazed criminal for all he was worth, until she went down in a heap. Woah. It was times like this I was glad to be on his GOOD side.

And that’s when everything fell apart. Hudson and Broadway still had been unable to stop or even slow down Coyote, but the instant the huge metal monster saw that two of its teammates were down, the machine seemed to go berserk. “You’ll regret doing that, whoever you are. That’s NO way to treat a lady!” The next thing I knew, Coyote shot a hole in the ceiling with a blaster mounted in one arm, and then leveled another weapon at Hudson and Broadway and fired some sort of ray, which seemed to leave them reeling with vertigo and nausea. Both fell to their knees, and the robot turned to advance on Mikey.

“You kiddin’ me, dude? She’s no lady! She’s nuttier than a Snickers bar!” Mikey retorted, snorting dirisively. I rose unsteadily, just in time to see the robot aim its odd ray at Michelangelo…..






I edited this to add in the remaining part of the chapter, as well as some additional content in the fight, which has undergone several revisions since the original post. Anyway, enjoy! And the next chapter is coming soon!
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491
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MsMarvelDuckie
Inhuman
Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

13 Jun 2015, 04:02 #11

This is the edited version of the latest chapter of my Tale of Two Clans fic. Also, for those who may have read the now-infamous IDW TMNT #44, this chapter's resemblance to events in that issue are PURELY coincidental, I SWEAR!! Seriously, I had this chapter's events planned out long before I ever even started the story- it was originally supposed to be included in the Love Is Shell story over two years ago, but was (heavily) modified to fit this one instead.






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Chapter Nine: Bleed For Me



Coyote leveled its weird ray gun at Michelangelo, who tried to roll under its aim, but was hit anyway. He came up looking disoriented, his face having turned an odd shade of yellow-green that didn’t look at all normal. “Ugh, I think I’m gonna hurl, dude,” he mumbled, staggering to his feet.

Leo and Angela skidded back into the gallery at that moment, with Goliath and Lex right behind them. “We’re too late, guys- the sword is gone!” Lexington exclaimed as they returned.

Donatello turned to them with a stunned look. “You let Shredder get away with the Sword of Nowhere? There’s no telling what he’ll do with it!” He ducked as the robot shot its laser weapon at him, his eyes bulging as it blasted a deer sculpture made of glass crystal spheres to pieces.

“He escaped, but the sword was stolen from him by our former clan-mate Demona in the main gallery. She must have been waiting there the whole time; she grabbed it from your enemy before any of us even knew what was happening. She was gone through a busted skylight before we could even reach them, and in any case, we could not risk being seen by the people outside. The building is still surrounded by the police, but they will not remain outside much longer,” Goliath explained, his tail lashing angrily, as he grabbed a bench and threw it at Wolf, before ducking behind the remains of a display of tengu masks in the middle of the room, to avoid getting shot at.

I snarled and grabbed for the robot’s other arm as it continued firing at Donatello, trying to slice through the mechanism controlling the weapon with one of my fans, only to be slapped away like a fly. Hudson and Broadway tried to subdue the robot by sheer force, but it simply twisted its upper half and spun them away like a Quisinart. And still it kept firing those damned laser blasts. Angela rushed over to aid Bronx and Brooklyn, trying to rouse them, while Lex dashed behind an overturned Buddha.

Leo growled, and lunged at Wolf again, tackling him from the left while Raph did the same from the other flank. At first it looked as if they might overpower him, but a stray blast from Coyote caught the edge of Raph’s shell, and he yelped in pain. The wolf-man used the distraction to punch him into a glass case holding several old suits of armor, and Raph fell into the display and looked dazed for a moment.

Raph turned to glance at the robot, and saw me trying to slash the laser’s wiring. “Hey, watch where ya’ point that thing, sis!” he yelled, before diving back into the fray against the genetically altered criminal.

“Sorry!” I called back. The giant death-machine raised its arm, pulling me off my feet, and I was forced to let go, or be grabbed by the other hand that was reaching for me. This was going nowhere fast, I realized, and fell back to try to think of another tactic. Donnie had taken up a defensive position behind a pedestal whose statue was now missing an arm, but he didn’t appear to have any ideas at the moment that I could tell. So I decided to use the kunoichi’s best weapon- distraction.

“Hey, Tin-Man! Did you forget to ask the wizard for a heart?” I yelled, dashing directly in front of the robot. “Or maybe in your case, that should be a brain!” I taunted, hoping it would take the bait.

“Orlene, what the Hell are you DOING?!” Donnie shouted, and even Mikey looked horrified. Honestly, I had no idea- I just hoped they would figure out a way to take it down while I had its attention. And oh, did I have its attention. It raised that funky ray weapon at me, and fired. I hit the floor to dodge it, but too late. A wave of nausea and dizziness washed over me, and I suddenly understood why Mikey had turned such a peculiar color. I felt like I’d gone on an all-night drinking binge with Casey.

“You lot have guts, I’ll give you that,” Coyote said in that strange metallic voice, which was none-the-less vaguely familiar. “But I’m through playing games. We’ve learned what we came for; it’s time to cut our losses. Wolf, would you collect our friends and meet me outside?”

“No problem, boss,” growled the aptly-named Pack member, breaking away from the fight with Leo and Raph to toss first Hyena, then Jackal over his shoulder. He held them with one enormous clawed hand as he leapt straight up and caught the edge of the hole in the ceiling, launching himself up through it. Angela finally managed to rouse Brooklyn and Bronx back to consciousness, and Hudson and Broadway had recovered from being flung into the wall, but they were busy ducking for cover at the moment.

“Oh, no you don’t, ya’ overgrown toaster!” Mikey exclaimed, getting between the robot and his exit. “Ya’ gotta’ go through US first!” Alarm bells went off in my head, and I rushed toward the two, hoping to divert the robot’s attention from my teammate. He was far too close to the thing for my liking. Unfortunately, the robot continued firing lethal laser blasts all around the room, leaving no way for anyone else to get close to it. Leo and Raph had ducked behind the doorway, while Goliath picked up a piece of the Foo-lion’s head that had been shattered earlier, and threw it at the robot’s head. Coyote simply swatted the missile out of the air, and ignored him. The big gargoyle grabbed a spear from a shattered display, and heaved that at the machine as well, but it merely struck the armored back and splintered.

“Very well, then. So be it,” the metal monster said flatly, pointing its vertigo-ray at Mikey again. He dodged the first blast, but was struck by the second. He stumbled back to his feet, shaking his head to clear it. I saw the behemoth stalk toward him, and realized- too late- the danger he was in.

“Mikey, get back!” I shouted frantically. He finally shook off the vertigo, but didn’t move out of the way in time to avoid being snatched up in the thing’s huge clawed hands. It lifted him up off the floor easily, its oversized claws gripping him tightly by his shell. Mikey struggled to free himself, but to no avail- the robot was simply too strong. Michelangelo tried pounding at the machine with his nunchaku, cursing angrily, but did little more than leave small dents in the surface of its armor.

“I’ve had enough out of you green freaks. Goliath, since you’re here, I thought I’d remind you what happens when you meddle where you’re not wanted. Perhaps in the future you’ll remember that there are consequences to your actions. Let’s hope your new friends learn that lesson better than you have.” And with that, it began to squeeze the hapless turtle in its grip.

Coyote squeezed hard with both “hands”, causing Mikey’s eyes to go wide as it began to slowly crush him. He pulled frantically at the giant metal claws, still cursing, but to no avail. Then I heard a sickening crunching sound, and he let out a scream unlike anything I’d ever heard. It reminded me vaguely of the shriek of a dying deer or rabbit as it is caught by a predator. Michelangelo’s eyes rolled back, and he went limp in the thing’s grip. The nunchaku in his hands fell to the floor with a thud and a clinking of chains.

“NOOOO!!” “MIKEY!!” The screams of horror came from four throats at once, as Leo, Raph, Don and I all heard him shriek, and rushed toward him at once. I was closest, and reached him just as the robot criminal dropped his body to the floor and launched itself up into the air to follow its companions out through the hole in the roof. Donnie reached him next, skidding to a stop on his knees, reaching down to check his brother‘s condition. Mikey’s shell was badly cracked, with four wide fissures running along its length, two of them near the edges, and two closer to the middle, roughly along the joints of the scutes . A few smaller, thinner cracks radiated out from the larger ones, some horizontally, others at odd angles. The joints between the bridge and carapace were snapped, as well, and there was even a long fracture down the centerline of his plastron and two cracks running across the joints between the two middle pairs of plates. The powerful robot had shattered his shell almost completely, and had left him to die.

“Oh, God- Donnie, is he-?” I stopped, unable to finish the thought. “Please say he’s not-” I pleaded, looking over the damage. Mikey’s carapace had been cracked open like a walnut, the dark red and white of the tissues and organs beneath showing through. It didn’t look good. He lay on his side where he’d fallen; whether he was unconscious or dead was unclear. Donatello leaned down to listen carefully for the sound of his breath, and placed his fingers against Mikey’s neck to check for a pulse.

“He’s alive, but I don’t know for how long. This is BAD. VERY bad.” He turned his sibling carefully onto his stomach, which must have jarred Mikey back to semi-consciousness. Mikey began to whimper softly, his eyes squeezed shut and jaw clenched in pain. He began to tremble uncontrollably, making soft whines that reminded me of a whipped dog. “He’s not going to make it if we don’t get him out of here and mend those fractures.” Donnie looked up at Leo and Raph, who had both rushed over right behind him, and now knelt beside him with worried expressions.

“Don, is there ANYTHING we can do?” I asked, looking up at him hopefully. On the floor by my knees, his brother was making pitiful whining sounds that were more animal than human. It was both disturbing and worrying. Mikey had gone a much paler shade of green than his usual deep malachite hue, and his body shook so violently that his teeth began to click together. “Donnie! What’s wrong with him?!” I cried, suddenly more afraid than ever.

“He’s having a seizure! His body is going into shock!” Don yelled back, leaning in close to feel his brother’s pulse. His frown deepened and he looked at us and shook his head worriedly. “His pulse is erratic! Oh, God- this is NOT good….”

“Is- is he gonna’ make it?” Raph asked, his hands fidgeting fretfully with one sai.

“I- I don’t know, Raph. His shell is badly cracked, and there could be internal damage or bleeding. But I don’t have the equipment or the expertise to determine that- or to fix it if there is.” He sounded defeated and lost, his voice breaking.

Leo took command, in spite of the obvious concern in his eyes. “We have to get him out of here and back to the lair. We can figure out what to do for him there.” He sheathed his swords, and motioned for Goliath and his clan to go ahead. They moved closer instead, coming over to lend whatever help or comfort they could.

“Leo, we can’t move him! Any stress on his shell could crack it worse than it already is!” Donatello warned. “He needs to remain flat, or we risk these cracks widening into his spinal column. If we move him, he could be paralyzed, or even die!”

“He’s right. Even if it doesn’t crack worse, carrying him through the sewers with such a severe injury could risk infection. He might contract something simple that could still prove fatal in this condition,” Lex added, moving next to Donnie.

“We can’t just leave him HERE!” Leo argued. “Those cops outside will be here any minute, especially once they realize the Pack escaped, and we’d better be gone by then, or every nightmare we’ve ever had about being caught is going to come true. We HAVE to risk it! NO ONE gets left behind!”

I felt Mikey’s pulse, as he continued to tremble uncontrollably. “Guys, he’s really cold!” I alerted them. His skin was clammy to the touch. I grabbed a large linen kimono from a smashed display nearby and draped it over him to try to keep him warm. “He’s getting worse. We need to do something NOW!”

“We could make a stretcher and carry him out on it,” Brooklyn suggested. “And Broadway and I could take it to the clock tower. The rest of you could meet us there. It’s safer and cleaner than the sewers.”

Leonardo seemed to latch onto that. “Okay, you two do that- Don and I will head back to the lair to get medical supplies. Donnie? Will that work?”

Don shrugged. “I’d prefer to use our infirmary, but Lex is right. If we try to transport Mikey through the sewers, we could risk him getting a serious infection. The tower will do.”

Leo nodded in agreement. “Alright, the four of us will take care of Mikey. The rest of you- get that sword back!” He paused, and stooped for a moment to pick up Mikey’s fallen weapons, tucking them into his belt. It amazed me that even amid the worst possible situations, somehow he always managed to remember even the smallest details, like removing all traces of their presence.

“You got it bro,” Raph growled angrily, glad to have something to do. It was clear he wanted paybacks for what had happened to Mikey, as well.

“Leonardo, for what it is worth, I am sorry for what has happened to your brother. Rest assured, we WILL make those cowards pay for what they’ve done,” Goliath promised, holding out his hand. Leo took it, nodding. There seemed to be some unspoken communication that passed between the two leaders, born of their shared burden. Goliath knew how hard the blow of seeing his brother near death had hit Leo.

“Just make sure you get the sword back. It’s more dangerous than you can imagine.” Leo replied. Goliath bowed slightly, turning to glance at Brooklyn and Broadway as he strode past them. He frowned, and turned back to speak to the group.

“Hudson, Angela- get Bronx and come with me. We will hunt down Demona and the Pack. Raphael and Orlene will join us in the hunt. Lexington, go with Leonardo and Donatello; when they reach the clock tower, stay with them to help. While you three care for Michelangelo’s injuries, send Broadway and Brooklyn to meet back up with us. I will keep an open com-link so they know where to find us.” The others all nodded, and took up their positions. Goliath paused for a moment before furling his wings around him and heading back the way we had come. “And one more thing- let Elisa know what has happened. She may be able to help.”

Broadway and Brooklyn traded a glance; Brooklyn shrugged, and they began to hunt around for something to use for a stretcher. Broadway ran into the Hindu art gallery, and a few moments later, the sound of something heavy being broken came from that direction. He came back holding what appeared to be the seat of a stone bench.

“Here, we can carry him on this!” He supplied helpfully, setting the slab down on the floor beside the nearly unconscious Michelangelo. “See? All we have to do is secure him to this, and we’ve got our own care flight!” He was obviously pleased with himself, and even Leo seemed mildly impressed by his ingenuity, or perhaps it was his strength.

We set to work shifting Mikey carefully onto the slab face-down, using a pair of grapple lines to tie him to it for the trip. He whimpered softly as he was moved; the sound nearly broke my heart. But something was bothering me, and as we carried him back down the stairs to the basement, I realized what it was. I paused, and finally voiced the thoughts that had been swirling around in my head.

“Wait,” I said, watching the three biggest gargoyles lead the way with Mikey in tow.

Everyone turned to see why I’d called a halt. “What is it?” Leo asked.

“I was just thinking- maybe YOU should go with them to find the sword, Leo. I would be of more use helping Donnie. My hands are smaller, so if there’s any delicate work that needs to be done, we’ll need someone with the manual dexterity for it. Besides, I wouldn’t be much good in a fight against flying or physically enhanced opponents. I want to help Mikey. You’re stronger and a better fighter, anyway.”

Both leaders traded concerned looks, and Leo finally sighed and nodded. “I hate to admit it, but you’re right. Alright, you go with Don, and get whatever he needs. This is the sort of thing a kunoichi is trained for, anyway, so it makes sense for you to go. Don is in charge- do whatever he says, understood? I know you’ll do whatever you can for Mikey- and I don’t need you distracted by worrying about him in the middle of a battle. This solves both problems. Alright, let’s go.”

We carried Michelangelo through the short passage to the grate down into the sewers, for the short distance to the storm grate the gargoyles had entered from earlier. I followed behind Donnie and Lex as we parted ways with Broadway and Brooklyn, who tied the improvised stretcher to themselves and began to climb up the nearest building to get enough altitude for gliding. Everyone separated to their appointed tasks, and the three of us headed as fast as possible to the lair to retrieve Don’s medical kit and duffle bag. We ran as fast as we could go through the sewers, with Lexington bounding along behind Donatello through the maze of tunnels while I brought up the rear.

We reached the lair in record time, and Lex paused only long enough to marvel appreciatively at the cozy hidden abode while Don and I dashed straight for the lab and workshop. Lex quickly joined us, as we hastily began hunting for anything that would be useful in our task. The first things he grabbed were his laptop and veterinary medicine books, while I yanked open drawers of gauze rolls, medical tape, needles, and antibiotic ointments and pain relievers, dumping them all into his duffel bag. It was while Donnie was digging through his salvaged hospital equipment that the full brunt of things hit me.

“Donnie, what if we can’t fix this?” I asked, trying hard not to cry at the psrospect of losing the one who meant so much. “Do you know how to repair a cracked shell?”

He paused, a look of deep worry etched on his face, so fearful that I wondered if he had lost hope. “I know how to fix it in theory, but there are so many variables to consider- like if there is any internal damage like bleeding, organs crushed or punctured- not to mention I don’t know if I have the proper medications for something this serious. I have some Tramadol for the pain, but I’m worried about infections, side-effects, and long-term healing. It would take months to repair that kind of damage, and even then, there’s no guarantee it’ll ever be strong enough for even light sparring afterwards!”

“We need a veteranarian, and an x-ray machine or an MRI.” Lex commented absently, looking around at the various projects Don had lying scattered throughout the room.

“What we NEED is a miracle!” I replied, flustered by the lack of anything stronger than Tylenol in the cabinets. “Don, where do you keep the prescription meds? I know you have some here, but I can’t find anything.”

“It’s in the locked cabinet. I was worried that some of them might be addicting if we use them too often, so I decided to limit access. The key is in a magnetic case on the underside of my desk.” He replied. I rushed over to search for it, and sure enough, it was right where he’d said it would be. With key in hand, I quickly opened up the locked cabinet, and was greeted with a dizzying array of medications.

“Okay, what should I take?” I asked, hoping Donnie knew what he had in there. “Where do you even get all this stuff?”

“You really DON’T want to know,” he responded, and I realized it was probably all pilfered. <Ninjas>, I thought with mild annoyance. Donnie continued almost absently, rattling off several names. “The Tramadol, ketamine, tobramycin, dexamethasone, codeine, and amoxicillin, and, um, grab the norepinephrine.” He turned to Lex. “Could you grab that arm cuff over there by the exam table? And there are some bags of blood stored in that mini-fridge. We may need them. There should be some tubing and a pump on that cart over there, too. Put them in my bag, please.”

“You keep blood in your refrigerator?” Lexington asked in disbelief. “Good thing Broadway isn’t here, he’d think you were a vampire!” He said with a nervous chuckle, as he began carefully removing bags.

“Relax, it’s ours. I always keep a supply on hand for emergencies. I make sure we all donate a pint every two months, just in case. Occupational hazard.”

Lex frowned in worry for his new friends. “We’ve never had to worry about things like that. We regenerate during the day in our stone sleep. Usually our injuries heal in a day, sometimes two or three if it’s serious. We can’t regenerate lost limbs, but as long as we’re in one piece, it’ll heal.”

I glanced from the gargoyle to the turtle, and saw the shadow of doubt and fear that fell over Donatello’s face. I could relate. But then the scientist in him seemed to take over again. “I wish WE could heal that fast. Lex, would it be okay if I took some samples from you guys to study your biochemistry? If I could isolate the factor that allows the regenerative ability, maybe we could use it to heal injuries faster. What I wouldn’t give for that!” He sighed, and I found myself agreeing with him completely.

Lex shrugged, and began to stuff more medical supplies into the bag. “I don’t know, Goliath might not approve of that. The last time someone took samples from us, they made evil clones of us! Anyway, I doubt you guys would want the trade-off of turning to stone every day.” Lex replied, pointing out the obvious down-side of their method of healing. “Besides, we don’t really have time to waste on trying to study it. Your brother needs help NOW.”

Don winced at the reminder, and looked distraught. “I KNOW that! It’s just- I don’t know how we’re going to save him. If there’s any internal bleeding or organ damage, then….” He shook his head, looking at me with damp eyes. I went over to him, wrapping my arms around his wide shoulders. He hugged back, and I could feel him shaking slightly, fear of losing his youngest sibling taking its toll.

“Don’t worry, Donnie. I have faith in you. We can do this.” I wished I felt as certain as I tried to sound, but I knew that the prognosis was grim. As much as I hated to admit it, we really DID need a miracle. “Now, come on- let’s get back to the tower and save Mikey.” I couldn’t help noticing he was reluctant to end the embrace; I suspected he had needed the comfort more than he was letting on.

“Too bad we don’t have access to a full medical facility with all the latest advances,” Lex said, placing the last of the supplies in Don’s duffle bag. “Hey! Maybe we could take him to the zoo! They have some of the best veterinary equipment anywhere, right? And at this time of night, there wouldn‘t be anyone around!”

Donnie shook his head again, sighing. “No good. There are still security guards, cameras, and locks to deal with. Too risky. Still…. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for one of those magic healing spells from one of Mikey’s video games!” He graoned, and I had to agree with his sentiment. If ONLY….

That’s when it happened. Donatello had been pacing in his agitation, a sure sign that he was both distraught and working frantically to solve the problem in his head. He suddenly stopped in his tracks; he froze for several long breaths. A peculiar expression came over his face then, and he rushed back over to the bag and yanked his laptop out, flipping it open and turning it on faster than I’d ever seen him do. “Oh, please still be there…!” He breathed, hope lighting up his eyes for the first time since Michelangelo had been injured.

“Donnie?” I asked uncertainly, wondering what was wrong. I watched in confusion and curiosity- knowing Donnie, an idea had just struck- as his fingers flew over the modified keyboard, his eyes glued to the screen. A moment later, his face lit up, and he leapt up with a loud whoop of elation.

“YES! It’s still at the hospital! All we have to do is go in there and get it! By Darwin’s beard, I’ve GOT IT!” He crowed triumphantly. He dashed over and grabbed Lexington, picking up the diminutive gargoyle by his middle and swinging him around excitedly. “Come on, we need to get to the tower and get Mikey ready, and then one of us is going to have to go to the hospital and get the device! I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner!” Great. Now he was babbling, and making zero sense.

“Wha…?!” Lex asked, utterly confused. I wasn’t exactly in the loop, myself. “Uh, what’s he talking about?” Lex queried, turning to me expectantly. I shrugged and gave him a puzzled look.

“You’ve got me,” I replied, shaking my head in utter confusion. “Hey Don, you want to maybe clue us in? Got WHAT, exactly?” I asked, huffing exasperatedly. I glanced over at his computer, and was further puzzled to find an archived Channel Six video article of one of April’s old reports. The date on it was nearly three years old. It looked like a press conference, but I didn’t recognize the middle-aged man who was talking, nor the odd-looking “gun” lying on a table in front of him. There were a few paragraphs below the video, but I was too far away to see more than a headline that read “New prototype device is a medical miracle”, and the date.

“Okay, what’s this?” I asked him, pointing to the open web-page.

“It’s the miracle you were talking about!” Donatello exclaimed, finally putting Lex down, as if that were all the explanation needed. When he saw our dumbfounded faces, he rolled his eyes and continued. “A few years ago, April did a report on a new prototype laser surgical device at the Metro Hospital. It’s the most advanced healing tool in the world- it could heal Mikey’s shell in minutes! It’s EXACTLY what we need- and it’s still there!” He finished, straightening with a wide grin and putting his hands on his hips in a victorious pose. “Of course, the hard part will be getting our hands on it. After Shredder tried to steal the prototype, both it and the second one that was built to replace the stolen one were locked in the hospital’s high-security vault by the head administrator after we recovered them, and now they only take them out for use on the most severely injured patients. Someone has to go to the hospital, get into the vault, and borrow one of them. But first we need to check on Mikey and make sure he’ll survive long enough to get it to him. So, what are we WAITING for? Let’s GO!” He was starting to sound impatient now, and didn’t even wait for a response before he closed the laptop and shoved it back into his duffle bag.

Lex and I traded glances, and I could see that the young gargoyle was still doubtful, but at least it was something. “Okay, but how are you going to get it?” He asked bluntly.

Donatello turned to stare sqarely at me, and grinned wickedly. I knew that look, and on him, it meant trouble. “It’s elementary, my dear Lex! That’s where SHE comes in! Our kunoichi is going to do what a kunoichi does best- use the art of deception to get the administrator to open the vault, and then she’s going to steal the Medilaser!” My jaw fell. Oh, boy, he’s finally lost it, I thought….



Xanacorp Tower-

David Xanatos sat staring at the video feed from Coyote intently, scowling at what he saw on the robot’s recording of the encounter in the museum. So, the gargoyles had enlisted outside help from some mutant band of vigilantes? And who was the mysterious man in the armor and helmet who had interfered with the Pack’s attempt to steal the sword? From the size and ferocity of the creatures with him, he was no stranger to genetic engineering. Interesting.

He studied the strange mutant turtle-men and their ally, a human girl whom he swore he had seen somewhere before. The mutants were ninjas- he was certain of it now. Their fighting style, their weapons, the way they had managed to sneak into the museum under the very noses of the police- it all pointed to one thing. But who were they? Friends of Goliath and his clan, obviously. David wondered how the two groups had met, and when. He didn’t think they had been together long, although they seemed to work well together. He decided it might be profitable to learn more about these new players in the game.

There were four of them, he noted, unless one wanted to include the blonde girl- though she was clearly the least experienced of the bunch. The one in blue appeared to be the leader. He felt a minor twinge of guilt- an unfamiliar emotion- at the horrendous injury of the orange-banded one, but it couldn’t be helped. “So, Goliath, it seems you’ve made some new friends. Ninja mutants, at that. I wonder where they came from….” He leaned back for a moment to contemplate the possibility of turning this encounter to his advantage. It was unfortunate that Demona had shown up, to be sure. No doubt she had her own agenda, one that would prove detrimental to his future plans, if she was up to her usual brand of chaos. He closed his eyes, trying to remember where he’d seen that girl. She was the key to finding these vigilantes, he was sure of it.

He heard a news update from the television on the wall behind him, giving the latest details on the museum heist and the apparent fight that had taken place and demolished several priceless relics in the Asian art galleries. Xanatos sighed. It was always a terrible tragedy to lose such valuable artifacts of history- more so since he understood the true worth of one in particular which was now somewhere out there in the city, being used for who knew what nefarious purpose by a vindictive and vengeful gargoyle woman. He turned his chair to glance at the television, and his gaze narrowed when he saw the reporter. It was that gorgeous red-head again. April O’Neal.

Xanatos sat up swiftly, a memory suddenly striking like lightning. The girl! He had seen her not two months ago, during an ill-fated interview the O’Neal woman had been filming at the Stock-Tronics laboratory. The girl had been taken hostage by the same man who had been at the museum tonight, and those same mutants had appeared then, too. He clicked off the video feed from Coyote, and opened up his net access to make a quick search for the incident. In moments, he had found what he wanted. She was a camera operator for Channel Six, assigned to work with O’Neal. This was getting more intriguing by the minute. He stroked his beard thoughtfully, considering his next move. A few moments later, he smiled smugly, having formed a plan.

He opened up the intercom link from his office to his assistant. “Owen, a moment, if you would, please?”

“Of course, sir,” came the calm, even reply, and true to form, the tall, clean-cut blonde man in glasses entered the office entered a few seconds later. He walked with a no-nonsense gait, his face a mask of emotionlessness. Xanatos managed a slight smirk, knowing who was really behind those glasses. If nothing else, Puck- or Owen as he was called in his human guise- was a consumate actor. As his personal assistant, he made for a loyal and reliable aide, but more than that, Owen was predictable and never had any qualms about following even the most questionable orders.

“You requested my presense, Mr. Xanatos?” He asked in his usual stiff manner.

“I’d like to make a donation to the Metropolitan Museum to repair or replace the artifacts that were damaged in that attack. To that end, I want to set up an exclusive interview with that lovely red-head from Channel Six. Miss O’Neal, I believe her name was?” Xanatos sais smoothly; Owen nodded almost absently, making several quick notations on his iPad.

“Will there be anything else, sir?” He queried, and Xanatos had to hand to the man- he never batted an eye. He played his part admirably.

“Yes. I’d also like you to make some inquiries about that young camera operator who was with her last time. The blonde girl. Discreetly, of course. I want to know who she is, where she came from, everything you can dig up. She is connected to this incident, and I want to know how. That will be all.”

“Yes, Mr. Xanatos, sir,” Owen said, nodding as he left. David stood and walked over to the large window overlooking the city. Yes, indeed. Things were starting to get very interesting down in the city, and that pleased him immensely. He hadn’t wanted to admit it, but he had been getting a bit bored, what with the reality of fatherhood and married life setting in. As much as he loved Fox- if that’s what it was- he craved excitement and challenge. This was one he couldn’t resist.
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491
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