Reflections on Middle-East Conflict from a Ninja Turtle Perspective

By: Red Turtle Rated PG-13 for very little bad language and violence Formality: Mirage Studios has the honor of creating Ninja Turtles, I merely incorporated them into my imagination.

Background information:

This story is based off one of the Archie comic series. I've read all the series available, but for some reason the Archie ones tend to inspire me more imagination wise.

All my stories have my own characters added to interact with the original turtles and make things interesting. The characters are a family of mutant turtles, sometimes there are six of them and sometimes there are twelve, all brothers and sisters ranging in age from about 14 to about 20. This story has six.

This particular story is from when the turtles were traveling around the world, and for a short while were in Israel, but from there I changed it to reflect more of what has been going on there in the past years (I think the comic was originally written before the second intafada started). This story is more an exploration of what is going on and not a view of what's right or wrong. Also, in course of the story different characters will express their views as I imagine they would, and these are not all my views, and sometimes something a character says is wrong factually, and that is generally because they as a character are wrong about something (which in turn influences how they think or view a situation) not because I am necessarily.

For those who didn't read the Archie series, Ninjara is a fox-being and Raphael's girlfriend.

I would like to hear peoples comments. You can e-mail me at turtlepowertothepeople@hotmail.com

Part One

April and Oyuki (her assistant) landed a reporting job in Jerusalem to cover the international unveiling of a New York artists work. She managed to exaggerate her camera needs and get Channel six to pay for two extra large boxes, which the turtles, master splinter and Ninjara then stowed away in. Master Splinter literally jumped at the chance to bring the turtles to Jerusalem, it had so much religious meaning that it was bound to affect them positively. He also wanted to view what was going on there himself as much as possible, for as a Buddhist he could not imagine what caused the intense violence, and how a city so old and venerably could not pass a day in peace. He felt understanding the violence there would bring him closure to understanding humanity as a whole (he still ultimately considered himself human).

Although excited about seeing the city themselves, the turtles were not at all thrilled about folding up into a box for 11 hours. Raphael and Ninjara only tolerated it by being in the same box together, leaving Leonardo who had to share their box feeling very awkward the whole time. Donatello passed time imagining all the stuff he could learn from a city as old as that. He dreamed of experiments he was going to do on the rocks, and how he would get to see the architecture up close. He didn't think about the religious aspects at all. He didn't really understand religion, and at this point he wasn't interested in it. Michelangelo constantly interrupted Donatello's musings with bad jokes, and Splinter perfected certain yoga positions he had not had the concentrated time to practice before.

They were all very relieved to finally be released from the box in Aprils hotel room in Jerusalem. They immediately fell to pillow fighting and practicing flips, while April tried to keep them all quiet. She was not able to justify Channel six paying for a separate room, so they all had to share one very small one, with two beds. She did not want to draw suspicion, but after more than eleven hours in a box it was understandable that the turtles would want to have some fun. Splinter calmed them down and they ordered lots of pizza (they couldn't eat in the boxes) and soda. They all ate and watched TV. There was a travel guide station explaining how great Jerusalem was and the significance it had to Muslims, Christians and Jews. This was currently the only thing in English so they watched it. Even the pizza boxes were in Hebrew.

By the time dinner was done it was dark out, so Master Splinter suggested that they go out and explore (and release some energy before another pillow fight broke out). They silently climbed to the top of the hotel and gathered there, patiently listening to Master Splinter explain how fascinating the city was and all that could be learned from it. Finally he suggested that they go out and discover on their own and bring back to each other the rich experiences they gained. He felt that was the best way for the city to impact them.

Although Splinter, Ninjara and the Turtles were all very good ninja, and especially Splinter had very strong intuition, they did not know that they had been spotted on the roof of the hotel and were being watched intensely from some distance away. All the watchers could tell, at this point, was that they were not human. They could not hear them and could not pick out much detail. As the turtles broke up (Ninjara still went with Raphael) the two watchers silently singled one out to follow themselves.

All the turtles had a hard time staying hidden. The hotel was five stories tall and above most building, and their window faced a blank alley so getting in and out wasn't too hard, but traveling was different because they couldn't hop across rooftops the whole way, and they didn't know the sewers and didn't want to try going down them. They had bought cloaks with them to cover themselves on the ground. Michelangelo went to check out a mall, to see what it was like in Israel and maybe buy some souvenirs. Raphael and Ninjara tried to find dark and mysterious things to get involved with (they failed). Leonardo, keeping trust that he was disguised well enough, actually went and talked to people about how they felt about Jerusalem and religion. He felt there was a religious experience to be gotten here and he wanted to please Master Splinter by getting it.

Donatello went quite far to look at some of the major religious building up close. He came across the Wailing Wall (site very precious to Jewish people where many go to pray) and watched that go on. He found a point high up on a nearby building where he could also see Al Aqsa Mosque (very precious to Muslims), removed his cloak, and contently stayed there to think about what he was observing. Two cloaked figures crept up behind him, and he sensed them too late.

He jumped into a fighting stance, but did not bother taking his bo out. If they had gotten this close, they were probably good enough to seriously fight, and with two of them he probably didn't stand much of a chance. He decided to try to be real friendly.

"Hi", he greeted.

Both figures held knives, almost ready to jump him but they looked nervous. Maybe because he was a turtle. Donatello tried to retain as much information about them as he could. One was a little taller and a little more threatening with the knife than the other. They wore cloaks, gloves and boots, but something about the way they were dressed and looking at him was nagging in Donatello's mind.

"Shalom", Donatello tried, thinking they didn't speak English. They narrowed their eyes, and partially surrounded him with both knives at his neck. He kept his arms at his side and decided to not fight until they tried to stab him, because even though he could get out of this position they would be able to beat him down in the end.

"Are you a Jew?", the taller one asked. He had an accent, it sounded Chinese.

Now all the information Donatello had been ignoring, the whole religious meaning of the city, the intense violence behind the different religious views that caused people to be killed, came flooding into his mind. Now he was really scared, because he didn't know what answer they were looking for. He decided to be honest.

"No", he answered shakily, already imagining how much the stabs were going to hurt.

"What are you", the shorter one asked. He also had an Asian accent. His eyes looked more friendlier than the other, but he still held a knife at Donatello's throat.

"I.I'm nothing.I mean, I'm an atheist, I guess."

"What is an atheist doing in this part of the city? Why are you in this city at all?", the taller one asked.

"M-my sensei brought me here. Me and my brothers", he answered, wanting to heavily stress that he had brothers that would seek revenge if he was killed. He didn't know they had seen them at the hotel.

"Is your sensei a Jew?", the taller one asked.

Now Donatello was beginning to guess that they didn't like Jews.

"No", he answered confidently, "He is a Buddhist. He believes in peace. He wanted us to come here and learn from this city, because.its so important to human history."

Now they took the knives away, although the taller one still watched him menacingly. Donatello briefly noted the way they held the knives.not like humans hold them but like how him and his brothers hold them.

"Well, learn this", the taller one stated, "We're with the Arabs, and we'll kill you if we think you're with the Jews. Got it?"

Donatello nodded.

"We were raised Buddhist", the other, more friendlier one offered.

"What changed your mind?", Donatello asked.

The younger one didn't seem to want to answer, and neither did the taller one.

"What's your name?", the younger one asked after a minute.

"Donatello."

"Are you.American?", he asked.

"Yes. I'm from New York."

"I know about New York. I wouldn't want to live there", the taller one remarked. Donatello did not argue with him at this time.

"I'm Simon", the younger one offered.

He reached to shake hands, which Donatello accepted so he could confirm his theory. Simon's hands, under the gloves, felt like Donatello's own. But he couldn't see enough of them to know for sure if they were actually turtles. He wanted to ask, but they turned to leave. The older one, who hadn't offered a name, turned back.

"Don't tell your brothers, because if you all come looking for us, we'll kill you", he warned.

And then they were gone. Donatello actually sighed with relief. He was still shaking in the knees. He gingerly looked over the edge they had gone over, but did not see them. They were really good. He put his cloak back on and made his way back home.

Part 2

Donatello joined with his brothers, Ninjara and Master Splinter at the hotel roof. He had regained his composure and did not want to tell everyone what had happened. The only one he would confide in was Leonardo, because Leo would appreciate the seriousness of the situation. Raphael would just go on about how he should have attacked them, and he didn't want Master Splinter to know he was an atheist.

The others all talked about what they saw and heard and it was all pretty mundane, so Donatello's story of watching the wailing wall and analyzing architecture fit in with that and no one was suspicious. Before they all went down, Donatello quietly asked Leo if they could talk for a minute, and they stayed on the roof alone. Leo could tell there was something bugging Donnie.

"So, what's up, Don?", he asked casually.

"I-I ran into some trouble tonight. I didn't want to tell the others, they.actually told me they would kill me if I told any of you-"

He took a deep breathe remembering the feel of the knives at his neck.

"Who told you?", Leo demanded.

"They were.I think they were turtles like us. And they were good fighters, Leo, they snuck up on me and I think they could have easily killed me. They had knives at my neck. They were going to kill me because they thought I was Jewish.one of them said they were with the Arabs and if they think that we're with the Jews they'll kill us."

"What?!", Leo demanded again, outraged. First, no one threatens his little brother like that, second, he won't tolerate people going around talking about killing Jewish people like that, and third why would other mutant turtles threaten them like that!

"I don't want Master Splinter or the others to know", Donatello insisted, "Just you because I had to tell some one. I don't think they're going to bother us again. It was just scary, thinking I was going to be killed because they thought I was Jewish, and if I was, and I had said yes, they would have killed me. And they were turtles, I'm sure of it, and they saw I was a turtle, and they were still going to kill me."

Leo, sensing how upset Donatello was, took a minute to comfort him, and now also looked around protectively for any sign of the other ninjas.

"How many were there?"

"Two. One said his name was Simon. He looked liked he didn't want to hurt me. The other didn't say his name, and he would have killed me for sure."

"Do you know if there are more?"

"They didn't mention any."

"Are you okay now?"

"Yeah. But maybe.we shouldn't go out separately anymore."

"But you don't want me to tell the others."

Donatello shook his head.

"I.I don't want to be teased by Raphael and I don't want Master Splinter to know that I don't believe in his religion."

Leo thought a minute.

"Fine. I'll find reasons for us to stay together."

Part 3

Fortunately Leo did not have to invent any reasons to stay together. Early the next evening, which was Friday, Master Splinter suggested they go to some of the markets and explore the local culture. They all were down with that, and disguised themselves (this time in coats, sweat pants, hats and other accessories). April was finished filming for the day, so she and Oyuki joined them. They visited several market stalls around the city, and generally appreciated the culture.

Meanwhile, three brothers from the other mutant turtle family were preparing to assassinate a Jewish settler they recognized from previous encounters in Jerusalem. One of them was Darin (short for Darinatowalexeandelo), and he was the taller, more threatening one who had not introduced himself to Donatello. The other two were twins, younger than Darin but older than Simon, and their formal names were Jordan and Torrance, but everyone called them Jory and Tory. They knew and hated this particular man because they had witnessed him several times advocating the removal of Palestinians from Jerusalem, had witnessed him throw a bucket of pig's blood at a group of Muslim woman, and had seen him shoot a Palestinian child for stealing from the market. They had never been in a position to actually fight him, because of course they did not engage in public very much, but this particular night they had a gun and a clear shot of him, and were confident they could get away before the army showed up. It was also advantageous that it was the prayer time for Muslims, and so none were out at the market right now, and Darin could freely shoot as much as he wanted to be sure he hit the one guy, and not worry about hitting Muslims (he was not too concerned with innocent Jewish civilians). The twins kept watch that no one saw them from their hidden vantage point in a nearby alley, across from the crowded market.

The turtles split up at one market because Michelangelo wanted to try different food, Leo wanted to look at a form of martial arts set up in the middle, Splinter joined him, April and Oyuki went into a store by the street featuring cute hair accessories, Raphael and Ninjara went to do there own thing, and Donatello saw a souvenir shop featuring pieces of historic rocks and rare gems, and he went to study those. As fate would have it, so did a particular man with a history of throwing pigs blood on Muslim women and shooting Palestinian children. This man was not mean all the time to everyone, in fact he struck up a conversation with Donatello about the importance of a piece depicting Solomon's temple.

Although a ninja, Donatello had never been in a situation before where someone he was talking to was suddenly shot in the head. His shock caused him to delay one second too long, and a bullet went into his chest, while other bullets riddled the stand. The vendor immediately got away unhurt, and all the other people, quite used to explosions of violence, ran away screaming, but the market was so crowded and things so confusing that it didn't clear right away.

Just as Donatello was too late in realizing that he was being shot at, the twins were one second too late to stop Darin when they saw that it was one of the turtles standing next to the settler. Although the turtles were disguised pretty well to humans, the twins recognized them immediately from the way they wore their clothing and held things.

"Darin, stop!", Jory shouted.

"No, Darin", Tory interrupted his brother, seeing it was too late, "Give us cover fire! Keep the crowd moving and distracted!"

Darin didn't know what they were excited about, but they had the look-out position so he trusted their judgment and fired wildly in the air in different directions.

Both twins, hidden in cloaks, leaped out from the alley and, in the chaos, grabbed Donatello and carried him back. Even Splinter and the others could not tell what was going on and didn't see them through the frantic crowds. They had all ducked anyway, and tried to think of a rendezvous point.

"Oh no", Darin groaned, recognizing Donatello and seeing the bullet wound, "It's the same one we met last night. I didn't mean to shoot you kid."

Jory and Tory quickly tore off part of their cloaks to press to the bullet hole, which was started to bleed badly.

"You're not my brothers", Donatello mused, half dazed.

"No, we're not", Jory said.

"Don't worry, you'll be okay", Tory assured him.

"Where are my brothers?", Donatello asked, trying to get up.

"They probably got the fuck out of here like we need to", Darin answered.

Jory kept Donatello down and tried to calm him.

"Shit Darin", Tory exclaimed, "Nikki's going to kill us. We got to take him back, and maybe Simon can help him."

"Simon can't fix bullet holes! We can't take him back with us, then they'll all-"

"We have too", both twins retorted, and made it clear they weren't going to follow Darin's leadership on this one. Darin sighed and resolved to their fate.

All three of them very gently carried Donatello the few blocks to their home, a currently abandoned two-story building. It supposedly had a curse and had remained empty of human tenants for five years.

Donatello's' brothers did not know what was going on. The army was mobilized within minutes, they had no choice but to all return separately to the hotel, where they waited for Donatello to come. April and Oyuki took much longer to return, but they were fine although shaken. Donatello, of course, did not return. They turned on the news and after about an hour of conflicting reports it was confirmed that there had been only one casualty, a 46 year old Jewish man. Splinter felt things were not right, so he and the others returned to the market to try and investigate while April and Oyuki waited in the hotel in case Donatello returned.

Darin was greatly relieved when he and the twins came into their home with Donatello because Simon was there and Nikki was not. Nikki was short for Necromancer, who is Darin's twin and tends to be the leader of the group (much as Leonardo is for his brothers). Darin and Nikki are fraternal twins, looking and acting nothing alike. Simon also has a twin, a sister named Molly (they are, of course, fraternal).

Simon was so stunned to see what had happened to Donatello that Darin had to literally shake him and order him to get his medical supplies and get moving. The twins laid Donatello down on the nearest bed and continued trying to comfort him. Donatello constantly asked for his brothers because he was scared he was going to die with out seeing them. Simon soon brought every surgical instrument he had and organized the twins as nurses. He had them apply pressure to the wound, boil water and sterilize instruments, heat up the room to help ease Donatello's shock, and keep talking to him to keep him awake and alive.

He was still examining the wound to see how deep the bullet was when Nikki and Molly returned.

"What's going on here?", Nikki inquired very calmly.

"Darin shot him", Tory explained, pointing accusingly at Darin. Then he returned to sterilizing instruments. Darin was sulking in a corner.

Molly immediately began helping Simon.

"You what?", Nikki asked, still pretty calmly. He was working on keeping totally cool at all times because he found it unnerved other people.

"We had a chance at that fucker that threw the blood on those women, and I took it. I didn't know he was standing there, he was dressed like a Jew."

"You shot me because you thought I was a Jew?", Donatello interjected weakly.

"Yes", Darin replied bitterly.

Nikki found this to be really good practice at remaining calm.

"Darin..", he sighed. What could he say in the face of such recklessness. Darin had to know what a public assassination like that would do to the political life here, and so close to their house at that. And now he's shot one of the other turtles, and if he dies there's going to be a high price to pay for that.if he knew how much like Leonardo he was and how much like Raphael Darin was, he would have found the parallels of Leo's frustration and his own quite interesting.

"Hey, guys, I need more help here", Simon interrupted, "He's going to loose a lot of blood before I'm done here, I want to set up a transfusion. Someone needs to donate."

Before anyone said anything, Nikki proclaimed, "Darin, you shot him, you give him your blood. That will help make up for it."

Darin reluctantly volunteered his blood for donation, and Molly set it up (she had been training in medical expertise as well, although not as good as Simon).

"I want my brothers", Donatello asked again, "And Splinter. Where did you take me?"

Jory continued telling him that everything was fine, but Donatello wasn't so sure. The bullet wound was very, very, very painful, and he felt physically sick as well. His head hurt, he was dizzy even lying down and he wanted to throw up but it would be too much effort.

"Simon, if you don't need me here, I think I had better go get his brothers", Nikki said.

Molly almost stopped what she was doing.

"You're going to bring them back here?", she asked.

"I think I have to. He needs to see them, and Darin went ahead and joined our families through violence anyway, so why not?"

With out waiting for an answer, Nikki slipped out the room and headed for the hotel Darin and Simon reported they were staying in.

Molly tried to remain professionally focused on her work, but at the back of her mind she felt it all quite ironic that, after longing for male turtles who were not her brothers, she would be forced to meet them in a manner like this. They're probably going to blame all of them for what happened.

Darin blushed with shame at the jab Nikki had taken at his carelessness. After all this is over, he would have to think more carefully about whether it was worth it to take that one asshole's life.

Simon proceeded to try and extract the bullet while the twins and Molly kept Donatello nice and stable, using Darin's blood.

Part 4

Two hours had now passed since the incident, and the turtles had found no sign of Donatello. They did search the alley and saw traces of blood, but the army had combed through ahead of time and taken any other evidence. No one had returned to the market, and none of them were even sure where Donatello had been when the shooting broke out. At a loss for what to do, they returned to the hotel. Raphael wanted to find every bad guy in the area, question them and search their lairs until Donatello was found. Leonardo, of course, rejected this half-assed plan but didn't have any other. They had no contacts in the whole city to call on. Splinter barely managed to assure them Donatello was alive.

Suddenly a shadow appeared at the window. Quickly Splinter stepped forward, ready to meet it and the turtles and Ninjara took positions in all parts of the room.

"Can I come in? I have word about your brother", Nikki said.

"Donatello?", Leo clarified.

"I wasn't introduced, but yes, him. Can I come in? Its hard to talk holding onto the wall like this, and some one might see me."

Splinter and the others stepped aside and allowed Nikki entry. He bowed before Splinter, whom he guessed to be their sensei. He hoped he could make peace with all of them. Splinter returned the bow.

"My name is Necromancer-", he began, and removed his hood.

Leonardo, seeing that he was a turtle like Donatello described, and remembering the threats they had imposed on him, immediately lashed out with his sword. Splinter stopped him from stabbing Nikki.

"You tried to kill my brother last night! What did you do to him?!", Leo demanded, much to the surprise of the others, who knew nothing of Donatello's confrontation.

"Those were two of my brothers. I wasn't there", Nikki explained, backing into a wall submissively. As a show of respect and honor, he had not bought his sword or gun with him. He knew a lot of diplomacy was going to be required in this situation.

"What happened last night?", Mikey asked, a little hurt that he hadn't been told about something as important as threatening Donatello's life.

"Two of my brothers approached your brother last night, just to find out who you were and what you were doing here. One of my brothers is.a little rash, and he wanted to kill your brother if he was Jewish. I wasn't there at the time. They didn't hurt him."

"So, what is the word you are bringing us now?", Splinter asked, wanting anxiously to find Donatello.

"That.he was shot in the market, and he's at our home now. He wants to see you."

Raphael was about to ask more questions, but Splinter held him back.

"Please, take us there. We can inquire more later."

Nikki bowed again and they all quickly pulled on cloaks and rushed out of their. April and Oyuki were once again left in the hotel room because they did not have the agility required to climb, leap and slink to Nikki's home.

Nikki led the others into his house through one of the windows which, like the hotel window, faced a blank wall opposite. The neighborhood was generally deserted at night. They came into the apartment one at a time, and stared at the scene before them. By this time, Simon had removed the bullet, repaired any internal bleeding, patched the wound up and given Donatello a mild anesthetic to put him to safely to sleep for a while. Molly was monitoring his pulse and temperature. The others were seated on surrounding beds, waiting for Nikki's arrival and the tense fallout.

Splinter went to check for himself that Donatello was okay. They were all speechless from the sight of seeing him like that. Molly had never seen a giant rat, and instinctively cringed behind Simon when Splinter approached.

"I removed the bullet", Simon offered, mostly to Splinter since he couldn't meet the others eyes, "It went through his breast plate but it didn't get to his spine and it didn't hit any organs. The hardest part was if he bled to death, so I transfused some more blood into him. He's pretty steady now and I gave him so anesthesia because he was in a lot of pain. He'll probably wake up in a little while."

"How did you know what to do for him?", Splinter inquired.

"I.read a lot and I practice medicine. I test stuff on myself to see what happens with our bodies, you know? I don't do a lot of surgery, but I practiced dissecting things before."

"I see", Splinter replied, satisfied that Donatello had gotten good treatment, "Thank you for saving his life."

"Well, it's the least we could do, seeing as how Darin shot him", Nikki replied bitterly.

Darin blushed again, because now his whole family and Donatello's whole family turned to look at him. Splinter and the others didn't know any of the story, but when the others turned to Darin so did they.

"It was an accident. I'm sorry", he said.

"Perhaps we should be properly introduced, and then you can tell us what happened", Splinter suggested.

They went about formally introducing each other. Molly was so embarrassed that Simon introduced her so she didn't have to say anything. The novelty of meeting other mutant turtles close to their ages had lost something with the tragic situation.

"So", Splinter sighed after introductions were over, "Tell us how this happened."

Everyone looked to Darin, who didn't want to start.

After a minute of awkwardness, Splinter decided on a different approach.

"How old are all of you?"

For this everyone turned to Nikki to answer.

"Simon and Molly are 14, Jory and Tory are 16, and me and Darin are 18", he answered.

"And have you no mentor in this area?"

"No", Nikki replied after a minute, then added, "We had one, but he had to move away and we couldn't move with him."

"Is he the one who taught you your style of martial arts?"

"No", Nikki answered, "We were raised in Thailand, by Monks there. They taught us because they wanted us to be guards for the temple."

"And what happened?", Splinter inquired, glad that he now also understood their accent.

"The temple was overrun by another sect. That was three years ago, and we were too young to stop it. They didn't want the others to know about us, they got us out of there. We moved here, because we thought it would be safe and peaceful."

"It is if you don't shoot people", Raphael growled.

"We don't", Nikki insisted, "We didn't start all this shooting and bombing. We were in the middle the whole first year we came, even after the intafada we didn't take sides."

"And what compelled you to now take such a violent stance?", Splinter inquired. He thought if he could understand how young Buddhists were transformed into terrorists he could understand the world. Maybe he could bring them back to their peaceful roots.

"It just gets frustrating", Simon explained very heart felt, "When you visit here it looks like the Jews are under attack all the time, but when you live here a while, then you see that its not. Everyone blames the Arabs for breaking the peace, but Sharon started it by violating their Mosque last year and no one says anything about him. He was on TV talking about how he was going to show how tough he was by going there. I just.being raised the way I was I believe that you don't mess with other peoples places of worship."

"So you killed this guy and shot Donatello because Sharon visited a mosque?", Ninjara clarified. All this passion about worship were unfamiliar to her as her people practiced no religion.

"Like I said, you have to live here and then you'll see", Simon offered simply.

No one said anything for a while. Simons family couldn't think of anything more compelling to add, and Donatello's family was too sad and angry.

Finally, Darin said, "Look, Simon's right. I could tell you all the things that guy has done and what he represents but you still wouldn't understand why I shot him. And I couldn't tell you that I wouldn't do it again, even knowing what happened. I'm sorry that I can't act all rational and controlled like a Buddhist master or what ever."

"Do you believe in any teachings of peace anymore?", Splinter asked him.

"No.not really", he answered. Nikki hit him.

"We do too", Nikki said, realizing how ironic he sounded now after hitting his brother, "Its just hard to act on. There is fighting for self defense, and fighting to protect others. If we had been older we would have killed the sect that took over our temple. Here, if we tell the Palestinians to be peaceful they get killed, or moved away like our mentor guy, and if we tell the Jews they get angry, or they tell us we don't understand."

"And they get killed too", Raphael pointed out.

"What about the Christians?", Leo asked.

"There in another part of town. They don't get killed as much", Darin explained.

"Some of them support Israel and some of them support Palestine", Simon said.

"Actually, some of the Jews support Palestine too", Molly added. She would sometimes hang out in disguise and talk to Jewish girls her age.

Splinter closed his eyes and thought. Leo did the same, wondering what Splinter was thinking about. Michelangelo was very depressed, seeing other turtles his age so violent. Raphael was angry still at Donatello's needless shooting and the murder of the man. Ninjara found the whole thing very bizarre. She had once been on the side of evil, but what these six were doing was a little different from evil.

For their part, Nikki and the others sat on the beds and waited for Splinter to say something. Nikki was a little nervous that Splinter was thinking so hard, it indicated a hard question, like whether to kill them or something.

It was Donatello who broke the silence by waking up.

Part 5

"Leo, Leo", he called, because he was closest. Of course Splinter and the others all came to him and comforted him. Nikki and the others gathered on the other side of the room to allow them more privacy. Splinter greeted Donatello, and spent a minute talking to him and gave him something for the pain, and then left him to his brothers.

"Necromancer", Splinter beckoned.

"Yeah?", Nikki replied hesitantly.

"Do you have any tea?"

"Yeah.yeah, we do. What kind?"

"It doesn't matter what kind. I wish to discuss something over tea with you."

"Sure, okay", Nikki agreed.

Nikki made two cups of black tea with a touch of honey reserved for special occasions and went onto the roof of the building with Splinter. He was pretty sure that Splinter wasn't taking him there to kill him, but just in case he told Darin to come looking for him in ten minutes or so.

On the roof Splinter slowly drank the tea and said nothing for a few minutes. Nikki was so nervous he finished all his tea, and then sat awkwardly fiddling with his cloak.

"I was wondering if you and your family would come back to New York with us?", Splinter finally said.

"You want us to come with you? After we nearly killed Donatello? Why?"

"I am worried about you here. In New York you would not have to go down this path of violence. We could help you."

"Oh", Nikki sighed.

After a minute he said, "I don't think we could do that."

"Why not?", Splinter inquired.

"Because.I believe were doing the right thing by being here. I mean Darin was.undisciplined, but overall were helping people and I can't leave that."

"What have you done here besides cause more turmoil?"

Nikki thought a minute.

"You're Americans, right?", he asked.

"I was born in Japan, but I lived in America for twenty years now", Splinter replied.

"Well, as Buddhists we've all studied history in other countries, especially violence because we were suppose to understand it to avoid it. We studied the revolution in China, the murders in El Salvador, the war between Iran and Iraq, and we studied a lot in America. In America, there were slaves, not that long ago, all the black people were slaves, and then they were free but couldn't move around or get jobs. In the 60's people put their lives on the line to change that. Even now there are still riots in your country over it. Would you tell people in the 60's not to be a part of fighting for their freedom?"

"I believe this is a different situation. The Palestinians are not slaves for Israel. The freedom fighters of the 60s united with all Americans, it did not target the white ones. And this is a question of whether this area should be for the Jews or the Palestinians. I do not believe you can solve that question with more violence."

"I have a better example", Nikki said eagerly, "The Native Americans, also in your country. It's the same situation, where a bunch of people said they needed to live there and just slaughtered them all, and when they made treaties they broke them, and now all your native peoples live in little reservations surrounded by the rest of the country. That's what they have here. And (he chimed in enthusiastically) now all the Americans are like, "We shouldn't have killed them all like that, that was really bad of us" but back when they were doing it all the news and everything was that the natives are all savages and evil and God favored the white people. Back then, when the native people finally had enough of being nice and peaceful and might raid a town or kill some settlers, and maybe they didn't do it nice and properly, then that would be shown as proof that their all savages and justify getting rid of them! That's what happens here. It's exactly like that, except the Palestinians aren't driven out yet and we need to stop it!"

Darin had come in while Nikki was preaching and quietly sat down next to him, looking to Splinters reaction.

"Israel even pays people to come here and settle on it to drive out the Palestinians. That's what America did to, they paid people to go out West and build farms to drive out the Indians", Darin chimed in when Splinter didn't say anything.

Finally Splinter replied, "I see you have a lot of passion in this."

"Yes, we do", Nikki and Darin answered together, something they rarely do.

Splinter finished his tea.

"If you will not consider coming to New York, then please allow me to leave you with this from the Dalai Lama: 'The difficulty with violence is (that) once you commit it, it's unpredictable'."

"Okay", Nikki agreed, not really committing to the quote.

"Please consider your path carefully", Splinter emphasized.

"I'll try", Darin assured him.

Part 6

They left the rooftop and returned to the room with the others. Although Donatello had to stay with them for two weeks before he was strong enough to leave their bed and return to America, they did not develop a close friendship with any of the turtles. Raph in particular was angry at the position the other turtles held, and would have turned them in had they been human. Leo managed to have one argument with Nikki about the use of guns being fucked up in general. Simon played lots of board games with Donatello while he was in bed, and they seemed to have a lot in common but the friendship did not develop beyond that because Donatello was afraid of his brothers and the violence surrounding them. Mike hung out with Jory and Tory some, got some great ideas for practical jokes to play on his brothers later, and had one deep conversation about what their future held for them. Splinter managed one more last-ditch effort to change them into peaceful beings with a mediating session they all attended, but they came out of it feeling more committed to Palestine's' liberation than ever (the twins actually went so far as to suggest they had the peace of mind now to become suicide bombers, which Splinter didn't appreciate at all even after they assured him they were joking). When the ninja turtles returned to New York, they never saw the other group again.

And Molly did not sleep with any of them, even though after they left she really wished she had.