NOTE: This takes place after "Turtles Forever" and is book ten of a ten-book series. The other books in the series include: "So Long, No Thanks For All The Fish", "My Seer, My Secretary", "Raphael Counts 'Em All", "The Lotus and The Sun", "Mutants and Miracles", "The Flies That Came To Dinner", "The Dreggs of Society", "A Radical Portrait of Dimension X", "The Well-Mannered Way"
Disclaimer: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are trademarked by Nickelodeon. Character from the 1987 TMNT animated series are trademarked by Fred Wolf. All original characters are mine
High atop the rooftops of the hazy New York Skyine, four brothers known collectively as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, were facing a pressing problem as one of their number sought to alleviate the boredom of an evening surveillance mission.
"I'm being totally straight with you bro" Michelangelo said with a hint of apprehension, "it's THIS size" he continued, forming a small circle with the tips of his fingers.
"That's impossible" his brother Leonardo replied. "I could run a few tests on it" Donatello suggested, "Don't you DARE" Leonardo said, cutting him off.
"You're lucky she's interested in something that small. Most women I know can't go a month without large quantities" Raphael added with his usual brand of cynical wit. "If only she'd ASK me" Michelangelo continued, "I could take precautions…prep myself up for the intake"
"But you know the first place to look for….THOSE particular methods" Donatello added.
"I'm totally street dude" Michelangelo insisted, "You'd be surprised at what I know about those places"
"But if she INSISTS on the size, why would you want to disappoint her?" Leonardo probed
The door to the rooftop opened, and in walked the Turtles sensei, Master Splinter.
"Is something the matter my students" Splinter asked, sensing the discord.
Raphael swiftly elbowed Michelangelo. "Why don't you stick it out short man?" he said
"What is the matter Michelangelo?" Splinter asked of his student. Michelangelo rocked back and forth apprehensively, before finally revealing all to his master.
"This" he said, producing a small slice of Pizza from his shell.
"Pizza?" Splinter asked in befuddlement.
"Michelangelo's a little down because his usual size of pizzas have been cut down by the local pizzeria" Donatello explained, "Something to do with 'National Dieting Week'. He learned April wanted to try it as part of a story on how good it is to eat less"
"April agreed to a dinner date in exchange for us giving anonymous interviews about the corrupt Foot Clan. " Leonardo added, "Mikey drew the short straw so he's up for the interview and he thought he'd give April something for her story too, as well as something for his stomach"
"I just don't think it's big enough for me and April to share" Michelangelo said, still awash with concern, "She might get a little funny about it"
"Worry not my student" Splinter advised, "In April's case, the size of your heart outweighs any morsel. I am sure she will understand that you had the best of intentions"
Michelangelo felt a little better about his situation, but just a little.
And then something else came over him.
Not hesitation, nor unease, but Déjà vu.
"Woah guys, there it is again" he said.
"What's come around again?" asked Leonardo.
"The feeling we've gone down this maze before" said Michelangelo.
"Come to think of it, I do feel like we're climbing up the same steps...this feels like ages ago" replied Donatello.
"Fragments of each passing day rely so much on routine, the cycle of repetition can sometimes cast a strong shadow over the fresh purpose of the day" Splinter advised.
"Maybe ol' Mike here is counting up all the days after he shares a pizza" Raphael remarked, nudging Michelangelo on the shoulder, "Before you know it, it'll be the toothbrush"
"Geez, why do I feel even that sounds so right?" muttered Michelangelo.
"I just hope we learn where this Technodrome, or whatever Oroku Saki calls his base of operations, is. We barely survived the flooding of an entire building just learning the very name of it" Leonardo said, looking out at an apartment building a few inches north of where they were stationed.
Raphael tried to reassure him all would be well.
"Relax, this Saki creep isn't going to get the drop on us. We've prepared all our lives to deal with whatever kind of foot gets stuck up this city's toosh. That's why we're keeping an eye on April's apartment. She can rest her weary eyes knowing us four Turtles are watching her like...well, I'd say hawks, but I like tooting the Turtle horn 'cause that's what we are"
A ferocious bang suddenly made everyone turn in the vicinity of the apartment complex, a large torrent of fire burst forth from the building.
"Turtles, to action" commanded Leonardo without hesitation.
"Hang on April" uttered Splinter as his four adopted children sprang into action and leapt from the edge of the rooftop and leapt with precision care, somersalting in mid-air and rolling on the base of the rooftop of the lower building.
Once they found their footing, the Turtles kicked open the door of the fire escape with determined ferocity and stepped inside the building, armed for combat and ready for anything.
They entered a complex ablaze.
Raging fires coursed through the corridors, and marching up and down them were foes most familiar to the Turtles.
"Those are the Shredder's foot soldiers" observed Donatello as the rampaging robots in purple hoods caught sight of them.
Donatello realized hesitatation was no option as the Soldier advanced.
"Attack" he bellowed, and gave the soldier a swift stab to the chest with his bo staff followed by a leaping kick to the sternum that sent the robot carrering into a wall and exploding.
A second Foot Soldier dived in after Donatello and kicked him to the curb. Leonardo made the save for his brother, stabbing the soldier with his blade, grabbing it by the collar, and hoisting it across the corridors.
Doors burst open and more Foot Soliders appeared. One of them reached out and grabbed Donatello from behind. Raphael and Michelangelo grappled with his assailant, attempting to get him to release the hold, while Leonardo fended off another advancing soldier who was in possesion of shruikens.
He succesfully deflected some of them as they were launched in the hapless Donatello's direction.
Donatello managed to slip out of the Soldier's grip as Michelangelo and Raphael continued to barrage it with blow after blow, and a swift somersalt, his bo staff twirling like a cyclone, was enough to finish the soldier off and it exploded.
The Turtles made their way past a flight of stairs, and very narrowly avoided being sqaushed by several large bowling balls.
"Us famous four nearly became a perfect ten for others" remarked Raphael as they advanced further down the trecherous corridor.
More Soldiers burst out from the apartment doors, each room seemed to be alight, and there were no signs of the other tenants.
"Any idea what could have happened to everyone else in this apartment?" asked Leonardo.
"You'd think the central heating in here would be their first warning to clear out" replied Raphael.
The Turtles battled thier way past the apartment raiders and strolled past elevators, which also contained Foot Soliders. Each platoon they encountered seemed to be akin to sleeping giants...activated at first notification of their prescense in their company. The Turtles were ready for them, the battle was joined once more, but this time something else was quick to surface from beneath the floor and menace them.
A grey robot riding on one wheel opened a tiny compartment in it's chest and threw out a grappling hook that wrapped itself around Leonardo, and gave it a powerful electric shock.
"Don't make any trouble for yourself" the robot replied.
"Wow, talk about the long arm of the lawless" remarked Michelangelo.
"Careful Raph, that thing packs a punch" Leonardo cautioned as Raphael approached it.
The robot whipped out a strand of tentacle like whips for hands and sped towards the Turtle, Raphael took a few hits, but kept it together. The robot's chest compartment opened again and a laser beam emitted from a tiny gun it produced.
The blast grazed Raphael's shoulder, this was enough to irk him, and he approached the droid with a decisivie kick and two punches to the top of it's domed head. A few more hits and the droid ultimately subcumbed to the damage and vanished in a small explosion.
The Turtles heard a scream coming from the final apartment room just ahead of them. It was the unmistakble voice of April O'Neil.
They entered the room, and found April backed into a corner being menaced by more Foot Soliders, and a blazing inferno encircling her, cutting her off from the fire escape nearby.
"Hold on sweetheart, the calvary's coming" Michelangelo replied.
"Hey, nobody only a few hours known to me gets to call me sweetheart , you need to learn some rules of engagement before a professional date mister" said April
"Yeah, I guess...don't ask me why I'm getting this feeling from, it's like years have passed for me in all that time" he said.
"He's been reading way too much of that sliding time scale junk in the comic books" remarked Raphael.
More Foot Soldiers advanced on the Turtles, some of them carrying blades and flame throwers. They also met a swift end courtesy of the speed and skill of their amphibian adversaries.
Just when it looked like the coast was clear, a rumbling sound emitted from the center of the room, and a massive tunneling device rose up from the floor. The door to the machine slid open, and out stepped, armed with a laser rifle, a hulking horned abomination the likes of which the Turtles should by all rights had never seen the like of, but every unfathomable instinct in their bodies was telling them they had seen in many a lifetime.
They just weren't sure when and where.
"The name's Rocksteady, up here, I'm God, so say your prayers Toitles" uttered the horned horror.