Weeks had passed since Karai's mutation into a snake. When she had arrived back to her father in such a state, he became furious. Furious at what the Kraang had done to his own daughter. She didn't tell him the whole story, keeping her promise she made to the turtles.
Saki initiated a call to the brain-like alien from a communicator that was given to him.
Said alien answered the call, the communicator projecting him to Saki.
"Commander Kraang," Saki started.
"Shredder! How nice of you to message me." Kraang teased the ninja.
"Quit the small talk. I have something very important to discuss with you." Saki snapped.
Kraang put up his arms in the air, "Calm down, no need to get all worked up."
"Why did you mutate my daughter?!" Saki questioned him.
"Mutate?" Kraang said, a bit confused.
"Do not play dumb with me Kraang! I know you kidnapped my daughter and mutated her! I want answers kraang or our alliance will be severed!" Saki threatened him, showing off his bladed gauntlet to the unphased alien.
"I can't deny it. I did indeed mutate your daughter but! With the new alterations made by the mutagen, it has made your daughter even stronger than before. I made her twice the soldier she was before." Kraang responded nonchalantly.
"Why?" Saki asked.
"You are someone who wants the best of the best. You want to end those turtles as much as I do. So I thought mutating your daughter would help increase those chances of victory." Kraang explained, "Especially after the failure that your 'elites' committed with those robots I had sent you."
"You will pay for this Kraang," Saki told him, he's had enough of the pink alien.
"We'll see about that, Shredder. Now I have some important business to attend to. Ciao!"
The line was cut, the projection retreated back into the communicator. Out a fit of anger, Saki threw the communicator to the ground, cracking the marble floor on impact.
"I told you they could not be trusted."
Saki looked up from the floor to be met with Cheng entering the room, his staff in one hand with tea in the other.
"I know, Cheng." Saki said, not in the mood for his company at the moment.
"Not enough! I told you the moment that monstrosity stepped foot here that you shouldn't trust them. And look at what happened, your own daughter became like one of those disgusting mutants!" Cheng argued.
"That is enough Cheng!" Saki snapped at the old man who seemed unfazed by the outburst.
"Your father would have been ashamed of you." Cheng said before making his way back towards the door.
"You have no right to talk about my father like that!" Saki snapped again.
"No right?! I have the right to talk about your father! I was his chunin! One of his elites! The one person he knew he could trust! I was there during his reign of power and his downfall! So don't think I cannot speak about your father when it is you who cannot! You never met your father, so how would you know anything about him?!" Cheng snapped back.
Saki was taken back by Cheng's words but knew them to be true. Saki could only turn his back against the old mystic. Cheng's mouth curved up.
"If it wasn't for this aging body, I would have taken charge of the Foot myself." Cheng said before retreating from the room, leaving Saki alone with his thoughts.
Sometimes he just couldn't stand Cheng.
The sound of a rolling skateboard filled the streets that led to the outskirts of the city, the Mutant City. Michelangelo skated through the mass crowd of people. The streets were bustling with mutants, food vendors on every corner, and small shops littered most of the streets.
Mikey continued his way through the streets and into the central plaza where many of the locals spent their time relaxing. He passed by the plaza, greeting those back who had called out to him.
He arrived shortly at the local skating park. He entered the fenced-in area and searched for someone.
The turtles usually don't come down to the mutant city unless visiting friends and that's exactly what Mikey was doing. His eyes darted from person to person until he landed on the one he was looking for. His face brightened to a smile as his friend came up to him, skateboard in hand.
"Yo Mondo!" Mikey happily greeted.
His friend is a short yet older, yellow with blue and green patterned, gecko. Mikey met Mondo during their preteens in the mutant city. Like the orange turtle, Mondo was human before he had mutated into a gecko. Because of his mutation, however, his family had disowned him as a child. People still hadn't understood the whole deal about mutants and so they feared them, chasing them away. Mondo happened to be one of the unlucky ones, but that doesn't bother him. He's happier without his parents.
"Mikey! It's been a while. You ready to spread that art around the city?" Mondo greeted him back.
"Always dude!" Mikey responded.
"Follow me bruh, I found this wall that is perfect," Mondo said to the mutant.
Both mutants grabbed their skateboards and started making their way out of the city, Mondo taking the lead.
They arrive at that perfect spot that Mondo had said about. They were in an alleyway far beyond the city that had a dead end. The wall of one of the buildings was blank like a fresh piece of paper, a perfect canvas for Mikey to go wild.
"This is perfect!" Mikey exclaimed to his scaly friend.
"I told you! So, what you gonna fill it up with?" Mondo asked him as he took a seat on top of boxes that were laying on the ground.
"You'll see," Mikey told him.
Mikey set his skateboard on the opposite wall besides Mondo's and takes off the backpack he had with him this entire time. He sets it down next to him and opens the zipper. He pops a stick of gum in his mouth and put a set of headphones on his head. He played his favorite playlist and grabbed a can and shook it. He began his work.
Tang Shen sat on the couch in the middle of the living room of their home, her legs crisscrossed with Donatello's laptop on her lap. Unrolled scrolls, paper notes, and coffee stains and mug were strewn about the coffee table. Shen grabs her mug and takes a sip of the drink as she scrolled down the current webpage she was on.
Donatello walks into the living room as he searches for his missing laptop when he spots it in his mother's lap. He perches from behind the couch, setting his weight on his arms as they lay on top of the couch.
"So that's where my laptop's been." He says, gaining his mother's attention.
"Oh, sorry." Shen apologized. "Do you need it back?"
"No, I was just wondering where it went," Don replied.
The purple turtle observed the clutter around his mother and read the webpage she was currently on. It was a Japanese website that seemed to focus on ancient ninja clans; the Foot Clan to be exact. This piqued his interest. Why would she be researching them?
"What's all this?" He asks as he takes a seat next to his mother, not ripping her gaze off of the screen.
"I'm searching for something," Shen answered. "Something about what Karai and I talked about had kept me a bit uneasy."
"Really? Like what? That Shredder wants to rip us into tiny shreds." Donnie replied sarcastically.
"Besides that one. She mentioned someone by the name of Cheng and it sounded familiar."
Donnie looked down at the scrolls before him and took notice of a very worn scroll hidden beneath the others. He leaned his arm out to grab it. "What're all these for?"
"Scrolls that I took before I left Japan. Some of them date back to almost the conception of the clan." She explained.
"Cool." Donnie unrolled the scroll in his hand and was surprised at its very well kept condition, even though the outside of the paper seemed worn the inside remained as it did many centuries ago. He began to read the text.
To whomever reawakens the first blood... shall release the ancient evil once defeated long ago.
Mind and body can be replaced but a soul cannot.
If this evil is to be eradicated, one must venture into the land of souls and destroy the demon from within.
"Destroy the demon from within? What the hell does that suppose to mean?" Don questioned.
"That scroll is connected to an ancient legend and prophecy about the Foot Clan," Shen explained.
"The first jonin of the Foot Clan had sold his soul to the yokai and granted him their power, which he used to conquer all of Japan. The Hamato Clan, alongside other clans, banded together to put a stop to him. And while they stopped his reign, they could no fully defeat him. While his body was destroyed his soul was not as he casted a spell that one of his descendants will reawaken him and resume what he had done. Thus his body was locked away, protected by all ninja clans to prevent the prophecy from becoming a reality."
"And do you believe it?"
"Of course not, even if your grandfather told me and your father otherwise." Her face soured at the mention of Yutta.
Donnie could feel his mother's distaste for the man. From what he was told, he was pretty glad they never met their grandfather. He leaned back into the couch as he relaxed his body into the cushions. He turned his head slightly, "Was that another reason why he was so hard on you and dad?"
Shen took a moment to answer, "Yes. And it was the main reason why he forced your father to rule over the clan."
She huffed as she closed the laptop in front of her. "Why am I even worrying over some little ghost story?" She said in frustration. "This is stupid."
"I don't think it's stupid," Donnie reassured her. "With everything that's happened... Kraang, shredder... it's better to be prepared than not. Besides, an ancient evil guy coming back to life sounds more plausible now than it would've like a year ago."
Shen smiled, "Thanks."
"Why the sudden worry?" He asked.
"Karai had mentioned someone named Cheng, a mystic within the Foot and someone who was there when the Hamato Clan struck down the Foot way back when." She explained. "She told me how she hated how Cheng often manipulates Saki into doing some of his biddings."
"Manipulates?" Donnie mumbled.
"I know this might just be pure paranoia but just something about him and that doesn't sit well with me." She said, a hint of worry in her voice.
Donnie looked down again at the scroll still in his hand before asking, "So this scroll, what does it mean in regards to the legend?"
"It's like instructions on how to defeat the demon if he were to ever be reawakened. One must travel to the astral plane and destroy his soul there to truly defeat him." She explained. "I should start training you all in the astral plane, just in case."
"Great, more training." He said sarcastically which earned him a good slap to his arm. "Kidding!"
They both sit in the comforting silence of their home, the only sound of passing subway and the busy streets above keeping the sewers from being completely quiet.
Shen takes a deep breath before sighing, "Look at how much worse things have gotten in such a short amount of time. I hate how much we've fallen into the rabbit hole."
"It sucks... having the constant weight of fear looming over us. Not knowing if he will come out and..." Donnie didn't even dare finish that thought. Flashbacks of when he thought he was going to die by the hands of him came flooding into his brain. His body shuddered in response and his chest tightened, his breathing becoming slightly hitched.
Shen places her hand on top of his, the touch instantly calming him down. He leaned his head on top of hers, feeling himself relax into her motherly warmth. Donnie isn't someone to give affection but just having his mother sitting next to him with her hand on his is enough for him to feel calm.
They did not speak, just letting each other embrace the comforting silence around them. Something inside them told them to stay put for a little while more, as if something was going to happen.
Mondo watched in awe as Mikey poured his heart and soul into the paint. Spray can after spray can did he use to create another masterpiece. Mixing all of the colors in his backpack from a blob of color to a beautiful image.
As Mikey continued his work, he decided to converse with his friend. "So what's been happening, man? Anything exciting lately?" He asked.
"Nah, man. Same old same old. Still the pizza delivery boy." Mondo responded.
"Don't you get tired of that?" Mikey asked.
"Sometimes but I don't usually think about it. It lets me take stuff easy and focus on my music." Mondo said.
Mikey stepped back once he was done and admired his work. The wall was covered with the words "ninja turtles," while sporting his brother's weapons beside it with a few slices of pizza here and there.
He turned to face his scaly friend, "So, what do you think?"
"I like it! Ninja turtles, huh? You've been running around playing hero, haven't ya?" Mondo told him as he got off the boxes and went in closer to observe the masterpiece.
"Yeah, gotta take down those ninjas and alien robots," Mikey admitted to his friend.
"You know that reminds me, some weird stuff's been happening recently," Mondo said aloud, sparking interest in his younger friend.
"What weird stuff?" Mikey asked him while putting away the spray cans back into his backpack.
"For the past couple months, mutants have been... disappearing," Mondo told him, a bit hesitant.
"Yeah, nobody knows why. Everybody's just been careful not to stay out too long, especially at night." Mondo explained, crossing his arms.
"Woah… that's not good." Mikey responded as he began to gaze into oblivion.
As Mikey stared into space, his mind began wondering. He started speculating if any of these disappearings had anything to do with the Kraang. He knew some mutants had been gone for a while but never thought it to be serious. But why would the Kraang want to kidnap mutants if they were already kidnapping humans? This was too much for his brain to process, just so many things the kraang have been doing that it's just becoming too much.
Mondo took notice of Mikey's floating mind and put his hand on his shoulder and shook out of his trance, startling the orange turtle.
"Something wrong, dude?" The gecko asked concerned.
"You don't look rad. I know something's going on." Mondo said.
Mikey turned his head away, rubbing the back of his neck, "Sorry, it's just… a lot's been going on recently. It's… a lot to take in."
"You know you can talk to me," Mondo said. Mikey turned to him and smiled genuinely.
"I know, and thanks. Just…" He gave a pause, "I-It feels like everyone's out to get us. It's stressing everyone out because every time we hit the roofs we have to keep on our toes, making sure we don't let anyone sneak up on us and kill us."
"My bros haven't exactly been straight, I know they're stressing about what's going on. They don't show it but I know."
"Things have gotten worse since we fought Shredder, that one dude I told you about last time. Not only has he got his soldiers looking for us throughout the city, but he's also made an alliance with the kraang, the robot aliens. They want us dead and we almost were a couple times."
"That's rough, dude." Mondo was all he could say, stilling trying to process everything his turtle friend said. He knew that all of this took a toll on him.
"Sometimes I just want things to go back to the way they were before all of this happened, ya know? Go back to the time where everyone is not out to kill us." Mikey admitted, his hand in his pocket and his head bent down where his hat could cover half his face.
"I'm not a guy who gives comfort but..." Mondo puts a hand on top of the young turtle's shoulder, "...things will get better. How do you think I've made it this far?"
Mikey turns to face him only to see a smile plastered on his face. Mikey returns the smile warmly.
"Thanks, dude." He replies.
"Anything for you bro."
They both share a much-needed hug. Though Mondo wasn't usually someone who would go out of their way to display affection, he would make an excuse to his closest friend. After a moment or two, they separated from the hug.
"Let's go, I don't wanna be late to my- what?!" Mondo was cut off as he laid his eyes on something coming behind them.
Both reptiles turn around to see a small group of Kraang robots, three to be exact, approaching them, guns in hand and ready to fire.
"Kraang!" Mikey blurted out.
"Kraang?!" Mondo repeated, not entirely sure what was happening.
"Do not struggle mutants." One of the droids said.
Mikey grabbed his nunchucks from their holster before hurdling towards the robots.
The Kraang began to fire at the mutant turtle but he was too fast for them, dodging each and every time they fired their guns.
Climbing up the wall, parkour-style, Mikey propelled himself off the wall and kicked down a robot before moving on to destroy the other two.
After getting his nunchuck unstuck from the robot, he took a moment to regain himself, bending over with his hands on his knees.
"What were those?!" Mondo blurted out to his ninja friend.
"The Kraang," Mikey straightened himself, "The alien robots I told you about…"
"Wait! Those are real?! You weren't joking?!" Mondo asked him much to the surprise of the orange turtle.
"No." Mikey said blankly as Mondo gave himself time to process this.
"You don't think they could be the ones responsible for the kidnappings?" Mondo speculated.
"Maybe but why would they?" Mikey asked himself, but knew he wouldn't figure it out on his own. He grabbed his backpack then turned to his gecko friend.
"Mondo, I need you to stay safe okay. If you ever see these guys again, get away from them as fast as you can." Mikey warned him.
"I got it, bruh," Mondo replied in agreement much to the relief of Mikey.
"Come on, let's go before more show up," Mikey said before leading the way out of the alley.
It had become night sooner than expected for the mutant gecko. He was on his way home from work delivering pizza around the city. As he was about to make his way down to the subway to catch his ride home, he heard a strange noise come from the dark alleyway just a few yards ahead. He decided to investigate even though in the back of his mind he thought that this was a bad idea.
He came up to the source of the sound and saw nothing suspicious in the alleyway, just a stray cat looking for its next meal. He sighed in relief and turned to head back to the subway.
Before he could make it to the sidewalk, his jacket was grabbed from behind and pulled back. Although he got free by taking off his jacket, he was shot by a tranq dart in his neck. As the contents flowed through his body, his sight began to blur, his head began to spin and his legs couldn't hold him up anymore. He collapsed to the ground before he was dragged into the darkness of the alleyway.