VISIT TO A WEIRD DIMENSION
By Erin "Raphael" O'Connell
This is a crossover story between the SWATKats and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It is a work of fiction and any resemblance to anyone, living or dead, is purely coincidental. All characters are the respective properties of their originators.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with either set of characters, the SWATKats are a pair of Kats, who, for the purposes of this story, live on a planet in Dimension X. Without going into major details (if you want the full story, try to catch the episode "Wrath of Dark Kat), they are Jake Clawson and Chance Furlong (Razor & T-Bone are their SWATKat alter egos). After being "let go" from the Enforcers (the elite law enforcement group that protected the Kats' home, MegaKat City), they had formed their own "vigilante" team. From the military scrap found around their HQ in the MegaKat Salvage Yard, they've built many items necessary for crime fighting.
The Ninja Turtles (Michaelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo & Donatello) were ordinary pet turtles until an encounter with a some mutagen changed them into humanoid-like turtles. They live in the sewers (smelly, yes, but the rent's good) of New York City, with their Sensei, Master Splinter (himself a mutated rat). Not widely accepted by the human population, they tend to keep to themselves, and when they do venture into the human world, it's usually in disguise. For more information, check out "The Epic Begins".
This story takes place sometime after the second season of the SWATKats and sometime between the fifth & sixth CBS season of the Turtles (i.e. no new mutations, Dregg or Carter -- which should make some of you happy).
THANK YOU TO:
The various writers on the SWATKats mailing list, for inspiring me to begin this story, the writers on the TMNT list, for inspiring me to continue writing after I'd put the story aside for a while and, oddly enough, the writers of the Gargoyles fanfics (reading some of those great stories always seemed to put me in a writing mood).
Special thanks to Simon Leets & DJ Clawson for allowing me to paraphrase their "T-Bone's Stakes" and "Reunion" stories, respectively, (if you haven't already read 'em, go find 'em -- they're good!) and additional thanks to DJ for the critique (not to mention the long distance phone call to discuss the story -- I owe you one!
Lastly, extra special thanks to Christian & Yvon Tremblay, Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird for creating the characters we all know and love so much!
Constructive criticism is always welcome (flames will be ignored).
Let me know whatcha think! Who knows? There may be a sequel!
Are you seated comfortably? Good, then we'll begin:
It was a dark and stormy night (actually, it wasn't-I've just always wanted to begin a story like that). In reality, it was a fine evening, just the sort of night you'd want to be heading out for pizza, and that's exactly what the Ninja Turtles were doing.
"Whoa, dudes, I can't wait to get to Vinnie's and scarf some pizza. I think I'll start with anchovy/butterscotch, then maybe, dill pickle/peanut butter. How about you, amigos?" said Mike, eyes twinkling mischievously, or with hunger -- with Michaelangelo it was always hard to tell, behind his orange eye mask.
"Well, that depends", snarled Raph good naturedly, "on whether or not you intend to leave any for the rest of us."
Leo & Don agreed. While all of the turtles loved pizza, Mike definitely was the connoisseur. As they walked along, Donatello looked up at the skies. As resident genius he liked all things scientific, and enjoyed checking out the stars for the evening's constellations. What he saw, however, was not quite what he had been expecting. Off in the distance, he could see what looked like a mini-tornado.
"Guys?" he pointed towards it, "Look over there." The others turned to look and were just as surprised as Don to see the swirling vortex.
"That looks suspicious," Leo mused, "Let's go check it out."
Leo, Don & Raph headed towards the vortex. Michaelangelo hung back.
"But, what about the pizza?" Mike asked.
Donatello whipped out his Turtle-Communicator, which also served as mini-computer, and pointed its scanner towards the swirling vortex, which suddenly seemed to be switch directions -- heading towards them.
"You know, if I didn't know better," he said thoughtfully, looking at the readouts on his Turtle-Comm, "I'd say that was one of Krang & Shredder's dimensional portals." Krang & Shredder were the enemies of the Turtles - Krang a bodiless brain from Dimension X, where Krang and Shredder were currently stranded thanks to the Turtles and Shredder a human.
Donatello stood transfixed, staring at the vortex. His thoughts were interrupted by Raphael.
"Donatello, I don't think now is the time for study, unless you want a one-way ticket to Dimension X!"
Don shook his head, as if to clear it, and turned to run behind Leo and Mike. The guys ran down the nearest alleyway, towards the manhole at the end of the alley. The tornado-like vortex followed them down the alley.
"Well, at least we know that this is DEFINITELY Krang & Shredder's doing", Donatello said as they ran.
"Thanks, Don", Raph replied, "that really puts my mind at ease!"
Mike got to the manhole cover first, pulled up the lid and held it open, allowing Leo, then Don to jump down. Raphael was about to follow, when he was swept away. Mike scrambled to grab anything that was anchored down and had almost gotten a good grip on the top rung of the ladder leading into the sewer when he followed his brother through the portal.
"NO!" Leonardo would have climbed back out if Don had not stopped him. As leader, Leo felt a certain responsibility for protecting his brothers, and having two of them swept away by a dimensional portal, most likely by their worst enemy, was definitely not what Leo would consider "proper protection". In fact, to Leo, it was more like failure -- and failure was the one thing Leo did not handle well.
"What am I going to tell Master Splinter?" he thought.
Donatello's voice snapped him out of it. "This is all my fault. We would all have had plenty of time to get away if I hadn't stopped to study that thing."
Leo thought for a moment before speaking. "Actually, Don, that might provide the means to get them back. We can use the readings you took in your pan-dimensional portal generator...does it still work?"
"It never worked."
"It's got to work...it's their only ticket home!"
With that, Leo and Don ran back to their lair to get started.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Dimension X......
For the SWATKats, today started out like any other day, after some practice runs in the TurboKat, the guys had settled in at home for what was supposed to be a fairly relaxing day. For the moment, they had no vehicles in the shop to work on and Chance was preparing to watch four back-to-back episodes of "Skaredy-Kat" while Jake was out in the hangar, doing some "work" on the TurboKat. Suddenly, the alarm in the hangar went off -- someone was calling the SWATKats. Now, much like the Turtles, the SWATKats trusted very few others and there was one whom they trusted enough to give a communicator to -- Deputy Mayor Calico Briggs. It didn't hurt that she was a "looker" and the guys both had slight crushes on her.
"What's up Miss Briggs?" asked "Razor" (Jake's alter ego).
"Plenty, Razor. It looks like the Pastmaster up to something again. Check out the Katseye news flash on TV"
Jake ran to where Chance lay sprawled on the couch, laughing as Skaredy-Kat was blown up by yet another bomb. Jake grabbed the remote from him and changed the channel.
"Hey! What gives? I was watching that!" There was very little that Chance disliked more than having his Skaredy-Kat reruns interrupted.
"Callie wants us to watch this news break."
Chance's expression softened. On the TV appeared the face of Ann Gora: "..and there you have it. Apparently, the Pastmaster has opened yet another gateway between here and some other world or time, and...oh, here's Commander Feral of the Enforcers. Commander, what are the Enforcers doing to stop the Pastmaster?"
The TV panned to show Commander Feral's face. Jake moved quickly to stop Chance from throwing something at the TV, they had already been through too many televisions thanks to Chance's temper.
"I would like to tell ALL of the citizens of MegaKat City to stay inside their homes where it's safe. The Enforcers have everything under control"
The camera went back to Ann, who began to talk about some of the past incidents involving the Pastmaster. Jake turned the TV off and turned to Chance.
"If they have everything 'under control'," Chance wondered, "why do we need to stay inside 'where it's safe'?"
Jake chuckled. "Now, Chance, you don't suppose Commander Feral had anyone in particular in mind when he stressed 'all' of the citizens? Do you think maybe he doesn't want our help?"
With few exceptions, the citizens of MegaKat City held the SWATKats in high regard (the exceptions being the criminals they had put behind bars and Commander Feral, who considered them to be "reckless hot-shot vigilantes").
"I'd say so, buddy.... So, what are we going to do?"
"I'd say we're going to . . . whip some tail!"
With that, the two ran back to the hangar, and, in next to no time, the TurboKat took to the skies, piloted by T-Bone (Chance's alter ego). Razor sat behind a huge weapons panel, scrutinizing a computer screen.
"Better head for the graveyard, T-Bone, I'm getting some really heavy energy readings from there."
As they approached the graveyard, it became apparent that the Pastmaster was pulling out all stops. Not only were there legions of "undead" on the ground to contend with, he had also brought forth, from some past time, pterodactyl-like creatures who seemed to intent on discovering if the TurboKat would bounce if they knocked it to the ground.
"Hey! Watch it!" Razor yelled at one particularly nasty looking creature, who had landed on the TurboKat and was clawing at the canopy above him, "I just waxed this!"
"Crud, Razor, can't you do something about these things?", yelled T-Bone, struggling to keep the TurboKat airborne.
"Affirmative. Slicer missile deployed" Off shot a missile, slicing one of the flying creatures in half. "Bingo!", Razor yelled triumphantly.
T-Bone expertly flew the TurboKat in repeated loop-de-loops, in an effort to shake off the second creature.
"Aw, T-Bone, there's gotta be a better way to get rid of it than this," moaned Razor, "I had a big breakfast"
"Would you rather we took a nosedive and hope the G-Forces knock it off?"
Razor shuddered and shook his head -- one of his weaknesses was an inability to handle G-Forces, which usually resulted in forced naptime. After the fifth loop the dactyl finally fell off. It was shredded almost immediately. They were now down to two dactyls. One fell prey very quickly to a perfectly aimed bolo missile from Razor. The final creature proved to be more of a challenge. Not content to be just a destructive flying machine, this one actually possessed a brain, and the ability to use it. Having already seen three of its comrades shot down; it was determined not to share their fate. The dactyl repeatedly came at the TurboKat from the sides, never allowing the SWATKats to get behind it.
"Razor, I'm not going to be able to keep us flying much longer. You gotta do something about that thing."
"Well, if you'd get me a clear shot, I'd be more than happy to oblige."
"What am I supposed to do, climb out on the wing and politely tell it where to go?"
"T-Bone, that's it!"
T-Bone glanced back at his partner. "No, he doesn't look like he's cracked up," he thought. "You can't be serious, Razor," he said aloud, "I am *not* going out there!"
"No, no. That's not what I meant. But if we can just get that thing to follow us...."
T-Bone caught the meaning immediately and gunned the engines.
The TurboKat shot off, with its flying friend in hot pursuit. T-Bone weaved the jet between some of the taller buildings in MegaKat City. The dactyl matched him, move for move. That is, until T-Bone headed straight for one building, banking left at the last possible second. The dactyl wasn't expecting this move and couldn't prevent itself from smashing right into the partially completed structure.
"Bingo!", yelled Razor, looking back. Then he noticed the sign on the roof of the now partially destroyed building.
"Future Home of Enforcer Headquarters"
He looked accusingly at T-Bone, an effect that was lost on his partner, since Razor was actually glaring at the back of T-Bone's seat.
"Crud, T-Bone, didya HAVE to pick the new Enforcer building?"
"What?", T-Bone replied, innocently. "You really think I picked that building JUST because it was Enforcer Headquarters?"
"There was another reason?"
"Yes," T-Bone replied, trying his best to sound wounded, "I wanted to pick an empty building so no one would get hurt!"
As soon as he said it, T-Bone regretted it. A while back, the SWATKats had come under public criticism -- Razor especially -- because one of their missiles had missed its intended target and blown up an apparently empty warehouse. Only there was an elderly couple walking by the building that had been badly injured in the blast. Razor had taken it very hard, almost giving up the whole SWATKats bit, until it was discovered that the whole stunt was part of Dark Kat's plan to destroy Razor's self-confidence. Even though he knew he had been set up, the incident still bothered Razor.
"Oh, crud, Razor," T-Bone stammered, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean..."
"No, it's OK, T-Bone, I'm fine," Razor lied. He perked up as he said, "What I wouldn't give to see Feral's face when he sees that thing smashed on the side of his new building."
"On the side, at the base, inside the building," T-Bone chuckled, "unless that thing can pull itself together, that's one of the Pastmaster's schemes that won't be coming back to haunt us!"
"The Pastmaster!" they both yelled. T-Bone turned the jet around and headed back towards the graveyard. Both Kats couldn't help but feel a sense of elation -- it looked like they were finally going to beat the Pastmaster!
But, as is always the way, things are never what they appear. The TurboKat had just landed and the guys were climbing out, when a large vortex appeared in the sky just above them.
"Oh no," T-Bone said, "Not again!" The guys had been swept to different time periods by the Pastmaster's time vortexes on more than a few occasions, and they really did not want to repeat any of the trips. However, this time it was different. Instead of swooping up the Kats, the vortex dumped two REALLY weird looking creatures on the Kats.
The SWATKats stood up. The two strangers stood up, a tad shakily. They all looked at each other.
Raphael turned to Michaelangelo "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Uncle Toto!"
T-Bone & Razor reacted instantly -- pointing their Glovatrixes at the Turtles.
"And I get a strange feeling we're not welcome", Mike added.
"I don't know who or what you are, but you can just go back to wherever the Pastmaster got you from", Razor said, "This is our home and we're not going to let two...whatever you ares... destroy it"
Mike and Raph looked first at the pointed Glovatrixes, then at T-Bone and Razor. Then they looked at each other. Both had the nagging sense that they had heard this voice before, but neither could place it.
"Whoa, dudes", Mike responded, raising his hands, "we come in peace."
"Michaelangelo, really, "we come in peace"? What's next, "take me to your leader?""
Mike shrugged, "Well, we do come in peace."
Raph turned back to the SWATKats, "Look, we're not here to destroy anything. We were just heading out for pizza, when we got hit by one of Shredder's dimensional portals. Now we're here...Um, WHERE are we, anyway?"
T-Bone looked at Razor. These two seemed sincere, but, to him, anything that came out of Pastmaster's vortexes could only be up to no good. Razor shrugged--he wasn't certain what to make of them either, but something they had said struck a chord.
"Shredder?" he asked, "You're not referring to Warlord Krang's flunky Shredder, are you?"
"Krang's flunky??" Raph laughed, "Ooh, wouldn't Shredhead love to know that he's being called "Krang's flunky"? . . .Hold the phone, how do you know Krang?"
"He's known all over Dimension X. We're just about the only planet around that he has yet to try and conquer", replied Razor.
"Probably too scared that we'll rip that little brain of his completely apart", T-Bone muttered.
"Whoa, dudes, do you think Krang & Shredhead might be trying something now, and is somehow using us?" Mike asked. Raphael looked at him, the shock evident on his face (thinking was not perceived to be one of Michaelangelo's stronger points).
"Michaelangelo, that's actually brilliant! That's gotta be it!" They turned back to the SWATKats. "We need to talk."
[AUTHOR'S NOTE: If this was a television program, the screen would go all fuzzy and we'd fade to a flashback, as the quartet introduced themselves and related their stories--but this isn't TV and I've already explained most of what they're telling each other, so.....back to our story]
"Well, dudes," Mike said after the explanations were complete, "so, like, now what?"
Razor thought about it for a few seconds, "I suppose the first thing we should do is try to figure out how to get the two of you home."
"Yeah, before things get any worse, " T-Bone added.
"I've got news for ya, " Raph pointed off to the side, "they just did."
The others turned around to see what Raphael was looking at -- the Pastmaster and a troop of zombies were approaching. All four wasted no time before jumping into action.
Raphael found himself surrounded almost immediately by five zombies. "Five-to-one, huh? I love the odds!" Off came the remnants of his trench coat, allowing Raph easy access to his favourite weapons - the sais. In no time, Raph had flattened the five zombies. "Ha!" he gloated, "It takes more than a few zombies to stop "ol' Raphael" He stopped short as the zombies he thought he had destroyed started to rise again. "Why can't you ever learn to keep your big beak shut?" he berated himself as he prepared to fight again.
Razor, meanwhile, had vaulted up into a tree and was having the most amount of success against the zombies...he was picking them off quite easily with the mini-cement launchers in his Glovatrix-and the cement was actually keeping the zombies pinned to the ground. Above all of the battle sounds, triumphant "Bingo!"'s rang clear, until Razor's Glovatrix ran out of cement. In the split second between him realizing he was out of the one effective weapon against the zombies and the zombies realizing the same and coming after him, Razor had time for one thought: "I'm in trouble."
T-Bone had seen Razor's success with the cement and tried the same tactic, managing to pin down another dozen or so before he, too, ran out of cement. And the zombies kept coming. "This is impossible," he thought, looking around the graveyard "Pastmaster's got an unlimited supply of zombies here!" After cutting down a few more with the turbo-blades in his Glovatrix, only to have them pull themselves back together and come back for more, he exclaimed, "Crud! How do you kill something that's already dead??"
As usual, Michaelangelo was taking the fight *very* seriously. Taking a cue from Razor, he had whipped out his grappling hook and was swinging from the few trees around, kicking at the zombies and yelling like Tarzan. When that failed to be really effective, he jumped down to the ground and started swinging his nunchucks around, singing at the top of his lungs, "It's the Time of the Season..for smashing!"
Razor overheard this and suddenly remembered something they all seemed to have overlooked. "'Time'? Oh my. . . GUYS! The Pastmaster --where is he?" he called out, jumping down from the tree.
Raphael spotted him; off to the side with his watch raised up, preparing for what looked like a perfectly clear shot at T-Bone. Raph didn't hesitate before throwing one of his sais at the Pastmaster, knocking the watch out of his hand just as he got a shot off. The effect was two-fold -- the blast that was meant to destroy T-Bone just brushed past him, knocking him down, and Pastmaster lost his watch. Razor & Michaelangelo both seized the opportunity and dove for the watch, as did the Pastmaster. Razor & Mike got to it first, at the same time, but unfortunately, the power of the watch was not meant to be yielded by more than one at a time. As they grabbed it, the watch suddenly began glowing, then it emitted a blast wave that threw them both back about 15 feet.
T-Bone and Raphael ran over to where Razor & Mike lay stunned.
"Are you guys OK?" a worried T-Bone asked.
Razor slowly picked himself up and shook his head to clear it, "Yeah, I think so." He looked over to where Mike was trying to stand up, shakily, with Raph's help.
"Whoa, that watch sure packs a wallop!"
In the confusion, Pastmaster managed to get a hold of the watch and opened a new vortex. He gave one last look at our heroes and laughed. "Now you turtles are stuck here -- at least for now! HAHAHAHA". And with that, he disappeared into the swirling vortex. Mike fell back to his knees and looked at Raphael in despair.
"Well, that's wonderful," Raph said sarcastically, "I don't suppose anyone's got a spare magic carpet we could borrow to go home on?"
"So, like, what are we going to do now?", Mike asked, making another attempt at standing. "Well, we certainly can't leave you guys here, so, I guess you'll have to come back to our place until we can figure out how to get you back to your own world."
T-Bone thought for a second, "The TurboKat isn't big enough to carry all four of us at once. Either we make two trips, or..."
"Or two of us can take the Cyclotron," Razor interjected. He looked at Michaelangelo, leaning shakily on Raph, and decided that Mike was in no shape to ride the Cyclotron "What say Raphael & I take that while you and Michaelangelo take the TurboKat?"
Raph looked at Mike. While the SWATKats had done absolutely nothing to earn their mistrust, Raphael was naturally skeptical and was more than a little concerned about letting his brother go anywhere alone with these strangers. Mike, however, did not share his brother's concern, nor his skepticism, and was looking eagerly at the TurboKat. Raphael shrugged -- sometimes Mike's enthusiasm could be contagious. They all walked over to the TurboKat, Raphael stopping to pick up his thrown sai on the way. As Razor prepared the Cyclotron, he got a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Winking at Raph, he challenged T-Bone to a race.
"What? Do you honestly think the Cyclotron can beat the TurboKat?"
"Sure, especially when you consider that you still need to warm up the TurboKat, and we're ready to take off now. See you back at the hanger!"
With that, Razor & Raphael took off.
T-Bone looked at Mike. "The only way they'll win is if I let them have a head start, anyway," he said. When Michaelangelo climbed into the seat normally occupied by Razor, T-Bone got a weird look on his face.
"What's the matter?"
"What? Oh, nothing. It's just strange to see someone besides Razor sitting there."
T-Bone climbed aboard and began firing up the engines. In no time, the TurboKat took to the skies. They flew in silence for a few minutes.
"So, Mike, what do you guys do for excitement back in, where'd you say...Nooyork?" There was no answer. "Mike??" Still nothing. "Mike!!!"
"Oh, yeah, just looking at all of the buttons and stuff back here. What do they all do?"
"Well, Razor designed everything on the jet and, to be honest, I'm not even certain what everything does," T-Bone chuckled, "Sometimes, I think he just put all those buttons in for effect."
Mike looked at the screen in front of him. "What's this, a radar?"
"OK, that one I do know. It's a radar, computer and surveillance system -- all rolled into one. What's on the screen right now?"
"Um, a blip -- off to the ... northeast."
"Most likely, that's Razor & Raphael on the Cyclotron. NORTHEAST?! Crud! They're ahead of us!"
"Hey! Does this joystick control any cool video games?"
"Mike! Don't touch that! That's the master control for the TurboKat's missiles."
"Cool, just like the TurtleBlimp."
"Yeah, it's this mondo cool blimp and it's got a tubuloso glider that comes off, and you can drop bombs using the joystick. All you do is select which bomb to drop, we got all kinds: smoke bomb, itching powder, you know, that sort of stuff -- and then you aim with the joystick, then press the button and 'Ka-Boom!' Is that how this one works?" Mike was starting to sound a lot more like his usual self now, all traces of his grogginess gone.
T-Bone chuckled "All right, Mike, if you promise not to touch anything unless I give you the OK, I'll let you try something."
"Most excellent!! What do I do, dude?"
"OK, do you see a helmet back there -- one with goggles?"
"Well, put it on and flip down the goggles. What do you see?"
"Mondo bizarro! I can see outside -- but not from here."
"What you are doing is aiming the missile turret -- wherever you look, that's where the missiles will go."
"That was cool," Mike said, taking the helmet off, "So, what about that thing you guys wear on your hands?"
"What, our Glovatrix?" T-Bone took his off and handed it back to Mike to look at. He was starting to have fun; showing off the gadgets for Mike, and the race was, for the most part, forgotten. "It's a mini-arsenal --cement launchers, tarpedoes, shields, turbo-blades, grappling hooks."
"Grapplers? Cool! How do you operate that??"
T-Bone explained a bit more about how the Glovatrix worked, then Mike handed it back. Mike glanced back at the radar screen.
"Um, T-Bone? Their blip's stopped moving."
"Stopped moving? What do you mean?"
"I mean, the blip's not moving -- we're catching up!"
"Why would they stop? I hope everything's OK."
Well, as is to be expected, with a segue like that, everything was not OK. After leaving Mike & T-Bone, Razor had expertly guided the Cyclotron through the streets of MegaKat City, as quickly as the city's speed limits would allow. Razor had known when he challenged T-Bone to the race, that their only chance to win was to get out of the heart of the city, away from civilians, so he could really push the Cyclotron to its limits. Raphael sat behind Razor, silently taking in the sights and worrying about his brother. He was looking off to the left, when he thought he saw something. He tapped Razor and pointed in that direction. Razor turned around, went down the street and pulled over.
"Call me crazy, but I could swear that I saw a dinosaur down this street."
"Yeah, prehistoric lizard-like creatures that lived millions of years ago."
Razor chuckled, "That's not what I meant. I was surprised that you had 'dinosaurs' in New York."
"Not just New York -- we had them all over the planet, but they died out millions of year ago."
"Amazing. Our histories are parallel, at least in that aspect."
"Razor? While, I am enjoying this historic comparison, shouldn't we check out whatever it was that I saw?"
"Oh, yeah." Razor started the Cyclotron up again. "Which way was it headed?"
Raphael was about to point to the right, when a creature, resembling a T-Rex came around the corner.
"Oh, off in that general direction," Raph said dryly. The Cyclotron took off in hot pursuit.
"We've got to get that thing away from all these people," Razor yelled.
"What do you suggest, we offer it a ride??"
"Maybe we can get it to follow us."
They caught up with the dinosaur very quickly. Razor lost no time in getting its attention, by circling it. The dino immediately acknowledged their presence, by taking a swipe at them with its lengthy tail. Raph ducked just as the tip of the tail whooshed over his head.
"OK, you've got his attention -- now what?"
"Now, we try to lead it away from that," Razor pointed to their right, at the entrance to the MegaKat Subway, "There's bound to be people in there."
Raph was about reply when the dino got lucky. His tail hit the side of the Cyclotron -- hard -- sending driver, passenger and vehicle flying in three different directions. Raphael sailed straight towards the open subway entrance. Tucking his head, arms and legs into his shell he was able to minimize any injuries he might otherwise have sustained in the fall. Luckily, the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 10th, 15th, & 21st steps helped to break his fall.
"Whooooph," exhaled Raph as he landed at the foot of the stairs -- directly in front of a crowd of surprised MegaKat City citizens.
"Man, am I glad Razor insisted I wear this helmet," he muttered, "or my brain would be tofu now." He glanced around the subway terminal, his eyes finally coming to a stop on the crowd of onlookers.
"What're you gawking at? Haven't you ever seen a turtle in a helmet before?"
Well, evidently, the crowd hadn't because they all ran back into the subway terminal -- screaming in terror.
"Wonderful," he said sarcastically, as he stood up, "A land without humans, and I'm still a freak!" Then he brightened up, "Heh, at least they're running away from that dinosaur!"
Raph raced out of the terminal so quickly, that he failed to notice a subway security guard, calling the Enforcers to report "a green monster" in the subway.
Meanwhile, Razor had reclaimed the Cyclotron and was using it to avoid becoming the dinosaur's next meal. He looked for Raphael, and, when he wasn't able to find him, came to a decision.
"I hope Raph'll understand," he thought, "but I've got to lead this thing away!" "C'mon, Ugly!" he yelled, "This way!"
The dinosaur turned in the direction of Razor's voice (away from the garbage bin that had caught his attention) and looked at him as if to say: "Are you talking to me?"
"This isn't working," Razor thought, "I've got to try something else." He tried firing a few mini-turbo blades from his Glovatrix. The dinosaur swatted them away like they were flies -- then looked at Razor as if to say: "You're starting to annoy me." Then it turned back to the garbage.
"Crud! A few minutes ago, I couldn't get rid of you!" Razor muttered.
Next, Razor tried firing a grappling hook out of the back of the Cyclotron, looping it around the dino's neck, then he gunned the Cyclotron and took off. He managed to pull the dinosaur about 40 feet, before the rope snapped, but at least it had done the trick. The dinosaur became enraged and began chasing Razor.
"Bingo! He's finally chasing me!" Razor hollered triumphantly. He stopped to think for a second, "Waitaminute. I'm nuts! Why am I happy?"
Razor paced his driving carefully, fast enough to avoid the dino, but slow enough not to lose him. The dinosaur followed Razor all the way to the outskirts of town, where Razor prepared to make his move. (Razor was not willing to risk hurting anyone by destroying the dinosaur in the middle of the city.)
Razor got the Cyclotron turned around and was about to hit the dino with everything he had, when a portal opened behind the dinosaur and sucked it in. Only Razor's quick thinking in firing off a grappler and hooking it around a large tree saved him from sharing the dinosaur's fate. Luckily, the portal stayed open just long enough for the dino to get completely through, and, as soon as the portal closed, Razor headed back to town to find Raphael.
Raph, meanwhile, had gotten out of the Subway just in time to see Razor and the dinosaur take off. "Oh, this is just great," he thought, "NOW what do I do?" Having no better ideas, he headed in the same direction that Razor had gone. He walked for about 20 minutes when a helicopter flew low overhead.
"You on the ground," a voice boomed, "this is Commander Feral of the Enforcers. Stop where you are."
Raph looked up towards the helicopter. "This day just keeps getting better and better," he muttered, "can it possibly get worse?"
Just then, three patrol cars came in from all sides. Two Enforcers came out of each vehicle and pointed their guns at Raphael.
"That does it!" he yelled, "I have just got to stop saying things like that!" He looked back up at Feral in the chopper. "Hi!" he called out "Um, I'm kind of new in town. Could you recommend a good place to stay?"
As usual, Feral was not in a joking mood, "I'm bringing you in for questioning."
At this point, Razor zoomed in, stopping only long enough for Raphael to jump on. "Sorry, Commander, he's with me." Then they took off, before any of the Enforcers, except for Feral, could give pursuit. Razor weaved the Cyclotron through the streets as fast as he dared, but he couldn't shake Feral, until he tried a little stunt in the MegaKat Tunnel. Feral couldn't follow them in, and, by the time he got to the other end of the tunnel, Razor had turned the Cyclotron around and gone back out the way they had come in.
Razor & Raphael drove towards the outskirts of town for a few minutes, searching the skies for any sign of the TurboKat, or the Enforcers. When he was certain they had lost Feral, Razor pulled over.
"Raph? I think we should warn T-Bone & Mike. If the Pastmaster brought in one dinosaur, he could bring in more."
"Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I'll give Mikey a call."
Razor was about to get his communicator out, but was curious how the Turtles communicated. "How?" he asked.
Raph pulled out his TurtleComm and passed it to Razor. "With this -- It's a TurtleComm, our communication device."
"What's the range like?" Once an inventor, always an inventor.
"OK, I guess, why?"
"Do all of you Turtles carry these?"
"Yeah...", Raph was starting to understand what Razor was getting at.
"I might be able to modify it so we can communicate with the other Turtles. Maybe we can figure out a way to get you two home."
"Sounds like a plan, but you think, maybe, we should try to get through this crisis first?"
"Hmm." Razor seemed to think about it for a moment, "Yeah, you're probably right." Then he saw the look on Raph's face. "I'm kidding! OK, give Mike a call."
Raph flipped up the cover of the TurtleComm and hit the button to transmit. It beeped for a few seconds, then Mike's face appeared on the TurtleComm screen.
"Raphael! Dude! Are you OK? Where are you?"
"We're OK, Mike."
Razor tapped Raph on the shoulder and asked for the TurtleComm.
"Mike? It's Razor. Where are you guys right now?"
Mike held the TurtleComm towards T-Bone.
"Razor? We're over MegaKat State Beach. Why?"
"T-Bone, I think we should get together, now. What say we meet there ASAP?"
T-Bone prepared to set the TurboKat down on the mostly deserted beach when Mike spotted something on the radar.
"T-Bone, we've got four blips coming in fast at 10:00."
Both looked off to the left and, eventually, saw what the blips were -- four more dactyls. T-Bone was torn -- he knew, without "Sure Shot" behind the weapons' panel, he wouldn't be able to fight the dactyls, but, being a true hero, he knew that he couldn't just land the TurboKat and let the dactyls go after someone else.
"Hold on to your seat, Mike. Prepare for evasive maneuvers." Mike wasn't quite sure that exactly that meant, until the TurboKat shot off away from the beach, the dactyls in hot pursuit. T-Bone expertly flew, avoiding the dactyls as best he could, but it was only a matter of time before one of the dactyls got in a lucky hit.
Meanwhile, Razor & Raphael were approaching the beach and were watching the aerial maneuvers anxiously. They hopped off of the Cyclotron as soon as they got to the beach.
"How long do you think they can keep that up?", Raph asked.
"If those four creatures are anything like the ones that T-Bone & I fought earlier today, not long at all. T-Bone's the best pilot around, but he can't fly like that and fire at those things at the same time. CRUD!"
"And you're thinking that if Mike & I weren't here, that'd be you up there, helping your partner, right?"
"Um, well, no, not exactly..."
"C'mon, Razor, I'd be thinking the same thing, if I was you." Raphael paused. "You know what I'm thinking right now? I'm thinking that I never should have let Mikey go off with T-Bone. I should have stayed with him."
Razor looked at Raph curiously. If he'd known Raph better, he would have realized that he had practically witnessed a miracle -- Raph never admitted his feelings to anyone.
"Let me guess, Mike's your younger brother?"
"Mikey's everyone's younger brother and he takes things a little less seriously than he probably should, so we all tend to watch out for him." He sighed. "Master Splinter would never forgive me if I let anything happen to him."
Both turned back to the aerial battle, just as a missile from the TurboKat took out one of the dactyls.
"Raph, there's no way that T-Bone could have aimed that -- I mean, did you see that flying maneuver? There's no ...." Razor looked at Raph, "How good a shot is Mike?"
"Well, I don't know 'bout missiles, but his aim is uncanny with his grapplers. You really think he fired that?"
"Had to be."
Meanwhile, in the TurboKat, T-Bone was wondering the same thing. Unknown to him, Mike had picked up the helmet he'd been wearing earlier, and, being a quick study, when he wanted to be, he had figured out exactly how to fire.
"Mike?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING??"
"Shooting down that thing, dude."
"I told you not to touch anything."
Mike was confused. "But I hit it!"
"That's not the point. What if you'd missed? Innocent people could've been hurt!"
Mike's voice turned uncharacteristically serious, "I don't miss, dude."
One of the remaining dactyls dive bombed the TurboKat. T-Bone just managed to avoid it.
"OK, Mike, you win."
"Cowabunga! Thanks, dude!"
Mike took careful aim on a second dactyl and fired. Two down. The third one landed on top of the TurboKat and started clawing at the canopy.
"Mike, there's an oxygen mask back there. Put it on."
"If that thing gets through the canopy, the air's gonna get awfully thin, awfully quick."
Mike did as he was told. T-Bone got his on, just as the dactyl broke through.
The dactyl turned its full attention now to the occupants of the jet, particularly T-Bone, who fought to keep the disabled jet airbourne. Mike was standing up, swinging at it with his nunchucks, but nothing seemed to faze it.
The TurboKat suddenly took a nose dive, as the dactyl, with one last look of defiance at Michaelangelo, wrenched T-Bone out of his seat. On the ground, Raphael looked on in horror as the jet plummeted. Razor swiftly aimed his Glovatrix at the TurboKat and pushed a few buttons. The jet's descent slowed.
"Who's controlling that thing?" Raph yelled.
"I am," Razor replied.
Meanwhile, Mike had whipped out one of his grapplers and had snagged T-Bone's flight suit. A tug-of-war ensued, one which, unfortunately, Mike stood no chance of winning. As Razor guided the TurboKat towards the beach and a safe landing, Mike was yanked out of the jet, too. T-Bone was beating on the dactyl relentlessly, trying to get it to let go of him. Eventually, it started to pay off and, as soon as he felt the grip start to loosen, he redoubled his efforts, with more success. Unfortunately, they were at least 75 feet above the surface of the water, so being dropped was not necessarily a good thing. With a scream, Mike & T-Bone plunged into the water.
Raphael looked at Razor, who was struggling to get the TurboKat to the ground before it crashed into any inhabited beach front property, and finally snapped. He ran toward the water, screaming, intent on doing something, anything, to help. And that was the move the fourth dactyl was waiting for. As soon as it saw Raphael out in the open, unprotected, it swooped down and grabbed him in its talons. Razor had, by now, landed the TurboKat (none too gently) and turned around just in time to see the dactyl scoop Raph up.
"Hold on, Raphael, I'll make that thing let go." Razor started to aim with his Glovatrix.
"NO! You have to help T-Bone & Mikey! Please! Don't let anything happen..." Raph's voice faded as the dactyl flew out of sight.
Razor stood for a second, Raph's last words echoing in his head: "Don't let anything happen .... to Mike". He looked out to the water. While T-Bone and Mike were too far out to be easily seen, Razor could tell exactly where they were by the last dactyl, who seemed very intent on plucking them out of the water. Razor looked around frantically for something he could use to get out to them, finally spotting a small dinghy, tied to a nearby pier. He raced toward it, praying that he wouldn't be too late.
Meanwhile, unless you were the dactyl, things were not going well out on the water. As they had fallen to the water, Mike prepared himself for a high dive. Mike may have been a goof off in other things but he surpassed all of his brothers when it came to water sports, and, because of this, he wasn't hurt when he hit the water.
"9 point 95" he said, once he surfaced.
T-Bone, unfortunately, had only learned to swim recently and hardly possessed any expertise. He wasn't quite so lucky and was knocked out when he hit the water. Mike fought to keep them both afloat, while trying to keep the dactyl away. After many attempts to "shoo" it away with his chucks and his grappler, Mike came up with an idea.
"Sorry for taking this without permission, dude," he said as he took off T-Bone's Glovatrix, "but this is the only chance we have." Mike had just gotten the Glovatrix on when the dactyl, sensing that Mike was distracted, swooped down and grabbed T-Bone. Razor was close enough to see what was happening, yet just far enough away to be helpless. Out of desperation, just as the dactyl was about to take off with T-Bone, Mike fired a grappling hook from the Glovatrix, snagging T-Bone, then he was lifted out of the water, too.
"No," Razor thought, "They're not getting any more of us." He fired off a mini Turbo Blade from his Glovatrix -- aiming for the dactyl. The dactyl reacted instantly, almost psychically, and managed to dodge the blade, which, instead, sliced Mike's grappling line -- sending him back to the water. Before Razor could get off another shot, the dactyl had flown too high to risk having it drop T-Bone. The dactyl flew off in the same direction that the previous one had gone.
Razor turned his attention to Mike, who had been a little less prepared for the second fall and was sputtering and coughing as he tried to stay afloat. Razor came up beside Mike and helped him aboard.
"Thanks, dude," Mike said as he climbed on, then he looked around, "Where's Raphael?"
Razor sadly nodded in the same direction the dactyl had taken T-Bone.
"We gotta get 'em back!"
Razor and Michaelangelo headed back to shore, in silence. Each was absorbed in his own thoughts, worrying about his partner. When they got back to shore, Razor looked at the TurboKat and shook his head.
"It's going to take some work to get her airborne again," he said, looking at the ripped canopy unhappily.
"Do you have anything we can patch it with, dude?"
"Yeah, there's an emergency repair kit in the back. It won't be perfect, but, at least, it will fly."
As Razor retrieved the repair kit, Mike looked over the controls of the jet. The two hastily worked at preparing the makeshift canopy, mostly in silence, until Mike spoke.
"Razor? How are we gonna find Raphael & T-Bone?"
"There's a homing device in our communicators. I can use that."
"No, that's not what I meant -- I mean, how are we GOING to find them. How are we getting there?"
"Well, as soon as the TurboKat's fixed, we'll..." Razor stopped when he realized they were one pilot short. "Oh, I see what you're asking." Razor was uncertain what to do -- in a pinch, he could handle flying, but he felt much more comfortable manning the weapons.
"I can fly it, dude."
"Mike, this is no time for jokes."
"I'm not joking - I've flown our blimp quite a few times and I've also flown a couple of different jets. I can do this!" Pause "Unless you'd rather fly -- I can shoot."
"No, T-Bone's the pilot in this team." Razor didn't want to admit that he didn't want to pilot the TurboKat.
"Razor, it's got to be one or the other."
Razor looked at Mike. "You've flown before?"
"In combat conditions?"
"And you've never crashed?"
"Well, I had to ditch one plane, but that was because a robot grabbed it that I didn't notice because I was too busy avoiding the flyswatter."
"It's a long story. I can do this!"
Razor sighed. "I guess there's no choice -- this is wasting too much time. OK. I hope T-Bone forgives me for this."
After another five minutes, or so, the repairs were complete. The guys hopped into their seats and got buckled in. Mike looked over all of the controls.
"OK, which one is "Start"?," he muttered, "Man, I wish I'd paid more attention to Donnie.....Donatello!," he yelled, "That's it!!!"
"What are you talking about, Michaelangelo?"
Mike turned to look at Razor. "You sound exactly like Donatello!"
"He's your inventor, right?"
"Correctumundo, dude." With a sigh, Mike fell silent.
"I was just thinking that we may never see him, or Leo, or Master Splinter, or April . . . ."
"Mike, I promise you, we'll find a way to get you both home again."
Mike fired up the jet and they took off. Once again, silence fell in the TurboKat Mike concentrating on piloting, while Razor sat back, thinking what it must be like, being separated from your family and friends as Mike & Raph were. T-Bone was the closest thing he had to a family these days, and he couldn't imagine life without him. His thoughts were cut short when he suddenly felt the jet flying in a loop.
"Mike?" Razor asked casually, "What are you doing?"
"Stop showing off -- I believe you, OK?"
The communicator in the TurboKat beeped. Out of habit, and assuming that the caller was their human friend, April, Mike answered it.
"What's up, dudette?"
"Who are you?," of course, it was Callie. Razor quickly cut in.
"I'm here, Miss Briggs."
"Razor? Who was that? Where's T-Bone?" Razor ignored the second question.
"Um...a friend. What's going on?"
"Hmm? What? Oh, the Pastmaster's been spotted on the roof of the Natural History Museum."
"We'll check it out, Miss Briggs. Thanks"
"Razor? Is everything all right?"
"Sure, Miss Briggs. Over & out." Mike was chuckling up front.
"Sorry, dude, force of habit."
Despite everything, Razor laughed. "I would really love to have seen the look on Callie's face when you answered."
"So, who is she, anyway?"
"Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs. Let's just say, she gives T-Bone & I a lot of work."
That thought brought them both back to reality.
"Which way to the museum, dude?"
Mike banked the jet in that direction.
"I hope they're all right," both said at the same time.
Raphael and T-Bone were tied to a couple of exhaust vents on the roof of the museum, listening to the Pastmaster bragging about his plans.
"I suppose you're wondering why you're here." he chortled.
"Why, no," Raphael replied, "I thought you invited us up here because it was such a lovely day for a picnic."
"You insolent . . .", the Pastmaster let out a blast from his watch at Raph. "You're lucky Krang wants you alive or that would've been much worse."
T-Bone looked over at Raph. "You OK?"
"Yeah," Raph groaned, then looked at the Pastmaster, "Krang? You're working with Krang?"
"Oh, yes, that was all part of the plan. We were to bring all four of you turtles here..."
"Well, that part of the plan worked really well, didn't it?" Raph muttered, only to receive another blast from the Pastmaster.
"A minor setback," Pastmaster retorted, "One more crack like that and I WILL shut you up. Now, where was I? Oh, yes, you four turtles were to distract the SWATKats long enough so that I could defeat all of you. I'd turn you turtles over to Krang and I would send you meddlesome SWATKats somewhere in time . . . somewhere unpleasant. Then Krang would get to take over your planet & I could rule this one!"
"Seems to me you have a slight problem, Pastmaster," T-Bone pointed out, "You're shy one SWATKat and a few turtles."
"No matter," Pastmaster replied, "The other SWATKat will be here to rescue you, as will the other Turtle. As for the other two turtles....we'll work that out. Krang should have no trouble taking over your planet with only two turtles to stop him."
"He'll have more of a fight than you think, pal," Raph snarled, "Of course, that's provided Krang doesn't double cross you."
"What do you mean? Krang and I have a deal."
"A deal? Ha! Krang would sell his android body, if it suited him."
"Yeah," T-Bone pointed out, "He's been trying to take over this planet forever. What makes you think he'll just hand it over to you once he's finally got it?"
"He would not double cross me."
"Think about it," T-Bone added, "if you were in Krang's shoes and you had the opportunity to have something you've wanted for quite a while, would you just give it up?"
The Pastmaster seemed to think on this for a moment. He then turned around and walked away from T-Bone and Raph, taking out a device which Raph recognized as one of Shredder's Comm-links. He spoke into it as he walked. "I must speak with Krang right away." His voice lowered as he walked away. Raphael turned to T-Bone.
"I don't suppose you've got anything in that fancy glove of yours that could get us out of here, do you?"
"Sure do. I just don't have my Glovatrix here."
"Oh, great. Where is it?"
T-Bone shrugged, as best he could considering he was tied up. "Dunno. I'm hoping your brother has it."
"I hope he's. . .they're all right."
T-Bone looked closely at Raphael and noticed that Raph was really looking stressed.
"Raph, are you sure you're OK?"
"Yeah, I guess so. It's just...I worry about Mike. Maybe too much."
"He's seems able to take care of himself. Why do you worry so much?"
Now it was Raph's turn to shrug. It wasn't something he really liked to talk about.
"C'mon. It's not like we've got anything better to do."
"OK, but you have to promise -- not a word about this to Mikey, OK?"
"Well, Mike's our younger brother, so we all tend to be a little over-protective, especially since Mike's managed to get himself into at least three situations where we all thought he'd been killed. The first time was on his birthday a few years ago. We were going to be throwing a big surprise party for him, so we decided to play a little joke. We all acted like we forgot it was his birthday, trying to make the surprise that much better, you know?"
"Anyway, by mid morning, Mike was really starting to get upset. So upset, that he took off before we could tell him we were just kidding. He ran into Shredder & his cronies and got himself captured. They had this torture device, which dripped a mutanagenic ooze, that they were going to use on him. Shredder contacted us using Mike's TurtleComm and said he'd kill Mike if we didn't do exactly what he wanted."
"So, what did you do?"
"Exactly what Shredhead asked -- we couldn't let him hurt Mike. We surrendered. Shredder took us back to his headquarters, but, by the time we got there, all that was left of the machine, and Mike, too we thought, was a pile of melted goo. We didn't know Mikey had managed to free himself. He hooked up with Splinter and they ended up saving us. Even so, it's hard not to think of him as my 'baby brother'."
"Yeah, I know what you mean."
"Huh? You do?"
"Well, Razor & I aren't related, but I kind of look at him like my little brother, too."
"And you look out for him."
"We look out for each other. He's saved my butt more times than I can count...and I've saved his, too."
"Yeah, but even so..."
"He's almost died because of me, Raphael."
Raphael was about to reply when he heard something off in the distance. He turned and looked in the direction of the sound.
"T-Bone? Not to interrupt, but is that what I think it is?"
T-Bone looked where Raph indicated. "I believe it is. Help is on its way."
Unfortunately, the Pastmaster saw the approaching TurboKat as well, and sent the two remaining dactyls after it. They attacked the jet with an apparent plan. One repeatedly came after the jet, while the other one hung back. The attacking one remained just out of range, prompting Razor to try a special prototype missile -- a heat seeker. The missile shot off towards the dactyl, following it until it finally hit its target. When the dactyl went down, T-Bone turned to Raphael.
"That's Michaelangelo flying!"
"How can you tell?"
"That missile was Razor's "secret project". I didn't tell Mike about it."
Raph looked at the jet in wonder. His "little brother" was surprising him a lot today! Suddenly, the second dactyl landed on the jet, just behind the make-shift canopy, and began ripping at the jet. No matter what Mike tried, it would not shake off.
"Dude, can't you use another one of those fantabuloso missiles?"
"No can do, Mikey. That thing's too close. The heat seeker wouldn't be able to tell our jet from that creature."
They could hear the metal giving away as the dactyl clawed. Then Mike hit upon what he thought was a great idea. The TurboKat started climbing -- fast. Razor got an uneasy feeling what was coming up.
"Mike! What are you doing?"
"Why does everyone keep asking me that?" Mike thought. "Getting rid of that thing, dude." he said aloud.
The TurboKat suddenly changed direction and dove. As the jet plummeted, Razor fought to say conscious, partly out of fear that Mike would crash the jet. On the roof, T-Bone & Raph looked on in shock.
"What are they doing?" Raph yelled.
"I don't think this is a matter of what are "they" doing, so much as what is Mike doing. He's hoping that the G-forces will knock that thing out and it'll fall off. It's exactly what I would've done. There's just one problem."
"Nine times out of ten, it does the same thing to Razor."
The stress on the jet was incredible. The makeshift canopy ripped off, flying back and knocking the dactyl off. Its screech of anger was the last thing Razor heard before he finally succumbed to the G-forces. As soon as Mike realized the thing had fallen off, he pulled out of the dive.
"Cowabunga! Didya see that, Razor?" Silence. "Razor?" He quickly glanced back and realized why Razor seemed stressed when the jet had started to climb. Meanwhile, the dactyl had recovered and was coming back for round two.
"Razor? Dude? Wake up! That thing's coming back!" Razor remained out like a light. Mike avoided the dactyl's first attack, but not the second. The TurboKat began a rapid descent. Mike fought to regain control of the jet.
"C'mon, Mike," T-Bone muttered, "Pull up. Pull up!"
At the last possible second, Mike did manage to regain control of the jet.
"Whew," he sighed. He looked over and saw the dactyl coming at them again. "I can't do this alone," he thought, "I've got to land." He looked around for a good place to bring the jet down, finally settling on the parking lot. The dactyl was determined not to make it an easy landing, constantly coming in at them from the sides. Despite the dactyl's best efforts, Mike did manage to bring the TurboKat in for a very rough landing. In fact, the jolt of the landing woke Razor up.
"Huh? Where am I?" He looked up and saw the dactyl zooming in. Both he and Mike instinctively ducked as it sailed past. They quickly scrambled out of the jet to the ground, staying as close to the TurboKat as they could. The dactyl circled, knowing that it couldn't get them as long as they stayed by the jet.
"Mike? We can't stay here forever. This is not helping T-Bone and Raphael at all."
"I know, dude. Got any ideas?"
"We've got to get to the roof, but first we need to get rid of that thing."
"Cowabunga! I've got an idea!" Mike ran out into the open.
"Mike! What are you doing?"
"Hopefully getting rid of that thing." Mike pulled out his grappler and began swinging it. Just as the dactyl swooped down, Mike ducked out of its reach and threw the grappler at it, snagging its foot. Razor ran out and grabbed Mike, to try and anchor him. The dactyl jerked to a stop as the line went tight. Mike and Razor started to reel the dactyl in. But it was not to last. The dactyl began fighting against the restraining rope and gradually began gaining momentum. With a final jerk on the rope, it took off. Razor lost his grip on Mike, who was carried off with it towards the roof.
"Well, at least I'm getting up there" he yelled to Razor as he flew off.
Razor stood for a second, watching Mike disappear. Now, he was REALLY alone.
"I've got to get up there and rescue them," he thought.
Meanwhile, the dactyl was taking Michaelangelo straight to the Pastmaster. As the dactyl flew over the Pastmaster, Mike prepared to swing into him. The Pastmaster saw him coming at the last moment and raised his watch and blasted Michaelangelo at full force, more out of defense than anything else. The blast caught Mike square in the chest. The force of it sent him flying into one of the brick walls of the shelter surrounding the stairway exit on the roof. Mike fell to the ground in a heap and laid there, unmoving.
"Oops," remarked the Pastmaster, "guess Krang will have to settle for just one Turtle after all."
"YOU SON OF A ....", he screamed, struggling to get free, "I'LL KILL YOU! I SWEAR, I'LL KILL YOU!!!!!"
T-Bone looked a Mike, sadly, wondering where Razor was and hoping that this would be one time when Razor would manage to pull off a miracle. Razor was on the ground wondering the same thing. He'd seen the flash of the Pastmaster's watch, and could barely hear Raphael screaming, so he had a bad feeling that something had happened to Mike. He walked over to the building and fired a grappler out of his Glovatrix, when he heard the sound of approaching choppers.
"Oh, great," he though, "just what we need -- the Enforcers."
Actually, Feral & the Enforcers saved him. The Pastmaster was just about to go looking for him when they showed up. He sent his last dactyl after them, instead. Razor paused part way up the building to watch the aerial fight, knowing that, if the TurboKat couldn't hold it off, the Enforcers didn't stand a chance. It took out all of the choppers except for Feral's in next to no time. Razor shook his head in amazement, then continued his climb to the roof. Feral continued to battle the dactyl, which had landed on his helicopter. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of places for a dactyl to sit on top of a helicopter, and it had ended up on the front, completely obstructing the view of all everyone inside. The helicopter went down, fast, into a clump of trees not far from the museum. The dactyl was destroyed, luckily no one else was badly hurt. Feral weakly picked up the radio mike and said (everyone together now!) "This is Feral. Bring me chopper backup."
By this time, Razor had made his way to the roof and looked around. The Pastmaster was still looking over the edge of the roof, at the remains of his last dactyl, so Razor snuck over to T-Bone and Raphael.
"Am I glad to see you," T-Bone said, as Razor untied him.
"Same here, buddy." He moved to Raphael, who was staring at Mike, and began to untie him. Raphael barely noticed Razor, until Razor shook him. "Raph!"
"You go check on Mike. T-Bone and I will handle the Pastmaster."
Raphael raced over to his fallen brother. He picked up Mike's hand and removed T-Bone's Glovatrix, then checked his wrist for a pulse and breathed a sigh of relief -- there was one. It wasn't the strongest, but it was there. Mike stirred when he felt Raph's presence.
"Raphael?" he said weakly.
"Shh. Take it easy, Mike. You're going to be okay, I'll get you out of here."
"Dude, I figured it out. Razor sounds just like Donatello." With that, he passed out again. Raphael looked at Mike for a second, marveling at the fact that Mike would wake up long enough to tell him that. Then he looked back at the fight, which wasn't going very well. The Pastmaster was deflecting every shot that Razor sent out, despite T-Bone's attempts to distract him. The only good thing was that the Pastmaster wasn't getting any shots in, either. Raphael looked back at his injured brother, remembering how he got there, seeing him fly, helplessly, through the air after the Pastmaster blasted him, all over again.
And he got angry.
Raph turned back to the battle, focusing on the Pastmaster. With a scream that would have made the Pastmaster's blood run cold, Raphael charged at the Pastmaster, intent on destroying him. The Pastmaster turned from his battle with the SWATKats, the fright evident on his face. He was about to blast Raphael with his watch when T-Bone charged in and grabbed the watch out of his hand. Razor snagged the Pastmaster with a shot from his Glovatrix, just as Raphael got to the Pastmaster. Raphael glared at the Pastmaster, with hate in his eyes, then he hauled back his fist and clobbered the Pastmaster, who crumbled to the ground. Raphael jumped on top of him and continued to pound some more, until Razor pulled him off.
"Raph. Raph! Stop! He's out." Raphael turned to glare at Razor. "That's not helping Mike any."
Raph drew a deep breath and looked down at the unconscious Pastmaster. Then he got up and walked back toward Mike. T-Bone stooped to pick up his Glovatrix which Raph had dropped, then he & Razor followed Raphael. Razor knelt down by Michaelangelo and checked his pulse again.
"Well," he said, "His pulse seems OK, but I don't think he should be moved until we know how badly hurt he is."
Just then Mike moaned and opened his eyes. "Whoa, what hit me?"
"It's a long story, Mike," Razor replied, "How do you feel?"
"Horrible. My head hurts, my spots hurt, even my bandanna hurts." He tried to move. The others restrained him.
"Hold on a minute, Mike. You're hurt," Raph said seriously, "Start slowly. Try moving your legs, first. Then try sitting up, slowly."
Mike flexed his toes, then moved his legs with no problem. Then he tried to push himself up with his arms.
"AAAARGH!" he yelled, collapsing to the ground, "I think I may have a problem, dudes."
"Which arm?" Razor asked
"But the right one's OK?"
"Yeah," Without using his left hand, and with more than a little help from the others, Mike got himself into a seated position. Fortunately, the Enforcers had provided T-Bone & Razor with some medical training, so they were able to fashion a makeshift splint. Raphael removed his eye mask to use as a sling. Only when the others were completely satisfied that Mike's arm was his most serious injury, did they let him try to stand up. Unfortunately, they were so focused on Mike that they hadn't noticed the Pastmaster work one hand free enough to get out his Comm-link and call for help. As they walked back towards the Pastmaster a portal opened. Shredder stepped out and grabbed Michaelangelo. He held one gauntleted arm around Mike's throat while the other arm held a blaster to Mike's head. T-Bone and Razor reacted instantly, pointing their Glovatrixes at him.
"Don't even think it," Shredder snarled, tightening his grip around Mike's throat. Razor & T-Bone looked at each other and lowered their hands.
"That's better," Shredder smirked.
Raphael stood just behind T-Bone, his face barely masking the controlled fury inside.
"Let him go, Shredhead."
"I don't think so, Turtle. Now, unless you want something "unpleasant" to happen to "Surfer-boy" here, I'd suggest you go over and free our partner."
Raphael, T-Bone & Razor looked at each other. They all knew what had to be done, but none wanted to admit it. Mike started struggling against Shredder.
"Don't do it, dudes! You can't let him......URK!" Shredder pulled his arm tighter, and held it there, cutting off Mike's air.
"Shredder, stop!" Raph screamed. He hung his head, "We'll do what you want."
Razor walked over to the Pastmaster and released him. He walked over to Shredder & Mike.
"I'd like my watch back, too." he said to T-Bone. To emphasize his point, he grabbed Mike's left arm and twisted it. Mike screamed out in pain and nearly blacked out.
Pastmaster turned to Raphael. "That's for punching me earlier."
Razor & T-Bone barely restrained Raphael from charging. Disgustedly, T-Bone hurled the watch at the Pastmaster.
"Now," Shredder explained, "We're all going through that portal to visit Krang. Move."
The trio headed toward the open portal, behind Pastmaster, Shredder & Mike brought up the rear. All three were trying to figure a way out of this predicament. Pastmaster went through the portal as Shredder & Mike came up beside it. Shredder gestured with his blaster for the trio to go through when Michaelangelo did something unexpected. As he later described it, it felt like there had been a tightly strung wire between his temples which suddenly snapped. Shredder was ready for just about anything, punches, kicks, elbows, that sort of thing but he wasn't expecting his hostage to suddenly go limp and fall. Raphael, however, was looking out for any sort of opening and charged at Shredder, knocking him through the portal at the same time that T-Bone & Razor raised their Glovatrixes and shot out the portal generator on the other side. Shredder fell into the Pastmaster, and, by the time they untangled themselves and stood up, the portal had permanently closed.
Meanwhile, on this side of the portal, Raphael knelt by Mike and gently shook him.
"Raph? Are we OK now?"
Raphael turned and looked at T-Bone & Razor. "Everything's going to be fine, Mike."
For three days, the guys hung out at the hanger. When the SWATKats weren't needed to fight crime (or their alter-egos weren't needed to repair cars), Jake spent most of his time trying to calibrate Raphael's TurtleComm so it could transmit trans-dimensionally. Mike recuperated and watched Skaredy-Kat reruns with Chance. Raph brooded.
Shortly after lunch on the third day, Chance confronted Raphael about his, um, pleasant behaviour.
"Raph? Can I talk to you for a minute?"
"Sure, T-....Chance." These alter-egos were taking some getting used to. "What's up?"
"I was going to ask you the same thing. You've been so quiet the last few days. Well, except for this morning, when you yelled at Mike for taking the Cyclotron for a spin around the yard."
"Well, he should know better than to take someone else's property."
"He had permission, Raph."
"Well, he's already got one arm in a make-shift cast. Is he trying to get another one?"
"Hmm. He looked like he was doing OK to me." Pause. "I thought you were going to try and not be so protective."
"I am! Well, trying anyway. It's hard. Oh, you wouldn't understand."
Chance sat down and gestured for Raphael to do the same.
Raph sighed. "Well, you remember that story I told you about Mike's birthday? Well, there's a little bit I left out. The joke was my idea. I'm the one who thought it'd be funny to pretend we'd forgotten. I'm the one who didn't want to end the joke, even when Mike was getting upset." His voice dropped. "I'm the one who was responsible for my 'baby brother', no, my best friend, getting killed. At least, that's what I thought. Even when Mike did turn up OK, I felt guilty for weeks. I swore that, as long as I was around, nothing bad would ever happen to Mike again." He looked at Chance. "I've never told anyone that, and, while I don't expect you to understand, thanks for listening."
"Raphael, I understand better than you think. Like I started to tell you before, I've been there."
"OK, let's hear it. When?"
"It was about eight months ago. One of the local nutcases, Dr. Viper..."
"He used to be a scientist at MegaKat Bio Chemicals, until he turned himself into some sort of a creature, in one of his experiments. I think he's part lizard or something. Anyway, he had developed a poisonous serum that he intended to inject into both of us. It was lethal. We'd been fighting the Pastmaster and the TurboKat was damaged. Razor was trying to fix it when we heard something. I didn't think it was anything to worry about and was about to tease Razor for being paranoid. I let my guard down and Viper struck. He shot at both of us with blowdarts, full of his serum.
"Razor reacted faster than I did -- he pushed me out of the way and fired his Glovatrix towards where he thought the sound came from. He saved my life. He also took the dart that had been meant for me. Viper fell out of the bushes, all tangled up in Razor's shot. He bragged that the only way to save Razor was with the extract of some plant -- which had been extinct since the Dark Ages. I had to go back to the Dark Ages to get it. Razor didn't want me to, but I had to. I mean, because of me, he was dying!"
"How'd you plan to go back to the Dark Ages?"
"The Pastmaster's watch. I had no choice."
"How'd you get it?"
"Razor & I went after the Pastmaster. I managed to get past his zombies and got the watch, which I used to go to the Dark Ages. I got the flower and came back to the future and saved Razor."
Raphael looked at Chance. "Why do I get the feeling that a lot happened between your getting the watch and your return with the flower?"
"Well, yeah, there were a few problems, but none compared to losing Razor. Or facing him when I did get back, for that matter."
"What do you mean?"
"During the last 'phase' of the serum's poison, Razor went berserk." He thought for a moment, "Kinda like you the other night on the roof. Anyway, first he went after the Pastmaster, then Comm. Feral, who was there for the Pastmaster, too. Razor was so out of control, he didn't realize that Feral was about to shoot him. I hit Razor with the antidote a split second before Feral shot. He just nicked Razor, who came after me next! Confused the heck out of Feral, so much so that he forgot all about stopping Razor. He passed out before he could get to me, and when he came to, he was OK." He sighed. "I never realized how scared I was of losing him 'till that day. It's something I've never forgotten."
"That's it -- that's exactly what worries me, too. Losing Mike, or my other brothers or Master Splinter. I guess it's mainly that I'm afraid of . . ."
"Being alone." they both said together.
"So, I guess you & I aren't all that different, are we?"
"I guess not," for the first time in three days, Raphael smiled.
Meanwhile, just outside, Jake & Michaelangelo accidentally overheard most of this conversation. Jake gestured to Mike to leave before their partners caught them. They retreated to Jake's workshop, where Raphael's TurtleComm lay, automatically programmed to try different frequencies until it contacted Leo or Don on Earth.
"Well," Jake said, "that certainly was interesting. I mean, Chance told me about what happened that day, but he never told me THAT much!" He looked over at Mike. "Are you OK?"
"Yeah, dude," Mike responded, sniffling back a tear (Mike tended to be over emotional), "Raphael never tells anyone how he's feeling -- not even Master Splinter. I never knew he worried that much. I don't know, maybe I should be more serious...well, a little anyway."
"Why aren't you?"
"Why aren't I ..what?"
"I don't know. I guess it's 'cause it's not really me."
"Well, Leo's our leader, Donnie's our resident genius, Raph's our Wise Guy. So, I'm goofy, fun-loving Mike who takes nothing seriously. It's my only way to be 'different'".
"I thought you guys said that you were the only four of your kind. Sounds to me like you're already different."
"I mean different from the other guys. I mean, when we were young, even Master Splinter couldn't tell us apart. That's why we started wearing the different coloured eye masks"
Jake sighed. "At least you had a 'father' growing up. I thought mine died when I was a small kid."
"Yep, it wasn't until recently that I found out the truth."
Mike sat down on a bench in Jake's workshop. "So, what's the story, dude?"
"Well, it turns out my father was a scientist for Pumadyne Labs, a local research facility, and was privy to lots of top secret information -- information that other, um, slightly less than scrupulous scientists would have killed for. Dad was forced to abandon my Mom & me and go into hiding to protect us."
"So, when'd he finally letcha know who he was?"
"It was an accident, actually. A crackpot who used to work for Pumadyne grabbed both of us, separately, to try and force us to help him 'get even' with Pumadyne for firing him. He accidentally found out the truth and forced Dad's hand on the subject."
"He wouldn't tell you himself? Some father."
"That's how I felt then, too. I realized later that he did what he thought was best for us. Once T-Bone got us out of there, Dad & I had a long talk. We're OK, now." He chuckled. "It's funny how things can change."
"Sure is, dude."
"People can change, too, Michaelangelo."
"So, you think I should start taking things more seriously."
"I think you already have."
"Huh? What do you mean?"
"You learned how to pilot the TurboKat, fire its weapons and use the Glovatrix when the need came up. Sounds like a more serious attitude to me," he grinned, "Dude."
Mike smirked and was about to reply when Raph's TurtleComm beeped. It had finally made contact. Mike grabbed it and was overjoyed to see Donatello's face on the viewscreen.
"Mikey! Finally! Are you OK? Where's Raph? Is he OK?"
Jake ran to get Raphael & Chance as soon as he heard Don's voice. By the time they got back, Mike & Don had pretty much caught up. Chance stopped short as soon as he heard Don's voice. He looked at Jake.
"They're right. He DOES sound like you!"
"OK, guys," Donatello was saying, "I've got my portal generator working. All I need now is your co-ordinates."
Raphael was about to ask Jake for help when Mike started punching in the co-ordinates. "Here you go, dude." Raph shook his head in amazement as a portal opened.
Raphael & Michaelangelo turned to their hosts.
"I guess this is good-bye, dudes." Mike's eyes were filling up again. He ran over to Jake & Chance and gave each of them a one-armed hug. "I'll miss you guys." he sniffled.
"We'll miss you, too, Mikey." Jake replied.
Raph came over and took the TurtleComm from Mike. He handed it to Jake. "Here. Just in case Shredhead tries to cause any more trouble. Give us a call."
"Hey," Chance replied, "the same goes for you. If Pastmaster rears his ugly head again....."
The quartet stood and looked at each other one final time. Then Mike & Raph stepped through the portal.
"You know, Jake. I have the feeling we'll be seeing them again sometime."
"So do I, Chance, so do I."