This is a dark fic, and as such, may be borderline above PG-13. Please be aware of violence, swearing, and a mature theme. This effort was very draining for me…and you're not supposed to like it. Take it for what it is – an effort to push my boundaries a bit.
A quick note on turtle anatomy:
Turtles have a respiratory system nearly identical to that of humans – they need air, and can dive for only short periods under the water (unlike what may be portrayed in the cartoons).
There's no escape
From death's embrace,
Though you lead it on
A merry chase.
The dogs of death
Enjoy the chase.
Just see the smile
On each hounds face.
The chase can't last;
The dogs must feed.
It will come to pass
With terrifying speed.
-The Book of Counted Sorrows
To my ball-and-chain editor, James, who is ever tolerant of my TMNT addiction.
And to sss979, who will probably never read this…thanks for lighting my fire.
I don't own. I just do with them as I please.
I knew that I was drifting in and out of consciousness. Trapped somewhere between a world of truth and dreams, I tried desperately to push myself back into reality.
Cold…I was freezing. Vaguely, I realized that my body was trembling, and I managed to force a soft groan from between my lips. A clanging noise echoed dully in the background, making my head pound. God, everything hurt. My eyelids felt like lead weights. Gathering strength, I forced them open, fighting to bring the room back into focus…and finally latched on to a familiar green form that was lying across the room.
Michaelangelo. He was on his side, facing away from me. His orange bandana tails drifted in subtle waves down the back of his neck. I grimaced - he was out cold.
My nerves beginning to respond, I managed to roll onto my hands and knees. Nausea ran through me, and I held my breath until the wave passed. I refused to let it carry me away.
"Hey." The voice was soft, but strong enough to be heard over the incessant clanging. I tilted my head, my gaze connecting with Donatello's. A brief smile flashed across his face. He seemed relieved that I was awake. "You okay?"
"I…uh…what the hell?" I tried to move my arms, but realized quickly that they were bound together by a set of heavy metal clasps. The skin underneath was already abraded, slowly oozing a mixture of pus and blood. From my wrists, a chain ran towards my feet, which was connected to identical clasps around my ankles. I looked frantically back at Donatello, feeling my chest tighten when I saw that he was restrained in a similar fashion.
Oh god…we were trapped.
My heartbeat quickened, adrenaline surging through me. The memories flooded back like a dam breaking inside my head. Foot ninjas. Dozens of them. Surprise, panic, fear…we'd never seen it coming. I'd watched my brother's fall, one by one, disappearing into a swarm of black, until I was the only one left…
After that, there was nothing. I hadn't lasted long – not with so many. They'd taken me down easily.
And then brought us here. But where was here?
Instantly, without conscious intent, I began to analyze my surroundings. Glass…we were in a glass cage. A box of some sort. The walls were high – at least fifteen feet by my estimation. Through the transparency, I could see that our enclosure was in another larger room, barren of anything except a door on one wall. The four of us were each bound in a corner, the heavy chains tightly anchored to metal rings embedded in the floor. Donatello was on my left, and Michaelangelo still lay unmoving on my right. Raphael was across from me.
Raphael…now I understood where all of the noise was coming from.
His eyes were blazing with anger, lips curled down in a menacing snarl. The expression on his face was absolutely vicious. Arms raised, he was swinging the manacles that bound his wrists against the glass. There was a sickening crack every time he connected, but there wasn't so much as a dent in the wall's surface. His arms, as well as his ankles, were inundated with blood from his struggles.
I started to open my mouth to say his name, but before the word could form, Donatello raised his hands to stop me. "Leave him alone, Leo. I've already tried."
I should have known. There was no reasoning with Raphael when he was like this – he wouldn't listen to anything except the feral call of his own anger. It was better to just let him wear himself out.
Groaning again, I struggled to rise to my feet. Every muscle in my body cried with agony. Donatello observed me intently, a pained expression on his face.
"How long have you two been awake?" I asked, my voice still groggy.
"Around an hour, Raph a little less." He threw a sidelong glance to Michaelangelo. His chest rose and fell rhythmically, as if he were sleeping soundly. "I think that we were drugged."
I nodded. That would explain the nausea. "Has anyone come in here?"
"No. Not Saki, not anyone. I think that they're waiting for all of us to wake up." Don answered.
Again, trying to come to grips with the situation, I found myself searching for a way out. Running my hands down the glass, I tried to feel for any sort of weakness in the material.
"It's hopeless, Leo," Don said, shaking his head. "It's tempered glass – bullet proof. Besides, I think that Raph's already proven that it won't break." He paused, eyes locking on the wall behind Michaelangelo. Squinting, I could faintly make out the shape of a tall rectangle, perhaps the remnants of a door. Its edges had been sealed with some sort of clear caulk. "That must be how they brought us in," Don continued, gesturing towards the area. "But it looks like it's been closed up just as tightly as the rest of it."
"Why, Donny? Why this?" I circled my head, indicating the strange enclosure around us. "What's the purpose of putting us in here?"
Donatello sucked in a short breath, his eyes closing briefly, then opening again. His expression was stark, and I almost thought that I could see his hands shaking.
I did, immediately noticing a gaping silver pipe suspended from the above. It originated from the ceiling of the larger room, its mouth opening directly over our heads. What in the world…?
"Gas line?" I asked, confused.
"Don't think so. If they were going to gas us, there would have to be a lid." Donatello turned away from me, averting his eyes and staring through the glass. An unsettling shiver ran through me.
I knew my brother. He had an idea of what that pipe was for, and he didn't want to tell me.
"I don't know what to do, Leo," Don answered, fear coating his words. "I've looked over all of it, the glass, the chains…I can't come up with a way out." He toyed nervously with the metal running from his wrists. I shifted to the side, leaned over, and tried to re-establish eye contact. He relented, and my stare penetrated deeply into him.
"I need to know what we're dealing with, bro'," I urged, worry sharpening my tone more than I had intended.
He sighed loudly. "I can't be totally sure. You and I both know that Saki wants us to suffer."
I gritted my teeth, cringing inwardly at the certainty of his statement.
"I thought about some sort of chemical…" his voice trailed off, and I started to feel sick. My mind was racing at the mere thought of what that would be like.
"…but I think that would be too hard. Too expensive, too difficult to get enough of it. Besides… we can't forget that our bodies are valuable – to the right person, we could be worth millions. Even dead, as long as there's enough of us left." Don paused again, and the silence that followed made me realize that Raphael had stopped fighting with his chains. Sweat poured down his face and his sides were heaving from exertion, but the mindless violence had left his expression. Raphael's full attention now centered on Donatello.
"My only other thought," Donatello said softly, "is water."
Then it clicked.
Water…perfect, really. Agonizing, slow, clean – and not only did he get to watch us die, but we got to watch each other die.
It was the perfect pain, physical and emotional.
Across the room, I saw Raphael tense. He understood. He glanced quickly, protectively at Michaelangelo, and I could sense the hate burning inside of him. His voice was low and malicious.
"That sick fuck wants to watch us drown."
A/N - This is a short fic, and amazingly enough for me, already complete. The updates will come in a timely manner. Please review - throw flames if you wish, but I would really love some feedback.