It was a quiet, sunny, summer day in New York. People came and went, as was their wont, and, as always, the news stations were on the lookout for the latest happenings. At least, the mediocre stations were. And Channel 6 was a mediocre station at best.

As was his wont, Mr. Thomas Burns was ranting and raving about how they needed a story that would catapult them in the ratings. April O'Neil, Vernon, and Irma sat in his office, listening to his little tirade.

"What this station needs is something exciting! Something dramatic! Something . . ."

"That will knock the socks off of your viewers?" a female voice said.

Curious as to who had spoken, the four of them turned their heads to see a woman standing in the doorway. Behind her were two men. Something about them slightly unnerved April. Something about their eyes . . .

'Something isn't right with their eyes. Like they've seen a lot . . . but they can't be that much older than me! Can they?'

April was brought out her musings when Mr. Burns scowled at the newcomers and shouted, "Just who are you and how did you get in here!"

"My name is Christine Silver," the woman said, "and your receptionist told me that I could find you in your office. My crew and I are here to help you with your problem."

"Have you got a story with you?" he demanded.

"Have I got a story?" Christine smiled. "That, my friend, would be an understatement. Are you interested?"

April looked at Christine once more, taking note of every detail. Her distrust grew as she looked.

Christine was a very tall woman, short blonde hair, blue eyes that were as cold as ice, and curves like no one she had ever seen. She appeared to be in her mid-30's and was dressed rather professionally as well, sporting a navy blue skirt and jacket, and a white blouse. Overall, she was a rather attractive woman and April could practically see Vernon drooling all over this woman. She turned her attention to the two men that were with Christine.

The first one appeared to be slightly older than Christine, perhaps in his early 40s. He had short red hair, the same icy blue eyes as Christine and a very strong, athletic build. His facial features were strong and sharp, but his eyes were definitely the offset. They seemed a little warmer and kinder than Christine's. And April could just imagine the type of guy that he was. Strong, powerful, silent . . . he had everything, or so it seemed like. Despite him wearing a simple red and white shirt, blue jeans, and hiking books, she felt herself becoming a little hot under the collar for this one, and she was sure that Irma was, too.

The second male looked a little similar to the first, like they were brothers, only he appeared to be in his twenties, if that. He was dressed casually, too, in a simple black t-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes, and, to April, he looked a lot stronger than the first, and like he might have a learning disability. Dark-haired and taller than the other two altogether, he was obviously the brooding, moody, sulky one. April made a mental note to stay away from him.

'Like Raphael, only scarier.'

"What's this story that you have," Mr. Burns growled, interrupting April's musings and thoughts. "And who are these two hooligans with you?"

'Wrong thing to say, Mr. Burns,' April thought as all three of them stiffened.

"They are not hooligans," Christine stated coldly. "They are a part of my crew. Ian Harris is my producer and this is his brother, Link. And, if all you're going to do is insult them, then I can take my story about The Transformers elsewhere."

"The Transformers?" Vernon echoed. "You mean those giant robots who have terrorized this planet since the early 80s? Oh, please. I'm sure you could come up with a better story than that."

"I agree with Vernon," Mr. Burns declared. "Those robots are a bigger threat and menace than what those turtles are!"

April felt her cheeks going red with anger. It was always the same old thing with Thomas Burns. Never mind the fact that they always managed to save their lives and give him the ratings boost that he had been ranting about just a few moments before, Burns always called them a threat and a menace.

However, before April could say anything, Christine merely shrugged and said, "Suit yourself then. I'm sure CNN will love to hear what Troy Percival and William Jackson have to say on the matter and about their latest device."

With that, she and her two companions turned to go.

"Wait . . . Did you say Troy Percival and William Jackson? Those two scientists that were talking about some invention of theirs about a month ago?"

By this time, they had looked back at them. Christine smiled slightly and nodded.

"The same ones. They, along with a doctor named Chet Torch, have been working on a device that will effectively immobilize the ones who wish to harm Earth and all of its inhabitants, the Decepticons. Troy himself promised me the story exclusive once the finishing touches on the device were complete. But . . . you're not interested so I'll just take my story elsewhere . . ."

Again, Christine and her companions turned to go.

"I've reconsidered and I'm sorry," Mr. Burns blurted out. "You and your crew are hired. Just two questions . . ."

"What are they?" Christine folded her arms, her gaze cool.

"Who are your two companions again and how did you manage to get that story? We've been trying to land it for a month!" he exclaimed.

Christine paused for a moment, like she was considering her answer very carefully. At least, part of her answer. There was a slightly amused grin on her face.

"My two companions are Ian Harris," she gestured to the red-haired man, "and his younger brother, Link," to the other. "Ian is my producer and Link handles the camera. The rest of my crew is waiting outside, just in case you were wondering about that as well. As for how I managed to get the interviews . . . " she trailed off.

"Chet and William are old friends of mine," Ian stated, finally breaking his silence. If April had thought he was good-looking before, hearing him talk was almost driving her crazy. He had a Southern drawl that was incredibly smooth, extremely relaxing, and unbelievably sexy. If it had been anyone else, she wouldn't have even paid any attention!

'I wonder if he's taken,' April thought idly as she watched him.

"You know them?" Mr. Burns' jaw dropped in shock.

Ian nodded.

"I've known them for a very long time," he drawled. "Chet's been a big help where Link's been concerned. When Christine was looking for a story, I just called in a favour. They were more than willing to talk to her, too," he added.

Mr. Burns nodded thoughtfully.

"How much longer before they're ready to talk?"

"One more week," Christine replied. "We'll be spending part of that time with them, gathering as much data as possible. If that's okay with you . . ."

"Of course, of course," he nodded. "I'd like for you to share an anchor chair with Vernon and April throughout the week, too. So our viewers can get to know you. Also, I'd like to meet your crew as well, and we'll discuss pay and air times tomorrow. In the meantime, Irma will show you and your crew around Channel Six and we'll have a celebration at the studio tonight. Dress nicely."

"Very well then," Christine stated. "We'll be back in."

Christine, Ian, and Link turned and left. As they left, April caught herself checking Ian out and had decided he was definitely very cute and someone she wanted. Once they were gone, she was heading for her office.

'I've got to let the Turtles know about this,' April thought. 'They're not going to believe this!'

888888888

The Turtles were sitting in their living room along with Master Splinter when April's call came in.

"April to the Turtles! Come in!"

"This is Donatello. What is it, April?"

"You guys are not going to believe this!" April exclaimed. "Channel Six is going to be snagging the interview with Troy Percival and William Jackson!"

"That's great, dudette!" Michelangelo cheered. "When are you going to be on?"

"I'm not," April stated. "We have a new reporter named Christine Silver and she'll be conducting the interview in one week. Apparently, her producer knows William Jackson and is old friends with him."

"What is bothering you, child?" Splinter asked all of a sudden.

The four Turtles gave their sensei an odd look. He hardly ever asked April questions like that. Intently, they listened to what April had to say.

"I'm not entirely sure, Master Splinter," she confessed. "I've just met the woman today and I already don't like her. I don't even trust her. There's just something about her eyes that really unnerves me. They're cold, it seems like. She reminds me of someone who has seen a lot but she can't be much older than me! It's unsettling!"

"That's not good," Leonardo frowned. "Would you like for us to monitor her?"

"If you would," April breathed in relief. "I'll tell you about her producer, Ian Harris . . . I've got to go . . . Mr. Burns is calling me. I'll keep you informed about her crew and the story when I can find out more. April out."

The communicator went dead, leaving the Turtles to contemplate what April had said. Finally, Leonardo spoke up.
"We better get to Channel Six and find out exactly what's going on," he declared. "For all we know, this Christine Silver could be working for the Shredder."

"And she simply could be different, like us," Raphael interjected. "All April could really say was that her eyes seemed cold and that she reminded her of someone who has seen a lot. Maybe it's true. She could actually be a very sweet lady. Looks can be deceiving, you know."

"Why must you take the opposite side that I'm on?" Leonardo glared at his younger brother.

"Why must you assume that someone is working for the Shredder simply because she's giving a bad first impression?" Raphael shot back.

"Enough!" Splinter said quietly, keeping the argument from becoming World War III. "Both of you have valid points. Just be careful on your way to the station. We do not know what they are like just yet and, until we do, all caution must be adhered to. Understand?"

"Yes, Master Splinter," the Turtles chorused, Leonardo and Raphael looking slightly chagrined at the reprimand. They grabbed their weapons and their communicators and disappeared into the tunnels.

888888888

Christine looked at her watch and sighed rather audibly. It was a primitive device, one that she absolutely detested but it at least had a useful function. She could not say the same thing about her clothing or her high heels. The clothes, choices of Spencer Nichi (whom she was going to kill if he continued to pick outfits like this for her), were more flashy than sensible and the shoes were killing her feet. She simply could not fathom how human women could walk around in them. Christine looked at Ian and sighed again, this time in envy. How she wished she could wear comfortable clothes like he could!

"Something wrong, Chris?" Ian asked, his blue eyes bright and sparkling in amusement. She knew he was enjoying himself and scowled at him for good measure.

"Shut up, Ian," she growled.

Ian chuckled at her, causing her to scowl even more. Oh, was she going to make him pay tonight for this!

"You're just enjoying yourself, aren't you?"

"Maybe," he smirked.

She sighed audibly once more, this time in frustration, and shook her head. Ian was always aggravating her in one way or another, like he had for several million years. Christine and her crew looked human but were far from it. They were, in fact, Autobots and Christine Silver was actually Chromia, the Femme Fatales' second-in-command.

Not that long ago, Perceptor had discovered that the Autobots' recharging chambers had been contaminated by the transforming waters of the Tralacons via Seaspray. After his initial discovery, he had conducted a couple of experiments before finally informing Optimus Prime. Now, Ironhide, Chromia, Grimlock, Hound, Swoop, Jazz, Ratchet, Perceptor, Wheeljack, Sunstreaker, and Sideswipe were in New York City on a mission and they were, for all intense purposes, human. Optimus had asked Elita for permission to have Chromia on this mission for the simple fact that the Decepticons would have no way to recognize her. Chromia, however, was not happy with her role and neither were a few of the others. One of them was Grimlock, now Link Harris, Ian's younger "brother." He stood next to her, a scowl marring his otherwise handsome features.

"Why me, Grimlock, on this mission? It not concern Dinobots!" he growled so only that she and Ian could hear him. Christine did grant him one thing. Link was a very fast learner, faster than what anyone ever gave him credit for.

Ian, otherwise known as Ironhide, sighed a little and stepped around her so that the two men were face to face. Christine noted Ian's irritation with Link but said nothing. She hardly knew the Dinobot, after all, and Ian seemed to know how to handle him better than anyone else, save Wheeljack.

"Because Optimus wants you and Swoop here," Ian said quietly. "Especially if it does turn out to be the Decepticons. You're one of the strongest fighters we have and Swoop has the best aerial maneuverability. You know that."

Hesitantly, the younger man nodded.

"'Sides, it gets you out of the base," Ian added. "I thought that's what you Dinobots wanted."

"It is," Link agreed. "But me not like being a human."

"I think Hound is the only one that is," Christine murmured, and the three of them turned their attention to the tracker.

Out of everyone assigned to the mission, Hound had been the only one who had been truly excited. He also had had the hardest time deciding what he was going to look like and what his alias was going to be. Thankfully, Spike and Carly were the ones to help Hound agonize with his decisions and not Chromia. Howard Tracer¤ became his human name and he had decided to be tall with light reddish-blonde hair. Currently, Howard was dressed in a green t-shirt and denim jeans, something everyone (save Sunstreaker) had done with their wardrobes.

Next, they looked at the rest of their "crew," silently noting that Wheeljack, Ratchet, and Perceptor (now known as William Jackson, Chet Torch - a name Ironhide had given to him jokingly once and had stuck - and Troy Percival (after much groaning on his part) respectively) were not there but at the university, working on a different design for Wheeljack's Instant Immobilizer. The first one their gaze fell on was Jazz, aka Jay Jonah Jamieson, a man with short, dark, and somewhat spiky hair, which also had bright blue high lites. He wasn't an actual member of Christine's crew but he was there to keep track of what everyone was doing and to send reports to Teletran I. If a crisis came up, Jay would be on the ball and getting the players situated. Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, now Simon and Spencer Nichi respectively, were identical twins, strong and muscular in build, though Sideswipe looked like he could be a grease monkey in comparison to Sunstreaker's prim and proper appearance. Sideswipe, of course, had chosen their names, giving Sunstreaker the name "Spencer" as a means to rib him and Ironhide had picked out the rest. He was Ian Harris, she was Christine Silver, Grimlock had become Link Harris (though why it was done that way, no one knew just yet), and Swoop was Stewart White¤, a young man in his twenties with unruly dark hair and huge blue eyes. Out of all of the men, Christine happened to think that the two Dinobots looked very handsome and figured that they would both make someone happy someday.

All of this, of course, had taken place one month prior, after Teletran had picked up some suspicious activity in New York City. In a lot of ways, it was usual human criminal activity. Drug sales, theft, and prostitution were really not enough to concern the Autobots to the point of becoming humans. It was the fact that the humans involved had transformed into animals and were carrying around strange technology. Some of it was Terran but the majority of it was alien. Optimus suspected Megatron but he had no way of knowing for sure, hence his choices for the mission.

During this month, the ones assigned to the mission had been human so they could get accustomed to human customs, like eating human foods and wearing human clothing. It also involved being highly receptive to all kinds of sensations, like being too warm or too cold. Spencer had nearly strangled Ian, Stewart, and Link for dousing him in cold water one day. Christine had to refrain from chuckling at the memory and turned her attention back to the task at hand. She found it hard to focus sometimes, especially with the stimuli that surrounded them. Leaning closer to Ian, she whispered, "Are we sure this is even the right place? I'd hate to think that it isn't."

"Mmm-hmm," he nodded. "Teletran had already pinpointed the main target for this guy a month ago. Plus, I recognize the reporters. The female somehow always gets caught up in the middle. Whoever this guy is, he always targets her because it gets to those Turtle-creatures. They always, always rescue her."

"Think this guy might be a pawn for Megatron?"

"Possibly," he replied. "With the technology he totes around, I'd almost say it's a given."

"They coming," Link abruptly said in a hushed tone.

"Talk normally," Ian said between his teeth and they looked at the doors as Mr. Burns, Vernon, Irma, and April walked out of the Channel Six building. Christine noted from the corner of her eye that the rest of her 'crew' was watching them as well. They already knew Mr. Burns had effectively insulted Ian and Link. Christine just hoped it didn't happen again. Ian had the worst temper, sometimes.

"Is this your crew?" Burns demanded as he gestured to them.

"Yes, it is," she responded coolly.

"We don't need them," Vernon scoffed before any introductions could be made. "We run well enough with what we've got."

Arrogant man, Christine thought darkly. It's a wonder no one has killed you yet.

"You're not the one who signs the paychecks," Ian countered casually. "In fact, you're not the paying for Christine's interview. You have no idea as to what it is going to entail and what exactly it is that she needs. I do. I oversee how it runs and I make sure that the ones who sign the paychecks get what they pay for. That's what sponsors are for, right? They pay your boss so he can put the best programs forward, right? I'm sure that they'd be very disappointed if they did not get their money's worth. You'd be out of a job so why don't you just zip your lip and let us run the interview as we see fit. Okay? Otherwise, we can, and will, take the interview somewhere else. That is my call."

"Shut up, Vernon," Burns growled. "He's right and I want to know who each person is and what they do."

Christine smiled to herself when Vernon had the decency to look chastised, if only for a second, and backed off. She quickly composed herself, though, and began her introductions, noting the murderous glare Vernon was giving Ian.

Sorry, Vernon, but Ian could kick your can any day of the week. And that would be without any fighting skills.

"This is Howard Tracer," she began, gesturing to the strawberry-blonde man. "He normally investigates into stories when I'm unable to. It's like he's a regular news hound. When he isn't searching for stories, he assists with the lighting and the sound."

There was a slight chuckle among her crew, including from Howard. They caught her little joke. Even Ian had laughed a little.

"Over there is Stewart White," Christine pointed to the young man. "He's Ian's assistant and often does a lot of running back and forth. Stewart is quite adept at taking care of any little detail that Ian somehow misses. And, finally, we come to the twins, Simon and Spencer Nichi." She indicated to the Lambo twins. "They take care of any and all lighting, sound feedback, and video feedback."

"I'm also in charge of Christine's wardrobe," Spencer boasted. "It's my job to make sure she looks like a million dollars."

"Right," Christine said. "This is my crew."

"And who's this?" Irma asked, gesturing to the final human with them. "What does he do?"

"That's just Jay," Ian drawled. "He just hangs around to see what kind of trouble he can get himself into."

Jay merely grinned and waved at them. Mr. Burns grunted in acknowledgement and looked over everyone, including another glance at Ian and Link. Finally, he nodded.

"Done. You're all hired. Let's go write up the contract now."

"Sounds good. I'll be right back, guys."

With that, Christine walked with Mr. Burns back into Channel Six.

888888888

I can't believe I'm doing this! April thought as she walked towards Ian. But he is very fine. I just have to talk to him!

"Hey, Ian," she smiled.

Ian looked at her and smiled back.

"Hello, April."

"How did you know . . ." April began, somewhat surprised.

"I've seen your reports," he replied. "We all have. They're pretty good."

"Th-thanks," she stammered.

Silence.

Say something!

"So, are you guys going to stick around once the interview is over?"

"Probably not. Christine doesn't like to stay tied to any station. She likes being a free-lance reporter and I prefer to do field work. It's more challenging that way."

"Oh, I see . . . Well . . . if you'd like, I can give you a full tour of the city . . ."

"This isn't our first time in New York," Ian informed her politely. "We do know a few people that live here."

"Ah ha . . . How about a tour of the station then?"

"That would be nice," he grinned.

"Okay," she beamed. "Let's go."

He nodded and followed her in when she turned around and made a beeline for the station. April noticed the dirty looks that Irma was giving her but chose to ignore them. It wasn't her fault that she had approached him first.

Now to ask him out . . . but how? Oh, why am I even asking myself this? He's from the South and they're a bunch of gentlemen there. I'll just wait for him to ask me out.

Still smiling like a loon, April began her tour of the station, making sure that it would take longer than usual.

888888888

"You see that? That's quite a crew Christine has," Michelangelo whistled to himself.

"Wonder who that guy April was talking to is," Donatello said aloud.

"Who cares," Raphael grumped. "They look like normal humans looking for a job. What's the big deal?"

"April said she didn't trust the woman," Leonardo reminded him. "That Christine could be working for the Shredder. We follow them once they leave and set up our surveillance. The next few days will tell us for sure. Got it?"

"Got it," the other three echoed and they settled in to wait.

Half an hour after April and the red-haired man had done inside, the blonde- haired woman walked out. Raphael was the next one to whistle.

"Okay, she is fiiine. If she does work for old Shred-head, I wouldn't blame him for hiring her. She has got it going!"

"Shut up, Raphael," Donatello admonished. "If she's working for the Shredder . . ."

"Then that device William Jackson and Troy Percival have created is as good as his," Leonardo finished.

"I was just saying . . . Oh, forget it. You guys wouldn't understand," Raphael muttered.

"We know," Leonardo snapped. "You don't think she works for the Shredder whereas I do. Now hush up. We need to keep our attention on them so we can track them. No more talking!"

Everyone quieted down and went back to watching and waiting. Forty-five minutes later, the red-haired man walked out and everyone piled into a car of some kind. The Turtles noted that the red-haired man and the woman were the only ones to get into a blue Corvette stingray. Soon they were driving off and heading north. The Turtles followed, jumping from roof to roof (which made keeping up a somewhat difficult task but they managed), until the convoy of vehicles stopped at an old house and began to leave their vehicles.

The house itself really wasn't that old but it was huge, like the house in the movie, Panic Room. It was the perfect place for a well-known terrorist like the Shredder to hide out, so long as he had the right crew, and Leonardo had said as much.

"A news reporter living in a house like that? No way!" he exclaimed. "Shredder's got to be behind this!"

"Maybe she's independently wealthy and does reporting as a hobby," Raphael sighed. "Why can't you be rational about this and think beyond Shredder being behind this? You're not even giving the woman a chance!"

"I don't have to," Leonardo snapped. "Besides, Shredder has been quiet for far too long. It's about time he did something and this would be the perfect opportunity!"

"Okay, I agree that Shredder stealing that device that works only on Transformers is something that he would think of doing. Especially since that would give him some major firepower once he learned how to control them," Raphael conceded. "But to use a reporter to accomplish that? Leonardo, not only is that extreme, it's ridiculous! If he's going to steal it, he's going to camp outside Channel Six or tunnel up from somewhere and steal it! You should know that by now! Sheesh!"

"This could be a change of plans for him," the older Turtle countered. "You really think that this device is going to go unprotected by someone? Even if the authorities weren't involved, you can almost bet that those scientists are going to do everything they can to protect their invention! Shredder is not stupid, after all. You know that he's tricky and dishonourable. This woman and her crew could be his ticket in! Can't you see that?"

"Guys, guys," Donatello interjected. "You each have valid points and I don't think we should rule out any possibility. Can we just do what it is that we came to do so we can know for certain?"

"Donatello's right," Michelangelo chimed in. "Two of us should stay here and keep an eye on things while the other two should check in with Splinter and April."

"Agreed. Donatello, you and Raphael stay here and take the first watch. Keep us informed of what's going on. Michelangelo and I will go talk to April first, check in with Master Splinter, and come back with more supplies. We'll probably be here for a few days so we'll be back as soon as we can."

With that, Leonardo and Michelangelo were gone, leaving Donatello and Raphael alone.

888888888

"Are they still up there?" Christine whispered.

Ian nodded and whispered, "Yep. Two of them are leaving, though."

"Wonder why they followed us."

"Who knows," he shrugged. "Probably something they do for all reporters or they're suspicious of us. That station does get attacked a lot."

Christine nodded her head in response to that but said nothing more. Ian watched her as they waited for Jay to get off of his cell phone with a Mr. Tim Primrose (aka Optimus Prime) and he decided that she looked just as beautiful in her human form as she was in her robot form.

"Stop staring, Ian," she murmured. "Wouldn't want Ms. O'Neil to find out about us, would you?"

"Jealous, Christine?" he teased. It had been rather obvious to everyone that April was developing a crush on him but he wasn't quite sure on how to react to it. He was rather used to females not paying attention to him.

A smile was her only answer, causing him to chuckle. Of course, she wasn't jealous and would never feel threatened by another female. Unlike most females, Ian had noted, Christine had no reason to be jealous or to feel threatened. She was confident in herself, knew how to handle any situation, and that's exactly what had attracted him to her in the first place.

"Seriously, Ian," she leaned in closer, "you must have made a serious impression on both of those females. I saw how they looked at you. It was like you were nothing but a piece of meat, something to toss aside whenever they were finished with you, and, quite honestly, it sickened me."

"That's how most humans are, though. We can't change them anymore than what they can change us. Besides," he added, "it'll be over as soon as that creep makes his move."

"I know," she sighed. "But I still don't have to like it."

Ian grinned at her as Stewart approached them. He looked a little worried about something.

"Where me staying at?" he asked.

"With us in the house," Ian answered, frowning a little. "Why?"

"'Cause Spencer said me staying in a zoo while we in New York."

"He did, huh? Don't worry about it. Your room is set up here," Ian assured the younger man. "I'll deal with Spencer, okay?"

"Okay," Stewart grinned. "Can we order pizza tonight?"

They chuckled at that. If anything, the two Dinobots loved pizza. After the first time they had had the stuff, Grimlock had declared it to be the only reason why he even continued to be a human.

"We can do that," Ian said.

"Spike and Carly are bad influences," Christine shook her head.

"Maybe," Ian replied. "I'm just waiting to go inside. Tim was supposed to stop by this morning and unlock the doors. The rest of the world does not need to know about our plans or who we are, for that matter. Jay . . ."

"We're all clear to go inside," Jay finally said. "Tim says to proceed with caution, however. We don't really know what we're up against." Ian snorted at that.

"How else would we proceed? We know where Soundwave is at and it's definitely not here."

"That doesn't mean it won't change, Ian, my man, especially if that Burns fellow okays Chris interviewing Chip, Spike, Carly, and Sparkplug," he cautioned.

"I'm still not worried about Soundwave showing up," Ian smirked. Jay looked at him sharply.

"What do you know that I don't?"

"What Slag, Sludge, and Snarl are doing right now. You know where your room is at and what you're to do in the meantime, right?"

"Right. Just make sure everyone keeps in touch with either me or Terry when he arrives. We can't track this guy if no one does their parts. That includes you, too, Ian."

"Always," came the reply as the door closed behind them.

888888888

Outside the Channel Six building stood a man with short brown hair and very intense blue eyes. Next to him stood a woman and a teenaged boy, both sandy blonde hair and the same intense blue eyes. The young boy was playing a Gameboy while the woman had her arm wrapped around the man. They were talking in hushed tones.

"I don't like this, Tim," she was saying. "There's something not right about this place. Are we sure it's even safe for them to be here?"

"No," he answered. "But you know what they'd say, Allie. 'We can take care of ourselves, you two. We have long before we even met you.'"

"I know," she sighed, tugging on the teenager's arm. He looked up from his game just in time to see them walk over to their car, an old and beat up, dark green S.U.V. They climbed in and were off.

"Where to, Prime? The house?" a voice asked.

"Yes, Brawn," Tim replied. "Blaster's flight was delayed so he won't be here until later this evening."

"We need to make sure Ironhide and Chromia don't try killing each other in their human forms," the woman joked, an apparent attempt at trying to hide her concern in Tim's mind.

"Roger that, Elita."

Carefully weaving their way through traffic, Tim keeping the appearance that he was driving, Elita, or Allie Primrose, looked at him and studied him for a few moments. Finally, she asked him the question that was foremost in her mind.

"Do you really think that they can handle themselves as humans? Especially Ironhide? He does have a temper."

"Yes," he responded. "Ironhide knows that they're playing by a different set of rules now. He may not be happy about it but he does know."

The rest of the ride was in silence, each one of them lost to their own thoughts.

888888888

"Shredder!"

Oroku Saki groaned to himself when he heard Krang's loud shrill reverberating down the halls of the Technodrome. Forming an alliance with that pink blob of a brain had been the second biggest mistake of his life, the first being dumping the mutagen into the sewers to kill his archenemy, Hamato Yoshi, and creating the Turtles in the process.

'If I could only get rid of them. All of them,' he thought murderously.

"What do you want, Krang?" he shouted. "I'm busy!"

"Well, make yourself un-busy," Krang retorted. "There's something I want you to see."

Saki muttered an inaudible curse to himself and walked to the main control room.

"What is it, Krang?" he demanded. "I'm trying to fix the locator so we can find that damn immobilizer device that you want so bad and steal it."

"We won't need it," the alien boasted. "Take a look."

He flipped on the monitor with a tentacle and on the screen was a Channel Six advertisement for an interview. An interview with William Jackson and Troy Percival complete with a live demonstration of their device. Saki's eyes lit up when he saw that but immediately frowned when he saw that his "favourite" reporter, April O'Neil, was not conducting the interview but a newcomer to Channel Six, a Christine Silver.

"A live demonstration," he murmured. "Who is this Christine Silver, though?"

"Who cares," Krang chortled. "This is our lucky week! All we have to do is wait and that device is as good as ours. The Transformers will be ours to control!"

Saki stood there for a moment, looking very thoughtful. It was going to be very easy to steal that device. In fact, it was going to be far too easy to steal it. There would be no way that such a device would be delivered unprotected to Channel Six and there was definitely no way to steal it without it going unnoticed. In addition to the regular security, the Turtles would definitely be watching over the station, waiting for him to make a move. Unless . . .

"We need a distraction of some kind and to get into Channel Six long before the device gets there," he announced. "Or we're never going to get by the Turtles alone. When the time is right, send up Bebop and Rocksteady to distract them. A burglary in a museum or a bank should suffice."

"And what about you? Do you plan on sleeping in the Channel Six building the entire time?" Krang mocked.

"Oh please, Krang," Saki snorted. "They'd be doing clean sweeps of the building twenty-four hours in advance. But I will be in the building, waiting for them."

"Oh really?" The alien did not look impressed.

"Really," he confirmed. "I'll go to the surface and get me a job as a janitor or something at Channel Six. The holo-projector can be used to disguise me. I just need to get close to that reporter . . ."

"Sure you do, Shredder," Krang said sarcastically. "And the holo-projector will work as good as it did the last time when Bebop and Rocksteady used it."

"Shut up, Krang. Especially if you want that device," he growled. "I'll be making modifications to the holo-projector if you need me."

Saki turned around rather quickly and stalked off, not giving Krang a chance to say another word. There was work to be done and not enough time to get it done in.

888888888

"Ian . . ."

The red-haired man looked up as Simon approached him. He knew it was Simon for the simple fact that he was dressed simply in a red t-shirt and jeans and he was able to recognize his vocal pattern. Otherwise, he never would have been able to tell the twins apart!

"Yes, Simon?"

"What are we going to do about our visitors across the street?" he asked. "They're liable to get in our way and hinder us. Prime told us to make sure no one got hurt."

"I'm aware of our orders," he pointed out. "And you're not the first one to voice that concern. Prime's already thought of that and we've decided upon the best course of action. He, Elita, and Bumblebee are going to be picking Blaster up at the airport later tonight and, when they do, they'll be picking up Mirage and a set of portable energy bars. There's enough room in the basement to keep them there until we get this guy."

"We're going to be kidnapping them?" the other man stated, a surprised look on his face. "How are we going to get to them without raising their suspicion?"

"Wheeljack, Ratchet, and Perceptor are going to apprehend them. In fact, they're across the street right now, capturing the two that are up there as we speak."

"Thank Primus!" Simon breathed. "I'd hate to see anyone get hurt during this mission!"

"You and me both," Ian agreed.

"Do you think this will work?"

Ian paused for a moment and considered the question. Did he think this mission would work? There had been no doubts in his mind before, especially since they had taken a month to prepare and plan, and he still had no doubts about it now.

"Yes, I do," he replied. "So long as we play our cards right and do everything according to the plan, we can't fail."

Before Simon could say anything to that, the doorbell rang and a chorus of "Me get it!" was heard, followed by the sound of feet thumping down the stairs as Link and Stewart raced to answer the door. The two men chuckled.

"Pizza must be here," Ian observed.

"Yeah . . . I just hope those two observe what Prime had told us about eating."

"Don't worry about it. Let them have some fun for a while."

He nodded and the whoops of joy at the arrival of the food caused both men to chuckle once more. All they needed to do now was wait and see how the cards played out. Ian just hoped they would continue to play out in their favour. It was the human world, as Prime had pointed out, and it had a funny way of taking you out when you least expected it.

888888888

"This is torture!" Raphael exclaimed as he and Donatello watched the pizza be delivered.

"You said it," Donatello agreed. "Maybe we can get Leonardo and Michelangelo to bring some pies with them on their way back. I'll contact them now."

He had just pulled out his communicator when they both heard the sound of someone approaching behind them. The two Turtles looked up in time to see three men advancing towards them, each holding an odd-looking gun. In a flash of light, Donatello remembered no more.

888888888

"Here they are, Ian," William announced proudly. He wasn't tall, as a rule, but Wheeljack didn't mind since he wasn't going to be human forever. "How have Link and Stewart been behaving?"

"Good," the other man nodded. "Acting like a couple of kids but that was to be expected . . . You didn't have any trouble apprehending these two?"

"Nah," William shook his head, a stray lock of light brown hair falling into his face. For some reason, it kept doing that and he wasn't sure if it was normal or not. "We stunned them before they had a chance to respond. As soon as they're secured, we'll head back for the other two."

They watched as Chet, another man is his early 40s with slightly greying hair and looking older than what he should have been (Wheeljack wondered how that had happened since Ironhide was older than the good doctor by many vorns) and Troy, a young man with lank chestnut hair and small wire-rimmed glasses, carried the two unconscious Turtles to the basement, Simon and Spencer assisting them.

"Slip out the back just in case the other two are back," Ian said. "You can cut across the backyards then cross the street. We don't need those two becoming suspicious about their friends' whereabouts."

"If they aren't already?"

"Yeah."

"Gotcha, Ian. Save some of that pizza for us, okay?"

"Don't they feed you guys at the university?" Ian asked, giving him a funny look.

"Well, yes, but it isn't exactly tasty or edible at times."

Ian laughed heartily at that just as Chet and Troy came from the basement and Christine came from the second floor. She looked fit to be tied about something and William decided it was time for he and his crew to leave. He knew from experience that, once those two got to arguing, it was best to duck and take cover. You had a better chance of surviving that way.

'Here's hoping the neighbors are kind enough to mind their own business,' he thought as Chris lit into Ian and they slipped through the back door. 'The last thing we need is for someone to call the police on a domestic dispute.'

888888888

"Where could they have gone!" Leonardo fumed. "If Raphael left and Donatello followed him . . ."

They had just arrived to the rooftop only to find that Raphael and Donatello were not there. Michelangelo had groaned inwardly when they had seen this because he knew it would cause Leonardo to go into a tirade.

'Never seen him act like this,' he thought. 'Of course, I never thought I'd see Raphael be the logical one, either. What is it about these humans that's doing this to us?'

While Leonardo was fuming, Michelangelo looked around the area some, hoping to find some clue as to what had happened. It wasn't like either one of them to just leave their posts like that.

"I don't think they left willingly," he said suddenly, cutting Leonardo short in his tirade. He picked up the two communicators as the older Turtle looked at him. "Someone got to them."

"And I bet I know who," he uttered grimly. "We better get back to Master Splinter before something happens to them."

Michelangelo nodded his agreement and stood up to leave. As they turned, they saw three men standing there but remembered no more after that.

888888888

Early the next morning, Ian woke everyone up, saving Christine for last. He didn't look like he had slept well last night but wasn't saying anything about it. When Christine came down, she, too, looked like she hadn't slept well. However, no one dared to say anything about it. It was bad enough if one was in a bad mood but to have both of them in a bad mood was even worse.

Breakfast was already prepared when everyone got to the table, though it obviously hadn't taken much to prepare. A variety of fruit had been set out along with some cereals, juices, and milk. Tea and coffee were ready for those who wanted it as well and when everyone was done eating, Jay, Ian, and Christine headed for the basement.

"What do you think will happen now?" Stewart asked Link. The older man shrugged.

"Not know. Never know with those two apparently."

Stewart nodded and looked at the basement door worriedly. He was unaccustomed to being around two Autobots who were seemingly as volatile as those two.

"Let us out of here," Leonardo growled. Out of all of the Turtles, only Raphael remained sleeping. How he managed that, no one knew.

"When it's time," came the sage reply. Leonardo growled one more time but said nothing more. If anything, he could wait, probably far longer than what these humans could. He just hoped that they weren't in for any nasty surprises . . . like a trip to a science lab.

'I hope Master Splinter and April find us soon,' he thought ferverently. At that moment, the three humans sat down by a console and began talking.

'Maybe I can find out what they're up to.'

"So how was the tour yesterday, Ian?" the dark-haired man said, obviously teasing the older man.

"Fine, but it's not going to be enough. I'm hoping that Burns will give us a copy of the station's blueprints so we can plan this better."

Leonardo frowned at this. Why would they need the blueprints to Channel Six? Just what were they up to?

"Maybe it would be better to conduct the interview in the basement," Christine offered, sipping on a cup of coffee.

"That is a possibility," the red-haired man mused. "Structural integrity would have to be able to withstand anything that could go wrong, though."

The other two nodded and were silent for a few moments. By the way they were talking, Leonardo's suspicions only grew. And they had to stop them somehow before it was too late.

888888888

Three days later

"What do you think is going on?" Irma whispered to April. It had been three days since Christine and her crew had been hired to work at Channel Six and three days since the Turtles had vanished. If it hadn't been for the fact that all she could think about was Ian, April would have gone out to look for them. As it were, Ian had already turned down one advance and two dates, stating he had no interest in such things. However, she had not given up hope and she continued to dream about him and being able to be with him. April looked at her best friend.

"How do you mean? Do you mean with the Turtles or with Ian and Christine?"

"The Turtles, actually," Irma replied. "But if you want to talk about Ian and Christine again . . ."

"Splinter's been looking for them since they disappeared and he hasn't been able to find anything," she sighed. "It's like they've completely vanished . . . Or maybe they took off. It's hard to say. As for Ian and Christine . . . they're not a couple. They can't be."

"Why do you say that?"

"Have you heard them when they argue? And they fight constantly. They can't be a couple!"

"Maybe they are," Irma insisted. "Maybe they just don't want people to know about it."

"They're not a couple," April stated. It was something Irma was constantly saying but she couldn't seem to get it through her head. How could Ian and Christine be a couple when they fought the way that they did and as often? That wasn't being happily in love. That was a nightmare!

They had been silent for a few moments, each lost in her own thoughts and April took stock of what had happened since she met Christine, Ian, and their crew.

She pretty much had lost her distrust of Ian but not of the others. In fact, she absolutely detested Christine and the amount of attention Ian seemed to shower upon her. It was short of disgusting, in her opinion, because she felt that Ian had a very easygoing demeanor, though most of Christine's crew seemed to think otherwise.

A knock on the door brought both women out of their musings and they looked up to see Ian standing in the door. He looked a little worried about something.

"Has anyone seen Christine?"

Both women shook their heads 'no' and Irma asked, "Didn't you two have an argument earlier?"

"Yeah . . . so?"

"So why bother looking for her when she may still be angry with you?" April chimed in, hoping he'd forget about Christine for one moment.

"Because she never stays mad that long," Ian began when a woman's voice (Christine's) came drifting down the hall.

"I don't care WHAT you think about Ian, Vernon! He may be a jerk sometimes but at least he's not an insensitive, self-absorbed egotist like you!"

The shouting was followed by a slamming door and Ian hurriedly excusing himself. April sighed in frustration to herself. Irma looked at her.

"Wondering what he sees in her anyway? I'm telling you, they're in love."

April just glared at her.

888888888

"Are you certain?"

"Yes, Krang," Saki whispered. He was currently hiding in the basement at Channel Six. "No one has seen the Turtles in three days! They have either left the City or have vanished completely. My guess is they're waiting for me to make my move when Christine conducts her interview. I, however, am not going to wait for it to take place."

"And why not?" Krang inquired.

"There's something uncanny about Christine and her crew," he replied. "It's . . . it's like they're not even human or something. I just can't place it. Plus, I plan on turning the tide on the Turtles."

"What do you intend to do?"

"What I always do. Since I'm already here, I'm going to take over Channel Six and hold everyone hostage. Have a transport vehicle waiting in the sewers. And send Bebop, Rocksteady and some Foot soldiers. We'll have that device by the end of the night!"

888888888

"Let us out of here!" Leonardo growled at their captors for what seemed like the hundredth time. He still wasn't happy with the fact that these people had gotten the drop on him and his brothers. Granted, they weren't being mistreated. If anything, they were receiving excellent treatment for being held against their will.

"Give it a rest, Leonardo," Raphael sighed wearily. "It's been three days now. They're not going to let us go."

The four humans sitting there - Buzz, Allie, Jay, and Terry - just looked at them then at Tim as he came down the stairs with lunch. They had gotten to know the names of their captors rather well and the types of personalities that they had. But what really unsettled Leonardo was the fact that they hardly said anything. The fact that their weapons were very unusual for humans to have didn't help ease his distrust, either.

Despite the kindness from these humans, Leonardo still believed that they were working for the Shredder. He didn't come out and say it to them because he didn't want them to know that he was on to them and formulating a plan for escape. They had brought a TV down for them to watch so they were able to keep up on current events. Allowing the Turtles to watch TV, in his mind, however was just another form of torture.

Tim regarded him for a moment before he said, "We'll release the four of you when the time is right but only then. You're here for your own safety." He then turned to the other four and announced, "They had already left when I called so they should be here soon. I told them to just come on in so I'm hoping this will be all over soon."

"They? They who?" Leonardo demanded, fearing that it was going to be the Shredder and Krang but he got no response. The sound of car doors opening and closing was heard outside, followed by at least three people entering the house. Jay grinned.

"Sooner than expected."

Leonardo had an icy feeling in the pit of his stomach. His brothers stood up and waited next to him. Any minute now, Shredder and his two goons would be coming down those stairs and ready to celebrate their victory. Leonardo steeled himself for the encounter but was ultimately surprised when the three men walked down the stairs.

"You're William Jackson and Troy Percival!" Donatello exclaimed. "What are you doing here?"

Leonardo couldn't contain his confusion at this turn of events. Troy Percival? William Jackson? The two inventors of the immobilizer device? Here? How could that be?

"We're friends of Mr. Primrose," Troy stated calmly in a slight English accent. He definitely sounded like a scientist!

"Granted, we're not really good friends with him like Ian and Christine are," William added, "but we're all friends and have been for some time."

"April did tell us that Ian and William were old friends," Raphael reminded them. The other three nodded, obviously remembering that she did say that when Michelangelo paled a little.

"What are you going to do to us?" he inquired. Leonardo caught the hint of fear in his voice and didn't blame him. Two scientists in such close proximity did not bode well for them. Leonardo knew that very well.

"Keep you here for your safety," Troy said, obviously confused. "What else would we do with you?"

'Something's not right . . . Two scientists with the opportunity to dissect us and study us, and they don't want to do it? What is going on?'

"This is a special news bulletin . . ."

Everyone turned their attention to the TV just as Shredder's face appeared on the screen. The Turtles tensed automatically when they saw him.

"Greetings, citizens of New York," he jeered. "This is the Shredder and I have Channel Six under my control. Troy Percival, William Jackson . . . if you wish to see your friends still alive, I advise you to bring your invention to the Channel Six building and demonstrate to me how it works. Otherwise, Christine Silver and April O'Neil will not live to see midnight. And if I see any sign of the police or the Turtles, I'll blow the building up with everyone in it!"

Evil laughter emanated from the screen as it shifted from Shredder to a room with April and Christine. Both women were tied to chairs and each had a bomb underneath. Leonardo could have sworn he saw irritation on Christine's face before it shifted back to the Shredder.

"You have until midnight."

The screen went blank and Leonardo could feel himself shaking with rage, especially at seeing April tied up to a chair with a bomb underneath it! He looked at their captors, hoping to see the same rage written on their faces. Instead, their expressions were impassive, including Troy's and William's.

"Well?" he demanded. "What are you doing to do?"

"Let Christine kick his aft," the third man retorted.

"And how do you propose she'll do that?" Raphael countered. "She does have a bomb underneath her or didn't you notice that?"

"He does have a point, Chet," Tim pointed out. "We go on, as planned. Ian won't let anything happen to anyone there so we have a little bit of time to stall. However, I want the three of you to go back to the university and deliver the device. We'll meet you there."

"Ian did say something about using the basement as a means of escape," Jay piped in. "The building designs and his notes are upstairs. Take them. They may just help you out."

"What about us?" Michelangelo implored. "We can't stay here with April in trouble!"

"Yeah! We always take on the Shredder!" Donatello concurred.

"Maybe you should let April try and save herself for a change," Allie said quietly. "You can't save her all the time. Besides, I expect Ian to take this man down before too much longer."

"He's a prisoner . . ."

"No," Jay smirked, "he isn't. He, Link, and Stewart have not been taken captive just yet and, by the way they're moving, they're not likely to be taken captive."

"Oh, he will be," Leonardo assured. "Shredder is a very devious man. He is a ninjitsu master, almost as good as our sensei."

"And Ian is one of the best sharpshooters I've ever seen," Buzz quipped back. "He's even beaten my dad when they've gone to the firing range together!"

"A sharpshooter? As in military sharpshooter?"

"Yes," Tim confirmed. "Sharpshooter. So is Christine. They're both smart enough to be able to disarm him. However, we are playing by his rules and I'm not taking any chances. Chet, you, William, and Troy have your orders. Buzz and Terry, stay here with Jay. Allie, let's go."

Without saying anything more, they left, leaving the Turtles to wonder what would become of them if they failed to save the day.

888888888

Christine sighed to herself for the second time and continued to work her fingers and wrists to loosen her bonds. She'd been at it since those idiots, Bebop and Rocksteady, had tied her up. Of course, she was working at it as subtly as she could but it was slow going. As she worked with them, Christine happened to look at April. She noticed that the other woman just sat there, looking very dejected.

"You're not going to do anything to help yourself?" she inquired quietly, making sure she didn't sound rude or anything. She had fast discovered that human women could be very touchy.

"I don't need any taunting from you, Christine," April snapped angrily. "The Turtles will rescue me! They always do!"

"I wasn't taunting you, April," she stated softly. "I was asking why you weren't doing anything to help yourself. Why do you insist on relying on men to help you whenever you're in trouble?"

"Why do you insist on shoving men away?" April shot back. "I swear I don't know what Ian sees in you to even want to keep you on as a member of his crew. You're just using him to climb your way to the top!" At that little tirade, Christine knew that she had struck a nerve.

"Touché."

They were silent for a few moments, Christine still working on her bonds. Finally, Christine broke the silence once more.

"I don't always push men away, April," she finally answered. "I just don't rely on them as much as I used to. I spent too many years on my own to do that. I've been let down one too many times for that. Even Ian has let me down before."

"Ian would never do anything like that!" April snapped, angrier than what she had the first time. "Don't ever talk about him like that ever again! He is far too good for someone like you!"

Christine sighed audibly this time and felt herself actually growing angry with April. She'd found the other woman's crush on Ian to be very amusing, especially since it had made him very uncomfortable but this . . . this was bordering on ridiculous.

"Don't tell me how I can or can't talk about Ian, April O'Neil," she growled. "I've known Ian for a very long time, a lot longer than what you can imagine. No, Ian would never intentionally let anyone down and he had been devastated when I told him that he had let me down. He's done his best to make it up to me. And you want to know something else? He taught me how to defend myself because he knew he couldn't be there around the clock to defend me. Ian knows these things, April. But you can't see that, can you? You can't see the truth because you don't want to believe that he could not be the perfect man you've made him out to be."

By this time, April was glaring dangerously at her but she wasn't about to stop. She was far too gone to stop.

"I've seen the way you look at him, April. You're in love with him . . but for all the wrong reasons, I'm sure. Believe me, I've made the same mistake with another man. Ian isn't who you think is nor is he the one you want him to be. He isn't staying in New York. You can't have that happy ending you're so desperately seeking. Get over him and cut your losses now."

"Let me make my own decisions," April grumbled but tears were streaming down her cheeks. Whether it was hurt or anger, Chris wasn't sure nor was she paying any attention to the other woman. Her hands became free at that moment and she quickly untied her feet, shoving her high heels off to one side as she did so. Silently, she walked over to April and untied her as well. April gave her a bewildered look.

"You wish to stay here, tied to a bomb?"

The other woman shook her head 'no' and they crept towards the door. Christine pressed her ear to the door and listened, as she was sure that there were guards outside. She wasn't too far off because she could hear Shredder talking to his two goons.

"What do you mean you can't find three of the prisoners? Have you any idea of how much that jeopardizes our mission, you oafs? Take some Foot soldiers and find them!"

"Okay, boss . . ."

'Just like Megatron,' Christine thought darkly as she carefully made her way towards the window. April followed.

"What are we going to do?" April whispered. Christine was already opening a window and looking out. She smiled when she saw a blue Corvette parked directly underneath the window, a red Autobot sigil shining brightly in the early afternoon sun.

"We make our way to the second floor . . ."

"How? The only way to get there is down and the only thing below is Ian's car."

"I know," she smiled impishly. "It's our ticket down."

"What?" April quietly hissed.

"Watch . . ."

Christine stuck her hand out the window and waved.

April watched in awe as Ian's car, a 1982 blue Corvette stingray, transformed into a giant robot and flew to the window. Christine didn't even seem like she was that surprised and started to climb out the window.

"You coming?"

April nodded dumbly and climbed out with Christine. The giant robot held out a hand and both women gingerly stepped onto it. They were soon heading down.

"Second floor, Christine?" it asked. "That's where the other hostages are."

"Fourth floor, Tracks. That's where Ian is."

"Roger that, Christine."

As they reached the fourth floor, a window opened and Stewart stuck his head out and waved.

"Tracks! Right here!"

"You guys know each other?" April inquired.

"Yeah . . . you could say that."

They reached the window and Ian stuck his head out as well.

"Tracks, take April back to the house. She'll be safe there, along with her friends."

"What?"

But Christine was already in the window and Tracks was turning back into a Corvette, April landing in the driver's seat.

In a flash, he was driving off and heading for somewhere unknown. April wasn't sure if she liked this turn of events at all.

888888888

"How did this happen?" Shredder screamed. The chairs were empty and Christine and April were nowhere in sight.

"Don't know, boss," Bebop began.

"Yeah. We was looking for those three guys, like you told us to," Rocksteady finished. "You was the one out here when we left."

"Shut up! Find the three missing men and those women! Now!"

"How about we find you?" a voice inquired.

Shredder and his henchmen turned to see Christine and her entire crew plus four other men and another woman standing behind them, all of them holding bizarre looking weapons.

"What's going on?" Shredder asked, backing away some.

"The end of your crime spree," Christine answered.

"And the end of your reign of terror," one of the men quipped. "Just a little message we're sending to Megatron."

"To who?" Bebop and Rocksteady looked at each other, confused. Shredder, on the other hand, was not happy by this turn of events.

"You won't take me alive!" he shrieked and charged straight towards Christine. If anything he was going to provoke them into killing him, though he knew he was outnumbered and outclassed.

Before any of them could fire a single shot, he was attacking the closest person . . . which would have been Christine if it hadn't been for another man with really dark red hair (the one who had spoken last) getting in his way. Saki didn't think he posed much of a threat but was more than a bit surprised when his opponent began to fight back with the same tenacity and ferocity that he had just displayed.

'Finally, a challenge,' he grinned to himself and balled his hands up into fists. He was about to strike when someone tackled him from the side and, before he knew it, he was under a pile of men.

"Bebop! Rocksteady!" he managed to croak out but didn't get a response. After a few moments, he felt something hit him in the back and he lost consciousness. When he awoke several hours later, it was to find that he was in a solitary prison cell in a place he didn't recognize. The end of his reign of terror was now over and he knew it.

888888888

Six hours. Six very long hours had passed since Troy and William had left with Chet to take the immobilizer device to the Shredder. Six hours since April had arrived and six hours since the Shredder had been apprehended and placed in a high security facility to await his judgment for his crimes. Raphael wasn't sure if he could quite believe it and he took a look around to see what everyone else was doing.

Michelangelo was in the basement with Stewart, Buzz, and Terry, the four of them probably playing an ultimate round of Killer Instinct. Master Splinter had finally found them and was currently in the kitchen with Tim, Allie, and Leonardo, discussing what happened and why. Donatello was talking quite animatedly with Chet, Troy, and William about some weird device of his own while the rest of Christine's crew were in the courtyard in the back, celebrating. Christine and Ian had disappeared entirely but Raphael didn't care where they went. He'd heard them argue often enough and didn't want it to ruin the celebration that was going on. April was on the TV, reporting on the Shredder's capture.

'We won . . . and we weren't even there to see it. This is so odd!'

Raphael watched the news report and took great notice of his friend. She looked a little different somehow, though he couldn't quite place it. He shook his head of the thought and let his mind wander.

'It's probably just my imagination anyway. Besides, Shredder's in jail and I couldn't be happier about it!'

With that thought to keep him company, Raphael slipped quietly out the door and into the night.

888888888

April walked off the set at Channel Six and quickly headed for her office. In a few more days Christine would conduct her interview and she and her crew would be gone. She'd never see Ian again and he had told her as much.

'Why did he have to be so good-looking and kind? Why did I have to fall for him? Why?'

"Everything okay, April?"

She looked up to see Ian standing by a window in her office, a concerned expression on his face. His right arm was wrapped in white gauze bandages, a token of his fight with the Shredder.

"N-nothing," she stammered. "Why?"

"Because Christine told me what she said to you before you both escaped," he informed her.

"Oh . . . I see . . . Irma's right then. You two are a couple, aren't you?"

"Kind of," he replied. "We've been friends for a very long time and have helped each other through some very dark days."

"I see . . ."

"Don't cry, April," he soothed as he walked over to her. Very gently, he began to wipe away the tears that were threatening to spill over and down her cheeks. "You'll find someone who's just right for you. Just like I did."

"You think so?"

"I know so," he smiled, hugging her a little. As quickly as it had started, he let go of her and was heading for the door. "Take care of yourself, April O'Neil. We'll always be watching over you. Always."

With that, he was gone and April was left to wonder what he meant by that. But she no longer felt like her heart was breaking and all of her dreams of Ian were fading fast. Life had to go on, after all, and it would. Shredder would no longer terrorize New York City, or the world, anymore. His day of retribution had come.

The End