Avatar by Medeah
Disclaimer: I don't own the Turtles, and have no intention to make money from this.
Author Note: This fic is based on the 2003 TV series.
I- The inscription.
He wasn't sure why he was doing it, but still there he was …
He vaguely remembered what he saw the last time, something confusing …
He hasn't paid attention to it the last time. Why was he doing it now?
He closed the eyes, with each single breath traveling deeper into his mind.
He wasn't almost here, but everything around him was more present than ever. He could hear the sound of that little leaking at the end of the corridor, the little scratches from the rats on the sewerages, even the steps of the passers-by that walked over them, several meters above, in the surface. He knew exactly where each one of his brothers were, almost could see them.
Rin … Pio … To … Sha … Kai … Jin … Retsu … Zai … Zen …
He opened the eyes.
He wasn't even more on the practice room. In fact, he wasn't anywhere near the lair …
The door was in front of him, he only had to open it.
He moved thru the room, slightly conscious of his surroundings. Until he reached that corner.
He couldn't stop the shivering he experienced every time he went beside that dark corner. He couldn't remember creating it, at least not consciously … maybe it had always been there.
He hated it.
There was not much worry from his part while he didn't have to get close to it. He could imagine what was there, and didn't like it.
He moved to the door on the other side of the room, mechanically, not really thinking on what he was doing.
He opened it. Inside was the old man on lotus position, in the middle of a spacious lounge bathed by a soft light that came from the skylight on the roof. The atmosphere smelled of incense.
The old man opened the eyes noticing his presence. He smiled.
The old man.
The old man was a mirror; that was all what he already knew. But he still couldn't understand why it had to be an old man and not something else …
"You know you should not be here, don't you?" the old man's serene voice welcomed him. Leonardo took a seat in front of him.
"I know." He knew it, but still there he was. Usually, he only recurred to this deep meditation with Splinter's help, never alone.
"It is a sin to do the Kuji Kiri on your own," the old man continued. "I hope you are prepared to be punished … when you return …"
Leo looked at him, pensively.
Yes, it was true.
"What was your question, then?
Question? Yes … he should have a reason to be here, shouldn't he?
"Why … why am I here?" The old man laughed at that.
"Ask the right question, child."
The right question? He barely knew what he was doing there. Just a moment ago he was on the practice room …
"Who else is here?" he asked without thinking, without really understanding it. But that was the question, he was sure.
The old man expression changed. Now he seemed disturbed.
"This will have consequences, child. You shouldn't be here."
"What … what's going on?" the old man's eyes looked at him with fear.
"You should get out of here … maybe there's one chance …"
"What? But what …"
"You should leave. That question was the right one; there's someone else here … don't you notice?"
Yes, he noticed.
But it was late now.
The old man vanished in front of his eyes.
Leonardo straightened up with a jump … all the room was in darkness. Get up.
"Something wrong is going on here …" he told to himself.
Suddenly everything reverberated with a thud, that of something huge falling to the floor, from a distant place. Leonardo opened the eyes abruptly, swallowing down air, startled.
This is what happens when you come back from such a deep meditation without guidance. Now he realized the silliness of what he did and it wasn't even clear if it was worth the risk. He didn't even understood why he had done it, in first place.
He looked around; he was at Splinter's library. Fortunately, Master Splinter wasn't there yet, and …
Wait a second.
On Splinter's library? That was not the place where he was before, he was sure he was on the room they used to train. Then, why …?
He looked around the room. There was a big bookcase in front of him, and on the floor was the cause of his rude awakening: one of the books had slipped from the shelves and was open faced down.
He rubbed his eyes and stood up. He went to the book and picked it up from the floor, scanning the shelves to find the one where the book belonged. Only on the last of them was a possible place, but …
If the book had been there, between those two huge volumes, in a space where all the books were tightly packed, how could it fall down? A truck or another big size vehicle running on the surface? It seemed improbable, but if that was not the reason, what else could be?
Before he put it back on its place his eyes got locked on one of the pages.
It was a strange book, bind in black … he couldn't remember seeing it before; there was not a title, anything. In fact, all the pages were blank with the exception of the one he was looking at. What were the stakes for the book to fall and open right on the only page with something written?
He sat on the floor with the open book in front of him. He couldn't make sense out of the writing: in was on an unknown idiom, one he had never seen before … on cursive script.
And it was just a line. Why would someone bother to bind a book with only a line of gibberish? And why did Master Splinter kept it here?
Truly, it was strange; where was the sense in writing something like Aila himel adonaij amara zebaoth cadas yeseraije haralius?
He tried to utter the first word. His voice sounded like a growl, but it didn't seemed that difficult … without really noticing he pronounced it complete, out loud. More than once.
There was a vague memory in his mind of something he read somewhere, about the dangers of reading inscriptions in unknown languages, especially if they are in cursive script and you are not really sure of what it means …
He wanted to think about it a little more, but suddenly he was really sleepy. Amazingly sleepy. He just wanted to sleep; his eyelids were closing by themselves …
"Because, and that's my last word."
"I'm not training with you! Go look for someone else."
"But I … need someone that takes practice seriously." Raphael smiled evilly.
"You have not idea of what are you asking for … besides, what's with you wanting to learn martial arts? It is not something you could choose as a summer project."
April got serious.
"This is not a game to me."
"Bah! I don't give you more than a week …"
"Well, I have been on this more than three weeks, for your information!"
"Oh yes, a whole new record …" April sighed.
"The Master says that Ninjitsu can help me to regain some balance on my life, some control … I mean, my life is a complete wreck right now! And not just because I meet you …"
"Oh, thank you very much …"
"You know what I mean …"
"No, I don't."
"… I need to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to have a purpose, guidance, principles to follow; you know, honor and all …"
"Then you should better watch the evangelic channel …"
"You are unbearable!" Raphael smiled.
"Thanks. Even then, all that pretty stuff you talked about … well, that's just because the Master hasn't started with the beating …" Raphael glanced at her, happy to discover he obtained the desired effect.
"He … is going to hit me?" April face was panicked; Raphael smiled.
"How do you think he will teach you to fight? If the Master doesn't hits you hard enough, then he is not truly teaching you a thing … and if you don't accept it, then you are not truly ready to learn.
"T-that was what he did with you?"
"What do you think? Ninjitsu is nothing else that a technique to fight and win … if you dominate it, you are strong; and you only dominate it if you defeat you opponents … and the only way to do it is fighting." With that, he gave a mid turn on the air and kicked the punching bag so hard that almost took it out of the ring where it was hanging. April swallowed.
"But what about honor and balance and …" Raphael started to laugh.
"All that stuff sounds pretty, but at the end, all that counts is … the strength!" Raphael smile vanished. He waited a few seconds, motionless, and then looked around. April lifted an eyebrow. Raphael shook his head and turned towards her. "You will understand that honor not always indicates what is more convenient … and also that there are times where you can't let that famous honor stop you from doing what should be done and …" he stopped talking again, and to look around suspiciously.
"That's weird …" he said, mostly to himself. "Something is not quite right …"
"What? What's wrong?"
"Well …" Raphael scratched his head, "I already said a couple ill-fated things against every Ninjitsu's principles, which would offend the hearing of the good and obedient student, but … where is him? At this point Leo should be jumping out of nowhere to give me one of his boring lectures, I should be telling him to loosen up and stop being a nuisance, and at this we would resume the eternal discussion … and you would finally leave to find someone else to practice!" saying that, he turned and continued hitting the punching bag. April frowned, turning her back to him and moved to the door. Once there she faced him again, opening the mouth to say something, but noting came out.
What a moment to doubt, she said to herself. With a snarl, she turned again and left.
With absolute concentration, Donatello moved the content from one test tube to another, transferring the clear liquid it contained.
"Yees … finally … the perfect combination …" he told to himself. Suddenly, he burst on a strident laugh that almost made him drop the tubes. When his laugh receded, he looked around on all directions; after confirming no one had seen him he sighed relieved, left the empty tube on its support and rubbed his eyes.
"I think I have been working too much …"
"Donny!" The screaming at his back made him jump; he turned around just to find with the smiling face of April.
"Oh, hi April, how are you?" She didn't answer, but her smile became bigger. Don frowned.
"What …?" April smiled even more, opening her eyes really wide. "Oh. I got it. But right now I can't, I'm really busy, you know; a lot of things to do and …" while talking he backed away to the other side of his subway cart-laboratory, where his voice could barely be heard.
"But I need to practice with someone, and Raphael didn't want to and …"
"Raphael? You asked Raphael to practice with you? Well, fortunately, it seems he said no …"
"Well, he tends to … let's say … get thrilled with practice … I wouldn't like to see you with something broken …" and saying that, he buried his face on his microscope visor, without letting go the test tube he had on the hand.
"Oh. In fact, I wanted to practice with Leo, but …"
"Oh, yes … that's a wonderful idea, a much better idea …" while he talked, he made her a gesture with his free hand towards the door. "He will not teach you a thing, but you might receive a long list of all the things you are doing wrong; that can be helpful too …" April scowled.
"But, he is meditating, and I didn't want to interrupt him …"
"Oh … then ask Mikey, he is not doing a thing … he is never doing a thing, in fact …" Don raised his head from the microscope. "Besides, he has been a long time alone and it is not good to let him on his own for a long time, because he gets bored and comes up with stuff to get de-bored, and then something ends getting broken …"
"Okay, okay, I get it. And … em … what are you working at?"
"Well … it's something really complicated and … Look! That's Mikey! … Go fetch him, go!" April released something akin a growl and left the laboratory. Once alone, Don sighed.
"Again, peace …" He looked at the test tube still on his hand and drank its contents in one gulp. "Aaaaah, the perfect lemonade …"
Translator Notes: This was translated with permission from the authoress, Medeah, code 347592; she is proficient in English but has not much time to translate her own works, so I was allowed to give a try on this. The original story, in Spanish, is stored under the code 2158172. Go look at Medeah's bio! She has a couple fics in English, and some of you might like to practice your Spanish reading her interesting stories. THIS IS CHAPTER ONE OF FIFTEEN.