"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : Transcension"

Prologue

Mirage/Image Earth (Dimension A); Asia, early Cretaceous Period, Prehistoric B.C.

"Blasted!" The horned creature trudged through the marsh underbrush, his hooves crunching on the dried, dead leaves beneath him, the fur on his legs catching here and there on low branches and twigs. As he continued his lonesome trek, a soft trembling began to shake the earth, nearly causing him to lose his footing. Swearing under his breath, he ducked behind a giant rock and waited as it shook the nearby trees, causing the inhabiting birds to take flight.

As the shaking grew stronger, he cursed his misfortune. It had been nearly a month since his exile to this godforsaken time from Feudal Japan. He couldn't believe he had let that bitch Renet trick him for a second time! As if his embarrassing defeat to Lord Simultaneous wasn't enough—to say nothing of his previous confrontation in prehistoric times and the later death of his wife, Juliet (even if that had only spared him the trouble of an unpleasant divorce... the lady had been far too attached, really). If only Renet hadn't gotten a hold of that sceptre...

It's mine! he thought bitterly. How dare she take what isn't rightfully hers? As for those damned Turtles... they will pay for their meddling impudence!

The ground began to rumble now, so fiercely that even the boulder he hid behind shook under the strain. Glancing up, he saw a gigantic beast towering above him. Its massive neck stretched up to the sky, its enormous feet leaving behind gigantic craters in the trembling earth. It moved slowly, but its steps contained such raw power, that he dared not challenge such an animal. He knew from his many travels that it was called a Tyrannosaurus, but this was the first time he'd been this close to one. It was a massive beast, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake. Oh, how he longed for that kind of power! Soon, the beast had passed, and the rumbling faded again into a distant quaking.

Slowly, he rose, and a sense of euphoria spread over him. Something had changed. The air felt... different. He had experienced this shift before. Something in the time continuum... the timestream... was changing...

Suddenly, something Savanti knew could only be a "time hole" appeared, a temporal doorway in the very fabric of time and existence, one which grew and pulsated with an intense spectrum of color and negative light. A hooded figure appeared before him, stepping through the great void. He stared at the cloak skeptically, unable to see whatever face was hidden in the shadows beneath the hood. The figure just stood there for a moment, silent, motionless.

Savanti folded his arms, a symbol of defiance and power. "Who are you?"

The cloaked figure took a step toward him, a step accompanied by the sound of chains dangling. A pointy appendage peeking out from the protection of the hood. "Someone from your past... your future. You may call me 'The Shogun.'"

"Your voice..." Savanti spoke. "Have we met?"

After receiving only the figure's ghostly stare as a reply, he glanced down at the chains that hung from the being's neck, the frivolous trinkets and medallions. They must be worth fortunes, Savanti thought greedily. The figure also carried a stone tablet of some kind in its gloved right hand. As he squinted at it, he could make out some sort of ancient writing inscribed into the stone. He couldn't quite decipher the language, but he'd seen something similar before. He figured it to be some form of ancient Hebrew.

The figure noticed Savanti's gaze and could sense his interest. "The Ten Commandments."

Savanti thought he could almost see a flash of grinning white teeth from within the dark folds of the hood.

"And look at this." He held up another prized possession, acting very proud of the old gold goblet he clutched in his hands.

Savanti stared in astonishment at the worn out cup, its once fine finish obviously worn from time and age. "The Holy Grail? But how—"

A low laughter came from within the folds of the cloak. "It has taken me decades, but I have unraveled the secrets of time travel. Temporal physics, mechanics... navigation. I've been to so many places I could only read about before. With my time machine I've been able to collect all of these fine articles and explore many wonderful places... places which I hope to return to some day... after I do what needs to be done."

He stared at the figure skeptically. "Time machine?" Savanti asked. Man-made "time machines" were considered extremely limited by any time traveler with even the most elementary knowledge of temporal manipulation, due to the considerably long travel time experienced by the traveler. "You don't mean you have the Sacred Sands of Time Sceptre... do you?"

"No, I have no scepter, only my time machine... the one I built to find you... Savanti Romero."

The horned beast winced, then frowned at the caped being. "And exactly what do you want from me?"

"Your power, the power you are oblivious to yet courses through your veins." He ran a careless, almost disgusted glance over some of his relics. "The power these mere inanimate objects I adorn myself with now do not provide. My time machine has taken me to many an interesting place, but I'm afraid it doesn't contain the power I need to complete my mission on its own. It is mundane."

Savanti scoffed. "And what makes you think that I am willing to share my power, Shogun?"

"I'll make you a deal." The figure drew nearer. "I'll take what I need from you..." he placed his hands on Savanti's head, and could already feel the vibrations coursing through him, "... and you'll stay out of my way."

Savanti let out a scream as pain flowed down his spine and throbbed against his temples. The anguish was so great, he didn't even have the strength to fight. As the sensation grew stronger, the figure began to visibly shake, and the hood slipped from its head a little more, revealing that it did indeed bear a horn.

Oh my god... it's you... you're me, aren't you?

But he never got to ask his question. Instead, his head exploded with throbbing pain, and the world went black.

The figure grinned as the power tingled through him. He felt strong... powerful beyond belief. Now he would be able to do what he'd come here for. He would not fail. He dare not.

Despite his moment of elation, the figure soon frowned. "The power..." he spoke, dissatisfied, "... not enough."

Slowly, he lifted up the hem of the cape, revealing a very detailed, ancient spear that hung from a sheath on his calf. He narrowed his eyes as he drew the Spear of Destiny slowly and carefully from its resting place. "I need it all. But I'm afraid, Savanti Romero, for you this must now be the end." The air around him—the pterodactyls, the insects, even the wind ceased all sound as he slowly and very precisely plunged the same spear that pierced Jesus Christ when he was on the cross into Savanti's chest.

"Ended..."

As if the essence, the very soul of Savanti Romero were escaping, wisps and tendrils of energy rose up from the still body. The figure standing over Savanti held his arms apart and seemed to force the energy into himself by sheer force of will, drawing it into every pore of his shrouded body. When there was no more energy left in the withered corpse to draw upon, the figure stood away, satisfied only now.

"... and done."

Folding his arms and enfolding himself with his cloak, the figure wavered and vanished into a chronal mottling of his own will's creation. His mission would begin in earnest now.

It was time to set the wrong things right.


NOTE : See (Mirage) TMNT Vol. 1, #46 & 47 for the story of Savanti Romero's second exile to prehistoric times.