We apologize for the delay of this chapter. It was Idun's fault. She has had writer's block, thus kept Cat from writing.

Idun has drawn some fan art from this story and put it up at her art thread at Stealthy Stories, in case you're interested.

Disclaimer: We don't own the TMNT. However, we do own the dimension where our favourite turtles are now, we own the city of Votrengare, the Vrogor, the Rahk'breeln and practically everything that begins with a "V".

3. An ally

"Knowing the Head Guard, I wouldn't be surprised if he's dead by now from all those horrible genetic experiments."

"WHAT?" the turtles called out.

"Genetic experiments?" Leo repeated, wide-eyed.

"You mean they're experimenting on Raph?" Mikey gasped.

"What kind of experiments?" Donnie asked.

"Well, apparently, the Vodash wasn't enough of a monster for the government," Varriq said. "They're trying to create even more frightening creatures for the testing. But they cannot make anything from scratch; they need something - or someone - to work on. That is where your brother comes into the picture. Either that, or they're gonna use him as a punching bag for their new little 'babies'." He smiled sadly. "I know that it's hard, but take my advice and go home. There is no way to get into the headquarters and out again alive. Trust me. We have tried. Many of us have met the same cruel fate as your brother." His face darkened.

"We appreciate your concern," Leo said, "but leaving without Raph is out of the picture. We simply won't do it. We are a family and we go nowhere without him." His brothers nodded.

"Besides, we couldn't go home even if we wanted to," Mikey added. "We don't know how to do it."

Varriq raised his furry eyebrows. "Are you serious? You want to risk meeting a fate worse than death to save your brother?"

Leo, Don and Mike nodded solemnly.

For several minutes, Varriq only sat there, looking at them. At last, he spoke. "If that is so, we stand beside you. We all have sworn to fight the government at all costs, and we value love and loyalty."

Leo's eyes widened. "Really? You'll help us?"

"Yes. If you want our help, that is." It was clear that Varriq was serious.

"But...but you said that there was no way to get into the headquarters and out again, and that many of you..." Don traded off.

"Yes," Varriq started. He had a sad frown on his face, but there was a glint in his eyes. "But that is no reason not to try again."

The turtles smiled. They knew that they had gained a good ally.

"But there is still something I don't get," Donnie said. "What exactly do you mean by 'testing'? Why do they want people to fight a monster?"

"It's kind of stupid, really," Varriq said. "It started when some wacko person at the government got the suspicion that we might get attacked by some other dimension any minute. Rubbish, of course, but try to tell the government that. Anyway, they created the Vodash as some sort of defence system. Then they started kidnapping different people from other dimensions, threw them into an arena together with that horrible thing and watched them get killed off. They called it 'testing'." He scowled. "They even made it into some kind of entertainment and sent the whole 'event' in BV."

"BV?"

"Bubble Vision. It's kind of a bubble that pops up out of thin air and shows something in 3-D."

"Like television?"

Varriq tilted his head. "I do not know what 'television' is."

"Never mind," Leo said. "You say that someone named Vingen put an end to it?"

"Yes, with some help from the X-Men. But now she's dead." Varriq looked sad again. "She was a great leader. Her time at the power was kind of a new era, for once you did not have to walk around feeling guilty every time you passed that arena, you did not have to feel like a bloodthirsty tyrant."

"But those tests weren't your fault," Mikey said, "it was the government who did it."

"True, but we are of the same race as the government. We are all Vrogor. And as such, you felt guilty."

They sat in silence for a while.

At last, Leo spoke. "So, it is only you against Vollkar? You are the only ones trying to put an end to this?"

Varriq frowned again. "Well, yes and no. People from Dimension 76 know about the whole thing and they dislike it."

"Who are they?" Donnie asked.

"Their race is called Rahk'breeln," Varriq said. "They are pretty reserved, mostly keep to themselves, but they do have a strong feeling for 'right' and 'wrong'. I think that is why they are interfering in this war."

"How exactly do they interfere?" Leo asked.

"Well, they don't actually battle. They are a pretty peaceful race. Rather, they screw up for Vollkar by breaking into the government's computer systems –" (Donnie's eyes widened) "– and destroying files and stuff. I know that thanks to them, the government has lost tons of valuable research on their genetic experiments." He snickered. "Vollkar is so pissed off."

"Why doesn't he attack them? Send the Vodash after them?" Mikey wondered.

"He can't. They are of an extremely intelligent race. They have blocked all entrances to their dimension. Don't ask me how, 'cause I'm not that informed on the subject. Sure, Vrogor are smart, but Rahk'breeln are smarter. There is no chance that the government will figure out how to break through their walls - at least not before Rahk'breeln have invented some new way of defending their dimension."

"Wow, they sound cool," Don said. "I'd like to meet one of them."

"That'd be hard," Varriq informed him. "As I told you, they mostly keep to themselves. They help us indirectly, but they never interact with us in person."

"I see."

There was another moment of silence.

Then Mikey spoke. "So, shall we come up with a plan?"

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Raph woke up to find himself in some freaky laboratory, kinda like Donny's, only this one had surgical tools and various chemicals. "Wh-where am I?" he wondered out loud. Just then a giant purple Chewbacca-copy in a white lab coat walked in with a needle.

"Holy shell!" Raph shouted as a dozen more walked in with more surgical instruments. The first one tried to jab the needle at him, but he did a backflip out of the way, causing the first one to inject another one. Raph reached around for his sai daggers but found that they were missing from his belt. In a panic, he burst out the door and ran.

Raph passed a room that looked like a weapons storage room, and in the room, in a small glass case were...

HIS SAIS! Breaking open the case with his fist, he grabbed his sais and turned to face the evil doctors. SLASH! SWIPE! BACKFLIP! JAB! HIGH KICK! Raph flew through his ninjitsu moves like a well-practiced dance, leaving thirteen doctors wounded on the floor. With a triumphant smirk o his face, he jumped out the window to find his three brothers.

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A message from Cat: Well, this was all I could think of, so I'm sorry if it's really bad, and I didn't mean to ruin Idun's good work.

A message from Idun: I really don't understand you, Cat. Why do you think you're screwing up? You're doing a great job! Isn't she, guys?