Author Note: Hey all! I know I said this wouldn't be available until Christmas - but I lied. I'm a bad girl.
This fic is the third in a trilogy. The first part is caled 'Choosing Destiny', the second 'Estranged'. If you haven't read these already, then you probably should or else this won't make any sense at all.
Four weeks. Four whole weeks and still no signs of the turtles who had murdered her father.
Karai punched the practice dummy with a viciousness that was maybe unwarranted considering she was supposed to be merely training – but she had to take her frustrations out on something. The dojo was located within the temporary home of the Foot. It was fortunate that Master Saki had several such bolt holes located around the city, although most of the Foot, even the Elite, had no idea where they were until Karai told them, although their existence had to be suspected. They certainly couldn't use their previous location anymore. Something else to lay at the door of the turtles.
Her broken fingers ached as the bones knitted back together and she had to content herself to using only her left hand and her feet to attack the dummy with. Michelangelo had injured them the night her father had died. He had tried to throttle her with his nunchaku and she had managed to get a hand between the chain and her throat, perhaps the only thing that had saved her from being killed. The turtle had been out of his mind, seemingly twice as strong as he ever had been before. Her bruises had faded, the lingering aches mostly gone save for the two fingers of her right hand. She wondered if they were faring any better or if their own injuries were forcing them to remain hidden rather than come after her.
She wanted them to come after her.
Oruku Saki had saved the turtles, saved from a life hidden beneath the streets of New York, scavenging for scraps, splashing through germ-laden water and stinking recesses. He had given them a home, a family, sheltered them, trained them. He had thought of them as his sons. And what had they done in return?
Turned on him. On the whole clan. Freed the rat, one of the Masters hated enemies and battled the Foot to escape. And tried to kill the only father they had ever known. Not that they had succeeded.
Retribution had been swift, the battle with Leonardo forcing the others out of hiding. The Foot's only mistake had been allowing them to escape and recover – and return. It should never have been a problem. They had been allowed to reach Master Shredder, that he may exact his own revenge after his betrayal. But things had gone wrong too fast. They had underestimated the turtles. And when she had dispatched of Raphael and the hated rat, Leonardo retaliated faster than anticipated, using the stolen Sword of Tengu to murder the Shredder, driving the blade through his alien form. Karai, helpless, could only watch.
But she had escaped. And she would have revenge. Honour demanded it.
And what of their honour, a treacherous voice in her head spoke, the part of her that had once called the turtles allies and a apart she was determined to see buried forever. Did they feel that they had to do what they did because of honour?
They HAVE no honour, she told herself firmly, angrily leaping into the air and kicking the head right off the practice dummy, watching it sail through the air and come to rest against the far wall of the dojo.
She wished she could do the same to the turtles.
Grabbing a towel from nearby and draping it over her neck, she took a rest. She had been training hard recently, very hard. She had to. Her position within the clan remained precarious. The Foot had been loyal to the Shredder for hundreds of years. She was a newcomer, an imposter, even if Oruku Saki had called her his daughter and it was her right to succeed his rule. She had been forced to prove herself worthy of their loyalty in combat, taking on the Elite guard after she had been in a long fight against the turtles and watched her beloved father murdered. It was a fight she had won – barely. She had forced the head of the Elite to swear fealty to her, or lose his head. He had done so and the other ninja had followed his lead, but she was under no illusions about their feelings. She would have to prove herself a worthy leader before her position was secure. And the only way to do that was to take down the one who had slain their former master.
Everything it seemed led back to the turtles.
And she had lost Hun. No great loss for herself, she had despised the man, thought him a moron and a brute, but he had always been a loyal servant of the Shredder and his absence wasn't unnoticed among the Foot. He had turned to the Purple Dragons as their leader and had big plans to their future by all accounts. He knew too much about how the Foot worked. He could cause them great harm at a time when they were already weakened, something Karai couldn't allow.
She had gone to see him at the Purple Dragons base of operations. Hun had learned plenty about the importance of appearances from Oruku Saki and rather than the back alley hideout she had expected, instead found a luxurious penthouse apartment. Playing on the importance of appearance, she had set things up as a business meeting, knowing Hun wasn't stupid enough to try anything on her that might blow his cover. Foot ninja accompanied her, dressed in conservative business suits. Hun was similarly flanked by his own minions, the more respectable looking types. The whole thing was a charade. Had he got hold of her, he could have broken her in half without breaking a sweat. Not that he ever could – she could have killed him before he moved.
"You're going up in the world," she had said, remaining standing.
Hun had nodded, a slight smirk on his face. "I'm not changing my mind Karai. I served Oruku Saki. I will never work for you."
"I wouldn't expect you to."
"So why are you here?"
"We have a common problem. Three in fact." Karai had sat herself on the edge of his desk, letting her skirt ride up slightly. She wasn't above using every tool in her arsenal to get her way, including the advantage afforded to her by distraction. She doubted it would work too well, but it could leave Hun more open to suggestion.
She tried not to shudder as Hun's eyes roamed over her legs, oppressive as a physical touch. "The ones who killed my father. The turtles."
"As soon as they surface, we'll bring them down," said Hun dismissively.
Karai's jaw had tightened. She was head of the Foot clan and not used to being dismissed, especially by some overgrown ape like this. "The turtles have overcome the Purple Dragons before."
"And the Foot." Hun's voice had dripped with sarcasm and Karai restrained herself with an effort.
"Yes. And if what I suspect of your plans is true, you are planning to expand the interests of the Purple Dragons."
"Not at all. But the turtles are strategists. They will find out your plans and act where and when you are weakest. I propose that on this matter, if no other, we work together."
Hun had raised an eyebrow.
"Your expansion could bring you into a battle with the Foot over territory that the Foot has found – lucrative and the Purple Dragons would no doubt be interested in acquiring. But when we fight each other, we leave ourselves open to the treacherous scum who murdered my father. I am more interested in their demise than in squabbling over a few operations. I want the turtles found. And I would imagine you want the same thing."
There had been a few moments silence as Hun weighed this up. "And if we were to find the turtles?"
"You would not find me ungrateful."
Abruptly, Hun nodded. "Fine. We'll call a truce – for now. But the Purple Dragons aren't going to wait forever for you to exact revenge. As soon as the Foot get in our way, we'll take them down."
Recalling the meeting, Karai smirked and pushed her sweaty hair away from her face. She knew Hun would just as soon double cross her as look at her. Which was fine, as she felt the same way. Even if Hun did uphold his side of the bargain, she wouldn't be rewarding him. And if he thought he could take what was the Foot's from under her nose, assuming the organisation was weakened with the loss of the Shredder – he had another think coming.
But there was change in the air. News of the Foot's current situation was leaking. Which meant that the other gangs in the city would know the Foot was vulnerable and the Dragons were no longer a part of them. It would cause upheaval, confusion and there would be those trying to capitalise on that. Hopefully, with the Purple Dragons at least temporarily not one of their problems, it would leave them time to fight off the chasing pack, as the Foot afforded the same courtesy to Hun's gang.
The Foot were loyal to her, for the moment at least and they had a new building in which to train and plot. She had managed to keep up her fathers public persona, announcing to the media that he had passed away and announcing her intentions of taking over his business empire. There was little else she could do. The stock had fallen, but not by as much as she had feared. And that was the least of her worries. There were people legitimately employed who could deal with that kind of thing if it became necessary.
She was more concerned with what would happen without their main base of operations. And should the turf war that was no doubt brewing would esculate ebfore she could have her revenge.
Those turtles. Her main concern.
Throwing the towel aside, she exited the dojo and strode down the hall, intent on taking a shower. She was determined to see this thing through to the end and there was much for her to be optimistic about.
Hun may have chosen to leave the employ of the Foot, but Stockman had chosen to remain, under threat of losing his funding. Among other things. Hun's last act as a member of the Foot was to ensure he suffered for what had happened to Saki. He had sworn his new exo-suit would be the thing to keep Saki from being killed but in the end it had not helped. Hun had always been loyal to the Shredder, if not the Foot itself and upon hearing of this failure, had been more than happy to teach Stockman a little 'lesson' as his final orders.
Karai had spoken at length to Stockman shortly afterwards, pointing out that they could live in some semblance of harmony. He would still have Stocktronics funded, his research would continue. Or he could rebel and be crushed. Stockman was far from stupid and agreed to Karai's terms. Shw ondered occasionally if he harboured any kind of plans for revenge for un's treatment of him – but she doubted he would have the guts to carry out any plot unless the odds were heavily in his favour. She intended to see they never were.
She had the loyalty of the Foot. If she continued with caution, she would have it forever. An army of her own would be a definate bonus should she discover the whereabouts of the turtles.
And when she did... she had something in store for them.
A smile curled at her lips. Oh yes, when she found the turtles, they were going to suffer, the way she had suffered at the fate of her father. They would die, eventually – but she would make their last breaths a torment to them, let them know that it was over – and she had won. And there was nothing they could do about it.
She looked forward to it.