"None of us are human, Leatherhead. We're turtles. You're a crocodile. Those are considered animals; it's what we have become that set us apart from those basic creatures. Being inhuman does not make us monsters."
If only they knew.
If only they realized just how basic, how animalistic I really am, they would not so easily call me "friend." I call myself a monster, for they would not understand that I am indeed an animal. I am a predator.
And they smell like prey.
Something that I should be able to sink my teeth into. Flesh that should pull away and be swallowed in a warm rush of blood. Turtle. Soft, once you crack the shell. An easy enough job for jaws such as mine.
That scent, every time one of them is near. Like salty humidity; hydrated scales. Reptilian, but moist. Food.
How shamed I am, when they notice my unfocused gaze and wandering thoughts. They no doubt assume that I have the 'absent minded professor' mentality, getting lost in my own designs and ideas. The horror they would feel, if only they knew where my mind wanders to...images of green and red, blood and thicker things.
They believe that my initial attack on Michelangelo was out of fear or territory. Out of panic of being discovered. They do not realize that I caught his scent long before sight. That I did not see a person, but rather a meal. It is so hard to find adequate nutrition among the drainage and human discards. So much flesh, more than a turtle should have. Arms and legs, bulked with muscle, extending beyond the safety of their shells.
Only when his words penetrated my hunger, did I realize that he was not something to be eaten. There was a moment, a heartbeat or two, that I dared to wonder if it mattered. How would he have reacted, had he known that I was prepared to do more than kill him? Would he have stopped his brothers if he realized how close he was to being devoured?
So trusting. So assuming.
They were mutated at such a young age, and no doubt bred in captivity before that. They never experienced survival in the sewers as a basic creature. Most of my youth was spent relying on these very instincts to keep me safe and fed. By the time that I was exposed to the mutagen, my youth had already left me; gone in a rush of primal urges, predatory skills, and survival instincts. These things are deeply rooted into my being, and present a danger much darker than rage.
If only they knew...