"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : Deliverance"

Prologue

"We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears.
We must not demean life by standing in awe of death."

- David Sarnoff

The End of Time (Dimension Null); July 25TH, 3689 A.D.

"Ah, yes. This is my kind of place... my kind of time," a deep, raspy voice cackled. The figure of the body it was attached to slowly materialized to very little fanfare near the craggy summit of Mount Vesuvius. He had come here, to this familiar place—the End of Time—frozen a fraction of a millisecond in the year 3689 before the end of all things to try and confirm his suspicions.

Against the eerie red sheen of the translucent energies of Entropy—absolute nothing—swirling madly in the sky just above the summit, the figure's features were hard to make out, save for a pair of stout horns atop his head. His sardonic, almost otherworldly laugh echoed throughout his mountainous surroundings. "Italy is always so nice in the summer."

Without hesitation or caution, the figure made his way up to a small man-made dais. Peering over the edge, he gazed down into the magma bubbling some twenty meters beneath.

"Like a kettle of trouble, cauldron boil, and baby, cauldron bubble!" the figure boomed at the magma, laughing again to himself. "Sometimes I'm beside myself..."

Waving a hand, the magma seemed to instantaneously obey an unspoken command. It stopped bubbling and froze, its surface beginning to reflect light until it became a shimmering display field. Pictures of Earth—different Earths—displayed on the viewer, each image cascading over the last.

"Hmm..." The figure observed the imagery with curiosity. "Dimension A should be the only dimension still active... so what is this..." In dismay, he waved a hand so as to change the viewer's display. His suspicions were confirmed. "Dimension B has been resurrected!" The images he saw was a collage of different points in that dimension's history as it related to his hated enemies, the Ninja Turtles, the highlights of which including sharing the stage with Vanilla Ice and the addition of a female Turtle. The images closer to the present, however, seemed different in appearance somehow... smoother, almost computer graphic-like... but were clearly the same dimension nonetheless.

He swiped his arm forward again, changing the display once again. "Dimension C, reconstituted as well...?" The rather colorful imagery showed the multi-colored bandannaed Turtles in action, fighting some mousers in the sewer with a solidly red-haired companion. "No, wait. This is not Dimension C... this is Dimension E, the Shogun's creation... he just didn't have enough time to impose it as Reality, as I suspected." As he looked on, he confirmed that Dimension C, Dimension D, and Dimension X were still utterly annihilated—there would be no respite for their worlds and universes, even if his own was amongst them. "Yet something is happening in Reality... something is happening that is giving these Dimensions... these Turtles second chances." The figure sneered, both fists clenching as his eyes glared red for an instant. "It's settled, then. I will travel there, to Reality... I will put a stop to the Turtles' resurgence at the source and nip their curse in the bud."

Chuckling with glee at what he was about to set off to do, the figure distractedly noticed a mask on the ground not far from his feet. It was an ornate Japanese noh mask, a couple of cracks near its brow. The figure reached down and swiped up the mask, holding it before him and staring into its eye holes. "Ah, Shogun... poor Shogun... poor, misguided Shogun. You had all the tools you needed after we made our deal but your thinking, my dear boy, was simply wrong, wrong, wrong." He shook his head callously. "Worry not, though, Shogun, I may not complete whatever foolish, misguided vision you were after... but what I can promise you is vengeance."

The figure unceremoniously tossed the noh mask into the magma far below. Snapping a finger, he was gone.


The 79TH Level of Null-Time (Dimension Null)

"Oh my... something's not right..."

Supreme Timestress Renet Tilley winced as she approached the Palisade's Transdimensional Observatory, her flowing white robes dragging behind her. She sensed it the very moment she walked into the door, the sheer sense of wrong nearly overwhelming her where she stood.

"Computer," she spoke, almost afraid to do so, "magnify sectors one through four, quadrants four-three, three-four, two-two... and one-four."

Images flashed from left to right across the holoprojected field at the chamber's wraparound wall, viewing the collective Turtles midway into the year 2006. Grim visions they were—visions of the Turtles laying as wrinkled forms, blood draining from the very pores of their bodies as they fell dying to their knees crying out for a help that would never come.

She had known for days something was creating an instability in the different timestreams, but this... Before Renet's very eyes, the Turtles buckled, withered, and died. Their screams of anguish and death rattles echoed throughout the Observatory.

In every active dimension, whether it be A, B, or E, the end result as it played out seemed identical. As it stood, it seemed an unavoidable conclusion to reach—the Turtles were doomed to die in the year 2006, the sixth year of the Third Millennium.

Doomed... but they were not fated.

"This... is not supposed to happen... not in 2006, not like this..." As her eyes reddened and welled, tears streaked down Renet's cheeks. "Someone is tampering with the dimensions again... tampering with history..."

Renet wiped away her tears, forcing herself to regain her composure. Retrieving her digital Sacred Sands of Time Sceptre from its holster beneath a fold in her robes she brandished it before her.

She spoke, determinedly, "I'd better get the guys."

There wasn't much time left.


Earth (Dimension Null); Los Angeles, CA, June 12TH, 2006 A.D.

Throwing his backpack down and closing the door on his way into his bedroom, a bruised nearly seventeen year-old Leon let himself collapse on his unmade bed. It had been a rough day at school enough before sticking up for a friend at lunch time had gotten him into a fist fight with a Samoan gangbanger after school.

Resting for a few moments, he sat up, ruffled his blond hair, and clicked open his cell phone. He had a few text messages, a couple from his friend, Jason, thanking him for "watching his back." His features perked up as he saw the name on the last text message to him sent a little under a half hour ago, Amanda. It was succinct, yet its words instantly cut into Leon like razors: "leon, amanda. we're threw, dont call me back.......k thx byebye ttyl."

"She's going to break up with me... with a damned text message?"

Tossing the cell phone across the room and throwing himself back down on the bed he closed his eyes, his mind slowly but surely wandered to another place, another time. One by one he saw his brothers Raphael, Donatello, and Michaelangelo hovering around him, making fun of his girlfriend problems... they called him "Leonardo"... Raphael sometimes called him "fearless leader."

Leon smiled, indulging himself in those memories, six years behind him now. Things were so much simpler in that time, the life that seemed so long ago. It was easy to be sixteen years old there... his biggest problems were solved easily enough with the stroke of a sword, his brothers there by his side following his lead. And Splinter... Splinter...

Leon stood up, shaking those long-forgotten thoughts away. Those were figments of his imagination, nothing more. He'd already wasted six years waiting to wake up from his current life, as if he truly believed it was only a dream and his imagined life as a Ninja Turtle was the reality. How his parents, his sister, and everyone in his life tolerated his delusions for so long he would never know, but he was grateful for the patience.

Giving a long sigh, Leon went to his backpack, retrieving his binder and the formidable amount of homework he had ahead of him that night.