Chapter 16

Mike was dressed in sweatpants, a huge oversized hoody, and the breathing masks that Don had made for them. He doggedly followed Leo through the sewer, half cursing himself to his bad luck. Why did he always get picked for these jobs? The crummy, dangerous, someone is going to get hurt jobs.

They walked to the nearest sewer grate, a few blocks away. Leo climbed the ladder and pushed the cover off with his right hand. The cover pushed up and then suddenly Leo screamed.

"What's wrong?" Mike nearly yelled.

"My hand," Leo yelped, "It just froze."

"Nuclear winter?" Mike squeeked.

"Not that kind of frozen. I can't move it. It feels like it got stuck in concrete. In fact…" Leo said puzzled. He cautiously moved his feet off the ladder, and he dangled in thin air, held up by his frozen hand.

"Whoa," Mike said walking a complete circle around him.

Then there was the sound of a large crack and Leo's abruptly fell. He gracefully turned, landing on the ground in a catlike crouch. He stood up quickly and looked at his hand. He flexed his fingers and spun his wrist.

"Are you okay," Mike asked.

"Yeah, I think so," Leo said. "That was weird."

"What happened?"

"As soon as I got my hand above the ground, it stopped working. It was totally frozen. Then when we heard the crack, I fell."

"So it's over?" Mike asked.

"I guess. Let's try again," Leo suggested.

Mike grandly gestured to the ladder, and let Leo climb up before him.

Leo reached the alley in apparent safety, so Mike took a deep breath and followed him up, taking a deep breath before leaving the haven of the sewer.

It was about noon and the sun was high in the sky, above the building line. Even though he was mostly disguised, and wore a breathing mask, Mike felt uneasy. He quickly replaced the cover and darted behind a dumpster where Leo stood, his eyes peering over the top of it.

Hidden again, Mike took in his surrounding more closely. The buildings looked fine. If there had been an explosion, it hadn't happened here. In fact, as Mike's eyes roomed the skies, he saw nothing to indict even a fire anywhere. The sky was filled with puffy white clouds, not a single black cloud or smoke trail could be seen anywhere.

Something nagged him. Something was off. And then it clicked. He whispered to Leo, "It's way quiet dude."

Leo nodded. "Yeah. We're going to have to dare the street."

Leo left his spot behind the dumpster and went to the mouth of the alley. He slouched against the building. He pulled off his mask and thrust it into the pocket of his jacket. Mike followed suit. He leaned against the same building, around the other side so that he could see a different direction.

The silence pressed on him like a living thing. It made the skin along his neck crawl. There were cars on the street, but they were empty, their motor's silenced. A bike stood eerily upright on the sidewalk across the street, sans a rider. The building's were all dark. Neon signs were dead. There was no power anywhere. The sprawling city was a literal ghost town.

Mike felt his hands start to shake. He whispered to Leo, "This is freakier than an exorcist marathon."

Leo nodded, but didn't say anything. He took another couple of glances around and then said, "I think we need to get out of here."

"Yeah, dude, I'm with you there."

Mike headed back to the manhole at a half jog. He had the cover off and was just setting it to the side when there was a another crack. Abruptly the noise turned back on. Honks, the hum of motors, fans, the rush of airplanes, all came back in a wave. It made Mike stagger backwards.

Leo turned back to the street where they had just left. It was filled with people and traffic. "Let's get out of here, Mikey."

Mike didn't argue, he sprang into the hole, jumping down the eight feet, rather then bothering with the ladder.

After Leo joined him, replacing the cover, he said, "That was strange."

"Strange? That was the number 1 weirdo thing I've ever seen."

On there way back to the lair, there were more loud cracks. Every single one made him shrudder.

When they reached home, they found the door off the hinges.

"No!" Leo yelled. "Raph? Don?"

"Leo!" he heard Raph call. "We could use a little help here."

Mike rushed in behind Leo to find Raph, Splinter, and Don encircled by several somethings that whipped around like a speeding train. Whatever they were, they looked dark brown, black maybe, blurred and seemed to move totally randomly. Splinter was lying on the floor between Don and Raph, and the two brother circled around to protect him.

"Ahh," Don yelled and flinched back.

Mike saw a couple of cuts appear on his arm like magic.

"Leo," Raph called more desperately.

"Mike, circle around behind," Leo said, rushing into the fray.

Mike watched long enough to see Leo to hit the wall of movement and be thrown back 15 feet.

"That's not going to work," Don said. "They're moving too fast."

Inspiration flashed in Mike's brain. "Hang on bro, I'm going in."

Mike backed up a few steps, did a perfect back hand spring and leapt over the moving things and landed, more or less, on top of Don. Don collapsed under the weight, and crashed to the floor.

"Nice landing," Raph snickered from above him.

"Shut up, Raph," Mike said, finding his feet. As he pulled Don back up, he said, "Sorry dude."

Raph hauled Splinter to into his arms and then drapped him as carefully as he could over Mike's back.

"Turtle launch on three," Raph said.

Don gave him a half hearted look and then nodded, crouching down across from him. Mike stepped into Raph's and Don's cupped hands. Leo, rubbing the back of his head, returned to the circle.

"Leo," Raph called. "Catch! One… two… Three."

On three Raph and Don both pushed up as hard as they could, sending Mike and Splinter into the air. They cleared the wall of motion, but just barely. Leo caught Mike in bear hug before he could stumble forward with Splinter's weight. The old rat groaned in pain as they landed. Leo helped him off Mike's back and put him carefully in a chair.

"Now what?" Mike asked to the group.

Raph grunted in pain and fell to one leg. "Dammit, it got me."

"What are they?" Leo asked.

"Our best guess," Don said, "they're dogs."

"That's a dog?" Mike asked incredulously.

"Three hyper-sped up dogs," Don corrected. "That knocked down a solid steel door."

"What do we do?" Mike asked again.

"I have an idea," Don said. "If I could get out of here."

"Raph? Can you get him out?"

"It'd be better with two," Raph said.

"I'll do it," Mike said, looking over to Leo. "One Donny express coming up."

This time, Mike took a running leap off the couch, did a mid air summersault, and landed neatly between his two brothers. He and Raph knelt down on either side of Don.

"You ready Don?" Raph asked.

Don nodded, a little pale. He stepped into their cupped hands. On three they launched him into the air. Don managed to pull himself into a tight ball and he did a complete flip before landing, a bit hard, into Leo on the other side.

He wasted no time. As soon as he was upright, Don rushed into his lab. He returned a minute later with jumper cables and a car battery.

Don hooked up the cables to the battery and touched the two ends together. A shower of sparks lit up the room. Don gave Leo one end of the cable and had him hold toward the edge of the field.

"You are completely insane," Raph roared. "You're going to get us all killed."

"Maybe someday, Raph," Don said. Then he took his end of the cable and thrust into the crazy movement. In a brilliant flash of white, the electricity arched across to Leo's cable. The movement abruptly stopped. Not one, not two, but seven dogs appeared in their living room.

"But not today," Don finished as a dog darted around Raph to fight with one it's fellows across the room.

It took a few minutes, but they were able to get the dogs out of their house.

"What happened?" Leo asked sitting down on the couch, after Don and Raph, mostly Raph, had put the door back on its hinges.

"They literally busted through the door," Raph said. "They ran through into Splinter's room and were crawling all over him. Me and Don got him out of the room, and eventually the followed us out here. We thought they were dogs cause we could sort of hear um growling, you know?"

"How did they get so juiced up?" Mike asked.

"Those cracks," Don said. "They came in here just after one of them."

"How did you know to do that electricity thing?" Leo asked.

Don shrugged, "Just an educated guess. Those cracks are making the generator go all wacky, so it's messing with magnetic fields. I thought creating a new magnetic field, inside the one the one they were in, would do something."

"You got lucky," Raph said. "You could a electrocuted Leo."

Mike waited for Don's comment filled with science mumbo jumbo that no one else understood. In other words, he was waiting for Don to tell Raph off. But he didn't.

Mike looked over and saw that Don had sunk low into the chair. His head rested against the back and his eyes were closed.

Raph, sitting nearest to him, reached out and shook his shoulder. "Yo, Donny. You could of fried Leo."

Don's eyes blearily opened for a half second, "Hmm?"

"Donny!" Raph said shaking him harder.

"Forget it Raph," Leo said, standing up. "It worked. The more important question is what do we do now? There's a big part of me that says head for the farm."

Mike's stomach turned. That wasn't a good idea.

Raph was waving his hand in front of Don's face. Don didn't flinch, didn't move. He looked unconscious, not asleep. Leo disappeared into Don's lab and then returned with a first aid kit. Leo sat on the coffee table across from Raph and poured alcohol onto a pad. He handed to Raph, who started to clean the bite on Don's arm. Don for his part didn't even flinch.

Finally after Leo had cleaned and bandaged Raph's leg, Raph said, "Yeah, I'm with you Fearless. Let's get out of here."

The squirming in Mike's stomach finally let loose, "Guys we can't leave. We all know that this has to do to with the purple dragons. We're the only ones who can do anything to stop them."

"What can we do?" Leo asked, levelly, turning to face him.

The tone surprised Mike. Leo wasn't expressing his hopelessness, which Mike had expected. He was literally asking Mike what they could do. He wanted to know Mike's opinion. Briefly Mike wondered the last time that had happened.

"You have a plan, an idea?" Leo prompted.

"No," Mike was forced to concede.

"Look," Leo said, his brown eyes empathic, "I know how you're feeling. I feel it too. We'd be leaving the city in the midst of a disaster. But I'm out of options. The guy that I count on for answers can barely walk across the room, much less fight."

"And he ain't thinking straight either," Raph said.

"I heard that," Don said, wearily.

"Why is that you can only hear Raph's voice when you're asleep," Leo asked him.

He got no response.

"Donny," Raph said. "Can you hear me?"

"Yeah," Don said, snuggling deeper into the chair. Then he cracked his eyes open. "You hurt?" Don said. His eyes didn't focus and they fell immediately back closed.

"Donny," Mike said, "I just smashed your laptop."

Nothing.

"Raph," Leo said. "Ask him what up with those cracks."

"Yo Donny," Raph said. "What with those loud cracks."

Don answered with no indication he was awake, "The noise is caused by a rapid heating of the air. Like thunder."

"Except there wasn't lightening dumbass," Raph said.

"No, but something else could have caused it," Don said.

"Like what?" Leo asked.

Nothing.

"Like what?" Raph repeated.

"The dogs seemed out of phase with time. Mike thought he saw the thugs at the Purple Dragon warehouse totally running around like that. If they found technology at Winter's place, maybe they found a way to mess with time."

"Say what?" Raph muttered.

Don repeated, "They found a way to mess with time. Einstein said in his paper regarding special relativity that time shouldn't be considered a constant. The speed of light is constant, time isn't. A person who watched a light beam in a train that was moving would see the light beam bounce off the ceiling and back to the floor in a straight line. A person watching from an embankment outside the train would see it moving at an angle. That means the person in the train would see the beam of light moving a shorter distance and time than the person on the embankment, which means…"

"You're giving me headache genius," Raph said. "Get to the point."

"Time is relative," Don said. "It's not fixed. It depends on your frame of reference."

"About the dogs, Don. The dogs," Raph ordered.

"They were out of phase with the normal time. The time that we observe on Earth because of how the Earth is moving."

"That fits," Leo said. "That would explain what Mike and I saw on the surface."

"And why those guys at Hun's were moving so fast," Mike agreed. "It's almost as weird as Don only hearing Raph's voice."

"Donny," Raph said. "Can't you hear Mikey and Leo."

"They're here?" Don asked, sound sleepily curious.

"Yeah, you nerd. But you're only listening to me."

"I got to make sure you aren't hurt," Don mumbled. "I always wake up when I hear you come in. Oh and Raph?" Don said, his voice weak.

"What?" Raph answered.

"I think one of those dogs was wearing tracking device."

"What?" Raph nearly yelped.

"They were sent to find us," Don said, his eyes still closed.

"Why didn't you say something before?"

"I didn't see it until now."

"What the hell does that mean?" Raph said.

"I can see the dogs in my head. One of them had a device on it's chest, between it's front legs."

"We have to get out of here," Leo said, jumping up, just as another loud crack issued from above. "We're in trouble."

The floor shook and the door flew inward, crashing onto the floor with a deafening boom.

Splinter moaned from his place on the chair. Mike and Raph sprang to their feet, and joined Leo between the door and Splinter. Don managed to stagger to his feet. He joined his brothers just as Hun and 20 kids stepped calmly into the room. The group held a variety of weapons, including a few guns and a few that looked alien.

"Kill them all," Hun said.


a/n: This will get finished now... I hope...