Disclaimer: I own them… Yes, I'm being sarcastic… Can't you take a joke?
Author Note: I'll admit to almost breaking this chapter into two just because of its size but I couldn't find a good breaking point and then decided just to get the big climax and what not done with. The epilogue should be up shortly and then this will finally be done! Cue the fanfare!
Special thanks to CharmyPI-5 the VIII for pointing something out.
A Most Deadly Game
Chapter 11: Unexpected Confrontations
His brothers sometimes got after him for being a bonehead or not paying attention and he had been smacked by Master Splinter more times than he could count for that but Mikey was not as lazy or inattentive as his brothers tended to play up. Okay, so he had a tendency to avoid the dishes and cleaning his room but these were minor issues that could really wait another day. It wasn't like his comic pile was going to topple over and crush him. Donnie even gave him the amount he needed to crush him and he would be lying if he didn't admit to his heart fluttering at the thought of having that many comics.
Still even he knew when it was a time for being lazy to avoid chores and being lazy and possibly getting himself and his brothers killed. This was one of those situations. He knew that the gunman had stepped out of the room and was hurrying to catch up with them. He could all but feel the non-existent hairs on the back of his neck standing on end.
He hurried his older brother along towards the door leading off to the side of the corridor. Though he was upright and managing to keep himself moving at a fairly decent clip, Donatello was not doing well at all. The short rest and the Advil had helped him a bit but he was becoming shakier with each and every step he took. The skin around his eyes was pinched and Mikey would have betted his vintage console collection that he was gritting his teeth hard enough to hurt in an attempt to block out the pain. "Just a few more feet," he half breathed to his brother causing the other turtle to frown. Now Mikey was worried, judging by the confused look on Donnie's face, he hasn't even realized that they were being followed.
It occurred to Mikey as he reached for the handle that it might be locked but the knob turned dutifully and without so much as a squeak or hitch. He breathed a sigh of relief as he pushed his brother in and quickly shut the door behind them. He held the knob as he turned it back, minimizing the sound of the latching catching and hopefully buying them a few moments before turning to the room they now found themselves in.
It was some kind of store room about the size of the main room in their lair but the ceiling was a lot closer, maybe only eight feet at most. There were row upon row of shelves holding crates and boxes of all types and sizes. Some were clearly ammunition boxes allowing him to guess exactly what was in the long thinner boxes on the shelf above. His quick inspection of the room was interrupted by the unmistakable discharge of electricity next to him. Donatello had taken their lock pick and had torn off the light switch cover. Mikey wasn't sure what it was he had done but the tired smile he was given assured him that Donnie had taken care of the lights. The shadows were now their allies.
As silently as there sensei had trained them, the two teenagers slid back into the shadows, melting into them as they strode in comfortable silence through the racks. They had barely gone more than three rows before Mikey was pulling Donnie off to the side. He had heard the door open. The two ninjas crouched down behind a crate and waited as stubble movements came from the entrance to the room before the door closed again. For a moment, Mikey thought that whoever had entered the room had left when he heard a snap of electricity and a hissed curse. He tensed, recognizing that voice.
Several resounding cracks echoed through the room, causing both brothers to wince at every hit. Metal was striking metal with every blow. Just as suddenly as the racket started I stopped. A low chuckled filled the suddenly expansive silence. "Now my little green friends, we are alone, together, and you can pay me back for my dogs."
Donnie's hand gripped his arm, squeezing it lightly. Mikey understood what his brother was trying to say without words. Even in the nearly nonexistence light he knew his brother saw him give him a thumbs up. They didn't have the time to waste fighting with this guy. Gunshots meant that Leo and Raph were here and they needed to meet up with them and get the shell out of there. Once they were together then all they had to do was get to New York and end this deadly game.
A column of light suddenly erupted from Benedict's position and began to play slowly along the shelves. Instinctively, the two brothers ducked down a bit more but Michelangelo found himself to reach out and steady his brother. Donatello's skin was cold and clammy again. They didn't need this right now.
Benedict began to move along the rows of shelves, playing his light about as he began to talk. "You cannot hide from me forever, creature. This room is small and there are few places for you to hide. Do you think that you can just keep moving away from me? Eventually you will tire and I will add you to my trophy collection."
'Fat chance,' Mikey thought to himself as he pulled Don back with him, staying on the far side of the room from where Benedict was moving slowly and meticulously along the path between the shelves. Mikey found more and more of Don's wait settling on him with every step they took. His brothers injuries were flaring back up despite the short rest he had gotten.
Mikey's gaze cast about the shelves as he and Don moved through the rows of shelving looking for something that would help. They froze several times when the light Benedict was carrying swing close to their position but so far it seemed like they were still undetected. Finally Money found what he was looking for.
It was a thin flat box sitting by itself on the lowest shelf of the rack. Laying down like it was, the box took up a fairly large area but if it was up on its side there would be just enough room for Don to squeeze behind it. It wasn't perfect by any means and if you looked closely you would obviously be able to see the turtle behind it but it would be easy to miss something with a passing glance no matter how odd it would look. Don would be safe here for a bit.
As soon as he stopped next to that particular spot on the shelf, Don flicked the side of his jaw. In the dim light Mikey could see his brother frowning and knew the other had put two and two together and did not like the thought of going into hiding. Mikey shook his head, knowing that it was not so much of a wanting to as a having to. Even as they crouched there together he could feel his brother wobbling slightly back and forth and the cold clamminess of his skin seemed more pronounced. Donatello may have not want to hide and let Mikey deal with this but he was going to have hide and let Mikey deal with it. His body was giving out on him whether he wanted it to or not.
Mikey twisted his head around so that he could breathe against Don's ear in a near silent voice, "Trust me bro."
After a moment's hesitation Don nodded his head. Mikey let out a relieve sigh that he wouldn't have to fight or argue with his brother as he lift the rather lightweight box out of the away. Don was moving slowly but managed to crawl into the small hiding place on his own. Mikey put the box back in front of him and turned towards where the column of light was still playing along the far side of the room.
It was time to end this.
While he was good at avoiding strikes and was the most athletic of his brothers, Michelangelo knew he was the worse at hand to hand. Je was no slouch but he preferred going into a fight -especially with gun toting psychos- with some kind of weapon in his hands. Where ever they were it was sadly lacking in nunchakus or anything that could be repurposed as a weapon. Everything was in white or brown nondescript boxes and he knew Benedict would hear he trying to open one to see what was inside. He wondered if there was a broom ticked away in the corner somewhere even as he let out a tiny huff of frustration. He was going to have to do this without a weapon. Yippy Skippy.
Michelangelo watched the light as it moved back and forth on its circuit around the room before approaching cautiously from behind. The light was moving slowly, almost hypnotically back and forth. He was so preoccupied with the light that it took him a moment to realize the Benedicts shadow looked off somehow. Mikey knew he was thin but it almost looked like he was standing sideways and watching beh-
Mikey leapt to the side as automatic gunfire practically rattled his teeth with how close it was. He hit the ground in a roll even as Benedict laughed, sitting the light down on a shelf so it illuminated most of the room and moved to follow. "I was worried that it would be too easy!" He exclaimed as he rounded the row where Mikey had taken shelter, gun leading the way. Mikey had just enough time to reach the far end and jump to the right of the longer corridor. He had to keep that trigger happy moron away from where Donnie was hiding or he might actually shot Don with all his wild shots.
As if to prove his point, Benedict opened fire again, peppering the corner of the shelves Mikey had dove behind with bullets. Mikey was glad he hadn't stopped moving as he ran down the column and dove into another random row. He should have expected some kind of trap. Stupid!
Benedict was still following him and Mikey hit the floor as bullets punched through the boxes on the shelves above him. He was glad he had moved away from Don and hoped that his older brother stayed hidden. Speaking of that, if he didn't somehow let Donnie know that he was alright it wouldn't surprise him if his older brother did come out of hiding fearing that he had been hurt.
As the gunfire came to stop and the room seemed to echo with silence in its absences, Mikey said, "Seriously? You call yourself a hunter? Your aim sucks and you're waving around that assault rifle like it was a flag. Just quit while you're ahead already."
Benedict laugh and began to move towards him. Mikey slipped to the far end of the row and down too as he spoke. "My men said something about how you liked to talk as you fought."
Mikey deemed he was far enough away to take a slight chance. He really hadn't had much of a chance to work on this yet. He had started practicing it was going to be used to pull one over on Leo but he could use it to get rid of that automatic weapon and level the playing field. At least he hoped it would.
"However, I find your quips somewhat lacking from their descriptions. Have you not enjoyed your stay?"
He hoped Donnie wouldn't tell Leo what he was about to do, if he could still use it for its originally intent that was just added bonus points in his book. He relaxed and shift his lower jaw back a bit before focusing on one of the corners of the room away from Donnie. "There weren't perfect triangles in the sheets."
Just like he had though, Benedict opened fire on the corner of the room he had thrown his voice to. He smiled as he wetted his lips and waited for the weapon's fire to stop. It had so been worth bribing April to let him barrow her tablet for so many hours so he could start learn ventriloquism off the web. His labials sounds were still a bit off but it wasn't like Benedict seemed to be listening that closely. Donatello probably noticed the difference but he would find a way to get his geeky brother to keep quiet about it somehow.
Just as the weapons fire began to die away he spoke up again, throwing his voice to the other corner, "You call yourself a hunter with that kind of aim?"
Another series of shots were rattled off into the far corner but it was a shorter burst this time around. He was either trying to conserve ammo or he was trying to figure out if he had already moved. Mikey decided to up the ante another notch. After all, as his brothers were always claiming, he was the most dramatic out of the four of them.
He threw his voice so that it came from the top shelf on the shelves behind him. "Jumpy aren't you?" He reached the edge of the shelves, laid down and half yelled over the sound of gun fire as Mikey threw his voice into the air above him. "Hey, wanna know a secret?!"
It was a bit of a risk doing that he knew. There was no telling if Benedict was aiming high or low but his ridiculously good luck held and the shots sailed over his head. He was breathing hard and Mikey smiled knowing that it was more from fear then exertion. Shifting silently back up onto his feet, Mikey threw a whisper directly behind the frazzled man, "Leo's not the only Ghost in the family."
Benedict turned back around and Mikey charged around the corner. Most of the bullets in the rifle had to be gone by now but he didn't dare take any chances. That was the first thing to get rid of. He must've made some kind of noise because Benedict was swinging back around a fraction of a section too late.
His first hit was a palm strike to Benedict's right wrist, fracturing at least three of the smaller bones in there if the amount of give was any indication. His other hand was seconds behind the first, slapping down hard on the barrel of the gun. Without his other wrist to act as support, the butt of the gun flipped up, catching Benedict in the side of the face and causing the gun to slip from his hands.
Mikey barely let him take more than a stumbling step backwards, before he was moving forward again slamming his knee into the man's unprotected side. Benedict grunted at the force of the hit and stumbled back a little further just like Mikey had hoped. He pivoted around to build up enough centrifugal force and used to kick the already injured man right about where his floating ribs would be. There was enough power in the kick to send Benedict flying back away from him and into the shelves at the far end of the row. They partially collapsed on top of him and Mikey watched for a moment to make sure he was down. There was a slight hitch in his breath but it was still too shallow to indicate consciousness.
"And that is for locking us up in a cage after dragging us out here," he grumbled moodily as he turned away from the prone form and hurried over to where he had left Donatello.
Movement at the door caught his attention and Mikey froze for a minute before he realized what it was and relaxed his stance. "You know you can take a break every now and then right?" he asked as he approached his older brother who was fighting with the door. "I'm pretty sure that you have medical benefits in your contract, bro."
Donatello ignored him and took a wobbling step back from the door, brushing away Mikey's concern before he could even voice it with a flip of his hand that held what looked like a thin piece of metal. "He smashed the door knob so badly that he bent the lock back into the frame itself. I pulled the pins from the door hinges, you should be able to lever it free from the frame." Donatello than gave him a piercing look fully of suspicion, "And since when did you learn ventriloquism?"
Mikey breathed a small sigh of relief that Don hadn't tried to rip it off by himself as messed up as his arm was before answering, "Calm down, I'm going to use it on Leo not you. And as long as you keep your mouth shut about it I'll buy you that new processor server thingy you wanted." He recognized the happy spark in his brother's eye and knew that his new secret talent was still a secret. Score one for knowing how to keep a techno geek happy.
He turned to the door and rubbed his hands together. "Now watched and be amazed Donnie, at the strength of feet!" he exclaimed as he put a foot on the wall and pulled the hinges back inwards so that the frame on the opposite side of the door bent with the forced applied on it and the whole door was torqued free. Mikey set the door off to the side, barely managing to not hum 'Whistle While you Work' as he did so.
"Was that really a poorly delivered Mel Brooks pun?" Don asked as Mikey looked out the open door frame one way and then the other to make sure that they hadn't attracted any more of a gun toting audience to entertain with all the noise that they had made.
"No such thing there Donnie," Mikey said as he reached back and pulled his brother a step closure to him, ducking a shoulder under his good arm to help support him. "Come on, we have to find the other two Men in Tights and get out of here before the Sherriff of Rottingham wakes up and calls in his kazoo wielding guards."
Donatello sighed even as he obediently went where Mikey guided him which was back towards the stairs they had tried to go up initially. "At least we don't have to deal with a Prince John," he mumbled as he shook his head slightly. He had a really bad headache after all that automatic weapons fire.
"Yeah, pretty sure Leo and Raph have already taken him out."
"Either that or Patrick Stewart is here."
"Think he'll give me an autograph?" Mikey asked as they finally stepped around the corner and he managed to put a foot on the lower stair but a sharp intake of breath caused him to look up. There were two guards standing at the top of the stairs, rifles held casually as they stared shocked at the two of them. Mikey knew that he and Don weren't doing much better. He brought his free hand up and gave them a little wave even as he gave them a sheepish wave. Maybe for once he could make a couple of friends and avoid a fig-
The click of two safeties snapping off dashed his hopes.
But the familiar dark green, three fingered hands that caught either man by the side of the heads and slammed them together just raised the hopes right back up again.
The two guards fell to the floor at Raphael's feet as he looked down at his two younger brothers. They both looked like shell –Donatello way more than Mikey- and he could only hope that Leo hit Throne extra hard just for him. "Only you two would be wandering around an enemy stronghold talking about movies!" he hissed at them. "Now come on and try not to attract more attention to us!"
"I think Little Jon woke up on the wrong side of the tree don't you?"
"Mikey! Stuff it! I really want to hit something and right now you're at the top of the list!"
"Taking his weapons into account, I think he's more like Will Scarlett O'Hara."
"Don! You're a close second even with all those bandages!"
Leonardo was unsurprised to find Throne's office empty but he doubted that he was anywhere else. While Throne had shot several men in front of him when he had first came too, he doubted that the drug lord was downstairs trying to rally his troops and get the chaos restored to order. He would have an underling to do that so he wouldn't have to get his hands dirty. No, right now he was hiding. Leo just had to figure out where.
He tucked one of his swords away as he walked slowly into the room, eyes traveling over every inch of the room in a slow sweep as he moved forward. The richly decorated study seemed to be the same as when he had left it -baring the bodies on the floor of course- and now the balcony doors were thrown open wide to let in the pleasant night air. In fact, there was no stain on the carpet at all. Leonardo wouldn't have been surprised if Throne had had it replaced.
And if it was replaced that means that the rugs fibers were not broken in yet. Leo walked around the desk and pulled back the chair. The chair glided back easily enough in the faint grooves through the carpet just as Leo thought it would. He knelt down and studied the rug carefully.
They were barely discernable but after a moment, Leo was able to pick out the individuals steps from Throne's shoes. He doubted that anyone else had ever sat at this desk. Staying low, Leo followed the individual steps as they went out around the desk. He dismissed the ones heading for the door and the balcony. He just knew Throne was somewhere close by, he could sense it.
There was one set of prints that headed over towards the bookshelves on the right of the desk but none coming back. He looked over at the floor to ceiling shelves. Throne couldn't be that cliché but he did seem to have a flare for the dramatic. This room was also in the corner of the building and the wall behind the book shelves was the only place to hide a secret room.
Leonardo stood up as he scrutinized the shelves. They were immaculately cleaned and not a book appeared to be out of place. There were no obvious grooves in the carpet or on the ceiling so the door was going to be hard to find but not impossible.
He walked over to the shelves still looking for any obvious signs of where the door could possibly be hidden. The rug became his focus once again and he knelt before it looking for how the fibers lay all along the shelf. At the center there was as large arching sweep away from the shelves and Leo couldn't help but smirk as he stood up before it.
Now he had to open it.
He looked over the shelves in front of the books again but they were so well cleaned and polished that he couldn't tell if any of them had been slide forward recently. He breezed over the titles causally looking for any kind for pattern or a break there in. It was a large collection of leather bound American Tax books and several law books all arranged in alphabetical order and volume of release. There was nothing of interest and all boring as shell.
He was about to give up and pull every book out off the shelves when he noticed something odd on the shelf next to the one he was looking at. It could be because it wasn't in alphabetical order or the fact that Leo doubted that doubted that Throne really read classical literature at all. Either way, he pulled down H.G Wells 'The Time Machine' and heard a click of a switch releasing as the bookcase in front of him shifted. He stepped out of the way as the shelf swung out and set the book down. He was a bit surprised that there was no hail of gunfire but as he used his blade like a mirror to peak around the corner he could see why.
There was a large steel door between him and the panic room that he knew lay on the other side. He stepped around the corner and examined the electronic lock for a moment before smiling to himself. He recognized this lock. He had helped Donnie break one similar to it a few months ago. He snapped the sword that was loosely held in his hand up and slid it into a barely noticeably gap in the lock's housing with a sweeping slash. He felt several crucial wires as a barely discernable hesitation in his swing before the lock disengaged with a loud thunk and swung outwards obediently.
Vincent Throne was sitting in a large wing back chair in the center of the room with a small desk sitting next to him piled with classical literature and a small reading lamp. He looked up from whatever he was reading mouth agape at Leo as his reading glasses slid down his nose a bit. He actually looked a little afraid and Leo took a step forward intending on dragging him out of the room and teach him a lesson regarding his family, namely leaving them alone.
He had barely taken two full steps when the click of a safety being released froze him in his tracks. "Please take ten steps back, Ghost," came a smooth feminine voice. Leo silently berated himself as he began to back up and ignored the relieved looking smile on Throne's face. Stupid, he should have checked the balcony before searching the room. Throne may have not been out there but someone certainly had.
Leo stopped of the requested number of steps and glanced back at the woman standing behind him. She looked like some kind of secretary or business woman, wearing a red suit separate with a short skirt and heels. Her suit jacket was open, revealing some kind of gun harness over a white buttoned up shirt. She easily held a nine millimeter handgun on him with the causal grace that suggested that she knew how to use it.
"Well, Ghost," Throne said as he came out of his panic room, tucking his reading glasses away in the breast pocket of his jacket. "I have to admit I would have thought that you would have taken your friends and left. Lisa, you timing as always is impeccable, thank you for your timely arrival."
Lisa didn't make any comment and Vincent was beginning to resemble a very fat happy cat that had just caught a canary. "I assume that you came here to give me a reason to leave them alone?" He cocked his head to the side with a halfhearted shrug and answered his own question, "I suppose if they can manage to make it out of the country alive then I will have no further interest in them. After all," Vincent gestured to Leo. "I have you now don't I Ghost?"
Leo quietly seethed while carefully keeping his face neutral. That was such a rookie mistake, he should have known better than that. Still there wasn't much he could do about it now and he began to focus instead on how he was going to get out of this mess. Both Vincent and Lisa were too far away for him to try and attack either of them directly before Lisa would shot him. He had to find a way to get rid of that gun somehow. He began to look about the office for anything that could help him by acting as a shield or a projectile.
Vincent continued talking out loud to himself, "While I would love to see Lisa shoot you, I must admit that I am a bit attached to this rug. I did just have it replace the other day after all. I suppose that I can have you detained in the cage set up downstairs but I really don't want to deal with such a hassle. I could use you as an investment I suppose," He leaned back casually against his desk, folding an arm to act as a support for the other as he held his chin. "Yes, I am pretty sure that there is someone on the Black Market that would have interest in a specimen such as you. What do you think Ghost?" he asked as if Leo really had a say in what happened to him. "Should I sell you to the highest bidder alive or in formaldehyde?"
There was an ashtray on the coffee table about two feet to his right. If he moved fast enough, he would be able to slide his sword underneath it and flip it towards Lisa. Of course that was only going to work if he moved faster than she could fire and as long as she hadn't moved from her spot beside the balcony doors. He chanced a glance backwards and saw that she had indeed moved further behind him. That was going to make this harder than he had thought. He was going to have to rotate more than two hundred degrees now to get the sword under the ashtray, plenty of time for her to fire on him. He had to come up with something else.
"You know," Vincent started slowly as if he was still thinking out loud to himself. "If you catch me a high enough price, I may have to go and bring those other three back here to add to my profit." Leo glared at the man across the room from him. "Ah," Vincent finally let go of his chin and folded his other arm down to lay along the other. "I see now that you are once again paying attention to me, Ghost. Will you answer my question now? I am not a very patient man by any means and I absolutely hate repeating myself."
Leo debated throwing caution to the wind and just lunging at him when Lisa spoke up. "Mister Throne," she was moving towards him but still staying out of his range. "Are you quiet through?"
The smug look on Vincent's face evaporated and he glared at his secretary. "Lisa, I did not give you permission to speak. What reason do you have for interrupting me?" Lisa stopped walking so that she was still several feet away from Leonardo's reach but she was standing about half a step in front of her now. Leo glanced down at the ashtray again. He was pretty sure he could do it-
In a very deliberate move, the gun swung from him onto a very shocked and outraged business man.
"Do you have anything that you want to say or do to Mister Throne, Leonardo?" Leo blinked and looked at the girl standing next to him in awe. He hadn't expected this. Lisa changing sides notwithstanding, how had she known his name? No one here knew it and he was fairly certain that his brothers wouldn't have told anyone that, if they even believed them. Did he know her from somewhere else?
"LISA!" Vincent snapped as his relaxed pose was traded in for a more standoffish glare as he stood up from leaning on the desk. "What the fu-"
The gun jerked in her hand Leo jumped at the sound of a gunshot ripping through the air from right next to him. Vincent let out a humiliating sound as he fell to his knees covering his head as the lamp on the desk beside him was shattered. "It is not you're turn to speak, Mister Throne," she sounded different, her voice changing from soft and meek to a more authoritative tone. "Leonardo is there anything that you wish to say," she gave him a meaningful look. "Or do to him?"
Leo frowned as he looked her over again. He hadn't been able to get a good look at her before but now that he was able to he could see that she was no ordinary business woman or secretary. She didn't hold herself like a civilian would. Despite her attire she was a fighter and very well trained. Even as she held the handgun there wasn't any sign of muscle fatigue and she defiantly knew how to aim judging by the warning shot she had just given Throne. Over all, she gave Leo an uneasy feeling, like he knew her from somewhere and they had been on opposite sides that time.
"Leo, I know this outfit makes me look amazing but we really should get moving before anyone comes to investigate that gunshot," she flashed him a small smirk as she spoke and Leo realized that she was right. They couldn't linger much longer.
Slowly he turned his gaze from Lisa and onto the man that had kidnapped and threaten to kill his family. That alone was enough to set his blood boiling but the fact that he had then recaptured and possibly injured Mikey and Donnie even worse caused the hand on his sword to tighten and he started towards the man that had caused all of this. Vincent's shocked face briefly looked scared as Leo approach before smoothing over as if indifferent to his situation. It was a feeble lie.
However, as he approached the man trying not to cower before him, Leo recognized the absolute hatred in his eyes. There was nothing he could say or do short of killing this man to protect his family. Vincent Throne was going to hunt them down again and again to exact his revenge on them for escaping this trap. More so on him for this fiasco and from when he destroyed his shipping lines way back when he and first arrived as the Ghost. Now, though, Vincent knew to strike at his family to get to him.
He put the tip of his sword under his chin and slowly drew it up, forcing the drug lord to stand up. He knew that it would be quick to end the infinite loop that had already begun. All he had to do was thrust his sword forward but a familiar bile rose in the back of his throat and that stayed his hand.
He'd already disrespected his Father's teachings one time in the past there was no way he would willingly do it again.
"Stay away from my family," Leonardo said in a ragged voice full of anger at himself for not ending this now and disbelief that he had ever thought of taking Throne's life in the first place. "Or I swear on my Honor that the next time I see you or any of the men or women on your payroll, you will die before you even know I'm there." He could already see the relief in Throne's eyes that he wasn't about to die and Leo could practically tell that he was plotting his revenge. He knew his threat wouldn't work. He had just wasted his breath.
He was about to turn away when he remembered Raph's request. He swung his fist around with all the pain at his decision and the frustration at his own choice fueling it. The hit caught Vincent right in the teeth with a brutal haymaker that he was sure would have made brother proud. His fist hurt a bit and Leo shook it out as he stepped away. Vincent was kneeling on the floor holding his jaw as blood dribbled out of his mouth. Leo was fairly certain he had broken several of his teeth if not fractured his jaw.
He had kept Lisa in his sights the entire time but she never made a move to stop him or track him with her gun as she watched. "Are you finished?" she asked looking a tad bit disappointed. "There is nothing else you want to do or say?"
Leo returned the glare at the man still the floor and shook his head. "I'm done."
Lisa still looked disappointed when he looked back to her. She shook her head and sighed, "Wasted opportunity Leonardo." And then she pulled the trigger.
Leo gripped his katana a bit tighter and gave Lisa a cold look as she calmly walked towards the desk and the body lying in front of it. "Why did you do that," Leo asked as she bet down and pulled as small drive from his pocket and taking care not to step in the widening pool of blood.
"Because I was paid too," was her answer as she stood and walked around the desk. She flipped open the laptop and plug in the drive she had taken from Throne and another that she pulled from her pocket. She sat in the chair and started typing on the computer, the light from the screen casting eerie shadows on her face. She paused and looked up at him, "Come on, Leo. I know you know who I am. Hurry up and finish putting the pieces together so I can give you a gift and we can both get out of here before anymore guards show up."
"I don't know you," He said automatically though he knew there was something about her. Something he remembered. She suddenly smiled and all the pieces fell into place as he remembered staring at that very same face on the opposite end of a warehouse right in front of where Donatello was unconscious and tied up. "Artemis," he growled as his eyes narrowed. The grip on his katana tightened and he readied himself to fight her.
"I was hoping you remembered me," she said clearly unafraid of his battle ready stance. "It makes the explanation of who I am and how I know you so much easier." She resumed typing. "Now quit the posing Leo, there is nothing in my contract that states you and your brothers' demises and I would rather pay the debit I owe you now anyway and get it off my plate."
She wasn't making any moves against him or even looked threatening from where he was standing but he wasn't taking any chances. She was more interested in whatever she was doing on the computer then him. "What debit are you talking about?" he asked after a moment of nothing but tension and the clacking of computer keys filling the air around them.
"I was ready for that building to fall on me and die when you tried to come back and get me." Still focused more on the computer than him, "It reminded me of something I swore to do and I couldn't give just then." She finally looked up from the screen and said with an air of total sincerity, "Thank you so much for reminding me of what I had yet to do."
Leo still wasn't about to drop his guard but the expectant look on her face prompted him to dip his head in acknowledgement. "You're welcome."
She gave him a soft smile before turning back to the screen. She typed several more commands into the computer before standing and removing the drive that she had put into the computer. She walked around to the front of the desk and leveled the gun on helpless electronic, sending it along to meet up with its owner.
Leo was still watching her carefully as she walked over to him. "Now," she said briskly as her free hand plunged underneath her shirt and between her breasts. Leo felt a blush rise to his cheeks at her actions.
"Cute." She was defiantly laughing at him on the inside. "Anyways, here." She handed him a pair of keys and a card. After a moment's hesitation he took them and she started talking again in a brisk tone as if she was giving him a report. "There is a jeep down in the motor pool already set up for you and your brothers. You'll know it when you see it. It has medical supplies, food and water in the back and enough gas to get it to the port of Trujillo. There is a freighter leaving there in two days for New York City called the Queen's Pride. April O'Neil has a medium sized shipping container on that ship that she will be finding out about within the next hour. Its serial number eight nine three two two. The second key will let you into the container and don't worry. American Customs and the boat workers won't have any interest in it. It has been outfitted to provide you guys as comfortable voyage as possible given the circumstances."
Leo frowned as he looked over the c keys and card in his hands. It looked like a bank account card. "What is this?"
"That account has about one million dollars in it that you can do with as you see fit," Leo felt his jaw drop.
"Why are you doing this?" he snapped looking up at her angrily, expecting a trap. "What do you want?"
"Nothing," she said as she began to head for the door. "I told you I am paying back my debit. You can do as you see fit but I would encourage using the shipping container at least to get back to New York, Leo. It's hard and dangerous to get things past Customs, especially four humanoid turtles."
"Why should I trust you?" he asked as she looked out the door and up and down the hall.
"Why shouldn't you?" She shot back. "Besides Leo, if I had really wanted you dead you know you wouldn't have seen the shot coming." Leo frowned and she gave him another smile, "I'll cover you and your brothers until you leave the compound. Good bye Leonardo, I hope to never have to see you again."
With that she gave him a left handed military salute, walked out into the hall and was gone.
Leo stood in the room for a moment longer weighing his options. As long as she wasn't playing some kind of game with them, Artemis had just given them a way home. However, this was Artemis, she had kidnapped and held Donatello prisoner once and had tried to kill them before. This was putting them all in one place, in a box that could be sealed shut, and she would have caught all of them.
However, that time she had been under contract and she was right. If she had wanted to, he would have been dead as he searched for the panic room or even when he and Raph had been taking care of the guards on the catwalk around the walls. Artemis was a sniper and she had ample time to have killed them before now without all the theatrics. Also –even if he didn't like to admit it- she did have some twisted form of honor. She had fought to protect Don from Bishop when he tried to take Don.
He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.
This was part of why he hated being the leader, all the hard decision fell on him.
"What took you so long?" Raphael hissed as soon as he joined them at the appointed meeting spot near the west wall where several dumpsters and trash cans sat. "The Throne guy better not be able to walk."
"Welcome to the smelliest place here bro," Mikey whispered from further back in the shadows. Donatello was leaning heavily against him, looking half asleep. "Who knew the one hundred plus degree days and humidity above eighty could make garbage smell like this? Phew!" Both of them were missing all their gear but Don has fresh looking bandages. Leo had a feeling that he knew who had provided those bandages.
"How are you feeling Don?" he asked while Raph told Mikey to shut up. "Are you up for moving?"
"Yeah," he agreed tiredly. "Especially if it's far away from here."
"It is, it's high time we went home," he helped Donatello stand but was a bit unprepared with how much weight he put on him. He looked down at the top of his brothers head with concern, just how banged up was he?
"I'll take him," Raphael offered easily lifting the smaller terrapin into his arms and off the ground completely despite the angry huff Don let out. "Lead the way." Leo was about to ask Raph for a diagnosis but his younger brother cut him off, "Exhaustion, mild dehydration and his injuries aren't helping much. Don't worry, I got my eye him."
Even though they all knew basic first aid, Raph had taken a particular shine to it and had become the authority on medicine in the household when Don wasn't available. His reassurance that Don was going to be alright put Leo at ease. "Okay, let's go."
He began to lead them towards the motor pool when Raph spoke up. "Hey, aren't we going the wrong way? I thought we were going to go over the wall?"
Leo heaved a sigh, "Better option came along. Follow me." He didn't like excepting aid from an assassin but it would be the easiest way to get back home and Don's state just proved to him that he had choose the right option, the more comfortable and easier the journey the better for all of them.
The motor pool was eerily silent and the only sign that anyone had been there recently were a trio of bodies off near one of the doorways into the main building, sporting several gunshot wounds. "Wow, someone was having a bad day," Mikey said off handedly when he saw the bodies. Leo ignored them entirely as his eyes darted from one jeep to another. Which one had Artemis prepared for them and how would he know which one to take?
"Hey the chuck twins! I thought they got left back in the cave." Leo looked over and sure enough, just a little ways further down the row of jeeps was a jeep that had Mikey's nunchakus sitting on the dashboard. His little brother was already trying to open the door as he approached. "Figures they locked it," he grumbled and then took a lock pick out f his mouth and prepared to jam it into the lock.
"Mikey," Leo jingled the keys pointedly get and Mikey practically beamed as he scampered out of the way enough so Leo could unlock the door. The lock clicked and Leo opened the door, "Get in," he said glancing over at where Raph was still holding Don to his chest and keeping a watch up. "We're leaving."
"Don't have to tell me twice," Don mumbled as Leo started for the other side of the jeep and unlocked that door. By the time he got up into his seat, Raph and Don were in the back seat and Mikey was sliding his seat back and hopping up inside.
"Can we put the roof down?" he asked as he grabbed his nunchakus and cuddled them to his face like they were a pair of long lost friends.
"No," Leo said as he started the jeep and pulled out of the motor pool. "We don't want anyone to recognize us Mikey."
"Can it beanhead and eat," Raph handed a power bar, apple and a bottle of water up front. "The back of this jeep's got enough food, water and gas to last us for a few days."
Leonardo sighed as he put his hand on the clutch. As soon as they got past the compound's walls he was going to floor it and put as much distance between them and this place as possible. Movement to the left caught his attention and he braked as the man ran out in front of them. "Oh frag," Mikey exclaimed even as he reached for the door handle. "Him?!"
Leo didn't recognize the man in front of them but Mikey obviously did and judging by the mysterious man's appearance, Mikey and him had some kind of altercation earlier. "Esto es para mis perros!" he exclaimed and lifted the hand gun he carried even as Mikey threw open his door to dive out of it.
Leo was reaching for his door handle when the man suddenly jerked as if something had hit him in the head. Leo knew what it was without having to watch the body drop to the ground. "Dude," Mikey said.
"Oh fraggit," Raphael growled. "Just what we needed, a freaking sniper."
"Leo," Don said, the tone of his voice was all Leo needed to hear to know that he had been right and Artemis had met up with Donnie and Mikey before seeing him.
"I know Don," he was watching the rooftops of the main buildings and the smaller ones around it. He didn't see anything but he knew she was there. "Mikey, close the door."
The door slammed shut and Leo started driving. Even though he knew she was following them out the gates with her scope he didn't feel threatened but he also didn't breathe a sigh of relief until the jeep bounced down the uneven road and into the safety of the forest. "Okay, Leo, Don, would one of you like to share what the fragging shell that was all about?"
"This has got to do with the lady in the red miniskirt doesn't it, Don?"
Leonardo felt himself smile, despite everything, they were alright and soon they would be on a ship heading home. He wasn't looking forward to explaining who their benefactor was for getting them home but that didn't matter right now. What mattered was that they were all alive and heading back to New York.
"Can we put the top down now? I'm melting and this thing has no air conditioning!"
Even if Mikey was the worse being to ever get stuck in a car with. It worried Leo how he was going to be stuck in a shipping crate for eight to ten days. "Mikey, I won't tell you this again, shut up." More importantly, how was he going to prevent Raph from losing his temper with him?
As the jeep plunged into the trees and off down the road, Artemis lowered her rifle and engaged the safety, swinging the large sniper rifle up onto her back in one smooth movement. Her debit was paid and it was high time she got moving. Her next target was in Dubai and she needed to buy and extra slinky dress to get close to him. "Bye, turtles," she said as she turned and headed in the opposite direction. "I hope that is the last I ever see of you."