The winds of the worlds had changed. The four Hamato brothers and their father rat could join society as legislation and laws were passed for the Non-Humans to merge with the majority. Blood and tears had been shed for a few signatures and votes, and the end result called for celebration that reflected through the stars. The Non-Humans felt proud, confident in their sacrifices and triumphs, and the ambition of a radiant future was as close as the hearts beating in their chests. There were still many roads to travel and laws to sharpen, but the minority held fast and clung to their solid expectations.
It was a slow progression and not all of the"Nons" had decided to join society. Some felt the comfort of their familiar surroundings was good enough and there wasn't a need to bleed into society, or just yet.
Nons came from around the globe, greeting countries' landmarks that had welcomed new settlers in past generations. This was a glorious age for the minority but not all of society opened their minds and hearts to such a physically, abnormally challenged race.
This is a story of that Age, one of the countless sagas of how families are intertwined and will find similarities in other groups..Battle changes feelings; war changes everything.
"Flight 3219 seems to be late," Leonardo Hamato mumbled, staring up at the screen and sipping on his fourth cup of water. "I hope it arrives soon."
"Airports make me nervous," a tense voice belonging to Donatello seeped from an opposite seat. "Just the whole idea of walking around in public hasn't sunk in for me yet." He wiped his wet palms on his trousers. "And clothes. They're itchy."
An announcement blared over the airport but nobody could understand it. Raphael rammed a toothpick between his back teeth and slurred, "Donny, we've been out in public for years now. You're actin' like we crawled out of the sewers yesterday. Go get you some water and stop wiggling."
Donatello left his seat without a retort, and Leo glanced over at the last brother, Michelangelo, who had remained quiet the entire time. He looked up once he felt Leo's eyes on him and smiled in response; Leo nodded and hoped Michelangelo would join in the conversation, like old times. When nothing was exchanged, Leo turned back to the flight screen.
"It's Splinter's guests arrivin'. Why can't he come in here?" Raph asked, tossing the toothpick into a nearby bin. "I don't know nothin' about Germans. Just that they talk funny and wear funny clothes."
Leo sighed, wanting to ignore Raph's constant protests. "Splinter doesn't like to walk around in public, dummy. This is the least you could do for him. Now YOU go get some water and be quiet."
As Raph rose from his seat he spewed, "And just because they're turtles like us doesn't mean I'm going to drop what I'm doing. It's no big deal anymore."
Another announcement bellowed around the airport's bustle. Raphael bumped into a fidgety Don, causing Don to spill a little water on himself.
"Good. Thirty more minutes," Leo breathed out, joining the silent Michelangelo on the seats.
The four brothers stood at the gate, peering back and forth for the new guests. They had a couple of pictures to go by and an idea of who they were looking for in the crowd. Don and Raph continued their bickering.
"Thanks for spilling water on me, Raph. This shirt cost me a good penny."
"You just complained that clothes make you itchy. Shop at the Goodwill, like me. Or get 'im out of the dumpster. You've done it before."
"My dumpster diving days are over. I have an income and I'm going to use it. I'm tired of smelling like a landfill."
Raph huffed, "I don't think I smell that bad, Donny. You just ain't no fun anymore. There's an art to dumpster diving."
Leo shushed them, and at the right moment Michelangelo pointed out their two guests.
"Look at that," Raph mumbled, elbowing Don, "The older one's got a wet spot on her shirt. Like you, Donny."
"Hallo!" rung a baritone, vivid voice from the crowd and a cream-colored hand signaled their arrival. An average height, stocky female turtle appeared in front of the Hamatos, bowing and grinning a mile wide. "I am Emyrs Becker from Bergedorf, Germany, and this is -" She stopped once she realized her traveling partner wasn't beside her. "Abigail? Where's my daughter?"
"Pretty accent," Don whispered; he had to throw in: "Think you can understand it, Raph?"
There was a groan rumbling deep in Raph's throat.
"ABIGAIL!" Emyrs screamed above the crowd, peering down in time to find her unamused daughter standing beside her. "Oh, didn't mean to scream in your ear. Sorry!"
Leo bowed and put on his best face. "It is nice to meet the both of you. I know that our father has been corresponding with you for a majority of the year. We hope that your flight over here was comfortable."
Emyrs' hazel eyes widened. "For the most part; I spilled some drink on me. Actually, Abby did when she didn't put her drink away before the plane descended."
"These are my brothers. On the far end is Donatello, this is Raphael, I'm Leonardo, and he's Michelangelo." Don and Mike nodded; Raph did a small salute.
"This is my twelve-year-old daughter, Abigail Becker." Abby greeted the brothers with a bow, her frizzy red hair bouncing with the rhythm. Emyrs clapped her hands together. "It's nice to meet you all as well. I am eager to meet with Splinter Hamato, but first let me wipe my shirt dry and use the ladies' room. My eyeballs are floating."
Leonardo and Michelangelo waited patiently for the Beckers to do their bathroom business; a hasty Raphael and Donatello had already left the building, trolling back to the van still nagging at one another.
Emyrs emerged from the restroom first, straightening her outfit and thanking Michelangelo for guarding her luggage. Leo studied the elder Becker: she was slightly shorter than the Hamato brothers, had cream-colored skin, and her shell was much smaller than theirs. She had some years on her face but her eyes and smile were very youthful.
"Do I have something on my face?" she blinked. He caught hold of himself staring at her before he chuckled in response.
"ABBY!" Emyrs roared into the bathroom. "Did you fall in?"
The tween breezed around the corner and shook her head. "I held it in, too, Mother."
Leo thought he heard a giggle coming from Michelangelo, but he didn't want to bank on it. The Beckers carried their luggage through the airport, insisting that they were not helpless and didn't want to intrude. It was part of Leo's nature to study his surroundings, and he made sure not to stare into Abigail's face. Abby's appearance was very different from her mother's: light green skin, reminiscent of the Hamatos', frizzy red hair, and a tail that met midway down her legs. Her hazel eyes weren't as youthful as Emyrs; they held an almost mature look to them. However, their facial structures were similar: well-rounded beaks with Emyrs' slightly bonier due to her age.
"We're back, Sensei. Sorry for making you wait so long," Leo apologized as he stuffed the luggage into the van.
"I already told him, Leo. He was asleep when I got here anyways," Raph grumbled and made space for the Beckers. He was quickly getting uncomfortable once they shuffled inside. "Don, let me ride up front. You ain't got as much meat on your bones."
"Ouch!" Emyrs cried. "What's that jabbing me?"
"Oh, my bad." Raph unhooked his weapon and threw it on the floor. "Don! Did you hear me, deaf boy?"
Don had on his headphones and his music increased in volume.
"Hi, Splinter!" Emyrs reached over and tugged Splinter in the front seat. "It's nice to see you, 'MasterRobotRat'."
"Who?" Raph cawed and threw his seat mate a suspicious look.
"His internet handle, Raph," Leo grunted as he shuffled in the driver's seat and buckled his belt. "That's how they met. And stop kicking my seat."
Raphael turned to look out the window. "I don't study no internet."
"And it is a pleasure to meet you face to face, Porcupine-Cupcake," the elder rat's voice cracked from his grogginess and realization of their internet aliases.
Emyrs richly laughed and patted Splinter's shoulder, "You didn't send me an updated photo of your sons! I was expecting them to be naked, wearing bandannas, and surrounding you like bodyguards."
"Yes, sorry. I am not terribly wise with the computer and the internet." Splinter elbowed Donatello beside him. "My son here is the smart one with the computer."
"Thank you, Sensei."
Raph reached over and smacked Don on the back of the head. "I knew you could hear me! Ya damn static head!"
"Raphael! We have guests!" Leo chastised but kept his eyes on the road. "Act like your age and not your shoe size!"
The grumpy one snickered. "Hey, my shoe's almost old enough to vote! Besides, Donny needs a good slap on the back of the head sometimes. I'm going to sleep. Mike, hand me a pillow or somethin' from back there."
"My sons are never boring," Splinter warmly chuckled. "Your daughter's name is Abigail, and she is a half breed?"
Emyrs dodged the pillow being transferred between the brothers. "Yes, she is. Half turtle, half dragonoid. At the moment, she retains more of her turtle blood and features. She's not such a problem YET."
While her mother rubbed the top of Abby's fluffy head, Abby responded by looking out her window.
"She's a good kid. Strong and spirited. She's never traveled abroad before and I thought it would be a dynamic experience for her."
"New York ain't nothin'," grumbled Raph from the corner, trying to tuck himself in a comfortable position. "It's got a few cool little spots but it's mostly loud and smelly."
"Just like Raphael in the corner there," Don spoke and turned up his music.
"He doesn't smell too bad. You should smell some of the drunks in my bar," the elder turtle laughed. Her chuckles trailed off once she felt the fire from Raphael's eyes. "Well, when we reach our destination, I would like to discuss some business with you.. Do you all like sausages?"
The introductions happened two weeks ago. Since then, the two guests arranged to rent the basement of April O'Neil, a human companion to Splinter and his sons; Miss O'Neil was more than happy to take care of friends of the family and the extra payment helped too, giving the current shaky economy.
Emyrs arranged to have Abigail continue her martial arts training under Splinter's team while Emyrs enjoyed the scenery and the new-found people and land.
Other than a few hiccups in the daily activities, life was quiet for all, but the placid surface masked cracks of struggle slowly growing deep and wide, not affected by time or environment.
Beta Reader: TheMutantRebel