Whatever Leo had been injected with made him almost too woozy and sick to stand. The world felt muted, soft and blurred, as he shook his head to clear it. His limbs felt as if they were liquid, threatening to spill out beneath him and send him toppling again.
After the convulsions, Leo vaguely remembered somebody shoving cruel fingers to his throat, monitoring his pulse, and another needle plunging into his quaking, knotted arm. Whatever they had injected him burned, but it worked. His body slowly unclenched, the trembling now from exhaustion and not a convulsion. Everything ached, but it was a small improvement. Thank God for that bit of mercy.
He remembered waking up with his cheek on the cold floor, the rattle of his chains, and the strange harsh blink of the camera's light outside his cage.
Leo squinted, breathing and collecting himself before his eyes narrowed dumbly on that strange, blinking light.
"It is time to wake, Leonardo. You do not wish to disappoint your audience."
Leo flinched and twisted his neck to see Karai smirking down at him.
"Audience?" He whispered, dumbly.
The fear returned, clawing and vicious at the sound of Karai's voice. She silently gestured to one of her men to come closer, as Leo instinctively rolled back the few inches he could.
Leo stared at the blinking camera, as one of the nameless, faceless men stooped down inches from the cage bars.
Leo was being filmed. Somebody could easily upload it somewhere and expose he and his brothers to the world.
"Don't…." The words were slurred out, as Leo shook his head, trying to fight the ache and the smeared, drugged oblivion.
"Yes, Leonardo. Your father and brothers are watching us now."
Leo wanted to curl up back into the darkness, to lay his aching head down against the cold metal floor. He wanted to savor the bitter triumph of saving his family and forget the way he had tortured them in their last few days together. Raphael's stab wound, kidnapping Mikey..it made Leo cringe at the vicious memories, as he felt the tears rise up again.
He didn't know how long he had been asleep, how far he had been carted away, or how long he had left to live. At this point, it was secondary to Karai's renewed threat to his brothers and father.
Think, damn it! Get ahold of yourself!
Leo shivered, helplessly clawing at the shackles again. They rattled against his plastron as he twisted against the cuffs until his wrists were scraped raw and bleeding. Maybe he'd bleed to death, or better, his blood could lubricate the metal enough to slip his wrists free. Leo didn't ponder how in the hell he would break through the prison bars, or fight his way through the small horde of men that were lounging outside his cell.
Even if he made it that far, what did he have left to go back to? Raphael might be crippled permanently, Mikey was in tears and begging for his life, and Donny hated him. Whatever love might have been left had now been poisoned by Leo's actions.
That realization hit, sudden and sharp as a stab wound. Leo swallowed hard and sucked in a sharp breath through his clogged nostrils.
Why the hell was he sobbing in front of Karai? Was it exhaustion, the sedatives, or his own erosion?
He stared at the indifferent lens of the camera, and recoiled when he heard Karai's acidic laughter. His brothers were watching this. They were watching him fall apart, watching his crumbling to nothing, seeing him sobbing, and possibly watching him die. His last words to them, and all they would get was his crying and begging in front of the enemy. No….
Leo looked directly at the abysmally black lens, that green light, the plan curling through his brain. He had nothing left to lose, now.
Why waste his breath sobbing when he could warn his family for the last time?
Whoever held the camera suddenly lunged forward, until the angle of the view was close enough to touch Leo's skin. It was close enough to show Leo's bloodied lips, his eyes storm-dark, the bruises and the split lip from God only knew what.
From behind the camera, a Karai's voice trickled into soft, mocking laughter. The woman queried with cruel amusement.
"I find your begging most entertaining, Leonardo. Would you like to view your family's last moments?"
Leo's eyes slid upward, narrowed and searing with well-contained rage, as the terror dribbled away into icy resolve.
"If you've done anything to them, I'll kill you." Leo's certainty was quiet, steady, and terrifying.
Leo snarled, and lunged, so fast that he was only a frenzied blur of green. There was a scream off camera, and the sharp tilt as the camera hit the floor. There was the sound of Leo's ragged, gasping breaths as he clawed at the camera and rolled it towards him.
He was sprawled out on the floor, eyes flooding over as he choked out, "Karai bugged the Lair! Get out, now!"
He gave the camera one long look of sorrow, as he whispered. "Good-bye."
Leo belted the camera with a fist, sending shards of glass through his flesh. The screen went black.
Meanwhile, at the Lair:
There was nothing but the numb, sickened silence, broken by Mikey's whimper and Raph's explosive swearing.
"That b-." Raph growled at the tv, as he shook with helpless rage.
At his side, Donny stared at the blank television, rigid as a hunted animal.
"Raph….shut up!" Donny jabbed a finger to his lips. "If the Lair is bugged, she can hear us!" He whispered, harshly.
"Yeah?!" Raphael snapped. "Good! I'm glad Karai can hear us now! She should know what I'm gonna do to her when I find her!"
"My sons, enough!" Splinter said sharply, as he gestured with his paw, and whispered, "It is no longer safe to remain here. We must go."
Raphael snapped his eyes and jaw shut, good hand twitching as he imagined how he would gleefully strangle Karai.
Splinter shook his head, silently agonized over Leo. His sons stared at him, Michelangelo bewildered and sick, Raphael glaring at the TV as if he wanted to kill it. Donny, ever pragmatic and detached, was already taking a mental inventory of what they would need.
Could his electronics be traced? Could Karai be on her way already? God help him, was Leo going to live?
"We have already lingered here too long. Gather what is needed, my sons. Quickly!"