Sequel to The Simplest Answer. You've heard my thoughts on why I believe Splinter sent Leo on his training mission. Here's the next question we've slaved over. Why didn't Leo come home?
Mikey made his way through the lair, the smell of delicious pizza taunting him from the kitchen. He quickly rushed across the room and into the dojo where he heard huffs and gruffs of exertion.
"Leo! Raph! Don's back with the pizza!"
"Alright just let me-oof!"
"Pay attention Raph."
"Uh, we'll fight after dinner. I'm too hungry," the red clad turtle said, getting a hand up from his older brother.
"Better hurry!" Mikey shouted and ran back to the kitchen.
"We better go before there's nothing left," Leo said, the hint of a smile on his expression.
Thankfully Don had stopped Mikey from eating until they arrived. Splinter left the dinner table early, four teenage boys and eight pizzas was something no parent should EVER see. When the force of the pizza gulping had gone down Don allowed himself to take a breath.
"Well, I'm glad you're eating again Leo," he commented around a slice of pepperoni.
"Hey, I eat," Leo protested around his own slice of Hawaiian.
"Three blueberries every morning does not count Leo," Mikey taunted.
Before Don could stop the words, the words, came out of his mouth, "Seriously, you've got all the food you need now. You're not in the jungle anymore."
Too late to catch the words, Mikey and Raph froze, their eyes flying over to the accused. They DID NOT talk about THAT.
"Sorry," Leo said, his face neutral, "It's just routine. You can get lost in it."
"Why didn't you just buy a map?" Mikey joked, hoping to get a laugh out of his brothers.
The others remained silent. Tense silence.
Leo sighed, "Look if you guys have questions start asking them."
"Why the shell did you stay away so long?" Raph grumbled, abandoning the sight of his brothers in favor of the melting cheese on his piece of pizza.
"That's why you guys clam up like this when the subject comes up?" Leo asked with a raised eyebrow.
Truthfully, no they had clammed up a lot before because they wanted to know WHY Leo had left in the first place. Of course, this had been explained by their sensei some days before, they no longer held, not anger exactly, but the frustration of not knowing. There was no anger, just frustration aimed at their older brother. Who had, they did admit, come a long way from what he had been. Occasionally now they would see emotion cross the eldest's face where a few months ago there had been nothing but a painted on mask.
"Why did you?" Raph mumbled, still staring at the melted cheese as if he expected it come to life, jump onto his face and suck out his brains.
That thought crossed Leo's mind and he laughed lightly.
"What's so funny?" Mikey asked, curiosity filling his eyes.
The eldest shook his head, a barely noticeable smile on face, "Nothing. Now-"
He paused, frowning intently. He had known that this would come. The question had been whispered by the others but never directed at him. Perhaps a month ago he would've kept his mouth shut but being accepting back into his family had tilted his reasoning into spilling everything although, he would hold back much. There were many things that they didn't need to know.
"Remember that book you read about two years ago Don, a little before I left?"
Don threw up his hands, "Which one? I read dozens of books in that time."
"William Golding," Leo murmured.
"The Lord of the Flies?" Don asked, "What does that have to do with your va-uh training period?"
"Idiot," he mentally chided himself, "He's not supposed to know it was a vacation. Keep your beak shut!"
Raising another confused eye ridge at the purple clad turtle, Leo shook his head, he'd worry about it later.
"I'm lost," Mikey decreed.
Raph didn't need to say anything to second that.
"Look guys, that jungle and me were both completely isolated from humanity. I tried at first to keep humane, I should say, sane but…there was no humanity. No humans, no one talked, so I didn't. The only things out there were plants and animals. Tell me, do you believe animals have a sense of time?"
"Well, some do," Don exclaimed, "Like uh, mating seasons and migrations."
"Well what if it's a solitary animal, on its own in an isolated environment?" Leo questioned, the corner of his mouth curving up as he noticed Raph and Mikey looking at one another with blank stares.
Don looked like he was really trying to figure it out though, "I guess it would look at other organisms."
"Other animals," Leo hinted.
"No humans…" Don was quiet for a minute before he suddenly smacked himself on the forehead, "Why didn't I see it! It's so obvious. No humanity, no sense of time, you reverted back to animalistic instincts. April would have been the first human to talk to you after those two years that's why-oh, why didn't I see it. I should've planned for this when we heard you were leaving."
"Would someone care to enlighten me?" Raph said, his eyes narrowed angrily.
"Me too! Me too!" Mikey cried out.
Leo sighed, "Your turn to explain. I'll be in the dojo."
When the blue clad turtle left the room, Don racked his brain trying to figure out how to explain it to the lesser understanding beings in front of him.
"Uh…well um…remember that old lady in the park who feeds the birds every morning?" Don said.
He got nods from both of them.
"Well, the birds are never the same birds even though that old woman comes at the same time everyday."
"So these birds don't have a sense of time, only external influence," Don explained excitingly, thinking they were getting somewhere.
"You lost me after x aburcluse," Mikey commented.
"EXTERNAL INFLUENCE…" Don said, "Their environment."
Don sighed heavily, ok next part, "These birds stay in the park, even if a truck of bird seed a few streets away crashed and spilled out on the ground they would stay in the park, that is their isolated environment."
"Stop Don, I'm lost."
This time the genius turtle groaned, searching his brain for another example, "Remember uh… Oh forget it! Leo lost his mind ok. With no humans around he became an animal, an animal without a sense of time. That happens in the wild when there isn't any stream of humanity around."
"So he lost his mind?" Raph asked.
"He became a normal animal instead of half-human and half-turtle mutant."
"Dude, that does not make me feel any better, that makes me feel worse," Mikey complained, reaching for another slice of BBQ pizza.
"I'm not sure how else to explain it, you just have to understand it," Don said, "Sorry."
"I'm still confused," Raph said.
"Me too," Mikey said tilting his head to the side in a cute manner, "But it sounded bad."
Ok, Mikey and Raph being confused represent the 2/3 of my readers who won't understand this, Don represents the 1/3 that will. Why didn't Leo come home? Now, I know about my explanation in my story You Have No Idea but that's just it, an idea, a possible explanation but it's very farfetched. At least in my opinion.
Now as for this one-shot if you still do not understand I'll try to explain but it's something more you have to just understand, explaining it usually doesn't actually help. I think it makes it all more confusing but hey, that's my definition of writing, the way to communicate what does not have the ability to be heard.
When you isolate, or encase an animal in an unfamiliar environment, and by animal I mean humans as well, we ARE animals, one loses their mind because of the absence of humanity. The book, The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, I believe does a good job of presenting this.
Why I believe Leo didn't come home: He had no sense of time because there was no humanity in the jungle where he was alone, therefore, he would've continued to remain there in the same environment until humanity was reintroduced to him, example: April's appearance in the CGI movie OR until he completely lost his mind and became pure animal at which point there would be no turning back.
Like I said, this is a principal you have to morally understand rather than logically interpret. So it's difficult. If anyone thinks they can explain this better and more clearly please do. I'm at a loss.
Update: Ok, that one e-mailer has been tracked down and let's just leave it at that he won't bother me again. Yes, it was a guy. Anyways, I can now accept unfamilar anonymous reviews. Sorry for that road block.