The first thing Donatello noticed wasn't that he was awake nor was it that he was alive and capable of coherent thought. It wasn't the blinding whiteness of the room or that too clean smell of a sterilized trauma unit. No, the first thing he noticed was the glass of water on the small table at his shoulder. And he lunged for it. In hindsight, that was probably the stupidest, most impulsive decision he'd ever made. The tiny throbbing sensation - so insignificant that he didn't bother checking its source - abruptly roared and clawed into every nerve in the right half of his body. Only barely catching himself on the bed's rails, he sat back against the headboard with a pained grunt. He narrowed his eyes at the glass. It was taunting him.

Well, if you wait long enough, surely a nurse or an orderly will come by and...you...can

Suddenly very awake, Donnie took a much better look at his surroundings. His right arm was in a sling and strapped firmly to his plastron. He wasn't cuffed to the bed. An IV stand hovered over him, but near as he could tell, it had been a normal saline drip. The room itself was clean to the point of having been spit-shined with a toothbrush. There were no guards, no other patients, no doctors. Just him in a bed with scratchy sheets in the middle of a room that was shrinking more by the minute. He slowly blew out two breaths from pursed lips to prevent himself from hyperventilating.

I'm in a lab or a hospital, and I'm alone.

His next thought wormed its way from his brain to his stomach, and he had to fight a very strong urge to retch.

Where is my family?

And just before he worked himself into a frothing fit of anxiety, the door burst open, and who of all beings should storm in but Mortu, commander of the Utrom Legion. Don almost laughed in relief.

Mortu and his exo-suit looked him up and down once before demanding, "Is everything alright?"

"Yes, eveything's good, my friend." Donnie said cheerfully. "I'm sorry to cause such a racket. I woke up and I didn't know where I was and…"

"You panicked." Mortu finished. He tugged at a stack of sheets that Donatello assumed were his medical charts hanging on the adjacent wall.

"Mortu?"

The Utrom glanced up warily.

Don licked his lips. "Why am I in here?"

If it had been possible for the alien to heave a heavy sigh, Don was sure his friend would have done just that. "What do you remember, Donatello?"

The turtle shut his eyes and concentrated on the last few strings of thought he'd had before he noticed the water. He remembered being together and they were all sad….no, resigned to an inevitable death.

Death? He pressed harder against his temple. I'm right there. The sensation of flight...of being flung...of pain radiating throughout his being. Go further. What caused the pain? Who threw you if the Shredder hadn't been-

He almost couldn't make out the sound of his name over the series of blaring alarms.

"DONATELLO!" Mortu sounded agitated and shoved him out of the trance. "You really must stop doing that."

Donatello barely heard the edge in the warning. "I remember everything." He paused. "How is it that I'm alive? Or is this some sort of near-death hallucination?"

Mortu chuckled. "I assure you, my friend, you are very much alive and recovering well." He went on to explain that Professor Honeycutt's message had gotten through and that he himself had led over half of the Legion's assault team to the android's last broadcasted position. "It was pretty close, but the stasis bubble contained the energy of the blast long enough for all parties aboard to be retrieved alive."

"Even the Shredder?" Donnie asked bitterly.

"Yes, even Ch'rell."

Don sighed and returned to ogling the glass. The sheer amount of energy expended in the brief exchange left his mouth feeling like he'd licked a cotton ball. Thankfully, Mortu followed his gaze and handed him the water.

"Drink it...slowly," he finished as Don drained the glass in one gulp. Mortu looked like he wanted to slap him. "I am honestly surprised you are awake already, Donatello."

Donnie stopped what he was doing - which was silently asking the glass in three different languages to make more water appear - and met Mortu's eyes. "Why?"

The exo-suit moved in the mimicry of a shrug. "The stress of the whole situation coupled with the extent of your injuries."

"Speaking of which," Don interjected, "Not that I'm complaining, but why am I in such little pain?"

"Our medics have already cleaned and dressed your wounds and set the break in your arm, and we are keeping you lightly doped on painkillers."

Don stared at the cast as if seeing it for the first time. "What kind of fracture was it?"

"A clean break through both the radius and the ulna."

"How long do I have to wear the cast?"

"At least six weeks, though Hau told me to recommend eight."

"What was the extent of the rest of my injuries?" He tugged his charts out of Mortu's hand, relieved to find that all of his vital signs were consistently normal.

"You had multiple lacerations and contusions on your face, neck, and arms, as well as a nasty gash on the upper left lumber region of your plastron, but everything below the transverse plane is relatively uninjured."

"Mmkay." Don absently scratched at the paper. "Prognosis?"

"Very good. In fact, you could probably get up now if you wished."

He had to admit the thought was tempting. His legs were beginning to cramp from being in one position too long. Swinging his legs over the edge of the mattress, he gratefully accepted the arm extended to him.

If only the guys could see me now, stumbling around like a toddler.

THE GUYS?

He desperately clutched at the metal arm. "Mortu, where are my brothers? My father?"

He felt his heart beating furiously against his ribs as the Utrom cast his eyes to the ground.

"Follow me," he ordered quietly.


Author's Note: So should I continue? And I've been staring at my computer for about two hours at this point, and I think I'm going cross-eyed. Please let me know if you see any glaring grammar or punctuation mistakes. Thanks, and lemme hear your thoughts!

And this was just brought to my attention: the first part of this story will be Post-Exodus as the turtles are awakening to find themselves alive aboard the Utrom's ship. The later parts will follow the days immediately after Sid's misadventure at the farmhouse with the Purple Dragons. Sorry for any confusion!