The Oroku Saki Empire

Chapter 1: Dead & Alive

Note: Those guys were created by Kevin & Peter and adopted by Nick!


Why today, of all days? I wondered half annoyed, half mournfully. It's Thursday, 5 pm, and I'm standing in New Montefiore Cemetery, among some of the wealthiest men and women found in New York City. Talk about the odd one out. Freezing rain drizzled upon us as we witnessed the closing off of the funeral ceremony for one of New York's elite, Professor Takahashi Ichirou. He died from a heart attack four days ago at Mount Sinai Hospital.

I clutched my umbrella so close to my head that I felt the metal spokes snagging and pulling out strands of my hair. It hurt, but it wasn't as uncomfortable as the cold rain that fell upon the ground. The clouds shed long hours of tears that made the trees and grass droop downwards just like the people in the cemetery. It was indeed a sad day, but the weather didn't have to be so damn depressing.

Professor Takahashi was a dear old friend of my father, who, along with his wife, used to visit our old antique store quite often when I was growing up. The couple always seemed so happy together, and with every visit, he would purchase some rare and exotic antique for her.

I remember Mrs. Takahashi quite well, even though she passed away when I was fifteen. Her full name was Angela Smith-Takahashi, and she was a strong beautiful African-American woman, whose smile could make even the most depressed person feel welcomed. She was also a defense Attorney, who eventually retired from her job at the age of forty-seven when she found out that she was pregnant with her first child.

I had never seen a pair of people happier than those two since the day they came into Second Time Around to share the news with my parents. They reminded me of my own parents when they found out they were going to have another child, my younger sister Robin.

The rain finally stopped; as if it knew that the ceremony was over, and people began shuffling to get out of the cemetery. I rose from my seat and proceeded towards the family to pay my respects. They were gathered at the edge of the grave, almost directly opposite from where I was standing. I stumbled along with the moving mass of dull suits and extravagantly dressed women who apparently had never walked on grass in their lives.

One woman with a huge purple feather in her hat cursed at the ground as she lifted her heel out of the dirt. As she grumbled to herself, I walked around her and moved towards Takahashi's eldest daughter, Nicole. The nineteen year old was staring straight ahead with a numb expression in her eyes. There were no signs of crying.

Nicole was wearing a simple dark working suit, and her straightened long dark hair was clipped up into a sophisticated up-do that made her look, well, professional. She was standing next to a girl whom I did not recognize, and the unknown young woman who bore a striking resemblance to her.

However, she lacked Nicole's mixed heritage, and she was wearing a simple dress coat that reached down to her knees. She was holding onto Nicole's shoulder as if she was comforting her. Amidst my observations, I suddenly found myself caught up in a queue of people that appeared out of nowhere, and flocked towards the girls. Didn't they see me here? I once again felt like a tiny guppy swimming in a tank filled with sharks. These particularly rude individuals either bowed at them or forced them into their strangling embraces.

I also planned on being one of the 'huggers'. To Nicole's left was Takahashi's second daughter, Mya. She was the Professor's and Angela's last child; a miracle baby. Now eighteen, she stood at least two to three inches taller than her sister, yet she was shorter than me. She had her face buried in the neck of another girl.

I didn't recognize this one either. She was taller than the first, but she had the same face; possibly a set of twins. I tried to get a better look, but people were still hugging them and blocking my view. Taking another step forward to push my way through the crowd I tripped, and became the center of some people's attention. Crap, my heel just went down in the dirt. I shook my head to refuse a guy's help, and then I looked up to see Mya sobbing in the girl's arms. Unlike her sister, she kept her hair natural, and the curls were pulled into a tight ponytail at the back of her head.

Finally, it was my turn. Boy, had they grown. They were no longer the little girls I babysat for when I was in High school. I went to Nicole first. The Asian woman that was holding Nicole looked at me with uncertainty.

Ignoring her wary gaze, I bowed like I was taught by my unique Sensei, and was rewarded a small nod from both of them.

"Nicole, I'm so sorry dear. Your dad was a wonderful man and he would be missed dearly," I said, pulling her into a hug, and removing her from the other girl's grasp. I heard Nicole inhale, as she returned the hug. The energy she put into it was pretty much non-existent and it felt more social if not forced.

"Thanks, Ape," she replied softly, pulling away from me, and then found her way into the arms of her relative. "These are my cousins; Ayame and that's her twin sister Keiko." She said, pointing at the two strangers, and then to the girl who ultimately supported her, she explained, "Ayame, this is April O'Neil-Jones. She used to be our babysitter when we were little."

Relaxing a bit; Ayame forced a smile and bowed gracefully, "It is a pleasure to meet you, April-san."

"It's nice to meet you both," I said, returning the gesture. Keiko smiled and nodded at me, "The pleasure is ours."

Being this close allowed me to see the differences between the two girls. Keiko and Ayame had completely different smiles, and Ayame's face was more heart shaped. Keiko couldn't move as freely as she wanted to since Mya was still weeping softly in her arms. I moved closer to them and rubbed her back. "Mys, hey, sweetie; it's me, April," I couldn't help treating like she was that child I knew back then.

Mya sniffed and wiped her face with a hand kerchief before turning around. Her eyes widened and I felt her weight crash into me. She locked me in a tight bear hug. Ah, that's my girl. Always free with her emotions.

"Oh Ape, we haven't seen you in ages, I'm so glad you're here. Are you coming back to the house with us?" she asked. Her deep brown eyes were the saddest eyes I've ever seen. Apart from Mikey's puppy-dog eyes that is. I felt a crushing weight on my heart compelling me to say yes, but I couldn't.

I opened my mouth to respond, however a male voice spoke instead, interrupting me.

"I am deeply sorry for your loss; your father was indeed an exceptional man."

I immediately released Mya and spun around. I froze when I saw the speaker. The only thing that kept me from running was Mya. She was still holding onto my hand. The four girls stared blankly at the man in the suit before them. I wondered if they knew who he was. Why should they? Then again, why wouldn't they.

"Please accept my condolences, on behalf of the Oroku family. I am Oroku Saki," he bowed at Nicole and Ayame, and rose up to glance at Mya and me. I felt the heart in my chest flutter like a frightened bird. I couldn't move, much less breathe. The expression on his face was calm and solemn. It was as if he didn't recognize me. I'm not sure. This is not good. Does he even know who I am? If he recognized me, then he was putting on a very good act to hide it.

Shit, isn't he supposed to be dead or somewhere on some distant planet halfway across the universe? How the heck did he get here? He seemed to ignore my presence and focused on the Takahashi girls. Then he said something in Japanese. I couldn't make out what he was saying and only managed to pick out basic words. I guessed he was still going on about how sorry he was for their loss.

When he was finished, Nicole replied, "Arigato." Her face was still blank. Then he pulled his jacket open and pulled out a small white envelope from his coat. He said something in Japanese before handing it to Nicole. At first she looked surprised, and then she looked up at him with a confused look on her face.

"What is this?" she demanded in English. I was grateful for that. I guess I need to practice my Japanese more. Ayame moved to rest a hand on her cousin's shoulder to calm her down. Then she whispered something in her ear. At that moment, Keiko moved protectively towards Mya.

Saki made a small gesture in the air with his hand and said, "It is just something your father and I were working on. Once you open it you will understand." He paused to look at the girl more carefully. Nicole made no move to open the envelope. He sighed, disappointed by her lack of interest, "So far we have made no progress with it. After many failed attempts, it has proven to be quite the challenge. Your father was the one who did most of the research...but sadly, his passing has left me at a dead end."

Nicole's eyes narrowed, "And what exactly do you want me to do with this? Why are you giving it to me?"

"Well, I came to you with the hopes that you would be able to solve the puzzle. After all you are your father's daughter. The Professor has spoken so highly of you and your achievements," he paused to look over at Mya. "And your sister's as well. He always said that he had a gut feeling that you could figure it out."

My palms began sweating. I wanted to warn the guys as soon as possible that their most hated enemy was alive and well, and certainly up to something again. The only problem is I couldn't lose my cool. I didn't want to leave the girls either. Oroku Saki and his involvement with the Takahashi family basically threatened my entire family. I felt as though I was in a nightmare within a nightmare. Like I was being strangled and couldn't get up.

Nicole tore open the envelope and pulled out a single sheet of paper. She stared at it and frowned. "I don't understand, is this some kind of code?"

Saki smiled broadly. It sent shivers down my spine. "I'm impressed. A single glance and you immediately recognized what it was. Your father was right. You are the ideal person for the job. I'm sorry we didn't think of it sooner," he said contently.

Nicole flipped the page over in her hand and continued to frown at the sheet. I couldn't see what was on it except for some black lines that stretched horizontally across the page. "I don't recall my father working on anything with you," she stated bluntly.

Saki flinched a bit. I smiled secretly. Nicole was not as dim as you thought.

"It is quite shocking to me that he has never mentioned this to you - he often spoke about you and how he believed that you could be the one to," he finished mid-sentence sighing.

I scowled inwardly as the man used her father to play on her psyche. To my chagrin, Nicole gave in. "Fine," she said. "I will look into it."

Saki didn't wait for her to finish and added, "I am so pleased to hear that Miss Takahashi. I will be looking forward to hearing from you and the progress you have made." He pulled out his business card and handed it to her. "My number is also on your father's contacts list, as he is on mine."

Nicole numbly placed the card in her pocket and shoved the paper into her purse. She looked back at Saki with dead eyes, "Yes, I will let you know as soon as I come up with something."

He didn't say anything in return, but bowed politely. "Again, I am sorry for your loss. If there's anything that you girls need do not hesitate to call me," he added persuasively.

The girls simply bowed, and a certainly pleased Oroku Saki walked away from us. I exhaled in relief. Although, I knew that this was the makings of something more. More grey clouds rolled in to set a downcast air for the rest of the evening, playing darkened tunes on somber drums for the man who will send our world sailing on crumbling icebergs.

"What was that about?" Mya asked suddenly.

"I'm not sure," Nicole replied. Her voice sounded uncertain.

"Are you going to translate that thing for him?" Keiko asked nervously. I saw sincere concern in her eyes as she spoke.

"Hmm sure, since Dad was working on it I don't see why not," Nicole replied carefully.

"He seems weird and mysterious, maybe you shouldn't," Mya suggested.

"He may also be lying, Nicole," Ayame stated frankly.

Nicole's surprised eyes focused on her cousin. "You say that like you know him personally Ayame. If he's lying, then he'd have bigger problems than just an unsolved puzzle, but I do recognize the symbols from some of dad's work and I believe that he's telling the truth," Nicole explained to her cousin.

Ayame remained silent, and I knew why. Nicole had a craving for challenges, and if she had already found one in that sheet of paper, then she was not giving up on it. No matter what anyone says.

"Honestly, Nicole, you said it yourself, you can't recall dad ever working with anyone by the name of Oroku Saki, why would you take up his offer?" Mya asked in a worried tone.

"I said that I will look into it. I never took up anyone's offer, as you put it Mys, besides, I don't see the harm in cracking some silly code," she stated, her tone clearly irritated.

I decided that it was time for my input. These girls had no idea who they were dealing with, but I couldn't give them a full explanation of my involvement with The Shredder. "Nicole, a word of advice dear; whatever it is you find in that, don't let him know, okay?" It was the best that I could do at the moment because telling Nicole Takahashi not to do something; is like trying to convince horse to drink water when it wasn't thirsty.

She looked at me suspiciously, "Why not?"

"Just trust me on this, alright. Promise me you wouldn't give him whatever it is you find. Do you promise?" I pressed the matter as much as I could. Although, knowing Nicole as long as I have, she'd want a very detailed explanation as to why I was asking her to promise me.

Nicole wrinkled her nose, "I promise, but you gotta tell me why afterward...I'm too tired to find out now," she admitted regrettably. Damn that Shred-head and his antics, preying off a young girl at her own father's funeral. Gosh, I'm beginning to sound like Mikey.

Nicole walked over and took Mya's arm in hers, "Will you be coming back to the house with us?" She asked. By 'house', she meant penthouse. I smiled apologetically. I had no intention of going back with them. No matter how tempting a limousine ride was.

"I'm sorry, I can't. I've got an appointment first. I'll stop by tomorrow okay." Right now I've got to warn my boys. Nicole and Mya's face looked depressed. I felt guilty, but there was somewhere else I was needed.

"Sure, no problem. It was nice seeing you again, Ape," Nicole said, teasing me with the last word. I laughed.

"It was nice seeing you too,"

"Remember your promise, Ape; I really do hope to see you tomorrow." Mya added smiling.

"Of course, Mys, I wouldn't forget." We gave each other one last hug, and I watched the two sisters walk towards their limousine. Keiko and Ayame stayed behind. "Aren't you going with them?" I asked, studying the two young women standing next to me.

They both looked at me oddly. "Yes," Ayame answered, "And you are familiar with Saki-san?"

I was surprised by the question and had to take a moment before answering. "In one way or another," I replied distastefully.

"Then you are aware that he is not a good man," Keiko added, arching her brow. I wasn't sure if it was a question or a statement.

"Yes, that too. How did you know?" I wondered how old they were. They couldn't be more than twenty.

"We are from Japan, April-san. Oroku Saki is also from Japan. There are rumors that he and his family are involved in illegal activity. Our father does not trust him or anyone from his empire as a matter of fact. It strikes me as odd that our uncle would have anything to do with him," Ayame explained.

That wasn't exactly what I expected to hear, but close enough.

"April-san, we know our cousin Nicole is not the most obedient person in the world, but we will heed your warning. We trust you. My sister and I will make sure that Nicole keeps her promise to you," Keiko said.

I was relieved to hear that. "Why thank you. I know exactly what you mean. Nicole does as Nicole chooses. So I'll be seeing you guys tomorrow as well?"

Ayame smiled, "Yes, we are staying with them for the rest of the summer."

"Our final year in college resumes in September. So we will be returning to Japan then," Keiko offered.

So they're twenty. I was right. "Oh, okay," I said, and my attention was drawn to a freezing drop of rain that landed on my hand. "I guess the rain is coming again," I stated sourly, deploying my umbrella over my head. The girls opened theirs as well, and we looked up at the dark grey clouds rolling laboriously across the sky. Their hearts swollen to the point they were ready to explode and bleed large droplets of water upon us.

I glanced at the twin's faces. Their expressions went from being pleasant to mildly irritate. "I guess we better be on our ways then," I told them, wanting to get out of the weather before it worsened. "It was nice meeting you."

"Likewise," both girls replied. It was one of those unusual twin things. They briskly turned and walked off to join their cousins in the stalled limo. I, on the other hand, returned to my van and headed towards the lair. I knew that the guys were not going to believe what happened today, nor are they going to like it. I found myself worrying about them, and nothing has happened yet.

The rain was pouring heavily when I pulled into the Hamato clan's secret garage. My nerves were on edge and I cringed when the thunder reverberated through the tunnel. It's just a thunderstorm, don't be nervous. Today is not a good day to be on edge April' I tried to calm myself. 'Who the hell am I kidding, I just saw one of our number one enemies walking and talking amongst the living, which was no ghost. How the heck am I supposed to tell the guys, especially on this day... no, not today. I should, but I can't. I shook the thoughts from my head, but they returned to haunt me. I sighed wearily and snatched the brown paper package that was lying on the passenger seat before leaving the van.

On entering the lair, something green flashed in front of me and I stopped to avoid being flattened." Donny, watch where you're going." I frowned at the purple-masked turtle. He ignored my disapproval and flashed a broad grin at me.

"Hey, you're finally here, we've been waiting for ages," he stated merrily.

I rolled my eyes at him, and laughed; unable to maintain my irritation.

"So, how was the funeral?" his voice was uncertain, clearly unsure about my reaction to that question.

I shrugged, "I survived." He smiled sympathetically at me. Just like Don; always worried about everyone else but himself.

Then his expression changed, "Are you okay April?" He tilted his head to one side studying my face. I blinked, surprised by the question. Do I look that nervous? I bit my lip. 'I can't tell them, at least not today.'

"I'm fine, Don, why do you ask?"

"I dunno, when you came in you looked like you saw a ghost," he shrugged sympathetically.

I tried to hide my flinch, "Ha, no, it was just the funeral and this weather, it's so depressing." I said honestly.

"Are you sure?" A new voice asked from behind. I spun around to see Leo standing with his arms crossed and a smug look plastered on his face. Surprisingly enough, he had that mischievous teenaged air about him. Something I rarely witnessed when he was a teen, but now it was apparent; as bold as brass. Yep, that did it. I definitely couldn't tell them about Shredder. Not today. Not when Leo's so content. I just couldn't ruin this day for him. I'll let them berate me for it tomorrow. It is worth it.

I practically froze, fearing that my nerves would rat on me. Leo could sniff out a liar like a bloodhound on the hunt for a small animal. Damned emotions.

Donny frowned at me. His eyes were suspicious, but Leo smirked, "You forgot didn't you?" he said accusingly. I breathed in relief. I shot him a look to show that I was deeply offended.

"No, how could I," I replied playfully, shoving the brown paper package into his hands. Then I pulled him into a tight hug, "Happy Birthday, Leo." I planted a kiss on his cheek.

"Thanks, April," he mumbled bashfully. He peered into the brown paper bag and pulled out the neatly wrapped present that was concealed inside. Casey and I had chosen different gifts, since Casey thought that my idea was boring and unsuitable for a ninja. Or so he had put it. I didn't care. I knew the blue-masked turtle well enough to know that he would love my gift.

Leo slipped the gift back into the paper bag as if the bag was a special part of the gift, and a new voice exploded in our ear drums. "What is it? I it, I wanna see! What'd you get him, April?" Michelangelo boomed, running towards us. Leo and Donny sighed exasperatedly. I laughed at the excited turtle. You'd think that by now he would have outgrown his childish exuberance.

Donny stopped the younger turtle in his tracks when he pulled on his mask tails. "Just where are your manners?" He asked, disgruntled by Mike's behavior.

Mikey brushed his hand away and smiled sheepishly at me. "Hey, April, glad you made it," he paused thoughtfully, "I mean with the funeral and all-" he let his voice trail off, hanging loosely for someone to fill in.

"I wouldn't miss any of your birthdays for anything. Even if it's the end of the world," I informed him. I laughed when he grinned and did a fist pump. Then he turned on Leo, "So...what'd you get, what'd you get?" He practically jumped up and down like a child on Christmas Eve night.

Leo chuckled, "Settle down. Geesh, I'll open it." Mikey immediately calmed down and stared at Leo as he opened the present. I was slightly irritated by the way he carefully peeled back the glossy blue wrapping paper to extract the gift inside. Apparently he was going to save the paper for later. Mikey looked all too annoyed, and Don rolled his eyes at them.

My chest swelled with pride when I saw Leo's face light up like a bulb. Mikey scowled at the thing in Leo's hand, "A book?" He asked incredulously.

Don leaned in closer with an excited face, "Who's the author?" he asked enthusiastically.

"Ruth Benedict," Leo replied proudly.

"The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture, 1946." Don said in awe.

Mikey stared at his brothers in disbelief. "Thrilling," he said flatly.

"Wow April, you didn't have to."

I waved him off. "Meh, it was nothing," I smirked. "You see, that's not the best part of it. If you look at it more closely, you might just be able to see-"

Don almost squealed, "Printed in 1946!"

Leo's head jerked up in surprise and he looked directly at me, "That means that this is an original copy."

I nodded. He looked back down at the brown hard-cover book in shock. "It's in mint condition - how did you?" He began, but his voice faded when he became lost for words.

"You're forgetting what I do for a living," I reminded him, smiling proudly.

"Master Splinter's going to flip when he sees this," Don said, still shaking with excitement.

"Actually, he already saw it. When I first got it, I went to ask him if he was familiar with it. Next thing I knew, he was pulling out his very own copy. It wasn't the same print, but he told me that he used it to teach you guys about Japanese culture and so forth, so I thought -"

"Why not give a boring text book - that we've been forced to read as little kids - to Leo for his birthday?" Mike finished for me.

I glared at him. You didn't have to put it so nicely Mikey, I said inwardly.

"Ow!" He yelled, and began rubbing the back of his head where Don and Leo smacked him. I laughed at him, and he stuck his tongue out at me.

"You're asking for it again, Mike," Don warned him. Mikey folded his arms and huffed.

"This is awesome, thanks, April," Leo said bowing. I bowed at the practicing ninja, secretly smiling at my own success. 'Top that Casey Jones.'

Speaking of the devil; Casey and Raph came into the room, followed by Master Splinter. "Yo, April, I see you finally made it! I was beginning to worry," Casey shouted walking up to me. I hid my chuckle when I saw Splinter's ears flatten against his head from the sound.

"Yeah, the weather is terrible out there," I explained allowing myself to be wrapped in his arms. He pecked me on the lips sending a warm tingling feeling down my spine. His heat calmed my nerves and washed away all my despair from standing in the cold drizzle at the funeral. However, my anxiety over Saki remained.

"Aaaawe," the turtles chimed together, and I felt Casey's body stiffen from embarrassment. His embrace made me feel calm and worry free, but the guys' teasing made him release me almost instantly.

I sighed in disappointment. I guess for a brief moment he had forgotten that the guys were there. Curse them. I narrowed my eyes at them jokingly. They were grinning like mad men.

Splinter's eye caught the book in Leo's hand and he smiled at me approvingly. "Now that we're all here, I think it's time to cut the cake," he stated.

"Now that's what I'm talking about," Mikey piped. Then he grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the living room area. They had set up a small table just outside the kitchen, and covered it with a crisp blue table cloth. Why I am not surprised? After spending a few years celebrating birthdays with these guys, I soon realized that their decorations matched the mask of whomever birthday it was. In this case, the decorations were blue because that was Leo's trademark color.

At the center of the table sat a round-double 3-inch layered cake with white and blue frosting. There were twenty-one candles placed randomly about the surface of the cake. I wonder if it's chocolate.

"Mikey, I'm impressed, this may be your best one yet," Leo complimented his sibling. Mikey's chest puffed out with pride.

He grinned, "Wait till you try it bro." He struck a match and began lighting the candles one by one. The speed at which he did it made me marvel at his precision. Everyone was lit with the first touch of the flame from the match. When he was done, he took a step back and bowed like a pianist who had just finished a piece.

"Okay, bro, now it's your turn to take the floor," Raph patted Leo on the shoulder and nudged him forward. I watched silently as they went through their sacred birthday ceremony which was marked by the blowing of the candles. They were all so happy and content, and Master Splinter seemed to be at peace watching his sons tease each other, and bicker over whom got the last slice of cake.

I shook my head at my husband who continuously found himself in the middle of their small intermitted brawls. It was like watching a bunch of teenage boys at play; however, these were adult males in their own right. Yep, that's my life.

At one point I managed to end up in the center of one of their random conversations. It happened whilst we were all sitting together watching a movie. Raph was on my right on the couch, and Leo was on my left, when Raphael leaned over and asked, "So, Leo, what's it like to be two decades and one?"

Leo raised an eye ridge at the red-masked turtle, "Two decades and one? Donatello take off Raph's mask, you don't know where that thing's been."

My eyes widened and I stared back at Raphael. Nope, it was him. That was Raph's shade of green. The red-masked turtle scowled; obviously offended by the remark, and he shrugged it off. "Come on, Leo, are you spilling or what?" Raphael smirked at the elder.

Leo shrugged. "I feel the same, Raph," he replied after a moment of thought. "You're gonna be there soon too you know, why'd you ask?"

Raph laughed, "I dunno, I just felt like asking, since I'm next an' all."

"Raph, you always ask that same question every year, and Leo always gives you the same answer. Why?" Donatello asked from his spot on the floor. He and Mike were finishing off a tub of ice cream.

Oh Lord this is too bizarre, cute, but bizarre.

"Mind your own business, Don, me and Leo are having a conversation here. It's part of the tradition," Raph replied smugly.

Don shook his head, and I stifled a giggle. Casey flashed me a glance that meant to ask if I understood any of it. I nodded 'yes', but he still looked confused.

"I can't wait to be 21!" Mike announced suddenly.

I stared at him and whispered in Leo's ear, "Is he really going to be 21 this year as well?"

From the look Leo gave me, I knew that he thought that I had either lost my marbles or lost my memory. According to their story, they were all approximately the same age, and their birth dates were chosen by each one of them according to their presumed rank on the team. Mikey, being the most immature was fourth. Not last, just fourth. I asked if he was the 'last' once and the turtle had a fit. I will never forget that day. He was helping me move stuff around my first store and I lost my oldest china set.

Raph and Don's ranks were, well, interchangeable on the team, but Raph's birthday came before Don's. When I questioned it, Splinter said that, as a child, Raphael often competed with Leo for the role of leadership. Thus making Raph second in rank, even though Donny has the mind-set for the role.

"Oh, you know what I mean. He hardly ever acts his age," I said exasperatedly.

Leo chuckled, "Mikey may be eccentric, but in a battle he certainly acts his age."

I regarded the turtle thoughtfully. He was amused by my question. His peaceful demeanor was so darned blatant, that I was suddenly reminded that it wasn't going to last for very long. An old enemy has returned, and this rare version of Leonardo would soon be lost to worry and concern. It wasn't fair. They deserved to have peace and happiness. Something I would have to crush tomorrow when I break the news to them. I couldn't do it today.

I promise to tell you all tomorrow Leo, but for now enjoy this while it lasts. I thought sadly, and cast my eyes towards the movie.

Wasn't that bad right?

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