CHAPTER SEVEN

In the Technodrome, Krang was wondering just how long it would take for Shredder to cool down. He continued to wave a fan in his ally's face, trying to halt the breakout of heated sweat that was running down his forehead. The bubbles around him and his mutants had long burst, but they had been like wearing greenhouses, the gas that emitted from them having generated their own unique kind of heat pattern. Krang had found the three floating in space in proximity of the moon, and had arranged transportation for them back to base before their bubbles ceased to be while they were out there.

"Oh, that's hit the spot Krang, thankyou, just wave that thing a little harder" Shredder said as Krang continued to waft the fan.

"I hate being the one to burst your bubbles" Krang said.

"Oh give me a rest Krang, if I could figure out how I got this way, I'd be bursting out at the fools who tried their hand at making a fool out of me"

"Are you sure nothing is ringing a bell?" Krang said.

The only bell Shredder could hear was the one attached to the door.

"Will you get that already?" Shredder ordered. Krang sighed, handed Shredder the fan, and opened the door, Rocksteady and Bebop both emerged, holding a small bag, Rocksteady dipped into the bag and produced a treat.

"Hey boss, have a bit of carrot cake, I got it from the bakers" Rocksteady suggested. Shredder swatted the cake out of his hench-mutant's hand.

"The only sweet thing I desire from the point forward is revenge on those blasted Turtles" Shredder bellowed.

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Raphael wandered through the sewers, lost in thought...or just lost in general. The last few minutes had felt like hours to him, his mouth was dry, he was exasperated, he felt burned out, and yet somehow, as he looked at the small elixir in his hand, he felt the effort had been all worth it.

He only wished he could fully remember what had happened.

A few things came to mind... and his mind raced to find the meanings in the memories, but it was a race ill-suited for a Turtle as slow in the mind as he presently was. So much of what he remembered, the memories kept in place by C.I.T.Y, had become distant to him again, like something had tucked them neatly away at the back of his head, and he somehow felt it was a reward for some monumentous task he had just undertaken. A big part of him welcomed that.

All he knew now was he had a mission to complete, and that somehow, he was just about to get it done.

He made his way back to the lair, where, to his surprise, he found Leonardo and Donatello were up and about, scribbling down on pieces of paper. Raphael leaned over and saw crude images of Ace Duck and his friends exchanging comic strip dialogue. Some of the words were misspelt, but on some paper, the words had been crossed out and replaced with the corrected versions by what appeared to be April's handwriting, the other Turtles taking notes from the corrected wording and copying it into their second and third attempts at the drawings.

"Hey, we got ourselves some real wordsmiths here" Raphael remarked.

"Mikey downloaded all of his stories onto the C.I.T.Y device and projected them into Leo and Donatello, they've been having a great time acting them all out and doodling up images inspired by them, it really got their minds to matter again" April said.

"I hope that means no attempts at dinosaur droppings on their end" Raphael added.

"Not to worry bro, I kept it clean and simple" Michelangelo proudly stated.

April kissed him on the cheek, "I'm so proud of you Mike" she said, "You learned you can write a wholesome story, and you found your level"

"Raphael, you are back earlier than expected" Splinter said, "Your journey was not long?"

"I guess so...must have been a pretty fast order, like going to get a prescription at the clinic" Raphael said, producing the elixir, "I don't remember much, but I somehow know this is meant for the guys"

Splinter took the elixir from Raphael, "It is as expected that you would not remember, the world you have glimpsed is not open to many eyes for long, and when they are, they must be firmly closed to it"

"Somehow instinct is telling me not to ask you much about this, you're probably sworn to some secret club vow not to divulge anything anyway" Raphael said

Splinter beckoned April over, "When I have given this to the other Turtles, please trace the police officer struck down by Shredder earlier and give him the remainder so he too can return to normal" he instructed. April nodded.

Splinter opened the elixir and walked over to Donatello, pouring some of the contents into his mouth, Leonardo tugged at Splinter's kimono, silently making it known he wanted some of the same. Splinter obliged. It did not take long for the effects of the elixir to take effect, and soon Donatello and Leonardo were themselves again.

"Oh that's a relief, every cognitive faculty is coming back to me, I don't have to keep trying to correct Mikey's woeful spelling again" Donatello said

"Yeah, but the drawback is we'll be stuck remembering his stories for a whole lifetime, probably more so than any of our memories" Leonardo replied

"A story, however short, or flawed, always carries a message and a meaning to it my students" Splinter said, "I look forward to the many days of meditation you will spend deciphering said meanings"

"Splinter's right, it's not about what we can remember, but what new tricks we learn that define our journey. Looking back is good, but the past is just a place we've been to, the future is what always needs a map"

"Which is precisely why we should always look to all future attractions as they become available" Raphael said, leaping onto the sofa, and switching the television on, before skimming through a tv guide magazine, looking up upcoming episodes of Slate Slabrock, as the rest of the Turtles, April, and Splinter laughed.

THE END