CHAPTER TWELVE

The next morning, the Turtles were all huddled in their lair, all of them safe and sound, watching April's news broadcast, which detailed the Turtles battle with Shredder's goons, as well as showing the destruction of the Sun-Sealer space ring, all taken from April's video camera.

"Once again, the gallant force of good known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have risen to the occasion" April reported, "Their successful efforts to restore the sun to normal has resulted in it's power being raised to significantly higher levels, this led to one of the biggest heat waves ever experienced on any continent for quite some time. Scientists have projected the wave to last for up to five or six months before the regular levels resume. Noted for their bravery under pressure were the crew members of the lost space shuttles Rebus and Morse, their bravery providing the Turtles with the crucial time needed to complete their mission. The crews are expected to be granted full honours later this week by the Mayor, whereas the heroic Turtles have once more opted to slip into the shadows...for those of us who remain in the light, we say "Thank you...and stop beating yourself over the head for what happened to my phone Mike" she concluded, winking at the camera. Watching the television, Michelangelo grinned.

Raphael got up and switched the tv off, "Well", he began, "The shadows are nice and all, but who wants to sit in the shade when we have countless days to spend with lotion on our chests and sand up to our necks, who's with me?" he said.

"Oh, not me Raph" Donatello replied, "The heat's been really getting to me, I need to work on something to cool us all down"

"Come on Donny, the sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray, and it's all down to you, bask in the glory as well as the heat, you'll enjoy it" he said. Donatello wasn't so sure he could take all the credit though, and took out a book and passed it to Raphael.

"Really Raph, I was just doing what was required of me" he said.

Raphael looked at the book, it was "Who Sings the Sun to Sleep?". "Donny, please don't tell me you're putting it all down to this again" he replied, disappointed in his brother."This thing doesn't mention giant flying modules and the sun gods certainly didn't blow up the death star, it's all make believe, some things aren't laid out for us to find, we make our own rules, and we write our own destiny"

Donatello shushed him as Leonardo and Lotus walked into the living room, Raphael hid the book from view.

"Morning" he said.

"Lotus is about to head back to the home of the monks" Leonardo replied, "Now that the mission is complete and the "prophecy" fulfilled, she's ready to take on whatever else they have for her"

"You need not worry about the renegade faction either" Lotus assured them, "Once the child was born, our few remaining foes picked themselves up and retreated, their mission was, how would you put it, "a major wash-out""

Leonardo handed Lotus a package, "Here" he said, "Food and drink for your journey home, I wish you well" he said. Lotus took the package and kissed Leonardo on the cheek, "Until destiny designs another path for us to cross together Leonardo, farewell" she said, and turned to exit the lair, as she did so, she took the opportunity to skip around like an overexcited schoolgirl before twirling around and vanishing through the exit. Raphael glanced over at Leonardo's blushing expression.

"She's in high spirits" he observed, "And you must be high to let her go off thinking her fairy tales accomplished something"

"Everyone's gotta have faith Raph" Leonardo said, and headed to the sofa. "Be it by luck, or by design, we succeeded in both our missions and in the end, isn't the end result what we should be happy with?"

"Leonardo is right Raphael" Master Splinter said as he entered the room, "So many things are connected, but to the unclear eye, they remain unchained, only through the arrogance and ambition of evil and the perseverance and intention of good can the greater picture be truly grasped, it is this continuous test of sides that, through coincidence, or through the will of creation, continues to shape the cycle of life on this planet. Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do and try"

"..I know that's not how it goes" Raphael replied.

Splinter nodded, "I know" he said, "I just abhor using the "D" word"

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

At his favourite newsstand topside, Derik picked up his usual newspaper and skimmed through the pages until he got to the local news bulletins, there, he found what he was looking for, a photo of Heather and Ted and their proud baby boy, with the headline "Sinai's favourite son". He smiled and paid for the paper. As he did so, he took a gander at one of the books on display. It was "Lone Pup and Cubby".

"You're becoming a legend around these parts with your midwife act" said Michelle, "A bit of a bold leader where other cabbies are concerned"

Derik laughed, picked up the book, and paid for it. "Sometimes it's better just to read about those people" he said, and walked back to his cab, basking in what was, for many a month, and for the memories a lifetime, an endless and promising summer.

THE END