Chapter Twelve- "Return to New York Part 3"
Baxter's cruel, maniacal laugh rang out through the air, sending chills up Miwa's spine. The Stockman in her dimension was evil, yes; but at least he wasn't a complete lunatic. The fact that this Stockman was also in a high-powered battle suit did absolutely nothing to help the rising danger.
"Do you know the most brilliant thing about my evil plan?" Stockman asked. "I used you, Shredder, to transform me into this ultra-cyborg you see before you! A truly superior work of genius! But all good things must come to an end. It's time to bid you adieu."
"What are you going to do?" Miwa demanded. "Blow us up? You'll only crush the building and kill yourself as well."
Stockman smirked evilly at the girl. "Interestingly enough, I do plan to blow you all up. But in a more…..sophisticated way." He aimed one of the guns right towards them.
"Incoming!" Raph called as three missiles suddenly shot from the barrels. Many of the ninjas jumped aside, and the missiles hit the Foot Techs instead, knocking them off their feet. The shockwave from the blast sent Miwa stumbling backwards and almost falling out of the hole in the floor before Splinter could grab her hand and pull her back. But they had to move again when Stockman sent another missile. Small fires started around the building, small but slowly getting bigger.
Splinter started for Stockman, but Miwa stopped him. "No, wait."
"What?" Splinter demanded. "Why?"
"There's no use wasting our energy when his main goal is Shredder." Miwa explained. "We wait for now, and he may just do our job for us."
Stockman approached the Elite Ninja, standing ready to fight Stockman and defend their master. Stockman, however, would not stand for it. "Out of my way!" he shouted, letting loose three more missiles that made the ground crumble underneath the ninjas. While Stockman had his back turned, Shredder suddenly leaped into the air right towards him. But Stockman spun around and harshly knocked Shredder aside and into a wall, slumping to the ground.
"Now where did Hun get to?" Stockman sneered.
Miwa's eyes widened as Stockman went after Hun. "Yikes. The term 'loony' no longer covers it."
"I knew Stockman was bad, but this is insane!" Raph growled.
"Um, guys?" Mikey whimpered. "What are we gonna do when Stockman turns on us?"
"You made it all possible, Shredder!" Stockman shouted, sounding more and more maniacal by the second. "And didn't suspect a thing! You pompous, overblown ignoramus! But the time has come for you to be reeducated in my brilliance!" Stockman's mechanical hand shot forward and grabbed Shredder, slamming him into walls and windows and beams before throwing him to the ground. Oroku Saki laid there, limply like a rag doll, while Stockman just laughed in triumph.
"It took everything we had to beat the Shredder last time." Raph breathed.
"And Robo-Nut just took him out in four point five seconds!" Donnie added. "The Shredder and Hun!"
"Um….." Mikey raised his hand nervously. "Can we go home now?"
"And now, the freaks." Stockman said, turning to the mutants and Miwa. "It's most fortuitous that you're here, really. You're on my list of 'Parties Responsible for Recent Misfortunes in My Life'. The charges are: ruining my genius work, interfering with my brilliant schemes, and hammering my destiny as the world's foremost criminal and scientific prodigy!"
"Okay, I've heard enough." Miwa sighed. She leaped up into the air and landed hard on the window separating her from Stockman. She slammed her fists into the glass and unsheathed her gauntlet claws, sending them right through the glass and nearly impaling Stockman in the face. Stockman glared at the girl and suddenly grabbed her, hoisting her into the air and launching a fire ball towards the Turtles and Splinter, forcing them to jump away. He fired his machine gun at them, making them move again to avoid the bullets. Stockman turned to Splinter and fired missiles at the rat, only for Splinter to flip away to safety. However, the fires from the missiles caused one of the beams to fall and Splinter disappeared in the smoke and flames. He reappeared seconds later, slamming his staff against the window to Stockman. The mad genius suddenly threw Miwa aside and hit Splinter off him as though he were a fly, knocking him to the ground. Miwa hit a beam and slumped to the floor, her head throbbing. She looked up, but her vision became clouded and blurry; all she could see was a giant white fuzzy being attacked by smaller green fuzzies. She shook her head to clear her vision; the second she did, she had to jump away to avoid another round of missiles.
Miwa pushed herself to her feet and noticed Donnie and Mikey pull out grappling hooks and rope. She smirked and darted for Stockman. "Hey Stockman! Catch me if you can!"
"You insolent little girl!" Stockman growled, firing his machine gun for her. "What do you think you will accomplish by running around in circles?" He stopped firing when something wrapped around his robotic legs and looked down to see them tangled in the grappling hooks and rope. "Rope? You try to stop me with rope? How positively primitive."
"I got your primitive!" Raph shouted. "Right here!" He jumped up and landed a hard kick to Stockman's suit. Because his feet remained tangled, Stockman stumbled and wobbled before finally falling backwards through the hole he once came from, landing with a hard CRASH at the bottom.
"That's one minor annoyance disposed of." Shredder said, glaring at his enemies still standing. "Now to finish you fools!"
"Because heaven forbid you should thank us for that." Miwa huffed. They stood ready to fight, but they had to jump back when Stockman reappeared, flying from rocket boosters in his suit. He looked unharmed, but madder than ever, particularly at the mutants before him.
"You insufferable nitwits!" Stockman shouted. "Dr. Baxter Stockman is not so easily dismissed! Kiss your shells goodbye, freaks." He launched fire at the turtles, forcing them to jump back and duck. Miwa lunged for Stockman, but he caught her easily in his robotic hand.
"Put me down!" Miwa ordered, struggling in his grip.
"You're an interesting one." Stockman mused. "Not a mutant. Wearing the Shredder's claws. You also seem to have his temper. Are you his daughter by any chance?" He turned to Shredder and held up Miwa for him to see. "Oh Shredder! Does this belong to you?"
"Let her go!" Leo shouted, jumping towards Stockman. Stockman fired his machine gun at Leo, only to miss him by inches as the turtle sliced through the arm that held the gun, disconnecting it from Stockman. Distracted, Miwa seized the opportunity and wiggled from Stockman's grip, darting over to join the boys.
"My robotic arm!" Stockman shouted. "No!" He fired missiles towards Leo, but Miwa tackled him out of the way. Still, the shockwave sent them crashing into the wall and Leo fell half-unconscious. Stockman took a few calming breaths. "It's nothing. Just a momentary nuisance. My backup systems—"
Shredder seemed to have caught on, because he suddenly lunged and sliced right through Stockman's robotic leg, forcing him to wobble; Mikey, Donnie, and Raph jumped up into the air and simultaneously kicked Stockman's chest, forcing him to fly right out the window. Everyone listened as Stockman screamed, "This is just a minor setback!" before crashing to the ground once more.
"Let's hope he stays down this time." Miwa sighed.
"I'm gonna miss that guy." Mikey said. "Not!" They paused when they noticed the Shredder, still standing and ready to fight.
"All right, Shredder!" Leo shouted, drawing his swords. "Let's finish this!"
"I intend to!" Shredder assured, raising his claws.
Miwa raised her own claws, but she noticed something missing. She turned and saw Splinter, leaning against one of the columns with a pained look on his face and leaning heavily on his walking stick for support. "Splinter?"
Everyone shouted in surprise as a shockwave sent them flying. Miwa grunted as she hit the ground, right at Splinter's feet. He knelt down and helped her sit up. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine." Miwa assured. "You?"
"Fine." Splinter nodded, but Miwa could tell he was lying. Unfortunately, she had to turn her attention to Stockman as he yet again returned from his crash-landing unharmed.
"My internal jetpack array!" Stockman laughed. "I spared no expense! And why should I? After all, you were footing the bill, Shredder!" He let loose more missiles, sending everyone flying backwards and hitting something.
"Man, can somebody please shut down that giant, flying toaster oven?" Mikey groaned.
Donnie jumped and knocked aside missiles aimed for him. "Maybe we can pull his plug! Leo, his exo-suit's power supply! Those radium power cells on his back!"
"On it!" Leo nodded, jumping up towards the cyborg.
"You pions stand no chance against my vastly, superior intellect." Stockman declared, firing missiles but missing Leo by a mile. "I, Dr. Baxter Stockman, shall—" Leo suddenly sliced through the cables on the robot's back, forcing the suit to malfunction, power down, and fall, taking Stockman with it.
"Finally!" Mikey sighed. "Shut him down and shut him up!"
"No kidding." Miwa nodded. She turned to face Shredder, but Stockman suddenly rose again, his machine sparking a little.
"What do we have to do to stop this guy?" Leo wondered aloud.
"I have asked myself that question many times." Shredder assured.
"That ploy might have worked against a lesser mechanoid." Stockman mocked. "But as always, I'm one step ahead in my design work. In addition to the center power nodules, each component of my cyborg armor has its own internal backup power source. Ha!"
Miwa growled and started for Stockman, but Splinter held her back. "When I get my hands on you, Stockman," Miwa shouted. "I'm gonna rip you in half!"
"Wait a minute." Donnie held up a hand to stop Miwa, stowing his bō away and picking up Stockman's amputated robotic arm. "So, what you're saying is this arm should still be fully functional, right?"
Stockman turned and noticed the gun aimed right for him. "Oh no." He turned and started hopping away.
"Fire in the hole!" Donnie shouted. Everyone jumped and ducked down as Donnie fired a large blast from the cannon-like gun, hitting Stockman and sending him flying into the sky, ending with a huge explosion that no one could've lived through.
Miwa looked around, noting all the broken wood and glass, the flames slowly spreading all around them, and just the overall damage that had been done. "We have to get out of here." She whispered, starting for the door. But she noticed no one followed her, mostly because their focus remained on the lone figure standing amongst the flames.
"Now where were we?" Shredder wondered. "Oh, yes." He suddenly sent his foot backwards, executing a perfect back kick that sent Raph and Donnie flying backwards. Miwa charged for Shredder, but he kicked her in the stomach, sending her bouncing off the floor and into the window. Shredder jumped up, his claws aimed for Mikey, who still remained on the ground. Frozen in his spot, Mikey could only cover his head and wait for the blow.
"Michelangelo!" Splinter leaped up towards his son. "No!" He pushed Mikey aside just as Shredder's claws sliced through the air, nicking his ear before he could land a safer distance away. The rat glared at Shredder, furious that he would do anything to harm Splinter's sons. Shredder charged for Splinter and leaped up, aiming a kick for the rat. Splinter started to move to dodge it, but in a split-second he caught sight of Miwa behind him, struggling to stand and wheezing from getting the wind knocked out of her. In that same second, Splinter knew he couldn't move or Shredder would hit Miwa instead. So he stood there, protectively, and let Shredder's foot slam into his chest.
"Splinter!" Miwa shouted as the rat flew towards her. He suddenly slammed into her, sending them both crashing through the window and outside. They screamed in terror as they hurdled towards the ground, faster and faster as the wind rushed past them. Miwa grabbed Splinter's wrist and pulled him close, trying to use herself as a cushion to his fall when they hit the ground. I hope this doesn't hurt too much. She prayed. For him and for me. I promised you would live, Splinter, and I intend to keep that promise.
When Miwa looked up, she noticed Leo diving right towards them, with a rope in one hand and his other one reaching out and grabbing Splinter's wrist. Miwa wrapped an arm around Splinter's chest—ignoring the sickening feeling of broken bones moving beneath the flesh—and held on as Leo swung over across the street, kicked off the building, and swung back to an overhang around the side of Shredder's headquarters. Leo let go of the rope and Splinter, landing softly on the ground and catching his master before he could hit the ground. Miwa let go while she was still in the air and crashed to the ground, bouncing and rolling before hitting a wall.
Leo hurried to the wall and knelt down beside the girl. "Miwa! Are you okay?"
Miwa groaned, pushing herself to a kneeling position and tucking her wind-blown hair behind her ears. "Bloody…brilliant…"
Leo smirked softly before returning his attention to Splinter, lying limply in his arms. He gently set Splinter on the ground, resting him up against the wall. Miwa moved closer to Splinter's side, pressing her fingers against his neck. She felt a pulse, weak but steady, and the pressure made Splinter stir. He groaned in pain, wearily opening his eyes.
"Leonardo? Miwa?" his voice came out strained and soft, clearly indicating how much pain he was in.
"You're going to be okay, Master Splinter." Leo assured. "We're going to get you help; I'll get the others."
"No…..Leonardo…worry not….." Splinter protested softly. "This is no longer about me."
"Master Splinter, I—" Leo tried to say, but Splinter interrupted him.
"You must…...return to the battle…" Splinter insisted, his voice weak and slightly strained from his injuries. "Protect your brothers….defeat the Shredder….I will be there with you…..in spirit."
"Splinter…" Miwa breathed.
"Now go….." Splinter gently pushed Leo away, towards the battle. "Leave me…."
"NO, Master Splinter!" Leo said firmly.
"I know you will lead your brothers well." Splinter assured. "My son…my son….." His voice became weaker, almost a whisper, and he groaned in pain.
Leo looked reluctant as ever, but he finally submitted. He took Splinter's paw and pushed his walking stick into it. "It's going to be all right." He promised. "We'll be back for you, I promise. Just hang on."
Splinter didn't say anything, but he looked satisfied, shutting his eyes and dipping his chin to his chest. Miwa took his free paw in her hand and gave it a comforting squeeze.
"Miwa…." Leo started.
"Don't you dare tell me to leave him." Miwa said firmly.
Leo blinked. "I thought you owed Shredder a 'good old' punch to the face'."
"I already laid a few blows on him." Miwa shrugged. "I'm satisfied. But I made a promise that I would protect Splinter and make sure he got out of this alive."
"Why would you make a promise like that?" Leo asked.
Miwa looked up and locked eyes with the blue-masked turtle. "Because I care about him. And I had a dream before we came here; a dream where your father in this dimension and my father in mine both died before my eyes. On this very rooftop. I nearly lost my father once, and I won't suffer through that pain again; not in this dimension, in my dimension, or in any other dimension." She gestured to the sounds of battle just over the ridge. "Go. Put Shredder in the ground where he belongs. I promise I will stay with Splinter and help him as much as I can."
"You won't leave him?"
"I'll never leave his side."
Leo stared at his father's still form for a moment before rubbing his eyes to stop the tears. He locked eyes with Miwa, who smiled and nodded encouragingly. He turned and growled in the direction of the battle, furious beyond belief. He took off running, right into the battle.
Miwa stared after Leo until he disappeared before turning back to Splinter. She put a hand to his forehead, feeling the heat rising and a fever coming on. She gently put a hand on his chest, only for him to hiss in pain and open his eyes.
"Sorry." Miwa said sincerely.
"I am fine." Splinter sighed.
Miwa growled to herself. "I wish I could help. The most I can do is reset broken limbs; I don't know what to do about a broken chest plate and ribs. Donnie would know what to do; he always knows what to do in medical situations. I can't—"
"Miwa." Splinter spoke firmly, giving her hand a squeeze. "You have done all that you could….I am very proud…"
"Splinter, don't speak." Miwa ordered gently. "You have to stay still so you don't hurt yourself anymore."
Splinter stared at the ground. "You should go….help the others…"
"I will not leave you." Miwa said firmly.
Splinter smiled softly. "You are so loyal…and brave….."
"I have to be." Miwa sighed. "It's how I was raised. Shredder is many things, but one of those things is that he is a great warrior. He trained me to be who I am as a ninja." She stared at the ground. "My life got really complicated when I got close to the Turtles and Splinter in my dimension. I'm still trying to figure out just who I am. Am I a Foot or a Lotus? If Splinter is truly my father why do I feel a slight connection to Shredder?" She hung her head. "My life is really weird."
Splinter chuckled weakly. "It takes time to discover who you truly are. I am sure you will find out soon." He coughed a little, winced in pain.
"Don't talk." Miwa said. "Just rest. You have to stay still. The guys will be back soon and we'll get you help."
Splinter only coughed again into his sleeve, this time coughing blood into the fabric. Miwa pursed her lips and held Splinter's paw in both hands. Miwa turned as a blast sounded from over the ridge, no doubt from the battle between the Turtles and Shredder. She turned back to Splinter, now unconscious, and sighed. Suddenly, her ears caught the sound of feet hitting concrete, and she spun around to see men in trench coats approaching her and Splinter. Each man wore a grey trench coat, a matching navy shirt and pants, silver wristwatches, black sunglasses, and black shoes. Their hair was pulled up in a short, high ponytail and a gold medallion hung around their necks. A sword handle poked out from under their coats.
"Who are you?" Miwa demanded. "What do you want?"
The men didn't answer. One of them held up their wristwatch and pressed a button. "Sir, we've located the rat."
"Retrieve him quickly and then get out of there." A voice said from the watch. "We do not want a conflict with the Shredder if we can avoid it. We'll be there soon to pick you up, but secure the rat as soon as possible."
"Yes sir." The man nodded.
Miwa glared and unsheathed her gauntlet claws. "You want him? You'll have to go through me."
"We don't want any trouble, kid." Another man said. "Just step aside."
"Not going to happen." Miwa growled.
"Girl, if you do not move," the first man warned. "I'm afraid we will force you." He and his four other comrades drew their swords, pointing them towards Miwa.
The konoichi only stood and took a strong stance. "Come and claim him."
The first man lunged into battle, swinging his sword towards Miwa's head. She ducked and swept his legs, forcing him to the ground. She kicked him aside as the second man charged, stabbing his sword towards Miwa's chest. Miwa clapped her hands over the blade and kicked it the handle from his hands. She grabbed the man's wrist when he aimed a punch and threw him into the wall, throwing the sword like a javelin and catching his coat to pin him to the wall. The third and fourth men came together, swinging their swords and shouting in effort. Miwa blocked their attacks skillfully with her gauntlet blades, kicking one man in the stomach and punching the other in the face. Miwa looked around for the fifth man and noticed him sneaking up from the side, going straight for Splinter. Miwa jumped up and spun around, performing a perfect high kick that nailed the man in the nose. He stumbled back, holding his now bloody and broken nose. Miwa turned to her opponents, struggling to stand and face her again.
Miwa looked back and glanced at Splinter, still propped up against the wall and not moving. The brief moment of distraction gave the first man just enough time to grab a length of rope and throw it, wrapping an end around Miwa's wrist. He yanked her forward, forcing her to jump to stay on her feet. She pulled back her wrist, fighting to stay in control as the man tried to pull her forward. The third man looped a second length of rope around her free wrist, pulling in the opposite direction. Miwa glanced back and noticed the second and fourth men advancing towards Splinter. The fifth man was still holding his nose. Miwa growled and took a hold of the ropes jerking them towards her and causing the two men to collide into each other. Miwa jumped forward and performed a perfect split kick, knocking the second and fourth men away from her father.
Miwa suddenly felt something hit her back and sharp volts of electricity coursed through her body. She gritted her teeth in pain and slumped to the ground, panting a little. She looked to the side to see the fifth man, still holding his nose and also reeling in the wires from the Taser in his hand. The first man grabbed Miwa roughly by her shirt and tossed her aside. She hit the ground hard and struggled to push herself to her feet. She glanced over at the five men approaching Splinter, not moving and clearly not aware of the danger. She felt rage boiling in her blood and a burst of speed returned to her. She used it to dart over, jump over the men's heads, and gently wrapped her arms around Splinter, holding him close and glaring at the men. Her unsettling gaze made the men step back.
"If you kill him, you'll have to kill me first." Miwa growled.
The men exchanged stares, looking confused and shocked by the girl's tone and glare.
The men turned and sheathed their swords, bowing respectfully. Miwa looked past them and noticed a Caucasian man approach them, wearing a nice black suit, a black dress shirt, and a purple tie. His hair and goatee were also a lavender color, yet Miwa felt as though it wasn't dyed. The man also wore purple tinted sunglasses over his blue eyes. The men parted for the man as he approached, still bowing in respect.
"Master." The men said in unison.
The man nodded to the swordsmen before turning to Miwa, who held Splinter tighter. "It's all right, young one. I will not hurt you."
"Forgive me if I seriously doubt that." Miwa snarled.
The man looked a little nervous as the slowly knelt down to her eye level. "Guardians. The helicopter is on the apartment building across the street and down that way." He pointed in front of him, down the street, but kept his eyes on Miwa. "Go get it and a stretcher for us and our guests."
"Yes, Mr. Mortu." The first man nodded, bowing. He and his comrades ran off and disappeared around a corner.
"Mortu?" Miwa asked.
"That's my name." the man nodded. "Mortu. And what is yours?"
Miwa narrowed her eyes, keeping her arms around her father and not breaking her gaze with Mortu.
Mortu sighed. "All right, you can tell me later. How do you know the Turtles and Master Splinter?"
"How do you know them?" Miwa demanded.
"Ah, she speaks!" Mortu chuckled. He jumped and turned towards a loud explosion, noticing the flames coming over the edge. "You must come with me where it's safe. You and your master." He came closer to Miwa and Splinter, but Miwa held out a fist and unsheathed her gauntlet claws.
"You come any closer and I'll slit your throat." Miwa snarled.
"Please, child, you must trust me." Mortu pleaded sincerely. "I want to help you; and help Master Splinter. I can see he's hurt badly and I have the resources that can save his life."
"How can you possibly help?" Miwa demanded.
Mortu sighed and slowly inched forward, carefully avoiding Miwa's claws, and put a hand on Splinter's chest. He winced at the feeling of bones shifting in ways they shouldn't. "Would it be easier if I asked what isn't broken?"
Miwa stared at Mortu, weighing her options at the moment. She could trust this man, hoping that there was a chance he had some medical knowledge she didn't; then she could save Splinter. Or she could tell the man to beat it before she murdered him (the more likely option) and she could get Splinter help…..but from where? Miwa and Mortu turned as two men approached on strange hover bikes; the exact same bikes that Miwa found in the garage where she fought the Foot Techs. Must've stolen them from the Foot Ninjas. Miwa thought with a small smirk.
"Mr. Mortu, we're ready." the first man from earlier announced as he and his partner dismounted from the bikes and carried a cloth stretcher to them.
Miwa took her claws and thrust them to Mortu's throat, forcing the men to halt in their tracks. Mortu stared a little fearfully at the blades, holding very still while Miwa glared at him. He gulped. "Please, I only ask for your trust. I want to help your master, I promise."
Miwa glared at him for a long time. "Wherever he goes, I go. That is absolutely necessary. I will not leave his side and if I say to not do something you will obey me. Because if you harm him in any way, if you do anything other than help my father—" She sliced her claws across Mortu's arm, slicing through his sleeve and barely nicking his arm. "—I….will…kill…..you."
"Done." Mortu assured. "Come on. Help us get Splinter on the stretcher." Miwa only sheathed her claws and slowly moved Splinter towards the stretcher. Mortu helped, but Miwa continued to glare at him all the while. They gently laid Splinter across the stretcher and the two men hooked the cloth to their bikes. Mortu and one rider climbed onto one bike while Miwa and the second climbed the other. The two riders slowly drove the bikes up into the air and stayed as even as they could as they flew through the air and down the street, towards a helicopter parked on an apartment complex at the corner. Another man came from the helicopter, helping Mortu and Miwa unhook the stretcher and carry Splinter into the helicopter. The men on the bikes rode off, leaving Miwa and Mortu as they boarded the helicopter. Mortu slammed the door shut and urged the pilot to fly. The helicopter took off, leaving the apartment behind them as they flew through the skies.
Miwa knelt down beside Splinter as he lay motionless on the ground and she noticed his walking stick missing. She soon realized they left it back at the Shredder's headquarters. But the thought was pushed aside and her focus returned to Splinter. She held one of his paws in both hands, gently rubbing her thumb against his hand. She smoothed out the disheveled fur on his head, her heart hurting more and more with every minute Splinter stayed unconscious. Mortu cast a concerned look, but only urged the pilot to ride faster. Miwa started humming softly, the same lullaby that her father in her dimension sang to her every night. She wouldn't let go of his hand, not even for a second, as though she were afraid he would disappear if she did.
"You should sleep, child." Mortu suggested kindly. "It has been a long night." Miwa glared up at Mortu. He sighed. "I know this is all happening so fast and you don't know if you can trust me; but I think you should still sleep. I promise I will wake you when we arrive."
Miwa felt the fatigue and exhaustion from the night's battles catch up to her. She reluctantly laid down, still holding Splinter's paw as she stayed as close to him as possible. She slowly closed her eyes, giving Splinter's paw a gentle squeeze before drifting off.