Disclaimer: As if we all didn't know already…not mine.

A/N: I should be working on college work…instead I wrote this. Enjoy.

"This would be a heck of a lot easier if we had the van…" Raphael griped as him, Leo, and Don rode through the sewers on their cheapskates. He had always found the loud buzzing they emanated irksome. He was holding his eyes at a squint in order to see through the constant mist being kicked up from the wheels of his brothers' skates as they rode ahead of him.

"Well, make sure you mention that to him once we find him, " Donatello commented bitterly.

"If we find that little geek," Raph returned, the displeasure evident in his voice as his faced scrunched up as if smelling a foul odor.

"Oh we will," Donatello said with his customary scientific confidence. "We know where he's headed, and he's not the best at hiding."

"True," Raphael agreed, letting out a short, dry chuckle, "Remember the time he hid in the cabinets after eating all the pizza a few years back?"

Donatello smirked at the memory. "Case in point, Raphael."

"Let's just be sure that after his he will 'crave comics no more'," Raphael scowled.

"Enough, guys," Leonardo cut in, "let's just focus on the task at hand."

Leo's tone was no-nonsense and clipped, his muscles taut in his frustration. Raph opened his mouth to utter a retort, but clamped it shut promptly when he caught Donatello's warning glare and sharp shake of his head. Thus Raphael took to passing the time by concentrating on the blur of bricks passing him by on either side through the tunnels of the sewers and the feel of the air whishing by and whipping about his mask tails.

"We should be under the convention center right now, Leo," Donatello spoke up as he regarded a map he had displayed on the screen of his Turtle-Com.

Leonardo nodded curtly in acknowledgement and brought his skate to a stop, his two brothers following suit. They hid the skates in a nearby dark tunnel and made their way over to the ladder which lead to the surface. Leonardo hesitated midstride, every ninja instinct Splinter had instilled in him blaring in alarm; something did not feel right, an intangible heaviness pervading the air and teasing the corners of his mind like a nervous child fiddling with the folds of a blanket. The leader held both arms to the side abruptly to motion to Raph and Don to stop, their feet making matching sloshing sounds in the puddles under foot as they came to rest so unexpectedly. Their senses were not nearly as honed as Leo's, which earned him twin expressions of confusion.

Leonardo slowly drew his katanas, narrowing his eyes in intense concentration as his head swept side to side, surveying the silent surroundings. He began to subconsciously back up, seeking the solice of the shadows. Raphael and Donatello followed suit, drawing their own weapons, some of Leonardo's concern catching in their own minds like a carefully crafted subliminal message.

Melting in to the shadows, Leonardo was on the alert, waiting for the unknown. He gripped the hilts of his katanas in his hands as he crouched, feeling his muscles coil like restless snakes.

"Leo –" Raph whispered harshly, brandishing his own sais with equal preparedness, "what's –"

"Hush –" Leo hissed, his teeth gritted together and his voice as silent as the drips of water which echoed faintly through the sewer tunnels.

Leonardo knew there was someone out there. It wasn't a matter of maybe, and it wasn't a matter of him being over cautious; it was a matter of who and where.

His attention snapped to the right when he caught a faint flash of movement in a far side tunnel. The movement was cloaked in blackness like the emptiness of the new moon, and he was sure his brother's would not have caught it, but it was there, nevertheless. And whatever or whoever it was, the figure was bulky; large.

He made to move, his muscles screaming for release, burning like the brush in the dry Savannah.

The next thing he noticed was a large canister flying through the air in a clumsy, rushed arc.

"Guys! Run!" he warned, his voice urgent, but too late.

The canister landed at his feet with an unceremonious clatter, its contents bursting forth and billowing around the trio of mutants. The brothers began coughing at the sudden assault upon their nasal passages. It trailed fire into their lungs, leaving their nasal passages raw and hungering for oxygen. Their weapons fell helplessly to the ground as they gripped the walls for support, the jagged edges of the bricks digging into their desperate fingers. Everything began to spin, darkness at the edges of their vision.

"Some…" Donatello huffed to get the words out, his words slurred and distant, "kind…of…knock…out…gas…"

They crumpled to the ground like helpless new foals, their appendages turning to rubber. Leonardo stuggled against the blackness threatening to take hold, clouding his thoughts and making him feel heavy; weighed with lead. Donatello and Raphael had already succumbed to it, their limp bodies flanking his own.

With his last shred of consciousness, he heard a familiar voice gurgling triumphantly to the side, "Finally…revenge will be mine."

Leonardo's last panicked thought was, Krang?

Then…there was nothing.

… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

There were not many things that Shredder detested more than riding in the transport modules with Bebop and Rocksteady. Sitting in the cramped tube with two mutants was far from enjoyable…and smelling them was almost as agonizing as having to listen to their idiotic prattling. At least on the Technodrome, as huge as it was, the human could easily get away from his bumbling hench-mutants…but here…no…here he was forced to be in close quarters with them, a painful reminder of what he had given up when he left Japan to join up with Krang. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time…and now he was in too deep to turn back…

The ninja master shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts, which was almost as hard as clearing the horrid animal stench Bebop and Rocksteady reeked of. He had no idea how they survived as they did, so base and uncouth…while he on the other hand prided himself on his sharp mind, hygiene, and appearance. He didn't remember them being quite so…stupid and dirty when they had been his hired human punks, which oftentimes made the scientist in him wonder on how animal they were in their mutant states.

"We're almost there, Boss!" Rocksteady announced.

"Oh boy!" Bebop exclaimed, snorting at the end of his sentence. "I cannot wait to steal all those comics for my collection!"

"Nu-huh!" Rocksteady shook his head in irritation. "They's gonna be my comics, Bebop!"

Bebop retorted, "I read comics way more than you do, horn head!"

"Nu-huh!" Rocksteady repeated his earlier childish "no".

"Yuh-huh!" Bebop snapped back.



"ARGH! ENOUGH!" Shredder yelled, slamming his fists down like twin torpedoes. "I've had enough of you idiotic imbeciles!"

"YAY!" Rocksteady's arms flung up into the air. "We've been promoted from moronic mutants to idiotic imbeciles!"

His earlier upset forgotten, Bebop nodded his head enthusiastically, sharing in his companion's excitement.

"Yah!" he agreed. "It must be an important title, cuz I don't even know what it means! All those fancy titles are ones I don't understand!"

"Oooo!" Rocksteady breathed in wonder. "Fancy titles…" his eyes misted with unshed tears. "The Boss really does care…"

Shredder took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, rubbing his temples slowly in attempt to relieve his growing headache. Muttering curses in Japanese, he could not have been more relieved than when the module's drill broke through the outer crust of the surface and came to a rest on the ground of an empty, trash strewn alley. The hatch door flung open, and Shredder was the first to leap out, more than eager to stretch his legs and gain at least a slightly larger distance from the mutants. With a smooth sweep of his hand, he aligned his purple cape behind himself.

"Come on, you moronic mutants, the convention center is this way," Shredder grumbled, his voice devoid of any enthusiasm. Despite thinking that the Turtles would eventually show up and he could then finally destroy them, the pure ridiculousness of this assignment had stolen any eagerness he held for that encounter.

His lackeys deflated.

"Awww, demoted already," Rocksteady commented as he fell into stride behind Shredder.

"Oh well," Bebop shrugged. "We never get promoted for long…"

Shredder rolled his eyes, but remained silent. Anything he said always set those two off in one way or another…so for the sake of his sanity, he decided to say nothing. Silence was a ninja's best weapon anyways, right? Shredder kept repeating that mantra in his head, the thought caught behind the pounding of his migraine. When would the indignity end…?