"We been playin' like children, honey,

now we're playin' like men.

Those parts that got outside

I'm gonna put them back in." - The Quotidian Beasts, Phosphorescent

Chapter 15 – Oblation

The world vibrated around him. Grinding him down, pressing him to the ground. Skin trembling in time with it; his joints throbbed and his skull felt as if it were collapsing incrementally. His prone body was tensed and held rigidly. The weight of the air pinning him. He was unable to move; couldn't even if he had tried. His mouth hung open; baring his incisors in a grimace of silent anguish. He panted; making soft keening sounds with every exhalation. The pressure in his chest made every breath a struggle. The air seared his throat and made his eyes water and tear despite being clenched shut. A touch on his bare shoulder sent electric shards through the muscles straight into his aching bones.


"Michelangelo," her voice purred over him. Running across his skin like tiny electrical currents. Buzzing and burning as they traveled. "Open your eyes."

The words started soft only to grow and pound down upon his sensitive ears. The very air seemed to be a constant pulse of a drum beat. Almost musical. The sound of her voice only increased the pressure in his head. He whimpered.

She sighed with impatience. "This suffering is unnecessary."

He jumped as he felt the touch again. But instead of making his bones ache, the point of her fingertips brought warmth. The feeling radiated through him, warming him, soothing him. The pressure eased back. The drum beat waned but didn't stop completely. It was distant and on the very edge of his perception like the vague threat of a thunderstorm lurking on the horizon of his senses. He blinked the tears away and, trembling, pushed himself up onto his knees.

Glancing around, he tried to get his bearings. But the room, or cell or whatever it was seemed to blur every time he tried to look directly at the thick veined walls. The pain in his head swelled as he tried to make sense of his surroundings. The color of the walls were an off peach tone with darker purplish veins rising from the floor to the domed ceiling. Light from above, filtered and soft, poured down around them. It bathed everything in a pink glow. He continued to feel as if he were tilting. Like he was situated on a sinking boat. His stomach flopped and he swallowed back the bile that rose in his throat. He was going to be sick. He covered his mouth with one palm. His head spun. Pitching over, he fell onto his right side, boneless and heavy. Unable to blunt his fall.

Laughter fell around him like petals flitting through a breeze. His eyes rolled and wandered, trying to focus on something that wasn't shifting or swaying.

"You are adapting. Only . . . I wonder how much more you can endure."

The voice came from a lanky shape hovering just above him. He blinked, trying to clear his vision. But all he could make out was more light and the vague outline of a feminine body gleaming a bright gold. His eyes burned and watered.

"Wh-Where am I?" he panted out from beneath his palm. He still felt as though he were about to be sick.

"My realm."

His glassy eyes widened as she crouched down and began to slowly work her hands over his calves and knees up towards his thighs. Then higher. Waves of tingling sensation flowed out from her fingertips wherever they made contact. He gritted his teeth and his body tensed as her hands came together near his lower plastron. His heart galloped as she pressed down. He shook his head and grabbed her wrists.

"No! Stop!"

To his relief and amazement she paused and he released her as she eased back. Her face was a mask of gold, devoid of expression. A light poured out from the holes where the eyes should have been. Her head tilted, face turned towards his as her voice rose up from behind the gleaming surface of the mask, "The power will not adhere if the vessel is unwilling. You will perish if you make me force the conception."

He didn't understand what she was telling him. He didn't want to know. All he knew that he was in trouble and he wanted to go home. The little turtle girl had transformed into this strange being and though she hadn't exactly hurt him, just being in this whacked out place was causing him pain. Scrambling back, he found moving was easier now than it had been only moments before. His shell hit one side of the veined walls and his stomach roiled as the squishy surface sprang back slightly from the impact. It was like he was inside a great beast's stomach. He gave a shake of his head. No, he couldn't think like that. He'd only make his nausea worse.

She started to crawl towards him. He closed his eyes and braced his hands against the wall to either side of his body and used it to inch to standing. His knees felt like rubber bands and his head swam. He pressed his palms to his mouth and gagged. The Mistress froze then sat up on her heels. He couldn't see eyes in the blank holes of her mask, but he could feel her watching his every movement.

"You will expire if you do not accept my power inside of you. You're corporeal form is not enduring within my dimension as I had hoped."

Moving in a blur of speed, she was in front of him. The image of the golden woman shifted as if her signal was being scattered. She reformed as her hand stroked the side of his cheek.

"I do not wish you to be harmed. I will do this quickly. But you must accept it into your body."

"I just want to go home," Mikey pleaded softly.

"You have no idea what gift you are about to give to your family," her voice purred into his ear as she continued to stroke and pet at his cheek. "Your brothers will cherish this sacrifice. Our offspring will be their future." The words didn't make any sense to him. He felt rather than heard anything she was saying. His head grew drowsy. His eyelids blinked slowly; heavily. Yearning blossomed inside him, making his stomach tighten and his legs shake.

"I want . . . to go home."

"You will," she said. "You will return to them . . . after."

Her hand now moved over the side of his throat, down over his collar bone to linger over his chest, just above his hammering heart. The power flowed out over her hand into him. Filling him. Warmth and silky coolness rushed through him, alternating between desire and contentment. The scent of honeyed peaches overwhelmed him, making his mouth water. He was losing his composure; being stripped of his defenses just by standing in her proximity. Just by the lightest touch of her hand on his chest.

Feelings, soft yet insistent, fluttered through him; wisps of nostalgic sentimental happiness swept over him. It felt like Christmas Eve as he wrapped his presents for his brothers and father. It felt like the first warm Spring morning; damp and lush; so full of promise and potential. It felt like feeding his brothers their favorite meals on their birthdays, perfectly raised cakes pulled from the oven; warm chocolate chip cookies. It felt like snuggling up to watch a horror movie, feeling the tingle of anticipation of the thrill ride he was about to go on. It felt like the moment he saw her, as a female mutant, like him. The immeasurable joy that rose up within him at his discovery of one like him. Just like he'd dreamed. All the promise that her being presented; that he didn't understand but somehow knew. The missing piece of his existence.

Finally, he felt the remembered joy and contentment of being with his brothers. Raphael's reluctant embrace so full of unconditional love when he finally gave in and hugged him as the protective walls came down . . . Leonardo's smile; warm with the complete devotion of a protector; like a second father . . . Donatello's glance full of surprised but deep pride at something he'd discovered or made.

Mikey brought his forehead down and rested it against the Mistress' mask. The mask was cool and tingling against his flesh, but not unpleasant, it brought him back to the moment. Twin tears trailed down the sides of his face as he knew his resistance was gone. His damp eyelashes blinked leaving tiny traces of moisture on the surface of her golden mask.

"Just," his throat caught. "Don't . . . hurt me," he whispered and his face colored slightly; both from shame and desire.

Her laughter echoed and bounced all around him. The light behind her mask grew brighter; surrounding them; engulfing them.

Raphael heard Donatello shout something about staying away from the light. He stood; motionless as he absorbed the warning and quickly discarded it.

"Fuck that," he ground out.

He twisted around and faced the light; the gusting winds that smelled like copper and soured milk. Mikey was in there. He was sure. With a deep breath, he rushed into the blinding portal.

There was a feeling of weightlessness. For a brief moment, he felt dizzy with a drunken joy as his body vibrated and thrummed as he moved from one dimension into another. An awed smile spread across his face. But as he barreled forward, the blissful sensation was stripped away and the pressure came. He slammed into the ground, face first. The force of his impact shoved him forward and the ground peeled away from his clawed fingers as he tried to gain purchase and stop his forward momentum. He groaned. His head felt like some giant was squeezing it from either side. It hurt to open his eyes and as he squinted, they instantly watered and teared. His muscles bunched and he pushed against the spongy ground with all his might. He would not let something as stupid as dimensional forces keep him from getting his little brother back.

Gathering his senses, he growled at no one in particular. The sound grounded him and gave him strength. He took in a searing breath and screamed for his brother.


Within the light was only sensation. Joy. Ripples of pleasure. Mikey floated in an ethereal plane of bliss. Soft and light, he drifted like a feather. No destination. There was only the light. A pastel yellow that was both cooling and warm at the same time. Far away, where his mind still operated, he wondered if perhaps the golden woman had killed him and he'd gone straight to heaven. Far away, he felt friction and pressure but then intense pleasure changed the light around him to a deep pink. He gasped and opened his eyes.

He was on his back, straddled by the golden woman. Her pelvis ground hard against him and he was inside her. His mouth gaped and he gasped. His rigid body tensed and they were suspended in that moment, neither moving, both consumed by the intimate connection of their two bodies becoming one. His fingers clawed with clumsy urgency at her bare thighs. He needed to . . . to . . . he didn't know. His instinct kicked in. His hips strained to buck and thrust but he couldn't move. Desperation coiled within his clenched stomach. His toes dug into the damp floor. Sweat pearled and streaked down his head.

"P-Please!" he cried.

The Mistress brought her hands together. As they clasped one another, they shined a dazzling white. Slowly she brought them down towards his quivering stomach.

"Mikey! Get offa him, you bitch!"

The sound of Raphael's voice boomed like a thunderclap around them. The Mistress hissed in frustration. She recoiled and rolled off of Michelangelo. The sudden removal of her body from his made him contract in shock and discomfort. He rolled to his side, panting and shaken. He fought for composure and glanced up to see a black silhouette outlined in flames of dark purple.

"You!?" The Mistress screamed. She stood up and strode across the expanse separating Mikey from Raphael. "I closed the portal! How is this possible? How did you get here?" The Mistress' mask remained blank and without expression but her voice conveyed her confusion and distress. Her head darted around as she ran her hands through her hair in a panicked, frightened motion. "No! No! You'll ruin everything!"

Raphael blinked then growled. "I dunno who or what the hell you are, but you're gonna step away from my brother."

With a snarl, the Mistress reached out with one fist and then jerked her hand back. Raph grabbed at his temple and fell to his knees. He felt a terrible pulling pain from the center of his mind. As if someone had just stomped into his brain and yanked a large chunk of his mind free.

The pain eased and Raphael cracked his eyes open. Then straightened up immediately. He was on the floor in the motel room. His face darted around. What? Where am I? His head felt heavy and groggy as if he'd just woken up from a long nap. A nap that left him with a headache and a mouth full of cotton. Smaking his lips in distaste, he slowly climbed to his feet. Feeling disorientated and shaken. Why was I on the rug?

Dimly he became aware of the shower running in the other room. The sound of the squeak of the faucet being turned off reached him. Shakily, he sat on the edge of the mattress which took up most of the room. His head buzzed and he struggled to think clearly. Wasn't he just in the middle of something? He dropped his head into his palms and rubbed his eyes furiously with the heels of his hands. Something nagged at him. It was something bad. But he felt so angry and bad most of the time, it was almost a natural state for him. But still . . . he knew there was something. He just had to remember. It was right there. Right in front of him. His face snapped up. Before him, skin moist and shimmering from the shower, was Deborah. His heart jumped into his throat.

She was smiling down at him, coyly. Her hair hanging in limp wet locks over her shoulders. His eyes followed the tendrils of water drizzled down from the tips over the mounds of her breasts to hang for a fraction of a second before dripping from her erect, pink nipples. Raphael's eyes widened at the sight. Without thinking, before he could stop himself, he leaned forward. The tip of his tongue slipped from between his lips and he caught the next drip before it could fall. The taste was sweet. Sweeter than anything else he'd ever had. The very tip of his tongue grazed her nipple with the lightest touch. She tilted her head back and moaned. His green eyes snapped up to see her cheeks flushed; full lips parted as she panted with lust. His body reacted and he groaned as he emerged, unable to constrain himself. His fingers curled into fists as he gripped the blankets on the sides of his shuddering thighs.

His face blushed and he was barely able to meet her eyes. But he needed to look into her eyes. This was too good to be true. He needed to see her desire for him. Her acceptance of him. His hammering heart stumbled with a fearful hope. Could she really want him? Was this real? A pain slid through his head and he cringed slightly.

Finally, their eyes met and locked. They flashed gold for a second and Raphael frowned. Deborah had blue eyes, he thought vaguely. A distant thought crawled around the edges of his mind. It was unpleasant and made his head throb. Something about his brothers. Mikey? He brushed it away. He didn't want to think about them right now. He jumped as he felt her fingertips caress his cheek. He couldn't stop himself and he leaned into her touch.

"Deborah," he murmured in disbelief.

"I want you Raphael."

The tone of her voice was off. It sounded hollow and blurred. It echoed in the room in a strange way. Raphael's brow dropped. He inched his cheek away from her touch. Something was wrong here. How long had he ached to hear those words fall from her lips? How many nights did he spend imagining what it would be like to have her want him like that? And now here she was, standing naked before him like a beautiful dream. But another thought streaked through his mind.

Deborah's angry voice cut through his thoughts. The memory of her voice, high and shrill with fury. Here in this very room.

Fuck you, you . . . fucking –

What?! WHAT?! Say IT!

Raphael's eyes dropped closed as crushing disappointment squeezed his hopeful heart. "What did you say?" he asked in a choked voice.

"Raphael, I want you. Make love to me, Raphael."

She stepped closer. His rigid body twitched, but his heart was beating hard with half-remembered hurt. It beat not from lust, but anger. Frustration and despair. Her scent swept over him. Jasmine. That wasn't Deborah's scent. He knew her scent better than his own. He reached with shaking hands and gripped her bare hips. She was so close. All he had to do was pull her closer and he'd be able to bury himself into her sweet softness. He could lose himself in her tender, inviting flesh. Instead, he kept her away. He would not crumble to this lie. She didn't want him. He would not open himself up again only to be caged and humiliated. To be reminded of everything he could never have. He closed his eyes tighter. The pain in his pounding heart increased. Stabbing him with every beat. The pain was good. He would not break like this. The pain sustained him. Pushed him forward towards the truth. He would not be blinded by its light. He would embrace it and welcome it. Because he would never again be hurt by it. Never again.

"Make love to you?" he huffed out a laugh even as his chest tightened. "Y-You want to have sex with me?"


"But . . . Deborah." He looked up at her.

A flash of irritation swept over Deborah's perfect face. Her blue eyes flickered with something like doubt.

"I'm nothin' but an animal, remember?"

He shoved at her and she stumbled back. Gathering herself quickly, a look of fear and shock flashed across her features, smoothly replaced with humor.

"What are you talking about?" she laughed. "I want you," she said with a shake of her head. She reached out to him.

Raphael stood. His lips pulled back into a feral snarl. As he did his figure seemed to swell and grow; looming over her. The shadow behind him growing ominous and huge. Deborah shrank back, dropping her arms protectively in front of her.

"Raphael," she started in a wavering voice. "You're scaring me."

And indeed, the Mistress knew her ruse was at an end. She should have guessed. The despair that dwelled within this one's heart was too ingrained for him to break free from it. Even with the promise of physical delight within his grasp. He was lost. A small part of her, the part that existed off the very nature of passion and lust, felt sorry for the beast. He would never know the unadulterated exhilaration of release. The euphoria that hid within the heated moment of that overwhelming joy.

"You don't want me," his rumbling voice grew louder, booming around her. "I'm nothin' to you. Nothin' but a FREAK!" he roared.

The façade of the motel room froze and then erupted. Shattering like crystal. Falling shards cascaded around them. Sparkling and crackling like fire as they turned to ash and blew away. The black shreds scattered around the Mistress where she knelt in front of Raphael, hands clutched to her head. The mask was gone. She was in human form. Vulnerable and shaking. Raphael stood before her trembling with pure rage and despair. Tears streaked down his face unbidden and uncontrolled. They were once more in the surrounding organic walls of the Mistress' dimension. They swelled and seized as if enduring pain. The world tilted and spun. The Mistress cried out in distress.

"You cling to your despair like a fool!" She raised a tear-streaked face to Raphael. "I could've given you happiness. You could've experienced the love of the woman you desire!"

Raphael glared down at her. Fresh tears broke loose and he made no move to wipe them away. He shook his head numbly. "It wasn't real. I knew it." He jerked a thumb at his heart. "In here. Couldn't 'a been."

"B-But –"

His voice was even and low, rumbling, "You don't get it." He stared into her. His vivid green eyes shining and bleak. A mirthless grin cracked his face, bearing his fang as he tilted his head, "Freaks like me don't get those kinds 'a happy endings."

She dropped her head. He was truly lost. She had no power over him. And she knew what drew that emptiness. She braced herself for his arrival. There was nowhere to hide.

Michelangelo stared in wonder from just behind the Mistress. The words his brother spoke broke his heart in two. He knew that Raphael had a dreary view of the world and their places in it. But Mikey had always held onto the hope that someday, like April and Donnie, he might find someone who accepted him and maybe would even come to love him. That Raphael felt so completely alone and lost was too much to bear. He had no idea that his brother felt this way. He decided in that moment, as he wiped the tears from his eyes, that he would try his hardest to help Raphael find happiness in this life. Even if it took forever. He would not let his brother's despair consume him.

But even as he thought this, his eyes grew round as his brother's shadow swelled; rearing up, larger than his body. Too large. It twisted and coiled and finally it emerged; solid and terrible. The form it took was a bulky warrior. Broad across its chest, it raised four arms and stretched. A featureless face framed by a pair of coiled ram's horns, twisted from side to side. The sound of snapping bones filled the air. A thick tail, split at the very end, lashed back and forth behind its legs, which were draped in a pair of wide-legged pants. The material flapped in the gusting wind. White eyes, devoid of pupils blinked sideways once and the head tilted down to peer at the woman sitting on her knees in front of him and the mutant turtle. He ignored the turtle and all his focus tuned to the small form of the female.

The Mistress raised her head, unable to disguise her trembling. "Eblis," she spoke his name softly. "You have found me at last."

Raphael, eyes on Michelangelo, stepped around her; ignoring the exchange, raced towards his younger brother.

"Mikey, Mikey! You okay? You alright? Did she hurt ya?" he babbled. Mikey shook his head numbly, still stunned by everything he'd seen and felt and heard. His trembling body could barely move as Raphael yanked and pulled on him. "Okay, get up. Move it. We gotta get you outta here."

Eblis raised four thick arms and brought them slamming down upon the Mistress' tiny form. She raised petite arms up over her head to block the attack, but it did little to protect her. Over and over the fists rained down on her crumpled form. A thundering peel of laughter brought Mikey and Raph to their knees as they moved to race around the struggling demons. The brothers fell and rolled in a heap. The pressure of the air crushing them; making it once again hard to breathe, hard to move.

Unable to look away, Mikey watched the male demon assault the Mistress. He picked her up and shook her in his mouth like a dog savaging a rabbit. Mikey cried out from the violence of it. The beast threw her to the ground and pounced. It grabbed her and began tearing into her arms with its spiked teeth. No blood spurted from the wounds, but rather, golden light. Spilling out and arching as blood would have. The Mistress shrieked in pain. Raphael grabbed Mikey by the armpits and hauled him to his feet.

"The opening! I came this way . . . I think!" he screamed in his face; eyes wild from the effort of fighting the dimension's onslaught of pressure.

But Michelangelo's attention was directed at the struggling woman beneath the bulk of the black demon. "He's tearing her to pieces," Mikey whispered in a broken voice. Raphael's face snapped over to the demons. She had twisted around and was trying to crawl out from under the beast. He had reared up and back, braced on his four large hands. A stream of light was pouring from the woman's back and back of her head as she scrambled away. Her face was a mask of complete terror.

Raphael's hand wrapped around Mikey's face from the back of his head. He tugged roughly at his brother's head.

"C'mon! Numbskull! Leave 'em be! What're you standin' around –" Michelangelo brushed Raphael away with a rough shove from his shoulder. "Mikey . . ."

Mikey hollered, "Can't let him do this!"

He fumbled a few steps and fell to a crouch. Raphael couldn't believe his eyes as he watched his little brother grip the woman by her wrists and pull her free from beneath the large black demon creature. He was still rearing back, indulging and soaking in the last tendrils of her precious light. His head lulled to one side as if in a drunken stupor from gorging on it.

"Mikey . . ." Raph started as Mikey scrambled past, the Mistress' flickering form leaning heavily on his side. One arm was wrapped around her back and waist, the other held her wrist tightly that was draped from around the back of his neck. "Mikey!" Raphael raced after him. His body tilted to one side and bracing his weight with his hand he swore. It felt as if the boat they were standing on had hit rocky waters and had started to pitch from side to side. The pressure on his body was making it harder and harder to breath the sour air. But the light loomed ahead.

The Mistress bounced and struggled to keep up with the young mutant's pace as he half-dragged her to the entrance back to his world. Eblis had drained the last bits of power from her. The little left was the only thing keeping her alive at this point. Her body was shutting down. The effects of her own dimension were starting to crush her human form. Her nose started to bleed actual blood and her stomach lurched. She tried to brace herself and make him slow down. But his legs pumped on. A determined look on his face.

Weakly, she asked, "Wha . . . What are you doing? Just leave me -"

He shook his head fiercely. "'M saving you!" Mikey shouted.

Blearily, she looked towards the light of the portal. It flickered. She knew it was closing. With the destruction of her power the opening would close forever. How it had remained opened for his brother to come through was a mystery. Then it hit her. Her magical bond with their brother's blood. She had forgotten to release him of it. The very thing that had sent her home after a millennia of exile was the thing that led to her demise. She was too tired to consider the irony.

She rested her head on the mutant's cool shoulder. His heroics was touching. She had known heroes in her time. The eons had erased their deeds from actual memory to be reduced to myths in the human records. Michelangelo and his brothers were truly unique in the world of humans. They were modern heroes and yet went unheralded and their selfless deeds remained hidden. The Shredder was wrong to seek revenge against these creatures. They should have been worshiped not degraded and hunted like animals. If she had the chance, she would have made this one a god in his own right, she thought wistfully. They would have ruled together, breeding and enduring, spreading their unique kind into the spanning reach of the future. But that would not be.

She was happy - she realized with a shock - that she had gotten to be with them, one way or another. And how strange how she had underestimated this one. His effect on her was close to frightening. She remembered the look of pure joy on his face when he first encountered her guise as a female mutant turtle. It was a thing of beauty. She decided to repay his selfless act with a gift. Heroes deserved gifts for their acts of courageousness, after all. And in truth, it was a gift to herself as well, for she wanted nothing more than to die seeing that beautiful expression on his face once more.

With a final push of the last remaining thread of her power, she shifted and her form shrunk even smaller. Her skin darkened to a soft green, the pale yellow pattern of swirls and stars rose up along her right leg, arm, neck and cheek. The diamond patterned shell swirled and solidified on her back. The heaviness jerked her off-balance. Mikey stumbled. But without pausing in his stride, he reached down and scooped her under her knees. Lifting her up and holding her tightly to his chest. He blinked in shock at her appearance and then looked straight ahead as he leaped through the closing portal.

With a burst of cursing, Raphael lunged forward just as the portal closed.

. . .

They tumbled and fell; rolling one on top of the other. Michelangelo took the brunt of the impact. Bracing his body so that he protected the small female in his arms as best as he could. He grunted as he felt Raphael's bulking frame slam into him from behind. They had careened clear out of his room into the center of the living room in the lair. A gust of wind and a zipping sound followed by a crash and a buzz of electricity filled the air. Then the silence rang, deafening in Mikey's ears. He glanced down at the Mistress' body. His breath froze in his chest when he didn't see her moving or breathing. He brought his cheek down close and turned his head, listening for any sign of life. A caress of an exhale brushed his cheek. Goose-pimples broke out over his body. He spun his face around to see her orange eyes opened a crack.

"Inanna," he whispered.

She blinked and frowned. Her eyes darted to one side then another. She carefully patted her face and neck.

"I think . . . I'm alive."

Michelangelo chuckled.

"No. It isn't funny," she snapped, though her voice was weak. "I-I mean . . . I think I'm . . . mortal," she said more to herself than to Mikey. And as she said it, she knew it to be true. Her power was gone. Eblis had drained her. The trip through the closing portal along with her last change in form had used anything that had remained within her. She was mortal. She would die one day. Die. The thought stunned her. Her fingers roved over her collar bone to the rim of her plastron. She pressed at the strange, malleable substance and froze. Oh no. No. A choked noise broke from her throat.

She was not only mortal. Her blood turned to ice. She was trapped in this form. Forever.

Suddenly, Mikey was surrounded by his family. He felt Raphael's large hand pat him on the back of the head as he asked him how he was. Donatello's voice, urgent and worried, came at him, asking him a hundred questions at once it seemed. Master Splinter was standing next to Leonardo who looked pale and weary. It was clear that Splinter was holding Leonardo upright. His left arm was wrapped in a wide bandage that spanned his wrist to his elbow. April dropped to the floor next to him and some strange looking guy with dark hair stood just behind her. His face was a mask of comical shock and surprise.

Their combined voices shouted questions and comments; overwhelming him. After the pressure and constant thrum of the other dimension pounding his ears it was at the same time the best sound he'd ever heard and the worst. He ducked his aching head.

Inanna stirred in his arms and slowly he realized he was crushing her. The volley of comments and questions continued unabated. But as he straightened and sat up, and she drew a long, much needed breath, one by one they fell silent as they realized what he held in his arms. The silence stretched out as no one moved or spoke or breathed.

Splinter was the first to break the stillness. In a shaking voice, he said, "Michelangelo. What have you done?"


Oblation (a thing offered to a god)

Eblis - Persian demon that literally translates to "Despair"