Radical Transformation

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Note: The turtles are aged 15. This is an old story, which I am improving as I upload.

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The pizza shop stood open, as it always did, adding its dim lights to the already thousand sparkling ones of New York City. For a little shop, it was popular around the surrounding neighbor hoods, and was always full with people. Mostly it was the same people who came back, got to know the counter boy or girl, and got free anchovies or something like that.

But tonight, for the first time, a strange man walked in, very shifty, and constantly glancing around with his old but alert eyes. He seemed careful not to look too secretive or draw attention, but he still remained aware and attentive more than a man should. He was dressed in a long coat, a large hat and scarf, and only his eyes could be seen. His coat seemed to draw most people's attention, and if they'd seen his long beard and tattooed painted face, then they would have stared at that too. But his coat was long, brownish, and looking like any other trench coat until you saw it in the light, and notice all those pockets and pouches sewn on. There were at least four small Velcro and zip pockets on his right arm; and three slightly bigger ones on his left arm. The rest of the coat was covered too, but they all sat nice and flat against him, with only a slight bulge at the very bottom of most pockets, where they held something small. He looked like a tramp at first glance, so it was lucky no one wanted a second. If they did, they might have seen the face paint around the man's eyes. This man was no ordinary citizen.

He opened the shop door, and walked in like a tramp, only that little bit more suspicious and secretive. Everyone, as he hoped, only glanced at him once before they carried on chatting and eating their meal. He walked up to the counter, ordered a normal plain cheese and tomato pizza in a gruff, deep old voice, and leaned an arm on the counter, waiting. While he was waiting, he checked out the rest of the shop, looking for any of his enemies. He sensed and saw none, and relaxed only slightly. He was a man of great power, and was aware he was carrying enough power in his pockets to be able to melt this city, or do whatever he wanted. All he had to do was spread it, say it, and watch it. But he wasn't a man who would do things like that for himself. He was careful, and full of knowledge. He knew what could happen if this power fell into the wrong hands. And there were all sorts of 'wrong hands' out there searching for him.

Pizza seems to be taking too long . . . He thought to himself. He wasn't impatient; it was just at this moment he didn't feel too sheltered and safe in a shop with people, and with light, even if it was dim. He watched other people collect their ordered pizza, and walk out, holding the door for more people.

He watched as four heavily disguised people in trench coats walked in, hats on and heads down. At once he could tell these were no ordinary people. He knew they weren't human . . .

--

"It's full in here tonight," Leonardo observed, as he and his brothers followed Michelangelo to the counter, asking politely to an old, wrapped-up-well man, whose face they couldn't see, to excuse them so they could get past him and another man sitting in a chair, talking too loudly to hear them even if they said it right in his ear.

The old man moved aside, but they couldn't see his face, and he didn't say anything.

"Hey," Mikey greeted the boy behind the counter. "Mikey Tee picking up a pizza I ordered."

The boy nodded and dashed off to find their pizza. While he was gone, Leo looked through the tables of people, in case for some reason, any were staring at them. He was always careful. The man next to them, the man dressed a lot like they were was the only one Leo sensed something strange and different about. But if the guy didn't do anything funny, then Leo would mind his own business.

"One pizza for Mikey Tee," said a voice, and they all turned back to see the boy had a box in his hand. He placed it on the counter and Mikey opened it.

"Hey, dude," he said, frowning. "This pizza has anchovies. I said NO anchovies."

The boy shrugged. "Sorry, I'll get rid of them." While he took the pizza back, an argument had started between two men on the table in front of them all. They were quite loud, and the woman that was with them kept hissing at them to be quiet. But they paid no attention, and one man stood up suddenly; the other man followed.

Leo tensed in case it turned nasty, but before he could do anything, the boy announced that the pizza was right and ready, and they all turned around to see him push the box back onto the counter.

Mikey opened the box and looked at the anchovy-free pizza, but while he had done that, the second man of the fight had walked over to the other and a scrap had started. The man who stood up first was pushed, lost his balance and fell into the man with the many pockets in his coat.

The old, heavily disguised human stumbled into Mikey, but caught the counter just as he was falling. Without noticing, one of his pockets on the coat arm was ripped open, and the contents spilled into the open box with the pizza inside.

"Hey! You guys wanna fight then take it outside or I'll call the cops for public disturbance!" The manager and main cook of the place yelled at the two men.

Both men stormed out, glaring daggers with the woman following and shrieking at them. All the customers watched them leave, then the babble broke out again and everyone carried on with their conversations.

"Sorry," the old man in the coat grunted to Mikey, who was picking himself off the floor.

"No problem," Mikey replied, shutting the box lid and picking it up. He gave the money to the boy behind the counter, and they all left.

A few seconds later the old man's pizza arrived, with apologies for the delay, and was paid for. The man took it and made his way to the door, but before he opened it, he caught a glimpse of his coat sleeve as he put his hand on the door handle. One of his pockets were open, and he could only guess that the powder had fallen out . . . right onto the pizza of the strange kid dressed in the trench coat . . .

//

"Can you believe he put anchovies on it?" Mikey grumbled as they walked from the half busy street into the alleyway opposite the small put popular pizza shop.

"Gee Mike, everyone makes mistakes," Donny said wisely.

"Except you," Mikey grinned mockingly at him.

Donny shrugged and smiled.

"Hey Mikey, you gonna open that pizza?" Raph asked. "I'm starving."

"No, we'll eat it at home," Leo said.

"Ah, c'mon, I'm starved! Anyway, we took the long route and it'll be cold by the time we get back . . ." Raph argued. "Why did we take this route anyway? It's way longer." .

"Yeah, Raph has a point, I'm with him," Mikey said, holding out the pizza, with one hand on the lid ready to open it.

"You're with anyone who votes to eat pizza first," Donny said. "But Raph does have a point. I say we eat some of it now, some later when we get in. This part of town is pretty new. I don't know it that well."

"Fine! Okay, Mikey. You can eat your pizza," Leo gave in with a sigh and a small smile. An argument about pizza could go anywhere, and forever.

"But you'll have some too, right?" As much as he wanted to eat most of it, Mikey felt his brother needed something to eat as well. It had been a long day, and they had eaten only a small something in the afternoon.

"Sure I am, I'm not gonna let you three hog it all."

Mikey laughed, and opened up the box. The steam wafted from the pizza as the air whooshed from the open box, then it rose into the air, finding its way to all their noses.

"Why have we gone this way?" Raph asked again. This part was, like Donny, new to him, and he got out more times than his brothers. It was quite far from the lair than they would normally go.

"Because Mikey wanted to go to that new pizza shop," Leo said, taking the slice from Mikey, who was handing it to him. "Anyway, it's nice to get out of the sewer and into fresh air for once."

Raph took his own slice as Mikey was handing Donny one. They were all starving, and ate the pizza with no words in-between. Leo was actually glad he had given up on the argument. He was famished. He had tucked it away in only a minute. Mikey, on the other hand, had finished his in a few seconds. But neither of his brothers were surprised. When Mikey was hungry, nothing could stop him from eating once he had food in his hand, and he always scoffed it quickly.

"Was that me or was there a slightly different taste to that?" Mikey asked, licking his fingers.

His brother shrugged, feeling a whole lot better now they had something inside them. Splinter hadn't eaten for a while, so they were saving him some. But the rat didn't eat, or need, as much food as his sons did.

As they walked down the dark, and slightly bigger alleyway than most, they all started to talk about the men who had been fighting in the pizza shop.

"Yeah, but did you here what they was talking about?" Mikey asked his brothers, looking sideways at them.

"Yeah, one of them was on about how the other was taking his girlfriend away, and how he was too ugly to deserve her," Donny said, shrugging.

"Yeah, I mean, humans accuse other people of so many things, and then they go and say things about others' appearance," Mikey spoke on. "I mean, they should be lucky they get to have friends to fight with . . . I mean, I've heard worse, but they shouldn't judge people by looks and things like that . . ."

"I think Mikey's getting all sensitive on us," Raph muttered behind his hand to Leo, who chuckled.

"No, just humans don't know how lucky they are," Mikey explained. "They get to do so many things we don't. But guys, wouldn't it just be totally cool if we could spend days like that? Where we could live normal, and be able to do normal things?"

"It would, really, Mikey. But don't dream on what you want, that slows you down. Just put up with who and what you are." Leo told him, talking across Raph and Donny to his brother in orange at the end of their brother line.

Raph rolled his eyes to Donny, who smiled.

"Yeah . . . But it's just not fair . . ." Mikey said slowly. "I just wish . . . I wish we could be human, and spend days like human kids our own age do . . ."

Leo shook his head. Mikey would get over this quickly. He would change the topic in a minute.

"Hey, isn't that the Foot?"

Yep, there he went. Changed the topic quickly, just as I though - The Foot?! Leo directed his eyes to where Mikey was looking. Down the other end of the alleyway were about a dozen Foot members rushing towards them.

"Yeah, looks like them," Raph said casually. He frowned suddenly. He felt cold for some reason. A chill ran down his spine, and his coat seemed looser on him; also he had a tickly feeling at the back of his neck. He pushed this out of his mind and concentrated on the Foot, which had now reached and started to attack Leo. Raph ran to meet them.

Donny, also feeling colder than usual, reached for his Bo Staff from his shell, but found it seemed to be in a different place on his back. Damn, he'd have to adjust the strap when he got home.

His Bo clashed with another from the Foot, and just as he was about to whack him, loud police car sirens went off in the street beyond the alleyway.

Everyone froze for a split second, then it was a rush and forget-about-the-enemy dash to vanish. But as Donny made towards the shadows, the Foot member he had been fighting with tripped him up in his haste. Donny fell and his hat flew off.

Everyone now froze for another few seconds, staring at Don, who was puzzled as to why his brothers were staring at him in horror and shocked surprise.

Donny groped for his hat, but stopped dead as he caught sight of his hand in the dim light. It wasn't green . . . and he had five fingers . . .

His brothers unfroze, and so did the Foot, who scampered away. Leo, Raph and Mikey made their way to Donny quickly, because the police who had gotten out their cars had made their way into the alley, talking into radios. They obviously had not seen them yet.

Donny's brothers moved towards him as though he had just done something his brothers would never have believed. In a few seconds they had pulled Donny to his feet, which he stumbled on for some reason, and dragged him into the shadows, where they all breathed hard.

"What's wrong with you guys?" Donny demanded in a whisper.

They stared at him in a line of three behind a dumpster, and pointed at him, silently shocked.

Donny frowned, and brought up his hands to feel his face, but stopped when he saw them again. He had hoped it was the trick of the light back there; but no. He could see them clearly now, even though the light was poor. He had light colored hands . . . not green . . . and he had five fingers. He even had a pinkie. Don didn't even want to feel his face. Coldness swept over him again, and he looked down to his feet, and gasped. He had five toes. And no wonder he was cold . . . he was bare.

Donny, shocked to a point where he could have ran and ran, looked up, slowly reached over and took Leo's hat off. Donny gasped, and so did Raph and Mikey.

Instead of a green, smooth head, under Leo's hat was a mess of dark, sandy colored hair, that stuck up in a scruffy and spiky manner. His bandana was around his forehead, and was half covered by his hair; the eye holes had disappeared in the folds. His face, the rest of his face shocked his brothers just as much. He had a visible nose - lips - visible ears . . . but the same eyes. And he had teenage shaped face. He was human.

Leo looked at his hands, taking in the five fingers and the light color of them. This was too strange.

Mikey brought up his own hands quickly and studied them. They were exactly like Leo and Donny's. And now, Mikey could see that Donny and Leo both looked the same - well, apart from LOOKING human, they also had the same features, what humans would call twins. Mikey stared. He couldn't believe it . . .

To Raph, this was all too weird. He stared at his brothers, and at Mikey as his brother removed his hat and let Leo and Donny stare at him. All three looked completely identical.

Suddenly the police at the other end of the alley decided to end the conversations on the radios, and started to walk towards the teenage brothers, with their flashlights.

Too spooked and freaked about their appearances, and panicked about being found by the police, the four guys ran from their shadows, making for the other end of the alley where it led out on to a well used street. It was nighttime, but still there were the odd few cars that would drive down.

"Stop!" One of the police officers shouted. It was the voice of a woman, and she and her partner started to run after them.

Leo, Donny, Mikey and Raph reached the end of the alleyway and ran out onto the street. They looked about madly for a manhole, and spotted one across the street. Around it where a few barriers, as someone was obviously doing work on it, but the guys didn't even register this, and ran flat out towards it.

But they didn't see the truck speeding towards them, and only looked up into the blazing lights as its horn blared through the street. Before they knew anything, they were hit with such force it lifted them off their feet. They were thrown into the air, landing twelve meters away from the braking truck. They lay still. None moved.

The driver of the truck jumped out his door and ran, with the police, to the four boys who had been knocked down.

"God, oh God, I'm sorry, they ran right out in front of me!" The man cried to the police.

The woman and her male partner bent down over the kids. While he was on the phone for an ambulance, she checked them over.

"It's okay, it wasn't your fault. We were chasing them," the policewoman said. "But they're bleeding badly . . . They need medical assistance immediately."