A Foot Too Big
Hisako gave an experimental stretch. Aside from a bit of stiffness in her side, she seemed to have almost fully healed. The scars on her face were still pretty ugly, but the stitches were gone for good.
“How you feeling?” Donny asked. “Any pain at all?”
“Just some stiff muscles I need to stretch.” Hisako informed him. “Now, where are they?”
Donny smirked, then reached into the pocket of his coat, pulling out Hisako’s tessen. She grinned, holding her hands out in gimme motions. Donny obliged and handed his sister her weapons. She opened them, giving a few practice swings.
“Do I detect a straighter edge to these?” she questioned.
“I figured since I was improving my own weapons, and Mikey’s, I could at least take care of the third set under my temporary care.”
Hisako smiled at that, then leapfrogged over the railing of the porch to where Raph and Mikey were currently duking it out, Leo watching from a swing hanging on a nearby tree.
“Hey Raphie-boy!” Mikey cheered. “Looks who’s joining the party!”
“Welcome back sis.” Raph greeted. “Think you’re ready to kick it with the rest of us?”
Hisako got into a prepared stance, opening her fans.
“I was born ready, shell-for brains.”
“Then bring it.” Raph challenged spinning his sai.
Hisako then charged at Raph swing her tessen at him. Raph was quick to block her attacks with his sai. Mikey then jumped in and assaulted Hisako with endless nunchaku swings.
“Hey Mikey!” Donny called as he walked towards Leo. “Show them what your chucks can do now!”
“You got it D!” Mikey called back.
Mikey then locked his chucks together forming a three piece.
“A sansetsukon.” Leo noted. “Nice job, Don.”
“Thanks.” Don replied.
Mikey kept swinging his new weapon at his sister. She slid underneath him, bringing her fans arching through the air, taking off a few of his orange-dyed hairs.
“Yikes.” he let out.
Hisako took this advantage and kicked his legs out from underneath him, planting her foot on his stomach and tossing her hands in the air.
“Another win for the human race!” she declared.
“Aw man.” Mikey whined.
“Eh, get over it bro.” Raph said, pulling Hisako off of him and yanking him to his feet. “Besides, you and I both know we went easy on her.”
Hisako scoffed, putting her hands on her hips.
“You really expect us to go all out on our sister who just got out of stitches?” Mikey questioned.
“Leo back me up on this one!” she begged.
“Hey, I’m staying out of this one.” Leo replied defensively.
Hisako growled indignantly, crossing her arms.
“I demand to be treated fairly.” she insisted. “I’m fully healed and I need a proper challenge to limber up!”
“Well if you really want a challenge…” Raph replied. “...Turtle hunt.”
“Turtle hunt?” Mikey, Don, and Hisako asked.
Leo perked up.
“We haven’t done that since we were 12.” he remarked. “But these aren’t the sewers Raph.”
“You sure you can handle it out here?” Hisako ribbed.
“Oh I can handle anything little miss rehab patient.” Raph taunted.
Hisako popped her neck, rotating her shoulders.
“Oh it’s on, hot shot.” she declared. “And I think we should up the ante.”
“What’s on your oh-so-special mind?” Raph asked.
“You’re it.” she declared. “We all get a five minute head start to hide. You manage to find us all within the hour, you win. But, if you fail to find even one of us, you lose. You decide the stakes.”
“Alright.” Raph agreed. “If I win… you clean the chicken coop.”
All the other turtles winced in disgust and fear.
“The chicken coop?!” Mikey exclaimed. “Dude, there’s a reason there aren’t any chickens in the chicken coop! Because there are spiders that eat chickens in the chicken coop!”
“Not to mention years of caked on chicken feces and-” Donny began.
“Deal.” Hisako interrupted.
“Are you crazy?!” Mikey yelled.
“Sorry boys.” Raph responded. “The game is set. You coming Leo?”
Leo attempted to stand, but his leg gave out underneath him and he fell. He would have landed in the dirt had Donny not caught him, along with some psychic help from Hisako.
“I got him.” Donny insisted as Hisako lowered her powers. “You alright Leo?”
“Guess my body still isn’t up to it.” Leo admitted. “You guys go on without me.”
Hisako looked back at Leo, sighing, then she and the others looked to Raph.
“Call it Raph.”
“Alright then. You three better get your shells moving!”
Mikey, Donny and Hisako all disappeared into the woods surrounding the farmhouse with Raph eagerly waiting for the five minutes to end. Leo, however, just sat back down on the swing, looking over at the crutch leaning against the tree. He let out a sigh and reached for it, pulling himself up and hobbling towards the house. As he did, he passed by Splinter, who was meditating on the porch.
“Is something troubling you Leonardo?” he asked, not even opening his eyes.
“I just… still need time to heal.” Leo replied.
Splinter cracked an eye open, then his tail came out, snagging the crutch and yanking it away. Leo’s eyes went wide as he made a grab for it, clutching onto it at the last second. However, by doing so, he had put all his weight on his bad leg without realizing it, though he didn’t seem affected in the slightest.
“Your body is healed Leonardo.” Splinter corrected him. “It is your spirit that remains broken.”
Leo let out a sigh of defeat.
“I guess i still feel like a failure Master Splinter.” Leo admitted. “I lied to the others, i led Karai to the lair, I got my shell kicked by the Shredder, I lost my swords… and I nearly got Hisako and the others killed.”
Splinter stood up, facing his son.
“No one is a stranger to failure, my son.” He told him. “But that is not what defines us. It is how we rise above them does.”
Splinter then looked at the empty sheathes on Leo’s back.
“And perhaps a place to start would be to begin work on a new set of swords.” Splinter suggested. “I do believe there is something in the garage that can suffice as a forge.”
He then got back on the ground, resuming his meditation.
“But the choice, ultimately, is yours.”
Leo just stood there pondering his master’s words.
Mikey, Donny, and Hisako all ran through the woods, trying to find the best place to hide.
“Alright, spread out.” Hisako suggested. “He can’t find us all if we’re separated.”
She broke off to the left, heading for an outcropping of rocks. Mikey and Donny looked around in all directions looking for hiding places. Donny’s eyes immediately went skyward, climbing up the nearest tree.
“If I can camouflage myself amongst the leaves, my chances of being seen will go down drastically.”
“That’s great for you but what about me?” Mikey asked.
“That’s entirely up to you Mikey.” Donny replied climbing up the tree.
Mikey watched him go, then growled.
“That’s entirely up to you.” He mocked. “Ooh, I’m Donny. I think I’m so smart because I wear a lab coat every day.”
“I heard that!” Donny yelled.
“You were supposed to!” Mikey yelled back.
He then scrambled off to find a hiding spot before Raph came after him.
Hisako searched through the outcropping of rocks, curious to see if there was a spot big enough to hide in.
“Come on Hisako, your gut says there’s somewhere good to hide, so find it.”
That’s when she came across the wall of ivy that seemed to sway in the breeze. She pushed the ivy back to reveal a massive cave.
“Jackpot.” she cheered quietly, sliding past the ivy curtain.
The light piercing through the leaves of ivy gave the cave a strange green light to it, one that made Hisako giggle as she slipped deeper inside.
“Raph will never find me here.” she muttered to herself.
She settled down against a wall where she could easily see the ivy curtain, but was hidden by the darkness.
“Now to settle in for the next hour while he searches fruitlessly for me.”
As she sat there, she heard a low growling noise, one that seemed to fill the cave. Instinctively, Hisako put a hand on her stomach.
“If that was me, I probably should have brought a snack.”
The growling echoed again, giving Hisako the distinct impression that it wasn’t her stomach. That’s when every nerve in her body lit up, telling her she wasn’t alone in that cave. Forcing a wave of panic down, she slowly turned around.
“Please don’t be a bear.” she whispered. “Please don’t be a bear. Please don’t be a bear.”
As she finally faced the direction the noise came from to see one of the larger creatures she’d ever seen, including Leatherhead. It stood about seven feet tall, was covered in thick, brown hair, and seemed to almost resemble some sort of monkey-human hybrid. Hisako felt her fear melt away as she stared.
“A monkey mutant?” she questioned.
The creature bent down, sniffing at Hisako curiously. She stood still as it did, continuing to look the creature up and down. It had human like hands with hair on the back, and large feet that were almost ill-proportioned to its size.
“Those are some big feet.” she commented.
Once she said this, something clicked into place. Her eyes went wide and her face became a large grin.
“Holy shell, you’re Bigfoot!”
Bigfoot then put one of its hands over her mouth silencing her. It looked at her pleading, placing a finger to its lip. Hisako gave a nod as best she could, tapping on the hand holding her face. Bigfoot released her face, peaking at the ivy curtain nervously. Hisako looked at it as well, curious.
“You’re hiding too, aren’t you?”
Bigfoot nodded in response.
“And I’m guessing you’re not doing it for fun like I am.”
Bigfoot shook its head. Hisako reached up, petting his hairy arm.
“Don’t worry big guy.” she whispered. “This place is a pretty good hiding spot. Nobody will find us. Besides, my brothers would be more than willing to help you out. We have a thing about helping unique creatures like yourself.”
Bigfoot looked down at Hisako with a bit of disbelief.
“You have my word big guy.”
Bigfoot smiled widely, then grabbed Hisako, pulling her into a tight hug. Hisako patted him on the back in response, struggling to breathe.
“Th-thanks big guy… I- can’t breathe-.”
Back with Raph, he was still looking for the others. About 10 minutes had passed, and so far, he’d found no sign of the three of them.
“There is no way I’m cleaning that chicken coop.” he muttered. “I am so gonna find those guys.”
As he continued searching, he spotted some muddy footprints just barely hidden in the brush by a silt-filled creek. Raph grinned, following the prints to a small gathering of reddish-brown rocks. One of the rocks seemed to be moving slightly, and tinges of orange and green were peeking out from under a layer of mud.
Raph couldn’t help but laugh as he grabbed Mikey by his mud covered hood, pulling him away from his hiding spot. The orange-turned-brown turtle yelped as Raph held him in the air by his hoodie, walking towards the large lake in the forest.
“Wait Raph don’t!” Mikey protested.
“Begging ain’t gonna save ya.” Raph told him. “Besides, if you go back to the farmhouse looking like this, April will have your head.”
He then unceremoniously tossed his brother into the clear water of the lake, where he landed with a large splash. Mikey slowly came up from the water with an angry look on his face.
“Not cool Raph.”
“It looks pretty cool to me.” Raph joked.
Mikey swam back to the edge as Raph pulled him up, most of the mud now gone.
“Hmm, you may have found me, but you’ll never find Donny and Hisako.”
“We’ll see about that.”
With that, Raph went off into the woods looking for his brother and sister. He continued to search the ground for a sign of either of his other siblings.
“Now, if I were Donny, where would I be?”
He stroked his chin, then snapped his fingers, jumping up into a nearby tree. From his new perch, he threw a shuriken at a nearby tree branch, one that was Donny’s main support branch. It cracked underneath him, sending the purple turtle plummeting to the ground. Raph got back down onto the ground just in time to watch Donny face plant into a large pile of dead leaves.
“Raphael 2, Team Hisako 0.”
Mikey helped Donny to his feet as the latter glared at Raph.
“You could have killed me Raph!” Donny practically screamed. “I could have died!”
“But you didn’t.” Raph argued. “The leaves caught your fall.”
“The leaves do not have even a fraction of the strength or cushion needed to break my fall! If I had been up any higher-!”
“Oh stop complaining. I just got Hisako to go.”
“Come on Raph, she’s the master of hide and seek.” he told him. “She’ll hear you coming and flee before you even know she’s there.”
“While the first part may be true, she’s rusty. I’ll find her within the hour, just you watch.”
He went off to search as Mikey and Donny exchange glances.
“Two pizzas says he gives up after two hours.” Mikey challenged.
“You’re on.” Donny agreed,
Elsewhere in the forest, a pair of hiking boots stealthily made their way through the brush. An exceptionally large tranquilizer gun slowly pushed aside some brush overlooking the lake. A pair of piercing green eyes scanned the edge of the lake. When it didn’t find what it was looking for, an annoyed grunt was issued before the tranquilizer gun was removed, the boots continuing their trek.
Raph looked at his watch, sighing in defeat. The agreed upon hour had ended long ago, and he was slowly approaching the end of a second. Still, there was no sign of his sister. Both Mikey and Donny were snickering to themselves, already imagining the red turtle scrubbing out the chicken coops.
“Two hours, told you.” Mikey chortled.
“He hasn’t called it yet.” Donny reminded him.
Raph just rolled his eyes hearing his brothers’ conversation.
“Well if you two are so smart, you find her!” He snapped.
Both Donny and Mikey exchanged glances.
“Well, we didn’t want to say anything.” Donny began,
“But we already have an idea of where she is.” Mikey added.
“However, we figured you would want to find her yourself.” Donny continued.
“So we opted to stay quiet.” Mikey concluded.
“A decision you two are about to regret!” he threatened.
The two of them gulped, then Mikey tugged at his collar.
“Remember that ivy covered rock we passed five times?” Mikey questioned.
“Yeah? Raph replied.
“It was just free hanging ivy hiding a fair-sized cave system.” Donny explained. “We figured that was where she was.”
“Well let’s go get her!” Raph declared.
They all hiked back to the ivy curtain, Raph pushing it aside in more than slight annoyance.
“Knew I should have tested the ivy.” he muttered.
“If you paid any attention during our Disney movie marathons, you’d know that curtains of ivy always hide the entrances to where the fair maiden is hidden away.” Mikey remarked, feigning a posh accent at the end.
Raph replied by just smacking him on the head. The sound reverberated through the cave, and was met with a low growl. Donny heard it and cocked his head in confusion.
“Did either of you hear that?” he asked, hand slowly moving to his Bo staff.
“What do you think it is?” Mikey asked pulling out his Nunchucks.
“Well, last time we heard a growl like that, it was a certain scaly monster we all know and slightly fear.” Raph remarked, drawing his sai. “Any chance Leatherhead followed us up here?”
“Knowing our luck, no.” Donny concluded.
“I vote Mikey goes to check.” Raph decided, shoving the orange turtle into the cave.
Mikey yelped as he stumbled forward, glaring at his brother, then he slowly crept deeper into the cave, chucks raised. As he rounded a corner, he spotted Hisako leaned up against the wall of the cave asleep. She was snoring slightly, which accounted for the growling noise they’d heard. Mikey lowered his chucks with a sigh.
“It’s just Hisako snoring.” He hissed.
Both Don and Raph approached, seeing their sister asleep.
“Hisako there you are.” Raph let out.
Hisako yawned, then slowly opened her eyes, glancing up at her brothers.
“About time...” she murmured sleepily, “How long has it been?”
“Two hours, 17 minutes and 38 seconds.” Donny recounted.
“Yes.” She cheered, punching the air. “Raph cleans the coops.”
“Yeah rub it in why don’t ya?” Raph said sarcastically.
Hisako then tried to stand, but was halted by what appeared to be a furry log covering her side.
“What the shell is that?” Mikey asked.
Hisako looked down, then conked herself on the head.
“Oh, I almost forgot. Guess he fell asleep too.”
“He?” Donny questioned.
She began petting the furry arm.
“Wake up big guy.” she said over her shoulder. “My brothers are here.”
In the darkness behind Hisako, the furry figure slowly sat up, slowly pulling Hisako closer to it. Soon, it had fully sat up, Hisako in its lap like a stuffed animal of some sort.
“Guys, meet Bigfoot.” Hisako introduced. “Bigfoot, these are my brothers.”
Bigfoot gave a crooked smile, waving slightly. The others just stood there speechless.
“You made friends with Bigfoot.” Donny observed. “Why am I not surprised?”
“Sis.” Raph began. “You have a type.”
“Don’t tell Leatherhead about this.” Mikey joked. “I doubt he’d take well to you cheating on him with another monster.”
Bigfoot gave a smile, then his ear twitched. He reached for the turtles, grabbing them all and yanking them around the corner, his large hand covering their mouths. Before they could start struggling, Hisako sent them a quick mental message.
Don’t. She insisted. He hears something.
Like what? Mikey asked.
That’s when they all heard the sounds of heavy footfalls coming close to their hidden cave. They all became as still as possible, even Raph who had been struggling to free himself even after Hisako’s mental message. The footsteps got progressively closer, then stopped not far from the entrance. Bigfoot seemed terrified, holding the four of them closely like a child clutching a teddy bear. Finally, the steps continued onward, slowly getting farther and farther from the cave.
After the footsteps had long faded, the turtles all pulled themselves free of Bigfoot’s grasp.
“What the shell was that?” Raph demanded.
“Whatever it was, it scared Bigfoot.” Donny remarked.
“I think it’s some sort of hunter.” Hisako suggested. “One I think Bigfoot is hiding from. Whomever those footsteps belonged to, they’re bad news.”
Bigfoot let out a small whine, like an injured puppy, pulling Hisako closer. She gave him a reassuring pet before turning to her brothers.
“He’s not letting go of me any time soon, so we might as well take him with us.”
“Sure let’s bring a giant hairy ape man back to the farm house while we’re trying to hide out.” Raph said dripping with sarcasm. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
“Well, it’s either that, or explain to Leo and Master Splinter that you left me alone.” Hisako retorted. “In the forest. With a hunter on the loose. In the clutches of Bigfoot.”
Raph grumbled in response.
“There are times when I really hate you.” Raph said.
“I know you mean love!” Hisako said with a grin.
Leo stood in the center of the barn, staring at a large pile of scrap metal he’d managed to find. He’d been here for the past two hours, just staring at the metal in contemplation. Every time he picked up a piece to try and start working, a montage of his fight against the Foot played back in his head, forcing him to drop the piece. He let out an irritated sigh before flopping onto the ground.
“Now I know how Hisako feels.”
About that time, the doors to the barn slowly slid open. Leo jumped to his feet, dusting himself off as Donny, Raph and Mikey entered.
“Hey guys.” He called out, doing his best to sound like normal. “So… who’s cleaning the coops?”
“Raph.” Mikey declared. “But that’s not all. You’ll never guess what Hisako found.”
“What?” Leo asked.
That’s when Bigfoot walked into the barn, Hisako in his arms. She gave a wave, one that was mirrored by the large creature.
“Leo, Bigfoot.” Hisako introduced. “Bigfoot, Leo.”
Leo stared at Bigfoot as the others closed the barn door.
“You know, I should be more surprised by this.” He remarked. “But I’m not.”
“I told her she has a type.” Raph commented. “Big monsters flock to her.”
“Umm, Raph?” Mikey interjected. “You do realize our entire family is made up of big monsters.”
Raph opened his mouth to retort, closed it, and then whacked Mikey upside the head. As Mikey rubbed the back of his head indignantly, Leo approached his sister and Bigfoot, still reeling from the sight of the creature.
“Um, sis?” he questioned. “Why did you bring Bigfoot back to the barn?”
“Well, he’s being hunted.” she explained.
“So you brought him to where we ourselves are hiding?” Leo asked.
“That’s what I told her, but she wouldn’t listen.” Raph retorted.
“Can it Raph!” Hisako snapped, “Don’t you have chicken coops to be cleaning?”
Raph growled, one that got steadily louder when Mikey held out a bucket and a sponge. He snatched them, making his way to the chicken coops. Leo watched him go, then looked back at Hisako.
“Hisako, what were you thinking?”
“That he was scared, alone, and being hunted because he was different.” Hisako retorted.
Both Donny and Mikey winced, and even Raph’s crude demeanor went down a notch. Leo met his sister’s gaze, then glanced at Bigfoot, who was still holding his sis close. Its eyes held that same fear she had not so long ago, and that’s when Leo realized there was no way around it.
“Alright then.” he relented. “What do we know about the hunter?”
There was the sound of some sort of engine outside the barn, drawing everyone’s attention. The group all gathered around one of the barn windows to watch a large, mud splattered jeep pull up to the farmhouse.
“You mean aside from the fact he’s in our driveway?” Mikey asked.
Bigfoot began to whimper, scurrying towards a corner of the barn in a terrified scramble. Hisako pet his arm, then glanced at the others.
“Figure out who that is.” Hisako hissed.
“You got it sis.” Donny declared.
Inside the farmhouse, Casey and April were snuggling on the couch, watching some TV. As they sat, they heard a loud knock on the door. Casey let out a groan, standing up and grabbing a baseball bat.
“Whoever you are, if you’re not delivering a pizza, prepare to say hello to my Louisville slugger!”
He opened the door, coming face to face with a man who could have been Crocodile Dundee’s long lost cousin. He had a long, thick mustache that was as bushy as his eyebrows. His eyes were steely grey, and his entire outfit practically screamed big game hunter, from the wide brimmed hat with sharp teeth on the brim to the mud covered boot and the biggest tranquilizer gun slung over his shoulder.
“G’day laddie.” The man said in a thick Australian accent, tipping the brim of his hat.
Casey stared for a minute, that bat still in his hand and half raised to swing. However, he slowly lowered it, eying the guy carefully.
“Can I help you?” Casey asked.
“Just wanted ta ask if’n ya seen anything outta tha ordinary out inna woods.”
“Sorry.” he told him. “But the weirdest thing I’ve seen are the giant rats in the chicken coop.”
“You sure there’s nothing else?”
“Trust me, have you seen the size of those rats? They’re as big as grown men.”
“I’ll bet.” the man replied annoyed. “But I’m looking for somethin a bit different.”
“Like what, Bigfoot?”
“Not like Bigfoot but Bigfoot himself.”
Casey paused for a moment, then dropped the bat, laughing so hard he brought tears to his eyes. April wandered over, curious as to what was making so much sound, then spotted the scene in the door.
“What’s going on?” she questioned.
Casey continued to snicker as the hunter did his best to keep a straight face. He slid a card out of his vest pocket, holding it out to April.
“If ya see anything be sure to contact me.”
April took the card as he walked off, leaving Casey snickering in the doorway. As he drove off, April glanced at the card, raising an eyebrow.
“Jack Marlin, big game hunter...” she read.
“He sounds like a loon.” Casey giggled, finally coming off of his laughing fit.
“Well, we better get this to the guys.” she decided. “If there’s a big game hunter in the woods, they’ll want to know.”
Donny took the card from April, looking up Jack Marlin on his shell-cell. While he did this, Hisako introduced April and Casey to Bigfoot. Thankfully, they took the appearance of the mythological rather well.
“Ya know, I think it shows how freaky our lives have become that shaking hands with Bigfoot doesn’t faze us.” Casey commented.
“You said it.” April agreed.
Bigfoot just smiled as Donny looked at his phone nervously.
“Guys, we may have a problem.” He called out.
Everyone gathered around, looking at the shell cell.
“According to this, Jack Marlin is world renown for capturing rare and exotic animals. He’s well known in the private collection market, as well as zoos and others who take rare animals as trophies.”
“Yikes.” Casey let out.
“And if he’s after Bigfoot,” April began
“Then he’s after the catch of the millennium.” Hisako finished.
“And there’s no way we can let Bigfoot end up as the next big story on the History channel.” Mikey declared.
“Don’t you mean Discovery channel?” Donny clarified.
“That too!” Mikey added.
“So what do we do?” Hisako asked.
Raph stroked his chin, then snapped his fingers.
“This guy likes to hunt,” he commented. “So let’s give him a hunt he’ll never forget.”
He steered Donny and Mikey towards the doors, already discussing a plan. As they left, Hisako watched them, then turned to Leo, who had gone back to staring at the pile of scrap.
“I’ll catch up guys.” she told them. “Just give me a minute.”
The barn doors closed, then Bigfoot set Hisako down, almost sensing that she needed to be on her own feet for this. She approached Leo, standing beside him in front of the scrap pile.
“I see your leg’s doing better.” she commented.
“Yeah.” Leo confirmed. “Though, that’s not the injury that I’m concerned about right now.”
“I can tell.” Hisako replied. “Your brain’s playing on a loop, repeating the same scene over and over again.”
She put her hand on his shell, feeling the subtle cracks that now decorated it.
“You keep thinking about how everything could have gone, what you should have done...” She paused for a minute, “How badly you screwed up.”
“Yeah. And it’s pretty bad.” Leo told her.
“Oh very bad.” She agreed. “Probably the biggest screw up in the history of the Hamato family.”
Leo glanced at his sister, a weary look on his face.
“If you’re trying to cheer me up you’re failing miserably.” Leo commented.
“Leo, I could tell you five ways to Sunday that what happened wasn’t your fault and you wouldn’t believe me. Shell, I tried for a month to make Raph see that, and I might as well have been explaining nuclear physics to Mikey.”
She clapped her brother on the shoulder good naturedly.
“So yeah, you screwed up big time.” she summarized. “Whatcha gonna do about it?”
“What can I do about it?” Leo asked.
Hisako chuckled, walking over to an anvil set up by the furnace.
“The way I see it, you have two choices.” she told him, grabbing a hammer off the anvil. “You can stand there, wallowing in what could have been, should have been, and every other have been there is to wallow about.”
She walked over to her brother, pushing the hammer into his chest.
“Or, you can get off your shell, and do something about It.” she concluded. “Starting with making that new set of swords Master Splinter suggested.”
Leo took the hammer as Hisako walked out of the barn. Once she left, Bigfoot shuffled over, pulling a piece of metal from the pile and handing it to Leo. Leo looked at it for a moment, then smiled, taking the piece.
Hisako caught up with her brothers by the tree house, where the three of them were currently going over various hastily drawn plans and schematics. As she climbed up, Mikey eagerly waved her over.
“Bout time sis.” Mikey called. “We were afraid we were gonna have to start without you.”
“What have we got?” she asked.
“We’re gonna turn this place into a Home Alone movie, forest edition.” Mikey told her.
Hisako raised an eyebrow as she looked over the schematics.
“Log drops, boulders, a swinging tree.” Hisako listed.
“Just the amount of scares to send this guy packing.” Donny declared. “Courtesy of Dr. Prankenstein.”
Mikey beamed widely, giving a small bow.
“A-thank you.” he said.
“Think we can pull all this off?” Hisako questioned.
“Course we can.” Raph announced. “We’ll have that Marlin guy crying for his momma before sunrise.”
“Then let’s get to it.” Hisako declared.
“Yeah!” the others cheered.
Jack Marlin stalked through the woods, searching the ground for any sign of Bigfoot. So far, all he had come across were normal sized footprints from a person, and some strange prints with only two toes. He brushed them off for now, focusing solely on his intended target.
“Alright, ya big ape. Where are ya?”
Up in the trees, the turtles and Hisako watched carefully, waiting for the right moment. Then, Raph raised his hand, clenching his fist. Up on an overhang of rocks, Mikey tipped over a large boulder, sending it rolling towards Marlin at a surprising velocity. His eyes became the size of dinner plates as he dove out of the way, losing his gun in the process.
“Who’s out there?!” he yelled pulling out a machete. “Show yourself!”
Donny took the opportunity to snatch the gun from the ground, seconds before Marlin turned to grab it. Within seconds, he had the gun dismantled and had placed it behind Marlin. The hunter saw his mangled gun and tightened his grip on his machete.
“He’s getting antsy.” Mikey whispered, joining Hisako and Raph in the trees.
“Then let’s see how he handles the log roll.”
Mikey nodded, then Hisako opened her fans, tossing it like a Frisbee. It sliced through a thick rope holding back a large pile of logs on a steep incline. Marlin heard the logs coming his way and let out a yelp, scrambling to dive out of their way. His foot caught on a root and he fell on his face, though thankfully out of harm’s way.
“What in blazes is going on here?” He swore, untangling his foot from the root.
Up in the trees, the others were barely containing fits of giggles.
“This is great.” Mikey whispered.
“I think it’s time for the grand finale sis.” Raph told Hisako.
Hisako smiled, then closed her eyes, placing her hands on either side of her head. As she focuses, a pile of leaves began to glow green, swirling slightly in the night. The unearthly glow caught Marlin’s attention.
“Come on out ya cowards!” Marlin yelled.
Hisako smirked, then called out in the spookiest voice she could muster.
“Jack Marlin….” she called.
He turned around spooked only to find no one there. Then the leaves began to swirl around him, forming a whirlwind of glowing green foliage.
“You have disturbed my forest….” Hisako continued.
By now, Marlin was beginning to get a bit spooked, wondering if he was in over his head. He attempted to try and breach the walls of the whirlwind, but he kept getting pushed back. This caused a bit of a strain on Hisako, who was beginning to sweat a bit.
“WH… what do you want?” Marlin demanded.
“Leave my forest… leave… while you still draw breath...”
With the last of her mental strength, she used the whirlwind to shove Marlin into one of the pits Mikey had dug and covered in twigs. He fell in, then quickly scrambled out of it, running to try and get out. That’s when he ran head first into Raph, who gave a wide grin.
“Boo.” he simply said.
Jack screamed and ran off in the opposite direction. Donny came out from his hiding spot and Mikey came down from the tree carrying Hisako. She had a line of blood running from her nose, which was quickly taken care of by Don.
“You ok sis?” Donny asked, fishing a tissue from his coat pocket.
“Overdid it.” she admitted, using the tissue Don gave her to staunch the bleeding. “Guess I need more practice.”
“Well it worked.” Mikey told her. “That’s what matters.”
“Yep, I doubt that guy’s gonna be bothering us, or Bigfoot, ever again.” Raph declared.
Marlin barreled through the woods at a dead sprint, not really seeing where he was going. It wasn’t until he was a good half a mile from the turtle’s ambush point. He paused to catch his breath, leaning against a rock practically coated in ivy. However, the ivy wasn’t covering a rock. In fact, it wasn’t covering anything at all.
Marlin slipped through the ivy curtain, landing on his face in the dirt of a cave. He let out a groan, both of pain and annoyance.
“This just ain’t yer night Marlin...” He groaned.
As he reached for his hat, which had fallen off, he saw something in the dirt beneath it. Lifting it, he spotted a large foot print, much larger than any human print he’d seen. His eyes went wide as he spotted them all over the cave floor.
“Well I’ll be...” he muttered.
The tracks seemed to lead out of the cave and into the woods. With a grin, Marlin put his hat back on, grabbing a pistol from his belt and loading a few tranq darts.
“I’m comin’ for ya, beastie.” he said as he took off in the direction of the tracks.
The tracks led him back to the farmhouse, and seemed to lead to the barn on the property. Marlin gritted his teeth when he realized that.
“Those young’uns were trying ta scare me off tha trail while they kept Bigfoot to themselves!” he hissed. “Sneaky devils. I bet tha display back there was their doing too.”
He checked his gun, then slunk closer to the barn.
“Well nobody makes a fool outta Jack Marlin.”
He snuck up to one of the windows of the barn, peeking in. Inside, he could see what looks to be a forge, the embers still burning. A hammer laid discarded on the anvil, and whomever had been working on it was gone. Marlin continued forward, reaching the barn door and opening it slightly, careful to watch the hinges. Once the door was open, he brandished his pistol and slipped inside. As he walked inside, he looked around in all directions trying to find his prize. However, the entire barn seemed deserted.
“I know yer in here, beastie.” he called out. “Show yerself.”
A barely audible whimper suddenly emanated from a pile of hay in the corner of the barn. Jack turned in that direction and slowly approached, aiming his pistol at the hay pile.
He let off a shot, but a sudden glint of steel rebounded the dart, sending it flying into the wall. This shocked Jack as he turned to see Leonardo standing beside him, one of his newly forged swords in his hand to protect Bigfoot. The other was sitting in its sheath, but from the way Leo’s fingers were twitching, that wasn’t gonna last long.
“Bloody Hell!” Marlin exclaimed.
“Hi.” Leo greeted. “I don’t know if you know this, but I have an issue with people trying to hurt my friends.”
Shaking off the shock of the situation, Marlin aimed his pistol at Leo. However, before he could let off another shot, Leo sliced right through the barrel of the gun, rendering it useless. Marlin blinked, then tossed it aside.
“Alright, ya green-skinned freak.” Marlin snarled, drawing a machete from his belt. “Ya like playing with blades, let’s see if you can handle this one.”
“Bring it Dundee.” Leo joked.
The two then had at it locking blades. Marlin was throwing everything he had into his strikes at Leo. Leo, however, was barely exerting any effort. The hunter’s technique was sloppy and unrefined, so it was easy for him to counter his attacks. Throughout it all, Leo couldn’t help but smile at the whole ordeal. After weeks of being injured and having self-doubt, it was good to be fighting with a sense of confidence again.
Hisako’s nose had finally stopped bleeding, but she was still being carried by Mikey, much to her annoyance.
“Come on guys, it stopped. Can I walk now?” she asked.
“What do you guys think?” Donny asked.
Raph went to answer, then pauses, hearing what sounded like ringing metal in the barn.
“Hey, what’s that?” Raph asked.
Everyone pauses, listening carefully. Soon, they could all hear that distinct sound of metal on metal.
“Huh...” Mikey commented. “Sounds like someone’s having a sword fight.”
“Yeah but between who?” Donny asked.
“I can only think of one person who fights with swords.” Hisako remarked happily, jumping from Mikey’s arms.
“Leo!” Mikey yelled.
“The other guy must be Marlin.” Donny surmised.
“Then let’s go watch our brother kick that hunter’s butt!” Hisako exclaimed happily.
Leo and Marlin’s fight had made its way out of the barn as they continued to clash. Marlin was starting to get tired of dealing blow after blow only to see them get deflected. Leo finally decided enough was enough and delivered a powerful kick to the chest knocking him to the ground, sending the machete flying. As Marlin tried to get up, Leo stood over him pointing his sword in his face.
“Leave now if you know what’s good for you.” Leo told him. “And even if you don’t.”
Marlin growled, then went to grab his machete, but found a two-toed foot on top of it. Looking up, he came face to face with Raph, Mikey, Donny, and Hisako.
“This guy bothering you, bro?” Raph asked.
“Nope.” Leo replied. “In fact, he was just leaving. Weren’t you Marlin?”
Marlin looked around, then slowly withdrew his hand back. Getting to his feet, he gave them all a hard glare.
“This ain’t over creatures.” He snapped. “You ain’t seen the last of Jack Marlin.”
Leo spun on his heels, giving Marlin a solid kick to the butt and sending him stumbling towards the forest. Marlin got in, giving the turtles one last threatening glare before disappearing into the night. Casey and April came out of the farmhouse, the former armed with his baseball bat and wearing his mask. Even Master Splinter was coming out, curious about the commotion.
“We heard fighting.” April explained, holding what looked like a lamp. “Is everything okay?”
That’s when the three of them saw Leo with his swords and the two teens broke into grins.
“Leo!” They both called happily.
They ran to him, Casey dropping his bat and lifting his mask. They both hugged him tightly, the others joining in. Master Splinter came over, smiling at the sight.
“You are looking well my son.” he complimented.
“And those are some neat looking swords bro.” Raph added.
Leo gave a shrug, giving Hisako a knowing glance.
“I figured it was time to get off my shell.” he responded.
Hisako lightly punched her brother on the arm, then looked back at the barn. Bigfoot poked his head out from inside the barn, looking around cautiously.
“It’s okay big guy.” Hisako assured him. “He’s gone. He’s never gonna come after you again.”
Bigfoot broke out into a huge grin, then barreled towards the group, giving the lot of them a big hug, even Master Splinter, who accepted Bigfoot’s presence without so much as a comment. He then released the hug, giving Leo an affectionate pat on the head. Leo chuckled.
“You’re welcome big guy.” He said. “Now go on home. It’s safe now.”
Bigfoot gave Leo another hug, then gave one to Hisako before heading into the woods, very happy to have his home back. The others watched him go, the Leo gave everyone a serious look.
“Guys, I think it’s time we return to New York.” He declared. “And finish our business with Shredder and Karai.”
The other turtles smiled, clapping their brother on the shell.
“Couldn’t agree more Leo.” Raph declared.
“Same here.” Donny added.
“Got my vote.” Mikey declared.
Hisako cracked her knuckles with a smirk,
“I do owe Shredder for trying to kill us, and I have unfinished business with Karai.” she told him.
“Then it’s settled.” Leo declared. “We’re headed back to New York. Tonight.”