TMNT: Secret of the Sewers

Coming Home

Karai awoke slowly, her head feeling like someone had stuffed a poker in between her ears. She sat up slowly rubbing her head as she thought back to the vivid dream she’d had. It was like watching a movie in first person, seeing someone’s life pass from their point of view. They were obviously the memories that the girl had forced upon her, ones that belonged to Hamato Yoshi.

Karai sat up as bits of the memories flittered through her skull. Points that clashed heavily with the stories that her father had told her. He had told her that her mother died in the temple fire, but the memories Yoshi had showed her surviving the fire. More than that, she was still pregnant at the time, so it couldn’t explain the burns Karai herself had sustained.

Something wasn’t right.

“Karai...” Saki’s voice called out softly.

Karai looked over to see Saki sitting in a chair by her bed. Though his face was one of concern, Karai’s vision flashed to an image of the furious Saki attempting to stab Yoshi with his double bladed gauntlet. Karai visibly flinched at the image, which caused Saki to become concerned.

“Are you alright?” He questioned.

Karai honestly didn’t know if she was. She felt like her brain was at war, these foreign memories forcing her to question everything she’d been told growing up. Still, she had a feeling her father wouldn’t understand her conflicted feelings, so she just gave a nod. Saki seemed to hesitate for a minute, but backed off a bit.

“That girl will suffer for the rest of her life for what she has done to you...” He swore. “Her, the monsters she clings to as brothers, and Hamato Yoshi.”

Once more, images assaulted Karai’s vision. However, these were different from the violent ones associated with Saki. These were of Yoshi with Tang Shen, cherry blossoms, and an image of him holding a baby girl. She rubbed her head a bit, then found a question slipping past her lips.

“Father… How did my mother die?” she asked.

Saki seemed taken aback by the question, turning to Karai curiously.

“You know what happened, Karai.” He told her. “She was murdered, left to die in the fire that claimed our home by Yoshi.”

Lies. She thought, surprising herself.

“Why do you ask?” Saki questioned.

Karai blinked, then turned away, laying back down.

“It’s nothing.” she told him. “Forget I said anything.”

Saki gave a nod, then pulled the blanket over Karai, running his fingers through her hair.

“Just rest, my daughter.” he told her softly. “Regain your strength.”

He walked out of the infirmary, leaving Karai to rest. As she heard the door close, she just laid there, her mind drifting to the memories implanted in her skull. They no longer caused her pain, but they still wouldn’t leave her be. She needed to know if they were true, and she knew she couldn’t ask her father about them.

Sliding out of bed, Karai approached the pile of clothes that had been left out for her. She reached for them, then paused. Her armor was there too, as well as the belt with the tracking devices she’d used to find the turtles the first time. Deciding against them, she just slid on her regular clothes, leaving the armor and belt behind.

“I hope it’s not too late to listen to them.” Karai prayed.

Knowing the door to the infirmary would most likely be guarded, Karai turned towards a window. Taking a deep breath, she ran towards it, pulling her coat around her for protection.

Outside the infirmary, Saki was a ways down the hall from the door before he heard the sound of shattering glass. He quickly turned around and bolted back to the infirmary. As he threw open the infirmary doors, he saw Karai’s bed empty, her clothes missing, and a large hole in one of the windows. Saki narrowed his eyes as he picked up the belt still draped over the chair.

“What did that girl do to you…?” he snarled.

He set the belt down as the guards from outside came running in as well.

“Master!” One shouted.

“Where is Mistress Karai?” the other asked.

“Gone.” Saki snarled.

“We will send out all available foot soldiers to find her.” The first guard declared.

“Don’t bother.” He spat. “If she doesn’t want to be found, you won’t find her. I trained her too well.”

He turned and walked out of the infirmary, his face a mask of rage.

“Have the entire building on high alert.” He ordered. “Just in case she returns with guests.”

Karai walked down the street, the hood of her coat up over her head in the bright afternoon. As she walked, she soon found herself in the warehouse district, right in front of Renaissance motors. The garage door was wide open, having been torn open from the inside when the turtles had escaped from the assault on their home. The motorcycle that had been left behind had long since been stolen, and there wasn’t any sign that the place had ever been occupied.

Looking around, Karai found the hidden trap door, having to move some rubble to get to it. Climbing down, she arrived in the remains of the place the turtles had called home. Looking around the wreckage, Karai felt a twinge of guilt flutter through her stomach. She’d been the one responsible for all the damage caused here, and she’d been the ones to drive the turtles from their home. And yet, even after everything she’d done, they still went to such great lengths to try and convince her that Hamato Yoshi was her true father.

Karai shook her head to clear her thoughts. She wasn’t ready to admit that yet. Not until she saw him, talked to him, made sure this wasn’t just some elaborate revenge scheme.

Walking out of the small home and into the tunnels, Karai began her search.

“No doubt the turtles have found a new place to live by now.” she hypothesized. “And probably as far away from here as possible.”

She continued her trek through the sewers, searching the ground and walls for any sign that they’d come this way in the recent days. However, there was very little to go off of in the dim light of the sewers, and they were ninjas after all. She knew better than anyone that if ninjas didn’t want to be found, you wouldn’t find them no matter how hard you tried. Still, she didn’t have any other options, so she kept searching.

Leatherhead was stalking through the tunnels, keeping an eye out for any more patrols looking for his friends. Though they hadn’t been seen in weeks, he knew better than to assume they were gone for good. His nostrils flared as he took in the smells, trying to pick out anything that didn’t belong. That’s when he got a good whiff.

It was a combination of leather, sweat, and the sharp smell of antiseptics. Enough to bring that fierce, angry glow to Leatherhead’s eyes. He stalked after the smell on all fours, growling as he did.

Karai lost track of how long she’d been down in the sewers. Without any light from above, or a watch, she had no way of knowing. Still, she trekked on, unwilling to give up the search. She passed by a tunnel, unaware of the large figure lurking in the darkness. That is, until it let out a low, guttural growl. Karai froze in place as the figure emerged from the darkened tunnel, towering over her at full height. Karai slowly straightened up, turning even slower as they faced Leatherhead in all his terrifying glory.

“I-” Karai swallowed, trying to get some moisture in her suddenly dry mouth. “I don’t suppose you could tell me where the turtles-”

Before she even got a chance to finish the sentence, Leatherhead’s eyes became bright red as he grabbed her by the throat, hoisting her into the air and shoving her hard into the wall. Karai instinctively tried to pull at Leatherhead’s hand, but it did little good.

“You smell… of the helmet men.” Leatherhead growled, saliva dripping from his sharp teeth.

Karai gasped for air as she continued struggling.

“I’m not here… to hurt them...”

Leatherhead squeezed tighter, growling even more.

“Then why…?”

“Please….” she wheezed, “I just… want… to talk…. To the turtles”

Leatherhead raised a nonexistent eyebrow, then dropped Karai to the ground. She gratefully filled her lungs once more, coughing a bit as her vision cleared a bit. She didn’t have long to recover before Leatherhead grabbed her again, though this time by the collar of her coat.

“If you lie… I eat you.” Leatherhead promised.

Karai gulped, honestly questioning the sanity of what she was doing, but by now she’d practically pole vaulted over the point of no return. Without any way to go back, Karai steeled herself and met Leatherhead’s eyes.

“It’s no trick.” She promised. “I just came down here to talk to them.”

Leatherhead kept a hand on Karai as he reached into the pocket of the double extra-large leather coat he’d been given by Hisako and pulled out his shell cell.

The entire Hamato clan was sitting in the dojo, all six of them meditating after the events of the past few weeks. Even Mikey was doing his best to take it seriously, knowing that they all could use a chance to calm their spirits and relax their minds. As they all meditated, Hisako’s shell cell suddenly started blaring.

"We found love in a hopeless place! We found love in a ho~pele~ss place."

Hisako turn beet red as her brothers all cracked smiles. Though none of them opened their eyes, they didn’t miss the opportunity to poke fun of their sister.

“Nice ringtone, sis.” Raph quipped.

“Three guessed who’s calling.” Mikey jeered.

“Rihanna’s song is good, but I thought you’d go more for Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud.” Donny commented.

Hisako just turned redder and redder as her phone continued blaring the same song. She focused on it with her powers, bringing it closer and “accidentally” whacking three out of her four brothers with it. The action brought a small smirk to Splinter’s face.

“Oops.” She said sarcastically as she answered the phone. “Leatherhead-”

“Knew it!” Mikey cheered.

Hisako smacked the orange turtle before turning back to the call.

“Leatherhead, we’re in the middle of meditation.” she informed him. “Is everything okay?”

"Oracle… I found someone." he replied, his mistrust and anger obvious in his voice. ”Claims she… wants to talk."

Hisako’s eyes flew open at that.

"She smells… like the helmet men." He continued. ”What do you… want me… to do?"

“Stay where you are.” she insisted. “We’ll be there soon.”

She hung up as everyone turned to her in confusion.

“What’s going on Hisako?” Leo asked.

“Leatherhead found someone lurking in the tunnels.” She explained. “I think it’s Karai.”

“Karai?” They all exclaimed.

Hisako nodded.

“Donny, grab your med kit.” she told him. “I think we may need it.”

The turtles all scattered, grabbing their weapons as Donny ran for the med kit. Splinter watched them go, his heart racing a mile a minute. Hisako looked at him and gave him a hug.

“Don’t worry Sensei.” she assured him. “We’ll be back soon. With Karai.”

Finding Leatherhead proved to be easier than they thought. He was sitting in the middle on an intersecting tunnel, his claws wrapped tightly around Karai’s arm. She was kneeling beside him, doing everything in her power to be still and appear non-hostile.

“Leatherhead!” Hisako called, running forward.

“Oracle.” Leatherhead replied, taking Hisako into a one armed hug.

Karai looked over at the turtles, not quite meeting their eyes. With the turtles there, Leatherhead finally released Karai’s arm, allowing Donny to take a look.

“Thank you for not eating her big guy.” Donny commented as he checked Karai over. “And it looks like you only bruised her.”

Karai continued to avoid the turtle’s gaze until Leo crouched down in front of her.

“I’m guessing this means you believe me now.” He remarked.

Karai glanced up at him for a second, then turned away.

“I’m not saying I believe you just yet.” Karai told him, her gaze practically glued on a mildew stain on the wall. “But… I want to see him.”

None of them needed to read her mind to know who she meant. However, as expected, Raph had a few choice words to say about that.

“No way!” He snapped. “There’s no way we’re leading you to our new digs!”

“Look, I know I’m the last person you would ever trust, and after everything I’ve done I don’t blame you, but-”

Her voice cracked a bit as she looked up, her eyes a bit misty as she attempted to fight back tears.

“I need to see him.” she practically begged. “Please.”

Leo sighed.

“Let’s do it guys.” he finally spoke.

Raph turned to Leo in shock.

“Bro, did you forget what happened last time?!” He exclaimed. “For all we know she’s got another tracker on her and this is all another trap!”

“Raph, look at her.” Leo retorted. “Just give her a chance, will you?”

Hisako then stepped forward, pulling a duffel bag off of her shoulder.

“Besides, I think I have a compromise that will make everyone happy.” she interrupted.

She pulled out a few things from the bag, ones that made Karai’s eyes widen and the turtles all turn red.

“You have got to be kidding.” Karai groaned.

“If you want to see Splinter, this is what you have to do.”

With no small degree of hesitation, Karai reached for the bag.

Leo held Karai’s hand as he and the others led her through the tunnels. She had a blindfold over her eyes, but that wasn’t the only change. She was now wearing an oversized hoodie that read “I <3 NYC”, a pair of black sweatpants, and what looked like an old pair of rain boots. Her old clothes were being disposed of by Leatherhead, just in case she did have a tracker.

“Did you have to take my coat?” she asked. “That was my favorite coat.”

“Better safe than sorry.” Mikey replied.

Karai just grumbled a bit as they continued onward. Raph then took the time to come alongside Leo and continue to express his doubts.

“I still think this is a bad idea.” he quipped. “I don’t trust her.”

“That’s because you don’t trust anyone.” Leo argued.

“It’s true.” Donny agreed. “You have serious trust issues.”

“Well I happen to be justified in this instance.” Raph retorted.

“Raph,” Hisako interjected. “Right now, Karai’s mind is conflicted, confused. She doesn’t know what to believe or what’s real.”

“And your paranoia isn’t gonna help anyone.” Leo added.

“Um, you know I can hear you all, right?” Karai asked.

They all look back at her a bit embarrassed.

“We’re here.” Leo informed.

Hisako got the door as Leo led Karai inside. Once the door was firmly sealed shut behind them, Leo undid her blindfold. Karai blinked, then looked around in amazement.

“Whoa...” she gasped, “Looks like you guys found one hell of a replacement for your old home.”

“It’s awesome right?” Mikey asked.

“Beyond awesome.” Karai agreed.

At that moment, Splinter entered the room. Upon seeing Karai in the room, he dropped his walking stick in shock. Karai heard the clatter and turned on her heels, getting into a defensive stance as if on instinct. When she saw Splinter she paused, slowly straightening up.

“Hamato… Yoshi?” she asked, her voice almost too quiet to hear.

“Miwa…” he said in the exact same tone.

She hesitantly stepped forward, leaving the turtles and Hisako behind.

“Hey guys, why don’t we try and get back to meditating.” Hisako suggested.

“But we don’t have medi-” Mikey started to say before Raph elbowed him in the gut.

“Let’s just go.” He hissed.

Literally dragging Mikey by his mask, the five left Splinter and Karai alone. She continued to approach him, stopping a few feet away from the rat. She reached out to him for a second, then bent down, grabbing Splinter’s walking stick and holding it out for him.

“I-” she began, unsure of what to say. “I saw your memories...”

“I… can imagine it was a lot to take in.” Splinter finally said, reclaiming his stick.

“Yes...” Karai admitted.

There was a moment of uncomfortable silence before she spoke again.

“Were they real?” she asked.

“Every last one of them.” Splinter confirmed.

“How can I believe that?” Karai countered. “That wi- I mean… Hisako… she can manipulate people’s minds...”

“She can pull memories,” Splinter replied. “But she cannot manipulate their content. Everything you saw was genuine and unaltered.”

“But how can I know that for sure?”

It was clear that Karai’s ability to trust had been shattered, and no mere words could change that. She needed proof.

“Come with me child.” He asked.

He walked towards his room, his walking stick clacking against the floor. Karai hesitated for a second, then hurried to catch up to him. They entered the room as Splinter approached a small alcove in the wall. It had what looked like old Christmas lights, as well as some plastic flowers around it and some simple candles.

“I retain very little of my old life,” Splinter began picking up a picture. “But this I will never let go… my daughter.”

He held out the picture to Karai, allowing her to take it. She looked at the photo, the one of him, Tang Shen, and baby Miwa. She gasped at the sight of the picture, and even though time had faded it someone, she could make out faint scars on the side of Tang Shen’s face, ones that were almost identical to the ones Hisako now sported. Karai’s hand flew to her mouth as she remembered Saki’s accidental blow to her mother, the blood pouring from her face.

“It’s real….” she gasped, tears now flowing freely down her face, “It’s all real...”

She looked up at Splinter as if she was seeing him for the first time.

“D-dad?”

“... Miwa…”

The two then immediately embraced one another, Karai’s fingers grasping onto Splinter’s robe as if she was afraid he’s slip away. She cried openly, burying her face in his chest as he caressed her hair. She hiccupped and sobbed, unwilling to let him go.

“All this time...” Splinter whispered. “I thought I had lost you...”

They sank to the ground still holding one another, finally reunited after 17 years.

Once Karai had dried her tears and let go of Splinter, they went into the kitchen where Splinter prepared some tea. Karai sat at the table, still in a bit of shock.

“I can’t believe it.” she muttered. “All my life I was trained to curse your name, and now I learn you’re my father. My real father.”

“It is alright,” Splinter reassured. “Saki was feeding you lies. I am just glad we could show you the truth.”

“But why?” she questioned. “Why take me from you?”

“Saki believed I had robbed him of many things in life.” Splinter answered. “Including your mother. So when he saw we were going to have a child, he saw it as another thing I stole from him. Thus, when I was believed deceased, he took you and raised you as his own.”

“And made me believe his altered truths.” She grumbled.

Splinter handed her a cup of tea before joining her at the table, pouring himself a cup. She sipped at it, visibly calming down.

“This feels like some sort of dream...” she admitted, “In just one afternoon, my entire life has been thrown for a loop.”

“I know all too well what you feel.” Splinter told her. “On the night I lost your mother, I didn’t know if I could handle everything that was happening around me. Losing Shen, losing you, turning into this. It was almost unbearable.”

Karai winced a bit, her knuckles tightening around her cup.

“But, I was able to see past the bad and witness the good.” Splinter told her. “I was able to see what I had gained, despite all that I had lost.”

About that time, the turtles and Hisako came wandering into the kitchen, pushing and shoving one another in an attempt to reach the fridge.

“I told you already, those Pizza Gyoza leftovers are mine!” Donny exclaimed.

“Fat chance Don!” Mikey challenged.

“If either of you think you can get past me, you’re dreaming.” Raph retorted.

“I do believe this is a first come, first serve kitchen.” Hisako declared. “So we all know they’re gonna be mine!”

Karai let out a snort as she watched the four wrestle in an attempt to reach the fridge as Leo just hopped over them all, snagging the bag of gyoza.

“Sorry guys, you snooze, you lose.” The blue turtle taunted.

Splinter just shook his head smiling. Hisako then noticed Karai and Splinter, and got a huge grin on her face.

“Guys, Karai is now officially our sister!” she cheered.

“Alright!” Mikey cheered. “Welcome to the family!”

“Glad you finally believe us.” Leo told her, giving her a one-armed hug.

“It may take some time to get used to all of this, but we’ll be with you every step of the way.” Hisako assured her. “They were for me, and they will be for you.”

Karai smiled a bit as Mikey got a sly grin on his face.

“So Karai,” Mikey said. “I just gotta ask the question we’re all thinking about… what was it like kissing your brother?”

Both Leo and Karai turned beet red, Karai nearly spewing her tea. That got Donny and Hisako both chuckling, though Raph just observed what was going on with a blank expression on his face.

“Whoa there.” Leo insisted. “Karai and I never kissed.”

“Not once!” Karai agreed. “He was extremely careful not to show his face around me. We never even hugged!”

“Uh huh.” Mikey replied. “Suuuuurrrreee…”

While they got into that debate, Splinter noticed Raph off to the side, excusing himself from the kitchen. Leaving the rest of his children to continue their conversation, Splinter went after the red turtle catching him as he began wailing on his new punching bag (complete with tinfoil shredder helmet).

“Is something troubling you my son?” He asked.

Raph let off a few punches on the bag as he spoke.

“I’ll believe that Karai is our sister.” he explained. “I’ll believe she’s really your long lost daughter, but I just feel like this is far too easy. I mean, it took Hisako months before she called us family, but Karai’s willing to drop everything she knew for this?”

He gestured around to their sewer home before going back to punching the bag.

“Try and see the world through her eyes Raphael.” Splinter told him. “Would you be willing to stay content with everything you knew when you had the feeling that it wasn’t right?”

Raph paused after a punch, mulling that over.

“I guess not.” he admitted. “But then again, I tend to attack whatever doesn’t feel right.”

“Fair enough,” Splinter allowed. “All I ask is that you give her a chance. She is still adjusting to this new life and needs steady family and friends.”

Raph sighed, then gave a nod.

“Alright Sensei.” he relented. “I’ll try.”

“That is all I ask.” Splinter said. “Now go be with your brothers and sisters.”

Raph gave a small snort.

“Sisters...” he repeated, “Remember when it was just the five of us?”

With that, he walked back into the kitchen to join his siblings.

That night, everyone was curled up in bed, doing their best to sleep after everything that had happened. Since she didn’t have a room yet, Karai had taken up residence on the couch, looking down at her new siblings asleep on the large turtle bed. As she finally dozed off, she couldn’t help but smile at everything she’d gained.

Karai stood on a rooftop overlooking the city. On either side of her were the turtles, Hisako and Splinter as well. Looking at the six of them, Karai’s smile was wider than it had probably ever been before. As she stood there, Leo wrapped his arm around her shoulder, smiling as well.

“Beautiful night, isn’t it?” Leo asked.

Looking out at the peaceful night, Karai had never felt more at peace.

“Absolutely beautiful.” Karai agreed.

“Enjoy it while you can.” A deep, almost demonic voice taunted. “Because it will be the last you will ever see!”

The turtles, Splinter, Hisako, and Karai turned to see Shredder standing on top a water tower. He leapt down onto the ground ready to face his adversaries.

“Shredder!” Leo exclaimed.

“I have come to reclaim what is mine!” Shredder declared.

“You ain’t touching her!” Mikey declared stepping in front of Karai, spinning his weapons.

The others all formed a protective circle around Karai, weapons drawn as they prepared for the inevitable fight. Shredder charged at them and leapt into the air. Raph leapt in the air at him with his sai drawn. With all the strength and fury he could muster, he attempted to bring his sai down on Shredder’s helmet. The two fell down with a thud before Shredder shoved Raph off him. Donny came running up trying to attack Shredder, but Shredder quickly swept his legs, sending him flying into Raph knocking them both off the edge of the building.

“Raphael!” Karai screamed, running to the edge. “Donatello!”

As she peered over the edge, she was horrified to see the red turtle on the ground, an ever growing puddle of blood forming underneath him. To make the scene even worse, Donatello was next to him, a puddle of his own forming.

“Shredder!” Mikey yelled running at him, angry tears streaming down his face.

Mikey continued swinging his Nunchucks at Shredder, but Shredder was able to block every one of them. Finally, Shredder made a slash at Mikey’s throat, causing the orange turtle to fall to the ground. The poor turtle gurgled as Hisako attempted to staunch the bleeding with his mask. It wasn’t doing much good.

“Stay with me Mikey.” Hisako begged. “Stay with me!”

Enraged, Leo leapt at Shredder swords drawn. Shredder leapt at Leo as well and the two collided in midair. The two landed on opposite ends of the roof… then Leo dropped his swords before collapsing to the ground. By this time, Mikey had gone completely still, having bled out in Hisako’s arms. She set him down, then turned on Shredder, fans drawn and eyes glowing bright green.

“You killed them….” she said in a mixture of anger and grief, “You killed them!”

Before she could do anything, Shredder dashed at her and slashed her across the stomach. She let out a choked gasp, then fell to her knees. Looking over at Splinter, her eyes rolled back in her head before she fell flat on her face, just as dead as her brothers.

“NO!” Karai screamed.

Enough was enough. Splinter bolted at Shredder and the two clashed. Equal strikes of Splinter’s stick and Shredder’s claws were thrown around. Just as the two locked weapons, Splinter wrapped his tail around Shredder’s arms and spun him around before tossing him off the edge of the roof. He turned back to Karai smiling, thinking the worst was over.

All of a sudden, Splinter froze up and Karai let out a scream of terror. Splinter looked down to see Shredder’s claw coming out of his chest.

“Finally,” Shredder said raising him up. “Hamato Yoshi… DIES!”

With that, Shredder tossed Splinter off the roof, much to the terror of Karai. She ran to the side once more as her father’s body joined those of Raph and Donny. Her entire body shook as she sobbed, looking over the edge, then back at the roof where Leo, Mikey and Hisako all laid dead. She lost all strength in her body as she fell to the ground, her tears falling like rain. Shredder came up to her, taking her shoulder.

“Come, my daughter.” he told her, the demonic face of his mask literally moving as if it was his true face. “It’s time for you to come home.”

He wrapped his arms around her shoulders, hugging her tightly. However, as he did, his form rippled like water, slowly engulfing Karai’s body. She struggled and attempted to pull herself free, but it was like trying to move in quick sand. She sunk deeper and deeper as Shredder’s iconic chuckle echoed through her ears, the last thing she heard before getting swallowed all together.

Karai sat up, screaming as loud as she could. The turtles and Hisako were all around her, all of them attempting to restrain her so she wouldn’t hurt one of them, or herself.

“Karai!” Hisako exclaimed. “Karai it’s okay!”

“It’s just a nightmare!” Leo assured her.

Karai’s struggles died down as she saw all of them alive and well.

“It’s alright Karai.” Mikey reassured. “We’re here.”

Karai slowly regained composure as they all released her. By now, her horrified screams had also awoken Splinter as well. He came running from his room, a look of concern on his face.

“Hisak-”

“Not me this time, Sensei.” Hisako interrupted.

“It was Karai.” Leo informed.

“Kinda different not having Hisako waking us up in the dead of night with nightmares for a change.” Mikey commented.

Raph smacked Mikey as hard as he could, glaring at the orange turtle before looking back at Karai.

“You alright?” he asked.

Karai shook her head, tears in her eyes.

“Shredder…. He…. and I….”

She just started crying in earnest as everyone gathered around her, doing everything they could to comfort her.

“He killed you all...” she sobbed, “He killed you… then he dragged me back into the darkness… I don’t want to go back… I can’t go back...”

“And you won’t.” Splinter reassured. “I promise.”

“We all promise.” Hisako added. “Trust me on this. We’ll go to hell and back for one another.”

“And if Shredder thinks he’s gonna get you back without a fight, he’s got another thing coming.” Raph remarked.

Karai looked up.

“But, last time-”

“Last time, he took us by surprise.” Donny interjected. “He caught us when we were emotionally compromised, ill-prepared, and just plain not ready to deal with him.”

“This time, we know he’s out there.” Leo added. “And he’s gonna have to fight us on our terms.”

“We knew getting you to see the truth would mean having to deal with Shredder.” Hisako informed her. “And we’re ready for that.”

Karai wiped her eyes, then smiled.

“Well then, perhaps we should do it sooner than later.” she suggested.

Raph grinned.

“Now you’re speaking my language Karai.”

“And what language is that Raph?” Mikey asked. “Smash-ese?”

Raph turned to Mikey, then looked at Karai.

“Hey, wanna play a game, Karai?”

“What game?” Karai asked.

“It’s called ‘Does Mikey Bend That Way’.”

Before Mikey had a chance to register what had been said, Raph tackled him to the ground and began wrestling with him. The action got all of them (sans Mikey) laughing hard, a welcome relief from the tense conversation. Karai looked on, her nightmare fading from her thoughts. She wasn’t going to let it come true. Not now, not ever.

Saki sat in his office, looking at the picture of Karai that sat on his desk. In front of him knelt Hun, who kept his eyes planted firmly on the carpet before him. His master was angrier than Hun had ever seen him, and the slightest misstep could cost the behemoth dearly.

“I’m afraid to say that Karai has yet to return, Master.” he explained.

Saki just became even more furious than he already was. His fist tightened and he slammed it on his desk hard enough to crack the wood. Hun visibly flinched as Saki glared at him.

“Get out of my sight.” he snapped

Hun simply bowed and left the office. As Hun exited the room, Saki’s phone rang. Curious, he answered it.

“Hello?” Saki answered.

"Don’t bother tracing this call." Karai’s voice answered. ”Donatello is good at what he does."

“Karai?” Saki let out shocked. “Where are you?”

"With my real family." She answered.

“Your family is here.” Saki insisted. “With me.”

"I know the truth." Karai interrupted. ”I know what really happened between you and Yoshi. I know that you took me as a final act of revenge against him. I know that you’ve lied to me my entire life."

Saki just sat there, silent as Karai went off on him.

“If you truly believe that then why call?” Saki asked.

"Because I also know you." she explained. ”And I’m positive that you won’t stop hunting for us. That’s why we’re putting an end to this here and now. If you want us, we’ll be at the Wolf Hotel at midnight tomorrow night."

“I will be there.” He told her. “If for no other reason than to reclaim what is mine… and to finish a fight I started nearly two decades ago.”

"I’m not yours." Karai spat. ”And one more thing. My name’s not Karai. It’s Miwa. Hamato Miwa."

With that, the phone call ended abruptly, leaving Saki listening to the low dial tone of his phone. Enraged he tossed the phone against the wall. It shattered on impact. He then looked down at the ground before letting out an angry, spine-chilling howl.

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