Rescue and Revenge
Casey’s head was throbbing like crazy as he began to come to. He went to rub his head, surprised when he found his wrists connected to each other. He looked at his hands, noting the futuristic cuffs with a note of disdain.
“Dammit.” he cursed. “They got us.”
April let out a groan from the ground next to Casey. He looked over at her, gently cradling her as she woke up. As he did, he noticed a strange straw dangling from the corner of her mouth. That was about the time he noticed a similar straw in his own mouth.
“What the-?” he let out, going to grab the straw.
Before he could, Splinter’s tail wrapped around his wrist, preventing him from doing so.
“I would advise against that, Mr. Jones.” Splinter warned. “These things are what are allowing us to breathe.”
Casey went wide-eyed when he saw the rat master leaning against the wall, as well as Mr. Murakami. What really shocked him was the unconscious form of Leatherhead, bindings around his wrists, ankles, and even a muzzle over his mouth.
“Holy chalupa...” he let out. “They got all of us.”
“Indeed.” Murakami agreed. “These creatures were quite thorough in their hunt. Whatever the turtles and their sister did to anger them, it must have been quite a spectacle.”
“From what we’ve seen of them, they’re not one to do things by halves.” April commented, sitting up and leaning against the wall of the cell.
“Yes.” Splinter nodded, looking at his bound wrists. “I can only hope that their situation is less dire than our own.”
Mikey was pacing back and forth across the floor of the rebel base. His fingers were running through his hair as he grew more and more anxious.
“Oh man, I can’t believe this is happening!” He exclaimed. “They got everyone we knew! I mean, I can see them snagging April, possibly Casey too, but sensei, Murakami and LH?! That’s insane!”
Raph whacked his brother upside the head, causing him to stop pacing. He shook his head, facing his red brother.
“Feel better?” Raph questioned.
Mikey thought for a minute.
“A little.” he admitted.
“We need to find them.” Leo declared. “Traximus, do you know where Zanramon would take his prisoners?”
“While he would normally send his prisoners to Incarceron, considering who he is dealing with, I doubt he would be willing to risk a repeat of what happened when he imprisoned the five of you.” Traximus answered.
“I see our reputation around there is still intact.” Mikey remarked.
“But Incarceron was his high security prison.” Donny remembered. “Where else would he send them?”
“That is just it, Donatello.” Mona Lisa spoke up. “I do not believe they are to be ‘sent’ anywhere. If anything, they are to be ‘delivered’.”
“Delivered?” Leo repeated.
“To Zanramon himself.” Traximus concluded.
A silence fell over the siblings before Raph voiced their collective opinion.
“Frikken shitaki mushrooms on a stick!” He cursed.
“This is gonna make things a lot trickier.” Leo dreaded.
“Hey, it’s not like our lives were ever easy before.” Hisako reminded.
“So, how are we gonna infiltrate Zanramon’s place or whatever, rescue our friends, and put the whammy on our least favorite Prime Leader, all the while getting out alive?” Donny proposed.
“I don’t know.” Leo admitted. “I don’t know.”
With Splinter and the others, Commander Mozar escorted the five captives down to a private chamber where the Prime Leader was waiting. Two Triceratons were dragging Leatherhead, the croc still heavily sedated to prevent him from fighting. Casey scanned the area they were entering, Splinter doing the same.
“Uh, Splinter?” Casey whispered. “Is it just me, or does this place look like a private torture chamber?”
“Keep your wits about you, Mr. Jones.” Splinter told him. “These are not the first adversaries that sought to break us.”
April just let out a whimper, staying close to Casey as the group was finally brought before the Prime Leader. He looked as intimidating as ever, though now that they met him in person, the group could see some strange burns across his skin. April recognized them almost immediately.
“It looks like he was dumped in some sort of acid.” she muttered quietly. “I wonder what-”
“Welcome, inferior creatures.” Zanramon created, cutting off April’s train of thought. “I suppose you five are wondering why I had my men bring you here.”
“Actually, I was wondering what happened to your face.” Casey quipped. “Lose a game of acid dunk tank?”
Zanramon growled in response.
“If you must know, these burns are thanks to the four Gamarons and the humanoid that you five ally yourselves with.” He snarled.
“They did that?” April questioned. “But how? They’re not capable of-”
“Silence!” Zanramon ordered.
Mozar then stepped forward, stabbing April in the back with a stun baton. She screamed and fell to her knees, Casey catching her as Splinter stepped forward.
“Enough!” Splinter snapped. “Your quarrel is with my children, not with them!”
“Any ally of those five fugitives is an enemy of mine.” Zanramon dismissed. “And you have the nerve to call them your children so flippantly? It seems you are unaware of just how many crimes your so-called ‘children’ committed.”
“Then perhaps you would like to enlighten us of these supposed crimes.” Murakami spoke up.
“They assaulted officers of the Triceraton armada.” Zanramon began. “They stole personal property of the Prime leader not once, but twice! They instigated a riot in our maximum security prison, as well as attempted an escape! They caused a full rebellion in my Arena of Carnage, freeing all of my gladiators! And, to top it all off, they held me hostage before feeding me to a Kraathatrogon!”
“I’m guessing that’s the reason for your bacon face.” Casey assumed.
Zanramon was seething with rage, to the point that he walked up to Casey and slapped him across the face. He fell to the ground, his face stinging.
“It seems that everything associated with those five pests is wrought with dissent and disrespect.” the Triceraton snarled.
“Only to those who deserve it.” Splinter remarked.
Zanramon lifted his hand to smack Splinter, but the rat didn’t even flinch. Realizing that giving into his anger was pointless, Zanramon lowered his arm, adjusting his robe and taking a deep breath.
“You are merely eating away at your own time.” Zanramon warned. “This planet’s very existence lay on the line, and you stand here making witty remarks and trying my patience.”
“Then I suggest you get the point.” Splinter told him.
“Very well.” Zanramon replied. “Tell me where your ‘children’ are hiding. I get them, and perhaps I will allow your planet to become part of the great Triceraton Republic.”
“Never.” Splinter said firmly.
“Fine, we’ll do this the hard way.” Zanramon declared. “Prep them, and start with the rat.”
Mozar grabbed Splinter, dragging him over to a large, metal slab. He slammed him against it, thick bindings immediately grabbing hold of Splinter. The rat master instinctively struggled as several guards held back Casey, April, and Murakami.
“Even the most resilient of prisoners always give up their secrets.” Zanramon bragged as Mozar picked up a menacing looking helmet. “Because we pry them right from your brain. Though I will warn you, the process is… excruciatingly painful.”
Mozar slammed the helmet down on Splinter’s head and it latched on. The rat stiffened as Zanramon leaned in.
“Last chance to do this the easy way.” he warned.
Splinter remained silent, his fists clenched in anticipation for what was to come. Zanramon snorted, then straightened up.
“Fine.” he let out.
All of a sudden, the helmet began to spark wildly. Splinter started growling in discomfort from the helmet’s effects. The groans soon began to become louder as the pain grew, his claws scratching at the table as he struggled to free himself, the helmet delving deeper into his mind.
“Zanramon wouldn’t have them brought to his throne room.” Traximus surmised. “He’s most likely taken them to his private torture chamber.”
“Do you know where that is?” Raph questioned.
“I’m afraid not.” Traximus lamented.
That’s when Hisako brightened.
“I bet I could find out where it is.” she suggested.
“You got a lot of ground to cover.” Donny told her. “You sure you can handle it?”
“This place isn’t as big as the whole city of New York.” Hisako argued. “Besides, what choice do we have?”
She assumed a meditative position on the ground, branching out to try and find the others. For a few moments, nothing happened. Then, she suddenly doubled over, clutching her head and screaming in agony.
“Hisako!” The turtles cried out.
She kept screaming, her fingers digging into her skull as blood began to run down her face. Still, despite the extreme pain she was in, she could feel another presence suffering with her.
“Sensei!” she cried out.
“Sensei?” Leo repeated. “What about Sensei?”
“He-!” she convulsed again, curling up tighter as she tried to fight through the pain. “He’s hurting!”
She writhed on the ground, drawing in a crowd of concerned revolutionaries. Blood was now beginning to flow from her eyes, much to Donny’s grave concern.
“Hisako, get out of there!” He shouted. “You’re killing yourself!”
It was unclear whether she heard him or not, but she did not stop, reaching out desperately for her father’s mental spirit.
“SENSEI!” she screamed, both physically and mentally.
In the midst of all his pain and agony, Splinter somehow managed to hear his daughter calling out to him. Needing something to focus on, he latched onto her voice, calling out to her.
“Hisako...” he mentally wheezed. “My child… is that you?”
“Sensei… it hurts… what’s happening?”
“He is… trying… to probe my mind…” He barely replied. “For you…”
“No… He can’t...”
“I need you… my daughter…” Splinter requested. “Use me… as a channel...”
“I can’t! It’s too much…!”
“Yes... you can!” Splinter told her. “I… have faith… in you… be strong!”
Hisako’s screaming began to peter out as her entire body began to glow. Small bits of rubble began to shake around her, floating off the ground. The turtles looked at this, realizing what was about to happen.
“Everybody!” Mikey shouted. “Hit the deck!”
The others went for cover, the rebels following suit as Hisako began floating in the air. She let out an ear piercing scream as energy exploded outward, sending everything and everyone flying away from her. Light poured from her eyes and mouth in perhaps the greatest display of power she’d ever shown.
The helmet attached to Splinter’s head began dancing with green power. The lights flickered and the room began to shake. Casey and April exchanged looks, then grabbed each other and hit the deck. April dragged Murakami down as well, urging him to take cover. Then, the helmet completely exploded, sending out a wave of green energy that seemed to come out of Splinter himself. His eyes were glowing for a moment as his bindings disintegrated, the energy freeing him.
The wave of power knocked all of the Triceratons back and freed the other four captives. More than that, the feeling of power washing over him caused Leatherhead to stir.
“Oracle...” he groaned, fighting off the tranquilizers keeping him down.
The light died from Splinter’s eyes as he slid from the table, disoriented and shaken from what had just happened. April quickly helped steady him, looking at him in surprise.
“Was that-?” she began.
“Hisako, yes.” Splinter replied. “She felt the same pain I did, and helped to free me from that accursed device.”
“Oracle… pain...” Leatherhead snarled, his eyes beginning to glow.
Casey saw the croc beginning to liven up and got an idea.
“Yeah, these guys hurt Hisako’s dad.” Casey explained. “And when they did that, she felt his pain. She was screaming, crying out, because of what these monsters were doing.”
Leatherhead snarled at the thought, his eyes becoming bright red as the Triceratons were beginning to come to. Casey took a step back, then utter the phrase that signed their death warrants.
“If it had gone on any longer, they might have killed her.” he told the croc.
With that, Leatherhead snapped up and barreled at the Triceratons. He picked one up and threw him into a group of others, knocking them down. He then whipped his tail around and smacked another Triceraton back. As one ran up, he leapt onto him and slashed at his face, causing him to cry out before falling to the ground.
“Restrain this beast!” Zanramon ordered.
Leatherhead snapped his head around and snarled at him before running straight at him. Zanramon stood his ground, catching Leatherhead’s hands and wrestling with him. As the two struggled against one another, Casey grabbed Murakami as April continued helping Splinter.
“We need to get out of here.” April insisted. “More Triceratons will be coming, and even with LH worked into a blood frenzy, I doubt he’ll be able to hold them all off.”
“Agreed.” Splinter concurred. “We must escape and the sooner the better.”
“What about Leatherhead?” Casey asked.
“He is strong of will and spirit.” Splinter reassured as they got moving. “I have a feeling he will not be captive to them for long.”
“Yo, LH!” Casey called out. “Hisako’s waiting for ya!”
Spurred by the idea of seeing his precious Oracle again, LH gave Zanramon a hearty shove, sending him flying into a wall. The croc then lumbered after the group on all fours. With the mutant croc back among their ranks, the five bolted out of the room and down the hallway.
“Yoshi-kun.” Murakami spoke up. “Do you know where we are going?”
“Yes.” Splinter answered, slowly pulling himself from April’s grip and taking the lead. “Hisako showed me the way.”
In the aftermath of Hisako’s mental bomb, the psychic had promptly dropped to the ground, motionless and groaning. Raph and Mikey hoisted her up while Donny checked for vital signs.
“She’s alright,” Donny reported. “But she’s spent a shell ton of energy.”
Traximus pulled himself out from under a pile of weapons, looking at Hisako with surprise.
“I am thankful that she chose a pacifist route when we crossed paths in the Arena.” he said quietly.
“She’s very selective on who she gets violent over.” Mikey told him.
Hisako groaned in Raph and Mikey’s grip, her head lolling about as she tried to focus.
“Sen...sei...” she let out, her voice weak and cracking.
“Take it easy sis.” Raph told her. “You put on a shell of a show.”
“Escaped...” she winced, weakly pointing off in the distance. “Coming… Need… to help...”
Her hand became shakier with each word before her eyes rolled back in her head and she passed out, her arm flopping down once more.
“I think I know where she wants us to go.” Leo deduced. “Trax, you mind carrying her?”
“Not at all.” Traximus replied, plucking up Hisako and draping her across his shoulder.
The group then went down the direction Hisako was pointing.
Splinter and the others made their way out of the hallways, and down into the sewers to avoid detection.
“We should be safe down here.” April said, though it was clear she wasn’t quite certain about her statement.
LH began sniffing the air, his eyes still bright and he was still on all fours.
“Not… alone...” he snarled.
Casey and Murakami readied themselves as April held Splinter, still recovering from the mental strain. Suddenly, a cluster of shadows began to approach the group, making their way around the corner. The first to emerge was Traximus, a bloody Hisako still on his back. The second he laid eyes on the sight, LH completely lost it. He charged forward and tackled Traximus to the ground, ready to claw him to pieces. Fortunately, the turtles sprang forward and grabbed his arms.
“Whoa, Leatherhead!” Mikey called out. “It’s cool!”
“This is Traximus.” Leo explained. “He’s a friend.”
Splinter cradled his daughter, who had been knocked to the ground in Leatherhead’s haste. As he held her, her eyes fluttered open and she smiled slightly.
“Hi dad...” she whispered.
“Hello my child.” Splinter greeted back. “I knew you could do it.”
LH turned towards Hisako, hearing her voice. He quickly went over to her and caressed her face, the glow dying from his eyes as she reached up and returned the touch.
“Oracle...” The croc said quietly.
“Hey big guy...” Hisako replied. “Don’t kill Traximus. He’s a good guy.”
“If you... say so.” Leatherhead relented.
“Aww.” Mikey let out. “He acts all big and mean, but he’s really just a big softie.”
He then realized Traximus hadn’t moved from where LH had pinned him, no doubt afraid to provoke the croc anymore.
“Dude, you can get up now.” Mikey told him.
Traximus then got back to his feet and rejoined the others, keeping a wary eye on the croc.
“We’re just happy you’re all ok.” Donny told them.
Mona Lisa then let out a cough.
“Perhaps we should retreat back to base camp before the Prime Leader sends out a search party?”
“What about Zanramon?” Raph asked.
“Hisako is in no condition to do anything to him right now.” Leo told him. “We need to fall back and give her time to rest. Once she’s fully rested and we have a plan, then we make our move.”
Raph nodded in response before the group retreated.
Back in the torture chamber, Zanramon had just picked himself up as the troops not decimated by Leatherhead began to get up. Mozar dislodged himself from a broken table, his metal arm off to the side. As he fetched it and reattached it, he turned to the Prime Leader in fear and shame. He knelt down, bowing his head.
“Forgive me, Prime Leader.” he begged. “The creatures have all escaped.”
“This will not stand!” Zanramon declared. “Prepare communications to broadcast another message! It is clear that we have been too generous with these inferior pests.”
Mozar gave a salute, then rushed off to do as he was told.
Once the group returned to base camp, Hisako was laid to rest on a small blanket off to the side. Leatherhead curled around her, acting as her guardian and pillow as she slept. Splinter took the time to rest as well, the mental strain from earlier still weighing heavily on him. All the while, April and Casey took the opportunity to meet their new alien friends.
“So, you’re the alien salamander Raph told us about.” April said to Lisa.
“Salamandarian.” Lisa corrected. “And yes. You may call me Mona Lisa.”
Casey grinned as he elbowed Raph playfully.
“Guess Hisako’s not the only one who’s attracted to powerful reptiles.” he quipped.
“Oh get over yourself.” Raph replied, playfully pushing him.
The two laughed as Leo introduced Traximus. The blue turtle also took the opportunity to apologize for earlier.
“Sorry about Leatherhead almost ripping your face off.” he apologized. “He’s extremely protective of Hisako.”
“And it didn’t help that I worked him into a frenzy so we could escape.” Casey added, rubbing the back of his head. “Sorry.”
“It is quite alright.” Traximus insisted. “It is not hard to see how protective he is of her.”
“You have no idea.” Leo replied. “The guy would both die and kill for her.”
“At the same time if he could.” Donny added.
As the group continued talking, Monza-Ram came running up with a distressed look on his face.
“Everyone!” He called out. “Zanramon is making another announcement!”
Everyone quickly gathered around a small holographic projector, even Splinter and a semi-conscious Hisako joining, the latter on LH’s back. Monza-Ran turned on the projector, showing an image of Prime Leader Zanramon.
“It has come to my attention that I have become far too lenient with my ultimatum regarding the Gamarons and their allies.” Zanramon addressed. “They have escaped justice for far too long, and I have grown tired waiting for you insects to hand them over. Because of this, you now have one hour to hand them over to me. Otherwise, your planet will feel the might of my Decimator Cannon!”
There was a collective gasp from every single revolutionary in the base camp. Lisa’s hands flew to her mouth, her eyes going wide as she fell to her knees, her face a paler shade of blue. The hologram then cut out as a stunned silence filled the camp. The turtles looked around at their allies, feeling more than a little apprehensive about Zanramon’s threat.
“Okay, I’ll bite.” Donny spoke up. “What’s a Decimator cannon?”
“It is the ultimate weapon of the Triceraton republic.” Monza Ram answered. “It is a deadly laser that can cut through to the center of a planet, detonating its molten core.”
“Many planets have been obliterated by the terrible weapon.” Lisa let out, shivering slightly. “Including Salamandaria.”
The turtles were left speechless at the revelation.
“Can… can he really do that?” Donny asked.
“He can.” Traximus dreaded. “And will unless his demands are met, or we manage to destroy that weapon.”
“Then we got to get to Zanramon now!” Raph insisted. “We need to change his mind so he leaves before blowing up the earth!”
“Even if Hisako was in a state that she could perform such a feat, I do not believe it would do much good.” Splinter spoke up.
“Yoshi is right.” Murakami agreed. “I have heard that amount of hatred and venom before, from none other than Oroku Saki. Even if you convinced him that you five were not on this planet, he would simply destroy Earth out of frustration and anger.”
“Then we gotta take out that weapon.” Leo decided. “... uh, any ideas on how?”
A heavy silence filled the room once more, then one of the all-stars went to speak. However, Monza Ram quickly shushed him, giving him a pointed look. Leo noticed this, not needing Hisako’s telepathy to know something was up.
“If one of you guys has something to say, then now’s the time.” Leo told them.
Monza Ram shook his head instantly, but the all-star he had shushed refused to listen.
“I will not hold my tongue any longer.” the All Star insisted. “Our blind silence has caused enough pain and suffering.”
“Cathar be silent!” Monza Ram ordered.
“We were once the team in charge of the Decimator cannon.” a second all-star spoke up, much to Monza Ram’s fury.
“Mor-Tax!” Monza Ram exclaimed.
“We know how it works, how to arm and disarm it, and how to destroy it.” Cathar concluded.
“It is what we were arrested for before we were thrown into the games.” Mor-Tax added.
“Tell us everything you know.” Donny insisted.
The two all-stars began their explanations as Monza Ram turned away. Leo looked at him in confusion, following him towards the corner of the base. The Triceraton was grumbling to himself, several expletives slipping past his lips.
“Why did you want your knowledge of the Decimator cannon a secret?” Leo asked.
Monza Ram sighed, his anger giving way to what looked like resignation and exhaustion.
“My men and I were loyal to Zanramon.” He explained. “We followed orders and destroyed many planets for the glory of the Triceraton Republic. We never thought to question what we were doing… until the day we found a young Salamandarian boy carrying a young hatchling hiding on the ship.”
“Sal Commander.” Leo realized.
“They were children, innocent beings.” Monza Ram recounted. “It is easy to forget that such creatures exist in times of war. They were a stark reminder of exactly what we were doing every time we fired that cannon.”
He sagged to the ground, leaning against the stone wall.
“We destroyed their home.” He let out, turning to Mona Lisa, who was being comforted by Raph across the room. “Her home.”
“She didn’t know.” Leo guessed.
Monza Ram shook his head.
“How do you tell someone you are responsible for the destruction of their entire race?” He questioned. “How do you even begin to atone for such a crime? And… how can she cope with the knowledge that her brother gave his life to protect the ones who doomed her to this life?”
“I… don’t have the answer for that.” Leo admitted. “Only you do.”
Monza Ram looked down in resignation, letting out a log sigh. After a minute, he lifted his head and rose to his feet.
“For now, the best I can do is aid my men in finishing what we started all those years ago.” he declared. “Destroying that accursed weapon once and for all.”
“Then let’s get to work.” Leo declared.
The two returned to the group, where Donny was in the middle of drawing up a plan. The All-Stars were still giving him as much info as they could. Traximus observed it all, occasionally glancing at Mona Lisa. The Salamandarian kept her eyes on the All Stars, as if unsure of what to think anymore. Raph just held her, quietly petting her head like he’d done to Hisako a million times.
“You gonna be ok?” He asked.
“I do not know.” she answered honestly.
“Alright, according to the All Stars, the Decimator cannon is located at the lowest level of the home world.” Donny reported.
“Hang on, there’s a level lower than the sewers?” Mikey questioned.
“The Prime Leader wanted to ensure that saboteurs would have a difficult time finding and reaching it.” Monza Ram explained.
“There’s a single access point hidden within the Home world’s main armory.” Mor-Tax interjected, pointing to a spot on a provided map. “From there, we take the transport lift down to the bottom. We may meet some resistance from the team in charge once we get down there.”
“Yeah well, what else is new?” Raph remarked.
“After we reach the Decimator cannon, we’ll plant charges around the power supply line.” Canthar instructed.
“And blow this baby to kingdom come.” Donny finished.
“You make it sound so easy.” Mona Lisa quipped. “But since there is only one way in or out of the cannon chamber, we run the risk of walking right into a possible ambush.”
“She’s right.” Splinter concurred. “We need something that could draw the guards’ attention.”
“We could.” Mikey spoke up.
Everyone turned to him.
“Think about it, Zanramon wants us, right?” Mikey asked. “We can lure his forces away while Traximus’ team plants the charges.”
“But, wait.” Casey spoke up. “What about your secret?”
“Yeah, if you guys put yourselves out in the line of fire like that, you run the risk of getting captured.” April noted.
“More than that, Zanramon seems like the type who would make your execution public.” Murakami added. “No doubt the entire world would know you exist, and in the event you survive and our plan succeeds, I doubt you would be able to return to being secrets of the sewers.”
“Our little secret doesn’t matter much if there’s no one to keep it from.” Mikey said.
“Mikey’s right.” Leo agreed. “If we put our desire for secrecy over the lives of billions of innocent people, then we’re no better than the monsters we’ve worked so hard to fight.”
“Besides, he’s gotta catch us to execute us.” Raph snorted. “He got lucky last time he caught us, and he ain’t gonna get another opportunity like that again.”
“Right, he’ll leap at the opportunity to get payback for everything.” Donny agreed.
“He made that much quite clear when we spoke with him.” Splinter nodded.
“Then I guess it’s settled.” Hisako spoke up, leaning over Leatherhead’s shoulders. “We earthlings will draw Zanramon’s forces away while Traximus’ team handles the cannon.”
“My friends...” Traximus interjected. “I cannot ask you to do this.”
“It’s alright, Traximus.” Leo insisted. “We know what we have to do, and we’re all in agreement. This is the only way.”
“Well if we’re all in agreement, I suggest we get to work.” Donny spoke up. “We’ve got less than an hour to pull this off, or Earth goes the way of the dodo.”
“Right.” Leo agreed. “Let’s move!”