On the Run
In the wake of the Triceratons pulling out, Agent Bishop made a hasty exit from the U.N. building. Waiting for him was a large black trailer, unmarked save for an eagle on the side. The door slid open and he entered, greeted by the sight of several EPF techs monitoring a row of screens. Each screen showed a different view of New York, but their main focus was Time Square, and the alien wreck that lay smoking in the center of it.
“Status report.” Bishop demanded.
“Air Force shot down a lone Triceraton ship that entered the atmosphere.” an agent supplied. “Initial scans show multiple life forms aboard.”
“Triceraton?” Bishop asked.
“No, sir.” the agent answered. “Scans indicate four humanoids, and six non-humans.”
Bishop stroked his chin in response.
“Must be the turtles.” He deduced. “Any movement?”
“Not yet.” Another agent answered. “Forces are moving in. Your orders?”
“Ensure that they are dealt with accordingly.” Bishop replied. “No mistakes.”
The scene of the wrecked spaceship was the center of everyone’s attention. The army was moving in with weapons ready, helicopters coming in with bright spotlights shining down on the wreckage. Police cruisers cordoned off the area, people gathering at the barrier to try and get a glimpse inside.
Inside the ship, everyone was trying to pull themselves up from the crash.
“Alright, who’s not dead?” Leo asked with a pained groan. “Sound off.”
One by one, his brothers gave pained groans of their own. Splinter shifted some rubble off of himself, Leatherhead pushing his way through a mass as well, Hisako cradled in his arms. Mona Lisa slipped out from under the now crumbled dashboard, rubbing her face.
“We survived?” she questioned. “How?”
“My guess, by the skin of our shells.” Raph chimed in.
They all convened, catching sight of their human allies. Casey and April were out cold, large gashes on their heads as they lay crumbled in a corner. Murakami was slumped over one of the seats on the ship, unmoving save for an occasion rise and fall of his chest. Hisako was still in Leatherhead’s grasp, a state that greatly worried the crocodile.
“Why…. is she not… waking up?” He asked.
“She must have hit her head in the crash.” Donny deduced.
“I guess we non-humanoids were tough enough to come out mostly unscathed.” Mona Lisa remarked, wincing and holding her side. “Though I fear we are all in need of a medic.”
“No time for that now.” Leo replied. “We got company.”
Spotlights shined through the broken windshield, everyone ducking down to avoid detection. Once it passed, everyone looked up again.
“We need to get out of here.” Splinter insisted. “We have already lost our secret. I fear what the people of New York will do to us if we are caught.”
“Then let’s haul shell back to the lair.” Mikey suggested.
“Uh, easier said than done.” Donnie spoke up. “Four of us are down, all of us are injured, and there’s an entire army out there ready to turn us into turtle soup!”
“Then our only hope is to separate.” Splinter decided.
“Split up?” Raph let out. “Sensei, no offense, but there’s no way we can take these guys on our own. Not the way we are now.”
“And what about Casey, April, and Murakami?” Mikey asked.
“They should be alright.” Splinter told them. “They are human and will be taken care of. As for us, we are too big a group to travel stealthily. We must disperse to reduce our chances of capture. We will reconvene back at the lair when our pursuers have been eluded.”
“I will protect Oracle.” Leatherhead promised. “I ran with her once… I will do it again.”
“Wouldn’t expect anything less.” Leo replied.
“I’ll stick with Lisa.” Raph declared, taking the Salamandarian’s arm. “She doesn’t know this city like we do.”
“Right.” Leo agreed.
They all ducked down again as a spotlight flew over them.
“We cannot stay here any longer.” Splinter realized. “We have to go now.”
“Alright.” Leo relented. “Good luck everyone.”
Leatherhead pulled Hisako tighter in his grip, then ran through the windshield, shattering it to pieces. This opened a clear path into the dense wooded area before them. The croc took off into the trees, the turtles, Splinter and Lisa right behind him. Once they got a fair distance from the wreck, they all split off in opposite directions. Unaware of their escape, the army closed in of the ship, managing to pry the already loose doors open. They found April, Casey, and Murakami passed out inside, quickly radioing in assistance.
“We’ve got three civilians inside, suspected massive trauma.”
“Bring them in.” Agent Bishop’s voice ordered. “I want them under lockdown. Nobody sees them until I give the all clear. Understood?”
Leatherhead came to the edge of the wooded area of Central Park, seeing all of the cop cars surrounding the entire area. He snarled, his eyes flashing momentarily at the realization of his current helplessness. Seeing a fair sized rock on the ground, he quickly came up with a plan. Gently setting Hisako down, he picked it up and chucked it at a cop car far off to the side. It smashed through the engine easily, drawing the attention of every cop within hearing distance.
Not wasting a moment, Leatherhead grabbed Hisako once more, bolting towards the edge of the park. A few cops caught sight of the escaping mutant and gave chase.
“Stop!” One shouted. “Monster!”
“We can’t let it get away!” another cried out.
Leatherhead snarled, but kept running, doing his best to keep his head down. The cops pursued him, a few letting off a few shots to try and take him down. Leatherhead managed to move fast enough around the shots to avoid getting hit, but one managed to clip Hisako’s dangling leg. She let out a yelp of pain, a sound that made the crocodile’s blood boil. He whipped around and leapt at the cop, grabbing him and slamming him to the ground.
“The monster’s got a hostage!” One of the cops shouted.
“Okay Missing Link, drop the girl now!” Another demanded, leveling his gun with Leatherhead’s skull.
Leatherhead snarled at the officer, wanting nothing more than to tear them apart. He set Hisako on the ground and leapt towards the cops, his teeth tearing into their guns. A few shots got him in the arm, but his hide prevented them from doing too much damage. If anything, the pain just seemed to make him angrier. He whipped his tail at one, knocking him into a wall. He then moved towards the others and roared loudly.
The officers slowly backed away before flat out running in the other direction. Leatherhead snorted, then turned back to where he’d left Hisako. He froze when he saw she was no longer there, panic overtaking him. His breathing became heavier and his eyes darted around, desperately searching for his friend.
“Oracle?!” he shouted. “ORACLE?!”
Hisako, meanwhile, was being loaded into an ambulance by some officers that managed to grab her during Leatherhead’s fight. An EMT was looking over her unconscious form, taking note of her wounds.
“Blunt force trauma to the forehead, possible concussion.” The EMT began. “Bullet wound in the leg, severe burns on her arms, several broken ribs.”
The EMT let out a small sigh.
“It’s a miracle this girl’s alive.” they tacked on.
“We need to get her to the hospital.” The EMT’s partner insisted.
The doors to the back of the ambulance began to close, but before they could, a gloved hand stopped them. The doors were pulled open again, revealing a pair of EPF agents.
“We’ll take it from here.” One of the agents informed.
The EMTs were shocked to say the least.
“You’ll what now?” One asked.
“Take the girl.” The second agent answered.
“This girl needs a hospital.” The second EMT insisted. “You’re interfering with our job.”
“We’re taking her to a specialized facility capable of handling her.” The first agent insisted.
“Handling her?” The first EMY questioned. “This isn’t one of those… things. She’s an innocent girl!”
“This isn’t up for discussion.” The agent told them, brushing past them. “We’re taking her, and that’s final.”
The agent pulled Hisako off the gurney she’d been laying on, carrying her out of the ambulance. The EMTs went to object, but the second agent blocked their path. A third then activated a communicator on his wrist.
“Hamato Hisako has been acquired.” He reported. “They nearly took her to the hospital.”
“Then we just prevented a major cataclysm in this city.” Bishop replied. “Take her to where her friends are being kept. Remember, no antiseptics, and minimal guards.”
“What about the beast?” The agent questioned. “It won’t rest until it finds her.”
There was some mild cursing on the other end.
“Those idiot police...” he swore. “Alright, new plan. Patch her up and get her back to him. Hopefully that will quell his temper.”
“Yes sir.” the agent replied, signing off.
Meanwhile, Raph lead Lisa ran through one of the more deserted streets. The ship crash has taken out a few power lines, leaving a good block in total darkness, something the two took full advantage of. They made it several feet before they were forced into an alley, hiding as a patrol of soldiers passed by. Raph ducked behind a dumpster and Lisa clung to the wall, her eyes narrowing at the men.
“Who are these men?” she questioned. “Why do they hunt us?”
“Our planet’s military.” Raph explained. “As for why, let’s just say this planet isn’t as keen on mutants as space is.”
“I recall the old, blind man mentioning your existence being a secret.” Lisa remembered. “Now I see why. Your own planet has turned against you.”
“They were never really on our side to begin with.” Raph corrected.
“Then why return?” Lisa questioned. “Why not take Traximus’ offer?”
“Got friends here.” Raph told her. “Friends like April and Casey.”
He let out a small snort.
“Ironically, the only human friends we have were on that ship with us.” He declared. “There’s only a few of them, but they’re the best friends a ninja turtle could ask for.”
“They are a mere three humans on a planet of nearly 10 billion.” Lisa pointed out. “And this display of aggression makes it quite clear what they think of you. So again I ask, why did you return?”
“It’s home.” Raph answered. “Really, the only home I’ve ever known. Plus once you try some Mario Bros pizza, you’ll wanna stay too.”
“Mario… bros… pizza?” she repeated slowly.
“I’ll tell you later.” he promised before stiffening. “Hide!”
They both hid as a pair of officers turned towards the alley, shining flashlights all around. Once the lights were gone, Raph and Lisa poked their heads out of their hiding spots.
“We are too exposed out here.” Lisa hissed. “We must get to safety soon.”
“Easier said than done.” Raph replied. “Nearest unmanned manhole cover in several blocks to the north. And it’s in the middle of an intersection, so we’ll be spotted for sure.”
“Is there anywhere else we can go that’s safe?” Lisa questioned.
Raph thought for a moment, glancing around before finally getting an idea.
“There is one place.” he answered. “And lucky for us, it’s just around the block.”
They both emerged from their hiding places, taking hands before taking off.
At the same time, Donatello made his way through back alleyways. He’d tried to climb up to the rooftops for a safer vantage point, but his arm had protested almost immediately. He was certain something was either bruised, sprained, or broken, but didn’t have the time to find out which. He held his injured arm as he ran, taking refuge in an alley.
“Which way’d it go?” a cop that had been chasing him shouted.
“He can’t be hard to find with that coat on!” another replied.
Donnie looked down at his white lab coat, which might as well have been a neon sign saying ‘catch me’. He took it off, wincing in pain as he did so, and stuffed it into an empty garbage can.
“Luckily trash day for this part of the city isn’t for a few days.” he remarked. “Hopefully I can get it back.”
Getting back to his feet, Donny started running towards a nearby manhole cover. He came to a screeching halt when he saw that the alley said manhole was in had a pair of cops waiting.
“Shell.” He cursed. “With my arm like this, there’s no way I can get down below without them noticing. What am I gonna do?”
He backed away, his eyes never leaving the cops. Unfortunately, he wasn’t watching where he was going and tripped over the curb. He yelped, falling on his butt and drawing the attention of the cops. Donny tried to get back to his feet and move but his injuries were making it difficult. He scrambled back, his shell hitting the door to a brownstone.
“No, no, no, no.” he let out.
“Hey.” One of the cops spoke up. “You hear something?”
“Better check it out.” the second cop declared.
Donny’s brain was overloading with a plethora of curse words Splinter would have punished him for. He closed his eye, preparing for the inevitable. That’s when the door he was leaning against opened behind him, causing him to fall back. He found himself staring at a pair of old slippers, thick purple pajama pants partially covering them. His eyes traveled upward, eventually landing on the familiar face of Irma
“Irma?” He let out.
Irma didn’t speak, merely grabbing him by the arms and dragging him inside. Once he was all the way inside, she closed the door, locking it before turning to Donny.
“You need to hide, now.” she insisted. “I don’t know if they saw you.”
“I don’t think so.” Donny replied.
“You really want to take that chance?” Irma challenged.
“Good point.” Donny conceded. “Any suggestions?”
“Coat closet.” she answered. “You can’t climb in that condition.”
She helped him get to his feet, leading him over to the closet. She opened the door and he sat down in side, curling up in the corner behind several coats. Irma just managed to arrange them neatly before there was a knock on the door. Taking a breath and brushing off her pajamas a little, she went to the door and opened it.
“Good evening, Miss.” One of the officers greeted.
“Is everything alright?” Irma asked, looking genuinely nervous. “Are those… Triceratons gone?”
“It appears so,” the officer replied. “But the creatures they were after are still loose in the city. Have you seen anything suspicious at all?”
“I’ve been hiding in my room since this whole thing began.” Irma replied. “You don’t think those things are… Y’know… dangerous?”
“It’s too soon to say.” The other officer told her. “Just keep an eye out, and if you see one of the creatures, call 911.”
“I will, I promise.” Irma assured them. “Good luck.”
“Thank you ma’am.” The first officer replied, tipping his hat. “Good night.”
With that, they left and Irma closed the door. She watched them through the peephole for a moment, then let out a sigh of relief.
“They’re gone.” she declared. “You can come out now.”
Donny opened up the closet door and slowly walked out.
“Thanks.” Donny spoke.
“You’re welcome, Don.” She replied, walking over to him. “Now, let’s look at that arm.”
Before he could say anything, she ushered him into the kitchen, plopping him down at the table. As she scavenged around for medical supplies, it finally dawned on him that she had clearly seen him as a turtle, and hadn’t reacted to it in the slightest. More than that, she’d lied to the police for him.
“So… you seem relatively unphased.” Donny noted. “With the whole ‘mutant turtle’ thing I mean.”
“Mutant?” Irma repeated, looking up from a cabinet. “My thoughts went to aliens. That Zanramon guy did call you a ‘Gamaron’.”
“It’s a misconception.” Donny explained. “But still, why aren’t you freaking out?”
“I kind of figured it out.” Irma replied, finally finding what she was looking for. “Aha! I knew it was in here!”
She returned to the table with a large, white box with a red cross on it. She set it down, opening it up and pulling out a bottle of antiseptics.
“Any wounds I need to clean?” she asked.
“I think there’s something on my arm.” He explained. “How’d you figure it out?”
“Well, the makeup you wore to the science expo was rather heavy handed.” she answered. “Arm up.”
He held out his injured arm as she continued.
“An amateur could have done a better disguise job.” she went on, gently dabbing some antiseptics on a rather nasty cut on his arm. “But, you seemed like you were having fun so I figured I’d get to know you before making any judgements. Glad I did. Most fun I’ve had in a long time.”
“Same with me.” Donny agreed.
Irma set the antiseptic cloth aside, looking at his arm carefully.
“Let me know if this hurts.” she told him.
She then began gently squeezing the muscles on his forearm. To Donnie, it felt as if someone was crushing his arm in a garbage press. He gritted his teeth and tried to pull away, but Irma kept a firm grip.
“Damn, it’s sprained.” she muttered. “On the bright side, it’s not broken. You got lucky.”
“I guess so.” Donny replied. “I can’t stay here for long. I have to get back to my family.”
“Not in this condition, you’re not.” Irma insisted, getting to her feet. “I need to get a splint for your arm, and you… help yourself to whatever’s in my fridge. After the day you’ve had, you’ve got to be hungry.”
“You’re not wrong there.” Donny agreed.
Irma walked off to collect what she needed, leaving Donnie alone in the kitchen. Though hunger gnawed at him, he couldn’t help but sigh in relief, grateful to be safe, at least for the moment.
Mikey scrambled up a fire escape, trying to reach the rooftop as quickly as he could. His footsteps up the metal stairs drew the attention of several cops. A flashlight shined on him, eliciting a yelp from the orange turtle.
“Up there!” a cop shouted. “It’s headed for the roof!”
“Uh oh.” Mikey let out. “Time to book!”
Mikey picked up the pace as he ran up the steps towards the roof. Down below, he could hear the cops rushing to catch up with him, clamoring up the fire escape after him. Once he was up on the roof, Mikey dashed towards the other side, hoping to get some distance between him and the cops. Unfortunately, he didn’t see the cops finally coming out from the fire escape.
“Freeze!” A cop shouted, letting off a shot.
The shot nicked Mikey in the leg, causing him to cry out in pain and completely miss his jump. He hit the wall of the adjacent building, rebounding off the fire escape before snapping through several laundry lines. The lines slowed him down enough, and several bags of garbage cushioned his fall.
“That’s gonna leave a mark...” he groaned, looking at his injured leg and wincing. “No more rooftops tonight… shell.”
He slowly picked himself up, nearly falling over again after putting pressure on his bad leg.
“No running either...” he winced. “Not good. Need to think of something fast.”
He starts looking around, seeing certain items of garbage that started to get an idea. Knowing time was running out, he got to work. As he did, the cops descended from the roof as fast as they could, closing in on the alley. They got on either side of it, spotting Mikey’s silhouette in the shadows of the closed off area. They bolted towards him, tackling him to the ground as several others aimed their guns at the orange turtle.
“Don’t move!” They shouted. “We’ve got you-”
They cut off when they realized that what they had tackled was not Mikey. In fact, it was a dummy made out of garbage with Mikey’s clothes thrown on it. The cops got up, looking down at the dummy in confusion and shock.
“The creature gave us the slip.” One swore. “Damn. Search the area! He couldn’t have gone far!”
The officers pulled out of the alley, spreading out to begin their search. Once they were gone, Mikey poked his head out from behind a dumpster in the alley. He watched them go, then let out a sigh of relief.
“Too close.” he let out.
He carefully limped out of his hiding spot, clad only in a pair of boxers. He glanced down at his clothing left on the dummy, wincing a bit.
“As much as I don’t want to go home in my underwear, my clothing could give me away.” he muttered, groaning slightly. “Why has orange betrayed me?”
Leo meanwhile kept quiet as he dashed through the city. Sticking to alleyways and ducking behind cars, he tried to put as much distance between himself and the crash. He knew that cops and government officials were still close by, and was unwilling to risk leading them to his home.
“Need to lose my pursuers.” he said quietly. “Just need somewhere to do it.”
He tried to think of a possibility as his eyes wondered. Suddenly, he caught a glimpse of something in the distance. It was the Wolf Hotel, still under construction, with sheets of plastic waving slightly in the wind.
“That’ll do.” he declared.
He took off towards the building, catching the eye of a few cops. He ran right through the open main door, the cops closing in on him.
“I’ve got a visual on one of the creatures.” One cop reported. “Orders?”
“Corner it.” another commanded.
The cops then entered the construction site, guns at the ready. Swiftly and silently, they all moved through the halfway finished building, searching for the turtle. Leo moved quickly as well, darting across the skeletal halls with barely a rustle of plastic to indicate he’d ever been there. Seeing a recently added window, he came with an idea. He leapt to the ceiling and tossed a rock at the window, smashing it.
“What was that?” A cop shouted.
Leo quickly made himself scarce as cops rushed towards the broken window. Seeing the shattered glass, the cops all stopped short.
“It went out the window!” another cop exclaimed. “After it.”
The cops all ran from the room as Leo slowly poked his head out of his hiding place. Carefully, he peeked out the window, watching as the cops went the way they perceived he’d gone. Leo smirked, then turned in the opposite direction, slipping out an unfinished window before disappearing.
Elsewhere, Splinter made his way across the rooftops of the city. Unlike his children, he had far more success in eluding the police. Though occasionally a sound he made would draw their attention, none of them ever caught sight of the mutant rat. After some more sneaking about, he managed to locate a manhole cover safely hidden in the cover of darkness. He prepared to open it, but was forced to take cover as a pair of cops came walking by.
“I can’t believe these things were hiding in our city.” One remarked.
“I know, crazy.” His partner agreed. “What’s next? Gargoyles?”
“With everything going on, it wouldn’t surprise me.” the first one replied. “Still, I’m still shocked these freaks weren’t caught before now.”
“Well, remember all those Purple Dragons that we brought in, swearing up and down they’d been taken out by turtles?” his partner challenged. “Maybe these things are what did it.”
“Either way, I’ll personally sleep better once all these freaks have been rounded up.” the first one declared.
“You and me both.” the second agreed.
As the cops kept walking, Splinter dove down to the street and lifted the manhole cover, slipping down into the sewers before the cops could even notice him. Once the lid was safely in place, he darted for home, the words of the two cops making his heart beat faster with fear.
“Please be safe, my children.” he begged. “Please...”
Meanwhile in an EPF medical facility, April, Casey, and Murakami were being watched over by several EPF agents. Their wounds had been tended to, and right now they were waiting for the three to wake up. The first to do so was April, letting out a soft groan as she fumbled for her glasses. Finding them sitting on a small table beside her, she slipped them on, gasping when she found herself not on the Triceraton ship.
“What happened?” She questioned. “Where am I?”
Her eyes then landed on Casey, who was also beginning to come to. Murakami groaned slightly, consciousness returning to him.
“Casey, Mr. Murakami!” she called out.
“It’s alright, miss.” A new voice declared as a lone agent entered the room. “You’re safe now. I had my men transport you here after you were pulled from the wreck of that space craft.”
“Where am I?” April asked. “And who are you?”
“My name is Agent Bishop.” the man introduced. “I’m the leader of the Earth Protection Force. As for where you are, you’re in one of my medical facilities. I had a feeling you three would rather avoid being questioned by the police about how it is you came to be on that spacecraft.”
“Uh… thanks.” April replied honestly surprised.
“What do you want, man?” Casey questioned, clearly suspicious of the man.
“Nothing.” Bishop assured him. “I am merely doing my job and protecting the inhabitants of this world, no matter who, or what, they might be.”
All three patients understood the double meaning on his words, falling silent as he spoke again.
“You’re all free to leave once the doctor clears you.” Bishop informed them. “However, if I may offer my advice, tell your friends that it may be wise to lay low for a while. I fear what may happen to them if they show themselves during such turbulent times.”
“We’ll… be sure to do that.” April told him.
Murakami’s sightless eyes narrowed.
“Tell me, Agent.” he spoke up. “The rest of the city hunts while you tend to us. Why do you not join the others in their quest?”
“Because I know the truth of their quarry.” Bishop explained. “I know that they have given more to protect this city, no, this world, than most. I only wish I could do more.”
He then walked out of the room, leaving the three patients to contemplate his words. Once Bishop was out of the room, his comm in his ear went off.
“Sir, we’ve done what we can for the Hamato girl.” the voice on the other end declared. “Orders?”
“Put her on the bus stop off 11th and Bleaker.” Bishop ordered. “That’s near where the crocodile was last spotted. With luck, he’ll take her and vanish before too long.”
“Understood sir.” the agent replied before signing off.
At the bus stop, An EPF agent gently deposited Hisako onto the bench. She was still unconscious, a fresh bandage on her injured ankle, as well as around her head and waist. As the agent ensured she was in no danger of falling off, the sound of what could only be described as a monster rampaging filled his ears.
The agent wisely ran as fast as he could, tearing away from the scene just as a livid Leatherhead rounded the corner. He caught sight of Hisako and instinctively bolted towards her. He looked her over, seeing the bandages and the fact that she was not harmed any further. He felt some of his fear ebb away as he picked her up, cradling her close. Her eyes fluttered open as she looked up, seeing her oldest friend staring down at her.
“Leatherhead?” she let out.
“I’ve got you… Oracle...” he told her.
Gently running a claw through her hair, he turned towards a nearby manhole. Ripping it from the ground, he hopped right in, the lid clattering behind him. The agent, who’d been hiding behind a building, let out a sigh of relief.
“The croc took the girl and they went down below.” he reported.
“Good.” Bishop replied. “Any sign of the others?”
“No, sir.” the agent replied. “My guess, they’ve either escaped below, or found somewhere to hide out. These mutants are adept in the art of disappearing.”
“True.” Bishop conceded. “Keep monitoring just in case. If anyone catches sight of them, I wanna know about it.”
“As you command, sir.” the agent agreed, going to do as he was told.
Back with Donny and Irma, the purple turtle was testing out the splint that Irma had made for his arm. It was sturdy, thank goodness, and did its job well. She even used an old scarf to make a sling for him.
“There, how’s that feel?” she asked.
“Better.” Donny replied. “Thanks.”
Irma gave him a smile, then she let out a sigh.
“I don’t suppose I could convince you to stay here until you’ve rested.” she remarked.
“Can’t.” Donny insisted. “Gotta get back to my family.”
“I can respect that.” Irma replied. “I can give you a ride somewhere. You can hide in my backseat.”
“There’s an abandoned garage on B Street south.” Donny told her. “It’s our connection to the surface.”
“Surface?” Irma repeated. “You live under the city?”
Donny nodded, standing up.
“Think you can get me there?”
Irma got up and grabbed her purse off a hook by the door.
“Let’s get going.” Irma nodded.
She went over to the front door, peeking around to make sure no cops were nearby. She then gave Donny a nod, unlocking her car with the push of a button. Donny rushed to get in, pausing for a brief moment.
“Wait, my coat!” he hissed.
He rushed over to the trash can he’d stashed it in, pulling the coat out. Tucking it under his arm, he dove into the back seat, curling up as best he could. Irma got in and gunned the engines, making for B Street.
Leo slipped towards the closest manhole he could locate, the sight of the every lightening sky spurring his movements.
“Gotta get below before the sun rises.” he whispered. “Otherwise I may as well just turn myself over.”
He made his way towards the manhole, but quickly ducked behind a car when he saw a cop coming his way. Leo watched the cop come to a stop right on top of the manhole cover, pulling out their radio.
“Sun’s coming up chief.” they reported. “These freaks are about to lose one hell of an advantage.”
“You’re telling me.” Leo muttered under his breath.
“Maintain your position.” The chief ordered. “If you see one of those freaks, taze it. I want it alive, so it can tell us where its nest is.”
“10-4.” The cop replied. “Maintaining position.”
Leo mentally cursed, his fists clenching. He looked up at the horizon, knowing all too well he didn’t have time to find another manhole. Deciding on a course of action, he silently moved towards the cop, sneaking up on him and performing a nerve jab on his neck. The cop crumbled instantly, Leo catching him and gently laying him down on the ground.
“Nothing personal.” He told the cop.
He then lifted the lid of the manhole, hopping in and disappearing.
Back in the turtles’ lair, Splinter managed to arrive first. He looked around his home, feeling his heart plummet into his stomach when he saw how empty it was.
“My children!” He called out. “Is anyone here?!”
Footsteps from the tunnel leading towards the lair drew Splinter’s attention. He turned to face the approaching figure.
“Sensei?” Leo called out, stopping in the door.
“Leonardo!” Splinter let out, rushing towards him.
The two embraced, both holding tightly to one another. When they released, Leo looked around.
“We’re the first to get here?” He asked.
“So it seems.” Splinter confirmed. “I can only hope your siblings are faring well.”
That’s when the elevator beeped, signifying that it was coming down.
“Let’s hope that’s one of them.” Leo spoke.
The elevator doors opened, unveiling Donny. He gave a wave with his good arm, his coat draped over his shoulders.
“Hey Leo.” he greeted. “Sensei. Glad you two got here safely.”
“Donatello, your arm.” Splinter noted. “Are you alright?”
“And is that a girls scarf?” Leo asked.
“Yes to both questions.” Donny replied. “I sprained my arm in the crash. Luckily, Irma got me to safety and patched me up. Made me a sling out of one of her old scarves.”
“You mean that girl you met at the science expo?” Leo questioned.
“She knew I was a turtle and still helped me.” he marveled. “She saw through my makeup, but decided to get to know me before passing judgement.”
“Then she is a valued ally.” Splinter decided. “And these days, we need everyone we can find.”
“No kidding.” Leo agreed.
Lumbering footsteps filled the lair, causing the three to turn around. Leatherhead then entered the lair, Hisako in his arms. She gave a smile and a wave.
“Dad, Leo, Don.” she called out.
Leo and Donny immediately ran over to her and helped her out of Leatherhead’s arms. Donny immediately took note of the professionally done bandages around her wounds, something he knew neither she nor Leatherhead were capable of doing.
“How’d you get these?” Donny asked as he set her down on the couch.
Hisako looked down at herself, looking at her bandages
“I’ve had them since I woke up.” she explained.
“She was… taken from me...” Leatherhead reluctantly admitted. “But I found her… on a bus stop. She had been… cared for… then left.”
“So, someone took me, patched me up, and then gave me back?” Hisako questioned. “That makes almost no sense.”
“No, it doesn’t.” Leo agreed.
“It seems we have another unseen ally in our current plight.” Splinter mused.
“But who?” Donny questioned.
“Only time will tell.” Splinter answered.
“Speaking of time, I hope Mikey, Raph, and Lisa get here soon.” Leo prayed. “Morning’s coming, and if they get caught during the day...”
“Have faith in your brothers, my son.” Splinter reassured. “They are capable. I am confident they will be alright.”
Meanwhile, Mikey continued sneaking around, feeling a big cold without any of his clothes. He hunkered down behind a dumpster, shivering.
“Why did I have to be a cold-blooded reptile?” He whimpered. “And why did I have to leave my clothes behind?”
He peeked around the corner, his eyes landing on a Goodwill clothing donation bin. He sighed in relief, running over to it. With a swift kick, he knocked it open, spilling the contents. He quickly grabbed some pants, a shirt, a hoodie, and some rain boots. He yanked all the clothes on, shoving his feet into the boots before pulling the hood over his head and sticking his hands in the hoodie pocket.
“Warm clothes, check.” he listed off. “Disguise, check. Some semblance of an idea on how to get home?”
He glanced around, eventually locking eyes on a manhole cover. He grinned.
“Check.” he finished, rushing over to it and hopping down to safety.
Across town, Raph and Lisa made it to Galactic Enterprises. Lisa looked at the building skeptically, turning to Raph with a confused expression.
“I thought we were attempting to elude the humans.” she remarked. “Why are we going into a largely populated building?”
“Thing is, it’s populated by Utroms.” Raph informed.
That caught Lisa by surprise.
“There are Utroms on this planet?” She questioned.
“Why do you think we were hunting for an Utrom Outpost when we met?” Raph replied.
Raph then hit the door’s buzzer, the locks immediately clicking to let them in. Both of them rushed inside, where they were greeted by Samson.
“Raphael.” The Guardian called out. “I am glad to see you alive and well.”
“All things considered, yeah.” Raph replied.
“Where is the rest of your family?” Samson asked.
“With any luck, safely back home.” Raph answered. “Which is why Lisa and I are here. We were hoping you could port us back to the lair.”
“Of course.” Samson told him. “Come with me.”
The three quickly made their way towards the transmat room. Professor Honeycutt looked up at they entered, relief clear on his face.
“Raphael, and your Salamandarian friend.” he greeted. “When we saw your ship go down, we feared the worst.”
“Yeah, it’s been a rough day for all of us.” Raph remarked. “We need to get back to the lair, and fast.”
“Of course.” Honeycutt told him, getting right to work. “I only wish I could’ve done more. I had been working on a retrieval system for the transmat, but it’s far from complete.”
“You aiding us in our escape is more than enough.” Lisa assured him.
“I wish I could believe that.”
The Professor hit a button, powering on the transmat.
“Step on, and you’ll be transported safely to your home.” he declared.
The two nodded before stepping on the platform. Almost immediately, the two were surrounded by pink, swirling light. The lights became faster and faster before eventually dying, carrying Raph and Lisa away.
Swirling pink lights drew everyone’s attention in the lair, Raph and Leo instinctively going for their weapons. When the lights faded to reveal Raph and Lisa, everyone relaxed.
“Raph!” Leo called out.
Leo instinctively ran over and hugged his brother. Raph was taken aback, but returned the hug after a moment.
“I’m okay, bro.” he promised. “Lisa and I just hitched a ride back her via Utrom Transmat.”
“You took the transmat?” Mikey called out as he entered the lair. “Aw man, why didn’t I think of that?”
“Mikey!” Raph let out before noting his attire. “What’s with your clothes?”
“Kinda a long story.” Mikey replied.
“Whatever the story, we’re all here.” Hisako pointed out. “We all made it home safe.”
“Wish the same could be said for the others.” Donnie remarked solemnly.
Just then, Donny’s shell cell started ringing, much to his surprise. He picked it up, his eyes widening.
“It’s April.” he let out.
“Be careful, my son.” Splinter warned. “It could be a trap.”
“Don’t worry, Sensei.” Donnie told him. “With my encryption software, not even NASA could hack in and trace us.”
He then answered the phone, putting it on speaker.
“April?” He asked.
“Donny?! Thank god you’re alright.” April let out. “Are the others with you?”
“Yeah, we’re all okay.” Donny assured her. “We’re all a bit bruised, but we made it back to the lair safely. Even LH and Lisa.”
“What about you, Casey, and Murakami?” Leo questioned.
“We’re alright.” April assured him. “We were taken in by some group called the Earth Protection Force. They patched us up and let us go. Casey’s making sure Mr. Murakami gets back home safely right now.”
“They just let you go?” Donny asked.
“That’s not the weirdest part.” April informed him. “We met with their leader, a guy named Agent Bishop. Though he didn’t specifically say it, he gave strong hints that he was on your side and he was trying to help you.”
Hisako glanced down at her bandages, thinking to herself silently as April went on.
“He also asked that we deliver a warning.” she said. “He said it would be best for you guys to lay low, saying that in these turbulent times, any surface appearance could be a deadly final one.”
“I hate to admit it, but he may be right.” Leo agreed.
“Yeah, if tonight is anything to go by.” Mikey commented.
“It works out anyhow.” Donny remarked, trying to put a positive spin on things. “We need time to heal and rest.”
“And then what?” Raph asked. “We’re public enemies one through eight right now. It’s open season on mutants.”
Lisa let out a cough.
“And aliens.” he amended.
“We must be patient.” Splinter insisted. “The city needs time to repair itself, and for its people to return to a semblance of normalcy.”
“Besides, it won’t be too different from the way things were before.” Leo said. “We’ve always had to hide ourselves. Now we just have to extra careful.”
“Glad you guys are taking this well.” April spoke up. “Just rest for now. Hopefully, things will settle down soon.”
“Hopefully.” Donny agreed, hanging up the phone.
With assurance that the last of their group was okay, everyone just slumped in exhaustion. Not even bothering to set up their bed, everyone either sat down or sprawled out on the ground, crowding in a huge group near the couch. Even Splinter, Lisa, and Leatherhead joined the pile, all of them falling into a dreamless sleep.
In the police precinct, Chief Rebecca Vincent was on a conference call with the various other precincts across the city.
“What do you mean they got away?!” She exclaimed.
“I’m sorry, Chief.” one of the various cops apologized. “It’s like they just vanished.”
“We’ve got a few men down across the city.” another remarked. “They don’t appear to be injured, just knocked out.”
Vincent rubbed her forehead, letting out a small groan.
“Put out an APB on these creatures.” she ordered. “If these things show their faces, I want them rounded up and brought in.”
“What about the girl they were with?” A different cop asked.
“Her too.” Vincent answered. “One way or another, we are taking these creatures out.”