TMNT: Secret of the Sewers

H.A.T.E.

In a secluded brownstone on the edge of town, several angry New Yorkers were gathered up. Each was shouting and jeering, the walls decorated with old newspaper clippings and blurry tabloid photos. All of these decorations had one thing in common: they all had something to do with ‘mutants’ or ‘monsters’. As the crowd roared, one man in particular went ahead of them to speak. He was an older man with poliosis, meaning he had black hair with a white patch where his bangs were. He wore cargo pants and a tactical vest over a black shirt with an x over an alien symbol.

“People of New York, you know why you’re here!” He spoke. “We’re here because we’re the only ones willing to take action against these mutant freaks!”

The crowd exploded into angry jeers and shouts, throwing their fists in the air.

“These monsters have run rampant in our city while the police and the government have done jack to stop them!” He resumed. “Well now, it’s time for the good people of this city to stand up for themselves!”

The crowd cheered again.

“It is time for us to show these monsters that they aren’t welcome on our planet!”

The cheering grew louder.

“We’ve searched all over the city to try and find these freaks, but we haven’t found a trace of them.” the man went on. “That’s when it hit me. They’re not in our city...”

He slapped a map of the New York City drainage system that was tacked onto the wall.

“They’re UNDER it!” he shouted. “Hiding right under our noses! Now we just need to smoke em out...”

Down in the lair, everyone was trying to find something to alleviate their ever growing cabin fever. Leo had retreated into the dojo, practicing his katas over and over. Raph was taking out his frustrations on his punching bag, with the occasional break to patch up a bad hole. Donny was tucked away in his lab, working on one of the many projects he’d begun in order to keep himself busy. Hisako was currently playing video games in the living room, enjoying the mundane nature of the activity. Splinter just sat in his room, meditating. Mikey peeked in to check on him, Klunk tucked under his arm as he did. Once he was certain the rat master was busy, he slipped passed him and made his way to Donny’s lab.

“This is gonna be sweet.” he whispered, holding a water balloon in his other hand.

Klunk meowed in agreement as Mikey gave a light knock on Donny’s lab door.

“It’s open!” Donny called out.

Mikey just knocked again, stifling a giggle. Donny sighed, then went to open the door. Before he could get a word off, he was pelted in the face by a water balloon.

“Yes!” Mikey proclaimed. “Dr. Prankenstein strikes again!”

“Michelangelo!” Donny screamed, prompting the orange turtle into motion.

“Uh… got other patients I need to see.” Mikey let out. “Gotta go!”

He then bolted out of the room, slamming the door shut behind him. Donny tried to open the door, but it seemed to be stuck from the other side.

“Mikey!” Donny cried out. “Let me out of here right now!”

“Nope!” Mikey called out, already preparing to go after his next ‘patient’.

Leo meanwhile, continued working his katas. Each movement was precise and focused, his concentration unbreakable. Mikey used this to his advantage, using every lesson in ninja stealth he had to sneak up behind him. He then threw the water balloon, Leo instinctively slicing through it. This sent the contents splashing all over him, much to his annoyance.

“Mikey…” Leo let out.

“Yes Leo?” Mikey asked.

“...run.”

Mikey obliged and beat feet out of the dojo, slamming the door shut behind him. Unlike Donnie, Leo knew immediately it was blocked from the outside, the orange turtle having planned ahead. Wiping his face, he resumed his katas, assured that Mikey would get his dues when he went after the fourth turtle.

“Hey Raph?” Mikey called out innocently.

“What?” Raph questioned, still wailing on his bag.

“There’s a giant spider in the bathroom.” Mikey told him. “Can you squish it for me?”

“You’re kidding right?!” Raph called back.

“Please Raphie, it’s huge!” Mikey begged. “Even Klunk’s scared of it.”

Mikey held up Klunk, who gave a small meow while putting on his cute eyes.

“Alright!” Raph relented, opening the door. “This had better be a big-”

A water balloon collided with the back of his head, then Raph heard the sound of the door slamming shut and something heavy being slid in the way.

“MIKEY!” Raph yelled, trying to open the door.

“Forget it, Raph.” Donny called through the wall. “Mikey’s tagged us and trapped us. He planned this entire thing.”

“Why are you so calm about this?!” Raph snapped.

“Two reasons.” Donny answered. “One, he has to let us out eventually. And two, there’s only one other person he can hit, and we all know how that’s gonna end.”

“Oh yeah.” Raph recalled. “I can’t wait to see how that plays out.”

Hisako was still in the middle of her video game, and Mikey could tell it was reaching a climactic part. Mikey wound up his arm and heaved the balloon right at her head. Inches before it hit though, it stopped midair, a green halo of energy surrounding it. Mikey went wide-eyed, then he heard the sounds of his brothers being freed from their various rooms. Very slowly, he turned, watching as Donny and Raph walked out, both grinning maliciously. Even Leo took a break from his katas to come out and face down his brother.

“Hehe...” Mikey let out nervously. “Hey… guys...”

Without looking up from her game, more water balloons began floating in the air, gathering around Mikey like birds of prey. He dropped Klunk, the cat quickly scurrying to safety as Mikey braced himself.

“Not again.” he squeaked.

From Splinter’s room, the sound of a dozen or so water balloons hitting Mikey reached his ears. He sighed as Mikey squealed from the cold water and shock, shaking his head.

“Kids.” he muttered.

“Ok! Ok! Uncle!” Mikey yelled. “I give! I give!”

Hisako finished her level, letting out a small victorious hiss before turning to her brothers.

“When are you going to learn, Mikey?” she questioned. “You’re never going to hit me with a water balloon.”

“Can’t blame a guy for trying… right?” Mikey replied.

“Even so, locking us in separate rooms was not a good idea.” Leo chastised.

“I was gonna let you out.” Mikey promised. “I was just hoping if I kept you away from Hisako, she wouldn’t know what I was planning.”

“Well, you failed miserably.” Donny remarked.

“Now you get to clean up all this water.” Raph declared. “And I better not find any balloon remnants anywhere, or I’ll make you eat them.”

“Alright, alright.” Mikey agreed, going to get a mop.

Out in the city, Casey was riding along on his bike, keeping an eye out for any trouble. With the turtles still homebound, crime had gone up, prompting Casey to go out at night to keep the peace. At the moment, everything seemed to be quiet, much to his annoyance.

“This would be so much better if I had someone with me.” he lamented. “No wonder the guys always travel together.”

As he drove along, several trucks sped past him, going easily twice the speed limit.

“What the heck?” Casey let out. “Where are they off to in such a hurry?”

Casey then drove off after the truck, keeping a safe distance as he did so. He followed them all the way to the Lairdman Island Chemical plant, where the trucks stopped and several large men came out.

“Alright Skonk, what’s the plan?” one asked the black and white haired leader.

“The chemical the boys found out about should be inside.” Skonk replied. “We find it, load it up, and make those mutants pay.”

“Mutants pay?” Casey muttered. “Chemical? This could be bad.”

He then ducked into the crowd, sliding his hockey mask on to obscure his face as the group all did the same with their own masks. He followed them as they split up, hitting the security cameras with paint balls. The guards standing outside the building were quickly and efficiently knocked out, laid down on the ground so they would be out of the way.

“Damn, these guys are professionals.” Casey whispered.

He continued following the group as they made their way towards the storage area for the various chemicals.

“So, how do we know what this chemical looks like?” Casey asked, trying to sound like one of the group.

“Just look for anything that says ‘chlorosulfonic acid’.” one of the men told him.

Casey froze up, then let out a cough to play it off.

“Right, right.” he let out. “And uh… what are we gonna do with it again?”

The same guy let out a groan.

“Jeez, weren’t you listening at all during the rally?” He questioned. “He grab the acid, we take it into the center of the city, then pour it down into the storm drains. It detonates and eradicates all the monsters lurking down there, and our city is creature free.”

“Right… great plan.” Casey replied.

“I know, right?” the guy replied. “Those mutants are toast!”

Casey nodded nervously, grateful his mask was hiding the look of abject horror on his face.

“Jackpot boys!” Skonk suddenly shouted. “I found what we need!”

The others turned towards Skonk and watched as he climbed triumphantly onto a pile of chemical drums. They all had water hazard signs on them, as well as the name of the chemical itself. When Casey saw how many drums there were, he felt his heart skip a beat, fearing the worst for his friends.

“Grab as many as we can carry!” Skonk commanded. “When we’re through, no one will mess with New York again!”

Looking around for anything he could use, Casey eyed the fire alarm on a nearby wall. Carefully backing towards it, he grabbed it and yanked. Almost immediately, alarms began blaring all throughout the facility, as well as a pre-recorded message demanding for an evacuation.

“What the hell?!” Skonk let out. “Who just-?!”

He saw Casey over by the fire alarm, just about to make his exit.

“Seems we have a traitor in our midst!” Skonk shouted. “Grab him!”

Casey took that as a cue to bolt, a certifiable army chasing after him while the rest grabbed the chemicals. As Casey ran through the warehouse, he grabbed a nearby shelf and pulled it over, knocking it down and slowing his pursuers down as Casey made his way out to his bike. He hopped on and started the engine, shooting off down the street as the goons came out.

“He’s getting away!” one of the men cried out.

“Let ’im.” Skonk declared. “We can’t waste any more time. Grab the stuff before the cops show up!”

The man nodded as he and the others got to work collecting the chemicals and heading out.

Back down in the lair, Mikey had finished up cleaning his water balloon mess, plopping down on the couch and letting out an exaggerated sigh. Hisako paused her game, turning to him.

“Yes, Mikey?” she asked.

“I’m bored.” Mikey whined. “I miss the surface. Being able to go topside and stretch our legs. Rooftop running and star gazing.”

He let out another sigh, sinking deeper into the couch.

“When is this turtle hunt gonna end?” He questioned.

“It can’t last forever.” Leo assured him, joining him on the couch.

“Leo, you’ve been saying that for weeks.” Raph pointed out. “And in that time, we’ve had cops on our tail, a bounty on our heads, a crazy guy lurking in the sewers, and the five of us so worked up that we’re practically at each other’s throats.”

“I know it’s been hard,” Leo admitted, “but we gotta stick it out a little longer.”

Just then, the entrance to the lair opened up, everyone immediately on edge. They relaxed, however, when they realized it was Leatherhead. Hisako grinned, rushing to him and jumping onto him.

“Leatherhead!” she cheered.

“Hey LH.” Donny greeted. “Not that this isn’t a nice change of pace, but what are you doing here? I thought we warned you that the sewers may not be safe.”

“You did.” Leatherhead replied, picking up Hisako and balancing her in one arm. “That’s why... I’m here... I was worried... about Oracle.”

“Awww.” Hisako let out, nuzzling him. “I missed you too, big guy.”

He just held her close, prompting Don, Raph, and Mikey to poke fun. Mikey immediately started making kissing noises, Donny and Raph snickering at his antics.

“Get a room, you two.” Raph called out.

“What’s the matter?” Hisako quipped. “Jealous my boyfriend came to visit?”

“Eh, ignore them.” Leo told her. “They just have nothing better to do.”

At that moment, Hisako’s shell cell started ringing. She blinked, fishing for it and pulling it out of her jacket.

“Unknown number.” she reported.

“Maybe it’s a telemarketer?” Mikey suggested.

“Not possible.” Donny insisted. “I’ve got our phones set to automatically redirect sales calls to a John Cena line.”

“You totally got that off Tumblr.” Hisako accused.

“Hey, it works.” Donny shrugged.

“If it’s not a telemarketer, then who could it be?” Leo asked.

“One way to find out.” Hisako decided, answering the phone. “Hello?”

"Greenie, it’s Casey."

“Oh hey Case.” Hisako greeted. “You break your phone again? You better not have been out being a vigilante again.”

"You got bigger problems than that." Casey told her. "A group of mutant haters has gotten ahold of a chemical that’ll blow up the sewers."

Hisako went pale, switching her phone to speaker.

“Say that again?” she asked.

"A group of mutant hating psychos broke into a warehouse and stole some acid that’ll incinerate everything in the sewers." Casey elaborated. "Including you guys."

“Acid?” Donny repeated. “What kind of acid?”

"Chlorosulfonic acid." Casey relayed. "They made off with a few barrels of it.”

Donny’s face lost several shades of green as he stumbled back. He caught himself on the couch as Splinter came out, drawn closer by the commotion.

“What is going on out here” Splinter asked.

“Some yahoos stole some clock oh sardonic acid.” Mikey supplied.

“Chlorosulfonic acid.” Donny corrected, still looking terrified. “It reacts violently with water, causing a powerful combustion.”

“And we… live… in the storm drains...” Leatherhead realized.

“Not only will these guys completely torch us and every other living creature down here, but the sheer force of the explosion will cause massive damage to the entire tunnel system. They could collapse half the city.”

"Yeah, well they don’t seem to care about that." Casey informed. "They’re hell bent on seeing you guys burn, no matter the cost."

“So what do we do?” Mikey questioned.

“We need to get out of the storm drain, that much is certain.” Splinter declared.

“But where would we go?” Hisako asked. “We’re clearly not wanted on the surface, and I doubt Lisa’s place can accommodate all of us.”

“More than that, hundreds if not thousands of people could get hurt because of this scheme.” Donny added.

“Then we find these hatemongers and shut them down.” Leo decided. “Do you have any idea where they’ll be setting up shop?”

“My guess, the heart of the city.” Donny proposed. “Perfect place to draw a crowd.”

"And to ensure mass distribution of the chemical." Casey agreed. "More than that, it will be impossible for anyone to sneak up on them."

“They haven’t met us.” Leo replied.

“I will come.” Leatherhead declared. “They threaten… my home… my friends...”

“Not that we wouldn’t appreciate the help, but we can’t afford to be seen.” Donny tried to tell him.

“D, that ship sailed a long time ago.” Raph told him bluntly. “We need all the help we can get.”

“Then let’s go.” Leo declared.

Across town, Skonk and his men got all of the chemicals poured into a massive truck, ready to dump down into the storm drain. They had also barricaded off the streets with cars, dumpsters, and anything else they could find that was heavy enough.

“Streets are nearly blocked off, boss.” one of the men reported.

“Good.” Skonk declared. “Nobody gets in or out without my say so.”

The man nodded as he got back to work.

Meanwhile, the police were pulling up, stopping when they saw the barricades. One car had Kara and Sterns, who got out to inspect what was happening.

“What the hell are these guys up to?” Sterns asked.

“We don’t know, but none of our men can get close.” Kara answered. “We have no idea what that chemical is, or what they plan to do with it.”

“Just tell me Bomb Squad’s on the way.” Sterns insisted.

“As well as SWAT and sniper units.”

“Good.” Sterns replied. “In the meantime, keep the civilians back in case these bozos start feeling claustrophobic.”

Kara nodded as she and several officers began trying to keep people back. News crews and reports gathered around the barrier, trying to get a shot of the action. Meanwhile, the police snipers moved into positions on various rooftops. As one sniper took his position, several figures appeared behind him. Before he had a chance to act, he was knocked out cold and dragged away from the edge, allowing the Hamato Family to take his place.

“There’s that Skonk guy Casey mentioned.” Leo pointed out.

“And that is a lot of acid.” Donny gulped.

“So how we gonna play this?” Raph asked.

“Honestly, I have no idea.” Leo admitted. “There’s too many witnesses, and too many people who want us dead. The second we show our faces, we’re dead.”

“Unless we had a suitable diversion.” Donny pondered. “If I can tap into the power grid for this block, I should be able to kill the power long enough for us to get past the barrier.”

“Sounds good.” Leo replied. “Once we’re down there, think you can find a way to deal with the acid?”

“I’ll do my best.” Donny said nervously as he pulled out a small jerry-rigged game console. “It’s all I can do.”

“That’s all we can ask for.” Leo told him.

Down below, Skonk climbed up onto the top of the chemical truck, a megaphone in his hand. Every camera turned to him, as did the mutants watching from the roof.

“This is a day the people of this city have been needing for far too long!” Skonk yelled. “The day we finally rid ourselves of these alien freaks!”

As he spoke, a pair of his men dropped a banner over the side of the chemical truck. It read, Humans Against The Extraterrestrials, in blood red, with the first letter of each word emboldened. The Hamato family saw this and their blood went cold.

“We’re in deep shell.” Raph let out.

“We are the Humans Against The Extraterrestrials!” Skonk proclaimed. “We are the saviors of humanity! The heroes who will destroy the alien menace once and for all!”

“Down with the Aliens!” H.A.T.E. Chanted. “Down with the aliens!”

“Well that’s peppy.” Mikey commented.

“Donatello, time is running short.” Splinter warned. “We need darkness.”

“Working on it!” Donny hissed back.

Skonk then went over to the back of the truck, yanking open a manhole.

“With this truck of acid, all of the monsters and aliens haunting this city will finally meet the violent, fiery death they deserve!”

“Donny…” Leo let out.

“Almost… there…” Donny responded. “Got it!”

With one final button push, the power to the entire block started going out. The seconds the lights went out, everyone gathered around began to panic. The Hamato ninjas quickly vaulted off the roof, hoping to take advantage of the chaos.

In a government compound on the edge of the city, Bishop was watching the various news reports on H.A.T.E.’s stunt. When he saw the lights cut, his mouth tightened into a thin line.

“They’re acting.” he realized. “What are they thinking?”

“Sir?” One of his agents spoke up. “What should we do? If they get caught, we could have a full-blown riot on our hands.”

“Prepare an extraction unit.” Bishop ordered. “I was them on the scene immediately.”

“Sir, yes sir.” the agent replied, rushing off to comply as Bishop kept watching the screen.

Back in the center of downtown, Skonk looked around as the lights all died. He smirked viciously, knowing what that meant.

“They’re here.” he declared. “You all know what to do.”

The men nodded as they bolted over to some nearby cars. The Hamato siblings moved quickly through the crowds, vaulting over the barricade and into H.A.T.E’s cordoned off area. As they landed, they took down several H.A.T.E. goons in rapid succession. Just as they prepared to go after Skonk, the sound of several engines filled the air. Headlights turned on, set to their brightest setting. Everyone froze, the Hamato family and Leatherhead now in full view.

“Smile freaks.” Skonk told them. “You’re on TV.”

If people weren’t panicking before, they were now. Police couldn’t decide who the bigger threat was: H.A.T.E, or the mutants. Civilians were just running to try and get away, and Skonk was pulling a pistol out of his belt.

“Glad you came.” he declared. “Now I can make sure you monsters are truly dead.”

“You’re welcome to try, freak nut!” Raph yelled, pulling out his sai.

Raph charged at Skonk as the rest of the Hamato family dealt with the remaining members of H.A.T.E. Leatherhead tossed men left and right as twin tessen whizzed over his head, disarming several goons. Hisako caught the tessen and used them to slice the legs of two more oncoming members. Leo’s swords made short work of two more guns before he quickly used the blades to block bullets. He then kicked the guy to the ground before moving onto the next one. Mikey combined his nunchuks into a three piece before going to town on the men, smacking one H.A.T.E. member in the face after another. Donny joined him, sweeping several goons off their feet with his staff as Splinter did the same with his walking stick.

The entire time this was going on, the police were struggling to contain the scene. They were forcefully removing civilians and media to a safe distance while trying to simultaneously keep tabs on the situation. Needless to say, it was difficult.

“Snipers!” Sterns called into a walkie-talkie. “Tell me someone has a shot.”

“Negative!” a sniper replied. “Too much movement. I can’t get a clear shot without risking shooting the chemical truck.”

“Blast it.” Sterns let out. “Well keep on em. The instant you have a shot, take it!”

“Yes sir!” the sniper replied.

Skonk and Raph continued to wrestle, the man a bit stronger than Raph and giving the red turtle a run for his money. Skonk managed to get on top of Raph and wrapped his hands around his throat, strangling him. Donny saw this first, rushing forward and jumping into the air, swinging his staff like a baseball bat.

“Hands off my brother!” he screamed.

The staff connected with the side of Skonk’s head, disorienting him. His grip loosened and Raph gasped, kicking Skonk off of him as he rubbed his neck.

“Thanks, Don.” Raph wheezed.

“Don’t mention it.” Donny said.

Suddenly, a shot rang out and Donny suddenly fell. His right leg was bleeding heavily and he was crying out in pain. Raph grabbed him and dragged him to cover near one of the barricading cars.

“Don!” He shouted, propping his brother up. “Are you okay?”

Donny grunted in pain before responding.

“Sniper…” Donny let out. “Got my leg…”

Raph turned towards the direction the shot had come from, glaring in rage.

“Those bozos can’t tell friend from foe!” He exclaimed. “We need to get out of here!”

“If we don’t destroy that chemical truck, we won’t have anywhere to escape too!” Leo shouted.

“But how?!” Hisako yelled. “We can’t get the truck out of here, and if even a single drop hits water-!”

She cut herself off, an idea coming to her. She leapt over to Mikey, grabbing him.

“Mikey, give me your water balloon.” she demanded.

“Uh, what water balloon?” Mikey replied.

“The one you were gonna hit me with.” She reminded. “I know you have it, so hand it over.”

Mikey reached into his shirt, pulling out the balloon. Hisako snatched it up, turning towards the truck. Skonk had recovered from his blow to the head and grabbed a lever, preparing to open the tank and release the contents. The second he pulled it, Hisako threw the balloon, watching it shatter onto the spilling chemicals.

“Hit the dirt!” Hisako shrieked.

Leatherhead grabbed Leo and Splinter, pulling them over to where Raph and Donnie were. Mikey and Hisako quickly joined them, huddling together and bracing themselves. The massive explosion ripped through the truck, the chemicals igniting in a massive ball of greenish-blue flames. All of H.A.T.E. was sent flying as windows shattered and cars were sent tipping onto their sides from the sheer force of the explosion.

Leatherhead took the brunt of the explosion for the mutants, his back charred and smoking as he slumped, semi-conscious from the pain. The others were shell shocked as well, their ears ringing and smoke filling the air. The five siblings slowly pulled themselves up, Splinter holding onto Donny so he wouldn’t have to put pressure on his bad leg.

“We have to go.” Leo insisted, his voice almost drowned out by the ringing in everyone’s ears.

“Easier said… than done…. Bro.” Raph let out, disoriented.

Hisako struggled to pull Leatherhead to his feet, the massive croc barely able to lift his own head. Mikey came over to help her, but the two were completely out of it, and the endeavor proved fruitless.

“Freeze!” a shout suddenly rang out.

The mutants all turned to see Sterns standing at the freshly opened entrance of the barricade, his gun aimed right at the seven of them. His hands were shaking, but the cops behind him were far steadier.

“All of you, get down on the ground!” Sterns demanded.

“Well that’s just great.” Raph lamented. “We just saved the city you dumbass!”

“Raphael!” Splinter snapped. “It would be best not to antagonize the police officers.”

“I won’t tell you again!” Sterns shouted. “Get down on the ground, now!”

“What do we do?” Mikey asked.

“For now… we do what they say.” Leo told him.

They all lifted their hands, then prepared to get on the ground. Then, several loud truck horns sounded. The cops and mutants all turned, surprised to see black vans with the Earth Protection Force logo pulling up. The vans opened up and men in full tactical gear poured out. One of these men approached Sterns, holding up a sheet of paper.

“This is EPF Jurisdiction.” the man declared. “You are hereby ordered to leave the scene and turn over the mutants to us.”

“What?!” Sterns let out. “You can’t be serious.”

“I am very serious.” the man replied before turning to some of the soldiers. “Get them in the vans. Now.”

The men closed in on the mutants, a team of four grabbing Leatherhead and dragging him off. One took hold of Hisako, ushering her towards the van Leatherhead was being put in. Two soldiers pulled Donny off of Splinter, basically tag team carrying him. Splinter tried to protest, but was simply ushered along with Raph, Leo, and Mikey.

“Hey, hey that’s our sister!” Raph shouted once he realized he and his brothers were not being sent to the same van as Hisako and Leatherhead. “That’s our sister!”

“She’ll be alright.” One of the agents reassured.

“Then why are you taking her?!” Mikey cried out. “Give her back!”

He started trying to run to Hisako, but the guards grabbed him, struggling to get him into the van. The brothers locked eyes with Hisako as she was gently pushed into the van with Leatherhead. For a brief moment, they saw the look of terror on her face before the doors slammed shut and locked. That sound caused them all to freeze, giving the agents the moment they needed to get all five into their own van before locking the doors.

“No!” Raph screamed, banging on the door. “No!”

The van began driving off as Raph kept banging, sagging to his knees as he did. Splinter began tending to Donny’s leg, tearing off pieces of the purple turtle’s lab coat for bandages. Leo held Donny’s hand as their father worked, leaving Mikey to tend to Raph.

“She’s gonna be okay, right?” Mikey asked, trying to rationalize what happened. “They just needed two vans to transport us all. They’re not trying to separate us, right?”

“They’d better not.” Raph swore.

“Wait, let me try something.” Leo insisted, pulling out his shell cell and dialing Hisako’s number.

It rang only once before the line clicked, Hisako’s terrified panting filling the speakers.

"Guys?" she let out, clearly scared out of her mind.

“Hisako!” Leo let out. “Are you alright?!”

"I’m scared." She answered. ”Leatherhead won’t wake up, I don’t know what’s going on, I can barely read my own thoughts, much less those of the driver… I don’t want to go back to a lab, Leo."

“You won’t. I promise.” Leo reassured. “As soon as we get our bearings, we’re busting out of here.”

“But what about Donny’s leg?” Raph pointed out. “He can barely stand, much less fight.”

“Forget about me.” Donny insisted. “We can’t let whomever these guys have all of us.”

“We will not leave anyone behind.” Splinter declared. “We all will get out of this, no matter what happens.”

"Promise?" Hisako asked.

“I promise.” Splinter reassured.

With nothing left to do, the ninjas all got settled into their vans, waiting to arrive wherever their destination was.

In the driver’s seat of the turtles’ van, the driver got on a communicator, connecting him to Agent Bishop.

“The extraction was successful, sir.” the driver announced. “However, we ran into a problem.”

"What problem?" Bishop questioned.

“The crocodile was with them.” The driver explained. “We put him in a separate van and ensured the girl was with him. The turtles reacted very negatively to this and I fear they may try something upon arrival.”

"I see." Bishop replied, pondering his next step. "We knew they would no doubt try something, no matter what the circumstances were. Proceed with the plan. It’s all we can do at this point."

“Yes sir.” the driver replied.

The driver then continued down the road, heading back to the compound.

The turtles curled up on the floor of the van, Splinter among them and the still connected shell cell resting in Leo’s lap. Hisako had snuggled up against Leatherhead, the crocodile having finally come around. He held her tight, everyone tense as they waited for the ride to end. Soon, they all heard sounds of other voices, and the sound of a gate being opened.

"I think we’re there." Hisako let out.

Everyone perked, rising to their feet. Splinter held Donny, keeping him off his bad leg as they all faced the doors. The vans came to a stop after a minute, then the rumble of the engine died out. Then, they heard the loud click of the locks on the van doors, but after that, nothing but silence.

"The doors just unlocked." Hisako reported. ”But… nobody’s coming in."

“Same here.” Leo reported. “Something’s up.”

"A trick?" Leatherhead suggested.

“Probably.” Leo replied. “When I give the signal, we spring out. Be ready for anything.”

Leo, Raph, and Mikey put themselves between Splinter and Donnie. On their end, Leatherhead pulled Hisako onto his back, his eyes glowing red.

“Now!” Leo shouted.

They kicked the doors open, coming out with weapons drawn. Leatherhead came out as well, landing on all fours with teeth bared and claws out. Once they were out, they all paused, taking stock of their surroundings. The first thing they noticed was that the two vans were side by side, allowing for a quick reunion between the groups. The second thing they noticed was that they were in the middle of a fenced off compound, the initials E.P.F. on the massive building before them.

“They dropped us off… outside the sudo-military complex?” Mikey questioned.

“This doesn’t make any sense.” Donny insisted. “They should have taken us to some sort of loading area inside where we could be easily process and detained.”

“If that was our intention, we would have.” a voice spoke up.

Everyone turned as a man in a dark suit walked forward. He was the only person they could see in the entire complex, and he held himself like a man used to having people listen to him.

“My name is Agent John Bishop.” He greeted. “Nice to meet you in person. We have much to talk about.”

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