Down in the NYC sewer tunnels, Hisako sat in the center of a large junction. She was in a meditative position, her eyes closed and her breathing even. She focused on the slight sounds of water rushing through the tunnels, letting the soft gurgle drown out the voices flitting through her head.
“Your abilities are a wonderful gift,” Splinter had told her in the dojo. “They give you a unique perspective of the world. However, if you come to rely on them too heavily, then should a time ever come where you cannot use them, you will be left helpless.”
This was why she was out here now, strengthening her senses, as well as playing one of her sibling’s favorite games: Ninja Tag.
The object of the game was for the turtles to tag Hisako without her hearing them. It had proven to be a fun training exercise, and a difficult challenge.
As Hisako focused on the water, she heard a single splash off to the left, followed by a muffled curse. In an instant, Hisako had a shuriken in her hand, which she quickly tossed in the direction of the noise. It landed right at the feet of Michelangelo, who let out a yelp as he jumped to avoid the projectile.
“You’re out.” Hisako called.
Mikey grumbled and sat down where he stood.
“And I was so close this time.” He muttered.
Focusing more, Hisako heard a slight scraping noise off to the right, like wood against brick. Another shuriken quickly embedded itself into Donatello’s staff.
“Out.” She called again
Donny pulled the star out of his staff and sat down. He was slightly closer to Hisako than Mikey, but not by much. Hisako focused again, and this time, heard light footsteps coming up from behind her. She quickly twirled around, a shuriken going right at Raphael’s face. He brought up his sai and blocked it, the metal star rebounding off his weapons with a bell-like chime.
“Out.” she told him with a small smile.
Raph snarled in disappointment, plopping down on the floor. He was about ten feet away from Hisako, making him the closest to her.
“Now just one more.” Hisako whispered.
She focused one more time, but heard nothing. It was almost completely silent. Until…
“Tag.” Leonardo called, tapping Hisako on the top of the head with his sword sheath.
Hisako smirked, grabbing the sheath and standing up.
“Leo wins.” She announced. “Again.”
The turtles all gathered around her as she reached into her vest, pulled out a notepad from her pocket. He plucked out a pen and added a tally mark to Leo’s column, sticking the pen behind her ear.
“Let’s see…” She began as she quickly counted the marks. “That’s 47 wins for Leo, 32 for Raph, with Donny following closely behind with 31, I have a whoppin’ 27, and finally, Mikey with 12.”
“Only 12?” Mikey whined.
“You keep making the same mistake with the puddle.” Leo commented. “A ninja must always be aware of their surroundings.”
Mikey grumbled again, but soon, a different grumbling caught everybody’s attention. Mikey’s stomach. He clutched it and sat down again.
“Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m hungry.”
Sure enough, four more stomachs began growling. Hisako chuckled and put the pad away.
“I’ll go and get us some lunch.” She volunteered. “How does pizza from Mario Brother’s Pizzeria sound?”
The turtles began cheering happily.
“Make sure to make it a deep dish pizza!” Mikey shouted.
“With sausage and pepperoni!” Raph added.
“Don’t forget my black olives.” Donny reminded.
“And extra cheese.” Leo concluded
Hisako just shook her head smiling.
“I’ll take the bike and meet you guys back here with lunch. In the meantime, you guys keep practicing.”
The turtles all nodded as Hisako headed off back to the lair.
Further down the expansive tunnels of the sewer, a large, brooding figure stalked through the darkness. Large nostrils flared, trying to catch even the smallest scent amongst the odors of the sewers. Dark red eyes pierced through the darkness, scanning the mildew covered walls for signs of life.
“Where are you...” the creature wondered aloud.
In that moment, a brief scent crossed his nose. It was faint, but the smell was distinctive.
Not wanting to lose the scent, the monster sank beneath the shallow waters, swimming at an impressive speed towards the origin of the scent.
The doors to Renaissance motors opened as a dark green motorbike sped out onto the street. Hisako gunned it, enjoying the feel of the wind and sun on her skin. It was in moments like these that Hisako sometimes forgot how much of an outsider she was. Being able to go outside, to run, jump, and be herself were luxuries she was still trying to get used to.
Part of her still feared the figures that haunted her nightmares. She was still weary of her dark past, and those who made her childhood a living hell. She knew she would never be free of them, but she refused to let her fear rule her.
It was for this reason that Hisako had become more and more insistent on going to the surface alone. Her brothers couldn’t protect her forever, so she needed to learn to stand on her own. It had taken a lot of baby steps, as well as her brothers following her around town (though she pretended she didn’t know they were there), but in the end, Hisako had become a confident woman, one who wasn’t afraid to walk in the sun.
“Man. Where is Hisako with that pizza?” Mikey groaned.
“Keep your shell on Mikey.” Raph said. “She’s only been gone five minutes.”
Mikey groaned again, slumping against the wall.
“I’m so~o hungry…” he moaned.
Leo shook his head.
“You’re always hungry.” He replied. “Just try and find something to occupy your mind until the pizza gets here.”
Mikey’s stomach growled loudly.
“Easier said than done, Leo.” Donny replied. “This is Mikey we’re talking about.”
Another growl echoed through the tunnels, even louder than before.
“Okay, Mikey. We get it. You’re hungry.” Raph snapped.
Mikey shook his head.
“That wasn’t me…”
The four brothers exchanged confused glances, ones that turned serious as they drew their weapons.
“Spread out.” Leo ordered. “I don’t think we’re alone.”
The turtles all nodded, then each ran down a separate tunnel. Leo scoured the eastern tunnels, listening for even the slightest sound. However, he heard nothing.
Raphael charged down the tunnels, turning corners rearing for a fight. Like his brother, he too came up empty handed.
Mikey leaned against the wall of a corner and picked up a stone. He tossed it, then waited to hear the clatter. When he heard nothing, he let out a sigh of relief and turned back.
“All clear on my end.” Leo said as he returned to the junction.
“Same here.” Raph called.
“Zippo.” Mikey added.
Donny however called from down the tunnel he had taken.
The turtles quickly dart down the tunnel, where they found Donny hunched over some mud. They looked at the mud to see a large footprint embedded deeply in the surface. It looked almost human, but it was much larger, and the toes seemed pointed.
“What can you tell us Don?” Leo asked as he sheathed his swords.
Donny examined the print, his mind immediately taking measurements. As he examined it, Raph and Mikey stowed their weapons.
“Judging by the size of the print, and using the foot to body ratio, I’d say this thing is about 7 feet tall.”
Raph let out a whistle at that revelation.
“That’s one big sucker.” Raph muttered.
“The claws on the toes mean that whatever we’re dealing with, it’s some sort of predator.” Donny continued. “And now that I look a bit closer, this thing has webbed toes… and only four of them.”
“Four toes?” Mikey asked. “What kind of creature has less than five toes?”
The other three turtles glared at Mikey, who looked up at his brothers with a confused expression.
“What?” he asked.
“Look at your own feet, shell-for-brains.” Raph told him.
Mikey looked down and wiggled his solitary two toes.
“Oh….” He muttered, then something dawned on him. “Hey wait a minute! That means that whatever this thing is, it’s a mutant like us!”
Donny nodded in agreement.
“That’s what I’m guessing.”
“Mutant in New York?! That aren’t us?!” Mikey whined. “That just ain’t right!”
Raph whacked Mikey upside the head, then shushed him.
“Quiet down Mikey.” He ordered.
“Raph’s right.” Don agreed. “Whatever this thing is, it’s a hunter, it’s huge, it’s a mutant-” Donny hesitated for a moment, then slowly started reaching for his Bo staff, “… and has incredibly sharp teeth…”
The brothers looked confused.
“How do you know it has sharp teeth?” Leo asked.
“Because it’s standing right behind you.” Donny replied.
In that instant, the brothers immediately grabbed their weapons and leapt to their feet, turning to face the creature. Sure enough, it stood about 7 feet tall, nearly filling the tunnel. It was dark green, with long claws on its fingers, and piercing red eyes. It had a human-ish face, but had a strange nose that slightly resembled a crocodile’s snout. Its teeth were jagged and sharp, and it was bald with long jagged scars covering its face and parts of its arms. It seemed to be wearing a pair of hospital pants with a huge hole in the back for a thick, spiny tail. Around its neck, the creature wore a strange metal collar.
“Leo…” Mikey whispered. “What do we do?”
“I don’t know Mikey…” Leo replied. “Maybe it isn’t here to fight.”
Praying his hypothesis was true, Leo slowly sheathed his swords.
“Who are you?” Leo asked, hoping this creature could understand him.
The creature snarled, then swiped his hand, knocking Leo to the side as if he were nothing. He hit the wall hard and then splashed down into the water.
The other three turtles gripped their weapons and threw themselves at the creature.
Down in Stockman’s secret laboratory, he and Hun were standing around a large monitor. On the screen, the two could see the events of the sewers occurring from a first person point of view, specifically, the large monster’s point of view.
“Isn’t this wonderful?” Stockman asked, his voice betraying the sheer joy he was feeling. “I’ve been looking for a chance to test my obedience collar. It seems to be working in full form. Though, I was hoping that the master would let me test it on you first.”
Hun raised an eyebrow, growling at the doctor. Stockman ignored him, focusing on the on-screen fight.
“Not only does it ensure that my pet will do exactly what I tell it to, but with the built in microphone and camera, I can see and hear everything it does.”
“Are you done patting yourself on the back?” Hun grumbled.
Stockman shook his head, patting Hun’s arm.
“My apologies.” he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “But considering my pet is about accomplish what you failed to do in four years, I think I’m entitled to a little ‘back patting’, don’t you?”
Hun growled, but remained silent. As the battle continued, Stockman frowned slightly.
“You know Hun, my boy, I am seeing the four turtles you have mentioned in the past, but the girl you keep mentioning is absent. Where is she?”
Hun allowed a small smirk to crawl onto his face. Even if Stockman’s pet managed to beat the turtles, if the girl was not taken down as well, Stockman will have failed after all. Noticing Hun’s smug grin, Stockman coughed, regaining himself.
“No matter.” He decided. “Eventually, she when she does, she will be mine.”
Hisako walked into Mario Brothers Pizzeria. The smell of cheese and pepperoni greeted her as she approached the main counter. As she got there, a slender man in a green shirt under a white apron came to greet her. A smile graced his face as he recognized her.
“Ah.” he called happily, his arms open as if waiting for a hug. “If it isn’t my a-favorite customer.”
“Hey Luigi.” Hisako replied. “Is Casey working today?”
“E-yes.” Luigi replied, his thick Italian accent making Hisako smile. “He’s a-in the back a-working with his girlfriend on-a his homework. I’ll go-a get ’im.”
Hisako grinned, then covered her ears as Luigi opened the door leading to the kitchen.
“Hey-a Jones! Your favorite-a customer is-a here!”
Hisako uncovered her ears as Casey Jones came out of the kitchen.
Casey was a very well built 19 year old. He had very tanned skin, a combination of mixed blood and spending most of his time outside. He was a member of almost every sports team at Eastman-Laird University, where he was going due to multiple sport scholarships. Despite being a jock, he had a really big heart. He had taken the job at Mario Brothers Pizzeria to help his mom out, and had even begun receiving tutoring in order to keep his grades acceptable.
When Casey laid eyes on Hisako, he grinned widely, revealing a row of white teeth, albeit with a chip here and there.
“Hey Greeny!” he called, jumping over the counter. “How’ve ya been?”
The two hugged, Casey’s muscular frame nearly swallowing Hisako. As he released her, his smile seemed wider.
“You’re not as skinny as before.” he remarked. “I told ya working out would put some muscle on those bones.”
Hisako laughed as Casey went back behind the counter.
“Thanks Casey.” She replied. “I’ve been doing well. What about you?”
“Been good. I was elected MVP on the football team, and my hockey team went to finals again.”
“But you didn’t come here for the sports section. You came here for a deep dish pizza with sausage and pepperoni, add black olives and extra cheese.”
Hisako chuckled. There wasn’t an ounce of telekinesis in Casey, but he always knew her exact pizza order.
“You know me so well Casey.” Hisako commented with a chuckles.
“Hey, the day I get your order wrong is the day you know something’s wrong.” Casey replied with a wave.
Casey darted back into the kitchen to get to cooking as Hisako took a seat. After a minute, the kitchen door opened again and April O’Neil walked out.
April was a 20 year old genius who had graduated top of her class, and was currently attending Eastman-Laird University on a science scholarship. She had known Casey since freshman year of high school when he had begun his tutoring search. She had helped him out, and the rest was history.
“Hisako, I thought I heard your voice.” April called as she took a seat across from her.
“Hey April.” Hisako replied. “What’s up?”
“Nothing much.” April replied with a shrug. “Casey just needed some help in algebra again.”
“That’s to be expected.” Hisako remarked. “I mean, after all, letters belong in English, not in math.”
The two girls shared a chuckled.
“What about you Hisako?” April asked after a moment “How are things going with you and your brothers?”
Hisako thought back to the fight not long ago, and how Hun had punched her lights out, literally.
“It’s been alright. One of our night jobs didn’t go as well as we had hoped, so we’re making sure that doesn’t happen again.”
“You know, you’ve never really told me what ‘night jobs’ you and your brothers do.”
Hisako felt a slight wave of panic go through her, but luckily, her brain quickly provided her with a suitable answer.
“We’re street cleaners.” She supplied. “We clear out the garbage and filth so that the city will be cleaner, and safer.”
“Sounds like very hard work.”
Hisako nodded in agreement.
“It is, but my family and I can handle it. When push comes to shove, we can stand up for ourselves, no matter what we face.”
The four turtles were getting their shells handed to them. Whatever this thing was, it had the strength of five men, and was turning out to be a greater threat than they had imagined.
“Man…” Mikey groaned. “How are we supposed to take this guy down?”
“I don’t know…” Donny replied.
“We need to work together.” Leo explained. “We need to pin his arms, avoid the teeth, and find a way to knock him out.”
Raph came flying through the air, crashing right in front of his brothers. He sat up,
“Leo… I can’t believe I’m saying this, but lead on.”
The creature lumbered closer, watching the four with eyes filled with determination. The turtles exchanged nods, then Mikey leapt at the monster.
The creature charged at them. Mikey leapt at it, trying to grab its arm, but only succeeded in getting caught himself. The creature hugged Mikey close, nearly crushing the orange turtle in its grasp as it roared in his face.
“Okay… two words for you...” Mikey gasped. “Breath… Mint!”
Just then, Raph came out of nowhere, raining one punch after another at the monster’s stomach. After a while, the creature had enough and threw Mikey at him. The two turtles were send skidding through the mud, where they collided with a wall. As they tried to get up, they saw the creature looming over them, its fists raised over them. Before it could bring them down, Leo and Donnie came in to distract it.
Leo barreled into its stomach with all the force he could muster as Donnie struck it on the head with his staff. This put the monster off balance long enough for Raph to grab one of its arms. Before the creature could react, Donnie grabbed onto other arm as Mikey wrapped his legs around his neck so he could hold. The creature let out a growl, giving Mikey the chance to gag it with his Nunchucks.
“Leo!” Raph called out. “Whatever you’re going to do, do it now!”
Leo ran forward, his blades swinging down in a deadly arc. However, when they came into contact with the creature’s skin, the blades barely made a dent. The creature seemed to smile around the chains in its mouth. It let out a few short growls, and it took the turtles a minute to figure out what it was doing.
“Is it- Is it chuckling?” Donny asked.
The creature chuckled louder, then looked Leo straight in the eye.
“That- won’t- work-”
The turtles couldn’t believe it. The thing spoke. It was intelligent. However, they didn’t have long to think on this. The creature stopped moving, as if focusing its energy somewhere else. All of a sudden, there was the sound of creaking metal, accompanied by the short snaps of something being broken. Mikey’s grip on his Nunchucks suddenly loosened as he fell backwards. Splashing down in the mud, he looked at his Nunchucks to see the chain links broken, as if they had been bitten through.
“Leo! My Nunchucks!”
The three brothers all looked at Mikey, only to be quickly reminded of the situation as the monster threw them off him with a strong swing of his arms. The brothers all looked up at the creature, all gulping in fear.
“We need to shut him down.” Raph said. “Like, now.”
“For that, we’d need Hisako.” Donny replied.
“Where is she when we need her?” Mikey whined.
Hisako and April were both laughing rather loudly, sitting at one of the booths in the restaurant.
“So wait, he did what?” April asked.
“He stuffed 9 fried dumplings his mouth at once.” Hisako replied. “9 dumplings. He wanted to set a world record.”
“Is there even a record for that?” April asked.
“In Kung Fu Panda, maybe. But try telling that to Mikey.”
The two girls just kept chuckling.
“Sounds like your brothers are quite the handful.”
“Maybe, but I could care less. They’re family, I wouldn’t trade them for the world.”
April looked at Hisako, and could see a spark of sadness in her eyes. April was naturally curious, and had to ask.
“You know, if your brothers are so cool, then why is it always you they send to pick up pizza? Aren’t they taking advantage of you?”
Hisako chuckled at the thought. If only April knew the truth.
“Actually, I volunteer to come get it.” She replied, deciding against her sarcastic train of thought. “I had a… Rough… Childhood, until they found me. I was afraid of the world, until they showed me the beauty of it.”
April looked at Hisako with a note of pity in her eyes. Hisako could hear the many questions running through her head, wanting to come out, but she could also feel April’s willingness to allow Hisako to keep her secrets. That made the young psychic smile.
“Pie’s done!” Casey called.
Hisako jumped out of the booth, snagging the large pizza box.
“And not a moment too soon. Thanks Case!” she said with a grin. “See you soon.”
She spun the pizza in her hand and walked out the door, giving her two friends a wave.
“See ya!” she cheered.
“Take care, and tell your bros I say hi!” Casey called back.
Hisako got back to the garage with some time to spare. After parking the bike and locking the doors, she flipped open a trapdoor leading to a hand-carved tunnel into the lair. Gripping the pizza, Hisako jumped into the hole, enjoying the slide-like ride. She even held up her arm like she was on a roller coaster while the other gripped the pizza.
After a few more seconds of sliding, it opened out onto a large pile of bean bags that had been set up to catch the travelers of the winding path. Hearing the ever familiar thud accompanying Hisako’s childish giggles, Splinter looked up from his meditation with a smile.
“I see you were sent out for lunch again.” He commented.
Hisako pulled herself out of the beanbags, approaching the rat.
“Yep. You wanna slice?” she asked, opening the box.
“I shall pass.” He told her, gently holding up a paw. “Besides, I am positive that your brothers have been quite busy training while you were gone.”
Hisako chuckled as she closed the box.
“Yeah. ‘Training’. Odds are they’re probably bickering again.” She remarked. “I best go find them before they try to kill each other again.”
Pizza in hand, Hisako exited the lair, eager to find her brothers.
Hisako zigged and zagged through the tunnels, taking multiple turns like a master, and even spinning around corners with a grin on her face. After about seven or eight different turns, she arrived at the junction where they had been training. However, there was no sign of any of the turtles.
“Guys?” She called. “Leo? Raph? Donny? Mikey?”
Nobody answered. Confused, she closed her eyes, hoping to catch a sign of their presence somewhere. However, there wasn’t a single ping. No stray thought, no nothing.
“Guys, this isn’t funny.” she called. “Come out.”
Still, there was no answer. Now starting to get worried, she looked around the tunnels at random, calling for her brothers. She called out their names frantically, the fear in her gut growing larger and larger.
Then, just as she was running past a fork, she spotted something that made her blood run cold. Poking out from behind a wall was a green arm wearing a black glove with only two fingers.
“No!” Hisako screamed.
She ran down the fork and around the corner to see all four of her brothers out cold on the ground. Donny was sprawled out in the mud, his staff in three pieces around him. Mikey was right on top of him, his Nunchucks in pieces as well, with broken links of chains on the ground. Leo was on his side in the dirt, his swords resting about a foot away from his hands. Finally, Raph was leaned against the wall, blood running from a gash on his forehead, the only turtle still slightly conscious.
“Raphael!” she screamed.
She dropped the pizza box and ran over to her brother, shaking him desperately. He looked up at his sister, his eyes widening in sheer terror. It was a look that did not belong on the red turtle’s face.
“Hisako…” he muttered. “Run…”
The entire time the footage had been playing, Stockman had been taking notes on the four turtles, noting there names, weapons, fighting styles, and even their supposed rank in their little group. He had gotten so much information that he could create a portfolio on each individual turtle if he wished.
“Absolutely astounding.” Stockman laughed. “These four, despite similar build and age, all have differences that make them unique. Take the one called Leo for example. He appears to be the leader, and his swordsman skills mark that of a master. However, the one called Raph seems to be a bit rash, with his skills marking someone with a large amount of rage.”
“I’m glad that you are enjoying this little show.” Hun interrupted, a note of irritation in his tone. “But your notes will do no good once your pet is finished with them.”
Stockman sighed in disappointment, looking at the screen just as his pet was throwing the turtle called Raph into the wall. He slumped down and seemed to be barely conscious. The creature took a few steps forward, then a scream came from off screen.
“What was that?” Stockman asked, returning his focus to the screen.
At that moment, a girl ran on screen, grabbing the red turtle. Both Stockman and Hun both froze in place.
“Hisako…” the red turtle muttered. “Run…”
Hisako… That word. The turtles had repeated it on multiple occasions. So far, Stockman had found nothing to connect the word to, but now he realized it wasn’t a word.
It was a name.
“So, the girl now has a name. Hisako…”
Stockman quickly wrote that down, then turned back to the screen. The girl was looking down at the turtle, and then she turned to face the camera. As her face came into view, Stockman felt his whole world spin.
“No…” He gasped. “It can’t be.”
Stockman took off out of the room, leaving Hun to watch the monitors.
Hisako stood up, facing the shadows where she sensed a strange presence looming. She stared deep into the darkness, slipping her fans out of their sheaths and into her hands.
“I know you’re there...” she said quietly, scanning the darkness. “I can feel your presence… so where are you?”
There was movement in the darkness, drawing Hisako’s attention. Her grip on her tessen tightened as she looked.
“Come out and face me you-”
With that single word uttered in the darkness, Hisako felt all the fight suddenly leave her. He face went pale and her hands began to shake. She recognized that voice, a voice she never thought she’d hear again.
“Oracle… is that you?”
The source of the voice shuffled out of the darkness, coming into the little light there was. Hisako’s eyes never left the creature as she slid her tessen back into their sheathes on her belt, walking slowly towards the beast. Raph watched this and went to stop his sister. However, his vision was so blurry, he could barely make anything out.
“Leatherhead?” she whispered, her eyes misty.
“Oracle…” It whispered. “Help me… Please…”
She stood in front of it, then placed her hand on the side of his face. With a precise jab almost too quick to see, she struck a vital pressure point, one that had the large monster’s eyes rolling back in its head. It sank to its knees as darkness enveloped it. Hisako caught it before it face-planted, laying it gently on the ground.
“I’ve got you Leatherhead.” she whispered. “I’ve got you.”
With the monster now unconscious, she turned her attention to the metallic collar around his neck. She grabbed one of her tessen from the sheathes, gripping it tight enough to turn her knuckles white before bringing it down several times on the collar. She did this over and over again, her movements becoming more and more frantic with each blow. Sparks began to fly from the metal with each hit until it snapped and came apart. The second the collar was no longer attached to the creature’s neck, Hisako pulled it off and began stomping on it over and over again until there was no possible way it was still working. By the time she was done, she was panting heavily, tears in her eyes and her grip still tight around her fan.
“Hisako…” Raph groaned weakly, trying to get his sister’s attention
Hisako jumped, then turned to him. Stowing her weapons once more, she ran back to his side and cradled him.
“Shh…. It’s alright…” she told him. “I’m here.”
“That thing…” He grunted, obviously in a lot of pain “It tried to…. Kill us… finish… it off.”
Hisako shook her head.
“No Raph. I- I can’t.”
Hisako looked over at the creature as a flickering memory drifted through her head. One of that very creature cradling her weak form.
“Because I owe him my life.”