[ P | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | E ]


Donatello’s eyes followed the drop of sweat that fell from his brow.

He was frightened for his brother’s life, afraid that he would be too late, and afraid that at the end of the day there was nothing that could be done. Still, he continued working.

He yelled to Leonardo and Raphael, "Hold him down!"

They obliged, relieved that they could be of some help to Mike.

Don examined his buzzsaw-morphed arm. It was too damn big, too damn rugged. He concentrated as hard as he could, straining his imagination as he tried to send his cyborg symbiote the image of a surgical-style cutter. Looking down again, he saw a smaller, more refined version of the buzzsaw.

It would have to do.

Don started the surgical cutter with the same impulse a person would move a finger with, then lowered it with hair precision to his convulsing brother.

The Alien inside him had most likely already eaten through the larynx tissue and was likely busy on one of his lungs. The only thing that was stopping that Alien from bloodily erupting from Mike’s chest was the front of his shell.

He didn’t want to think about that now. Don concentrated at the task at hand, moving his cutter directly on the vertical center fold of Mike’s frontal shell, just below the top edge. As Mike screamed out in the most extreme agony, Don began cutting down the fold. Deep, but perfectly centered. A ruptured artery and it would be over. He was no surgeon, and his medical knowledge was limited to episodes of E.R. and some Med School books from the 70s he’d browsed through from time to time... his cyborg enhancements and their own sub-programming would just have to compensate for it. They would have to.

Reaching a point two inches above Mike’s belt, Don’s work was done.

Now, he thought, Step Two.

Conjuring a quick mental image, Don’s surgical cutter morphed into triple-jointed mechanical forceps. To his naked eye it looked more like a salad utensil. Hoping against hope, Donatello prayed it would suffice for his task.

As the watching Turtles held their breath and clenched their jaws, Don pushed on one side of Mike’s shell, opening and slightly spreading the incision he had made in the center. In a quick motion, Don’s forceps disappeared into the incision, clamped, then slipped out.

"Oh my..."

On its end, bathed in Michaelangelo’s blood, was a birthing Alien. A chestburster that had not been given the chance to chestburst. It was snake-like, like the one they had seen chestburst in the Jockeybar, but what Don had drawn from Michaelangelo appeared different somehow. Bloated, warped. Donatello breathed a sigh of relief for his success even as he peered at the writhing creature in his forceps’ grasp.

The creature saw its chance.

With a squirm, the Alien wriggled free of the forceps, hitting the floor with a wet thud and slithering off into one of the many knotholes in the honeycombed wall.

A stream of laser pulses sprayed across the wall a moment later.

Too late.

"God damn it!" Raphael scorned, lowering his rifle. "It got away..."

Don watched it disappear, cursing himself for letting his guard down. As he looked at Mike, no longer screaming, he knew it was a worthwhile trade-off.

Morphing his arm into a high-intensity epidermis bonding laser, something the cyborg suit evidently already had programmed into it, he wasted no time turning it on Mike’s bleeding incision. Moving it to each end of the cut in steady motions, the walls of the laceration began to close and bond. When he was done, only a thin brown line of scar-tissue remained on the shell fold.

As Don wiped the sweat from his brow, Leo laid a hand on Don’s shoulder and squeezed. "You did good."

Don nodded and sighed, still staring at Mike. He had fallen asleep, seemingly resting comfortably now.

"First we rest, my brothers," Leo spoke. "Then we continue."

Michaelangelo tried to keep up with his brothers, but it was difficult. After only short paces he would seem drop-dead exhausted, and had to catch his breath. It hurt like hell to breathe, too. Don had done as good a job as any doctor would have, but the lack of painkillers in Alien hives was something of a pain in the ass.

"Yahoo!" Raphael called from above, looking down from the hexagonal D’hoonib manhole opening. "Daylight! We’re back on the streets!"

Neither Mike nor any of the others were exactly overjoyed by that announcement, but the idea of leaving the stuffy, rancid stench atmosphere of the underground Alien hive was a welcome thought.

As they reached the surface, they found the streets to be uncomfortably quiet. Deathly quiet.

Great buildings lay in ruin all about—that was to be expected—but not a sound was to be heard. No scratching, no stirring, no pitter patter of little feet.

That was, until four Predators shed their invisibility cloaking devices directly in front of Raphael.

"What are you lookin’ at, fuckface?" the first Predator spoke. Its booming voice was laden with rough mechanical overtones, coming off as sounding electronically amplified. Eerily, the creature had just mimicked the exact words Raphael had spoken when the Turtles had seen their first Predator.

Raph’s arm went instinctively to his laser rifle.

The first Predator raised a polearm-like weapon and pulled something at its side. With a painful grunt, Raph was blown across the sidewalk to smash into the halfway-crumbled wall of a unidentifiable building. He was pinned in place against the stone structure.

A net gun.

It was a powerful net, one with metallic fibers that had not only firmly embedded its screw-like hooks in the wall, but the net itself into Raphael’s skin. Blood ran from every part of his exposed torso in grid-like lacerations. He screamed out and struggled futilely against his bonds, the net drilling deeper into his skin as its hooks drilled deeper into the wall. While his brothers tended to the Predators, Raph’s hand fought against his bonds to reach his belt where he had kept a shuriken in reserve... if only he could just reach it...

Leonardo knew the rules.

In a flash, he had his remaining katana out and already sweeping forth for the killing blow.

The Predator that had shot Raph seemed genuinely surprised by the sudden assault, but was able to start leaping away as he saw the katana bearing down on him.

Not fast enough.

Leo’s katana came down square on the dodging Predator’s shoulder-mounted laser, slicing through it and continuing down through the creature’s muscular left shoulder. The next instant, the whole severed arm was lying on the cement, glowing green blood squirting from the dismembered creature. Leo didn’t waste a second, seizing the opportunity to rush over to a bloodied Raphael, freeing his brother with a swipe of his sword.

"Th-thanks, Leo," Raphael sputtered from the ground, in clear anguish.

"You sit this one out, Raphael," he boomed at his brother.

Raphael opened his mouth as if to argue the point, but instead fell back on his shell.

The Predator he had maimed uttered no cry of pain. Instead, it collected itself and drew a long shaft from its back. It clicked something, then ridged, dual-blades jutted from the ends of the weapon. It held its spear in hand as it spoke to Leo, mimicking their earlier words again this time with, "We’re back on the streets!"

Leo looked to the Predators, then turned a wary glance to Mike and Don. "Death before dishonor, my brothers."

Even as he still walked racked with pain, Mike drew his nunchaku and went at the second and third Predators. Don morphed his arm cannon into a metallic staff and joined him.

The battle began, the two parties engaging in a dance of death. There was struggle, and there was bloodshed. In the end, only one side prevailed.

Worn and bloodied from the intense battle, the Turtles barely noticed the rumbling street. When the rumbling became a bone-jarring quake, they could no longer ignore it.

The street suddenly erupted outward, chunks of concrete folded and thrown over as a humongous figure wrenched itself out of the hole it had created.

A gigantic Alien. Standing at a monstrous twenty feet as it drew itself up, it was clearly larger than a queen, but it owed more physically to the appearance of drones and warriors. Its skin was black like the others, but with hints and patches of dark green about it. Its arms, legs, and tail were thick and rippled with ripcord muscles that could be seen flexing under its skin as it moved. Its forelegs arched out of its back like spiders legs, its back legs set on enormous haunches, thick and powerful. There were menacing-looking pincers on each side of the head, retracted at the moment. The head was long, eyeless, like the others, but along its dark expanse was red veins, coming out of its skin and streaming like thick crimson hairs to its back. The back itself was comprised entirely of a single spiked, ribbed, and tubed hump, giving a mock impression of a disproportioned carapace shell. Owing more to drones and warriors than a queen, the Turtles realized, but owing more to something else as well.


The Alien they now faced was Michaelangelo’s offspring.

Forward to next chapter
Back to previous chapter
Return to main menu
to fandom section
to Ninja Turtles Empire