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"While you are meditating revenge,
the Devil is meditating a recruit."
NANA : RISE OF THE PHOENIX
NEW YORK CITY, USA
JANUARY 30TH, 1970
Oroku Saki straightened his business shirt, flustered as he angrily argued with a disgruntled-looking Japanese Foot courier in his home.
The courier quickly got to the point, "With all due respect, Mr. Oroku, there are many ninja in the Japan Foot Clan that feel your lack of contact is a result of your poor handling of its New York branch. The Council of Eight wants answers. What say you, sir?"
"In less than one year I have had the New York Foot Clan up and running. They know this. Already I have gathered warriors of my own, my Elite Guard, and their training is nearly completeI assure you, Mr. Shikaga, the Foot Clans hold on New York is consolidated!" Saki exclaimed, anger seeping into his voice. "I have made it a force to be reckoned with."
"Perhaps you have, at that." The courier paused, considering Sakis firmly spoken words. "Narcotics, assassination, extortion, counterfeiting, theft, prostitution I am told your branch has a foothold in every arena."
"Haiit is true, and you can tell that girl of the Faceless Onestell Karaithat I am giving my task here only my best effort."
"That is what we want to hear, sir. That is all." With that, the man turned and promptly exited.
Not long after Mr. Shikaga and his bodyguard took their leave, Yoichi Minya, heavy with child, abruptly started for the door.
"Where are you going?" he snapped behind her.
Minya shot him a wounded glance. "Away, Saki! Away from you!"
He grasped her shoulder to pull her back. "What is this? You think you can leave my side so easily, woman?"
"You will not stop me! This lifelong obsession of yours you care more about vengeance than you do about me!"
"Thats thats not true, my love "
"I thought it would get better when you brought me here, to America." Minya sighed deeply. "Its been many years, Saki. Let Hamato Yoshi and his wife be!" she pleaded, then adding in a softer tone, "Do it for me." She placed a hand on her stomach. "For our baby."
"I will not let you deny me my vengeance!" he roared, losing his cool. "I will find Yoshi! He and his whore will pay for what they have done!" He tightened his grip on her arm. "You carry my child, woman! In a week we will be wed at last, we will"
"No!" she shrieked, pulling her arm free with all the strength she could muster. "If you cannot let go of your hatred, you let go of me! In another month Ill be giving birth I will not raise our child under your rage!" She opened the door and stood for a moment within the frame. "Im leaving you to your hate, Saki. If it is all you have in your heart then then I will most certainly have no more part in it."
"Where will you go? You cannot leave, Minya! You will not escape me!"
Despite his words, despite his anger, he made no effort to follow the woman as she fled out the door.
"She she will come back to me. Yes, she has nowhere to go now. Yes she will return." Clenching his fists, he retired to his meditation chamber. Was there a tear in his eye?
"Is everything all right, Master Shredder?" asked one of his Elite Guard as Oroku Saki returned to his inner sanctum.
"Yes," he uttered, his voice monotone.
In the recesses of the Hudson Block headquarters of the New York Foot Clan, Saki worked in the poorly lit chamber in front of a massive array of machinery he had become familiar with. Saki sat and began vigilantly modifying the steel helmet of The Bladed One, placing and linking the various plates below the central helm before adding a three-pronged samurai-esque crown that was welded along the surface of its top. Cooling it in a bucket of water, then drying it, Saki watched in a mirror as he placed it on his head. It was then that he inserted the final touch: a curved steel mask that covered everything but his eyes. He slipped it beneath the helmet plates, connecting it behind his ears.
In the tradition of the ninja he worked on the eve of his great revenge. The time was near.
The Shredder stood in the open doorway of Hamato Yoshis downtown Manhattan apartment he had been staking out the past two weeks. Pieces of the obliterated wooden front door lay strewn behind him and crunched under his boots.
Destiny ahead of me
A terrified scream came from inside. He stalked inside, following the scream into the living room where he found the huddled figure of Yoshis wife, Tang Shen. He raised his blade-ridden gauntleted arms and swept them sharply at her, cutting diagonal gashes across her chest. Shen twitched violently as she fell to the floor in a splash of blood.
He turned to see Hamato Yoshi standing behind him, holding two grocery bags which he immediately dropped. He looked so old and frail to The Shredder unworthy of a true duel to the death.
"Good Lord!" Yoshi gasped, the words choking in his throat. "Who are you?!"
The Shredder coiled back, poised and ready to release the anger of vengeance he had been waiting to release for so many years, the anger that made him who he was. "I am Oroku Saki!" he announced before he threw himself forward, his wrist-blades outstretched and ready to rend apart the mans tender flesh.
"Oh no " was the last thing Hamato Yoshi said before the world turned red.
The Shredder stood away, looking at the bloodied apartment and the two still corpses at his feet. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed a rat skittering off from the cage that had been knocked over during the struggle, but he paid it no notice.
For several moments he stood still, watching the blood trickle off his blades and armor plating. All at once, before his very eyes and by his hand, the rondo of blood that had been his life up until this moment had come full circle. The Shredders tortured soul could at last rest
But Oroku Saki Oroku Saki found himself alone, a scared youth trapped in a cold shell of his own invention called "The Shredder."
There was nobody else now.
SEPTEMBER 3RD, 1985
"Shredder, we are here!" one of the four Turtle gaijin, Leonardo, bellowed from atop the rooftop. The Shredder gave them no answer. "Shredder, face us!"
The Shredder silently observed from the shadows of a nearby building. Perched near its corner, he had seen them approach the site; seen them scale the buildings walls with their climbing claws.
Who are these fools? he pondered to himself. The note he had received the previous dayattached to a saihad told him he had "shamed and dishonored" the name of his family by "murdering Hamato Yoshi," and to meet the writers "four disciples for a duel to the death" on the rooftop he now watched. He did not quite understand why after so long the past was coming back to haunt him. Fifteen long years had passed since he had personally dealt with Yoshi and his wife.
It did not matter. His men were in place and the time was near.
"Shredder, do you fear us?" the same Turtle yelled again, his twin katana swords out and ready. They were quickly becoming quite a nuisance.
Fear them? When he was done with them, he would teach these freakish gaijin the very meaning of fear.
Leaping from his shadowy perch the Shredder made an easy landing on the buildings side just opposite the four Turtles. "I am here," he spoke, immediately assuming a battle stance. "Come face your doom. Foot!" he yelled behind him. "Join me!" On cue, dozens of his more proficient Foot Soldiers scurried over the rooftops edge, brandishing their arsenal of Japanese weapons as they eagerly prepared to engage the four Turtles.
So it would begin.
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