|Earth (Dimension <Null>); San Diego, CA, July 20TH, 2006 A.D.|
"Raphael, that is enough!" Venus said sternly. Someone had to say it.
"Come on, buddy. You need to calm yourself already before you draw any further attention!" Donatello said, placing his hand on his brother’s arm.
"Hello?! Yeah, if you haven’t noticed, Donny, we’re a little bit on the verge of dying here!" Raph snarled bitterly in Don’s ear. "The last thing I could give two dicks about is being polite to all these damn nerds!"
The blond-haired teenager didn’t falter, clearly having a lot to get off of his chest. "Please listen... hear me out... in this body, people call me Leon, but I really am your Leonardo; your... brother."
Michaelangelo, meanwhile, was staring at the strange boy who had confronted them. The Turtle stared at Leon for what seemed like hours, as if trying to get a good look at the soul beyond the blonde haired face. "I dunno, Renet. Jeeze, some... some strange part of me wants to believe this kid. I-I just don’t..." Mike began to get a dizzy sensation and he nearly collapsed.
Renet quickly grabbed hold of her friend as he rubbed his weak temples. "Mikey? Are you all right?" she asked.
"Yea, I just got... mondo light headed, dudette!" Michaelangelo said. Strangely, his voice now sounded like a Californian accent.
"Whoa, sweet, did that guy just talk like Townsend Coleman?" a passer-by dressed in a Beast Boy costume spoke, walking beside his girlfriend dressed as Raven.
Renet bit her tongue until the two young Teen Titans fans left. She then turned her gaze back to Mike, who was now wearing an orange bandanna with matching arm and kneepads, letter "M" now on his belt.
"Like what’s wrong, dudette? You seem kinda freaked out! Oh hey, I forgot to ask, do they have pizza at this shindig?"
Leon was stunned at the sudden transformation his brother took on. "Th-that’s Mikey’s counterpart from the dimension I once visited... the one where we took out Shredder and Krang."
The now orange-bandannaed Michaelangelo made a triumphant gesture, waving both arms in the right. "Totally right, dude! You were awesome back there, man... you totally set Shredder to rights!" The vaguely cartoonish Turtle winced. "I don’t know about your new digs, though, dude... I’m not feelin’ them..."
Renet nodded curiously. Is it true? Is this young man really our Leo? Where has he been all this time? she thought.
"Um, Renet, you may want to take a look at this," Venus called as she pointed hesitatingly to Donatello who was now in purple attire with a "D" on his belt similar to Mike’s orange getup with some rather noticeable differences in belt structure.
Renet gazed into her Sceptre’s instrumentation furiously as she spoke the magic words “Timinious Freedisious!” With that, all time in the dimension stopped. The patrons of the Comic Con were all, for all intents and purposes that moment, photographic statues. “God damn it! I did not want to do that!" the Timestress spoke in a bitter tone. "You have no idea how much strain this will put on my power!"
Venus nodded understandably as she placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder.
“What of my brothers? What’s going on here?” Leon asked sternly.
"I-I believe we’re seeing the result of the instabilities I detected earlier in the transdimensional continuum," Renet explained. "If I’m right, Mikey just assumed the identity of his long lost counterpart from Dimension C, while Donatello has become his Dimension D counterpart. However, they are the only two dimensions that have not been revived in any way... so I have no idea what will become of you or Raphael."
“I’m still not sure about this kid, Renet!” Raph said, sounding a little more calmed down now that the geeks were no longer capable of pestering them.
“Raphael, I understand your skepticism! Believe me, I’m not so sure myself,” Leon said. He gave a long-winded sigh, lowering his head meekly. “I mean it’s like, I have all these memories of two lives and... sometimes I don’t know which is reality and which is just plain fantasy! Six years is a long time to be told everyday my memories of you guys were just delusions... after so long, I had to believe them...”
Venus laid an arm gingerly over Leon’s shoulders. "I can... only imagine how it has been for you, Leonardo."
Leon put his hand over Venus’ arm, nodding graciously. "Thank you, Venus."
“I can’t say why... but perhaps Leonardo’s essence was transferred into this boy’s body after the final defeat of the Shogun,” Renet figured. "There has been known phenomena where the same beings occupy different bodies in different dimensions... that, a skilled transdimensional traveler could switch between these bodies—it’s never been proven, but perhaps the shock of the Shogun’s death threw him into Leon here."
“So what, do I just have to gut it out of the kid?” Raphael mused. Almost without knowing he was doing it, he started playing with his sai.
“Hey chill out, bro! Like what’s with the hostility?” Michaelangelo spoke.
Too bad it wasn’t Raphael that turned into his cartoon counterpart! Leon thought to himself, shaking his head.
“We really better get on a plane already! Remember what Eastman said...?” Donatello spoke, looking back a distance at the now-frozen Kevin B. Eastman, who had been sharing a laugh with the Turtle posse just as the time-freeze took effect. “If Peter Laird is now in charge of our very existence, as it were, then something tells me he’s in serious jeopardy!”
|Earth (Dimension <Null>); Northampton, MA, July 20TH, 2006 A.D.|
That same moment in the home of Peter Laird, the comic book writer, was busy at home working on the finishing touches to an unfinished script for the fourth volume of the black and white comic, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A video of the current 4Kids Turtles cartoon played on a plasma screen on his desk, though he wasn’t paying any attention to it at the moment..
He took a moment’s respite, took a sip of some now-cold coffee, and leaned leisurely back in his leather chair. Turning his head, he whimsically gazed into a withered old picture of him with his former partner Mr. Eastman.
They were so young in those days, their heads full of crazy ideas; dreams.
“Those were the days, Kev, weren’t they?” Peter exclaimed with a wistful sigh. Resting back in his chair, he couldn’t help but think back to that fateful moment six years ago.
"So that’s really it then," Peter said as he signed the paper. He clicked the ballpoint pen, sticking it back in his pocket, and blew some air on the signature. "You’re ready to just going to become a footnote in the history of our creation, is that right?"
"Hey, it’s all good, old buddy. If I can’t trust you, who can I trust?" Kevin said with a heartfelt smile. "Hell, I bet you’ll come up with an idea ten times better than Next Mutation!"
"I certainly don’t doubt that!" Pete responded with a chuckle. "Oh, brother, what were you thinking?"
"I’ll stick by my story—Saban’s meddling! But hey, I’ll be all right, man. Heavy Metal has been like a dream come true, you know?" Kevin shook his head, mocking his shame. "I just wish Julie had gotten her chance in the fourth movie... y’know."
"Would that have been her first big Hollywood project that doesn’t involve dirty spank jokes...?"
"Hey, I liked Beverly Hills Cop III, ass!" Kevin rolled his eyes good-naturedly at the older gentleman. They both stood. “Pete... you know you have always been like the brother I never had.”
“Same to you, my friend. I won’t let you down,” he said as they shook hands. "I promise you."
To the present day, that remained the very last time the two men would speak face to face.
Tears of sentiment filled Peter’s eyes.
Why did I let you do it, Kev... why did I let you walk away...
Shaking away his memories, Peter did his best to quickly return to his typing. He seemed blissfully unaware of the impending horned shadow that lurked mere feet behind him, stalking his every move.
|Earth (Dimension <Null>); San Diego, CA, July 20TH, 2006 A.D.|
Renet, Leon, and the Turtles, with the help of the San Diego Public Transportation system, had made their way to San Diego International Airport within just a matter of minutes.
“Thank god, I thought that bus ride would take fucking forever!” Raph griped.
“It would have been much quicker if you would just remain calm enough for me to speed up the passage of time!” Renet lectured. “I can’t keep using up my power like this, or we will be up shit creek in no time!”
"Shit... creek?" Venus said, her curiosity piqued.
Mike patted her on the head. "Not now, Venus."
Leon sighed as he led the others off the bus. “Okay guys, just follow my lead. We have to get past airport security!”
Raphael shook his head. "This is a horrible idea... it’s 2006, there wasn’t no Utrom landing here two years ago, we’re mutant Turtles, our passports from our dimension might as well be Pokemon cards... now unless Venus or Renet are going to do some sort of massive Jedi mind trick then—"
"That’s the idea!" Don interrupted Raph.
Before they could even get past the front gate however, a security guard promptly stopped them. “Whoa, slow down, kiddos! Before we let you in, you’re gonna have to dispose of those costumes, all right? You folks do have suitcases... don’t you?” the officer spoke in suspicion.
“I’m really sorry to say this but we really can’t dispose of them,” Venus spoke. “You see, we ah…”
“We’re naked, dude!” Michaelangelo stated.
“Oh, for chrissake!” Don mumbled, slapping his nose.
Raphael rubbed both hands over his face. "Man, why do I even bother..."
The guard immediately proceeded to escort them back outside. “Look, folks, we really can’t handle this kind of crap. Especially not these days... what with all the psycho terrorists and whatnot. So please come back tomorrow with respectable attire on!”
“Venus, remind me again about why I shouldn’t make a spectacle out of myself?” Raph asked.
“Because I’m about three seconds away from killing this orange-clad clown over here for screwing us all over!"
“Oh, the hell with it already! I can’t just stand here idly by watching my friends die!” Renet griped. With that, she took out the Sceptre and instructed the Turtles to grab a hold of her just as they had before, this time with Leon in tow.
Leon smiled as the energies washed over them all, sighing happily. It was good to be back where he belonged.