|Earth (Dimension A); New York City, NY, May 30TH, 1972 A.D.|
A crowd of passersby watched in horror at the sight of
the tiny pet shop as it burned down. The police officers on the scene told
the civilians to back up in an orderly fashion so the fire engine could make
its way in.
"Oh my god, those poor animals!" a young woman spoke, her tears welling up as the sound of sirens filled the streets.
"I heard it was some crazy arsonist who did this just a half hour ago!" a young teenaged boy said to his friend.
"Who the bloody hell would do such a thing?!" a bearded man in a construction uniform spoke angrily.
"It doesn’t matter now, does it, Bobby?" his friend responded, placing his hand on the portly gentleman’s shoulder. "There’s nothing anyone could do now."
Before long the fire was put out with the diligent work of eight well-bodied firemen. The crowd began to abate. "All right, that’s it! Nothing to see here folks," the Chief spoke to what was left of the gathering.
"Unless you want to see a bunch of cremated animal—"
"Hank! That was uncalled for!"
"Hey, Chief, you’re not going to believe this. The entire aquarium survived the blaze!" one of the fire fighters called out from inside.
"Heh, well how about that?" the Chief said out loud. "Guess it’s a good thing those little guys love the water!"
The crowd caught wind of the good news and everyone cheered the firemen on as they started to bring out several fishtanks and fishbowls filled with guppies, frogs, salamanders and turtles.
A couple of the fire fighters removed their helmets to better reveal themselves as they started passing several of the smaller aquatic creatures into the crowd, one of them being a young blond-haired woman.
Several of the men in the crowd were shocked to see such a beautiful soot
covered face in uniform walk passed them. Several college kids even went so
far as to give her a whistle. She smirked and silently gave them a wink just
before she knelt down to a young boy. "Hey, kid... you look like the kinda
boy who could use some friends."
"I-I just wanted to buy some turtles with my birthday money," he spoke, holding up a small wad of ten dollar bills.
"Chet, put that back in your pocket..." his father told him in as nice a manner as possible. "You wouldn’t want anybody to take it from you, right?"
"No... I guess not," young Chet replied, as he put his cash away.
The fire woman smiled as she handed the boy a dry bowl containing four baby turtles. "In that case, these guys will be free of charge!"
"Th-thank you, ma’am!" Chet smiled as he reached out his hands and took the bowl.
The father laughed with delight. "Ha-hah, looks like that made his day! Thank you miss... um, what was your name?"
"Oh, you can call me... Tilley," she said with a grin on her face. "Have a nice day then!"
"We will!" Chet’s father spoke as they crossed the corner into Main Street.
Little did a nearby elderly blind man know, slowly making his way across the street, that a truck emblazoned with the logo of "TCRI" was coming barreling down the other end of the street paying him very little mind...
|Earth (Dimension A); Northampton, MA, October 20TH, 2006 A.D.|
Leonardo awakened in what had to be the living room of Casey’s old farmhouse in Northampton. Glancing up from the sofa he was laying on, he saw his brothers and Venus, their bandannas and protective pads put away now, staring down at him expectantly. For the first time since their adventure had begun, he really began to notice the age difference between himself and his brothers and Venus—they were, after all, sixteen years older than him assuming his Turtle form had not aged at all during his six years as Leon. From his best reckoning he was actually twenty-five years old—but now back in his nineteen year-old Turtle body—and his brothers were thirty-four, which made Venus thirty-two.
A bit disoriented, both from what must have been a long slumber and from that particular confusing line of thought, the Turtle quickly looked down to his left hand. It was still gone, metal cap still in place. "H-how long have I been out?" Leo asked.
Venus came around and sat next to him. "A full day... as soon as you arrived here you collapsed. You must have been exhausted."
He winced, then shook his head clear of cobwebs. "We’re still here... we’re still alive... why are we still alive?"
Raphael, Michaelangelo, and Donatello exchanged a look. Donatello was the one to speak, "We don’t know, Leo. Best guess is... either history still turned out the way it should have, or maybe Renet bought us more time than she thought."
Raph gave a frown. "I don’t like it. We shouldn’t be alive... you guys saw that pet shop burnt to shit plain as I did. I just got this feeling like any moment, poof, we’re gonna bite it."
Mike gave an exasperated shrug. "Maybe Null torched the wrong pet shop, guys, who knows—we’re still here! Let’s not knock it."
Leo nodded. He wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth... just yet. With Venus’ help, he stood. "Please, my brothers... take me to see the Master."
The Turtles exchanged a look of worry. Michaelangelo scratched his head.
Venus gave the three Turtles a look of scorn. "You... you did not tell him? How could you not tell him!"
"Tell me what? What is it?" He looked angrily to each of his brothers. "Take me to Splinter!"
For an uncomfortable moment, nobody spoke. Finally, Raphael rested an uncertain palm on his brother’s shoulder. "He’s dead, Brother. He passed away two years ago." He looked down. "You weren’t here, man. You weren’t here."
Leo turned away, shaking his brother’s hand off of him. Saying nothing, he stalked out of the living room and out the front door.
"It was natural causes," Donatello offered, but Leonardo was already gone.
Venus started for the door as well. "I will follow your brother, I will calm him down..."
Donatello stopped her short. "Maybe it’s best to let him go, Venus... it’s going to take some time for everything to sink in for him. He’s been through a lot."
The female Turtle gave a sigh. "Have not we all?"
A day had passed since Leonardo had set out from the farmhouse. He had lost himself in the great expanse of Northampton’s forests, resting when he was tired, drinking from the river when he was thirsty.
Finally, as rain and night alike began to fall, now atop the tallest hillside he could find Leonardo ended his vigil. Stabbing his katana into the grassy earth at his feet, he raised both arms to the cloudy skies above.
"Renet! Hear me!" he roared. "Renet! Take me back... this is not my home... I want the past sixteen years back—I will not stay here!" He paused for breath. "Our master, our father... he is dead here; I could have stopped it, I could have prevented it. Damn you, Renet—answer me! Send me back to the beginning! Hear me!"
Lightning flashed across the night sky, thunder rolling over the land and sounding quite nearby.
A bolt of lightning lanced down, striking a nearby tree. Another one, even closer. A third lightning bolt struck Leonardo directly... and he was gone.
|Archie Earth (Dimension D); Fairbanks, AK, May 23RD 1994|
An empty void in the continuum, untouched for years, began flickering to life. Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael, and Ninjara and couldn’t help but feel lightheaded as they witnessed what could only be the regeneration of their own reality. Memories of long forgotten adventures in the past, present and even the future flashed before them.
“Don, what’s happening?” Leo asked.
“I-I’m not sure, exactly! Our dimension—our world seems to be reconstituting itself.”
Don and Leo could barely hold their heads up as they felt themselves being pulled into the warp and deposited into what looked like a small village run by wolf people much like Ninjara’s race. The Turtles, now dressed in winter gear, came to realize they were now standing with their brother Michaelangelo and April O’Neil while Raph and Ninjara were sitting together on a snow bank.
“Um, are you guys okay?” April asked. “You seem kind of freaked out all of a sudden!”
”Jeeze, come on! Those mutant polar bears couldn’t have been that scary!” Mike added.
“It’s not that, Mikey. I was just—” Don tried to explain, but alas he could feel his memory of the whole escapade with Renet, Venus and the alternate dimensions’ Turtles slowly dissipate from his memory. The Entropy must’ve found a way to correct our history somehow... even despite Null and the Shogun’s interference, he thought to himself. Leo put his hand on Donatello’s shoulder as he nodded his head towards Mike and April. His memory was also beginning to reset itself. “It’s... better, I think, that you guys don’t know.”
Meanwhile on the snow bank, Raphael and Ninjara looked at each other sweetly. “So, um… I don’t know what to say. I mean, I do, but…”
“Raph, listen. I was going to tell you how I’ve been feeling about my needs… needs that I’ve been neglecting.”
“It’s okay, Ninjara. I understand. In a way I saw this coming. I guess that’s why I’ve been such an idiot lately! I didn’t know how to deal with it. After everything that happened in that other dimension, I realized just how futile it is to try and manipulate fate. That’s why I don’t want to hold you back from finding your true destiny!”
“Raph, if we part ways like this... I don’t know if we can work out our relationship or not. All I know is that I want us to stay in touch somehow. This way we could have a chance... in the future.” She took his hand and squeezed it. “We just need some time is all.”
Raphael nodded, slowly wiping away some tears in his face. “Aw, damn snowflakes!”
The fox woman smiled and held the Turtle close to her, giving him a tender kiss before sending him to reunite with his brothers who were saying their goodbyes to Mokoshan, the leader of the wolf village. “Farewell, Raphael.”
Raph nodded his head in shame. “Mok, I’m sorry I… lashed out at you. It was uncalled for.”
“No worries, my friend,” the wolf spoke as he waved to the Turtles and April one last time.
As the reporter and her longtime friend trekked through the wilderness, April let out a long-winded sigh. “So she’s staying behind?”
“Yep, but we agreed to keep in touch,” Raph said with a smile.
“Glad to see you’re in good spirits over it,” Michaelangelo exclaimed. “You know what they say... if you love something, set it free.”
“I know, Mike,” Raphael said as he gave his brother a bear hug. “Plus like it’s been said—better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all!”
|Earth (Dimension A); New York City, NY, December 20TH, 1990 A.D.|
It had been three days since the Turtles and Venus had fought the Shogun at the End of Time, four since their loss to the Lady Shredder and Cheng. Leonardo was still missing, Renet having told them she had no answers to their questions.
The blue-bandannaed Venus, her dimension having been eradicated only those three days ago, had adjusted well to her new home in Dimension A. She was not a true sister to these Turtles—but then she wasn’t to the Turtles of her own dimension either—yet she already felt as part of their family. Having lost their brother, the Turtles seemed to have welcomed the notion of accepting a new sister readily.
"Very well, Turtles... I feel we are nearly ready for our vengeance against the Lady Shredder," the masked Oroku Pimiko spoke to the Turtles as she leaned out the stairway exit of their mausoleum den in Westwood Cemetery. "I will see you tomorrow night."
Raphael held a hand up to bid her goodbye, wiping his head with a hand towel. The Turtles and their former enemy had nearly spent the entire day in training. "Later, Pimiko."
One by one, the Turtles headed to their sleeping chambers to turn in for the night, Venus the last to do so.
The female Turtle knelt by her mattress, her eyes closed and her hands clasped together, fought back tears as she prayed for the spirits of her own Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michaelangelo, Splinter, and everyone from that dimension taken before their time by the Shogun’s machinations of evil.
As Venus turned, Leonardo stood just a few feet away in her doorway. He held back her curtain with his only hand.
"Leonardo...?" she spoke, standing. "You have returned... your brothers and I were worried... you have been gone for three days, we—"
Leo shook his head and stepped further into her bedchamber. "It’s been a lot longer than that... but it’s complicated."
"O-oh...?" Venus stammered. Leonardo was closer now, right in front of her.
Leonardo looked deep into her eyes, and her into his. "You’re not alone, Mei Pieh Chi... and you’ll never be again. I promise you."
The two Turtles, lost in the moment, lost in their grief, locked with one another in a passionate embrace. Venus’ lips quickly found his, their hands traveling over each other’s bodies.
Venus startled awake in the early morning hours, her body and limbs intertwined with Leonardo’s under the covers of her bed. Her mind was still filled with memories of their lovemaking the previous night, memories she did her best to push aside then.
Quietly, stealthily, she lifted the covers and made her way to the end of her bedchamber. Gathering her things, tying her baby-blue bandanna around her eyes, she gave Leonardo a fond glance before exiting.
The Turtles are all still sleeping, she knew, best to leave now. They will never understand... they will try to convince me to stay... maybe even succeed. They have their brother back now; their leader. They will not mourn my leave for long.
Her eyes passing one final time over the den of the Turtles, Venus headed up the mausoleum’s stairway exit.
I do not belong here, she thought to herself as she began to sprint across Westwood Cemetery’s grassy environs. It was foolish to believe I could have made a home here... foolish, and I dishonor the memory of my own Turtles.
Resting, just for a moment, against a simple tree, Venus’ furrowed her brow as she thought long and hard about the decision she was making. Tears streaked down her cheeks.
Chung I... what have I done?
|The 79TH Level of Null-Time (Dimension <Null>)|
There was much celebration going on in the Palisade at this point in time! Renet and her new friend Cherubae were enjoying some fresh mixed martinis that were plucked from the year 1965 as they watched the changes taking shape for their respective worlds. Renet smiled watching the sight of Leo now back in his rightful place in time just before the viewscreen switched over to the now-reestablished Dimension D Earth.
Cherubae clapped and have a hearty "Bravo!" at the scene of Ninjara making amends with Raphael before they went their separate ways.
"It’s nice to see everything put back the way it was originally, isn’t it...?" Renet asked.
"Give or take, but you can sure say that again!" the alien woman exclaimed in a somewhat tipsy manner. "Still, I must admit that the Turtles of my dimension really should have been the dominant ones of this whole escapade..."
"Um, just what’s that supposed to mean?" the Timestress asked.
"Well for one thing, it was their enemy that was the cause of all this... sorta. Plus it would’ve been nice... in the grand cosmic scheme of things if they had gotten to see the Mutanimals just one last time," Cherubae went on.
"With all due respect, it was my Leonardo that inhabited young Leon! Not only that, Dimension A is the very first version of the Ninja Turtles ever created… the template, the source... the universe Eastman and Laird created. Your Turtles are from what, Dimension D?"
"Yeah, ‘D’ for do not screw with my dimension!"
"Pfft. Not to mention it happens to be a facsimile of Dimension C! Hello, Cherubae, can we say... spinoff?"
"So what? My guys have saved an entire galaxy from total destruction. What did yours do?"
Renet became apprehensive. "That’s not a very fair assumption on the matter! I mean, just because the Ninja Turtles of Dimension A never faced off against an alien invasion, it doesn’t mean they couldn’t! Hell, odds are they probably will be dealing with one what with all the crazy shit going down with the Utroms, and if you count that time in 1989 they prevented a Triceraton planetship from colliding with the Earth, then they did!"
"Oh, give it up, sister! Warlord Krang would’ve demolished those puny aliens faster than he slaughtered Wingnut and Screwloose’s people!"
"Okay, not that’s just messed up!" Renet responded, coughing up martini that got caught in her windpipe. "You know what, I think you’ve had too much to drink."
Cherubae drew back, putting her hands on her hips defensively. "Excuse me, but who’s the one getting choked up on liquor here?"
"Oh, that does it, you alien witch!" Renet spoke as she smacked her friend in the face.
The two of them started play-wrestling one another to the ground, rolling over each other as each woman fought to gain an advantage. Before long, their aggression turned to fits of laughing hysteria as they came to their senses. "Aw, man, what was that all about...?" Cherubae asked.
"I dunno. I guess... I guess we let our pride get the better of us. Oh well, no harm done. Let’s just thank God Michaelangelo wasn’t here to see our little... what do you call it?"
Cherubae grinned. "Chick fight?"
"I know, Renet!" the drunken alien burst. "Can you just imagine like every version of Mike, A through E standing over us, holding up beers and cheering like a bunch of frat boys? Mmm-hmm." The mental image was more than enough to make the girls laugh out loud as they helped each other up.
Just then, the viewscreen flickered another strange view. It was the four turtles of Dimension C attending what looked something like a high school graduation ceremony.
"Whoa, this is new!" Cherubae noted. "I never knew there was a high school drama about the Ninja Turtles."
"No, that’s the original cartoon Turtles... yet they seem different in a way. It looks almost as if this is a strange amalgam of the real world combined with their destroyed dimension. That one boy standing near Mikey... I can sense he has some incredible ability," she said as she sifted through the timeline, which seemed to go through an odd loop. "Okay... this is weird."
"What?" the alien asked.
"Apparently this world—now deemed Dimension J—went through a strange time-pull in 1999, causing that Earth to repeat the last seven years of the twentieth century," Renet explained as an image of the young man in question mutated himself into a Ninja Turtle, his hair still on his head.
"Wow, this is amazing! So you’re saying that this dimension exists in the present, even though it’s set seven years in the past?"
"Exactly, Cher! If I weren’t mistaken, I’d say this boy Jeff was one of those fans me and the Turtles passed by at that convention in California. That means that his very imagination could be what brought this little pocket universe of sorts to life."
"A pocket universe? What is this, Krypton we’re talking about now?"
"Don’t be silly, now! I mean it makes perfect sense that at least one or more of the Turtles’ fans have dreamed of actually becoming one of them and having incredible strength! I must say though, it’s quite interesting that the boy picked Dimension C of all versions to imprint his world after."
"That’s probably because it’s the version of them that he grew up with. He chose them because they’re a deep-rooted portion of his childhood memories!"
"Thank you, Dr. Freud!" Renet said, rolling her eyes. "Come on, what say we conjure up some transdimensional popcorn and watch some of this kid’s adventures with his pals?"
"Sounds good to me!"
All was well in the universe.
F I N