Ninja Turtles: Transcension

[ P | I | II | III | IV | V | VI | E | C ]


"Farewell! if ever fondest prayer
For other’s weal availed on high,
Mine will not all be lost in air
But waft thy name beyond the sky."
"I know it’s the last day on Earth
We’ll be together when the planet dies
I know it’s the last day on Earth
We’ll never say goodbye."
B. Warner


Archie Earth (Dimension D); Mutanisle, October 20TH, 1993 A.D.

Tiring after his two day off-and-on flight, Donatello finally piloted the makeshift helicopter his cyborg body had produced to just over the coast of the island he had spotted from afar. He spotted a campfire, a blond-haired woman, and three other figures off the shore.

"Donatello!" the woman shouted as she saw him descending on the beach. "What are you doing here? And... oh god, what happened to you?"

Donatello maneuvered his way beside her, immediately retracting his helicopter blades and motor back into his living metal exoskeleton. "Well, couldn’t help but notice that big meteor crash around here... I followed it to this island after picking up some mutant readings similar to my own. As for what happened to me..." He didn’t particularly feel like regaling the strangers with his story of being shot up a year ago by Warlord Go-Komodo’s hired cyborg thugs, then dropped out of a helicopter to merge with the symbiote of one of the cyborgs while he lay dying. For one thing it wasn’t a memory he was too fond of and for another it was really none of their business. "I’m going to have to apologize in advance because this is going to sound strange... I’m not the same Donatello you know."

"Hey, that makes two of us." Another Donatello stepped forward, this one garbed differently. A certain air of age was about him. Same with the Raphael that stood next to him. "Where are you from?"

"Well... it’s a long story, but I guess to you and the Turtles I just met—in Jerusalem of all places—I’m from another dimension what would be almost three years in the past to you. You guys...?"

The Don and Raph looked at each other. "We’re from decades into, ah, this dimension’s future. We came here..." The future Don pointed at the seven mounds of sand on the beach, "... to stop this."

"Man Ray... Jagwar... Dreadmon... Wingnut... Screwloose... Leatherhead... m-my Mondo..." the distraught woman broke off, tears filling her eyes. "The Mighty Mutanimals, they were called... they were all gunned down... it was a massacre. I-I... I can’t believe they’re all dead..."

Donatello nodded his head in solace. He was standing next to a veritable cemetery. "I’m sorry, ma’am."

"I-it’s not your fault..." She sniffled. "The name’s Candy Fine, by the way."

"Nice to meet you, Candy," Donatello spoke, bowing his head respectfully.

"That’s Slash..." She indicated the burly Turtle sitting quietly by the campfire. He had darker skin than any of the Turtles, a black bandanna, twin wrist blades on each hand, and bore a crooked sai that hung from his belt.

"The vultures named me Slash," the black-bandannaed one spoke.

"Uh-huh. Hello, Slash," Donatello greeted the strange Turtle. He got no response.

"He came from Dimension X... the toxic dump world Morbus," Candy explained. "He used to work for Krang, but he’s long since reformed."

"Four cyborgs did this..." the future Don spoke moments later, breaking the silence. His gaze was still fixed on the final resting place of the Mighty Mutanimals. "Deadeye, Waster, Lynch, and Fist..." For a moment he eyed Donatello suspiciously, particularly his cyborg components, but then seemed to relent, shaking off the notion. "Though I should suspect Null was behind it."

"It wasn’t supposed to happen like this," the future Raph of the dimension sighed. The guy had an eyepatch, just like Donatello’s own rebellious brother. Was it Raphael’s destiny to lose his eye in every reality? "But for some reason... it did."

"We suspected someone was messing with the timeline," the future Don of the dimension added.

Donatello crossed his arms over his metallic chest. "Perhaps it was. The guy that threw my brothers and I to different dimensions said something about messing with time... tinkering with realities and dimensions sounded like his department, whoever he really is. Called himself ‘The Shogun.’"

"Perhaps you should consult Cherubae. She has knowl—"

A burst of pseudo light stopped the future Don in mid-sentence.

Supreme Timestress Renet Tilley appeared from its point of origin, hopping out and floating to the sandy ground with strands of her soft blond hair flowing behind her. The afterimage of a time hole was left in the robed young woman’s wake, remaining open as she rushed to Donatello. Desperation was in her eyes.

"Renet!" Donatello shouted upon recognizing her. Hope for returning home and becoming reunited with his brothers burned brightly in his heart once again. "You’re alive! Do you know if my br—"

"Thank God I found you, Donny!" As Renet stopped at Donatello’s side, the others only stared in bewilderment. "You’ve got to come with me right now—we have no time!"


"Look, I’m not lying here. There really is no time!"


Renet took a deep breath, then tried to explain, "The Shogun is doing something from The End of Time... I’m not sure what, but he’s cleaning the slate... he’s erasing every dimension in existence one after the other from end to beginning to create something new." Renet’s gaze swept over Donatello, the future Don and Raph, Candy, and lastly Slash. "I’m afraid this dimension is going to be first..."

"Can’t we take them with us, Renet?"

Renet frowned, sighing. "Where we’re going, Donny, they don’t belong... and this dimension is ending."

"Damn it, Renet!" Donatello protested, waving an arm at the seven mounds of sand on the beach. "They just watched their friends and loved ones die right here—if we can save these people then, damn it, that’s what we’re going to do!"

"Maybe... perhaps I—"

"I’m not going," Candy said, her voice resolute.

Donatello gave her a look. "C’mon, lady—you’re going to die here!"

"Then... then..." Her brow furrowed as she wiped away more tears with one arm of her coat, "... then I want to die beside my Mondo..."

For a long moment all standing on the beach gave Candy Fine a long look. It was plain to see for all gathered there that there would be no changing this womans mind.

Renet turned to the future Don and Raph of the dimension. "What about you two? Are you coming?"

"You said it right yourself. Where you’re going... we don’t belong. If this dimension is going to die, then we’re going with it."

"Come on, Donatello," Renet said. She nodded back toward the gleaming time hole. "Let’s get out of here."

"But..." Donatello looked back to Slash. "You didn’t ask him..."

"You want to know why?" Renet took Donatello aside. "In the future of this dimension he’s got to sacrifice himself to save the Turtles of this dimension and send the hive world of a warlord named Maligna into the sun. In short, he’s gotta save the world. If he goes with us and gets killed, the Earth of this dimension... gets..." Renet stopped herself.

"Gets destroyed? You’re forgetting, Renet... this dimension—with everything and everyone in it—is about to be erased. Won’t be much left for him to save now, will there?"

The simple logic—and otherwise truth—to Donatello’s words was irrefutable. "Very well, then." Renet turned to the Turtle sitting by the fire. "Slash... will you accompany us?"

All eyes fell to rest on the strange, burly Turtle.

"Will there be palm trees?" Slash finally inquired, his heavy features lighting up hopefully.


"Only kidding..." The light in his face dimmed. He was clearly in a time of mourning himself, though he tried to play it off. "You say the one responsible for this... this ‘Shogun’... we go to fight him?"

Renet nodded. "We have no choice, not if any dimensions at all are to be preserved."

"Then I will accompany you."

Renet clapped her hands. "Then it’s settled! C’mon, you two!"

Candy stood still while Donatello and Slash made their way to the time hole behind Renet. As they stopped before it, she raised her hand in a wave. "Good luck, guys," she called, weakly. Donatello nodded back, and an instant later Slash, Renet, and himself were gone.

Moments later the time hole swirled closed behind Donatello, Renet, and Slash. The future Don and Raph native to this dimension, alone with Candy now, exchanged a glance.

"It’s been fun, Brother," Raph said, his face twisting in a grim smile. "Sorry I was always such an asshole."

"Don’t worry about it, Raph." Don managed a smile, too, if a forced one. "Don’t worry about it."

Seconds later, a cascading wave of pure anti-matter swept across Mutanisle and the rest of the planet with the gale-like force of a Coriolis storm, enveloping and consigning it all to thoughtless nothingness in the blink of an eye. 

For the billions of lives on the Earth of Dimension D, their end was quick and painless.


Cartoon Earth (Dimension C); New York City, December 20TH, 1995 A.D.

"You say you drink beer in your dimension?"

"Something wrong with that?"

The afternoon following their mission aboard the Technodrome, the four Turtles and Leonardo sat in front of the TV—this dimension’s April O’Neil, oddly a reporter, and a perky woman with glasses named "Irma" on the Five O’Clock News—in a celebration the Turtles of the dimension often had in their sewer lair on a daily basis. There was cause for celebration this time, and the Turtles knew it.

"Pizza time, dudes!" Mike shouted, frisbeeing a slice of pineapple-laden Hawaiian Delight at Leonardo. 

"Thank you." Leonardo’s left arm flashed out on reflex, the wakizashi-length blade within the cap on his stump shooting out to impale it through the center. He took a bite right away, only realizing how hungry he was until now. 

"I never thought it’d ever happen," Leonardo’s counterpart admitted. "Shredder, Krang, the Foot Clan... all of them defeated once and for all. Though we will never kill as you do, you have taught us a great deal. We owe it all to you, ah... Leonardo."

Leonardo nodded in acknowledgement, wiping his mouth with a forearm. "I did what I had to. Besides, I neve—"

"Leo!" shouted a distorted feminine voice. It sounded distant, yet coming from somewhere in the room. "Leo, are you there?" The voice was closer; not as distorted this time. A sudden burst of spiraling colors framed in front of him what could only be the outline of a time hole. A young woman stepped out, hovering forth trailing wisps of ethereal energies and her flowing white gown. 

"Whoa, who’s the babe?" Mike burst.

"Renet!" Leonardo blinked, shooting to his feet as he disbelievingly recognized the young woman. "Renet... my god, can that be you?"

"Look—no time, Leo!" Renet shouted. "Come on, we’ve gotta go!"


"The Shogun’s erasing every dimension in existence one after the other to create something new from the End of Time," she explained hurriedly. "I’ve already gotten your brothers, along with two others from Dimension D and B... but..." 

Leonardos eyes narrowed to slits. "The Shogun... its Savanti Romero. It has to be." Hed always noticed something so familiar about the Shogun, something he couldnt place. Hed made the connection to Romero on their brief encounter in the 79TH Level of Null-Time in 137 B.C. Rome but he still wasnt sure it clicked. Still, he couldnt figure out, who else could it be?

"Please, Leo..." Renet’s gaze avoided the four Turtles of the dimension. "This dimension is next..."

Leonardo read the meaning behind her words. As the earth itself beneath his feet began to shake, he knew she was telling the truth. "Can they come along?"

"If... they wish," was Renet’s hesitant reply. "I suspect they don’t."

Leonardo shook his head. "What are you talking about? Of course they will." He turned to his counterpart. "You and your brothers will come, won’t you? Damn sure of it, we can use the help—we’re gonna be going up against a villain that could very well make your Krang and Shredder look like bank robbers."

The dimension’s Leo stepped in front of his brothers. "This battle... it is yours, Leonardo," he spoke. "If our fate is to die with our reality, then that’s our fate. Our paths part here—you have your dimension and we have ours."

Leonardo winced at his counterpart. What were they thinking? "But you’ll die." The other Leo’s solemn gaze didn’t falter a centimeter, the decision remaining. The same stubbornness he had within himself was present in his counterpart—there was nothing to be gained by arguing the point, and he spoke for his three brothers.

"Just kick some shell out there for us, dude," Mike offered, forcing a grin. "Turtle Power."

"My brothers and I... we’ll do everything we can to stop what is happening. We’ll tr—"

"I know, my friend," the other Leo cut him off, nodding his head. "I know."

Leonardo turned, feeling Renet’s hand on his shoulder. "We have to go, Leo," she reminded him softly.

"She’s right, you know," Leo’s counterpart spoke again, more than a hint of bitterness to his solemn voice. He extended a hand. "Goodbye, my friend."

Leonardo took it and once again held his gaze. "You’re a good leader, my friend. Remember what I told you."

"Your brothers look up to you—don’t you ever forget that."

The present dimension’s version of Splinter appeared from his sleeping den. "Good luck, Leonardo," the old rat sighed. "All of our hopes rest with you, my son. Give the Splinter of your dimension my regards."

"I will."

Giving one last glance over his shoulder, Leonardo stepped into the time hole with Renet. It sealed a split second behind the two.

"So this is it," Raph spoke angrily through gritted teeth. Both fists clenched, he looked to his brothers. "This is how it ends for us."

"Our story may end here, my sons," Splinter said, ever the voice of reason and moderation, "but honorable lives you have lived. You don’t know how proud you have made me all these years."

"Master Splinter..."

"I love you, my sons."

With that, the shaking the stoic-posed Turtles felt grew in intensity until entire crevices began ripping themselves open around them. The four brothers cried out for each other in the ensuing moments as they became separated, Mike soon hanging helplessly over the edge of one of the crevices he’d slipped into. 

"Mikey—no!" As Raph dove to help his brother the ceiling caved in, an array of pipes crashing down on his shell and skull. 

Their suffering wouldn’t last long. In the blink of an eye, the wave of nothingness reached them, consuming their sewer lair, their city, and their entire world. The unthinking, unfeeling anti-matter energies at the wave’s wake broke down everything and everyone in its path to their component atoms and molecules before vaporizing even them.


Live-Action Earth (Dimension B); New York City, December 20TH, 1997 A.D.

It had been a day since Venus DeMilo had been sent along with the Michaelangelo and eyepatched Raphael from another dimension on her way after the Dragon Lord and his Rank had been at last struck down with their help. Things had been calm for the now-four-again Ninja Turtles, a rare thing indeed.

"I dunno, guys... I just really miss Venus," Leonardo spoke. "You think she’s all right?"

Michaelangelo read the concern on his face, put his motorized skateboard down, and took a seat by his brother. He smirked, giving Leo a friendly jab to the side. "’Ol Mei Pieh Chi... you really had the hots for her, didn’t you?"

"I-I don’t t—"

"C’mon, admit it," Mike prodded. "I’ve seen you get that dreamy look in your eye when you look at her sometimes."

"No..." Leo said decidedly, shaking his head in earnest, "nothing like that. I guess I never really thought about it much until now, but she was a sister to me, just as she was to all of you, even if all five of us are unrelated by blood." He looked down. "But..."

"But you knew," came a new voice. Donatello sauntered in with an unusually mellow Raphael, taking a seat on the stool nearest the sliding door of the subway train’s car. "Didn’t you?"

Leo nodded understandingly, looking up and staring distractedly off. "She represented... something we never expected. Hope. A possibility for the continuation of our kind..." His head slumped on his shoulders and he gave a deep sigh. "Even the possibility that we could..."

Don laid a hand on his brother’s shoulder. "I know what you mean, Leo."

Leo shook his head again and got to his feet, rubbing his neck with a hand and adjusting his face mask. "Splinter should be waking up about now. We should start our—"

"What’s that?"


"Dude, didn’t you feel that?"


Soon they all would feel it, along with every living soul on the planet.

With the force of a tsunami, what began as a violent tremor almost instantaneously became a bone-jarring quake. Without even time to react, a white blanket of absolute nothing swept and washed over New York City and ultimately the subway lair, claiming and consigning it along with the entire world in total oblivion.


Mirage/Image Earth (Dimension A); New York City, December 20TH, 1990 A.D.

Splinter meditated silently in the Turtles’ mausoleum lair in Westwood Cemetery with Klunk in his lap, the incense he was burning filling his nostrils. With the peace of mind of a monastic Zen Buddhist monk, his mind remained tempered and focused.

His Utrom friend known only as "Dr. X" stirred inside the abdominal cavity of the android exoskeleton Donatello had built months ago seated across from him—detached from it, for now. There was a chess board between them, left in the state of indefinite stalemate it would always end up at. "Are you sure, Splinter, my friend?" the brain-like alien asked.

"Impossible to be," Splinter rasped. His pupils could be seen moving under his eyelids as he strained, his mind left in a state of half-consciousness as his psych scoured the reaches of the Astral Plane for the answers he sought. Nightmare after nightmare he’d witnessed, disturbing vision after disturbing vision—every one painting the same picture. 


"My search is... difficult," he spoke again. "The answers I seek... shrouded. A puzzle. The pieces I need to complete it... outside my reach."

Dr. X gave a frown. "Then don’t exert yourself. There little use in wearing yourself out over what is probably nothing."

"No... my sons..." Splinter spoke then to himself, a coolly modulated tone to his voice. "Wherever you are, you are in grave danger... everything is in grave danger... everything. Something terrible is coming."

The ground began to shake...


The End of Time (Dimension <Null>); July 25TH, 3689 A.D.

"The slate is nearly cleansed..."

Past the Homidian Evolution of the 2700s and 2800s, the False Eden of the 2900s, the Y3K Third Millennial Barrier of June 10th, 2986, and frozen in a state of artificial Null-Time centuries past the playground of the Time Warriors circa 3088, the cloaked Shogun did his grim work at the craggy summit of Italy’s ominous Mount Vesuvius. Suspended at the very brink of The End of Time, the Shogun dwelled in the fraction of a millisecond in the year 3689 before Entropy—absolute nothing—consumed all of existence, as fated since Creation. It was from the Entropy that he was drawing his energies, limitless energies he was putting to use even now.

"The time is nearly here..."

On his dais, the Shogun cracked a smile under his Japanese noh mask at his whirlpool-like viewer in the magma below, examining the preview snippets of his newly-emerging "Dimension E" in the year 1999 with pride. With a wave of his hand he then saw back into the year 2089, sighing as he saw a peek of a tangent; an amalgam of the best of Dimensions A, B, C, and D... a world without crime, a people living together in unification and harmony.

So different from the reality he had left behind...

"The three alternate dimensions I opened have been purged... now only two remain: Dimension A—reality—and my Dimension E—what is soon to replace it. To make the wrong things right—all things right—I must wipe the slate clean. Only then can I superimpose Dimension E as the one true reality... my masterwork, and my swan song. Zero Hour approaches... but first thing’s first." In a downward spiral of utter and complete annihilation and erasure, Dimensions X, D, C, and B, twist by twist, were already wiped out of existence. Only A remained, after which there was no turning back. "Time to take care of Dimension A... and what a pity it is..."

"Think again, Shogun."

The Shogun whirled around. "Eh?"

Renet, Leonardo, Raphael, Michaelangelo, Donatello, a burly Turtle with a black bandanna, a spiked shell, and blades on its wrist who he did not recognize, and a female Turtle he also did not recognize stood on the charred rockery below the dais. Fluorescent wisps of chronal energy dissipated off of the seven figures as they finished materializing. Their weapons were drawn and ready.

"Sorry to interrupt your punk ass, but we got a score to settle," Raphael spoke, twirling a sai in each hand in a menacing manner. "Time to pay up, motherfucker."

"You destroyed my reality... killed everyone I have known and ever cared about," seethed the female Turtle, her voice both solemn and stern. She rolled two gleaming kai mi balls in one hand. "Their spirits scream for vengeance... and I have come to avenge them all, gwai-lo."

"As have I," came the deep, authoritative voice of Slash, a twisted version of a sai in his thick hand. "The Mutanimals were the only friends I ever had."

Leonardo scraped his katana in a half circle on the rocky ground in front of his feet, then met the Shogun’s gaze. "This ends here and now... Savanti."

The fearsome figure of the Shogun retreated back a few steps, genuinely caught off-guard by the appearance of his guests. Regaining his composure, he reared himself up to his full height before the seven. He would be forced to put his work on hold for the moment, of course—Dimension A, his own native dimension, would have its respite but he would see to it that it wouldn’t be for long. 

"I’m not your Savanti Romero or anyone else you may foolishly believe, but very well all the same," the Shogun thundered at his enemies. "It shall be as you say, Leonardo. It will end here... and it will end now."


NOTE : Refer to late issues of Archie Comics' TMNT Adventures series for the story behind the Mighty Mutanimals' fate.