March 5th, 2016.
New York City.
It started on a street corner at the lower East side of Manhattan, a middle aged by stander on his way home from work claimed it was a freak accident; the bird just flew out of nowhere and hit the windshield of a black box truck, causing the driver to swerve into the street. The truck missed oncoming traffic but couldn’t avoid tipping, and crashed into the nearest building. A few people were badly injured, but none were reported dead. This included the truck driver, who remains unknown due to fleeing after the scene.
The trucks haul spilled onto the street- a gooey and vibrant red powder. After later investigation, the shipping company claimed that the truck, which was being used to deliver a supply of energy drinks, was reported stolen just a few weeks before. The city ordered a cleanup, but the mystery substance still managed to make its way into the local water supply.
It starts with a rash that turns your skin into an unhealthy looking pink color. Within days, dark spots form, giving your body patches of irritation and itching. The immune system breaks down days later, and you’re left to vomit crimson acid while your body slowly decays from the inside out. Hundreds had died in less than half a month. The city was quarantined while the remaining survivors fled to the underground.
By then they were forced to leave their home. The sewers were no longer safe, nor was New York. It was Splinters idea to leave through the tunnels, to retreat to North Hampton where the turtles could find sanctuary at the Jones’s family farm. It was supposed to be quiet; a safe route they found abandoned years ago- they were supposed to all get out together, but they couldn’t anticipate the danger already waiting.
The turtles were ambushed, outnumbered and caught off guard. It wasn’t the Foot waiting for them, or the Purple Dragons or EPF. This enemy was a group dressed in dark-black body suits, strapped with gas masks and various weapons mostly consisting of swords. They have never battled this enemy before.
The fight was a real challenge but the turtles fought hard, gaining injuries along the way but nothing to life threatening. They managed to out run and lose the enemy near the water, which was barely a short length from the tunnels end. Leonardo had seen the light of the exit and urged his brothers and friends to run towards it. They were finally going to make it out of the sewers.
Splinter was in the back while Leonardo naturally ran up front. The oldest of his pupils had cleared a path for the rest to run through, then waited for Splinter near the exit. Despite protests from the rat, the blue banded turtle had his mind set on being the first one into battle and the last one out. Had it been the other way around, Leo may not have made it out and Splinter would be with them today.
April 20th, 2016.
North Hampton Farm.
Leonardo tried not to groan while his tired eyes scanned the sheets of paper for, what seemed like the thousandth time today. Donnie’s scribbles of numbers and charts made little to no sense to him, it was the maps he was focused on. No matter how many times he played the dreaded scene over and over again his head, he couldn’t figure out and come to terms with how the agents in black (named by Mikey) were able to disappear with Splinter.
He knew those tunnels- spent his whole life in them. How was it possible to get a van over that bridge? It just wasn’t! Donatello confirmed it, April- who had her own way of smart thinking, said nothing of that size could travel down there, let alone cross the narrow bridge built years ago. So Leo must be confused, or traumatized. The leader heard the whispers when they thought he wasn’t around to hear. Splinter must still be in the sewers, if he was even alive at all.
Leo knew that wasn’t true.
Sensei made it out of the city- he must have! Splinter was alive and in the hands of those people; somewhere. And he was going to bring him back. He would bring Father back home.
“Damn.” He rarely cursed, but it when it felt like your eyes were going to bulge out of your own head from exhaustion- that would be the perfect exception to do so. For hours Leo sat at the old writing desk, drawing out his own plans and tactics. His muscles started to hurt from the constant shifting of positions. He really should sleep. He had promised to do so three hours ago when the others had left for bed, but Leo didn’t think he could. Every time he closed his damn eyes, Splinters face would appear, stunned, helpless and hurt. They beat him down to his knees and hauled the body into the van. Leo saw it all before Raph came back for him, but by then Splinter was already gone.
He didn’t tell his brothers what he had witnessed back there, how could he?. How could anyone describe a nightmare-ish scene such as that? If the words were to leave his mouth, it would sound like he was describing Splinters death, and then everyone would lose hope.
…He couldn’t be dead…he couldn’t.
Father was alive... he had to be.