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Raph stood there staring at the glowing symbol on his forehead. "Where did that come from?" he finally said.
"Where'd what come from?" asked Don behind him. Raph turned to show him it.
"Weird," said Mike.
"Isn't that the symbol from that robbery?" Don asked.
"I'd say so," said Leo. "Don, did you find any information about it?"
"Hey, shouldn't we be worried about me?" Raph shouted.
Don ignored him. "I've e-mailed several experts, but I haven't gotten a response yet."
"I doubt any 'expert' would recognize it," said Splinter. The Turtles turned to face him.
"Do you know what it is?" Raph asked.
Splinter sat in a chair. The Turtles did the same. "I did not think the legend was real," he said. "It seems I was wrong."
"What legend, Master?" Leo asked.
"During one of my journeys while I was still a man, I came across another traveler," Splinter explained. "He was very sick, and his fever apparently was affecting his mind. He insisted on telling me his story. He said he was the last of the Saheer, an ancient race of people opposed to the Kidash Zek. Kidash Zek means 'followers of Zek.' Zek was their god, and a source of great power."
"That name is familiar," Raph interrupted. "I heard it in a dream."
"Raph, let him talk," Don said.
"You shall have to tell us your dream," Splinter said. "But first, the rest of the story. The Kidash Zek ruled over their people with an iron fist, treating their subjects more like slaves. They considered all other beings to be inferior. They believed that they were specially chosen by Zek.
"Fortunately, their kingdom was enclosed in the mountains, keeping them from spreading. But one day, they found a way to escape. Then they met the Saheer. There was a war between the two. The Saheer won, and Zek was trapped in another dimension. The Kidash Zek were scattered and their subjects were freed.
"However, the Kidash Zek eventually regrouped and hunted down the Saheer. This man was the only one left. He gave me his story, and also told me that the only way Zek could be freed was if a certain four objects were brought together. He commanded me to continue the fight against them, and died later that night.
"Since then, I have tried to find some information that verifies his story, but so far have failed. I have never forgotten this story, even though it seemed like the ravings of a madman. I thought there was some kernel of truth in his story."
"What does this have to do about me?" Raph asked.
"Their symbol is on your forehead," Splinter replied. He stood and walked over to Raph. "Apparently, you have been put under a spell." He placed his hand on Raph's head and said a few unrecognizable words. The mark faded away. "Fortunately, the man taught me a way to break such a spell."
To Raph, it felt like a cloud had been lifted from his mind. His headache was gone, and he could think clearer. "That's much better," he said.
"That's good to hear," Splinter said. "Now, tell us about your dream."
Raph told them the two dreams he had had the past few days, and also the strange incident that had happened a couple nights ago. "It seems," Splinter said, "that you ran into one of the Kidash Zek."
"What would they be doing in New York?" Raph asked.
"Let me guess," said Leo. "The stolen sword was one of the four objects."
"I don't know," said Splinter. "I was never told what the four objects were. He merely referred to them as Relics."
"And I suppose a goblet would be another," Leo said. "But what about the other two."
"We can only guess," said Splinter.
"Whatever it is," Mike said, "it's probably really old."
"Mike's on to something," said Don. "If we could find out the approximate age of the stolen sword, then we could search for other objects of similar age. A quick search on the internet should do the job."
"Get to it, bro," said Leo.
"I will," said Don. He tried to start up his computer. "Uh-oh."
"That doesn't sound good," said Leo.
"It doesn't want to boot up," explained Don.
"Meaning?" asked Mike.
"Meaning I'll have to fix it first," answered Don.
"How long will that take?" asked Leo.
Don thought for a moment. "I'll get it done probably by tonight."
"Great," said Raph. "Now what do we do?"
"We wait," said Leo. "They aren't going to make their move until nightfall. We'll be ready by then."
Five Minions were on the roof of the museum, the third one they had visited that night. Their black outfits made them hard to distinguish in the darkness. One of them knelt next to the skylight and focused his firespell to make a small hole in the glass. When he was finished, he released a prect inside and binded with it. After a few minutes of searching, he located the Relic. He told the prect to disable the security cameras, then unbinded and turned to his companions. "It's here," he said.
"Do you think it will be as easy this time?" asked a Minion.
"We can never tell," said the kneeling one. "But if not, we have help." He motioned to the black shapes behind them.
The prect came back to them, signaling its work was done. The kneeling one stood, and widened his firespell to include the whole skylight. In seconds, the glass was gone. They dropped down into the museum.
"It's done," Don said. The Turtles gathered around his computer to watch. Don was about to start his search when something else caught his eye. "What's this?"
"What's what?" Mike asked while Don opened a program.
"We don't have time to waste, Don," Raph said.
"It's my thermal scanning program," Don explained. "It's found a new thermal signature."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Raph asked impatiently.
"Something weird is in New York," Don said. "Some creature unlike anything else." He looked at the screen some more. "We should probably check it out."
"Why can't it wait until later?" Raph asked. For some reason, he had thought of the creatures in his dream.
"We might not get a chance later," Don said. "Besides, whatever it is is on top of a museum. It may be connected to the Kidash Zek."
"But what if it isn't?" Raph asked.
"I say we should check it out," said Leo. Raph grumbled, but finally agreed. Soon, the Turtles were racing through the sewers towards the museum.
Looking around, the Minions quickly located the Goblet. They were about to take it when a voice shouted, "Stop!" They turned to see a guard walking towards them, his gun pointed at them. One of the Minions quickly focused a windspell on a nearby statue. The guard ducked as it soared over his head. Meanwhile, a Minion used an icespell to freeze the guard's gun, and another used a lightspell to blind the guard.
The guard was utterly confused. He had been attacked by a flying statue, his gun was covered in ice, and he had been blinded by a flash of red light. He turned and started to run, but was hit in the back of the head by another flying statue. One of the Minions checked to make sure the threat was vanquished.
The Turtles stood in front of the museum. "Now what?" Raph asked. "We can't exactly walk in, you know. The museum's closed."
"We'll climb the fire escape in back," Leo said.
Once on the roof, they looked around for any signs of Don's mysterious creatures. It wasn't long before Mike spotted the melted skylight. Looking through it, they could see five people below, dressed in the same all-black outfit as the person Raph had met. "What do you say?" Mike said. "Shall we crash a certain party?"
"Yes, let's," said Raph.
They dropped through and turned to face the surprised burglars. One of them had a goblet in his hand. "You know," said Raph, "I don't think that that cup belongs to you. So just put it down and no one will get hurt."
"You've got to be kidding," said Mike. "They're unarmed."
Right after he said this, one of the burglars said a strange word and a gust of wind knocked Mike back. The remaining Turtles took out their weapons and charged.
"Meet my bo," said Don, who swung it against the guy's head. He collapsed on the floor, and Don turned to face another one. This one said another curious word, and Don's bo erupted in flames. He instantly dropped the burning piece of wood. "You're paying for a new one," he said, and started trying to kick the guy.
Meanwhile, Raph stood facing someone else. "Who are you guys, anyway?" Raph asked.
"We are Minions," the man answered.
"What a wonderful title," Raph said.
"It's better than you, inferior," the Minion said
"I resent that," Raph said, and pointed a sai at him.
The Minion said a word, and Raph's feet were frozen to the floor. He cursed and started to chip at the ice with his sais, but the Minion kicked them away. Raph grabbed the man's legs and pulled them out from under him. He hit the ground hard. "One down," Raph said, but he was still stuck to the floor. "Leo, can I have a little help here?"
But Leo had his own problems. He was being attacked by a prect a Minion had thrown. When he turned to look at Raph, the prect ran hard into his face. While he was distracted, it landed on the back of his neck and bit him. He picked the insect off his neck and threw it away, but it came flying back. The Minion stood nearby and laughed at him.
"Be quiet," Leo said, and swiftly chopped the prect in half. The Minion stopped laughing long enough for Leo to smash the hilts of his swords against his head. The Minion fell to the floor.
He walked over to where Raph was still frozen to the floor. "Having fun?" Leo asked.
"Just break this ice, will you?" Raph said.
"Give me one reason why," Leo said.
Raph growled. "Because you're our righteous leader who helps out his teammates."
Though he didn't like the way Raph said it, Leo chopped the ice off Raph's feet. "Thank you," Raph said, and picked up his sais.
Mike had picked himself up and was facing another Minion. "You dudes don't seem to be holding up very well," Mike said.
"We'll see," said the Minion. Then he looked up at the skylight and shouted, "Drekkane!"
Four black shapes fell down. Raph gasped. They were the monsters from his dream! Each of them was several feet taller than the Turtles. Their bodies glistened black. They stood on four legs, which tapped against the floor. Their bodies were massive, and they flexed their arms as if itching to cut something. Their eyes were like black pits that swallowed up any light. They looked around, and then charged at the Turtles.
Mike jumped aside as a monster slashed its arm at him. The claw sunk into the wall. Mike stared as the creature tried to free its arm, then came to his senses and started beating on it with his nunchakus. They had no effect. "These things have armor on them!" he yelled.
"I know!" Raph shouted back. His sais couldn't penetrate it. Not even Leo's swords were having any effect. "What do we do, Leo?"
"I don't know," Leo said. "Do you have any ideas?"
"You mean you're actually going to listen to us?" said Raph, pretending to sound shocked.
"It's not like I've never listened to you guys before," Leo said.
"Sometimes I wonder," Raph said.
"Will both of you shut up?" Don shouted. Since he had no weapon, he was forced to try to avoid the creature's attacks. "Something tells me we've found that mystery creature."
"No, really?" Raph said sarcastically.
"Leave him alone, Raph," Leo ordered.
"You can't boss me around," Raph said.
"Dudes," Mike shouted, "they're getting away." Indeed, the Minions had taken the goblet and were using gusts of wind to propel themselves onto the roof. Mike started to follow them, but the creature aimed a blow at his shell, knocking him to the ground. Another of the creatures struck Don, throwing him against a wall. Leo and Raph could only watch as creatures used their wings to follow the Minions. Only the four Turtles were left in the room.
"Why didn't I see their wings before?" Raph asked no one in particular. "They would have been a weak spot."
"Not really," Don said. "They had protective covers on them, like a ladybug. Only I bet these were harder."
"Thanks for the explanation, Professor Genius," Raph said.
"Dudes, over here!" Mike shouted. He was kneeling next to an unconscious Minion. "They left someone behind."
"A small consolation," said Leo. "Let's take him back to the lair."
Splinter was waiting for them when they came home. "My meditations were disturbed," he said. "How did you fare?"
"Not good," said Don.
"We got our butts kicked," said Raph.
"They seemed to know magic," explained Leo. "We were caught off guard. They also had backup."
"You must tell me later," said Splinter. "First, it seems you have brought home a captive."
"He called himself a Minion," Leo said. "He was left behind while the others escaped."
"If they were as powerful as you said, he was probably not simply 'left behind.'" Splinter said. "Bring him inside."
"I'll get some rope," Raph said.
The Minion awoke to find himself tied to a chair with all four Turtles staring at him. He started to say something, but Raph covered his mouth. "No strange words," Raph said, "or you get another lump on your head."
"You inferiors are fools to think you can win," the Minion said when he could speak again.
"I doubt it," Raph said. "If you don't mind, we'd like to ask you a few questions."
"I will not betray the Kidash Zek."
"We have ways of making you talk," Mike said in a menacing voice.
"What were those creatures?" Don asked.
"The Drekkane?" the Minion said. "A gift from the great Zek."
"I thought he was trapped," Leo said.
The Minion grinned. "With each Relic that is restored, the bonds are weakened."
"What are the other two Relics?" Raph asked.
"You are not worthy to know such information," the Minion replied.
Raph pulled out a sai and held it against the Minion's throat. "Do I care?"
"Raph, there are better ways," said Leo.
"Do I care?" Raph repeated.
"I think it's time you learned."
"I think you should shut up."
"I think you should come up with something new to say."
"I think you're a loser."
"I think it takes one to know one."
"I think you should stop arguing," Mike said.
"I think you're asking for a beating," Raph answered.
"Silence!" Splinter shouted.
"You see," the Minion said. "You are doomed to fail."
"You shut up, too!" Raph shouted.
But the Minion ignored him. He had fallen into a trance. The Turtles watched him warily. "You inferior fools," he said with his eyes still closed. "The second Relic is restored, and our power increases!"
As soon as he finished speaking, he broke the ropes that bound him. Before the Turtles could react, he spoke a word and a blast of wind pushed all of them back. The Minion ran out of the sewer, his laughter ringing behind him.
"Wonderful," Raph said. "Just wonderful."
to be continued…
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all related characters are the property of someone else. This is a work of fanfiction and no copyright infringement was intended. The Kidash Zek are my own creation.