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The Lower Servant sat in his chamber. The only light came from a blue fire in a lamp. He thought about last night. They had met their first resistance, and it had been from the animal-people. There had been four of them, and they had fought well. Apparently, the Kidash Zek had underestimated the capabilities of the inferiors. However, the animal-people also had been caught off guard by the Drekkane. And in the end, the second Relic had been restored and their power had been increased.
The "captured" Minion had returned. He had brought information of a rat-person also in existence. The animal-people knew of the imprisonment of the great Zek, yet they did not know the remaining two Relics. Also, their minds were wearing thin under the oppressive power of the great Zek. Because of their high energy levels, they were easily affected. They were no threat to the Mission.
The dark age was finally coming to an end. The Kidash Zek had been a powerful people, ruling a kingdom in the mountains. But when they finally found freedom from their prison, the Saheer had come. The great Zek had been trapped by their wretched magic, and the Kidash Zek had been scattered. But the Saheer should have known better than to think that the mighty Kidash Zek would just die away. They gradually gathered back together and formed the Mission, the plan to free the great Zek. The Saheer had been destroyed, and they began the search for the four Relics.
Fate was on their side, for it had brought all the Relics together in this place. Two had been recovered, the Sword and the Goblet, but two remained. With their increased power, they could easily find the others. With his heightened ability, he could feel the power emanating from the Relics. The next one would be recovered tonight, and the last one soon after. Then the great Zek would be released, and, now that they were out of the mountains, their rule could extend over the whole world!
Leonardo was the first to wake. He usually was, and he usually woke rested. But last night, his sleep had been disturbed. There had been something weighing down on his dreams. Looking back, he realized that this had been happening for the past couple of nights, and the feeling was growing stronger.
He got out of bed and went into the living room. He left the lights off, which helped him to concentrate. He also didn't want to wake the others. They needed their sleep after last night. Bad things were brewing, and if they were to combat the enemy, they would need to be well rested.
He thought of the recent events. He felt that the awful feeling was somehow connected to the Kidash Zek. The feeling had also invaded their meditations. He remembered Splinter saying that the others could feel it, too, in their own way. Perhaps this explained why recently they seemed to argue a lot more.
Yes, he had been arguing with Raph. They had always had their differences, but they never argued during a battle. The feeling that seemed to pervade everything had made him lose his cool. There was too much tension; it needed to be released.
Leo was brought out of his thoughts when the lights turned on. He turned to see Mike. "I'm sorry," Mike said. "Am I interrupting something?"
"Not at all," Leo said. "Come join me."
Mike sat next to Leo on the couch. "What's been happening to us lately?" Leo asked.
"Raph's been more disagreeable than usual," Mike said.
"But it's not just him," Leo said. "It's all of us."
Mike thought for a minute. "What can we do?"
"Maybe Splinter can help us."
"What would he do?"
"I don't know, but it's better than nothing. We've got to work out our differences."
"Now's not the best time for that."
"I know. We have some Relics to find."
"Do you think Don's internet search will work?"
"I hope so."
"What if it doesn't?"
"I don't know." Leo stared off into space. "I don't know."
Later, the Turtles were gathered around Don's computer. He had finished his internet search, and didn't look too happy with the results.
"Well," Don sighed, "I did manage to find one other object of similar age. It's a mask that's part of a visiting exhibit, which ends today. Tonight it will be brought by train back to Chicago."
"You only found one?" Mike asked.
"Only one," Don said. "The last Relic must either be in a museum not connected to the net or just plain not in a museum."
"Now what do we do?" Raph asked.
"We get to the mask before the Kidash Zek do, I guess," Leo said.
"But that's stupid" Raph argued. "What would we do? We can't guard the thing all the time. They'll just keep trying to steal it."
"And what do you suggest?" asked Leo.
"We need to stop them once and for all," Raph replied. "We need to attack their base."
"And how do we do that?" Don asked.
"Your computer found those creatures before," Raph said. "Use it to find them again."
"Do you think I haven't tried?" Don said. "They aren't in New York-"
"They might not be in the city." Raph interrupted.
"-or the surrounding area." Don finished.
Everyone was silent. "Where else would they be?" Raph asked.
"Maybe they're halfway across the world," Mike suggested.
"That's not funny," said Raph, thinking it had been a joke.
"No, he's right," Leo said. "We've seen them do some pretty interesting things. It's possible they could be capable of teleportation."
"But they've got to bring the creatures back, don't they?" Raph said.
"That's right," Don said. "And when they did, it would show up on my program. It would also show where they came in, so…"
"…we would know where their base is." Raph finished.
"But we still should protect that mask." Leo said.
Everyone looked at Raph. "I suppose we shouldn't let them get their dirty little paws on it," he said.
The plan was formed. That night, they would sneak aboard the train and protect the Relic. Splinter would stay at home and monitor Don's program. Don instructed Splinter on what to do, then the four of them left to catch the train.
Five Minions stood out in the country. Four Drekkane were nearby. They all were near the railroad, waiting for the train to come. The stars were bright in the sky, but they paid no attention to it. They had a job to do.
This Relic had been the hardest to find so far. Even though their heightened power allowed them to feel where the Relic was, when they had set out to get it, it had started moving. They had been forced to improvise, and followed it to a train station. Using a prect, they found out which train it was on, where it was going, and which track it was using. Then they quickly formed a new plan, and teleported out here in the country.
Soon, they knew, the train would be leaving the station. It would start its journey towards Chicago, speeding across the countryside. But it wouldn't make it. At least, not in one piece.
The Turtles had sneaked aboard the train using ninjitsu, the art of invisibility. They hid in one of the cargo cars, and waited for the train to move. After a jolt informed them the train was on its way, Don brought out a flashlight so they could all see.
"You don't think they'd be crazy enough to rob a moving train, do you?" Mike asked.
"Sure," Don replied, "but they'd have to stop it first. We'd be able to tell when that happens."
"But what if they wait until the mask is in the museum?" Raph asked. "How are we supposed to guard the thing then? And has anyone thought of how we're going to get home?"
Nobody said anything. "Well, Leo," Raph yelled, "how do you answer that?"
"Why are you asking me?" Leo said.
"You always seem to know the answers," Raph said. "Besides, you were the one who dragged us out here."
"For good reason," Leo replied.
"I doubt that!" Raph shouted. "We can't just keep defending the Relics. That does nothing to solve the real problem! They're cult fanatics, and they won't stop until they die trying, which isn't such a bad idea."
"Don't 'Raph!' me! I ain't finished yet. The only way to defeat them is to eliminate the brains of the operation. We have to destroy their base! After we do that, everything else will fall apart."
"I know, Raph," Leo said calmly. "But we can't know where their base is until after tonight. Until then, we should keep them from getting any more Relics."
"But how do we know they're aiming for this one?" Raph argued. "Maybe this one is the fourth one they planned to steal. They could be taking the other one right now! In fact, how do we know this mask is a Relic? It could be some piece of junk! This whole plan is stupid and short-sighted, just like our leader."
"Raph, that's enough!" Leo yelled.
"You're right," said Raph. "I've had enough of this. I'm leaving." He walked toward the door of the car.
"Raph, you can't jump from a moving train!" Don said worriedly.
"Just watch me!" Raph said, and kept walking to the door.
"Raph, think!" Mike said.
"I have," answered Raph, "and I've come up with a new plan. We go back home and find where they're hideout is. Then we go there and surprise them when they come back from their robbery. That way we save the Relic and get rid of the problem at its source."
The Turtles thought about this. "You know," said Mike, "he has a point."
"Good," said Raph. "They let's go." He started to open the door, but the train jerked suddenly.
"What was that?" Don asked.
The Minions watched as the train drew closer. They got in their spots and prepared the windspell. A few tense seconds passed, until one of them gave a shout. They released their windspells in unison right when the engine passed in front of them. It was forced off the tracks and derailed the rest of the train with it.
It would be amusing to see the inferiors try to explain that.
The Turtles were tossed in the air as the train was flung off the tracks. They crashed into the wall, which was now the floor, and lay there as the other cargo smashed around them. When the train finally ground to a halt and everything had settled, Don looked up to see how the others had fared. He himself had only minor cuts and scrapes, though his shell had taken a beating.
Mike sat nearby, using one of his armbands as a makeshift bandage for the gash on his arm. His shell also had numerous scratches. "Thank goodness I'm a turtle," he commented.
Don looked on the other side of the car to see that Leo had fallen on top of Raph, who unceremoniously shoved him off. "Hey!" Leo said, but Raph ignored him and examined his leg.
"Are you all right?" Don asked.
"I'll live," Raph grunted as he stood up.
"We've got to get out of here," Mike said.
At that moment, the door above them opened. Three Minions looked down at them. "Well well, if it isn't you four again," one of them said.
"What a surprise," Raph said sarcastically.
"We can't have you getting in the way," the Minion said. He spoke a word and wind lifted the Turtles out of the car and flung them away from it.
Raph landed on another overturned car. He looked around at the train wreck. Many of the cars had been smashed up, and he saw several fires. It's a good thing this train wasn't carrying any people, he thought. He turned and saw a Minion standing on the other end of the car.
Raph charged at him, sais drawn. The Minion said a word and wind pushed back against Raph. He struggled towards the Minion, who was laughing at his efforts. It was the most annoying laugh possible, in Raph's view. He inched closer, with the wind growing stronger with every step. Finally, he got within striking distance. He started to swing his fist, but the wind increased sharply and he was tossed back. "Inferior fool," the Minion said. "I was merely playing with you." He continued that terrible laugh as Raph was flung back next to Leo.
"How are you doing?" Leo asked. Raph merely grumbled in reply. "What's your plan to stop them?"
"My plan?" asked Raph. "Aren't you usually the one who comes up with that stuff."
"You seem to think you're so great," Leo replied. "Let's see how you handle this situation."
"Don't you start with me!" Raph threatened.
"It's not as easy as you think it is, is it?"
"Must be why you're so bad at it," Raph shot back. He walked off, leaving Leo in stunned silence.
Mike was lodged between two cars. He pushed with all his might but couldn't budge them. Then he saw two Drekkane coming toward him. His adrenal gland worked overtime and he freed himself. The Drekkane kept approaching. He ran away and bumped into another one. It raised its arms high and slashed at him, but he dodged and ran a different direction. A fourth Drekkane stepped in front of him, and Mike had no time to react as it uppercut his shell.
He flew up into the air and landed on top of a car. He slid and fell in through the open door. He landed hard on a crate, further scratching his shell. Getting up, he noticed the Drekkane were still following him. He quickly hid behind a crate and watched as they dropped down into the car. The door slid shut behind them, and it became pitch-black.
Mike couldn't see, but he could hear the creatures as they walked around the car, searching for him. Their footsteps echoed, until it seemed like there were a million monsters in there. The atmosphere seemed to weigh down on him, and his attempts to steady his breathing failed. He brought out his nunchakus, but he knew he couldn't fight an enemy he couldn't see. He started backing up, trying to move away from the echoing sounds, and accidentally backed himself into a corner. He was trapped.
The darkness continued to weigh down on him, until he felt he could stand it no longer. Then the door opened and the Drekkane flew out. Mike was relieved at first, then realization sank in. They wouldn't have given up so easily, so that could mean only one thing. They had stolen the Relic and were getting ready to leave! Mike quickly tried to find a way out.
Meanwhile, Don had landed face down in the grass. He lifted his head to see he had been tossed several hundred feet from the wreck. He got up and ran towards it.
When he had almost gotten there, he heard a laugh behind him. He turned and saw…the train wreck. He looked back behind him and also saw the train wreck. Whichever way he looked, he saw the same thing. He warily drew his bo and asked, "What's going on?"
"Lightspell," someone said behind him. Don turned and saw no one there, just the omnipresent wreck in the distance.
"What's that mean?" Don asked.
"It means," the voice continued, "that I can control what light enters your eyes. I can make any picture appear before you. I can even blind you." To prove his point, Don's vision suddenly turned red. All he could see was red light.
Don's mind raced. The Minion must be sending certain light waves to my eyes, he reasoned. He's continuously sending the same color to keep me from seeing what is really there. I'm effectively blind.
Someone kicked him in the head. Don fell to the ground, raising his bo in a useless attempt at defense. He felt the bo roughly yanked from his hands, and another kick in the head. His mind was swimming, and still all he could see was solid red. The blows continued, and then suddenly stopped.
"I must be leaving now," the voice announced. "We have what we came for." Don's vision returned to normal, and he could see a Minion running towards his accomplices. Don ran after them, but they disappeared before he could get to them. They're probably halfway around the world, he thought miserably, and went to find his brothers.
Raph stared at the spot where they had stood a moment before. The Minions had disappeared, and had taken the mask with them. This night had been a total waste of time. He and his brothers had been easily beaten. The Minion's remark rang in his head. "I was merely playing with you." He could still hear that annoyingly demeaning laugh.
Leo touched his shoulder, but Raph shook it off. He turned to keep Leo from seeing the tears in his eyes. The whole night's disappointment welled up inside of him. He let out a loud yell, trying to vent the feeling. He took one last look at the train, then started walking back to New York, not caring if his brothers followed. The journey back home was a dreary one.
The Lower Servant gave the Mask to the High Servant, his head bowed. The High Servant took it, and walked to the Closed Gateway. He set it down in its proper spot. Then he stood back and raised his arms. "I summon you, great Zek," he shouted. "Send forth your power."
The form of a man appeared, and he stepped out of the stone. The Lower Servant gasped as he realized who it was. Others around him had similar reactions. The High Servant bowed, for this was the one subject of the great Zek that was greater than him.
Chalang, the one-who-is-many.
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.