Allie breathlessly peered back over her shoulder. The ninjas turned the corner and ran up the street. She jerked open the Gimmick's door. Another band was on stage and Allie weaved through the costumed people to the bar. Dan sat there, watching the dancing people. "Dan." He didn't hear her. She grabbed his shoulders and whirled him around. "Dan! I need help! Those two guys dressed like ninjas are the real thing and they want to kill me!" She pointed to the ninjas that had just entered the club.
Dan stared, "Why do they want to kill you?"
"It's kind of complicated. Don't you have any big guys from juvenile hall that owe you some favors?"
"I got some friends." Dan jumped off the stool and grabbed Allie's arm, pulling her through the crowd.
Zack appeared out of nowhere. "What's happening?" Allie grabbed his arm and Dan lead them to a door beside the stage.
The door opened into a dark hall. The only light spilled from a closed door at the end. Voices drifted out of the room behind this door. "This has been one radical party! I had no idea we could jam like that!" Raph laughed.
"And did you see the babes?" Mike sighed.
Donnie snickered, "I think you're over Mitsu."
This intrigued Allie. She stepped closer to the door, careful not to make a sound. But as she leaned closer, it swung open suddenly and a giant Turtle wearing a blue bandanna mask around his eyes held up a katana. Allie gulped and stepped back until her back pressed against the opposite wall. "Do you plan to use that?"
"If I have to," he replied suspiciously. "Who are you and what do you want?"
Another turtle walked into the doorway, this one wearing an orange mask. "She's the chick! From outside Dan's school!" Mikey knew he was smitten. She was beautiful.
Allie stared at him, "What!"
Dan jumped between her and Leo. "It's okay, she's with me. We're fixing to have some uninvited company."
Leo pulled them into the room. "Cool!" Zack cried as they got pushed to the back of the small dressing room smelling heavily of pizza. "You guys were the first band. You can really rock!"
"Only you would be concerned with someone's musical talent at a time like this." Zack looked up worriedly. Allie sounded more upset, more tense than he had ever heard her before. Something was wrong, dangerously wrong.
Donnie and Raph took a stance beside the door. And when the ninjas broke into the room, they each hit one over the head. Donnie dusted his hands off with a grin. "Those party crashers won't be bothering you--or anyone else--for a while."
Allie pushed Dan out of the way. As much as she needed the help, this wasn't the way she liked to operate. She wanted to ask them questions, but for some reason the crumpled bodies told her the ninjas would stand interrogation without giving her any information. "Beautifully done. Now how are we supposed to ask them anything? Are you telepathic turtles or just boneheads?" She knelt beside a body and began a methodical search for identification.
Dan looked down at Zack. "Your sister, the queen of gratefulness."
"I think she's in a royally bad mood," the dark-haired boy answered.
Raph scowled. The only thing he hated worse than a smart-aleck was an ungrateful smart-aleck. "You're very welcome for our assistance, Chick."
That got her attention. Allie jumped up, her blue eyes sparkling. "Listen buster! Nobody calls me chick--especially some over-grown reptile!"
Raph leaned into her face. "Well, this over-grown reptile just helped save your life!" he snarled.
Zack turned to Dan with a sigh. "Looks like she's made a new friend." He
gazed past him to the silent television set. "Cool, April's on!" He hopped to it
and turned up the sound. Then he turned his sister and the turtle in the red
mask. "Hush! It's a special report."
April stood on the rain-drizzled street ignoring the ambulance and police cars behind her as she stared into the camera. "This is April O'Neil for Channel Three Eyewitness News. I am at the site of a brutal police officer homicide. Officer William Baker was found here--just minutes before--decapitated. Chief Sterns, do you have any clues to who could have killed a member of your police force?" She got satisfaction seeing him step back from her eager microphone.
Chief Sterns kept his hands locked at his sides, thwarting the beautiful idea of choking April O'Neil on the air. But that didn't help his aggravated expression. "We have no theories at this time, Ms. O'Neil. But I can assure you and your viewers that we will find this murderer soon. Nothing in this city can hide him from us."
April pulled back the mike. "Chief, is this a gang retaliation or something more? Do you think it could be connected with the Hi-Tech Robberies?"
Sterns smiled condescendingly. O'Neil wasn't getting anything from him today. "Ms. O'Neil, I told you we have no theories at this time."
"Isn't it true that you sent you sent a couple of officers to investigate a lead that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are involved?"
"I told you," the man sighed. "We have no theories. Good-night, Ms. O'Neil."
April turned back to the camera. "I will bring you further developments as
they occur. This is April O'Neil, Channel Three Eyewitness News."
Leo sighed and turned off the television. "We better go. The last thing we need is a murder rap pinned on us."
Donnie glared at no one. "Who else in this burg are they going to pin it on? Not the guys who did it, oh no!"
Mikey shook his head. "Why can't the cops realize that we're the good guys?"
Zack's almond-shaped eyes opened wide. "You guys are the real thing-- the real Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Way cool!"
"You really think so?" Mikey wrapped an arm around Zack's thin shoulders. "Excellent! Bros, we got a fan!" He turned to Allie with the silly grin still on his face. "So, Chick, where can we drop you off?"
Allie had just about enough. These egotistical mutants had pushed her too far. "My name is Allison Baker. The day when you can call me "chick" is the day when I look like a chicken. And we're not going anywhere with you!"
"No need to take my head off." Mickey clamped his hands down onto his head, losing his grin.
Dan ignored them. Allie was more than capable of holding hers in a fight--verbal or otherwise. He bent down next to the ninjas Mikey and Raph had tied up during April's report. A piece of paper peeked out of one of their pockets. He pulled it out and unfolded it. "Um, Allie? Have you made anyone mad?"
"No, not lately," Allie snapped as she turned to Dan. "Why?"
Dan swallowed; now he was worried. "This looks like a hit list." He swallowed again. "And... and Billy's name is crossed out." Allie's stomach dropped away from her body as she snatched the paper out of Dan's hand. "Your and Zack's names are on it."
"That settles it," Donnie declared. "You have to come with us."
"Not on your life," Allie growled.
"No, on your life," Leo poked a finger at her.
Allie resisted the urge to break the thick, green finger in half. She took a calming, deep breath and glared at the Turtle in front of her. "I'm going to find out who issued this hit list, why they issued this hit list, and then hurt them badly."
"You?" Raph chortled. "That's something I would like to see."
Allie glared at him, "You have a real problem with female assertiveness, don't you?"
"Why?" he laughed. "Because I think you taking on a ninja clan is funny?"
"I wouldn't antagonize her, Raph," Dan whispered. "She spent a whole year with a biker gang and no one on the streets with any sense messes with her."
Zack looked down at the ninjas. Why had they been chasing Allie? Allie had been following Billy and now Billy was dead. Allie wasn't the only one in the family with detection skills. "These guys killed Billy, didn't they?" He didn't expect her to answer; she was protective that way.
Allie swallowed hard. She wasn't going to break down, not in front of Zack, not in front of these Turtles. "Let's go," she replied gruffly.
"Go where, Allie?" Zack demanded. "If guys like them are looking for us, we don't stand a chance. I'm staying with them." He stepped back to stand with the Turtles.
That hurt. Why didn't he just come out and say that he didn't think she could protect him? "It's your choice," she barked. "If you want to depend on some pet-store rejects, fine." Allie turned to the blue-masked Turtle who she deduced to be the leader. "But if you let anything happen to him, I'll kill you." With that threat, she stormed out the door.
Zack gulped, "I really made her mad."
"How can you tell?" Raph asked sarcastically.
Mikey grabbed his trench coat and fedora. Somehow he had the feeling that if he let her storm out of here, he would lose her forever. "I'll follow her. She needs help whether she likes it or not."
"I don't think you're certified to give her the help she needs," Donnie tapped his head.
"We'll say nice things about you at your funeral," Raph called out as Mikey shut the door.