Donnie stared out the windshield as he sat in the front seat of their van. "I can't believe he hung up on me," he repeated, shocked.
Leo rolled his eyes as he twisted the steering wheel. Raph leaned angrily over the seat. "So he hung up on you! Get over it! Maybe something from that chick is rubbing off."
"That has to be it. Hanging up on you I could believe, but me? He likes me."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Raph demanded.
Leo parked the van. "We're here. Can you guys stop fighting long enough to find Mikey?"
"Sure thing, Leo. Then we can try to figure out what's going on in his noggin."
Leo sighed, "Just try not to pick any fights."
"Why don't you try telling a tree to keep its leaves still in the wind."
"Huh? What are you talking about, Donnie?"
"You might get better results," Donnie continued. He frowned at his brothers' confused faces. "You can't work against nature."
Raph clapped his hand on Donnie's shoulder. "Have you been getting enough sleep?"
Donnie shrugged the hand off. "What does my amount of sleep have to do with anything?"
Raph shrugged, "It's either that or you've finally pushed the great brain of yours too far."
"Are you accusing me of going senile?"
"Or maybe it's the fact that Mikey hung up on you has given you a mental breakdown."
"I didn't hear that."
"So which is it?"
Donnie jumped out of the van and Raph followed him. Leo sighed, when would they grow up? "Hey guys!"
"April? Babe, what are you doing here?" Raph turned around. "Who's the "Mr. Miyagi" guy?"
"This is Clin-san," she answered breathlessly. "He's here to stop the Shredder. We found an address for the Shredder. Let's check it out!"
"Sure thing, April. As soon as we check out the bar to make sure Mikey's not here." Leo jerked his thumb toward the building. "He probably left a long time ago."
"He hung up on Donnie," Raph laughed, "and now the poor brainiac's having a mental breakdown."
"I'm ignoring you," Donnie replied. "There is nothing wrong with my intellect. To be precise, my latest invention might be useful." He pulled two palm-sized turtle shells off his belt where they had rested next to another one and handed them to Raph and Leo.
Leo turned it over in his hands. "Very nice. What is it?"
Donnie swelled up proudly. "My Personal Turtle Communicators or Turtle Comms. The rest are in the van." He trotted to the back and brought April one. "I designed yours like a make-up compact. I figured it would be safer that way." Leo pressed a button on the side of the shell. It pulled apart, antennas poked out at the top, and a small screen and many different colored and labeled buttons revealed themselves in the middle of the top and bottom shell halves. "I made one for everybody and I gave Master Splinter his. I wish I had remembered them sooner and gave one to Mikey. Then we wouldn't have this problem."
Raph held his up, "You can talk with these?"
Donnie grinned sarcastically. "The transitmatrix allows you to talk and see who your talking to, find their coordinates, and beam down to them; all at the same time. But, of course, if anything happens to the dilethum crystals, matter and antimatter will fly together and explode on impact-- leaving a horrific hole in the space/time continuum. And if that happens to the space/time continuum...."
Raph groaned. "Okay, I take it back. There's nothing wrong with your mind; you just don't make any sense." He pulled open the door to Nickey's Blues Bar. "At any time."
April and Clin-san followed Donnie and Raph into the dingy bar. Donnie coughed and waved a hand in front of his face. "Why do people like hanging out in here?"
April shrugged, "They're drunk; they don't notice the decor. Let's find Mikey and get to the Shredder."
Raph pulled his fedora down lower and promptly stepped into a fat man. The man growled down at the Turtle who took a step back and looked up. "'Scuse me. Have you seen anyone dressed like me with a blonde chick tonight?"
The man belched right in Raph's face, who tried hard to keep passive, and pointed at a table in a corner. "Over there. With Woody."
Raph weaved his way through the crowd. Donnie was questioning the pool players and April and that Clin-san guy just tried to stay out of the way. He reached the table and stood opposite from the brown haired man staring into his beer. "Are you Woody?"
The man looked up, "What's it to ya?"
"I'm looking for a chick, Allie Baker. I heard she was just here with you."
Woody downed a swig of beer. "I haven't seen Allie Baker for three months."
"But you know her?"
"Sure," Woody drawled. "Lots of people know Allie; she's a good kid. Knows what to take and what to dish out."
"Where is she?" Raph growled.
"If you haven't seen someone for three months, would you know where they are now? Impressive."
Raph jerked Woody up by his shirt. "Listen pal! My brother's with her and if he gets hurt because you won't tell me where they're at... let's just say I'll be upset."
"Raph!" Keno grabbed hold of the Turtle's arm. "Put him down before you start a brawl!"
Raph let him go, seething. Woody pulled down his shirt and glared at the Turtle. "Is he a friend of yours?"
"Yeah, he can't help the hotheadedness. It's sort of an in-born trait."
"Well, let me tell you something, pal. Allie Cat knows how to take care of herself. She never forgets an insult or a favor--whether she owes you or you owe her. Remember that, cuz." He walked away.
Donnie, April, and Clin-san ran up to Raph, Keno, and Dan. "What are you guys doing here?"
"Trying to help Allie," Dan answered the reporter. "But she's already left to find the Shredder. And Raph just antagonized the only guy in here that could tell us where they went."
"Not so," Clin-san answered. "Ms. O'Neil has an address."
"Then let's go stop them before they end up doing something stupid," Keno led
the way out of the bar.
Leo leaned against the van and watched the door of Nickey's Blues Bar just in case Allie and Mikey tried to sneak out. A shadow moved across the street and into the alley next to the bar. He followed it but found the alley empty. "All right, come on out, whoever you are."
A ninja jumped off the fire escape. Leo whirled out of the way and katana struck the ground where he had stood. He jumped back from the ninja's slashes and shrugged off his coat and pulled out his katana. The ninja rushed at him but Leo blocked the move. Leo kept the ninja from hurting him, but the ninja managed to push back the Turtle. "What do you want?" Leo demanded.
"I will not allow you to endanger her!" the ninja hissed. "If she knows something that can destroy this Shredder, let her destroy him!"
"I wasn't endangering her!" Leo protested.
"You speak with the criminals who would kill her for money!" the ninja spat detestably.
Leo pushed the ninja's katana up with his. "You're a ninja and you think you're better than them?"
"I do not kill for money! I only kill in battle."
The challenge was unmistakable. "If that's the way you want it. Step back a
bit and make it honorable."
Raph looked around as they stepped out and away from the bar. He turned to Donnie, puzzled. "Do you hear something?"
"Sounds like a fight."
They looked at each other, "Leo!" and ran for the alley.
The ninja drove Leo back until the Turtle tripped over a fallen garbage can and dropped his katana. The sword blade was a hair away from his face. "The end is near, turtle-kappa."
"Maybe for you," Leo brought up his feet and kicked the ninja away. "But not for me!"
Raph and Donnie each grabbed one of the ninja's arms before he could go back after Leo. "I wouldn't do that if I were you."
Donnie turned to Leo who climbed to his feet. "You okay?"
"Yeah. Me and this dude just had a little misunderstanding."
Raph pulled back the ninja's hood. She shook back her long, black hair and glared at all of them. "Better make that this dudette."
"If you had any honor, you would let me go and fight me!" She hissed at Raph.
Leo stepped up to her and sheathed his katana. "Would you stop ravin' about honor?" She stared at him, shocked that anyone would speak to her that way. "You said we were endangering her. Why should you care?"
She smiled sardonically. "You think that since I am a ninja I serve the fool that calls himself the Shredder," she spat the name out with contempt. "I do not; I am his equal." She drew her head up high. "I am Lotus, Master Student of the Foot Clan dojo."
"Lotus!" Clin-san cried, and shouted at her in a torrent of Japanese.
They argued back and forth in Japanese, too fast for anyone to follow. Finally, Lotus hung her head. "I apologize. I did not know you were helping Clin-san. We must find them."
"They must have went to the Shredder's already," April told them. "And the longer we spend here, the more trouble they could get into there. Come on!"