Allie tried to yank her tied hands from her ninja captor. "Let go of me!" The ninja shoved her inside an elevator.
Mike threw a ninja against a wall with his body. "Leave her alone!" Two more ninjas pulled him off, punching and kicking the Turtle in the stomach.
"Stop it! Leave him alone!" Allie aimed her kick into one of the ninja's knees. The ninja fell then jumped up, knocking Allie down into the elevator. A trickle of blood appeared at the corner of her mouth and enraged Mike. The ninjas redoubled their efforts to subdue him. "Stop it, Mike! Stop it! Don't give them a reason to kill you!"
Another ninja jerked Allie to her feet. "Cease your struggles!" A dagger rested against her throat. "Or she dies."
Mike stopped fighting, rage still burning in his eyes. Two ninjas grabbed hold of both his tied arms and yanked him into the elevator. It was a service one, and Allie and Mike found themselves shoved against the wire wall. "Are you okay? Did they hurt you?"
He stared into her worried blue eyes. "Why should you care?"
She shrugged, "Sue me for having some feelings." She turned her face away.
Mike elbowed her for her attention. "I'm sorry. I'm fine, really. I was born hard-shelled."
Allie smiled slightly and looked down. The smile faded from her face to be replaced with shock. "Oh my... what is that thing?"
It was at least three times bigger than Houston's Astrodome and on treads. Guns, cannons, and missals bristled out all over the spherical shape like thorns on a cactus. And on top was a huge eyeball, gazing at the rocky wall unseeingly. "How much you wanna bet that's the Technodrome?" Mike asked her.
"How much you wanna bet that's what happened to all the stolen goods from the Hi-Tech Robberies?"
The elevator stopped, and the ninja guards shoved Mike and Allie off. The Shredder strode up to them, his good humor restored. "What do you think of my work of art?"
"A work of monstrosity, more like it," Allie grumbled.
The Shredder ignored her. "My brother saw the potential of this "New World," but I have truly exploited it. And now the only thing standing between me and my moment of greatness is you and your brother." He glared at Allie. "I will not be usurped by children!"
"Listen, Psycho-dude! I don't give a damn about your moment of greatness but if you so much as even look at Zack, I'll kill you!" Allie yelled back.
The Shredder's eyes smoldered. "I don't think calling him Psycho-dude was such a good idea," Mike whispered.
"Ask me if I care," Allie retorted.
"Take them to the holding cells," the Shredder ordered his ninjas. "And take
care that they are kept safely... for now."
April's camera captured the stark images as the Turtles eased the doors of the warehouse open. "This place is deserted!" Raph complained.
"But they were here," Dan kicked over an empty box. "Wasn't this one of the companies hit in the Hi-Tech Robberies?"
"It sure was," April answered. "But what happened to the stuff in the box?"
Keno swung open another door. "A set of stairs. And I don't think they were in the original plans for the building."
Lotus reached his side first. "You are right; they look like they were carved out of solid rock. Many people have used them, see how worn the steps are." She rubbed her gloved hand across the top one. "Shall we follow them?"
"Yeah, but watch your backs," Leo pulled out his katanas. "We don't know
where those ninjas went."
The group crept into the artificially lit cavern and hid behind a mound of rock near the stairs. "Leo?" Raph called in a thoroughly awed voice. "I think I found the ninjas. And the scientific stuff."
"That's great, Raph." Leo twisted around the boulders that blocked his view. "Where?"
"Do you really need to ask?"
April's mouth fell open as she tilted the mini-cam up and up. "Charles is going to flip!"
"Dad's going to drop dead!" Dan cried. "And Allie and Mikey are probably inside it! How are we going to find them?"
"Better question," Donnie replied. "How are we going to get them out of it?"
Keno tapped Raph's shoulder and pointed to the group of ninjas marching past. Raph grinned and they grabbed the last two.
"Okay," Raph grinned as they dropped the inert bodies behind the boulders. "Who wants to play ninja?"
"I guess it'll have to be me and Dan," Keno pulled off one of their hoods. "We're the only ones who'll fit in the outfits."
"I will go too," Lotus pulled on her hood. "Keno and Daniel can find out what the Shredder is planning and I can find Allison and Michaelangelo."
"Okay, that sounds good. But we still need a way to get them out." Leo turned to Donnie. "Do you have any explosives?"
He didn't answer his brother. "How do you feel about getting caught, Raph?"
"I'm not crazy about it, Leo. You know that. Don't look at me like that. I
don't like what you're thinking!"
Keno and Dan joined the ninjas as they marched into the battle fortress on wheels. That group was joined by others inside the fortress and the boys found themselves led into a mammoth assembly hall. They knelt in the back row and looked up attentively like everyone else at the armored man preaching in Japanese on a balcony in front and above the crowd. "So much for learning what they're up to," Dan whispered.
"Maybe there's a translator," Keno whispered back. "But who do you think that guy is, Tatsu?"
"Nah, Tatsu was fatter than that guy up there. And he got the color of the shirt wrong. Saki wore red; this guy has purple."
"Maybe he's trying not to lose his identity." The ninjas started cheering,
agreeing with something the Shredder said and Dan and Keno joined in.
"I don't know why Leo thinks this crazy plan will work," Raph complained. "I don't know why he's trusting you. I don't know why I'm trusting you."
"Be quiet or you will give it all away," Lotus growled. Two ninjas walked up to them suspiciously. She called to them in Japanese, shoving the bound Turtle forward. He wanted to tell her not to overplay the part, but didn't dare. These guys might know English.
The two ninjas whispered to themselves. Lotus's heart pounded, would they believe her? Or would they capture her as well? After an eternity, they turned to her and asked for the Turtle. "What?" Raph said sarcastically as they pulled him into the fortress. "I get to join the club? Oh gees, I can't tell you what an honor it is. Really I can't." One ninja that grabbed his arm made a cutting gesture across his throat. Raph shut up. Lotus smiled underneath her hood. Maybe there was hope for this insane plan.