April tugged at the ropes binding her wrists. Luckily, she was used to the spotlights that the Shredder had trained down on her in the studio, shadowing his ninjas, and she didn't care if they saw her try to escape. The Turtles would come, but could they stop the Technodrome? Could they stop the ninjas? They would know soon enough.
The doors of the studio swung open. Lotus jammed the open with another pair of sai. Leo smiled; she had to teach him those tricks.
Raph ripped the tape off April's mouth. "Are you okay? Did they hurt you, Babe?"
"Look out!" The ninjas flew out of the shadows. Leo cut April out of the chair. Leo and Lotus held off the ninjas as Raph pulled April out of the studio. Lotus pulled out her sai and the doors swung shut, trapping the ninjas inside. The taping light above the door lit up, sealing the doors. "Very clever, guys."
"Glad you approve, April," Leo turned to her, "Where's the Shredder?"
"On the roof, waiting for you."
"And the Channel Three workers?" Raph asked.
"He's taking them down to his Technodrome. He says he's going to make them his slaves!"
"We can't let that happen." Donnie joined them from the control booth.
More ninjas filled the hallway. "I do not think the Shredder will make it
easy." Lotus gritted her teeth as she held her stance with her katana.
Allie crept into the Channel Three building's lobby. She knew the layout,
having spent a lot of time with Dan in the building. She eased open the
stairwell door, hearing drilling noises. The noises led down to the basement.
An elevator shaft with a drill on top of it had just broken through the floor. A few women sobbed as the two ninjas near the front herded them closer. Dan turned to Keno, "It's been real cool knowing you."
"Yeah, same here. I just wished it could have lasted longer."
"Maybe it will," Dan jerked his head back to the one ninja guarding the stairwell.
Keno looked, he couldn't resist. Allie launched herself on top of the ninja, wrenching the rifle-like ray gun out of his hands. The other two ninjas ran forward and lost their guns due to Allie's incredible aim. Keno whistled as he and Dan grabbed hold of the uninjured ninjas. "I heard the stories, Cat, but I didn't believe them."
She cocked the laser gun. "Where's the Shredder?"
"He's waiting on the roof for the Turtles. He left a bunch of ninjas around April to take some of the fight out of them though." Dan borrowed some rope from the ninjas to tie them together.
"How do you know?" Allie turned to them curiously as she dragged the unconscious ninja to the other two.
"These guys know English," Keno shoved one of the ninjas forward slightly, "and they're real braggarts. They just had to tell us their master's brilliant plan."
"All right," Allie mounted the stairs. "Get these people out of here. The Shredder may still try to demolish the building."
"Allie, where are you going?!" Pennington shoved through the crowd. "Dan? Dan, what's going on?"
"Dad! Get these people out of here! Me and Keno have to help the Turtles!"
They bounded up the stairs.
Lotus carried her fight toward the Turtle known as Raphael. "Your brother Leo is an honorable ninja."
"Isn't that a contradiction?" Raph grunted as he threw aside a ninja.
"Members of the Foot Clan have only considered themselves ninjas in name only."
"Whatever you say. Leo's the best fighter--once you get past his bossy streak."
"He is very dedicated."
"A slave driver would be the term I'd use."
"Does he have anyone?"
Raph stared at her, confused. "Do what?"
Lotus flushed with embarrassment. "Never mind," she mumbled and flipped away.
Raph shook his head and found himself joined by Leo. "What do you think of Lotus?"
"I try not to."
"The moves she can do; she must've studied for years!"
"I couldn't be happier for her." Raph caught a ninja Donnie tossed to him and punched the guy again for good measure.
"And she's so beautiful. Do you think a Turtle like me and a girl like her?" Leo's face wore an idiotic grin as he ducked under a ninja's blow then flipped him over his green shoulder.
"Do what?!" Raph exclaimed.
Leo frowned as he moved away. "You're no help."
"What do I look like, the host of the Love Connection?" Raph growled.
Dan and Keno panted as they finally reached the battle-strewn hallway. "Dan, Keno, what kept you?" Donnie greeted them.
"You didn't leave anything for us to do?" Keno pouted.
"You snooze, you lose," Raph laughed.
"We can't worry about that now," Dan argued. "Allie's going to face the Shredder all by herself!"
Lotus paled. "She cannot! The Shredder will kill her!"
"That seems to be something Allie's forgotten," Keno shrugged.
"Come on," Leo urged as they ran for the door to the stairwell.
"I wish we could take an elevator," April panted as she stopped recording. No telling how long this night would last and it was better to be conservative with footage.
"I wish someone would tell us why the Shredder wants to kill Allie and Zack so bad," Donnie complained.
"You do not know?" Lotus sounded genuinely surprised. "The Shredder is Oroku Nagi, younger brother of Oroku Saki. He will inherit leadership of the Foot Clan if Allison and Zackery die."
"But why?" Leo insisted. "What makes them so special?"
"Where have you guys been?" April asked. "This is old news."
"Fighting the bad guys, I think," Donnie answered. "You know already?" April nodded.
"The leadership was passed to Saki when Hamato Yoshi dishonored his family who had led the Clan for generations. But Saki dishonored the Clan and leadership was restored to the Hamato clan. Allison and Zackery are the only ones left of the Hamatos, direct descendents of Hamato Yoshi."
"Whoa! Hold up, sister!" Raph grabbed Lotus's arm and she pulled him up the stairs. "That psychotic chick and her little brother are Hamato Yoshi's kids?"
"Grandchildren, if I understand your slang. Chick means girl, correct?"
"Yeah," Dan answered, absent-minded. "I can't believe she didn't tell me."
"She probably doesn't know," April replied.
"All the more reason to hurry," Lotus pulled herself around a landing.
Allie lifted the gun as she stood shadowed by the doorway to the rooftop of Channel Three's building. The familiar grinding noise filled the air and another one of those elevator shafts rose even with the roof. They must be coming from the Technodrome, Allie realized. And the Shredder must be trying to escape.
She jumped out of the shadows as he turned to enter the elevator. "Hey Chrome-dome! Never turn your back on me!"
Lotus saw the ninja in the elevator raise his gun. "No!" Her tackle threw Allie's shot wild, but a black, charred mark appeared where the girl had stood.
The Shredder laughed. "You have won this round, Turtles. But be forewarned, I will deal with you first and restore my family honor. The great city of New York is safe until I have defeated you!" The elevator shaft sank back underground.
Allie shoved Lotus off of herself. "I had him! I wouldn't have missed! Why did you tackle me?!"
"The Shredder would have gladly sacrificed his life to end yours. There are other members in the Oroku clan that can lead the Foot Clan and are just as evil as Saki and Nagi."
"What are you talking about?" Allie brushed her hair out of her face as she stood. "The Foot Clan? Oroku clan? Saki and Nagi?"
"Oroku Nagi is the Shredder. You and Zackery are the last of the Hamato clan or family. One of you must lead the Foot Clan otherwise Nagi will inherit control. That is why he has tried so hard to kill you."
Allie's face went white, whiter than Dan had ever seen it. That expression on her face frightened him. The gun slipped from her hands. "Is that why he killed Billy?"
"Probably," April answered. "But he was investigating the Hi-Tech Robberies too."
Allie turned away and let the wind blow into her face, trying to let it blow away her guilt. "Allie," Dan moved closer.
"It's all my fault," she whispered, "He could be dying because the Shredder
knew it would hurt me." She shuddered and ran off the roof via the doorway.
Zack climbed up the first two rungs of the ladder before Splinter and Clin-san caught him. "It is not safe for you yet." The old rat cautioned. "Wait until we hear from the Turtles."
"I can't wait; Allie can't wait! I know my sister. In the frame of mind she's probably in, she'll commit suicide or something equally stupid. I can't let that happen. Seeing me always helps her remember her priorities."
"I will go with you," Clin-san moved underneath Zack. "Your sister must learn
Allie reached the street. Her heart pounded, but not from the run down the stairs. The employees of Channel Three milled around, trying to make sense of the confusion. She strode past them, intent on one thing, until the streets cleared around her.
Dan started to run after her but Raph grabbed his arm. "Let her go, man. She's not worth it."
Dan wrenched free, "You don't understand. She's blaming herself." He ran up to her. "Allie!"
"Don't touch me, Dan," she growled still striding forward purposely. "Not if you like your body in one piece."
"What are you going to do? Run away again?"
"Yes! You wanna stop me?"
"The Shredder will chase you down," Lotus told her, "no matter where you run to."
"I don't care! I'll show him what it means to mess with me!"
"What about Zack?" Dan reminded her.
Allie stopped and screamed, a soul-reaching scream. "What about Zack! My life for eleven years has been Zack! And the minute I get handed a chance for a different one, it's snatched away! I'm tired, Dan. I'm tired of death. I don't want Zack exposed to any more deaths because of me!"
"That's no reason to leave him and you know it!"
"I don't care! If you're so worried about Zack, Daniel, you take care of him! You make him your life for eleven years! Just leave me alone!" Her clenched fist came down and Dan steeled himself for the blow that never came. "Just leave me alone." She whispered as she started to walk away.
"Allie!" Zack tore through the Turtles and wrapped his arms around her waist. "Allie!"
"Zack?" She fell to her knees and started sobbing. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I didn't mean it! I didn't mean it!"
"Cool, she can cry." Keno sounded surprised.
"Keno!" Dan glared.
"I thought she was born without tear ducts."
Dan ignored that and stepped up to Allie and Zack. Lotus turned to Clin-san. "Perhaps we would be better off with the brother."
"Her problems do not stem from instability, Lotus. Remember that."
Dan wrapped an arm around Allie's shoulders and pulled her to her feet. "Come on, let's get out of here."
"Tell him I'm sorry, Dan! Tell him!" She sobbed against his shoulder.
"He knows, Allie. Don't worry."
Leo walked up to the boy. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine. Allie's just having a nervous breakdown. She has almost one a year and it'll last for a few hours and then she's fine."
"I find that unlikely," Donnie frowned.
Zack shrugged as they followed Allie and Dan to the sewers. "She explodes, I guess that's a better way to describe it. Allie holds everything inside until she can't hold anymore. Once she clears the system, she's fine."
"I hope you're right," Raph muttered. "The last thing we need is psychopath."