Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ronin

Chapter Nineteen

"This is not good," Sammie muttered as the ninja pushed her through the crowd of ninjas and Dragons. This was not going to be a fun party. She knew fun parties. In the first place, you got invited to parties--not kidnapped. You were escorted to a party--not held at knife point. And everyone didn't wear the same costume.

They reached a clearing dominated by a ninja who wore a purple shirt with outrageous metal spiked shoulder pads, a helmet with matching face mask leaving only his eyes visible, and three-pronged metal claws on his hands. Sammie gulped as the ninjas pushed her down at his feet. This is the Shredder, don't say anything stupid. "You were in last month's issue of Heavy Metal, weren't you?" Stupid!

His eyes narrowed. "Who is this?" he hissed.

"Allison Baker," a ninja answered.

"Imbecile!" The Shredder slapped that ninja and the others dragged Sammie back to the group of ninjas.

"Sammie? What are you doing here? You've never pissed off the Shredder?" Zack helped her to her feet and untied her.

"You know how I have always said you blended in much better in my family?"

"Yeah, so?"

"I think those morons mistook me for your sister."

"Morons would aptly describe them," Lotus growled.

"I told him. He wouldn't get Allie that easy." Mike grinned, then it faded. "Where is she?"

"I don't know," Sammie admitted.

"Are you all right?"

"Physically, I'm fine; emotionally, I've been better."

The Shredder shouted order in Japanese. "No!" Lotus shouted and gabbed Zack. The Foot Clan ninja shoved her back and yanked him forward into the arena.

The Shredder unsheathed his katana hanging from his belt. A ninja handed one to Zack and scampered away. Zack felt the blood drain from his face. "We will fight to the death for leadership of the Foot Clan."

"Oroku Nagi, no!" Lotus screamed.

"He is not ready," Splinter reasoned.

"That is not my fault."

"He will not fight you."

The Shredder whirled around to find the source of the electronically-altered voice. "The Ronin. I was wondering what kept you."

She stood behind him, in front of the empty space once blocked by a building, holding a katana in her right hand. She walked forward, coming around the Shredder to stand beside Zack. "He will not fight you. But I will."

"I owe you much for the damage you have caused me," The Shredder's eyes narrowed.

"And now it's payment time. But no matter who wins, your prisoners go free."

The Shredder laughed, "You are in no position to bargain, Ronin."

"I'm not bargaining. Look around you, Oroku Nagi. At the buildings that have not been demolished." The gang members waiting on the other rooftops grinned down at him. "Agreed?"

"Agreed."

The Ronin looked down at Zack. "Go back to your friends."

"But he'll kill you!"

"But he won't kill you or the others."

"You can't do this!" Zack yelled as a ninja pulled him away and thrust him back into the mass of people. He grabbed Mike's arm. "You have to stop her!"

Mike's eyes were averted from Zack and the fight. "It's her decision."

"The Shredder will kill her!"

"It's her decision." The words choked in his throat.

Zack whirled to face Sammie. "You make her stop! She'll listen to you!"

"She won't listen to me. Not about this."

"Somebody has to stop her! He'll kill her!"

The Shredder watched the Ronin warily. "The little one does not approve of your decision."

"I never asked him to like it."

He watched her carefully, then lunged forward. Ronin blocked it in fluid motion. He lunged forward with his claws, and she pivoted away gracefully. She stood, patiently awaiting his attack. He ran forward, putting all of his strength into his blows. She blocked the ones she could and dashed away from the rest. He saw her about to maneuver around him and followed with his katana. It caught her shirt and ripped it.

The Ronin stood there, waiting, panting slightly. Mike let out the breath he was holding. "She wasn't hurt."

"She's not getting mad," Sammie whispered. "Why isn't she furious?"

"Because she's already saved us," Zack muttered. "It doesn't matter what happens to her."

The Ronin danced away from the Shredder's blade. "Stand still and fight!"

She did, but always blocked his katana, making him angrier. Suddenly, her katana whirled in her hands and the Shredder jumped back. She followed him, the katana dancing in front of her. "I'm fighting, Oroku Nagi."

He lunged forward with his katana, and the Ronin dropped back. Suddenly, he slashed at her feet. She lifted one quickly and the other twisted against the ground. The Shredder lunged forward and she spun away from his blade, giving herself a few feet of room.

Mike didn't realize he was straining for a better view until the ninjas shoved him back. The Ronin was favoring her right foot, the one that had just twisted painfully.

The Shredder grinned. "You are growing weaker, Ronin. I will win."

"I never planned on winning, Oroku Nagi. Just stopping you."

The Shredder growled and lunged forward. The Ronin blocked his katana, but never saw his foot lashing out. It struck her ankle and she cried out, lifting her foot. His foot struck again in the few seconds she was off-balance, striking her left knee. She crumpled to the floor and her sword skittered away.

He rested his blade, point ready to drive into her chest. "Finish it," she growled.

"In good time." He placed his foot on her stomach and reached down for her hood. "I will know who you are before I send you to the afterlife." He snagged the hood with his fingers and pulled.

A collective gasp came from the crowd. "Allie! The Ronin has been Allie all this time?" Raph demanded. "I don't believe it!"

"You didn't know?" Sammie sounded incredulous. "After all the times she gave herself away, and you guys didn't have a clue?"

"I figured it out and Mike knew too."

Leo glared at Zack, "And you didn't tell us?"

"I thought you knew!"

The Shredder grinned down at Allie's furious face. "You do not like it that I have given your secret away. You will not have to live with it long." He lifted his katana.

"No!" Mike screamed, breaking loose from the ninjas.

The Shredder turned away from Allie and she jerked herself away, rolled along the roof, grabbed her katana, and jumped to her feet.

The Shredder completed his pivot and brought his katana around. The blade caught the Turtle and he fell to the floor.

"Mike!" Donnie yelled as the Turtles strained against the ninja blockade.

Allie stared at the bloody blade. That's all that filled her vision. That blood was Mike's blood!

The Shredder and everyone else within hearing range turned to Allie. The banshee wail had come from her and now she was running for the Shredder. He barely got his katana up in time to block. She swung again and again, forcing the Shredder back with each swing.

Sammie grabbed Lotus's arm, not knowing who the female ninja was but judging her to be one capable of helping her stop Allie. "She's snapped! Hit her point of no return! She'll kill him!"

"If she does not, I will."

Allie's katana finally flung the Shredder's away and she released hers along with it. He desperately lunged forward while her back right shoulder was exposed and sliced across the shoulder blade with his left claws. It didn't even knock her off-balance. She turned back and faced him. Then she laughed, and for the first time in his life, he was afraid of something. He was afraid of that laughter. "Is that the best you can do, Oroku Nagi?" He stepped back from her. She reached into one of the compartments on her belt and pulled out an identical pair of claws, molded to fit her hands. "I have toys like yours, too. What's wrong? You don't want to play anymore?" He stepped back and she followed him. "You are a fool, Oroku Nagi. I have followed you into the darkness to destroy you. When we travel in the darkness, we need a path to the light. You never had one and you've just destroyed mine."

"Shut up!" The Shredder lashed out again, blindly. His claws contacted her face but she shifted carefully, leaving only three bloody stripes.

She laughed again. "That is the best you can do! I can do much better than that."

"You will not kill me. You do not have it in you."

"You destroyed my path to the light. I can do anything you can." She stabbed with her left hand, raking the claws diagonally across his torso. "For my grandparents!" Her right hand raked across forming an X. "For my brother!" She plunged the claws into his stomach. "For Michaelangelo," she whispered. She released the claws, leaving them in his body. She reared back and kicked them further in. The Shredder lost his balance and fell back, into the air. His body landed among the ruins of the demolished building.

The Turtles and Zack shoved their way through the stunned ninjas. The other gang members cheered as they descended to attack.

Zack grabbed Allie's swaying form and pulled her down to her knees. "Allie! Allison! Allison Lee Baker! Say something! Please!"

Donnie kneeled beside Mike's body. He tentatively touched him and the body groaned. "He's still alive!"

Leo helped Donnie upright him. "I'm okay. He wasn't trying to kill me. Just lost a little blood, that's all." He blinked and actually focused his eyes. "Where's Allie?"

Raph pointed her out and Mike lurched to his feet. He grabbed the cut on his arm and stumbled to her. "Allie! Allie!" He grabbed hold of her shoulder and jerked her around as he knelt beside her.

Blood was coating her left cheek. "Mike?" Recognition dawned on her face. "I thought he killed you!" She seized him in her arms. "I thought he killed you!" Suddenly, she pulled back. "What have I done?"

"It'll be all right, Allie. You didn't do anything wrong."

"What have I done!" she screamed. "Oh my God, Mike! I thought he killed you!" She broke down into sobs. "What have I done?"

Taro touched Mike's shoulder. "The police are coming. She must not be here."

"We all better get out of here," Zack replied as he helped Taro help Allie and Mike up. "Or we'll be down at police headquarters answering questions we'd rather not be asked."

"We shall leave." Taro led the way, through the fighting and fleeing crowd that for the most part ignored them. Donnie joined Mike's side as Leo let Splinter lean on him and Raph trailed behind. Mona, Lotus, and Casey escorted April, Sammie, Dan, and Keno out of the fray.

And no one noticed the police sirens in the distance.

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