The characters Dr. Karbunkle, Lawrence Lactavius Limburger, Fred the Mutant, GreasePit, Throttle, Modo, Vinnie, Pit Crew, Manuelo, Charley Davidson, Limburger's goons, Napoleon Brie, High Chairman Lord Camembert, Jimmy Mac, Mace, Four-by, Jack McCyber, Stoker, Gouda, Carbine, and Sand Raiders are all original characters to the Biker Mice From Mars cartoon series.
The characters Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, Splinter, Oroku Saki, April O'Neil, Dan Pennington, Charles Pennington, Chief Sterns, Hamato Yoshi, Tang Shen, and Casey Jones as used in this novel come from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the first movie. The character Keno as used in this novel comes from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.
The characters Lotus Blossom and Mona Lisa originated with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series, The Purple Dragon Gang originated in the original Eastman and Laird comics, Oroku Nagi was mentioned in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Storybook by Katharine Ross. I revised their origins to fit these novels.
The characters Kwai Chang Caine, Peter Caine, and "Kermit" Griffin all come from the television series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.
The characters Sparks, Pete, Tala, the gang of human bikers, MC, Bluto the goon, Internal Security guards, Colonel Exhaust, Chuck Davidson, Hot Rod/Roddie, Tomahawk, Bola, Rexus, Ms. Felony, Serafina, Nina, Isabel, Felipe, and Manuela were created for the Wars Are Won By Those Who Dare series and belong to me, so please don't use them in your stories. But feel free to draw them and send me a copy.
The characters Zack Baker, Allie Baker, Karen, Xaturina, Taro, Amanda Keene Baker, Sammie Yutang, James Baker, and Billy Baker were created for my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fanfics and belong to me, so please don't use them in your stories. But feel free to draw them and send me a copy.
The characters Di, Snake-eyes, Val Tech guards, Gorilla, Flight of Fancy, Mimic, Trash, Eight, Ryan, Smarts, Tabitha Val, Dr. Henry Arkson, BatWing, Kōun, Hounds, Chord, Vibes, Spike, Ace, Skulls, Dana Arkson, Lucky, Tracker, and the Leader are all original characters, so please don't use them in your stories. But feel free to draw them and send me a copy.
"Remember the Heroes" by Sammy Hagar (source of the series title), "Runnin' Down a Dream" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Ninja" by Europe, "Listen to Your Heart" by Roxette, "I'll Be There For You" by Bon Jovi, "Straight From the Heart" by Bryan Adams, and "Live and Let Die" by Guns 'n Roses are used without permission.
This story contains cussing, graphic depictions of violence, drinking of alcoholic beverages, and sexual situations. If you're not mature enough to handle it, go read something else.
This story takes place in 1995, one week after Biker Mice From Mars: Wars Are Won By Those Who Dare: Reunions and three months after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ronin.
And yes it takes a while to get to the BMFM side of things, but trust the BookWorm. Your patience will be rewarded.
We Ain't the Only Freaks in the City
Zack tapped the ink pen against his bottom lip. He stared down at the blank loose-leaf paper and wondered how to start. Detailed snail-mail letter writing had never been a skill this fifteen-year-old had bothered picking up. For him, e-mail was quicker and flowed more naturally. But he wasn't even sure how this letter was going to reach his errant sister, so e-mail was out of the question. He sighed as he used the pen to brush his straight black hair out of his dark, almond-shaped eyes. It's not gonna write itself, he thought. He brought the pen tip down to the paper.
Well, a lot has happened since...
Since you killed the Shredder. Yeah, that'll make her come running back home, he thought wryly to himself. Put that in and you'll keep her out of town for another three months. He sighed and continued.
... since you left New York. I'm doing fine. It's the middle of summer vacation, so more time for what I want to do--role-playing games, practicing, going to the movies with Karen. Did you see Apollo 13? It rocked. Karen liked it and you know how hard it is to find a movie she likes. Don't get your hopes up; we're just friends.
April's okay too. She says she doesn't miss the constant danger the Foot Clan put us in but she does miss the stories. Mr. Charles keeps trying to assign her away from City Hall, the police beat, and crime stories in general. But she always finds out and stops him. She says Chief Sterns' performance rating goes up after one of their fights. You know how April is. And she says she has more time to work since I'm not getting her called into parent-teacher conferences. But even I'd have a hard time causing trouble during the summer.
Lotus went back to Japan to visit her family. Before she left, Leo made a big deal out of giving her that busted magical artifact--the time traveling staff. Nobody's saying it out loud, but I think it was some sorta engagement or commitment present.
I'm still training hard and the Turtles are letting me out on patrols with them. Don't worry, I'm being careful. I don't wanna get shot again.
He rubbed the raised scar where the bullet had grazed his left arm. The lump of scar tissue was hidden beneath the black, long-sleeved, almost skin-tight gi he wore. Not exactly a great memory of his first city patrol but he was proud of it anyway.
We finished rounding up the last of the Foot Clan ninjas and Purple Dragon Gang members. If there are any left in New York, they are definitely keeping a low profile. Raph has been... well, grouchy since the bad guy population has dwindled. I think he needs Mona. He really is a different Turtle when Lizard-girl is around. Better watch it; he says I can't call her that anymore.
Donnie has a new project--trying to give the Turtle Comms a longer range. I told him we should all get cell phones and he got mad at me. But if he does manage to get this idea going, I wouldn't have to write a letter when I miss you. I got used to having you around, Sis.
Better change the subject quick. Zack tapped the pen against his lip again as he read over what he had written. She'll worry if I get mushy.
Course, I saved the Turtle you want to hear about the most for last. Mike's doing fine--better than I expected actually. I never would have pegged him for inheriting Splinter's patience. He's practically Zen about you. He never complains about you being gone; just says you'll be back when you get back. He told me he wasn't going to screw anything up by even thinking negatively. I hope you realize what a great guy he is.
Now that's just stupid. He sighed. Of course she knows how great Mike is; she killed for him. She's not even willing to cross that line for me. Time to change the subject again.
Splinter's fine too, taking it easy and advising from the sidelines. He's showing me how to meditate. I haven't gotten the hang of it yet. It's boring. Course, Splinter says I need more practice, but he always says that about everything.
Hope your walkabout or whatever you're calling it is going good. Waiting for the next postcard from Mona and hoping that this letter reaches you.
"You coming or what?" Leonardo poked his head in the Lair's kitchen door. He was the leader--or as the others said to annoy him "the Fearless Leader"--of the fighting team dubbed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Nobody at school would believe his life, so Zack didn't tell them. Though compared to jaunts to parallel dimensions and being named heir-apparent of a ninja dojo; giant, talking, vigilante turtles was normal.
"Yeah, I'm coming." Zack quickly stuffed the letter into an envelope. It was headed to the address from the last postcard Mona had sent to Raph. She didn't have to address them, but she did and each one had a different address at that. Donnie said she was probably leaving a trail that could be traced in a worst-case scenario. Mike and Raph didn't like that idea and, frankly, neither did Zack.
He picked up the letter as he stood up from the kitchen table. "Mailbox drop."
Leo rolled his large brown eyes. "You and Raph."
"Yeah, well, Mona gets 'em at least. She told Raph so." The red-masked Turtle was a little obsessed with keeping in touch with his almost girlfriend, and Zack didn't like the comparison--especially since this was his first letter to Allie. "Besides, what about those midnight phone calls from Lotus?" They left the mismatched kitchen filled with appliances Donnie had salvaged and rebuilt. April had found all their furniture for them, and not one piece matched another. The junk the Turtles collected all by themselves.
"Why don't you get yourself a girlfriend so we can pick on you?" Leo threw a muscular, green arm around the wiry human boy's shoulders.
Like I haven't tried to get one? The medallion Zack wore constantly rubbed his skin. He touched it briefly, feeling the metal through the gi's material. He thought about his other blonde-haired, blue-eyed guardian angel after Allie. But Karen was content with just friendship. Life was simpler when Allie was the only one who would come to the rescue. "Make up your minds," he grumbled good-naturedly. "Either you want me to grow up in a hurry or not at all."
"You've got time." The Turtle chuckled as he led them through the piles of junk that Splinter couldn't convince them to get rid of. They circled around the train car parked in the middle of the abandoned subway station they had turned into their Lair. A short tunnel led to the parking garage for the Turtle Van.
Donatello sighed and straightened the belt and shoulder strap he wore around his shell to holster his bo on his back. Raph had already retreated into the van to get away from Mike's cheerfulness. "All right, I'll bite." He turned to face his brother in the orange mask. "What's got you so happy?"
Donnie didn't think the goofy grin on Mike's face could get any wider but it did. "I had a dream about Allie last night."
"Ugh. Forget it; I don't wanna know the details of your fantasy life."
Indignant annoyance marred Mike's dreamy lovesick countenance only slightly. "It wasn't that kind of a dream, gackface. She was helping us attack this baddie's skyscraper base. And the baddie was an alien."
"Like Leo and Raph would let her help. And aliens? You've been reading too many comic books."
Mike chuckled. "Right, like I've never caught you going through my collection. But we're going to have to let her help when she gets back."
"Oh yeah, that's a good idea." Donnie folded his arms across his chest. "Let's encourage another emotional break-down."
Mike's jovial face grew solemn. "That was because she killed somebody, dude." His voice took a gentle, insightful tone that Donnie had never heard him use before. "And she became what she hates for a brief second. Like it wouldn't destroy you if you killed somebody, no matter how badly they deserved it."
"Yeah, but..." Donnie began.
"But nothing, Gandhi. We can't save her from danger by keeping her from it. She'll just go behind our backs again and fight solo and get herself into trouble. It'll be better if she knows we support her."
Leo and Zack entered the garage just then, sparing Donnie from responding to Michaelangelo's stunning logic. Zack had grown a lot in the three--almost four--years they had known him. He matched their average height of five feet but was leaner than their shells allowed. He wasn't as strong as they were, but some more time with the weights and another growth spurt would change that.
"What are we waiting for? Let's go find some bad guy butt to kick." Zack grinned and climbed into the back of the yellow van.
Donnie sighed as he adjusted his purple bandanna mask. "Why keep 'em waiting?"
Zack eased into the shadows of the alley. Despite the objections made, he had added a hood to his costume like the Shredder's Foot Clan ninjas had worn. Now he was just another black shadow in the night. Donnie was close by, but he wasn't the furtive figure he was sharing the alley with. She was at the other end of the alley, hiding well but not good enough. What are you up to? he thought. Nothing worth stealing in this neighborhood. The dingy alley was filled with trash cans and broken crates. Zack pressed himself into the recess offered by a locked door. It wasn't a very wide alley but it was long. One of the buildings ran the entire length of the block. On the other side, two buildings gave the alley a T-junction. He could see the figure silhouetted at the mouth of the alley well enough to see that it was a girl.
Suddenly, the figure he was following bolted. She ran straight toward him, knocking aside trash cans and crates in her panic. Zack turned part of his attention to her end of the alley.
A dull-silver orb bobbed at the mouth. About the size of a basketball, it hovered in the air at head-height, emitting an odd hum. A black band of metal around its center slowly rotated as the orb drifted across the alley's mouth. The black band froze in its rotation as the girl knocked over another trash can. The orb began to race through the alley after her. A sharp needle of metal began to emerge from the upper half of the orb. "Look out!" Zack yelled as he tackled her. He felt a sharp sting at the base of his neck before they hit the ground.
The young woman managed to pull her lithe body out from under him. If it weren't for the sudden attack of dizziness, he would have enjoyed trying to stop her. He did manage to realize through the haze slowly enveloping his brain that she had fur where she should've had bare skin.
She didn't run. She held him and plucked a dart out from behind his neck. Zack looked up. A tawny feline humanoid looked down at him with eyes so light green they almost matched her golden fur.
"What...?" was all he managed to say to this living cat goddess before darkness claimed him.
The cat creature looked up as Zack went limp. The metallic sphere was preparing to fire another dart. Donatello leaped out of the intersecting alley. His bo struck, knocking the metal floating basketball into the brick wall. It sparked and shattered into three big sections. The pieces crashed to the ground. Donnie turned and got his first good look at the cat creature, a look that took his breath away.
She was beautiful. Large green-gold eyes radiated intelligence and empathy. Her hands moved gracefully and competently to make Zack comfortable. Her melodious voice spoke confidently and decisively, a tone that struck Donnie as familiar even if she wasn't. "He got hit with a tranq. We can't leave him here. But the guards are on their way."
"Wait," Donnie shook his head trying to get back his cognitive thought processes. "Who are you? What guards?"
Panic flooded her face. "You're not one of us. And the boy?"
"Is with me, my responsibility. Who are you? Are you in trouble? Maybe I can help?"
She shook her head and her mane of dark gold hair flew about and landed perfectly in place again. "The best help you can be is to get your young friend out of here." She climbed to her feet. "They're after me; they should leave you alone. Do you need any assistance?"
Donnie sheathed his bo onto his shell and knelt to Zack. The human boy was sleeping peacefully. "Will he be all right?"
"Once the tranq wears off," the cat-girl answered. She was dressed in blue jean shorts and a tight tank top. "I don't recommend staying long in this neighborhood." She turned and sprinted down the alley. Donnie was surprised to see a sleek tail was part of her anatomy.
He made a sound of bafflement under his breath. Zack was more important, though. He pulled out his Turtle Comm and signaled for help.
Mike answered. "What's up?"
"Get the Turtle Van over here. Zack's down."
"Knocked out. A tranquilizer."
"Just like Raph," Mike answered cryptically. "Okay, I got you on the sensor-thingy. Be there in a few."
"Fine." Donnie snapped his comm closed and stared wistfully down the alley. You never even told me your name.
April O'Neil glanced into the Turtles' bedroom in the Lair. Raphael and Zack were still sleeping off the effects of the tranquilizers. No one else was around, so she smoothed the black hair off Zack's forehead. You always need a haircut. Have to remember to make an appointment for you. She straightened the blanket covering him. Those shellbacks can laugh all they want, but I'm not going maternal.
She stood up and looked into the upper bunk. Raph's fist clenched to slug a nightmare. She touched his arm softly and he sighed. The arm relaxed and rolled off the bunk bed. With a smile, April pushed it back on the mattress. Poor Raph. His pride is gonna sting when he finds out that Mike rescued him.
She continued down the hall to Donnie's lab. The Lair had expanded since the Turtles had first found it. They built a kitchen and an underground garage for the Turtle Van. Donnie's lab, their bedroom, and a huge training room that was Leo and Raph's pride and joy were added on the opposite side of the beautiful mosaic tiled entrance. At least, it would be beautiful if they would just pick up the junk covering it.
The remains of the metallic sphere Donnie had briefed her on were laid out on the stained table surrounded by the still-conscious heroes. "I checked with my police sources. Nobody has brought anything like that to their attention." The long-legged reporter climbed onto a stool next to the table. She propped her elbows down on the table and dropped her chin into her hands. Her curly red hair fell forward, draping over her shoulders.
"We've got Keno checking his connections." Leo frowned down at the ruins of the orb Donnie was carefully turning over in his hands. The computers lining the walls beeped and hummed. The blue-masked Turtle looked back up at April. "People may have seen them and not connected a crime with them."
"I'll call some of my other sources in the morning. Are Zack and Raph going to be okay?"
"Yes," answered the mutant rat. Splinter was starting to show signs of his old age on his four-foot-tall frame. His brown fur was starting to go noticeably grey, especially on his muzzle. His steps were slower and taken with more care. April didn't feel that there was much time left for him. "But I do not like what Michaelangelo has reported," he continued.
"The one that shot Raph didn't wait around to get me too," Mike explained in a how-many-times-do-I-have-to-say-this tone. "It took off at, like, mach seven or somethin."
"Yeah, that sounds real good." Her concern muted her sarcasm. "But then Donnie getting sighted by the mysterious cat-girl doesn't do wonders for your fighting-in-the-shadows reputation." April's green eyes began to gleam. "What's her story?"
Donatello looked up with a jerk, his purple bandana not hiding the alarm in his eyes. "She had people chasing her. I doubt she would appreciate being on the evening news." He tried hard to sound nonchalant. Mike and Leo exchanged glances then looked at April. She bit her lip so not to smile at their yeah-right expressions.
Mike grinned. "You like her!"
"I do not. I don't even know her." Donnie bowed his head to examine the metal pieces.
"Right, like we're not the guys who fall in love at first sight."
"Do you wanna live to see Allie come home?"
"Leave him alone, Mikey," Leo commanded. His serious gaze fell on the pieces of orb on the table. The dull silver metal reflected the fluorescent lights above as Donnie pried circuitry loose. "We've got bigger things to worry about."
"We always do," April added gloomily, shifting uneasily on her worn wooden stool.