Shredder's Revenge

    "What's this new technical devilry you've concocted, Krang?" asked Shredder, utterly bored.  He was beginning to doubt his ability to eliminate the Ninja Turtles, his thrice accursed nemeses.  They escaped trap after trap, no matter how cunningly laid or how many times Krang vowed his new weapon would destroy them.  The Shredder was beginning to doubt if he could ever attain his goal of world domination.

    "This," half croaked, half lisped the tentacled brain as he gestured to what appeared to be a laser rifle on his work bench, "is the Temporal Infinite Recursion Loop Generator.  Anyone hit by its stream of chronoton particles will be thrown into an infinite time loop-"

    "IN ENGLISH!" thundered Shredder, slamming his fist down on the bench top.  "How many times have I told you not to waste your techno babble on me, you wad of chewed bubblegum?"

    Krang shied away from his enraged cohort.  "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" he spluttered.  "What I meant to say was, whoever gets hit with a blast from this weapon will be forced to repeat his actions for the day forever.  The only way to undo this effect is to reverse the charge of the rifle and hit the person again with it."

    Shredder's brows knitted as he tried to process Krang's information.

    "You mean that anyone shot with this will experience the same thing Bill Murray did in Groundhog's Day?" he finally asked.

    "Yes," answered Krang, exasperated.

    "Then why didn't you just call that dumb thing the Groundhog's Day Gun or something easy to understand like that??" demanded Shredder, once again more than slightly angry.

    Krang shuddered and covered his eyes with his tentacles.

    "Oh, my brain," he muttered.

    "Can you watch as your victim repeats his day?"

    "Yes," answered Krang.  "Time will still pass normally for anyone not hit by the beam, so they will be able to watch the victim, just as they would reruns on TV.  The victim will do the same things at the same times until released from the loop.  Even better, they will have no knowledge that time is not passing normally for them."

    "Does this effect apply even if the victim dies?"

    "As long as he was shot with the TIRLG before death, yes," replied Krang with his closest approximation of a nod.

    "Interesting..." mused Shredder.  "I suppose now we must come up with a trap and bait to lure the Turtles into it, yes?"

    "Yes."

    "As I thought.  First, though," he said nonchalantly, "I'd like to make sure this thing works."

    With that, he snatched the TIRLG off the work bench, performed the Three Stooges Eye Poke on Krang, then punched him repeatedly in the face, snatched one of his tentacles and used that to throw him across the room.  Then he aimed the TIRLG and fired.  A beam of poisonous green light burst from the end of the weapon and hit the unconscious brain.  He glowed neon green for a few seconds, then returned to normal.  Shredder waited patiently for him to vanish but nothing happened.

    "Perhaps it only takes effect after midnight..." he mused as he rose and left the lab.

    He came across Bebop and Rocksteady in the gym a few minutes later, still hefting Krang's invention.

    "Yo, boss, what's with the new gun?" asked Bebop.

    "I'm testing it out."

    The two goons looked at each other and gulped fearfully.

    "Rocksteady, kick Bebop in the nuts for me, please."

    The rhinoceros mutant didn't move.

    "Now," ordered Shredder, leveling the massive gun at his face.

    Rocksteady's eyes widened with fear and he complied, kicking Bebop's manhood as though it were a football.  The boar mutant's eyes went wide and he toppled, curled into a fetal ball and clutched at his crotch.  His feet kicked frantically and veins bulged out all over his face and neck.

    "Thank you," said Shredder as he kicked Rocksteady in the balls as hard as he could.

    The rhino dropped as noiselessly as Bebop had.  The made easy targets for Shredder, who shot them both with the TIRLG.

    "I've wanted to do that for a long time," he muttered as he left the gym, gun slung rakishly over his shoulder.  He turned down the corridor and started whistling a happy tune.

    Shredder lay awake in bed, pondering.  He was anxious to learn if the TIRLG worked the way Krang promised it would, wracking his brain to come up with a trap to lure the Turtles to him.  His mind flashed back to his last encounter with those cursed reptiles.  They lacked the honor and the courage to face him in single combat.  That was why they consistently defeated him, because they knew he was better than any one of them and so they fought him as a team. 

    The villain remembered this last showdown, surrounded by the mutant foursome.  The smell in the air was atrocious, raw sewage mixed with garbage and pizza.  He drew first blood, gashing the one called Michelangelo's cheek with his spiked gauntlets. 

    Their counterattack was fierce and swift.  Donatello's bo staff whistled through the air at his chest, only to be deftly blocked with a forearm and the blow countered by a step-in sidekick to his face.  Raphael came charging in his typical berserker fashion, slashing with his sais.  Shredder met this attack with a jumping snap-kick that caught the turtle under the chin and halted his charge, knocking him back a few steps.  Leonardo joined the fray at this moment, preventing Shredder from nailing Raphael with another blow.  The blue masked turtle's katanas whistled through the air, glancing off Shredder's forearm gauntlets.  His attack was so fierce that all Shredder could do was hope to defend.  Suddenly, Leonardo changed his attack pattern, lashing out with his foot and shattering the villain's nose.

    The man winced at the memory.  Watching as the turtle's foot swung towards his face, his nostrils filling with the sudden overwhelming stench of the sewer...and the odor of a stinky, bare foot.

    He sat bolt upright in bed.  The Turtles were barefoot!  In all his years, never once had he noticed it before, nor had Krang or anyone else in his organization.  Suddenly, all the strange behavior on their parts made sense.  Their reluctance to engage his rock soldiers.  Steel and wood were useless against stone, denting or shattering after a few blows.  That meant the turtles had to engage these troops with their bare hands and feet.  Now he understood why they winced every time they landed a perfect, unblocked kick on one of these golems.  It hurt them like hell.  They only kicked at him when they thought they could connect with his face or something else not protected by his spiked armor because they didn't want to slash their feet to ribbons. 

    "MY GOD!" he yelled to the empty room.  "I'M AN IDIOT!  WHY DIDN'T I SEE THIS BEFORE?!?"

    As he lay back down, his mind raced and an evil grin spread itself across his face.  He knew exactly how to pay the turtles back for all the times they had humiliated him.  He knew their greatest weakness and would have fun exploiting it.

The next day (same time and place as the story started)...

    Shredder watched in amusement as Krang held a conversation with an imaginary version of himself.  He could not help but laugh as he watched Krang get his face beaten in by an unseen assailant.  The brain flew across the room and hit the wall, leaving a slimy trail behind as it slid to the floor.

    "Looks like this thing works," he mused as he left the room.

    Bebop and Rocksteady were engaged in the same activities Shredder had seen them doing the night before.  He laughed as Bebop flew a few inches off the ground after being kicked by Rocksteady, continued to laugh as the very same thing happened to Rocksteady.

    "I like this invention of Krang's.  I really do," he said as he left the gym and headed outside the Technodrome.

    Thanks to his revelation of the previous night, Shredder had come up with some radically different perimeter defenses for the Technodrome.  Footsoldiers were in the process of laying concentric rings of defense.  There were to be twenty of them, each five yards across to prevent the turtles from easily jumping the obstacles.   Shredder grinned.  He hoped that they would try to.

    The even defensive rings were formed of seamlessly joined plates of thin titanium.  Beneath the titanium sat heating coils capable of reaching temperatures of 175 in mere seconds.  They were triggered by pressure sensors but could also be manually activated from the main control room aboard the Technodrome.  Any Turtle that stepped on these would quickly be given a hotfoot in a big way.

    The odd numbered defensive rings were shallow trenches filled with barbed wire and the thorniest breed of cactus Shredder could find.  These were in turn covered over with camouflage netting so that the floor appeared level and solid.  One solid step would disprove that idea, though.

    Rock soldiers armed with fusion cutters blasted away at the stone walls of the cavern, blasting away protrusions and giving the rock a glassy surface that would be impossible for anything, be it a grappling hook or a hand, to grip.  The Turtles would not be getting to the Technodrome by air.

    His robotics labs were equally busy, designing specially modified mousers and stealth robots that would be fun for Shredder to play with and painful for the Turtles.  Still other minions worked on modifying the rooms that led to the control chamber, where Shredder would be waiting with April.  These, too, would be especially unpleasant.

    Shredder smiled.  It would take perhaps a week to finish these modifications and then, it would be payback time.  The trap was being set and now all he needed was the bait.  All he needed now was April O'Neil.

One week later...

    Shredder had never bothered to release any of the people he had blasted with the TIRLG from their infinite looping.  He despised all of them, but they had all served him well to some degree over the years and he couldn't bring himself to kill them outright.  So they stayed as they were.  Shredder would succeed with his plot or fail by his own merits and would not need to worry about ridicule from any of them, especially that insolent Krang.

    The control room door hissed open behind him and Shredder turned away from the external cams to find April O'Neil tightly bound and being carried in by a half-dozen of his Footsoldiers.  It was midnight, and as such, the reporter was dressed only in her slip.  He grinned in spite of himself.  All his enemies would be humiliated in very short order, and he would be able to watch every minute of it for as long as he desired.

    "Couldn't you at least have abducted me at a reasonable hour?" the redhead quipped.

    "Come, come, we're all friends here!" he replied patronizingly.  "No 'Hello, Shredder, haven't seen you for a while'?" he asked mockingly.

    April's eyes flashed and she spit at him.  He deftly dodged the sputum and waved for the woman to be strapped into a chair in front of the main viewscreen.  He sat himself down in the chair next to the reporter's, slumped in the seat, threw his arms behind his head and crossed one leg over the other.  Shredder turned his visored face to the woman.

    "So, how long until your green friends come to the rescue?" he asked conversationally.

The Lair, five minutes later...

    The four Ninja Turtles were awakened from pizza-filled dreams by the blaring of their emergency siren.  Their security perimeter had been breached.  Donatello lurched from his bed and groggily made his way to his lab to shut off the alarms and see just what was going on.  He bashed his toe into the stone doorframe on his way out and hopped down the hall on one foot, muttering curses.

    Even gimping along as he had, he still beat his brothers to his lab.  He flipped the switch to turn on the lights and was blinded by them for a few heartbeats.  Once his eyes had adjusted, the turtle planted himself in his seat and killed the alarms.  His brothers by now were straggling into the room, rubbing their eyes and demanding to know what was going on.

    "Shut up and give me a moment to think," he snapped.

    "Christ, dude, don't, like, go getting your undies in a bundle," replied Michelangelo.

    "It's too damn early for you to start talking like a twit," muttered Raphael.

    "Stuff it, Raph.  Don, what's going on?" asked Leonardo.

    "I don't know, Leo.  The scopes are all clear.  No, wait..." he whispered, focusing the camera in on a section of sewer pipe.  "There's a canister of some sort on the walkway."

    "Bomb?"

    Don ordered the security camera in that area to perform a spectrographic analysis of the canister to see what it was made of.  The results popped up on his screen a few seconds later.

    "Nope.  Just a standard steel canister.  Empty, except for a piece of paper inside."

    Raph rolled his eyes in disgust.  "Your security system is a little over sensitive, don't you think?  Waking us up because of a stupid piece of garbage?"

    "And if it had been a bomb?" retorted Don.  "Would you have preferred to die blissfully in your sleep, never knowing what hit you?  I thought you were the one determined to go down fighting."

    "Enough, both of you!" ordered Leo.  "False alarm.  Back to bed, everybody.  We'll go check whatever that thing is out in the morning."

    Michelangelo and Raphael happily complied.  Donatello stayed in the lab and watched the monitors.  Leo stayed with him for a few minutes, then decided he had no clue what his brother was doing and returned to bed.

    'I though he'd never leave,' thought Don as he rose from his chair and headed out into the sewers.  Unlike his brothers, he didn't feel like waiting until morning to learn what was in that canister.

    The technical wizard hunted around his lab for a flashlight before heading out into the dark sewer tunnels.  Even with the light, it didn't help much.  The blackness was almost palpable and the faint beams of the flashlight didn't illuminate more than a couple feet in front of him.  Slime coated the floor and made it slippery while chunks of brick, old pipe, and other debris littered the way, making the walk unpleasant.  A few minutes and a few stubbed toes later, Don reached his destination.  His flashlight played over the slimy brick walkway and illuminated the shiny metal cylinder a few feet in front of him.  He walked over and opened it, then removed the note inside and began to read it.  His jaw dropped in horror.

    "GUYS!  GUYS!  WAKE UP!  THIS IS MAJOR!" he roared when he returned to the lair.

    "What in hell is it now?" snapped Raph as he slumped into the living room's couch two minutes later.

    "That canister held a note with a message from Shredder.  He's got April and we've got until dawn to get to the Technodrome and rescue her before he kills her!"

    "WHAT?" exclaimed his brothers in stunned disbelief.

    "Here, look!" replied Don frantically, tossing the note on the table.

    "How long until dawn?" asked Leo a few seconds later.

    "We've got about six hours."

Two hours later...

    The Turtle Van rolled to a halt before the gaping maw of the tunnel that led deep into the underbelly of New York City.  This was the only way to the Technodrome.  The headlights of the van did little to illuminate the deep gloom before them.

    "So, do we walk or ride?" asked Don.

    "Depends.  Which way will get us there faster?" replied Leo.

    Don blew out a breath.  "That depends, too.  If there's lots of debris and stuff on the tunnel floor, it might blow the tires or we could bottom out and wind up walking it anyway.  Or, Shredder could have blocked it up a few hundred feet in so that we couldn't get in on foot or with the van."

    Leo rolled his eyes and sank back into his seat.  "Okay, here's what we do.  Drive until we can't get any farther, and then we'll walk the rest of the way."

    Don nodded and put the van back in gear and headed into the tunnel.

The Technodrome, same time...

    The monitor on the screen showed a tactical schematic of the Technodrome's cavern and the main access tunnel.  The Turtle Van showed up in green, slowly creeping its way towards Shredder's base.  A single red dot marked the tunnel's lone booby trap.

    "A-1," said Shredder.

The tunnel...

    A brilliant flash and ball of fire filled the windscreen of the van.  Don mashed the brake pedal to the floor, stopping just before he plunged them into the fiery cloud.

    "That was close," chorused the foursome.

The Technodrome...

    "Crap.  Oh well.  I guess we'll just have to let them get here safely," announced Shredder nonchalantly.  Then he laughed sadistically.

    April shuddered, not wanting to know what the fiend had planned for her friends this time.

The tunnel, a half hour later...

    The Turtles abandoned their van, no longer needing it.  A hellish red glow illuminated the path before them, signaling that the Technodrome's cavern was near.  The foursome checked their weapons and other gear and proceeded on.  The air warmed slightly the farther they went.  They were used to that.  Shredder used his trans-dimensional portal to ship in large quantities of magma from Dimension X, which he distilled raw materials from.  What he couldn't use was discarded in a large pit and left there to cool, warming and lighting the cavern.

    The all too familiar end of the tunnel came into view, but it had changed.  The floor was no longer pebbly and sandy underfoot, but rather smooth and cool and glassy.  The rock formations that had provided them with cover so many times before were gone as well. 

    "What's going on?" asked Michelangelo.

    "Shhh!" hissed Raphael.

    "Everybody, down, now!" ordered Leonardo.

    As one, they dropped to their bellies and shimmied forward carefully, doing their best to avoid being seen.  They hoped the dark green of their shells would blend into the brownish-black of the obsidian floor, and that their brightly colored arms and legs wouldn't be too visible from far away.  The floor gradually sloped back up into a small rim that ringed the bottom of the tunnel mouth.  Cautiously, Leonardo poked his head above the glassy protrusion and peered in.  The ramp that had before deposited them on the floor of the cavern was gone.  Instead, an eight-foot drop stood in its place.  Leo crawled back to converse with his brothers.

    "It's about an eight foot drop to the cavern floor, but once we're down, we should be home free.  The 'drome's wide open as usual," he whispered.

    "COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE!" boomed Shredder's singsong voice throughout the cave.  "I KNOW YOU'RE HERE, TURTLES.  STAND UP AND STOP WASTING YOUR TIME ON YOUR BELLIES.  THE CLOCK IS TICKING, YOU REALIZE."

    Instinctively, the four ninjas covered their heads with their arms, awaiting some titanic (but poorly aimed) laser blast to smash into the tunnel mouth somewhere.  It never came.

    "He's right, you know," said Raph as he propped himself up on his elbows.  "Let's kick some shell!" 

    Raph exploded from his prone position, screamed a war cry, and jumped, executing a beautiful front flip on his way to the floor beneath him.  Mike, Leo, and Don followed split seconds behind him, each making their own stunning entrance.

    The sai-wielding warrior landed deftly on the floor of the cavern.  The metal floor of the cavern.  His brothers joined him.

    "Guys, since when was this floor metal?" he asked.

    Suddenly, the metal plating beneath their feet began to warm.  In a heartbeat, it was glowing bright red.

    "AIEEEEE!"

    "YEOWWWWWW!"

    "YEOWCH!"

    "YEEIIIII!"

    The four turtles danced the Hot Foot Dance, hopping about from foot to foot until they were in so much agony that they could no longer bear to touch the floor.  They collapsed onto their shells, each clutching his burned feet and making sure no more bare flesh came in contact with the stovetop-like floor.  Their cries of pain devolved into moans as the pain slowly faded.  The heat, however, remained on beneath them.  It soon became clear that they would have to get off the floor soon or they would be barbecued where they lay.  Donatello came up with a solution to their dilemma.

    "Guys," he said once he could talk again, "take your elbow and kneepads off and wrap them around your feet.  They'll act like oven mitts and keep us from getting burned worse!"

    The three other ninjas quickly did as Don ordered, hurriedly removing their pads and gingerly tying them around the soles of their feet.

    "Great.  So how do we get up now?" snapped Raph.  "I'm not touching that floor with my bare hands!"

    "Fine.  Use the kneepads for your feet, elbow pads for your hands.  Then we'll get out of here."

The Technodrome, same time...

    Shredder guffawed as he watched his enemies scream and dance about the floor in agony before finally collapsing and clutching at their feet.  Wiping tears from his eyes, he grabbed the tub of popcorn that one of his Footsoldiers had brought him.

    "Popcorn?" he asked, proffering the tub to April.  "Oh, wait, you're a little...tied up...right now."  He shrugged.  "Guess I'll just have to enjoy this by myself," he said pleasantly, removing his face mask and popping a few kernels into his mouth.

Outside...

    Gingerly, the foursome rose and stood on their tiptoes.  It was clear that the pads they stood on wouldn't provide insulation for very long.  Their feet were already starting to get warm again.

    "What now, genius?  This insulation's not gonna last until we reach the 'drome!" snapped Raph.

    "Back up the tunnel, now!" ordered Leo.

    He and Michelangelo rushed to the edge of the cavern and positioned themselves to act as boosters so that Raph and Don could make it back into the safety of the tunnel.

    "Hurry up!" ordered Leo, shifting from foot to foot.

    Don ran over, careful to stay on the balls of his feet, and placed one foot in the cradle Leo and Mike had formed with their hands.  On a three-count, he jumped and they heaved, giving him enough lift to get his hands over the lip of the tunnel.  He scrabbled about for purchase for a few seconds before losing his grip and landing with a crash back on the floor.

    Don rose to try again, with the same results.  By now, his three brothers were shifting from foot to foot every few seconds.

    "We're not gonna get back up that way!  The floor's glass!  I can't get any traction!"

    "Try a grappling hook, or something!" pleaded Mike.

    The technical wizard fished a line and hook out of his small utility belt, wound up, and let it fly.  It reached the tunnel mouth with ease, but when Don jerked the line to set it, the grappling hook flew back into the cavern.

    "HURRY UP!" ordered Leo through gritted teeth.

    Don was beginning to get uncomfortable himself.  He fished a Batman-like grappling launcher from his belt, aimed, and fired.  The hook rebounded off the tunnel roof with a metallic 'chink' and clattered off into the darkness.

    "Looks like we've got no choice, guys!  Hotfoot it to the Technodrome!" exclaimed Don, who then turned and made good on his order.

   Mike, Raph, and Leo didn't need to be told twice.  They bolted after their brother, wincing with each step.  The oven mitt idea wasn't working very well anymore. 

    Raph gained on Mike, soon coming abreast of his brother.  Mike's eyes were screwed shut and he was muttering "Ouch, hot," with every step.  The red-masked turtle rolled his eyes at his brother's weakness, then overtook him and continued to run.

    Don was next in line, close to what looked like the end of the hotplate floor.  The two drew near a swath of rocky red ground.  Raph smiled with relief and put on an extra burst of speed.  He set foot on the normal looking floor and felt the cloth-like substance beneath his foot give way.  Then stabbing, cutting pains shot up his leg from his foot as the barbed wire and cactus thorns beneath the camouflage netting bit into him.  Raph couldn't stop his forward momentum and his other foot ripped through the camouflage and was in turn ripped up by the wire and brambles underneath.  He screamed as a barb wedged itself beneath his toenail and sliced into the super-sensitive flesh.  Three more flesh mangling steps and then his forward momentum was gone.  For the second time in only a few minutes, Raph collapsed onto his back and clutched his feet, moaning in pain.

    Only a split second behind Raph, Don did not have time to stop himself and wound up running into the booby trap at full tilt as well.  He cried out as thorns and bits of metal ripped into his skin.  One set of metal barbs caught a toenail and ripped it clean off.  Don's screams increased in volume.

    Leo tried to skid to a halt after seeing what happened to his brothers and only partially succeeded.  Only one foot got slashed and stabbed, but he fell and landed on his side, searing his arm and leg on the burning floor.  Mike tried to leap the obstacle.  However, tucking into a perfect flip at full speed was not one of his strong points and his sloppy form got him only a few feet of height and not enough distance.  He came down hard, smashing into the trap head first.  His limbs flailed about as he rolled through the needle-ridden trap.  By the time he stopped, he was the bloodiest of the four.  Mike and Leo's moans of pain joined Don and Raph's.  

The Technodrome Control Chamber...

    Shredder couldn't believe how perfectly his plans had fallen together.  Though injured and knowing more of the same would come, the Turtles continued on towards the Technodrome.  Searing metal blistered their flesh nine more times, needles stabbed into them nine more times, and then they reached the boarding ramp.  They charged up it, invisible shards of broken glass slashing them. 

    Fangless wheeled mousers assailed them as they limped through the corridor towards the elevator that would take them to the same level as the control chamber.  The robots chomped ferociously, just like their fanged cousins, landing a few blows and breaking some bones.  Donatello had his left heel shattered and Achilles' tendon ripped by one.  The same seized Michelangelo's right foot in its maw, shattering his instep and mashing both toes flat.  The rest were destroyed by Leo and Raph, who each supported one of their injured brothers and continued on.

    More constructs attacked them, this time armed with weak blaster pistols that made the green ones dance and sometimes scored hits, carving small, blackened pits into turtle flesh.  One particularly lucky shot hit one of Don's toes, the same toe that had the nail ripped off it by the barbed wire.  The laser beam blew out a chunk of bloody flesh and Don nearly fainted from the pain.  Foisting Don off on the hobbled Mike, the remaining two brothers destroyed the last of these menaces and cleared their path of foes.  At last, the foursome reached the elevator.  They could barely stand, but they struggled on.

    April watched in horror as her friends were slowly carved to pieces and still came on.  Shredder laughed maniacally, his smart talk and popcorn completely forgotten.  Their screams rang in her ears, and though she shut her eyes, she could see their faces contorted in masks of pain. 

    The elevator deposited them in a pitch black corridor.  Shredder's view cameras switched to infrared mode so the villain could continue watching.  Flashlights stabbed into the blackness, illuminating set mousetraps, thumbtacks, and large concrete blocks.  The mousetraps had been secured to the floor but could still be set off prematurely.  The thumbtacks were practically invisible but could be swept out of the way if seen before they were stepped on.  The concrete blocks were easiest to avoid since they were easy to see and could either be climbed over or stepped around.  However, the Turtles moved too slowly and their batteries began to die.  They still had twenty feet to go before they reached the door to the control room when they were plunged into total darkness.

    The Shredder grinned and grabbed his weapons for the coming fight.  The TIRLG he mounted on a tripod in front of the door.  Rather than waste his time fighting with honor, he grabbed a simple Colt .45 pistol to put an end to things quickly. 

    Muffled snapping noises followed by loud screams announced the springing of mousetraps on turtle digits.  Silence broken by screams announced the discovery of tacks or concrete blocks.  Shredder smiled evilly.  He couldn't believe how doggedly stupid these Turtles were.  A muffled thump reverberated through the door, followed by an especially long and loud cry of agony.  Puzzled, Shredder glanced at the viewscreen to see what had happened and laughed when he learned the cause.  Somehow, one of the concrete blocks had been tipped over.  The thudding noise was it landing on and crushing all four of Raphael's toes.  The turtle stood rooted in place, doubled over and grabbing at his ankles while his brothers attempted to move the cinderblock.  Tears streaked the reptile's face and the camera mikes picked up his sobs of pain.

    At length, the door opened.  Leonardo limped in first and seemed to be the best off.  Gashes and bruises covered his feet, one toe was bent out of shape and obviously broken, and a line along his left leg and arm was burned a bright pink and blistered from his fall on the floor outside.

    His brothers were not so fortunate. 

    Raph came next, bruised and gashed more than Leo.  All four of his toes were swollen and mangled, crushed by the cinderblock minutes before, but he somehow was still standing.  Thumbtacks and cactus spines protruded from various places and dime-sized circles of charred flesh showed where he had been shot by the blaster bots.

    Don and Mike came last, leaning on one another for support.  Both were unable to use one foot from the severity of their injuries.  Mike's skin was covered with lacerations and dried blood from his ill-fated attempt to leap over the thorn pit.  His feet were decorated with bits of glass, cactus needles, thumbtacks, blaster burns, and oozing blisters from the red hot floor outside the Technodrome.  Don was in similar shape, minus the lacerations over most of his body.  Also, Don had the misfortune of setting off a pair of mousetraps in the blacked-out corridor.  The first had broken the outside toe of his right foot, the second had broken it further.

    The TIRLG was leveled at each of them and Shredder blasted each one of them in turn as they came through the door.

    "What did you do to us?" demanded Leo.

    "You're in no position to demand anything, fool!" snapped Shredder.  He raised his pistol.  "Now, before I kill you, do you have any last requests?"

    "Yeah, your head on a platter!" growled Raph.

    Shredder's gun roared once and Raph dropped without a sound.  His brains sprayed all over the remaining turtles and the control room.

    "RAPH!" chorused the turtles and April, voices anguished.

    "Don't worry," said Shredder.  "You'll join him soon enough."

    He shot Leo next, putting a bullet in each arm and rendering the leader unable to fight.  Then Shredder turned the pistol on Mike and Don.  

    Mike took a bullet to the left eye.  The soft organ exploded in a shower of eye fragments and fluid as the bullet continued on, blowing the back of his head off and taking most of his brains with it.  The surfer turtle collapsed and lay twitching on the ground for a few more seconds before the rest of him finally died.  

    Don's death was much cleaner, much quicker.  The round from the Colt hit him right between the eyes and he dropped like Raph had, silently and already dead.  Blood leaked from the holes in his head to mingle with Raphael and Michelangelo's, forming a warm and sticky pool at Leonardo's feet.

    "Get it over with," said Leo coldly through clenched teeth.

    "Oh, I will turtle, I will.  No need to worry about that.  But first, I feel like hearing you scream one last time," replied Shredder as he shifted his aim and fired.

    And scream Leo did.  The bullet slammed into the big toe on his right foot and turned it into a cloud of blood, pulpy flesh, and bone meal.  The turtle fell back against the doorjamb and slid to the floor as blood spurted from the stump of his toe in time with the beating of his heart.  

    "Actually, make that four last times," said Shredder as he blew off Leo's other toes in succession.

    Somehow, Leo remained conscious through the blood loss and the pain, looking up at Shredder with semi-glazed eyes.  With a scowl, Shredder prepared to empty the clip into the helpless hero.  Unfortunately for the villain, he had used up all of the clip's nine rounds already.  With a growl of frustration, Shredder removed the empty clip and slapped a full one in place.  The Colt roared nine more times.  The blue-masked turtle slumped lifeless against the wall, his blood staining the wall and pooling with that of his brothers on the floor.  Shredder lowered the pistol and gazed with satisfaction on the bullet-ridden corpse of Leonardo.

    April was sobbing in her chair by this time.

    "Oh, don't worry, pretty princess," whispered Shredder in a fatherly voice.  "Didn't I say you'd join them soon?" he asked as he pointed the TIRLG at her.

    Green light played over her body.  Once the corona had faded, Shredder set to work, beating the reporter to a pulp.

Two months later...

    The world belonged to Shredder.  With the Ninja Turtles out of the way, there was no one left to stop him.  He ruled with an iron fist, keeping his subjects in line through fear and intimidation.  His tape of how he eliminated the Turtles was broadcast on every station three times a day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once at night.  But he edited the TIRLG and his shooting the Turtles with it from the film.  Only he knew that every morning at about 2:30 am, they arrived at the Technodrome to repeat, endlessly, their deaths.  Sometimes, Shredder was content to watch the video.  Other times, he rose to once again experience the thrill of utterly destroying his enemies first hand. 

    Humanity groaned under his yoke while his maniacal laughter echoed in the darkness beneath the earth.


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