The Last Will of a Mutant Turtle
“I… have never been any good leader, despite what people used to say, even my brothers. I have tried to be a good big brother as well… but way too often I have been blinded by my own too straight illusions of what is right and what is wrong.”
The old mutant turtle scratched the back of his neck. Despite his age, he still looked like a young turtle in his late forties, strong and determined. Maybe more determined than what he had felt like in years. His old gear had been put back on, though it felt smaller than it had back then, the old turtle liked the feeling, all what was left to put on was his blue bandana, the colour had faded with time to a pale blue. So many years had gone since he last had worn it.
“Lucas and Adam have become two brave very strong ninja’s, just as you would have liked them to be, Mikey, just like you and Maria has wanted them to become – they’re an image of their father. God, I can’t understand how Master Splinter have been able to take care of us four back then, without having a mental breakdown.” He was chuckling, he have not been chuckling like that for years… it was a nostalgic chuckle and a sad one at the same time. He hived a breath “But then, he also only had one Mikey to take care of, one Donnie, one Raph… one me… God, I miss you guys. It has been so long, such a long time since… you all…were taken.” He cleared his throat, the sorrow sitting thick in his throat, refusing to disappear. He looked up into the camera, not saying anything, just…studying it. “I have kept my promise Raph; I’ve taken care of our family, the best I could, though maybe not as good as you would’ve done it...
I’ve also kept my promise to you, Mikey, just as you’ve said I’ve taken care of Maria till she found comfort in leaving the kids with me, then, as she said, she wanted to return back upside to a “normal human life”. We’re still in contact every now and then, but I’ve pulled a bit further away from her, just so she can have her space, to have a normal life… just as you would have done, I guess. But I’ve taken care of the kids till they were strong enough to take care of themselves – Adam has just turned seventeen last week, but I trust Lucas to take well care of his brother from now on. We’ve talked about it, they understood, but didn’t really accept it, but I’m old now, I want my rest, I want my family, my brothers…back…” he hovered a finger above the stop-bottom, conflicting with himself whether or not to delete that last part, he decided against it. In his other life, in his next life he deserved to know, everything, both the good ones and the bad ones, what he should do and not do when it came to let his brothers need for evolving separate with their own dreams. That’s why he had written a journal, they all had, even Raph. Even Raph had written a journal, his dreams, his hopes, his inner thoughts, his last goodbye – he had known that they would read it some when and apparently he didn’t care about his thoughts being read out.
He had wanted them to know.
He took in a shivering breath of air. Time was nearing, closing in on him. He could feel it. He had made sure to sharpen his two katanas and placed his two old beloved swords right there, where Don had instructed him to place each of their weapons when time came for each of them.
A flash of memory.
A flash of Donatello smiling sadly at him, ignoring the blood spilling from the side of his mouth, ignoring the gaping hole of the gunshot piercing through his throat. It was floating with blood, so much blood, and not only from the pulsating hole in his throat, but also from the back of his head there had met the cold concrete after falling five stories down, after being taken by surprise at the shot.
He had looked so surprised, so scared, but then his expression had changed to one at peace, one with determination and relief. Leonardo had called for him, no, screamed for him, reached for him –Mike right behind him, what a horrible painful sound there erupted from his youngest brother’s mouth.
But they had been too late as they watched their brother stumble over the edge and fall down.
The crack they heard as he hit the concrete, shell cracking, skull breaking, had been loud and horrible.
But Donatello had just been smiling. “So it came.” Were his final words, alongside a whispering “sorry” and “take care, bros.”.
Michelangelo had been the one taking on Donatello’s death the hardest. That’s why he slipped one night, some months later, when they were hunted. That’s why he for a split-second was unaware, as he tried to protect his own two sons.
They were a hunted species now, a known hunted species that people couldn’t accept lived among them.
They wanted a population pure with humans.
Nothing else was welcome.
Poor Adam had been the closest… and Leonardo had been sure that he himself would have been the one to go next right after Don…but it was Mike.
At least he managed to get them back to their lair –there unbelievable enough still was unknown for the outside world, but he guessed that they could thank Donatello’s computer system there deleted their location for any existence on any satellite map and only stood out as a poisoned swamp.
Mike died just as he should leave him in the arms of his wife; he died in the arms of those he loved, with a cracked teasing smile on his lips. Leonardo had been sure a long time after that, that Mike would suddenly wake up and say “fooled!”…but unfortunately, those words and those actions never came.
There would come no more words, no more smiles nor any laughs from the turtles’ youngest brother.
Maria had been devastated, and then, she left.
A normal life, she said.
A life without any sorrows, she said.
But they would always be welcome on visit… she said a bit reluctant.
Leonardo coughed, groaned as he saw blood splatter onto the monitor before him. He had been sick for some time now, not having Donatello to make research on him to make sure what was killing him, Leonardo had his own fair guesses of what it could be, not liking any of the conclusions he was coming to. But he hadn’t told the kids about it, though he had somewhat an idea of that they already knew, maybe even before he himself knew about it. He dried the blood off his mouth with his arm before standing up, tall and high.
The kids, Lucas and Adam, were out on their nightly running.
They had to get food someway or other, luckily a restaurant near by had been open to share some food with them, after one of its workers found them digging in the dumpster. That was many years ago and now it was his great-grandchild, who also had taken over the restaurant, who kept the “tradition” up. He was one out of very few people who knew about them and accepted them as who and what they were.
… But it wasn’t like that they didn’t have any stocked up… Leonardo just needed an excuse to be alone tonight.
He had said his farewell, and, he guesses, that they somehow knew, they knew that it was now his time – he just didn’t want to wait anymore, he didn’t want this thing to kill him, that’s not how he, Hamato Leonardo should die, when all of his brothers had died a more horrible death. How dare he then to just sleep through it?
Adam’s watery eyes had told that he knew, that they both knew and had concluded that there was nothing to do, but to accept it against their own will. Adam knew, but had show none of it as he had smiled and waved, laughed his laugh with a “see ya, uncle!” He was a smart kid.
So much alike his father.
So much alike Mike.
“So I guess this is my final goodbye. Take care, when you come, and when you grow up. Don’t ever leave each other alone. Have faith and… Cough! Don’t let go, of each other... no matter of what.” Hamato Leonardo turned off the camera, then made his way over to the last empty canister, after making a last one long look at the four birthtubs, each containing a very young version of each of them – it still felt surrealistic looking at a very young version of himself in one of them.
He pushed the buttons as Donatello had instructed him to do, as he had done twice before. He halted before pushing the last button, his vision was swimming and it took him a moment or two longer to realise that he was actually crying. Not out of fear, not out of sadness…but out of pure happiness.
It was soon time.
It was soon time for him to meet his beloved brothers.
It was soon time for them all to be a whole again, to be a complete family.
Soon, very soon they would get their second chance in life. Hopefully a life where they could be accepted among more people, as of who they were and what they were.
Hamato Leonardo smiled and sighed in relief.
Never had he thought that he ever would accept death with such open arms, yet he hesitated for just a split-second, questioning his own actions, knowing that drowning wouldn’t be as pleasant as some said. Questioning Donatello’s calculations. Would it work? Would they really become those they once were? Would suicide be acceptable in all of this? Wasn’t there a religion there said that suicidal people would end up in hell? Would those crystals Donnie found really work?
Was this really a good idea?
Was he really going to die alone?
Would he be missed? Probably not, who would e-?
A hand, much smaller, much younger, stronger and cleaner in colours than his, lay upon his green aged hand. Leonardo held his breath, his heart almost skipping a beat. A young, strong determined but calm voice spoke into his ear slit.
“You are not going to die alone tonight, uncle.” A deep raspy voice said. Leonardo gasped and turned his head slowly around, only to be met by the loving face of his oldest nephew.
“Hey, I did say “see ya, uncle”, right? That totally like means that we would see each other again, dude.”
“Adam.” He half chuckled. So much like his father, almost a pure image of him. Adam smiled, though there were tears in his eyes.
“Yup! That’s my name. But you’re not allowed to buy it!” he said with a raised pointed finger.
“What are you two doing here? I thought that I said that we needed to get su-”
“Last time I checked, uncle, and that’s not even two days ago, we had lots of supplies left enough to last a week.”
“Of course.” Lucas said, squeezing his hand “Let us take it from here, uncle. Let us show you our last respect, by granting your last wish.”
A hug came from behind, almost startling him, Adam laid his beak close into his shell as he spoke. “We don’t want you to die alone, sensei, uncle Leo, that’s not even fair. You don’t deserve such a death. Not if we can help it.” Leonardo let his hand fall and embraced his two nephews, embraced them like he never had done before, held them close, mesmerised their warmth, their smell, their heartbeats, inspiration and expiration. This time he let his tears fall, this time he let them see, let them know how much he loved them, how much he cared about them and how proud he was of them both.
Leonardo stepped into the canister and watched his nephews as the glass closed and locked, sealing him forever inside of this tomb of his. They worked on the panel beside it, pushing the buttons there activated the liquid to slowly fill up beneath his feet, soon getting higher as it reached his knees, his stomach, his chest.
Funny enough he wasn’t the tiniest bit nervous anymore, he felt calm, at peace.
Adam laid his three fingered hand upon the glass, smiling up at him, Leonardo met his hand and smiled back, Lucas’ hand soon joined theirs and none moved their hands, none broke the eye contact as the canister were filled up, nor as the minutes ticked by, as Leonardo started to feel the very need for air. His body jerked, but he forced it to stay calm, he forced to just accept the death with open arms, but even though he couldn’t help the small twitch now and then. Adam tried hard not to cry, Leonardo could see that, he was a strong young turtle, just like his brother, just like his mother and just like his father.
“See you all soon, uncle.” He saw the young turtle mouth at him, he couldn’t hear him, but he could read his lips.
Hamato Leonardo smiled and nodded back, before the breath of life left him, before the last twitch, the last fight for air, was lost and he fell into a sleep of eternity. Only then as his eyes dropped, as the last air bubbles surfaced, did his hand drop.
Hamato Leonardo died just like his brothers; with a little content smile on his lips.
The two last of the Hamato-family stood there and looked at the last famous of the mutant ninja turtles, who once were feared, respected, loved and hated by many, though there were too many haters than lovers.
Lucas grabbed his baby brother from behind and hugged him, held him tight, as the else so happy-go turtle broke down and cried hard and loud. Lucas could do nothing but to keep his own feelings at bay, only silent tears left his reddening eyes, while Adam cried for their uncle, their uncles and their father, as he called for them. Lucas himself did not dare to speak, since he knew that if he did speak a word, he too would break down. Adam needed him, Adam needed someone to be there for him. Only as the hours ticked by, only as they slid to the floor, watched the four mighty turtles before them, only as the tears had dried out, did Lucas dare to speak.
“We will soon meet them again, all four of them.” He said to his brother, Adam only nodded. “Soon, my brother, we will be a whole again. Soon the time will come, as uncle once said.”
Adam pointed up to the room with the birthtubs, were he barely could look into. “Those stones dad once said that uncle Donnie and uncle Raph had found, they’re all shining again.” Lucas leaned to the side to be able to see what his brother saw. He stood up and walked into the room there were lighten up just enough to see things in there, and just as Adam had said, each of the four stones above each canister shone brightly, but the brightest of them all, where the one containing a very young version of Hamato Leonardo.