The Mania Effect
story by Jephael
* * *
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story takes place just a few months after the events of The Summer I was Young Again.
It was quite a long and busy summer that year, especially for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They didn't know what to make of their new situation. It all started after the Technodome's time-pull caused the real world's timeline to go backwards until it seemed like the last year of the 20th Century was but a dream. Of course, no one at this point was even aware that it was supposed to be 1999. It was now October, and everything seemed to be exactly as it was the first time the year was 1992. Only now that five animated mutants were somehow brought to life, it certainly wouldn't stay the same for long!
It was a Friday afternoon like any other. Pennfield Middle School let out at 3:00 as usual. As the children quickly ran for the busses, most were more than interested in seeing a boy and a life sized Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle gathering their cheapskates. Michaelangelo and his friend Jeff were more than excited to be leaving school for the evening since they had been planning to throw a Halloween party for weeks. Most of the kids that they invited lived in the area, a majority of them being from the condos just across the street from Nash Elementary.
"Man, we are going to throw one excellent party, dude!" Mikey said.
"Yeah, it should be lots of fun! I must've invited atleast ten girls!" Jeff said. "I'm glad that people like us and we're not being treated like weirdos! Man, where did that come from?"
"It must be some of Donatello's ego that got zapped into you with his intelligence."
"Right, but I thought we weren't gonna talk about it out in the open. Even if I'm part mutant, nobody knows about it, and I can't even remember how it happened!"
"No, but I remember! Shredder was going to turn you into a gopher unless he got information about the future from James and Jillian."
"Oh right, you haven't met them yet. Anyway, when we came to your rescue, me and Don almost had you free when the mutation beam went off, zapping you with our arms in the way. Next thing we knew, you were... one of us."
"I sure hope Master Splinter can help me utilize these powers some time."
"You probably need to hone in on all of the skills that you got from my brain-waves. It's pretty obvious you got Donster's working out for you!"
"You got a point there. Even a small bit of his intelligence makes me feel super smart! And to think, the last four years at the elementary school were so bad, I was worried I'd be put in the special ed department." Jeff said with a small chuckle.
"Hey, don't laugh, dude! I'm probably gonna end up there myself."
"Why, because of that science class grade? You'll do fine, trust me!"
"Yeah, I guess you're right."
That same moment at Jeff's house, way out in the countryside, Raphael and Leonardo were busy sparring in the backyard while Donatello sat in the back porch fiddling with several gadgets. "Hey, braniac! Why don'tcha take a break from rewiring all that circuitry and whatnot? I need a better sparring partner who doesn't complain about his butt aching every ten minutes!"
"Very funny, Raphael! I'll have you know that I've been out here sparring all afternoon with Master Splinter while you vegged out infront of the television!" Leonardo said sternly.
"Quit whining already! Just admit that I got you worn out, would ya?"
"I'd love to come out and pummel you, Raphael, but I'm too busy getting my portable dimensional portal generator to work!" Donatello exclaimed, just as Splinter approached from the back door in the kitchen.
"What are you planning on doing with the portal generator once it's completed?" Leo asked.
"Hopefully get it to reach our home dimension."
"Yeah but, you said it yourself we can't go home again. Besides, we haven't even seen Shredder or Krang yet. They could be a real threat to the people in this world!"
"Look, it's not that I want to send us back. I want to bring April and our other friends here."
"You're bringing April here?" Michaelangelo said, as he joined the group. "That's excellent! Hey Jeff, Donatello's bringing some of our buds over from back home to help with the party!"
"Hey, that sounds cool! I should get Joey to come over for it!"
Frustrated, Donatello bopped his face as he looked at his brothers. "You guys are so clueless! Don't you have any idea how serious I am about this?!"
"Come, now. Let Donatello be while the four of you practice your ninja training." Splinter said as he lead Jeff and the other Turtles out to the middle of the yard to continue sparring. "Jeffrey, you can spar with Raphael while Michaelangelo spars with Leonardo."
"Sounds cool with me!" Jeff said with a grin, as he took out his green eye mask and red bandana, tying them over his face.
"Ready, Jeffy?" Raphael asked.
"Yeah, just gimme a second to warm up."
"I'd give ya eight, but Master Splinter isn't that lenient!"
The wise rat made a sigh as he overheard the remark. The sensei turned his direction to Mike and Leo who were already in the middle of their fight. "Michaelangelo, you must learn to block his hits with your arm, not your head!"
"Sorry, Master. I guess I felt like trying to head-rush Leonardo!"
"What are you, a rhinoceros?" Leo said as he pulled at his blue mask.
"No, but you sure sound a lot like one we know!"
The remark brought on a severe case of the giggles from both Jeff and Raphael, which was enough to tick Leonardo off big time. The turtle tightened the tails of his mask and charged at his brother. Michaelangelo was sent flying into Raphael who went over like a domino.
"Ouch," Jeff responded. "I think I'll spar with the Leo-Meister instead!"
The suggestion made Splinter grin as he handed Jeff a bo staff and Leo held out a wooden sword. "Whichever of you holds out the longest without falling shall win. You may begin." the rat spoke.
Jeffrey and Leonardo bowed towards one another as they made their stances. The cold autum air whisked across their faces as Leo came at Jeff with a wide swing of the sword, but Jeff easily blocked the hit. The boy then took his bo and twirled it wildly, causing Leo to loose his footing. "Whoooaaa!" the turtle shrieked as he toppled over, close to the same spot his brothers wound up.
"Wow, looks like I got some of Donatello's strength in me!" Jeff said with a grin on his face, as he leaned on the bo.
"Totally, but I've never seen him use a move like that!" Mikey responded.
"Maybe it's like a cross between his know-how and your agility." Leonardo added.
"Speaking of Donatello, is he still working on that portable porta-potty thing or what?" Raphael mentioned.
"The portal generator? I am not sure. I suppose we can go ask him." Splinter suggested.
"Race ya to the porch!" Michaelangelo yelled to Raph and Jeffrey, who made a mad dash for the patio. Just as they neared the porch where Don was working, a bright blue light appeared just infront of the back door of the house. Everyone stopped dead in their tracks as they witnessed a bizarre occurrence.
"Holy Guacamole!" Jeff and Mikey shouted simultaneously.
As the light faded, two familiar mutant forms stood infront of them. "Howdy, y'all!" one of the frogs spoke in a friendly tone. "How're y'all doing?"
"Donatello, did you just bring Genghis and Napolean Bonafrog here?" Leonardo asked.
"Yes, and I did for an important reason."
"Then where are Rasputin and Attila?" Raphael asked.
"They vanished like two days ago." Genghis said.
"Yeah, it was like they just faded out of existance." Napoleon added.
"That's what I was afraid of!" Don shouted.
"Uh Donatello, could you start from the beginning? We haven't quite caught up yet!" Jeff suggested.
"You all know how since the populace found out about us, we've been celebrities due to the cartoon and everything?"
"Sure. Peter Laird was even excited to see us!" Leo mentioned.
"Yeah, but I think Kevin Eastman was a little more cause Laird was kinda disappointed that we weren't the original comic book versions they created." Raphael added to that. "So what does that have to do with April and the Punk Frogs?"
"As I was saying, because we're now considered real in this world, they stopped making episodes of the cartoon which our world was set upon since we can't be there as active characters in it, and last weekend they ran the final episode."
"Oh yeah, I thought that was a major bummer!" Mike responded. "Hey, maybe we could create some sort of omni-cam so people can see what we're up to!"
"Michaelangelo, would you mind?" Don said, irritated. "By the way, that's not a bad idea."
"Anyway, I had this theory that by discontinuing the series, our own world itself might begin to fade out of existance, starting with people we may not have known at all, let alone people we might haven't gotten the chance to see lately."
"What do you mean by that last part?"
"Hasn't it dawned on you guys that Napoleon and Genghis are the only two of the frogs we've seen since the time we helped them defeat Leatherhead? It was almost as if we forgot that there were four of them!"
"Yeah, you got a point there." Napoleon replied. "Infact, Attila and Rasputin seemed really quiet right before they up and vanished. Kinda makes me feel bad that they're gone!"
"I know, but it almost seemed like it was there destiny or something." Genghis added.
"But that can't mean the same thing won't happen to Usagi Yojimbo or the Neutrinos, will it?" Leonardo asked.
"I'm sure nothing will happen to the Neutrinos, mainly since they are in Dimension X, which I believe has actually become attached to the same galaxy we're in now because of the time-pull Shredder used in the Technodrome. But I'm afraid Usagi might already be gone, not to mention several other countless people we've met once or twice."
"Then who's to say it won't happen to April?" Michaelangelo said in a panic.
"She's been our friend for so long, that I have a good feeling she wouldn't vanish. But if she's the only person left when the New York of that world goes, she might be in big trouble!"
"Then what are we waiting for? Lets bring her here!" Jeff said.
"I'm afraid it's not that simple. Like I've told you guys before, I might not be able to open a portal to New York. One thing that can cause a dilema is the fact that this world obviously has a New York as well."
"So what? There's probably a swamp in Florida just like the one the frogs came from and it didn't do any damage when we brought them here!" Raphael remarked.
"Right, but we're alot closer to New York than Florida, and we could accidently cause a temporal overlap like the kind Shredder used to send Bebop and Rocksteady here."
"You mean the one that turned Jeff and his friends back into children?" Mikey asked.
"Exactly! If we aren't careful, we could end up causing another parodox."
"Swell! So what are we supposed to do, go over to that world and risk our lives?"
"Only one of us would have to go, Raphael. But I could easily make it so that whoever did go got sent back right before the other world vanished."
"Right, but odds are there would be some kind of screwball error!"
"Raphael, if you're that big of a chicken then I'll go!" Leonardo interjected.
"In that case, good luck!" Raph said with a cheesy grin on his face as he shook his brother's hand.
"How do I get myself into these things?"
"Be careful, my son. Even if you do not succumb to the effects of our old world diminishing, it does not mean it can't still harm you." Splinter spoke.
"I should be fine, sensei."
"You'd better brace yourself anyway, Leonardo. I have a hunch that your presence could drastically effect how quick certain objects, buildings and even people disapear." Don explained.
"How much time will I have until the world itself vanishes?"
"The portal generator is set to automatically send you back here after about eight hours."
"It's almost 4:00 now, so that means I should have until about midnight to gather April and the Turtle Blimp!"
"Good, because that's precisely the same time the 2-D world will be enveloped for good."
Leonardo made a quiet gulp at the notion and tensed up his shoulders as Donatello aimed the portable portal at him. "Good luck, bro!" he said. Just before Don threw the switch, a flash of light from up in the sky appeared and out popped two star-cruisers.
"The Neutrinos! Like what're they doing here?" Michaelangelo asked.
"I dunno, but this can't be good for the temporal dislocater. I have to wait until they've closed their portal." Don exclaimed. "What time is it now?"
"3:56!" Jeff answered as he checked his watch.
"Then I guess I'll send you back when it hits 4:00 PM on the dot."
"Sounds good to me, then."
"What's up, hip kats?" Dask shouted from his star-cruiser.
"Long time, no see!" Kala spoke from the seat next to him.
"Not much, you guys. Good to see ya!" Raphael said happily. "Only how did you manage to get here?"
"Our inter-dimensional portal like sent us here by accident after we let Tribble drive." an unexpected voice spoke. In the other car sat the Neutrino leaders, Zenter and Gisla with their now 3 year-old daughter.
"Oh great, I can see where this day is going!"
"Aw come on, Raphael! Tribble's a cute little girl isn't she? Yes she is, yes she is!" Michaelangelo said in baby talk, as he tickled the baby's chin. This brought on a severe case of the giggles, which ultimatly caused her psychokinetic powers to kick in. Mikey went flying into Don's path, nearly toppling over the portable inter-dimensional portal generator.
"Geez! What're you trying to do, send Leonardo to Tim Buck Two?!"
"Hey Don, it's 4:00!" Jeff yelled.
"Genghis, could you pull the lever down on the generator to send Leonardo off?" Donatello asked.
"Why it'd be an honor!"
"Sorry I can't stick around, Neutrinos!" Leo spoke just as Genghis activated the portal generator, and the teleportation beam shot out, sending the turtle off to the other dimension.
"Hey, dig it kats! Like, how did you manage to get the Turtle Van here?" Zak asked.
"Well, it's kind of a long story."
"But I bet they won't mind telling it to us!" Napoleon mentioned. "I could go for a drink though."
"I hear ya, dude! Hey Jeff, do you think it would be cool if we got everyone something to drink?" Mikey asked.
"All we got is those cans of soda for the costume party, but I guess we can spare a few for now. Who likes Pepsi?"
"Got any Astro Cola?" Gisla asked.
"Uhh, I don't think so." Jeff said as he walked into the kitchen, only to see his older sister swigging down a soda. "Hey Holly, I hope you didn't have too many of those."
"Just this one. I got thirsty after my exercise workout. By the way, what's up with all those weird noises out there?" the freckly faced girl asked.
"Oh that? It's just Donatello messing with his inter-dimensional portal." Jeff answered as he pulled a six-pack of Pepsi from the fridge. "He's trying to bring more characters from their universe to our world."
"That explains those two frogs there, and those funny looking elves."
"Those aren't elves, they're... well, okay they look like elves and everything, but they aren't elves!"
"Hey, I have some friends coming over and we're gonna watch 90210. So, would it be okay if you guys didn't stick around too long?"
"Oh, no problemo!"
"Thank you, Jeff!"
"Hey, what are brothers for?"
"Yo dude, you got the sodas?"
"Yep, but it looks like we'll have to go enjoy them somewhere else. Holly said she's got company coming and you know how she is when we're around her friends."
"Man, she's got to cut it with the insecurity!" Raphael griped.
"It is not her fault she feels strange about our appearance." Splinter added.
"Yeah, but it still ticks me off!"
"Come on, lets go see what's happening over at the farm." Jeff suggested.
"You dudes go ahead. Me and the frogs are gonna do some sky-cruising with the Neutrinos!" Michaelangelo boasted.
"Are you coming with us, Donatello?" Splinter asked.
"I've gotta make some last minute recalibrations on the porta-tracker. I'll meet up with you guys at the farm an hour."
Meanwhile in the cartoon realm, Leonardo found himself in a woozy state as he walked past the empty streets which should've been alive with people crossing the sidewalks left and right. The turtle glanced up and cracked a smile to see a rather familiar sight. "Thank goodness Vinnie's Pizza is still here!" he said. However, as he proceeded to look inside, he was aghast. "There's nobody inside! This is starting to scare me." he said, as he turned his attention over towards the Channel 6 News station. As Leo headed towards the building, the pizzeria vanished into thin air behind him.
* * *
Back in Pennsylvania, Jeff, Raphael and Splinter had gone across the stret to go visit the boy's second cousins, Missy and Joey who apparently had Wendy over. "Hey guys, what's going on?"
"Nothing really. We're just storing these leftover corn stalks into the garage." Melissa said.
"I thought you guys sold all of them." Raph remarked.
"Yeah, but we tend to wind up with these old brownish ones later on." Joey explained. "As long as you're here, would ya mind helping?"
"Sure, no problem!" the turtle spoke as he lifted one of the grocerey bags filled with the corn stalks. "Aww, geez!" he groaned as he realized just how heavy the bag was.
"Well, here goes nothing!" Jeff spoke as he took a bag. With all of his might, he began to lift it, and tensed his muscles as he carried it closer to the garage door.
It was then that Wendy caught a glimpse of Jeff's arms which started to turn green. "Holy smokes!"
"Jeff, your hands!" she pointed.
As everyone turned to look, Jeff's hands went from having five digits to three. The index finger seemed to meld with the middle, as the ring finger joined the pinky. The childrens' gaze turned upward to Jeff's face which was now green itself, and quickly changed shape until it looked strongly similar to Raph's, except the hair that remained on his head.
"Uh Splinter, I get the feeling Jeff's mutating powers are coming back."
"Indeed, Raphael. Can you see if he has a shell?"
"What you mean that large brown thing on his back that looks like just like mine?"
"Yes, it's undoubtingly obvious that his powers have resurfaced. It must have something to do with what is happening to our universe."
"Why, what's happening there?" Joey asked.
"It's kinda hard to explain, but in a nutshell, the world that the Turtles originally came from is deteriorating since there isn't a cartoon show on anymore to help it exist."
"Raphael, go help the children continue storing the corn while I help Jeff hone onto his powers."
"Oh that should be a snap!"
* * *
That same moment in the Channel 6 building, Leonardo was at a loss for words when he entered the eerily quiet lobby. The lights were dimmed, and it seemed like there wasn't anyone around. "Hello?" he called out. "Anybody here?"
As he stood for a few moments, he suddenly felt a chill enter him. "Well, there doesn't seem to be anyone here. Better get a move on!" the turtle said as he turned back and headed for the door, only to be startled by Vernon who stood infront of him. "Whoa, oh man! I never thought I'd say this Vernon, but am I glad to see you?"
"Likewise... I suppose."
"What happened here?"
"I have no clue. It all started about a month after you guys vanished. Everyone went on with their lives as if you four had never been around. I would even bring you four up once in awhile when I'd talk to April and Irma about the strange disapearances."
"April? Where is she?"
"The last time I checked, she was in her office upstairs. Infact, she and Irma haven't left since after Burne Thompson vanished."
"Thompson's gone too?"
"Yes, infact he was the first person I saw fade out of existance."
"Sounds pretty strange to me. Look, lets worry about it later. Right now, I just want to get you, April, Irma and whoever else is still here to safety."
"That sounds perfectly fine with me!"
Vernon and Leonardo ran upstairs to the door marked April O' Niel: News Reporter and entered, alerting the two women inside. "Vernon, is that you?" the one with glasses spoke.
"Yes it's me! But you'll never guess who I found!"
"It's not the anchorman is it?"
"Irma, give it up!" April complained as one of her best friends walked in through the doorway. "Leonardo, oh thank heavens!" she said, as her eyes filled up with tears. "After you left with those kids, I didn't know when... or if I would see any of you again!"
"You didn't think we'd be gone long, did you?"
"I should've guessed not! But where'd you go?"
"We ended up in the 3-D universe those kids came from. Only now, we're actually living there."
"You are? Boy that must be odd!"
"Not as much as you'd think! Well, okay we're pretty much celebrities and Michaelangelo is now going to school, but our lives are pretty normal when compared to how we were here."
"I'm glad to hear that! So are you guys planning on coming back?"
"Actually, I don't know how to tell you this but this world is deteriorating, and odds are you three are the only ones left."
"How's that even possible?"
"You probably wouldn't understand, Irma. Heck, even I don't understand it much myself! Look, we need to get out of here and head towards the lair. Hopefully, the blimp hasn't faded out of existance yet."
As the four of them left, April took one last look at her office, which was now empty of all the photos and trophies that had been on her desk and the walls just moments earlier.
Back outside, Leonardo directed them towards a nearbye manhole which he proceeded to open. Irma turned back to take one last look at the builing, only to see that it had disapeared. "So long, Channel 6." she said, as she vanished as well.
"Oh my gosh, what happened to Irma?" April asked.
"I guess it was just her time." Leonardo replied. "Come on, lets get going."
* * *
Back at Jeff's house, Donatello was in the kitchen getting himself a cup of water. "Boy, time sure flies when you're working endlessly on those devices." he spoke quietly, trying not to disturb Holly and her friends who were watching television. Don decided to pull up a chair and listen in on the program as he rested. Two actors seemed to be having a conversation with one another in a jail cell when-
"We interupt this program for a special news bulliten!"
"Aw, darn it! I hate when they do that!" one of Holly's friends complained.
"Moments ago, a strange transport vehicle with a drill bit attatched to the front emerged from the streets of this small dock-side port here in Baltimore, Mary-"
"What the heck?!" Donatello said outloud as Holly changed the channel. "Holly, wait! Let me see that report!"
"What're you doing in here?!"
"Just let me see what he was talking about! It could be something serious!"
"Alright, fine!" she griped as she changed the channel back.
"-pair of mutated animals, who some say may be linked to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who came to life last summer through some unknown chain of events."
"Oh my gosh, I was afraid of this! Holly, could you do me a favor?"
"If me and the guys aren't back by midnight, tell Leonardo we've gone to Baltimore!"
"Thanks!" he shouted back as he ran out the front door.
* * *
It felt weird for Leonardo to be back in the sewers, even after just three months. The scent of raw sewage was actually strong enough to make him gag, as he was sure it had been for April.
"Are you okay?" April asked.
"Um, yeah. I just never realized how smelly things were down here until just now."
"I guess living in the fresh outdoors makes living down here seem alittle weird." Vernon joked, much to April and Leo's chagrin. "Um, eh heh. Sorry."
"Hey Vernon, is it just me or is your voice changing?" April asked.
"Um, no not at all. Why do you ask?" he said, sounding even more different from before. His accent seemed to have completely vanished.
"Now that has got to be the weirdest thing! I've never heard Vernon like that before!" the turtle boasted.
"Atleast it's not obnoxious like that British accent he always had!" April added. "Infact, I seem to recall you talking like that a long time ago."
"Yeah, it was around the same time I met the Turtles. You haven't talked like that since the first time they defeated Shredder and Krang!"
"Come to think of it though, I could swear Donatello and Raphael have talked with odd voices acouple of times before." Leo added. "I would ask Splinter and Michaelangelo if they noticed, and they agreed but Splinter told us not to worry about it."
"That's right, they did! Remember the time Irma was replaced by the Turtle Terminator?" April mentioned.
"Okay guys, enough blathering about voices, please!" Vernon complained. "The last time I heard someone go on about my voice was when... when... hey I can't remember my childhood. It's as if... as if my life memories have been erased."
"Mine too. It's probably just another unfortunate side-effect of the world's deterioration." April responded.
"It's as if you guys really only existed through us." Leonardo figured. "Infact, that's probably why Burne Thompson vanished so quickly. He never really liked or trusted us, so he was more vulnerable."
"Right, but then why did Irma fade out and not Vernon?"
"Hey, I've always trusted them, even more than Irma! It's just that my trying to upstage you made me look like a jerk."
"You got that right!"
* * *
That same moment in the 3-D world, Donatello found his way to the farm house. Short of breath, he ran into the kitchen where Jeff was showing his powers to Joey and Missy's parents. "Thank heavens I found you guys! I-Hey Jeff, you're mutating!"
"Yea, we were helping the kids with some corn stalks when all of a sudden Jeff started turning green." Raphael explained.
"Also he's got a shell like yours." Missy added.
"Why does he still have his hair though?" Wendy asked.
"That's kinda hard to explain." Donatello admitted. "All I can figure is that his mutation wasn't permanently set, therefore he's still more human than turtle. Anyway, that's not important at the moment. I have a feeling Shredder is up to something. I caught a news report saying that Bebop and Rocksteady have been spotted in Baltimore, Maryland."
"What? You're kidding!" Joey responded.
"No I'm not! They could do some serious damage!"
"I was referring to Baltimore though. We've gone there once."
"This is most serious, my sons." Splinter interrupted. "It is important that you stop Shredder and his minions from doing whatever he has planned!"
"I guess I better go along since Leonardo isn't around. Donatello can lead us." Jeff suggested.
"Sounds good to me." Raphael spoke. "Wait, we may need someone to go who's familiar with the area. How about you, Joey?"
"It depends on what my mom says. Can I?"
"I guess it'd be okay, just as long as you stay out of trouble!"
"Got it!" the boy said with excitement.
With the help of the teenaged Neutrinos and their star-cruiser, Jeff, Joey and the Turtles were in Maryland by the time the sun had set. Reaching Baltimore was a piece of cake, but finding the mutants would be the hard part.
"So like where do we find those meatheads?" Michaelangelo asked.
"I'm not too sure, but they could be close by. The news reporter said they were seen near the docking bay, which makes sense considering the Technodrome is at the bottom of the ocean."
"Man, can you imagine how freaked out people must have gotten when they saw those two?" Jeff mentioned.
"Yeah, the only thing that scary would be two guys having a knife fight!" Joey uttered.
"Or worse, having Bebop and Rocksteady do the knife fighting!" Raph added.
"Shh! I'm picking up something." Donatello interrupted. "I think they're in that abandoned boat shop."
"Just once, I'd love it to be an abandoned pizza shop!" Mikey complained.
"Forget it. The cheese would be all stale!" Raph joked.
Donatello had the Neutrinos drop him and his brothers off at the back of the building while Jeff and Joey went through the front, hoping to corner the gruesome twosome. Little did they know that the thugs had some help with them. "Uh guys, I don't like the looks of this!" Jeff spoke as he saw several Foot Soldiers emerging.
"Can you try mutating again?" Joey asked.
"Give me a second." Jeff said as he tried to concentrate. But before he had the chance, one of the androids pelted him in the gut and threw him into one of the showcased boats.
The Turtles, who had overheard quickly ran to see what happened. Taking one good look, they started battling as hard as they could with the Foot Soldiers. Raphael managed to dismantle three in a row with one swoop of his sai, while Michaelangelo plunged two more Foot into the water. "Man, I dunno why they keep sending these bozos after us!"
"Well normally, they're used as a decoy for a trap of some sort." Donatello replied.
"What are you doing, DON?! You know what happens if you say it's a-" before Raph could finish, the dock under them collapsed and sent them falling into the water, followed by Joey. "What was I thinking?"
"You won't be thinking for long, toitles!" a familiar voice spoke. The group looked up to see Bebop sticking his piggish snout in their faces.
Jeffrey kept himself hidden under the boat's tarp as he watched his friends get hauled into the boat shop. "I better follow them from a distance." he spoke as he quietly pulled himself back onto the dock and sneaked inside.
"Ahh, the Foot did their job well like always. Bind the Turtles into those chairs!" the Shredder's gruff voice ordered.
"What about the kid?"
"He should be of no problem. Besides, it's nice to have an audience watch what we're up to!"
"Boy, what a jackass." Jeff whispered to himself.
"You see, my young friend, our fortress remains in the bottom of the ocean, about fifty-five hundred miles below sea level. That's just a guesstimate of course."
"Well, durr!" Donatello shouted.
"Rocksteady, would you shut him up?"
The rhino nodded with a dirty grin on his face as he took a handkerchief and stuffed it into the turtle's mouth.
"Huh, I've thought about doing that myself." Raphael said.
"Will you shut up, Raph?!" Mike yelled at his brother.
"QUIET!!! I'm not done with the explanation." Shredder complained. "As I was saying, the Technodrome is still stuck at the bottom of the ocean, and we've been scheming for months to bring it up to the surface. Of course, it wouldn't be neccesary if you wretched reptiles hadn't meddled in our plans to bring it to this world in the first place!"
"Yeah, but someone had to do it!" Raph cracked.
"Right ahead of ya, Boss!" the rhino nodded as he took another dirty handkerchief out of his pocket and gagged Raphael with it.
"You might as well do the same to Michaelangelo, because I know he'll have something goofy to say." Shredder added.
"Hey wait a minute! Aren't there supposed to be four turtles?"
"Of course there are, Bebop! Obviously, something has happened to their leader! But no matter, he won't be able to stop us in time. Once we've utalised the tide with this gravitational amplificator, the Technodrome will once again arise to the surface! AH HA HA HA HA HA!"
"Nothing doing, Can-Head!"
"Huh, who said that?"
"I did!" Jeff spoke as he ran in.
"Hey, I thought you were sent back to Pennsylvania!" Bebop griped.
"Well, duhhh! Where do you suppose the Turtles just got here from?"
"Even you cannot stop me, boy!" Shredder said as he activated the machine. "Rocksteady, Bebop, get him!"
The two mutants made a running start as they were going to ram Jeff who quickly jumped out of the way, causing them to wind up slamming head-first into the wall. "So much for you dipweeds!"
"I've had enough of you meddlesome brats!" Shredder shouted as he took Joey and flung him into Jeff's path. The impact caused them to wind up falling over a pile of lumber planks, one of which landed over them. "So much for those two!"
As Shredder had his back towards them, Jeff began lifting the wooden plank, which made his muscles buckle under the strength. Sure enough, he was mutating once again. "Don't count your turtles until they're dead, Chrome-Dome!" he spoke, as he threw the huge chunk of wood at the anti-gravity machine, smashing the controls.
"Noooooo! You bothersome shellbacks! I should skin you all where you stand!"
"Uhh, I don't think so." Jeff said as he kicked Shredder in the stomach and smacked another 2X4 in his face. "Joey, can you free the Turtles? I don't know how long I can keep this up."
"Sure thing, Jeff!" he said as he took one of Raphael's sais and cut the ropes off of the Turtles' chairs.
"Thanks, Joey! We owe ya one!" Donatello said, as he removed the gag from his mouth.
"Don't worry about it!"
"Ooooh, anybody got the liscense number of that truck?" Bebop groaned as he and Rocksteady came to.
"Shut up you two. We're outnumbered! Lets escape while we still can! Until next time Turtles!" he shouted as he and the mutants ran off.
"They're getting away, dudes!" Michaelangelo shouted, just as a smoke bomb went off, which blurred their vision as the villians took off in the module.
"Aw man, so much for getting those bozos!" Raphael complained.
"Yeah, but atleast we stopped them from bringing the Techndrome up to the surface." Don mentioned.
"And I managed to get my mutating to work!"
"Yeah, you're a regular Jeffatello!" Joey replied.
"Ugh, that doesn't sound good to me."
"Jeff Nardo?" Michaelangelo suggested.
"Jephael!" Raph though up.
"Hey, now that's got a good ring to it!" Jeff said with a grin.
"Jephael it is then!" Mikey said as he and Jeph high threed one another.
* * *
Back in the cartoon universe, Leonardo and April were quickly loading up as much equipment as they could to the back of the Turtle Blimp's glider while Vernon sat at the controls. "Aren't you guys ready?"
"Just a couple more things, Vernon. Donatello is probably expecting me to gather all of his techno junk and haul it back to the next dimension."
"Yep, that'd be just like him!" April said with a giggle.
"Okay, that should do it." Leo said as he closed up the cargo hatch. "Boy, I'd like to know where Don is gonna put all of this junk! Jeffrey's mother will never let us keep it in the basement, or even the backyard."
"Hey, what time is it?"
"Only 8:30. We've got plenty of time." Just as Leo spoke, one of the walls of the hanger completely vanished. "Of course, I could be wrong."
"We better get going!" April said as another wall vanished.
Leonardo and April jumped into their seats as the exit hatch above itself vanished. "Atleast I don't have to worry about that!" the turtle joked as he started the blimp. "So long, lair!" Leonardo began piloting the blimp up into the air and headed skyward. As he looked back down to see what remained of the sewers, he could tell that not much was left of the street itself. The blimp escalated upwards as it began heading towards the heart of New York. Not much was left there either, except for Rockefeller Center, the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty.
"That's kind of a surprise that those towers are still standing." Vernon exclaimed.
"To tell you the truth, I think it's got alot to do with the fact that they also exist in the 3-D universe. Infact, the guys and I visited the Statue of Liberty in the other world just last month." Leo mentioned. "Maybe I can take you guys to see the NBC news building."
"If we can get there in one piece." Vernon added.
"There's still some time left, so we might as well try and wait it out." Leo replied as he continued to fly the blimp across the vast terrain of Manhattan. "It looks so empty, almost like something out of a Stephen King novel!"
"Since when have you started reading Stephen King novels?" April asked.
* * *
That same moment in Pennsylvania, the Turtles were back at Jeff's house eating pizza with Joey, Missy and Wendy. Holly and her friends had gone out by the time the Turtles returned and the Neutrinos were getting ready to leave.
"Hey fellers, would ya mind if we joined yas?" Genghis asked Dask.
"Eh, sorry pal. There aren't too many swamps in Dimension X."
"Yeah, not to mention there aren't any insects." Kala added.
"Er, okay then. Sorry for buggin ya."
"Hey guys, my grandma lives in Florida, so maybe the next time my family goes down to visit them we can find you dudes a new place to live." Jeff mentioned.
"That would be mighty kind of you!" Napoleon spoke.
Just then, they overheard an alarm coming from the porch outside. "What the heck is that?" Michaelangelo asked.
"It's the emergency alarm on the porta-tracker. Leonardo must be in trouble!" Donatello boasted.
"I knew something would go wrong." Raphael replied, which Don could only sigh over.
Don took out his turtle comm and hooked it up to the control panel of the portal generator. "Leonardo, can you hear me?"
"Yes, but you're kinda fuzzy."
"Is everything okay?"
"We're on the blimp, and we seem to be fine. But alot of New York is starting to vanish! All that's left is the monuments and buildings that exist in the real world as well."
"That's pretty odd. The second dimension shouldn't be going at such a fast rate unless ther was some sort of- uh oh!"
"Hold on a second, Leo. Jeff, do you remember that device Shredder said he was going to use to bring the Technodrome back to the surface?"
"Yeah, the thing I smashed with the block of wood. What about it?"
"I've got a wild hunch that thing somehow harnessed the remaining energy that came from the cartoon dimension. Shredder was trying to send the Technodrome where he wanted it to be when we first came here!"
"And by simply activating that thing, he might've accelerated the cartoon dimension's deterioration!" Jeff finished.
"We gotta get Leo out of there!" Michaelangelo said.
"There isn't much we can do. He's still got about three hours to go on the homing beacon. Unless I- Hey, what time is it?"
"8:35." Wendy said as she looked at her watch.
Donatello quickly went into action as he fiddled with the portal controls. "Leonardo, listen very closely. I want you to head towards Pennsylvania, and try and see if you can get near a nuclear power plant facility."
* * *
"I hope Donatello knows what he's doing."
"I'm sure he does, Vernon." April replied.
An hour passed by the time Leonardo managed to get the blimp into the tri-state area. "I can't see any power plants. Oh wait, I see one!" the turtle was at a loss for words when he could now see a power plant just miles ahead. "Donatello, we found one!"
"Perfect! Now I want you to boost the engines as fast as they can go, and head straight for the area between the cooling towers."
"Uh, are you sure about this?"
"Just trust me!"
"Here it goes!" Leo blurted as he held tightly to the controls, which made the engine roar with power as is zoomed towards its destination. An odd current began to make the cooling towers glow a bright blue, as did the blimp. Vernon and April both took ahold of Leo's shell as they neared in.
* * *
"Okay guys, prepare for temporal displacement!" Donatello's voice said through the turtle comm.
"You guys really have to stop watching Back to the Future!" Raphael complained, which was abruptly followed by several shushes from the kids.
Just then, Jeff's phone rang and he quickly answered. "Hello? Oh yeah, Joey's right here." he spoke as he gave the phone to his cousin.
"Yeah, Dad. What's....? Huh? You're kidding! Guys, Pop says to go look at the corn silos outside." Jeff and his cousins quickly ran through the living room and out to the front porch where Splinter was already standing. "What's going on?"
"Observe, children." the rat said as he pointed upwards.
They looked up and saw an amazing sight. The corn silos at the farm were glowing a bright blue, as if they were harnessing some incredible power.
"What the hell is going on?!"
"Missy, don't curse infront of Master Splinter!" Joey shouted back at his sister.
"This is really weird!" Wendy added.
"It almost looks just like the energy field that was around Leonardo and the frogs when they-oh my gosh!" Jeff said. "I get it now! Somehow, Don's using the metal structures of the silos as energy receiving transmitters."
"What does that mean?" Joey asked.
"I have no idea. But all I know is, that's probably going to be where the Turtle Blimp will appear."
"Yeah, but when?"
"In about three minutes." Donatello answered from behind the door. Michaelangelo and Raphael were on either sides of their brother as they watched.
* * *
The blimp screeched its way towards the cooling towers, making the passengers cling to their seats with all their strength. "Hang on, you two! We're almost there!" Leonardo shouted, his voice barely audible as the humming of the electric current nearly deafened them.
The very moment the blimp was in the dead center between the towers, the bright blue current from both towers reached out and enveloped the blimp.
* * *
April was overly stunned as she witnessed the towers replaced with corn silos, and the empty terrain replaced with a beautiful farmyard area. Looking down at her hands, she could tell things were somewhat different. As she looked over to Leonardo and Vernon, she was shocked to realize how oddly bulked up they looked, almost as bulked up as herself.
Before long, Leo managed to land the blimp in the backyard near the Turtle Van. Donatello, Michaelangelo, Raphael, Splinter and Jeff were more than happy to see Leo and April again, as well as April was to see them!
"Welcome home, buddy!" Jeff shouted.
"Yeah, good work dude!" Michaelangelo added.
"Did you have to bring Vernon?"
"Raphael, he didn't vanish. I had no choice. Besides, he's somewhat different now then how we remember him."
"So, now what will we do? I mean I don't think a news company in this world will want to hire a cartoon character for an anchor!" April complained.
"Why don't you cats come with us?" Dask suggested.
"Yeah, it would be pretty cool to have some humans living in the Neutrino City." Zenter added.
"What do you think, Vernon?"
"I'm up for it if you are."
"Then what're we waiting for?"
"Aw, you're going already? You just got here!" Michaelangelo complained. "I was hoping ... that you could-"
"I'm sorry, Michaelangelo. We don't belong here. This isn't our world. We don't have any history here, and we don't have family." April stopped as she noticed the turtle began to weep. She gave him a tight hug and kissed him on the forehead. "Hey now, I'll always come to visit."
"Take care of yourself, April. The same goes for you, Vernon." Don spoke as he shook the news man's hand.
"Boy, that new voice is kinda creeping me out!" Raphael spoke.
"Actually, it's his old voice." Leo corrected his brother.
"I'll explain it to you later."
April and Vernon joined Zenter and his family in their star-cruiser with the teenaged Neutrinos following them as they were on their way to Dimension X. Once the portal sent them through, all was quiet once again as Jeff and the kids went back inside the house with Genghis and Napoleon.
"Guess that's it then, huh?" Raphael muttered. "I mean we really didn't even save the day as well as we could've."
"Yes, but atleast we know that Jeffrey is a strong being. As he ages, I hope he can become a formidable allie." Splinter spoke. "We also know that April is now safe and in no present danger. She should adjust to Neutrino City as well as we did adjusting to our new home."
"Yes but her entire life was erased by the time I was able to intervene. She has no identity or family line or anything." Leonardo spoke, sounding as if he felt somewhat responsible.
"Yeah, but neither do we. Neither does Splinter, or the frogs for that matter." Donatello added.
"Whoa. freaky notion!" Michaelangelo replied.
"My sons, we are the product of a mania effect. We never truly existed, yet there has been enough positive energy to create us in such a manner that we were given a chance to cross over to this world. We have much more freedom here than we did in the reality that created us."
"But the big question is, why did it have to happen through a battle with Shredder?" Leonardo wondered.
"To put it simply, it is our nature to fight him because he us our arch-nemesis. Therefore we could not ascend into this world without him."
"I guess you have a point there. Grandit it's not one I like." Donatello exclaimed.
"Let us stop pondering and eat, my sons."
"Yeah dudes, it's pizza scarfing time!" Michaelangelo yelled as he excitedly ran through the back door and into the kitchen where Jeff and the others happily greeted him. Donatello and Raphael quickly followed while Leonardo trailed behind.
"Ahh, teenagers will be teenagers!" Splinter said with a wide grin on his muzzle as he quietly looked out at the stars.
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