Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.

Page 1

Oroku Karai "There's been no sign of the turtles for days. Or the rat. We'll keep looking."

Karai "And in the meantime..."

"...We grow more powerful. We tighten our grip on this city, more and more with each passing day."

"We have more men. More resources. More brute force than ever before."

"Of course we've had casualties, but this is inevitable in war. Everyone dies sometime."


Page 2

Karai "...Most everyone."

Oroku Saki "We're done."

Saki "Why are you still here, Kitsune?"

Kitsune "Every time someone alludes to your... Unique history, you—"

Saki "I don't have time for this."

Kitsune "—End the conversation."

Page 3

Kitsune "I've tried to learn why. But you won't talk about it."

Saki "As is my choice."

Kitsune "And before, it was a harmless choice. But now your power has grown."

Kitsune "This secret—it weakens you."

Saki "All those centuries ago, before my death, you said I would be resurrected, bonded to the same body."

Saki "But you never told me where my spirit would go."

Kitsune "Because I didn't know."

Kitsune "So tell me, Oroku Saki..."

Kitsune "Where did you go?"

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"Where everyone goes, when their mortal journey draws to a close."

"I was just there a bit early."

Page 5

Demon Child (dream) "Oh! Good."

Child (d) "I've been waiting for you."

Saki (d) "This... This is..."

Saki (d) "What am I doing here?"

Child (d) "That's the big question, isn't it?"

Child (d) "This place is for the dead. Everyone else here is a permanent resident. But now you, you're just passing through, in between life and death."

Child (d) "That's why I'm here to warn you—do not disturb the natural order of this place."

Child (d) "Let those who live here try to find some measure of peace. Otherwise, your life will be truly extinguished. Forever. No more resurrections. No more cheating death."

Saki (d) "You think you can take my soul?"

Child (d) "Oh, no. That's not how it works. We can't take your soul..."

Child (d) "But you can give it to us."

Page 6

"The child's warning gave me no pause. This was just another realm to conquer."

"So I set off. Moving ever closer to the distant fortress."

"If this place had a leader, I knew I would find him there."

"I walked for days, through a landscape filled with restless souls."

"Like shadows on the wall. No purpose. No meaning. No power over their own destiny."

"I realized they were mere reflections of their former selves."

"It's a horrifying fate. One that awaits every man and woman on this Earth."

"I vowed it would not be mine."

"During my journey, I came across restless soldiers who had banded together in the afterlife."

"They were not my enemy. So I gave them a wide berth."

"Until I surveyed the fortress from up close. It was defended heavily. Guards on every side."

"I would need a distraction. One that would allow me to slip through their ranks."

Page 7

"So I returned to the warrior band, believing that I could appeal to their thirst for glory by telling them of the great victory they awaited."

"They fell upon me immediately. As I knew they would."

"Most warriors follow a certain path. And each path has its own weaknesses. Discover the weaknesses, strike fast, and you can prevail."

"Some fight low to the ground, exposing the face to an easy attack."

"Some only work in close quarters, allowing their opponent to simply step back and strike."

"Some are formalists, too accustomed to rules and regulations; easily surprised."

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"Still... Most warriors will adapt. Give them enough time and they will change tactics, as the battle demands."

"But these warriors did not. They fought mindlessly."

"Their only advantages were sheer numbers—"

"—And ure ferocity."

Page 9

"I felt my ribs crack. I felt the air leave my lungs."

"But I set aside the pain."

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"The battle was not yet over."

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"When I saw all those warriors rain down from above, I knew that I must change my plans."

"I would not gain their respect by fighting back. A call to victory would fall on deaf ears."

"They may have been warriors in life, but in death, they were just like every other restless soul."

"Going through the motions, acting out the roles they had played in life."

"They had no desire to conquer. No thirst for victory. No leaders, no tactics, no plan."

"They wanted one thing—to fight. Mindlessly. Endlessly."

Saki (d) "Enough!"

Page 12

Saki (d) "You can fight me. Maybe even defeat me. And then?"

Saki (d) "It will be over. And you'll be left where I found you. With no enemy. With no battle."

Saki (d) "Or you can follow me... And battle an army."

Saki (d) "When I arrived here, they told me that this was a place of peace."

Saki (d) "Do you feel peaceful?"

Page 13

Saki (d) "You're warriors! You are made to fight! So follow me into battle."

Saki (d) "I can't guarantee victory."

Saki (d) "But I can guarantee you this—"

Saki (d) "There will be no rest."

Saki (d) "There will be no wretched peace!"

Page 14

"I had to take advantage of my warriors' zeal."

"To let them serve as a distraction, while I slipped through the ranks and made my way to the castle."

"There was no time to analyze these demons' fighting style, or determine their weaknesses."

"But when in doubt..."

"Aim for the eyes."

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"Once I was inside, the path was clear. The restless army had drawn all of the demon guards outside."

"I was so close. Soon I would conquer. Soon I would rule."

"Only the king on his throne stood in my way."

"I was so certain of this."

"That victory was within my reach."

"When their king rose, he did so slowly, unsteadily."

Page 16

"Make no mistake: He was a skilled combatant, and strong as an ox."

"But his armor was bulky, and his breathing was heavy."

"He was an old man, a once-proud warrior, now past his prime."

"So I let him wear himself out..."

"Certain that I could keep him down."

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King (d) "Certain..."

King (d) "...So certain I would defeat you. That I would rule... Forever."

King (d) "And now..."

King (d) "...Do it!"

Page 18

Saki (d) "There's your king!"

"I won. As I knew I would. The very notion that I could be defeated was laughable."

"And then..."

Page 19

"I saw the face of my enemy."

"It was me."

Child (d) "Thank you."

Saki (d) "How? How?"

Child (d) "How? Oh, Saki. Did you actually think you were special? That you could cheat death forever?"

Child (d) "Let me tell you what your future holds."

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"You will lead armies."

"You will conquer the world."

"And then destroy it."

"You will wipe away humanity. Build a new world ruled by barbarian hordes and mutated freaks."

"And then you will die. As all men do, no matter how powerful they think they are."

"And yes. Yes, Oroku Saki, you will conquer the afterlife. But time does not travel in a straight line. Not here."

"And so some day—today—you will encounter the one person whose thirst for power equals your own."

"The one person who can end your rule. And condemn you to an eternity spent wandering. Restless. Trapped."

Child (d) "That's how."

Page 21

Saki "And you know the rest. Karai resurrected me. At first I remembered none of this."

Saki "But slowly... It came back to me. Piece by piece. All of it."

Saki "So, yes. The city is mine."

Saki "But what's a city, compared to eternity?"

Kitsune "Saki... You have a powerful mind. This was certainly just a dream. A lesson you were teaching yourself."

Kitsune "It's a lesson you should take to heart. But not one that should overshadow your life."

Saki "..."

Saki "Perhaps you're right."

Saki "Thank you for your counsel."

Kitsune "Of course."

Kitsune "I am always here for you."

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[I haven't told her the whole story.]

[I haven't said that it wasn't just the long sleep. It's every sleep. Every night. Every day. Sometimes just when I close my eyes.]

[I see him.]

[He's there. Always. A constant reminder of what awaits.]

[No. What could await. The demons made a mistake in telling me what's to come.]

[Now that I know what's coming, I'll do it right. I'll become stronger. More powerful.]

[And when the time comes, I will conquer. I will gut my younger self like a fish. I will tear him limb from limb. I will burn him down, and spread his ashes across by kingdom.]

[I will conquer.]

[I always do.]

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