Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.


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The story is split between present day New York City and flashbacks to Feudal Japan during the Muromachi period. April, Casey and the turtles (hiding in the rafters high above) attend a lecture by a Dr. Miller, an expert on the history of the Foot Clan. He details the history of the Yuu Clan, ruled by Daimyo Ashikaga Yuu, a candidate to become Shogun of all Japan. There was a member of the Yuu Clan, Takeshi Tatsuo, who was the greatest and most feared swordsman who had ever lived. His skill was so great, that even Daimyo Ashikaga feared him, and so he sent Tatsuo into the mountains to patrol for bandits, where a legion of the Daimyo's men were waiting to ambush and kill him. Tatsuo's skill was great, but the men were too great in number. Although he managed to slay every last one of his attackers, he was mortally wounded, his right leg completely severed. As Tatsuo lay there dying, however, a mysterious stranger brought him to a hidden temple in the mountains, where he was given powerful medicine. The medicine was so powerful that when Tatsuo awoke, his leg was completely regrown, only missing the skin. Everyone assumed Tatsuo slain, but Daimyo Ashikaga feared the worst when Tatsuo's body was not found amongst the remains of the men sent to kill him. Eventually, Ashikaga was found slain in his own bed.

Dr. Miller explains that he learned all this from the Ashi No Himitsu - a book detailing the secret history of the Foot Clan, which he found in the very temple Takeshi Tatsuo was restored. The book provided information on how the Foot Clan influenced the politics of its day, recipes for medicinal salves, and even tales of the black magic used by the clan. Dr. Miller discovered that the book was authored by Takeshi Tatsuo, years after his supposed death. Dr. Miller deduced that Tatsuo had formed the Foot Clan from the remnants of the Yuu Clan after killing Daimyo Ashikaga. Furthermore, he learned that the source of the Foot Clan's power was its alliance with a witch, Kitsune, who served the powerful Tetsu Oni, the Iron Demon. The clan became extremely ruthless, carrying out atrocities in the name of the Oni, including burning villages to the ground and slaughtering women and children. Many members of the clan, led by Oroku Maji and Masato, disagreed with the path the clan was taking and were becoming fed up with its brutal tactics. One night as the clan was carrying out the Iron Demon's orders, Maji and Masato had their suspicions confirmed, seeing the witch Kitsune using magic. They formulated a plan to take down Takeshi Tatsuo and restore their clan's honor. Once a month during the full moon, Takeshi Tatsuo isolated himself in his quarters while Kitsune left with an empty satchel, returning two days later with it full. Maji spies on Tatsuo during the next full moon, witnessing Kitsune give Tatsuo, now an old man, the elixir she received from the Iron Demon, restoring his youth. The next month, Maji staged a surprise attack, interrupting Tatsuo before he could ingest the magic elixir. A battle ensues, and Oroku Maji slays Takeshi Tatsuo. Kitsune warns Maji, claiming he does not know the consequences of what he has done. She curses him, stating that his downfall will come from his own house. The honor of the Foot Clan had been restored.

In the present day, April, Casey and turtles decide to ask Dr. Miller for further information on the Foot Clan, after consulting with Master Splinter. As Dr. Miller leaves the lecture, Oroku Karai, posing as a private collector's assistant, approaches him about getting his appraisal on another part of the Ashi No Himitsu. Karai reports back to the Shredder that she spoke with Dr. Miller as instructed. She asks why they are allowing Dr. Miller to live, when all the information he has on the Foot could harm them. Shredder says that his plan is to force Dr. Miller to find more information on the Foot Clan for him.

In Feudal Japan, Kitsune approaches the shrine of the Iron Demon, beseeching him to aid her. She states that she cannot provide him with what he requires at that time, but she would repay him in the future. The Iron Demon steps forth, revealing himself to be an Utrom.





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