Location : The Battle Nexus
6 Days to go ...
"Wonderful. The arena looks spectacular." The Ultimate Daimyo perused the gigantic turtle-shell stadium from a distance. His son, The Ultimate Ninja, jumped up and down with excitement by his father's side.
"Is Michelangelo going to fight, daddy?" The youngster asked in a tone of reverence and awe.
"Yes, my son. Michelangelo will indeed fight. He is fighting to retain his title of Battle Nexus Champion." The Daimyo waved his War Staff and the two of them disappeared and re-emerged instantaneously inside the Turtle Arena. They were standing inside the main combat area, the 'ring' where all action would take place.
The Daimyo looked around himself carefully and made note of the design with a nod of approval. The first level was directly above the main arena, and the second level housed the VIP boxes for friends and relatives of the main fighters. It was more compact than it looked on the outside, and the tiers made for excellent viewing.
Gyoji, the Daimyo's spiritual assistant, suddenly appeared and looked around himself slowly. "The majority of the work has taken place, Master. We will be able to start the tournament shortly."
"Excellent." The Daimyo was pleased. "This is an arena truly worthy of such great warriors."
"We have the first round of fighters already established." Gyoji continued. "There is a notice board of the order of combatants by the main entrance."
The Daimyo walked over to the main entrance and looked at the board thoughtfully. "This is good. The battles will commence by the end of this week. They will need a few days to accustom themselves to their new surroundings."
"We have decided to allocate a year for each dimension - the year they were born into Home World." Gyoji explained. The Daimyo nodded, pleased with the progress. "There is a female turtle who we have factored into the later fights. For now, there will be a round of battles between the males. Separate the elite for the next round."
The Daimyo looked at the board intently. His son gazed at the board with undisguised longing.
"Daddy, I can't read. Is Michelangelo going to fight first?" The little boy jumped up and down, grasping his father's hand in delight.
"His will be the eighth battle." The Daimyo confirmed.
"What about my friend, Leonardo?" The young boy was practically giddy with joy. "When is Leonardo going to fight?"
"Your friend will be fighting in the third battle." The Daimyo held on to his son's hand tightly. The youngster couldn't contain his excitement and hopped from one foot to the other in glee.
"I think Leonardo will win!" The Ultimate Ninja bounced up and down in delight. "No, Michelangelo will win! No, wait, Leonardo!"
The Daimyo patted his son's hand with gentle affection. "Gyoji, inform the turtles from all dimensions that the competition will begin shortly. Come, my son. Let us prepare for our latest tournament by meditating together on warriors past and present."
The young boy looked up at his father in awe. "Yes, father."
Chuckling, the Daimyo led his son away. Waving his mystical War Staff, the two disappeared and reappeared immediately inside the Pavilion of Past Champions.
The Daimyo led his son through the statues of past winners - stopping to observe Michelangelo's statue thoughtfully.
"Do you think he stands a chance, father?" The Ultimate Ninja asked, his large eyes soaking up every detail of the statue.
"We will soon find out, my son." The Daimyo smiled and led his son away through the Pavilion. "Come. Let us prepare for the Tournament to come. We shall be receiving many visitors shortly."
Father and son made their way out of the Pavilion of Past Champions - and continued the preparations for the Turtle Tournament.
Location : New York, 97 Universe (Next Mutation)
5 Days to go ...
"So, Shinobi. How's your training goin'?" Raph97 relaxed on the sofa, watching as the female turtle sparred relentlessly before him with Splinter97.
"It is ... how you say ... peachy." Venus panted, narrowly avoiding a leg sweep from the aged master. She jumped and cartwheeled back to a more secure position. "Should you not be training, Raphael?"
"Naw. I'm good." Raph97 smugly stated, his leg thrown casually over the arm as he picked at his teeth with a small sharp wooden pick. "My skills are ninja-licious, babe. Don't need no extra training."
"Sure, Raph. 'Cause fighting a load of your otherworldly selves is gonna be a breeze." Mike97 laughed from across the room. He was sparring against Leo97, wearing his headphones. "Even I'm getting in some extra training."
"Training, Shmaning." Leo97 shrugged. "You can't even block a drop-kick, Mikey."
"Bah, I'm a shell-a-dellic butt-kickin' turtle wonder." Mikey was suddenly swept off his feet by an unanticipated leg sweep. He landed on his shell, watching as Leo erupted into laughter above him. "Or maybe I'm headin' for the turtle reject pile."
"Brainiac? Wanna spar?" Raph97 turned to Don97, who was engrossed in his latest gadget.
"In a while, Raph. I'm doin' something." Don97 was soldering some wires together. "This'll be classic. Using Venus' Shinobi magic and the wonder of technology - I have created ... drum roll please ... the Turtlefied Eye-in-the-Sky."
"Um, Don. You already got one of those." Mike97 groaned, still on his shell and watching Leo97 circling above him - fists ready.
"Not THAT Eye-in-the-Sky. This is a camera that circles above the action and takes video footage." Don97 explained, sighing.
"What if we get creamed and end up busted on our shells?" Leo97 asked, his voice unsure. "I don't want to be watching that on repeat for the next few years."
"It'll all be fine. Raph? If you're not going to do anything useful you could at least help me get this thing together." Don97 turned to the reclining turtle, hands on his hips. "I mean, you've been sittin' around all day."
"Gotta save my energy, brainiac. Ready for some butt-kicking action." Raph97 answered, a huge grin lighting his face. "Unless Donny-boy wants some sparring time."
Don97 rolled his eyes and turned back to his gadget. "Don't call me that. I hate being called that."
Location : New York, 87 Universe
4 Days to go ...
"I miss Leonardo and Splinter." Mike87 said as he trained with his brothers in the dojo.
"Relax, Michelangelo. They're just staying in Dimension Third Earth until the end of the competition. Leonardo doesn't need inter-dimensional stress right now." Don87 parried a blow from the distracted turtle. "We'll be back there soon enough, anyway."
"Yeah, ready to show little turtles rule." Raph87 grinned excitedly. "I can't wait for the fight to begin!"
"Me neither, dude. This is gonna be so much fun." Mike87 whirled his grappling hook excitedly. "What do I go for in the ring - nunchuks or grappling hook? I can't decide!"
"Nunchuks. The grappling hook makes you look ... cartoony." Raph87 shrugged. "The tall version of me said so."
"Right. Nunchuks it is." Mike87 pulled both of his 'chucks out and engaged in an impressive display of martial elegance. The whipping movements of his weapons caused his two brothers to gasp in amazement.
"Not bad, Michelangelo" Don87 said, impressed. "I think you're ready."
"Yeah, we've got to get packed." Raph87 turned to the wall and a grin split his face in two as he watched the box from Home World. "A turtle can't survive without his toothbrush and loofah."
"Dude, please stop doing that." Mike87 griped. "It freaks me out to think people are watching us."
Raph87 shrugged good-naturedly. "Whatever."
Don87 practiced a difficult move with his bo, twirling it above his head whilst jumping and kicking. He landed with a smile, his routine perfect. "I think we're all ready, guys. Let's get packed and head out. I want to get to the Nexus early, before the place get's too crowded."
Location : The Farmhouse, 07 Universe
3 Days to go ...
"Watch that aim, Raph. We don't want you taking off any of our multi-dimensional brother's heads." Leo07 chided softly. His brother had wedged his sai into a large tree and it was proving difficult to remove.
"Don't worry, Fearless." Raph07 grinned as he tugged at his sai. "They got that safety net thing. Fighters get zapped out before they are hurt too bad."
"Let's go get some liquids." Leo07 walked back to the farmhouse with his brother. Raph07 freed his sai after a few moments and followed his brother without question.
"Dudes!" Mike07 was sat lounging on the swinging bench on the deck of the main house. "You guys rock!"
"Time for you and Don to get to work." Leo07 ordered as he walked straight through the front door and into the lounge. Splinter07 was sitting drinking green tea with Don07.
"Are you sure you want to enter, sensei?" Don07 asked in a concerned voice. "You don't have to, you know. I wonder if there is an age limit for competitors?"
"Donatello." Splinter07 gently tapped his son on the knee. "I am perfectly fine. I am looking forward to the battle. I have never fought in a competition before and I am looking forward to the challenge."
"Sensei wants this, Don." Leo07 said with a slight smile. "Let it be."
"I know." Don07 grumbled. "I just worry. That's all."
"You are a good son, Donatello. Rest assured that I will only compete if I am completely well. I will not put myself in any danger." Splinter07 reassured his worried son with a gentle voice. "
"Good." Don07 turned to his brother. "Where's Raph?"
"He was following me in." Leo07 turned and looked for his brother. "Wonder where he disappeared to?"
Curious, Leo07 walked back out and found both Mike07 and Raph07 on the swinging bench engrossed in conversation.
"You aint gonna win, Mikey. You haven't been practicing." Raph07 groaned, slapping Mike07 on the head.
"Ow! You don't know that! Besides, I'm in better shape than you! I can still whup your ass, Raph!" Mike07 saw the sudden gleam in his brother's eye and gulped. "I didn't mean right now ..."
Raph07 edged towards Mike07 with a predatorial grin.
"Not now! Come on, Raph. I'm relaxing here!" Mike07 edged away and found his shell on the very edge of the bench.
"Right now. You got it coming, Mikey." Raph07 tackled Mike07 with a laugh, bringing the turtle onto his knees with a hard shove.
"Raph! Come on! Quit it!" Mike07 laughed uncontrollably, his body shaking with the effort.
"If that's how you plan to fight in the tournament, Mike, I don't think you're gonna last long." Leo07 chuckled, turning away and walking back into the living area. "We'll need to get moving. Apparently, the Nexus becomes packed quite early."
Splinter07 rose to his feet and grasped his walking stick eagerly. "Then, my sons, let us depart this dimensional realm for the glorious honour of combat."
Location : New York, 12 Universe
2 Days to go ...
"Don. Would you stop fretting? I'm sure little Leo is fine." Leo12 was trying to engage his brother in combat.
"I know. I know. I checked on him this morning - dimensional phone calls are really cool, by the way - I can't help but worry, Leo. He's my patient." Don12's shoulders slumped in defeat. "I don't know how he's going to fight with one good arm."
"I'm sure he'll be fine. He's a tough little turtle." Leo12 reassured.
"Donatello! Practice. Now!" Splinter12's voice rang over the two brothers, instantly bringing them focus. Don12 stood ready, his bo held in front of him whilst Leo12 paced around his brother - swords drawn.
Mike12 and Raph12 were battling away on the far side of the dojo.
"I'm gonna win!" Mike12 confessed, ducking and weaving to avoid his brothers assault. "Raph can't take down me down! I'm like the wind!"
Raph12 chuckled darkly. "You think, Chucklehead? Avoid this!" Darting forward, Raph12 cornered his brother swiftly and dislodged both nunchuk with his sai. Mike12 looked down at his empty hands with his mouth wide open.
"Chucklehead? Where'd you get that from, man. You never called me that before." Mike12 found himself flat on his shell, his brother standing triumphantly above him with one foot planted on his plastron.
"The other versions of me, of course. I got some great new names for you." Raph12 smirked.
"I think we are ready, my sons." Splinter12 bowed his head and closed his eyes, sighing deeply. "Before we leave for the Nexus, I wish to tell you how proud I am of all of you. No matter what the outcome of the contest, I am honoured that you are my sons."
The turtles bowed in respect before their master. "Thank you, sensei."
"Now, let us leave for the contest. I would like to talk to that little Splinter again." Splinter12 ushered his sons into the main living area. "Donatello? If you would do the honours ..."
Don12 opened a portal with his new and improved hand-held device.
Within a moment, the four turtles and their sensei had arrived at the Battle Nexus.
Location : New York, Dimension Third Earth
1 Day to go ...
"How's the little one doing?" Leo03 asked. He was standing in the door-frame of Don's laboratory - his arms folded.
"Recovering well. He's been meditating with the Splinters." Don03 said, smiling brightly. He looked up from his work and grinned widely. "He's got such spirit."
"Not long to go now. How are you, Donny?" Leo03 said, wandering into the lab and sitting beside his brother on a vacant chair. "I mean ... you haven't really prepared for this contest."
Don03 snorted, amused. "I'm well aware I'm not going to last long in the arena, Leo. No amount of extra training is going to help me there. Besides, there's all this new dimensional knowledge to assemble. The amount of new information is overwhelming."
"You don't know for sure, Don." Leo03 grinned at his brother, his smile dazzling. "Go on. Just a few rounds in the dojo."
Don03 groaned. "Why?"
"I don't want you going in there without a few sparring sessions. You've been tied up with this project on dimensions for too long." Leo03 stood up and gestured for Don03 to follow him. "Come on. I mean it."
Don03 sighed heavily. He didn't want to tear himself away from his research into other dimensions, but had to admit, Leo03 did have a point. He was woefully unprepared for the contest, and hadn't really been thinking about participating.
The dojo was full of testosterone. Raph03 was sparring with Mike03. Splinter03, Splinter87 and Leo87 sat in a loose circle, meditating together. Don03 smiled at the gathering, his mind finally focused on the competition.
"Raph, you're getting too good." Mike03 complained as his hot-headed brother threw him to the floor for the seventh time in a row. "Can't you lose your temper just a little?"
"Sorry, Mikey" Raph03 cracked his knuckles with glee. "This is payback for the last time you beat me. Think I'm letting ya win again? Not a chance, nunchuk-fer-brain."
Mike03 stayed put, lying flat on his shell. His eyes widened at the thought of Raph03 beating him in the tournament. He gulped, peturbed.
"I could always forfeit." Mike03 mused to himself. "Master Splinter did it last time. It didn't hurt his street-cred."
"Mikey." Raph03 stated with an ominous tone of warning. "There is no way you are getting out of this. Payback's gonna feel so good!"
Leo03 started to warm up Don03 with some stretching and light exercise. As they worked through their sparring, Leo03 praised his brother encouragingly. Don03's strikes were fluid and powerful - he was definitely going to be a worthy opponent to whoever he was against.
"You guys are awesome!" Loe87 smiled as he looked up from his meditation. "I don't think I'm gonna stand a chance against you."
"You'll do fine." Leo03 promised with a grin. "You only need one good arm. Arms are overrated. Trust me."
"When are we heading over to the Battle Nexus?" Don03 asked, catching Leo03's attention.
"I want to keep training until the last possible moment." Leo03 nodded, his eyes serious with focus and determination. "We have an advantage over the other multiverse turtles. We know the arena well and can afford to leave at the last minute."
Splinter03 opened his eyes and perused his sons with a gentle smile. "Leonardo is right. We must concentrate and prepare our bodies for the trials that lie ahead. For in accepting and participating in this competition - we are honour-bound to do our duty and be at our best."
Don03 nodded. "Sorry I've been distracted, guys. There's just so much going on at the moment - all these worlds are opening and I can access them all."
"Donny ...?" Leo03 tried to hide his smile.
"What, Leo?" Don03 looked wide-eyed at his older brother.
"You're getting distracted again. Can you leave the multiverse for the duration of this competition? We need you in the game." Leo03 asked patiently.
"Yes, of course. Let's spar." Don03 grinned and tried to sweep Leo03 off his feet with his bo.Leo03 jumped over the staff, surprised by the sudden move and leapt backwards, swords drawn in a flash.
Leo grinned, glad to have his brother's attention once more. "You have to try harder than that, Don."
Don03 lunged forward and the two engaged in combat with fierce, direct strikes. "Oh, I'm just warming up."
Raph03 watched his brothers sparring whilst waiting for Mike03 still lying on the floor. "Gonna get up, Mikey? There's a few more moves I want to try on ya."
"I think I'll stay right here." Mike03 gulped.
Raph03 nudged his reluctant brother with his right foot. "Come on, knucklehead. Get up!"
Leo87 laughed at the antics of his friends, his shoulders relaxed and his expression serene. "Michelangelo isn't getting up, is he?"
Splinter03 chuckled. "No. I believe he is mutating into part-chicken."
Splinter87 choked back a laugh. "Interesting. Let us continue to meditate, my student. We must be thoroughly prepared for the tournament. How does your weakened arm feel?"
Leo87 moved his injured limb backwards and forwards. "It's a little sore, but nothing I can't handle."
"You might want to support that arm in a bandage." Splinter03 advised. "During the main battles."
"I'm not going to last long with one good arm." Leo87 sighed. "You're right, I think supporting the arm is a good idea. I'll have Donatello wrap it up for me."
"Will do." Don03 parried a sword thrust and looked over at the little turtle. "I'll get you a nice tight support that will hold up through the contest."
"Donny. Concentrate!" Leo03 admonished. "I could have taken your head off!"
"Sorry." Don03 gulped a little. He really needed to focus on the competition.
Other dimensions would have to wait.