Location : The Battle Nexus
The Daimyo took it upon himself to welcome all the spectators personally. His eyes lit up as he distinguished a pair of furry ears coming through the throng of visitors. "Ah, Usagi. It is good to see you again, ronin."
"The honour is all mine, Ultimate Daimyo." Usagi03 bowed respectfully.
Murakami Gennosuke stood behind his rabbit friend, snorting at the amount of chatter from guests. "I think I can make some money here. I'm going to bet everything I have on Michelangelo. After all, he won it last time. Chances are he'll win it again."
Tomoe Ame and Lord Noriyuki stood awkwardly behind the rhino. It was disconcerting being out of their own dimension, but both were excited to see the turtles in combat. It seemed as if everyone were a little awkward and trying to find their bearings in this strange world between worlds. Beings from various dimensions scuttled past whispering in excited voices.
"Whoah! Usagi - look yonder! There is a rabbit walking alongside an elderly man. He looks like you." Genn turned and elbowed Usagi in the ribs. "Look. Over there!"
Usagi03 perused the bunny as he walked towards them and slowed in surprise. His eyes widened, startled for a moment, then offered Usagi03 a paw of friendship. The samurai took his paw and bowed respectfully to the other version of himself, much to the delight of Genn.
"Two Usagi's? Wow. I wonder if there are two versions of me." Genn smiled at the thought of his own dimensional duplicate existing somewhere.
"Let's hope not, my friend. One of you is more than enough." Usagi03 turned to Usagi87 and smiled. "It is an honour to meet you, ronin."
"The honour is all mine." Usagi87 regained his equilibrium instantly and bowed to the other version of himself. "I would like to introduce my friend and guardian, Obento."
"Ah, honoured guardian." Usagi03 shook the old man's hand vigorously. "This world must seem a little strange."
"This dimension is an extension of our own reality." Obento said wisely. "I have seen many things that are strange in my own world. To see another version of Usagi warms my heart."
"Come, we have to take our seats." A young woman approached Usagi87 and Obento. "I must not miss the competition."
Usagi87 nodded to his dimensional duplicate and then allowed the young woman to lead them away. "You are a force of nature, Miss Lotus Blossom."
"You'll thank me when we are in our seats and the contest begins." Lotus muttered darkly, scanning the seating plan for their reserved box. "It looks as if we'll be sharing our box with two other guests. Come!"
As Lotus led the way to their seating area, Obento muttered to Usagi. "Young women, nowadays. They have no patience."
Burne Thompson looked around himself in disgust.
It was bad enough that there were four turtles in his own dimension. They had lost him his prize girlfriend, Tiffany. Now, he was stuck at a tournament between turtles of different dimensions.
"April! I can't believe you dragged us here to see some mangy turtles fighting each other." Burne scowled at his prize reporter. "Why did you bring us here?"
"Yes, April!" Vernon piped up with a whiny voice from behind the boss. "Why the hell am I here? I hate turtles."
"I'm going to prove to you, once and for all, that the ninja turtles are good guys." April sighed, her arm looped through her best friend's, Irma Langinstein.
"You know what?" Irma smiled, rolling her eyes at the two reluctant men trailing them. "I bet our ninja turtles will scoop the prize. They are a fearsome fighting team."
"Yooohooo! I've found the seating plan!"
April turned to see Agatha Marbles staring at a board with the seating plan inscribed carefully by calligraphy. "Where are we sitting, Aunt Aggie?"
"The very top tier. It seems to be devoted to friends and family." Agatha murmured. "There is a slight stain on the board from pizza slices. I think guests have been eating over this sign. Smells like pepperoni and jalapeño. Hot stuff."
"I'll say." April nudged her friend playfully. "It makes perfect sense. The food served would have to be pizza. That's what ninja turtles eat."
"I hate pizza." Burne grumbled, following the two ladies as they walked over to Aunt Aggie. "I'd rather have some turtle soup!"
"Follow me, gang. I know where we need to be!" Agatha Marbles led the way, leading the small gaggle of dimensional companions into their seating area.
"Where has Raphael disappeared to?" Don87 looked around himself, peturbed.
"He's in the holding room talking to fans of Home World." Mike87 admitted. "When he found out they were here, he ran off to meet them."
"You mean he's with the people from the floating box?" Don87 waved as he spotted April, Irma and Aunt Aggie weaving through the crowds. "Wow. Even Burne and Vernon are here."
"Why are they here?" Mike87 asked. "They don't even like us."
"April wants them to finally see we are the good guys." Don87 explained. "They will hopefully leave us alone once we get back to our own dimension."
"I can't see that happening." Mike87 raised an eye ridge.
"We'll see." Don87 made his way to the registration desk manned by Gyoji. "Two turtles signing up for the battle. What do we do?"
Gyoji bowed his head deeply. "We'll mark your arrival. That is all you need to do. When your contest is up, you'll be called from the holding room. Report to the armoury room at the far end of the stadium for your tournament weapons."
"Tournament weapons? Can't we use our own weapons?" Don87 asked. He felt a little weird about not using his own bo.
"Different dimensional weapons are stronger than others. For the spirit of competition, all combatants will be using the same dimensional steel. It will be fairer." Gyoji explained, pointing to a small room at the back of the stadium.
"Gottcha!" Mike87 grabbed his brother and weaved through the crowds as he approached the armoury. "It's okay, Don. Everyone will be using the same thing."
Upon reaching the armoury, the two turtles were surprised to see Raph12 arguing with the weapons adviser.
"What's up, dude?" Mike87 asked as he stood behind the turtle in red. "You don't like what's on offer?"
"No-one said anything about using different weapons." Raph12 snarled, obviously put out. "I like MY sai. I don't want their sai. I want MY sai!"
"Hey dude! Chill. We're all in the same boat." Mike87 leaned across the counter and pulled two pairs of nunchuk from an orange shelf. "Dibs on these!"
"They're all the same, Michelangelo." Don87 grinned as he walked towards a purple shelf. "It doesn't matter which one you choose."
"I still say I should be able to use my own sai." Raph12 glared at the weapons adviser who trembled and edged away from the angry turtle.
"Sir, I can't allow you to break the rules." The weapons advisor explained with a gulp.
"Whatever!" Raph12 stalked over to the red shelf and picked out two sai in a foul mood.
Mike87 put an around the furious turtle and led him away. "It's okay, dude. Trust me. You'll do fine."
"So anyway ... we were having a fight with tin-teeth when he started spraying us with laser gun-fire. We moved, using the garbage lids as cover, and pounded him when he ran out of ammo." Raph87 explained. He had left the holding area and was now amongst a throng of people from the legendary Home World in their own box on the first tier. He was sat casually amongst them as if they were old friends, regaling his battles proudly.
"I don't remember Shredder ever running out of ammo." A girl from Home World frowned. "It was a crazy cartoon. No-one ever ran out of ammo."
"They did. Sometimes." Raph87 said. "Maybe you didn't get to see those times."
"What about the weird bandanna colour changes?" A thirty-so-year-old man piped up from behind the girl. "They kept getting them wrong. They'd ink in the wrong colour - you'd have Leo's voice coming out of Mikey's mouth."
"I don't know about all that." Raph87 admitted. "Although I did once notice Donatello sounded a lot like Michelangelo. I thought he was being funny. You know, guys. It's really nice to be finally meeting you. I mean, I've seen the hovering box for a long time. It's good to see you do actually exist."
"Hovering box?" The thirty-so-year-old man asked, a frown of uncertainty appearing on his rugged features.
"He means the fourth wall. The one Raph breaks continuously during the old show." Another woman piped up. She had light hair and was sitting next to an excitable child, her son.
"Fourth wall?" Raph87 asked, sounding out the words as they felt extremely alien.
"Yeah, we call it breaking the fourth wall. The wall between fiction and reality. That's when you were talking to us. It was only one-way at the time, though. You was talking to us, but we couldn't talk to you." The woman's child bounced with glee and his mother patted his shoulder with affection.
"I couldn't hear you, but I could see you." Raph87 acknowledged. "I waved at you so many times."
"What happened after the last season? Did you become Masters?"
Raph87 turned and smiled at the girl who had asked him the question. She was dark haired and had pretty brown eyes. "We're not there just yet. Besides, Leonardo's gonna have to get used to the one arm, at least for now."
"Ah, yes. The arm." The dark-haired girl frowned with a furious expression. "I remember reading about that. I know the fanfiction writer who wrote this. I'll have her if Leo doesn't recover."
"What?" Raph87 looked stumped. "Someone wrote that in? Why would they hurt Leonardo?"
"If you think that is weird then your head will explode after I tell you this." The girl leaned forward, a naughty grin on her face.
Raph87 leaned closer to her, smiling back. "What? What?"
"Someone is writing this scene right now! At this moment! Ha! Take that up your pipe and smoke it!" The girl grinned in glee. "It's a weird, crazy system right? Dimensions bleeding into one another and the lines are all blurred. What's reality and what's fiction? I think both co-existant quite nicely. I have a theory that everything is being written by someone else - even real life. Even though mine would be the dullest fanfic ever."
Raph87 looked completely thrown. "Wow. I see what you mean."
"By the way, you're my favourite turtle." The girl said shyly, turning red.
"Really?" Raph87's eyes widened. "Wow! How about a tour of the holding room? I can introduce you to my bro's."
"Sure!" The girl instantly got to her feet. She was taller than the turtle, and grabbed his hand excitedly. "Let's go!"
"Whoah! Who is that?" Raph12 asked as he spied a young mutant crossing through the crowds.
"That would be Mona Lisa." Don87 grinned, nudging his brother playfully. Mike87 giggled.
"Yeah, dude. She's a friend." Mike87 said, trying to choke back his laughter.
"I like." Raph12's eyes followed the mutant as she disappeared from sight. "I might have to make an introduction later."
"Come on, you flirt. Let's get to the holding area." Mike87 guided the distracted turtle back to the main area where turtles from different dimensions were preparing themselves for the big fight.
"Leonardo!" Mike87 rushed over to his dimensional brother and stopped abruptly when he saw the sling. "You okay to be fighting, dude?"
"I'm fine." Leo87 grinned. "Raphael's been introducing a fan from Home World to everyone here. She fancies him, so he's giving her the guided tour."
"Cool." Mike87 turned to look at the various turtles stretching and preparing themselves. His eyes caught on a bumbling version of himself going through his practice routine. "Who's that guy? He looks like a guy in a turtle suit. Is that allowed?"
Don87 snickered. "Michelangelo. They are legitimate versions of us. They're just ... a little clumsy."
A giant gong sounded abruptly. The noise echoed throughout the holding area and the surrounding tiers.
"That's the first gong." Leo87 explained. "It means that all visitors have to get to their seats immediately."
"So much for Raphael's new girlfriend!" Mike87 smirked. He spotted his brother walking by, looking a little dejected. "You okay, dude?"
"I had to let that girl go back to her seat." Raph87 replied, miffed. "I like the people from Home World. I want to spend more time with them."
"You'll have plenty of time for that later." Don87 promised. "Besides, I have to get ready - I'm up first."
"Good luck Donatello." Raph87, Leo87 and Mike87 chimed together.
Don87 grinned and twirled his temporary bo in a show of dexterity and skill. "Don't worry about me. I'll be fine."
Don12 walked over to the group and shook his dimensional counterpart's hand. "Good luck. May the best turtle win, and all that."
Don87 grinned. "Yeah, you bet. Good luck."
Another gong sounded. This one sounded more intense and everyone in the stadium fell silent as the tension mounted.
Gyoji's voice could be heard as a disembodied voice as loud as a speaker. "Would the first two combatants make their way to the ring."
Don87 and Don12 grinned at each other and silently walked from the holding area and out into the main arena.