Round 1. Battle 5.
The arena burst into rapturous applause as Don07 and Don97 made their way onto the main stage. The two Donatellos looked at the crowd in awe. The holding area couldn't have prepared them for all this positive attention and they grinned at the appreciative audience and waved accordingly.
Don07 turned to the awkward version of himself and grinned, "You ready for this, bro?"
Don97 nodded vigorously, "Turt-ally ….. as in ready to rock 'n roll!"
"Let's not disappoint our waiting fans," Don07 smiled at the awkward version of himself. The turtle was much clumsier than he had anticipated and the more advanced ninja stepped back to give the other Donatello a few seconds to prepare himself for the battle ahead. Leaning back, Don07 stretched his muscles and prepared himself physically for the contest. His muscles popped as he tilted his head to each side and leaned forward.
Shifting into a ready stance, Don07 gestured for Don97 to advance. His bo swept elegantly behind his back so that the length of the shaft was adjacent to his shell. Stooped into a defensive posture, Don07 waited for the other turtle to attack.
The bulkier turtle moved forward, sweeping the bo from his strap with surprising ease as he advanced towards the leaner version of himself. He moved forward, spinning the weapon in a classical figure eight manoeuvre. It was an intimidating sight but Don07 couldn't contain his excitement at the thought of contact.
He definitely didn't want the battle to end quickly.
Two weapons collided as Don97 made contact with the elder, thrusting his bo at the turtle with accuracy, aiming to strike Don07 across the face.
Don07 blocked the first strike with ease, swinging his bo above his head and catching the other weapon before the blow landed, followed with a counter-strike intended to sweep Don97 off his feet. The move was classic and simple, the bo swiping at the legs in an effort to topple his competitor and gain the advantage.
The bulkier turtle parried with a flurry of martial elegance and stepped back, forcing his competitor to advance toward him instead of relying on defensive tactics.
Moves became quicker as the two turtles tried more advanced techniques, moving forward with much more skill and determination. Both of them had excellent skills of bojutsu, mixed with unarmed combat that provided the arena with gasps of astonishment.
While the weapons were gaining speed and momentum, the almost gentle combat, aimed at teasing out the other's weaknesses became more heated. Both Donatellos sped up significantly and the blows became harsher. The 'thunk' of wood hitting wood reverberated around the arena as the crowd gasped with astonishment. Bojutsu had never seemed so swift and graceful. They inched forwards and backwards in a polite martial dance each trying to catch the other off-balance.
After several minutes of this unhurried and elegant dance, Don07 pushed forward with a new surge of strength as he used his lean shoulder to knock Don97 in the midriff. The bulkier turtle doubled over and lost his balance, providing Don07 with an excellent opportunity to take him out with a downward smash of epic proportions.
The bo shuddered at the violent contact with Don97's head and the clumsy turtle fell to his knees, stunned.
Don07 knelt down and touched the other turtle's shoulder as Don97 shuddered, seeing stars. "Whoah, easy! Stay down for a moment."
Gyoji appeared before him, waiting patiently for the final move to finish the battle.
Don07 shook his head, unwilling to strike at an opponent on his knees, "We need a time out here. Just a few moments …"
"You can finish him off, warrior." Gyoji encouraged with a kind smile.
"Not yet. He's stunned. I want to fight him some more," Don07 smiled and a youthful and more playful expression flooded his features. "His technique is really good."
"Dudes, give me a sec," Don97 groaned as he got to his feet. He was swaying slightly due to the force of the smash and found himself momentarily light-headed.
"Very well. Take a few moments to recover." Goyji disappeared as abruptly as he had arrived, a shadow that had vanished from the arena's main stage.
"You okay? I should have tempered that last move." Don07 lay a hand on the swaying turtles shoulder. He helped balance the other version of himself as he recovered quickly from the smash.
Don97 nodded towards his dimensional duplicate. "I'm good to go."
Both turtles stepped back in unison, performing helicopter spin's with their weapons to the delight of the over-excited audience.
"Good technique!" Don07 enthused, whirling his own weapon in another beautiful helicopter spin above his head.
"Thanks. I train a lot." Don97 shrugged. He swiped at his adversary suddenly, trying to dislodge the leaner turtle's balance.
Don07 flipped back and threw his staff squarely into the others' face. Don97 was immediately transported to the holding area as the bo lightly touched his beak. The crushing force of the staff would have smashed the turtle's teeth, but the protection spell worked perfectly.
Don07 accepted Gyogi's praise at being crowned winner and made his way back into the holding room. He passed four lean Asian men carrying the turtles' signature weapons on his way back to his own brothers.
"Who are they?" Don07 found his brothers quickly and pointed to the four men on stage.
"They are called the Epic Rivals. They are doing some choreography for the crowd." Leo07 nodded as the four men erupted into a showy display of martial elegance. "Pretty good, too. I think they are Hollywood stunt men."
Don07 watched the choreography with admiration. These men really knew what they were doing. Each sported the bandanna colour of the turtle they were displaying the style of. Weapons whirled and collided as the four men, obviously enjoying themselves in front of the roaring crowd, moving rapidly to the tune of a fast-paced song.
"You dished out some mega shellage, bro." Don97 walked up to Don07 and shook his hand. "I'm impressed.
Don07 chuckled, slightly embarrassed. "It was nothing."
Raph12 watched the Epic Rival Display, nonchalantly twirling his sai. He was more than ready for the next round. He was looking forward to taking out the little pudgy version of himself.
Show that little turtle who was boss.
In the crowds she watched from among the throng with wide excited eyes.
It was time for Raphael, her Raphael, to take a stand and fight for his place in the competition.
She remembered him fondly. Feeling like a freak of nature she had cried when telling Raphael about the grotesque mutant she had become. He had been surprised by her feelings of worthlessness and treated her gently. Even telling her she was kind of cute!
Yes, she was looking forward to seeing him again.