"We have injured coming through!" Don03 shouted to everyone as the portal opened and a bunch of exhausted ninja warriors came limping in.
The Primes followed behind the Raphael's, watching their new surroundings warily. They were a stark contrast to this new world, and the thought of blending in with their surroundings wasn't even worth considering. There was no way to vanish when you stand out in such a huge way.
"Wow!" Casey exclaimed. "Well done, guys!" He ran forward and shook Raph03's hand. "It was incredible!"
"My sons!" Master Splinter looked up and watched the procession of Raphael's arrive. "Congratulations on your successful mission!"
"Come straight through into the lab." Don03 ushered the Raphael's into the room. Leatherhead and April froze as the walking wounded shuffled painfully into the lab. Don12, Don07 and Don87 stopped what they were doing and gasped in unison.
Raph12 limped over to a chair and sat down heavily. Raph87 collapsed beside him on the floor. Both turtles groaned aloud, startling their dimensional Don's into action. Don87 paled as he saw his sibling in distress.
"Raph? You okay, buddy?" Don12 ran over to his brother and investigated the wound on his leg. "Was it a dagger? A sword?"
Raph12 scoffed. "No. A shard of glass. I decided to smash my way in through a window."
"Square Don, get back to your post! I'll handle the wounded." Don03 ushered Don12 back to the monitors. He sat beside Don07, watching the monitors with an intense concentration.
"The Leo's and Mikey's have reached Homeworld. We keep rotating tracking duties between us." Don03 explained to a very weary Raph12.
"Am I gonna bleed to death?" Raph12 looked intently at Don03, his voice a low growl. "If not, patch me up and I'll be off. The little guy took a big hit. Check him over first."
Don03 knelt beside a whimpering Raph87. "You okay. You look greener than usual."
Raph87 looked up at Don03 in confusion for a moment. Then he said in a very small voice; "I want my Donatello."
Don87 came running across immediately with a first aid kit. He held out his right hand in front of his dimensional brother's face. "How many fingers am I holding up?"
"Five." Raph87 squinted. "How is that possible?"
Don87 looked up at Don03. "Concussion. I think. He'll need to stay awake for a while so I can monitor him."
"I want to sleep." Raph87 complained. "I haven't felt this drained since Michelangelo accidentally zapped me with your strength sapper device."
Don87 chuckled. "Not right now, Raphael. You need to keep awake."
"I'll make sure he doesn't fall asleep. Keep monitoring the Leo's." Raph07 walked over to the little turtle and picked him up easily. "I'll put him on the couch. Keep him company."
"You okay, Raph?" Don03 turned to his own dimensional brother.
"Took a few knocks, but I'm okay. How's the Leo's doin'?" Raph03 rummaged through the first aid kit, picking out a bandage and some antiseptic as he observed Raph12's wound. "You might need stitches, but this will do for now."
Carefully cleaning out the wound and bandaging the injury, Raph03 looked over at the Donatello's. "Any news as yet?"
"Nothing yet. Their mission has only just started." Don03's eyes widened with alarm. "Where are the Primes?"
Master Splinter poured tea for the monochrome turtles before him. "My sons, we will meditate together. You are safe in my home."
LeoPrime looked around himself. The surroundings were unsettling - too colourful, too cartoony. He gulped a little and then faced the rat with a gentle smile. "It might take us a while to get used to this. It's very bright here. The colours are a little ... overwhelming."
Master Splinter nodded in understanding. "Everything will be all right. Come sit in the dojo with me. We will clear our minds and relax our bodies."
The Primes followed Master Splinter into the dojo, glancing over at the sofa as they passed. Raph07 had Raph87 cuddled close and was telling him a story to keep the small turtle awake.
RaphPrime listened and smiled to himself. "These turtles aren't half bad. I like them."
MikePrime nodded in agreement. "Yeah. They are kinda cute. I want to cuddle the little Raph. He put his neck on the line for us."
"Not right now, Mikey." LeoPrime interjected. "Let us follow Master Splinter to the dojo. We need to relax and de-stress before anything else."
The Primes sat on a practice mat before Master Splinter and sipped their teas.
"My sons have told me all about you. You are always welcome in our Lair."
LeoPrime nodded. "We're just a little weirded out. That's all. It's not everyday you cross dimensions and hang out with versions of yourself."
An angry growl suddenly interrupted the conversation. LeoPrime looked down at the floor. He sighed heavily, and then looked over at RaphPrime.
"We failed, sensei. We were caught." RaphPrime spat out angrily. "We would commit seppuku if we could. We aren't worthy of the title of ninja."
"Raphael!" Splinter countered the aggressive tone with a commanding voice. "You will never speak of seppuku again! Suicide is a cowardly way out. Where there is life, there is hope."
RaphPrime hung his head in shame. "We failed. We always kick ass. What happened this time?"
Master Splinter sighed and considered his next words carefully. "My sons, failure is a part of living life as a ninja. Failure is a possibility in every battle. We strive to succeed, but must be ready to accept failure and assistance when required."
LeoPrime nodded. In a small voice he added; "In our world, you fail and die. No-one comes to your rescue."
"That has already been proven untrue." Splinter brightened and placed a furry paw on the leader's shoulder. "You are immeasurably important to the multiverse. Let us speak of death no more."
LeoPrime nodded and glanced over at RaphPrime. He was still agitated, his face strained as if he wanted to say more but felt that he could not.
"Anyway, I wonder if pizza tastes the same in this world." MikePrime turned to LeoPrime in an attempt to lighten the mood. "We'll have to try it out."
LeoPrime shook his head in disgust and shuddered. "Eat this world's colourful concoctions. Absolutely not. I'd rather eat my own arm band."
"Might taste wonderful. Even better with all that colour." MikePrime nudged LeoPrime's arm playfully. "You really not gonna try it?"
LeoPrime shrugged. "I guess I could manage a slice."
Master Splinter laughed at the three boys before him. "I'm sure that our world's pizza will live up to your expectations."
LeoPrime was still glancing at RaphPrime. His fists were balled up and he was breathing heavily.
It was only a matter of time before RaphPrime exploded in rage. Nothing could distract his angry sibling for long.
LeoPrime sighed and turned away from everyone.
It was going to be a long day.
"You know what happened next?" Raph07 asked in a dramatic voice.
"What? What?" Raph87's eyes were wide open and he was listening excitedly. "Tell me!"
"We knocked Shredder's helmet off! That guy has serious confidence issues. He ran off and almost hit the wall escaping. That was good." Raph07 laughed, remembering the battle fondly. "He was definitely losing his edge. We beat him permanently soon after."
"Permanently?" Raph87 looked confused. "How'd you mean?"
Raph07 shifted the smaller turtles weight a little. His arm was wedged underneath the little guy's shell and it was losing feeling. "You know. Killed him."
"You killed a guy?" Raph87's eyes widened in alarm. "What kind of turtle am I cuddling up to?"
"We didn't have a choice." Raph07 said. "It might come to that for you guys one day."
Raph87 shook his head vehemently. "No way, dude! Our Shredder isn't much of a threat. He's a pain in the backside, but we wouldn't kill him for that."
"If it comes down to it, you might have to." Raph07 said firmly. "Sometimes we have to do things we don't want to."
"I'd never kill someone." Raph87 said, equally as firmly. "I'd die first!"
"Let's hope not." Raph07 mused. He decided to change the subject. "Anyway, you want to hear how we slipped into Foot HQ and found a huge stash of stolen ancient weapons? They were relics, but they really made Leo's day."
Raph87 sighed and tried to put his head down to sleep. "Let me have a nap. I'm so tired."
"Can't let you, little Raph." Raph07 shook the smaller turtle to keep him conscious. "You have a concussion. You need to stay awake."
"I'm warm and comfy. I want to sleep." Raph87 snuggled closer to the older turtle and buried his face in his plastron. "I just want a few minutes."
Raph07 moved away. He sat up and forced Raph87 to sit up too. "Want to have a walk round The Lair? It'll keep you from dozing off."
Raph87 nodded his head. He wasn't pleased with being kept awake, but he knew a little walk would help detract his attention from his tiredness. "Sure. Might as well. I'm not gonna fall asleep if I'm walking round."
Raph07 led the smaller turtle around The Lair. They walked in silence and waited to hear news of the other mission.
The Lair was filled with a mounting agitation.
It was now the Michelangelo's and Leonardo's turn to save the day.