Donnie sat in the living room of the lair, waiting anxiously for the news to start. Raph happened to walk by and see the look of impatient glee plastered on the purple turtle's face.
"What's with you?" Raph asked. "Saw April reporting in a jumpsuit again?"
"No, though it did look good on her," Donnie admitted. "April's the reporter covering Xanatos' trial, and apparently the sentencing is almost done,"
"Well why didn't you say so?" Raph replied, plopping on the couch. "Bout time that jerk got what he deserves."
Leo and Mikey walked in, joining their brothers on the couch.
"What's the occasion?" Leo questioned.
"April doing another report in that jumpsuit?" Mikey guessed.
"No!" Donnie replied. "Xanatos' sentencing is coming up. So please, shush!"
On the screen, the news turned on as April's face came into view.
"This is April O'Neil, coming to you live from the New York Courthouse after perhaps the most talked about trial of the month. David Xanatos, CEO and founder of Xanatos Enterprises, was found guilty earlier this week for the reception of stolen goods. His sentence has been set at six months, with the possibility of parole."
"Six months?!" Mikey cried out. "If you ask me, they should have given him life in the joint,"
"Actually, we're lucky he was even imprisoned at all," Donnie pointed out. "Just listen,"
"When asked about the short sentence, Judge Bates had this to say," April continued before the screen switched to that of an older woman.
"The evidence against Mr. Xanatos was circumstantial at best. While testimony from Miss Willow Xanatos did prove the claims of him receiving the stolen goods, there was no proof that he was the mastermind behind the entire scheme."
"No proof without name dropping a few silent guardians of the night," Leo deduced.
"Man… I bet the gargoyles ain't happy about this little development," Raph remarked.
Goliath and the rest of his clan were gathered on the battlements, Elisa having just told them about the results of Xanatos' trial. To say they were upset was an understatement.
"I'm sorry Goliath, but that's the way things are," the police woman lamented. "In six short months, Xanatos will be free, and when he is, he'll come looking to reclaim what's his, and that means the Eyrie Building, and the castle upon it."
"No, Xanatos is defeated," Goliath dismissed. "This castle is our home,"
"Not anymore. Xanatos bought it, lock, stock and gargoyle. Every minute you stay here, you risk the lives of your entire clan."
"You worry too much Elisa. We are safe here. Xanatos can trouble us no more,"
With that, Goliath walked off, just as the turtles showed up.
"Hey Goliath," Leo greeted as he walked past.
"What's with him?" Donnie asked, noting Goliath's serious expression.
"I'll tell you what's wrong," Elisa muttered, crossing her arms irritably. "His head is solid stone, even at night."
"Didn't take the Xanatos news well, I take it?" Leo guessed.
"Not even slightly," Lexington answered. "C'mon. Willow's waiting for us in the entertainment room."
"Sweet," Mikey let out, following suit.
The trio and the turtles found Willow in the entertainment room with Hudson and Bronx. She had a large array of snacks set up, ranging from massive bags of candy to giant tubs of popcorn, and at least half a dozen pizza boxes. Upon seeing the spread, the turtles all gasped, and Willow got a triumphant look on her face.
"Looks like you got enough to feed an army," Raph remarked.
"Kinda have to with the appetites you guys bring," Willow replied. "Then of course, there's Broadway,"
The others turned to Broadway, who was already munching on one of the popcorn tubs.
"What?" he asked, his mouth full of the stuff.
"Shh!" Lex called out as they turned to the TV. "It's starting,"
On the TV, a very adventurous theme song began to play as a quintet of heroes came on screen. It was composed of a trio of men and a pair of women, making up an animal-themed superhero group known as the Pack. Willow grinned as the show began, leaning back against Brooklyn.
"Man, I love this show," she declared.
"You and me both," Brooklyn agreed.
The show continued playing, showing the Pack going up against several men clad in all black. Broadway saw them and began snickering.
"Hey Leonardo, those aren't more of those… 'Foot' guys, are they?"
"Not a chance," Leo replied with a scoff. "Their 'ninja skill' is amateurish at best."
"I dunno, they seem about on par with your skills," Brooklyn ribbed.
"I can't tell if he's complimenting their skill, or dissing ours," Mikey remarked.
"Better not be dissing," Raph remarked with a glare.
"What's the matter?" Brooklyn quipped. "Insecure about your abilities?"
Brooklyn was then greeted by a tub of popcorn to the head. Willow snorted in laughter as Brooklyn brushed away some stray popcorn from his hair.
"Is that how it's gonna be?" The red gargoyle grinned as he picked up the tub. "Alright then. Let's see you dodge this!"
He then leapt at Raph, shoving the popcorn tub onto the turtle's head.
"Okay, that's it!" Raph declared, throwing the tub off.
He then tackled Brooklyn to the ground, the two rolling around and wrestling with one another. Everyone watched in amusement, save for Lexington, who continued to try and watch the show.
"Hey, can you guys keep it down?" he requested. "I'm trying to watch."
Everyone just stopped dead in their tracks upon Lex's request.
"Man, that guy takes his Pack seriously," Mikey commended.
"Aye lad," Hudson confirmed. "I suppose he does."
Everyone settled back down as the first act of the show came to a close and a commercial played.
"See the Pack for one night only at Madison Square Gardens! All your favorite heroes; Dingo, Wolf, Jackal, Hyena, and Fox, appearing live tonight at Madison Square Gardens!"
"Whoa, a live show!" Mikey cheered. "Can we go, Leo? Can we?"
"Madison Square Gardens?" Leo pondered. "Sounds a little too public for us."
"We'll be sneaky," Mikey promised. "Really sneaky. Please? Please? Please? Please?... Did I mention you're my favorite turtle?"
"Hey!" Raph and Donnie let out in almost perfect unison.
"A live show would be fun," Willow noted, stroking her chin. "My dad has a private box that we could use to get a good seat."
"Dudette, when you hang with the ninja turtles, you get the best seats in the house!" Mikey declared.
"How bout it Leo?" Donnie asked.
"...alright," Leo allowed, everyone erupting into cheers. "But we're going to be careful about it."
"Of course you are," Brooklyn agreed. "Because we're coming too."
"Sounds like fun," Raph remarked. "Just try not to hit anyone with your tail on the way in."
In response, Brooklyn's tail smacked Raph upside the head. Raph rubbed his head, glaring at Brooklyn, who just shrugged innocently.
Across town at Pack Media Studios, the members of the aforementioned Pack were training for their big show that night.
"This is getting old," the one called Wolf voiced, lifting some weights.
"Oh quit complaining," the female Fox told him as she was wailing on a punching bag. "We've never had it this good."
While they were talking, the duo of Jackal and Hyena were putting their claws to good use, slicing some practice dummies to pieces. All the while, the final member, Dingo, was practicing with rope and bola, wrapping it around another practice dummy and pulling it to the ground. While Fox was still training, she heard something land behind her. She quickly turned around and saw a ninja landing in front of her. As she took a fighting stance, the ninja rose to his feet and took off his mask, revealing himself to be just an actor.
"Later Harvey," she told him as he took off. "Work on those backflips,"
As Harvey left, Wolf set the weights aside and walked over to a shelf of dumbbells near Fox.
"I honestly don't see why you're complaining Wolf," Fox admitted. "This gig ain't half bad."
"When we took this job, we were promised fame, money and action," Wolf reminded her. "I'm not complaining about the first two, but I ain't seen much of the third in some time."
"Sounds like the Wolf man is gettin bored," Jackal taunted.
"Maybe a new haircut would help," Hyena quipped, baring her metal claws maliciously.
"I don't need anything from you two clowns," Wolf threw back.
"As much as I hate to admit it, Wolf's right," Dingo concurred. "I mean this is a cushy gig and all, but it's been making us all a bit soft. I doubt I'd last a minute in a Central American War in the state I'm in now."
"See?" Wolf pointed out, lifting some dumbbells. "Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, and Wolves gotta hunt!"
He then tossed the dumbbells at Jackal and Hyena, who just barely dodged them as they crashed into a wall.
"Well, if you're all itching for action," Fox relented, walking over to a bench and picking up an envelope. "This came in today's mail. With no return address and no explanation."
She threw several photos onto the bench, which the Pack eagerly picked up and examined. They were all photos of Goliath, in all his gargoyle glory taking out the Steel Clan robots and Purple Dragon punks.
"Stone me!" Dingo exclaimed.
"Interesting," Jackal admitted with a psychotic smirk on his face.
"Hey, I remember reading something about this in the Daily Tattler," Hyena recalled. "People claiming they've seen gargoyles."
"Right," Wolf sneered, tossing the photos aside and shaking his head. "I'm sure it was next to the column on talking turtles with ninja weapons."
Hyena just snarled at Wolf in response. Jackal looked up as well, glaring at his teammate.
"Those turtles are real, and we've got the bruises to prove it."
"Enough," Fox cut off, holding up a hand to silence everyone. "If you all want some action, then hunting one of these things down might be just what we need. But right now, we have a public appearance to make."
Madison Square Gardens was packed with hundreds if not thousands of Pack fans eager to see the live show. The seats were filled and the boxes were packed, but a set of eight fans didn't have to worry about that.
The gargoyles descended into the rafters, Brooklyn carrying Willow in his arms. The turtles jumped down to join them, getting themselves comfortable on the support beams.
"Best seat in the house," Mikey cheered.
"Yeah as long as you don't lean too far back," Raph remarked.
"Isn't it time for the show to start?" Lexington asked in anticipation.
"Calm down, Lex," Willow told him. "It'll start soon."
"Yeesh, for being frozen in stone for a thousand years, you'd think these guys would be a bit more patient," Donnie commented.
"Ladies and Gentlemen! Please welcome... the Pack!"
As smoke filled the stage, five silhouetted figures came into focus, revealing themselves to be the Pack. the entire place erupted into cheers, everyone screaming 'Pack' over and over again.
"You gotta love their enthusiasm," Leo commended.
Just then, the lights flashed, and several ninjas leapt onto the stage, much to the Pack's surprise.
"Oh no! It's the evil ninjas!"
The crowd let out a series of boo's in response. The Pack then got to work taking out their famed enemies.
"Those ninjas definitely fight like you," Brooklyn taunted, elbowing Raph slightly. "Fall flat on their butts just like you too."
"You kidding?" Raph replied. "I could take those 'ninjas' with one hand tied behind my shell."
"The ninjas don't fight with honor!" the announcer continued as Fox took out a ninja with a sword. "Not like the Pack does!"
"Wow, look at them go!" Lex marveled.
Dingo then threw his rope at two ninjas and took them out.
"Teamwork! That's the key!"
"He says as one guy takes out two opponents," Donnie mocked.
"Still, these guys are pretty alright," Brooklyn commended.
"Yeah, wouldn't it be great to meet them?" Lex asked.
"Yeah, if they all suddenly went blind," Leo joked.
"Let him dream," Willow told him. "Besides, the show's getting good."
After a while of the Pack beating up ninjas and the announcer spouting cliche lines, the show began winding down. Brooklyn and Broadway got up and stretched their wings out.
"Well, the show's over and I'm starving," Broadway announced.
"So what else is new?" Raph remarked.
"We can stop and get some chinese food on the way back to the castle," Willow offered. "That sound good to everyone?"
"I'm game," Mikey agreed. "I could go for a few egg rolls. And I love those fortune cookies."
"You coming Lex?" Brooklyn asked.
"Uh, you guys go ahead," Lex told them. "I'll catch up."
"I'll stay too," Donnie volunteered, more than a little concerned about Lex.
"You sure, Don?" Leo asked.
"Someone should keep Lex company," Donnie explained. "Just in case…"
Leo quickly caught on to what his brother was saying.
"Right," Leo agreed. "Well, see you later."
Brooklyn scooped up Willow, then he and Broadway took off. Leo, Raph, and Mikey soon followed after, leaving Donnie and Lex alone in the rafters.
"You really admire the Pack," Donnie questioned. "Don't you?"
"Well, yeah," Lex answered. "I mean, they're warriors like us. I was thinking… maybe they could be out allies,"
Donnie perked up at that idea.
"I… don't think that would be a good idea."
"Well… you know how humans are to creatures like us. They may see you as an enemy instead of an ally."
"I know that, Donatello. I've dealt with humans before. I still have to try though, so I'm gonna go for it."
Lex then took off, much to Donnie's dismay.
"Lex, wait!" Donnie called out. "Oh man…"
He then took off after him, hoping to catch him before he found the Pack.
"Well, another day, another half a million," Wolf remarked as he and the Pack went backstage.
All of a sudden, there was a slight crash above them, then Lexington dropped down in front of them with a smile.
"Hey," he greeted with a wave. "My name's Lexington,"
"What in the world?" Jackal let out as Dingo reached for his gun.
"Relax, I'm not an enemy," he reassured them, lifting his hands in what he hoped was was calming gesture. "I'm a warrior, like you,"
"Are you now?" Wolf questioned, looking intrigued.
"I am," Lex replied. "I've been training my entire life,"
Fox smiled in intrigue herself as an idea came into her head.
"You know, I've heard rumors about a creature like you," Fox told him. "Only much… bigger,"
"H-how did you know about him?" Lex asked as Donnie landed in the rafters above them, irritated that he was too late.
"Rumors, stories," Fox answered. "With creatures as… unique as yourself, it's easy to get someone talking,"
"You know… we'd love to meet him," Wolf admitted. "If he's as brave a warrior as you,"
Donnie motioned for Lex not to tell them, but the small gargoyle was beyond starstruck and ignored his warnings.
"I can certainly try," Lex told them, causing Donnie to face palm.
"Excellent," Fox said with a smile as she and the rest of the Pack walked off. "Come by the studio tomorrow night. We'll be waiting,"
"See you then," Lex replied as he went off, with Donnie following after.
Back at the Eyrie Building, the gargoyles and turtles stood atop a tower waiting for Lexington and Donnie to return. Willow was in her nightgown, letting out a large yawn.
"It's almost dawn..," she murmured sleepily. "Where are they?"
"Eh, Lexington always cuts it too close," Hudson commented.
"Yeah, but Donnie's a little more punctual than this," Leo countered. "I'm starting to get worried,"
"There they are!" Broadway pointed out.
Everyone looked up to see Lexington carrying Donnie and landing on the tower.
"Bout time guys," Raph chastised. "What kept you?"
"Sorry," Donnie apologized. "Had to chew this guy out for being a bone head!"
"I thought Raph was the bone head?" Mikey chimed in. "Or was that me?"
"Can it, bone head," Raph told him, hitting him upside the head.
"It's me," Mikey let out.
"Why? What did Lex do?" Leo asked.
"I just made us some new allies," Lex defended.
"Please don't tell me you mean the Pack," Willow insisted, a feeling of dread in her chest.
"I sure do," Lex said with a grin. "They're just like us! They defend the innocent, and they do it on television,"
Willow facepalmed before turning to Leo.
"Did you ever explain television to these guys?" she whispered.
"I thought you did," Leo replied. "You live with these guys,"
"Touche..," Willow allowed.
"You let them see you?" Goliath asked in disbelief.
"Y-yes…" Lexington replied, nearly losing his confidence. "Yes I did. But what does it matter? You did the same thing with Elisa. Besides, we showed ourselves to these guys, didn't we?"
He gestured to the turtles.
"Whoa, don't be expecting any support from us," Raph told him.
"Yeah, even I have to admit that was a bad move," Mikey agreed.
"Elisa and the turtles were both under different circumstances," Goliath explained.
Hudson looked out at the rising sun, pointing it out to his fellow gargoyles.
"This conversation will have to wait until nightfall, lads," he informed them.
Goliath put a claw right in Lexington's face in anger.
"This isn't over," he informed him seconds before the rising sun turned the entire clan to stone.
Willow and the turtles stared at the statues, then she let out another yawn.
"Come on," she told them. "I'll set up the guest beds. Something tells me you're gonna need to stick around for a bit."
"Thanks Willow," Leo responded. "I can tell this conversation is going to be interesting to say the least."
"If not, then at least it will be very entertaining," Mikey added.
"You bet it isn't," Lexington declared, the second he shed his stone skin. "How are Elisa and the turtles different? The Pack are defenders of the realm, just like they are."
"He may be right, lad," Hudson concurred. "I've seen them on the picture box. They are constantly attacked by these 'evil ninjas'."
"Maybe they could use our help," Broadway suggested.
"You kidding?" Mikey asked as he, the turtles, and Willow walked up. "An old lady with a cane could take those chumps."
"You're not helping," Donnie whispered.
"I know you have your reservations, so I took precautions," Lexington assured Goliath. "They don't know we turn to stone, how many of us they are, where we roost, and they don't know anything about the turtles."
Goliath remained silent as he digested what Lex was saying.
"Look, can you just give them a chance?" Lexington begged. "I promise you won't regret it. Besides, if we're to survive in this world, we need kindred spirits like them, or else we'll be totally alone."
Goliath let out a sigh of defeat.
"Very well," Goliath relented. "I will meet with them. If it's safe, we'll arrange introductions for the rest of you."
"Wait, hang on," Willow tried to warn them. "I don't think this is a good-" the two took off before she could finish, leaving her standing there with an outstretched arm. "-idea..."
"Great," Leo let out. "Donnie, come on. Let's head after them before they get into any trouble."
Donnie nodded and the two went for the elevator. Willow watched them go, face palming for perhaps the umpteenth time in two nights.
"Jalapena… I really should have explained Television to you guys..."
"What do you mean?" Brooklyn asked.
"All that stuff the Pack does," Raph explained. "Fighting ninjas and all that, it ain't real. It's all make believe."
"Didn't the castle ever host plays?" Willow asked, trying to find a good comparison. "You know, when humans would act out stories on a stage for everyone's amusement?"
"I think so…" Broadway tried to recall. "Though I don't think we ever saw any. Seemed too boring,"
"You gotta be kidding me," Raph let out, face-palming himself.
"Look, the Pack are just a bunch of actors," Willow explained. "Look, I'll prove it. Can someone bring me my laptop? I think I left it in the dining hall."
"I'm on it," Mikey volunteered before running off.
After a bit, Mikey returned with the laptop in hand. Willow took it, opening it up to the Pack's main webpage.
"Alright," she remarked, beginning her search. "There has to be some information on the actors here somewhere."
"Try the character profiles," Mikey suggested, pointing at the tab. "That should have something."
Willow did, but all she found was information on the characters, not the actors.
"No, nothing here. Let me try something else…"
After a bit of typing, and another search or two, she managed to find what she was looking for.
"Alright, found 'em!" She clicked on Fox first. "Apparently, she legally changed her name to Fox at the age of 18, and her real name remains unknown. She started working as a-" Willow cut off, her eyes narrowing a bit in confusion, "as a mercenary for hire... until signing on as the Leader of the Pack about a year ago."
"Mercenary…" Hudson growled. "Even lower than Vikings,"
Willow began to get a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. She opened the next file, Dingo's.
"Apparently, Dingo's real name is Harry Monmouth. Raised by his mother until her strange disappearance, he was then adopted by John Oldcastle, notorious Australian thief, into his guild. Arrested multiple times for petty theft and armed robbery, Harry was given the choice of joining the Military, or prison. He served two tours in Central America before being dishonorably discharged after being accused of stealing military funds."
"A thief…" Brooklyn snarled. "What's next?"
"I'm afraid to ask," Mikey admitted.
Willow pulled up Wolf's file.
"Not much on Wolf, not even a name. All it says is that he was a pro-wrestle for a time, until he was banned from the sport due to the large number of near fatal injuries he inflicted on his opponents." She had to gulp a bit at the next bit. "He was also a skilled hunter until he was caught poaching protected animals and had his license revoked."
Nobody had any real comment by then. Almost fearfully, Willow opened the final file, Hyena and Jackal's.
"Apparently Hyena and Jackal are twin siblings who apparently bounced from various foster homes before ending up on the street. Both have juvie records that have been sealed, but there are suggestions that their gauntlets were designed to hide gang tattoos."
"Gang tattoos," Raph repeated. "Purple Dragons maybe?"
"Who in their right mind would put these nutjobs together?" Mikey questioned.
Willow quickly searched for information on the Pack's ownership, bringing up the main page again.
"Alright, according to this, the Pack is owned by Pack Media studios, which in turn is owned by…" she stopped, her eyes going wide, "the communications division of Xanatos Enterprises."
"So Xanatos created the Pack?" Brooklyn realized.
"This guy just keeps piling on reasons to be my new punching bag," Raph retorted.
"You guys know what this means, right?" Mikey asked. "Lex and Goliath are walking into a trap."
"With Leonardo and Donatello right behind them!" Broadway realized.
Willow closed her laptop, setting it aside before jumping to her feet.
"We have to warn them!"
Outside Pack Media Studios, Goliath and Lexington landed and made their way inside. The studio seemed mostly empty, all the lights off and the atmosphere a bit tense for Goliath's liking.
"I do not like this," he voiced.
"They said they'd be here," Lex insisted.
Back outside, Leo and Donnie arrived, making their way inside as well.
"Keep an eye out," Leo ordered. "And make sure we're not seen by anyone."
"Right," Donnie agred. "There's been enough unnecessary exposure as is."
Just then, the lights flashed on, causing all four of them to avert their eyes. While blinded, a grenade was thrown at Goliath and Lex's feet. It exploded and sent them flying into Leo and Donnie, causing them all to fall to the ground.
"So much for not being seen." Leo remarked.
"Well, well, we were hoping for just the monster, but now we get two of the turtles as well!" Fox's voice announced over the intercom.
"Toldja they were real!" Hyena shouted, triumph lacing her tone.
"Yeah, yeah," Wolf remarked. "Save it."
"It's a trap!" Goliath exclaimed.
Before anything else could be said, something started shooting at the four of them, causing them to duck in cover. They made their way towards the entrance to some kind of maze. The walls were lined with metal, and were covered in small trap doors.
"I've seen this place before," Donnie realized. "I think we're in the Gauntlet the Pack's always running around in."
"Someone give the turtle a prize!" Hyena cackled from above the Gauntlet.
She jumped down, her metal claws bared as she tried to scratch at the four of them. Donnie quickly brought his staff up to block it, giving Goliath a chance to bat her aside. As she hit the wall, her gauntlet was knocked loose, revealing a Purple Dragon tattoo on her arm.
"Purple Dragons?" Donnie realized.
"Former Purple Dragon," Hyena clarified. "Hun thought we were too much for him."
"Then you must be a special case," Leo accused, charging at her.
She quickly got back to her feet and took off into the maze. Enraged by the betrayal, Lexington chased after.
"Lexington!" Goliath called out.
"Come on," Leo motioned. "It could be another ambush!"
The three followed after him around a corner and down another hallway. As Lex ran forward, he hit a hidden button in the floor that activated one of the traps. Goliath grabbed the small gargoyle by the scruff of his neck, pulling him back before he could get skewered by a set of wall spikes.
"Cowards!" Lex cried out. "I thought you fought with honor!"
"Aw that's just for the show," Jackal replied. "This way is a lot more fun!"
Lex and Goliath proceeded to destroy the spikes one by one, with Leo and Donnie following close behind. As they entered a long corridor, two metal walls slammed down on either side of them, effectively trapping them.
"Oh great, now we're trapped," Don let out. "Can this get any worse?!"
That's when two motors began running, and the walls began closing in on them.
"That answer your question, genius?" Leo asked.
"I've always wondered if anyone would be able to survive the Gauntlet if the traps were real," Jackal remarked. "Gotta say, this was worth the effort to juice them up,"
"Dandy," Leo let out.
"There should be some kind of mechanism on the other side of that wall," Donnie deduced, pointing towards one of the walls moving towards them. "Goliath, think you can get through and destroy it?"
Not wasting time with words, Goliath tore through the metal wall with his claws. He ripped a hole big enough for him to walk through, then stalked towards the motor. With a massive yell, he tore it out of the ground, throwing it into another wall of the Gauntlet. This revealed a safe passage out of the death trap, much to everyone's delight. The four of them made their way through the hole and out of the Gauntlet.
"I think it's past time we get out of here," Leo suggested.
"The roof!" Goliath instructed. "Hurry!"
Goliath and Lexington then started climbing up, with Leo and Donnie grabbing onto their backs as the Pack watched them disappear, snarling.
"They're getting away!" Dingo shouted.
"Not for long," Wolf promised.
As the four glided away from the studio, they saw something airborne coming towards them. It was the rest of the clan, plus Willow and the other two turtles.
"Goliath!" Willow shouted, waving from Brooklyn's grasp.
They all landed on a nearby rooftop, Raph and Mikey immediately approaching their brothers.
"Dudes, you're not gonna believe this!" Mikey began. "But-"
"The Pack is a group of killers and mercenaries?" Leo guessed.
"Guess we were a bit late catching up to you," Brooklyn lamented. "You four okay?"
"For the most part," Donnie answered.
"I can't believe they attacked us like that!" Lex spoke in disbelief. "They were like… like animals."
"No, animals hunt for survival," Goliath corrected. "These creatures hunt for sport."
"And now you guys are the prey," Willow realized.
"If that's the case, we need to turn the tables on these guys," Raph suggested. "Let the hunters become the hunted."
"And how do you suggest-?" Donnie began to ask.
He was cut off by something flying through the air. He turned to see a boomerang flying right past them and hitting the wall before exploding. The blast shot Lex, Mikey, and Donnie back as it decimated part of the wall.
"Lexington!" Goliath cried out.
"Guys!" Raph yelled about to run forward.
Before he could move, Dingo's rope wrapped around him as he tried pulling him in close.
"Crikey!" Dingo let out. "How many of you freaks are there?"
"More than you can handle, Dundee!" Raph retorted, cutting himself free.
He then grabbed the rope and pulled Dingo towards him, kicking him in the gut as he came close. Leo, Willow, and the other gargoyles went over to check on Lex, Donnie, and Mikey.
"You guys ok?" Brooklyn asked.
"Shaken, but not stirred," Mikey quoted while holding his head.
"I'm fine," Lex grumbled.
"If we're going to turn this around, we need to fall back," Leo suggested.
"Run away?" Raph asked. "Are you serious?"
"Call it a tactical retreat," Leo told him before leaping to the next rooftop.
Begrudgingly, Raph followed, with Donnie and Mikey close behind. Grabbing Willow, the gargoyles took to the skies after them.
"We have to lose them, quickly!" Leo strategized. "We need an advantage!"
As the turtles landed on another rooftop, another one of Dingo's exploding boomerangs collided with the ledge. It exploded on impact, their footing giving way beneath them as they tumbled down into an alley below.
"Guys!" Broadway called out.
Before they could move to help them, Jackal stood atop a ledge and threw a knife at some power lines above them. The lines fell on top of the gargoyles, electrocuting them. The four dropped to the ground with a thud. Though Brooklyn tried to protect Willow from the fall, he ended up landing on top of her, her right leg snapping with a sickening crunch. Her screams of pain echoed through the alley as everyone tried to get to their feet. The Pack all got to the ground and started circling around them. Willow looked over at them with pain filled eyes, one hand on her leg as another grabbed one of Leo's fallen swords.
"S-stay back," she told them, the sword shaking in her grip from pain, exhaustion, and fear.
Wolf just batted the sword aside as he prepared to take out the turtles and gargoyles. Before he could though, two child-like voices called out from the opening of the alley.
"Hey look!" a young boy cheered.
"It's the Pack!" his younger sister squealed.
Two kids ran up to the Pack in sheer joy, talking over one another happily.
"Oh look..." Fox droned out. "Our adoring public."
Willow was both relieved and worried, knowing that the kids had just bought her friends a reprieve, but praying it would last long enough for them to come to. Slowly, the turtles and gargoyles pulled themselves up, much to the surprise of the kids.
"Anyone get the number of that bus?" Mikey asked.
"What are those things?" the boy wondered.
"Susan, Billy, come away from there," the children's mother called out.
"Yeah, they must be shooting a movie or something," their father tacked on. "You'll get in the way."
Wolf decided to roll with the father's suggestion, picking up the two children and carrying them back to their parents while speaking in a dramatic tone.
"Stay back kids!" he warned, setting them down in front of their parents. "These dangerous monsters were sent by the evil ninjas!"
"Monsters?" Mikey asked. "Bud, you looked in the mirror lately? That haircut can't be human!"
"Don't worry, we'll protect you!" Wolf promised, pointedly ignoring Mikey..
"Protect this, wackbag!" Raph yelled running towards him.
Wolf charged forward as well and tackled Raph to the ground. Brooklyn came up behind him, grabbing Wolf by his hair and yanking him off the red turtle. Wolf then grabbed Brooklyn from behind and threw him to the ground.
"Take that, you beast!" Wolf threw was clashing his chucks against Hyena, who had no problem blocking them with her claws. She cackled, swiping at him over and over again.
"Come on, I was expecting a challenge!"
"Challenge this!" Mikey yelled, swinging his weapon at her..
She dodged the nunchaku before grabbing it and pulling him in close, kicking him in the head. Donnie and Lex meanwhile were squaring off against Dingo, who had several boomerangs at the ready.
"That's right!" he called out. "Come at me, ya freaks!"
"Ask and ye shall receive!" Donnie warned as he ran up to him.
Donnie continued to swing his staff at Dingo, with the Pack member dodging every blow. Finally, Donnie got in a hit to the head, much to the dismay of the kids.
"The Pack's in trouble!" Susan cried out.
"We have to help them!" Billy insisted.
Together, he and his sister began picking up some small rocks, chucking them at the turtles and the gargoyles. Willow covered her head to avoid them, trying to call out to them.
"Stop it!" she insisted. "They aren't the bad guys!"
"She said stop!" Lex growled, flashing his eyes and baring his fangs.
The kids then cowered behind their parents, who quickly ushered them away from the alley.
"It's amazing the quality of special effects these days," the father noted. "Those things looked so real."
The Pack continued to clash with the gargoyles and turtles as the family left the ally.
"Now, while the streets are deserted! Finish them off!" Fox ordered.
Leo ran up to her and tried swinging his swords at her, but she quickly ducked under it. He then tried swinging at her again, but she back flipped out of the way, nailing him in the chin.
"We have to get out of here!" Leo told the others.
"No kidding!" Brooklyn agreed, grabbing Willow. "Willow's hurt!"
Eying a nearby hydrant as Jackal and Hyena ran up, Goliath tore a part of it off, sending a stream of water at them, knocking them aside.
"That won't hold them long," Goliath warned.
"Up there!" Lex called out, pointing to a fire escape.
The turtles and gargoyles immediately started climbing up it. Dingo saw this and tried throwing another boomerang at them.
"Not this time!" Donnie declared, pulling out his staff and whacking the boomerang aside.
The boomerang flew back towards the Pack, who ran for cover before it blew.
Up on the roof, Brooklyn carefully set Willow down before Donnie came over to look her over. She was still holding her leg, blood covering her hands as she did. He hissed a bit when he saw how bad the break was.
"It's worse than I thought," Donnie said softly.
"Ya think?" Willow hissed.
Donnie looked around and spotted a nearby clothes line with a sheet on it.
"Brooklyn, give me a hand!"
Brooklyn noticed the clothesline set-up and nodded. He snapped the line, handing the sheet to Donnie as he snapped one of the line's support rods into small pieces.
"Will this work?" the gargoyle asked.
"Definitely," Donnie reassured as he took the stuff over to Willow. "Now Willow, I'm not gonna lie. This is gonna hurt,"
"Just do what you have to, Donnie," Willow told him.
"Here," Raph offered, handing her a sai. "Bite down on this."
Willow did so, biting down on the handle and gagging somewhat.
"When was the last time you cleaned this-?"
Her question was cut off as Donnie reset her leg as best he could. She screamed, biting down hard enough to leave teeth marks in the leather. Donnie quickly set up the splint, tying it off as fast as he could.
"Those goons are gonna be on us any second," Raph reminded, gripping his other sai. "And we can't keep running forever."
"Raphael is right," Goliath agreed. "We need to end this, here and now."
"Why not over there?" Mikey suggested, gesturing to an adjacent rooftop that was covered in various statues.
Goliath saw this and smiled.
"That will do nicely."
The Pack looked up in time to see the gargoyles and turtles vaulting over to the adjacent building, Wolf's eyes narrowing at the sight.
"They're trying to escape," he growled.
"Their friend has a bum leg," Dingo reminded him. "They ain't getting far."
The Pack then threw up grappling hooks and started scaling the building. As they reached the ledge, Jackal came face to face with a gargoyle. With a yelp, he swung his claws, severing the gargoyle's head and revealing it to be nothing more than a statue. As the Pack got fully onto the roof, Fox shook her head in dismay.
"Needle in a haystack," she bemoaned.
"We could just start smashing," Hyena suggested, brandishing her claws.
"Come on," Fox ordered as she ran off.
The others followed suit, searching for any sign of their quarry. As Hyena ran past one statue, a chain suddenly wrapped around her and pulled her away. There was the sound of a short scuffle, then silence, one of her gauntlets bouncing along the roof ominously. Jackal turned back and saw the lone gauntlet.
"Hyena?" He let out.
"Stay together," Fox warned as the group circled up.
Eying something off in the distance, Dingo walked towards it to investigate. Before he could get very far, a pair of green legs swooped down and carried him off the ground. This put Jackal into a state of panic.
"I'm out of here!" He decided.
"No!" Wolf shouted. "We can still take them!"
"I didn't sign up for this!" Jackal argued.
He ran around a corner, where the silhouettes of Broadway and Raphael greeted him. He didn't even have time to react before he was swiftly taken out. Wolf and Fox immediately ran over towards them, only to find everyone had gone.
"And then there were two," Leo's voice taunted.
The two looked around to find the source of the voice, but found none.
"What the hell do we do now?" Fox questioned.
Suddenly, Goliath burst from a wall and picked the two up by the collars. He then slammed the two against another wall, crashing through it. The three fell down towards some kind of bathing suit photoshoot going on in the building below. The models all immediately ran for safety, but one was intercepted by Fox. She grabbed her, taking Wolf's pistol and jamming it into the model's ribs.
"Cooperate, and you might live through this," she hissed in the woman's ear.
"Let her go!" Goliath demanded.
"Don't do anything stupid, creature," Fox warned.
As Fox and Wolf moved out of the studio, the photographer was snapping pictures of the events transpiring. Eventually, the two remaining Pack members made their way out into the alley. Once they were there, Fox shoved the model into Wolf's grip, aiming the pistol right at Goliath. Just then, a shuriken came from out of nowhere and collided with Fox's gun, knocking it out of her grip. Before she could react, Raph and Brooklyn came down and kicked her in the face knocking her to the ground.
"That was for Willow," Brooklyn told her.
"You know," Raph spoke, turning to Wolf, "what is it with guys like you picking on those smaller than you? Make you feel special?"
"On the contrary," Wolf replied. "I prefer the challenge!"
He then charged at Raph, who tried stabbing him with his sai. Wolf quickly ducked under it and grabbed Raph by the arm, flipping him onto the ground. Brooklyn then jumped onto his back, wrapping his wings around him tightly in an attempt to restrain him. Finally, Wolf broke free and pushed him off. He turned around and tried to punch him, only for his fist to be caught by Goliath. Goliath returned the punch in kind, knocking Wolf across the alley and into a dumpster. He slumped to the ground hard, and didn't get back up.
"Well, that takes care of that," Raph remarked after getting up.
Suddenly, the sounds of police sirens filled the air.
"The police are coming," Brooklyn warned.
"Then we will leave our foes to them," Goliath decided.
With that, the heroes disappeared into the night.
The group convened back at the castle, where Owen began working on a cast for Willow's leg. Elisa came walking in, observing the scene.
"Dingo, Hyena, and Jackal managed to escape, but Fox and Wolf have been arrested," she explained. "With video evidence of their crimes provided by an anonymous citizen, they'll be behind bars for a while."
"At least tonight wasn't a total disaster," Willow replied, then she glanced over at Lexington, who was still sulking about what happened. "You okay Lex?"
"No," he answered, feeling downtrodden. "I feel like such a fool letting the Pack dupe me like that."
"Hey, don't be so hard on yourself," Donnie told him. "I should have explained the whole actors thing when I had the chance."
"Well I learned my lesson. I'm never trusting anyone again."
"Whoa, no need to go that far," Leo told him. "Look, if there's one thing we've learned since we came to the surface, it's that there are good humans and bad ones. You can't turn away all the good ones just because of a few bad ones."
"Yeah!" Mikey agreed. "If we did that, we wouldn't have Mr. Murakami, or April, or Willow and Elisa."
"They are right," Goliath agreed. "We cannot hide from the world, we must live in it. To do otherwise, is to be truly alone."
Lex allowed a smile onto his face as he and the rest of his clan took up their roosts on the tower.
"It's good to know there are still some good in the world."
"And I think we all learned something from this," Mikey provided.
"Aye, perhaps it is not the wisest to believe everything you see on the television."
Everyone shared a laugh as the sun rose above the horizon, petrifying the gargoyles into their statue forms.
Owen met with Xanatos in the Ryker's Island visitors room later that afternoon, updating him on what had transpired.
"Your plan worked in the beginning," Owen began. "As you expected, the turtles and the gargoyles were drawn to the Pack, who received the mysterious envelope as requested. Both parties acted as you would expect, though there were a few missteps. Three of the Pack members are currently in the wind, and I'm afraid Miss Willow will be in a cast for several weeks after her nasty tumble."
"That is unfortunate," Xanatos lamented. "Willow wasn't supposed to get hurt. Despite that, however, I'd say things went well,"
"Well sir?" Owen questioned.
"Though they didn't know it was me, I created the Pack to be so much more than just a TV show," Xanatos explained. "I had to see how good they were. And having underestimated Goliath and the rest of his supernatural brood once before, I had to know what they were capable of as well. All in all, I'd say the test was very informative."