Four days had passed since the finding of the mutant turtle in the sewer canals.
Four days had passed since Don had operated on the turtle’s body, dealing with the multiple injuries he had somehow suffered.
He and Leatherhead handed off monitoring the recovering mutant in shifts. While one watched, the other either slept, worked on some small project, or took to reading something, whether it was the news or a book. Throughout their vigils, they found the turtles vitals slowly, but surely improved, moving him out of the danger zone. Although he showed no signs of waking, Don knew it would happen eventually.
Through the days, however, Don’s mind was filled with questions. Where had the mutant come from, who would cause it such serious injury? Theories upon theories Don thought up, one just as likely as the last. Could someone have somehow replicated the Utrom’s mutagen? Could this simply be a wild mutant that was created, escaped, and until recently was being hunted down, and was left for dead? Could he have mutated through similar circumstances that Donatello himself, or Leatherhead mutated? Was he perhaps found by someone and used as sport, or a victim of abuse? Is it possible some kind-hearted human found him, cared for him, raised him, but somehow became separated from him? There were too many questions, and only the sleeping mutant could answer them.
And while it was mostly Don and Leatherhead watching over the mutant, Don’s brothers visited. Leo to make sure everything was okay, Mikey would bring home-cooked meals, and Raph would tend to stay for long hours. It was appreciative having them over, even if it wasn’t for too long. In the back of Don’s mind, he knew he and LH would have to be careful.
As there were chances this mutant could be harmless, there were equal chances he could be a threat. And when it was time, they would determine if he was one or the other. And if he was the other, they’d take the steps to remove him as a threat.
“Are you sure about moving him to your home?” Leatherhead asked, drawing Don out of his thoughts. The croc stood in the door to the sickbay, a worried expression on his face. “His condition has stabilized, yes, but I’m sure you understand my concern.”
“The possibility of him being a threat has entered my mind. In fact, it’s at the forefront. I’ve already asked Leo to have restraints prepared, and to find the strongest sedative I have. It might make him panic, but with his injuries, he won’t be able to struggle too much without reopening the wounds.” Donatello answered. “But that’s a bridge we’ll burn when we get to it.”
“Indeed. Do you have any idea of what will be done with him after he recovers?”
“That’s a bridge that’s gonna have to be burned after the first one. If we confirm he’s no threat to any of us, then I don’t see why he can’t live down here with us. Of course, that’s something we’ll have to discuss with him once he wakes.”
Leatherhead nodded in agreement. “Now...there is...one more concern.”
“I know...again, that’s something I’d like to talk with him about first...before attempting it.” Donatello said, making a mental note of a third bridge that needed burning.
The croc only nodded in understanding, lifting his head as sounds from outside caught his attention. “I believe your brothers are here.”
“Seems like it, he’s unhooked from everything?”
“Yes, save the IV drip. Best to keep him on it till he wakes.”
“Good call. I’ll have Leo carry it while Raph and I get him into the Skimmer. Any spare pillows or blankets we can use to soften the trip?”
“I have quite a few extras stored away, I shall retrieve some. Go and greet your brothers.”
The turtle offered a small nod and left his seat, and exited the train cars. He greeted his brothers outside, telling him how they’d be moving the sleeping turtle. A nod from each was all Don needed to know get him from point A to point B would be relatively easy. With Raph’s help, getting the turtle from the bed to the back of the Sewer Skimmer went without much difficulty. Mikey had turned the backseats of the skimmer into a small nest of pillows and blankets, the orange masked turtle himself sitting in the back waiting to help get the turtle into the skimmer.
Carefully, they set him down, head onto a pillow, and covered him with some of the blankets. With him safely inside, Leo and Raph took their seats in the front of the skimmer, while Don sat in the back with Mikey. Bidding farewell to their crocodilian friend, Leo started the vehicle to life, and began driving his brothers and new turtle towards home.
“Alright, we’ve got the restraints on him. Any idea when he’ll open his eyes?” Raph asked as he tugged on the leather bindings, checking their strength.
“I have no idea, it could be later today, tomorrow, maybe not even until next week. It all depends on him.” Donatello answered, making sure all the monitors were properly hooked up and working. Each screen held a clear view of the turtles vitals and other important information. “All we can do is try to be ready for whatever happens when he does wake up...if anything does happen.”
“If something does happen, we’ll all see to it that it doesn’t happen again...permanently.” Leonardo added, arms crossed as he stood with Don.
“Still, I’m trying to be hopeful for a peaceful end to all of this, rather than a bloody one.”
“We know D, but like Leo’s been sayin’, gotta be ready for everything. But dude’s, wouldn’t it be cool to have a fifth bro around? Like, I’m no longer the youngest!” Mikey cheered, albeit his voice was at a lower level as he didn’t want to disturb the sleeping mutant.
Leo could only smile at the idea. “That would be a best case scenario, wouldn’t it?”
“Well that’s a best case scenario.” Donatello mused. “There are a few best case scenarios. But I think him staying with us is most likely one.”
Raph snorted. “Shouldn’t we save thinking about him stayin’ here after he wakes up and hopefully doesn’t try to off us?”
The other three turtles stopped their current trains of thought and nodded at his words. While it was nice to entertain the idea, they had to remain cautious. And it was at that moment, a loud growl crept from Mikey’s stomach.
“...Okay, that just killed the serious mood we had there.” Mikey said with a chuckle. “I’m starving, and I’m pretty sure you guys are. I’ll go get dinner ready, just shout for me if he starts waking up and we need anything.”
His brother’s nodded, and Mikey left the lab straight for the kitchen to whip up a hearty dinner.
“Are ya sure we can’t just slap him awake?” Raph asked as Mikey left.
Don sighed. “He will wake up when he wakes up. You can’t rush these things. Besides, better to come across as kind and compassionate than it looking like we want to eat him.”
“And the restraints don’t make it look like that already?”
“As tired as he’ll probably be, he most likely won’t even register the restraints. If he wakes up docile and listens to us, we’ll remove them. But if at any point he changes for the worst, we drop him."
Raph nodded, his hands settling down onto his sai. At the first sign of trouble, the hothead would jump in and make that trouble gone.
“If that’s settled, do we have any idea where he came from?” Leonardo asked.
Donatello shook his head. “Not a clue. Leatherhead simply found him adrift in the sewer canals. The injuries happened before he ended up there.”
“Meaning someone tried to kill him.”
“Incapacitate most likely, the injuries looked more debilitating than fatal, but it looked very excessive. I’m going to be honest, Leatherhead was surprised he hadn’t succumbed.”
“Considering the mutagen that runs in our veins, it’s doesn’t seem to surprising.” Leonardo stated.
“We might be sturdy enough to take a few hits here and there, but bloodloss, not so much. His injuries indicated he had bled a lot, and he’s still with us. He’s a fighter.” Donatello said, looking at the sleeping mutant. He shifted ever so slightly, mumbling something unintelligible. But this was a good sign, a very good sign. “I think he’s waking up.”
“Is he?” Raph asked, watching Don stand from his seat, the genius checking the screens and then the turtle.
“His vitals are picking up, he’s definitely waking up. Leo, call Mikey back with some water. Raph, hands off the sai, but be very ready to pull them out if this goes south.”
Raph nodded and crossed his arms, as Leo went to the lab door and called out Don’s order to Mikey. The sleeping turtle was indeed stirring, moaning and groaning, stretching out his body to work out the aches that Don knew he’d have. He hissed as he stretched a bit too much, straining the injuries that were bandaged up. His eyes began to crack open, just a small bit before finally they opened more than that. Don could tell he was still exhausted, but he was awake.
He hurt, that was very evident, he was hurting, aching, feeling like stones were crushing parts of his body. He couldn’t really move his right leg, and his left arm was casted up. Alongside that, he could feel something across his chest and stomach, as well as on his free leg, keeping him down. In his tired mind, he wondered, how did this happen, when did this happen, why did this happen? Where was he, why was he here, who were these other turtles? He closed his eyes and took in as deep a breath as he could and let it out.
He recalled the most important thing he could, which was his name and that he was a mutant. And that was it, any other valuable information was lost to him, no matter how he much he wanted to recall. Here he was in an unknown place, with unknown mutants, and he could recall nothing but his name, and other small tidbits. After resigning to the fact he couldn’t recall anything further, he opened his eyes again, looking up at the mutants that stared back.
“How’re you feeling after being out cold for almost a week?” The turtle in purple asked him. He’d been sleeping for almost a week? It felt like it’d been so much longer.
He opened his mouth to answer, only for a harsh cough to escape him. And the cough wasn’t all that was escaping him. “Bucket.” He rasped, and almost immediately one was held nearby. Turning as best he could, the mutant retched, emptying what little contents would’ve been in his stomach. The aftertaste almost made him add more.
“Okay, I think that answers that. Raph, sit him up for me while I undo these, Mikey, give me the water.”
Raph, who the mystery turtle easily determined was the turtle wearing the red mask, nodded, moving over to his side, sliding an arm under his shell and gently lifting him up as the turtle in the purple mask undid whatever was keeping him down. Another turtle, wearing an orange mask, who the mutant deduced was Mikey, handed the water to the one in purple. “So what’s the prognosis at this point Don?”
“Besides the fact I’m ninety percent sure he just vomited raw sewage, he’s going to have a very wild stomach as his body tries to get it all out.” Don answered, opening the bottle of water and offering it to the new mutant.
He took the bottle using his better arm and hand, taking a long drink before handing it back to Donatello.
“Did that help a bit?” Don asked, capping the water but keeping it close.
The mutant coughed a bit before answering, his voice much less rasping. “Tons.”
“That’s good to hear, now, this is very sudden I know, but we have some questions for you. Do you feel alright enough to answer them?”
The turtle fell silent, eyes shifting in thought, before nodding slowly.
“Okay Leo, but please, no pressuring. Let him answer at his own pace.”
“I hear you Donnie.” The words came from the last turtle in the room, the one wearing the blue mask. He took a seat next to Don, and his expression was nigh unreadable. “I guess before I ask anything I’ll say this, if you’re feeling uneasy about where you are, or who we are, you’ve nothing to worry about. We have no intentions of hurting you, in fact, it was thanks to us and a friend of ours that you’re still with us right now.”
“Yes, it was our friend who found you, and it was through his efforts and Donatello’s here, that you’re recovering and awake right now. As for introductions, well, I say we get that out of the way now. My name is Leonardo, or Leo for short.”
“Donatello, charmed, I’m sure. You could also call me Don, or Donnie, whichever you prefer.” Don said, a small smile on his face.
“The name’s Michelangelo dude, nice to finally have you awake. I also respond to Mikey, Mike, or Battle Nexus Cham-” Mikey had the biggest grin on his face.
“Mikey, so help me, I will stuff you in my sandbag.” Raph growled before turning his attention to the mutant in the bed. “The name’s Raphael, but Raph works too.”
The turtle nodded, before turning back to Leo.
“Now...what’s your name? Do you have one?” Leonardo asked.
“Ye-yeah, I do. I...don’t really remember much besides it but, my name’s Luger. I guess...Lou would work for short.” the turtle answered.
“Well Luger, you’re in the Hamato household now, and as long as you’re here, you’re safe.”
At that, Donatello cleared his throat before asking his own questions. “About what you just said...what do you mean, “you don’t remember much else?”
Luger looked down at his hands and the blankets. “I mean what I said...I know my name, I know some bits about myself, but...if you asked me how I got hurt like this, or what happened before. I...I couldn’t tell you. It’s like I have big holes in my head where things should be, but there’s nothing there.”
“Okay, now that sounds like a load of malarky.” Raph set Luger back down before standing up. “You did tell us he didn’t have any injuries around his head.”
“Yes, but amnesia isn’t really limited to being hit in the head one too many times. There are other causes, the most likely one I can really put on the table being from lack of oxygen from his heart to his brain..” Donatello stated. “Leatherhead did have to resuscitate him, we did bring him back from the brink. There was a time that yes, his heart had stopped.”
“But would it really cause that much of memory loss?” Leonardo asked.
“Amnesia is a very touchy subject, even if you know the causes, and can work with them, getting the memories back takes time. Sometimes they never come back, sometimes they return, whether it’s with time, or through some trigger.”
“Hopefully not all at once.” Luger muttered as he looked from his injured arm to his broken leg. “If I do remember things, if ever, I hope I remember how I got these last.”
Don nodded and sighed. “At the very least, we’ve established some things. First, we have a name. Second, he seems more than docile, and I don’t think he’ll be in the slightest bit inclined to try and harm us. Third, well, amnesia is something a little out of my control. And well...there is a fourth...but that’s something I’d like to take up with him later. He’s spent long enough under a scalpel, I’d like his current injuries to heal before having to put him under it again.”
“What...what is that supposed to mean exactly?” Luger asked, rightly confused. Donatello’s brother’s shared in the confused glances.
“Like I said, let’s let these injuries heal first. Then we’ll discuss what happens after.”