Enter the Shredder
Disclaimer: Characters and concepts belong to their owners who I'm too lazy to list.
A/N: First off, the timeline is a few months after Season 7 and directly after the second Turtles movie. Of course that means that the Turtles movies happened later then what you saw on screen but is that such a big leap? Secondly, I can’t tell you when updates are because this is not the only story I am working on.Enter the Shredder
Uuh... maybe all that hardware's for making coleslaw.
- MichelangeloNew York, at the Waterfront
A large pile of wood lay still as water sloshed against it. The music from the club still played, although keener ears then man’s could already hear the sirens in the distance. Apparently someone had finally called the police. On that pile lay part of an arm adorned with a spike-covered bracer.
The rest of this person’s body must still be buried underneath the debris. That he had managed to punch even that one arm through to the surface was already an astounding feat of strength, the fact that he hadn’t survived the collapse after all was only to be expected. Then the fist clenched.The sewers, a little later
Uroku Saki was stumbling through the subterranean passages of the city. He didn’t know where exactly he was going, just that he had to get away. At the moment, he was far more preoccupied with the past, with his own stupidity. Because that was what it had been, swallowing that ooze in the desperate hope that it would give him the strength to finally crush those freaks.
And it had. But at the price of his control, his skill. It had devolved him from a ninjitsu master into an uncontrollable beast. Those Turtles hadn’t stood a chance, but neither did Saki as he collapsed the pier on himself. His last recollections were that of those four jumping off the pier. Shredder had no doubt they had survived.
Again he stopped for a moment to take stock of himself. While he was unconscious his body had once again changed. But this time it had reverted back to his original form, although Saki thought he might be a little taller now. His helmet was gone and when ran a hand over his face he could only feel the original scars the Rat had inflicted. He did feel very weak but other then that he seemed to be unhurt. He fervently hoped that the ooze was now done mutating his body.
As Saki staggered on, he didn’t notice as several figures began stalking him. But when they surrounded him, Uroku finally snapped out of his daze and stopped. Unconsciously he straightened up, giving an air of confidence in answer to the threatening aura that came from this group of people. For all the setbacks he had suffered these last few months, he was still the leader of the Foot.
One of the men, dressed as a cowboy, stepped forward and looked him over once before speaking. He even had a Texan accent. “Ain’t you a little late for Halloween.” Obligatory laughs came from the others, but Shredder was merely annoyed. He had better things to do then be insulted by some local gang.
“Step aside.” He ordered imperiously.
The response was not what Saki had expected. The face of the cowboy morphed, his eyes changed to yellow and sharp fangs descended from his mouth. But the cowboy’s tone didn’t change. “No. Boys, get him.”
Shredder snapped to when he was attacked from both sides. He turned to face the opponent on the left, kicking him in the gut and then completed the turn by backhanding the skinhead on his right with his left hand. That last move cut its deformed face open as well as lifting him off his feet. His first opponent met the wall with bonecrushing force while the others were still processing the fact that they weren’t facing a normal human.
Again, the Shredder didn’t get the response he expected. The cowboy actually perked up. “Oh, your blood is going to taste mighty fine.” He quickly readjusted his hat before charging in. But before he had even reached Saki he slowed down again. Before Shredder could even guess to the reason he got kicked from behind causing him to stagger. Only then did the cowboy attack with a right hook that snapped Saki’s head to the side.
There was one more vampire, a gangly one that only now attacked by trying to kick him in the stomach. Tried because Shredder caught the foot and then flung him against the cowboy knocking both down. The last vampire again took advantage of the momentary distraction with a chop to the head. Shredder rolled with the hit and out of his adversary’s reach but he wasn’t facing humans.
The skinhead was up and attacking him as he came out of the roll. Shredder blocked the kick, then redirected the punch to maneuver the skinhead in front of the vampire that had given him so much trouble. Unfortunately the vamp had managed to stop before colliding but a swift kick catapulted the man Saki was still holding into him. But the Shredder was breathing heavily at this point, his reserves all but gone after his disastrous fight with the freaks.
And now these new freaks, these... vampires. And vampires they had to be, the comment about drinking his blood along with their strength was proof enough for Saki. In hindsight, Shredder should have taken this moment to flee instead of reflect. But hindsight is overrated; it doesn’t change a thing.
So the fight continued. The cowboy and one of his stooges attacked, the stooge feinted with his right then threw a punch with his left but the Shredder saw it coming. He evaded the punch, grabbed the vamp by his shoulder and then yanked him forward right into his knee. A vampire might not need to breathe, but that still hurt. However, before the Shredder could finish it off with an elbow into the back of his neck the leader of the pack attacked.
The left hook was blocked but Shredder was still pushing the gangly vampire away and had nothing to stop the cowboy’s right uppercut. The hit had enough force to launch him into the air after which he collided painfully with a pipe. He still managed to land on his unsteady feet but the leader of this group didn’t give him a chance to recover. A series of punches that snapped his head left and right made his grip on consciousness tenuous, but it was the sudden sharp pain in his neck that finally pushed him into the darkness.
Lyle Gorch wasn’t your typical vampire. No, sirree. It wasn’t his viciousness, something he already had when he was human. No, what set him apart from most was that he kept his wits. Most vampires were all about indulging their impulses and damn the consequences. It was that attitude that got most killed first time they went up against a slayer. But not Lyle, twice he had faced a slayer and despite some strong incentives like the death of his brother or his wife he had done the smart thing. He had run as fast as he could.
And now there were hundreds of slayers roaming the planet. Which meant that he had to rethink his lifestyle, he needed some cannon fodder to keep any slayer he might stumble upon busy while he made his exit. A lot of vampires actually sought slayers out, hoping to get a taste of their blood. Lyle just thought they were idiots, he had enough of slayers after that blasted Slayerfest Trick organized.
He took another look at the newest addition to his little posse. His blood had tasted funny but hadn’t done anything else. So now he could only hope that the increased strength the guy had shown during the fight would still be there when he rose. And that he was at least semi-coherent, the outfit wasn’t exactly inspiring confidence in his mental health.
Not that the others were examples of intellect or even much common sense, Lyle reflected as he saw them doing not much of anything around the nest. Stragglers all, these were simply the few he had found operating alone in the city. Apparently New York didn’t boast a high demon population although that was changing with the local hellmouth acting up lately. The local vampires also seemed to dislike out-of-towners.
Further thinking was interrupted by the corpse sitting up. ‘Showtime’, Lyle thought. He got up from his comfortable chair and strolled to the fledgling that was now standing up, still a bit disorientated. “Howdy. Now if you just do as I tell you I think…” He was cut of by the lightning fast reaction of the newly risen vampire. A right palmstrike to the chest sent Lyle flying through the air.
He crashed through some shelves overflowing with all kinds of junk into the wall. It wasn’t enough to knock him out though and Lyle realized that now was the time to take this guy out. He wouldn’t accept him as his leader and the power behind that one attack told Lyle he wouldn’t win a straight up fight. The nest was a dump with junk all over the place so finding something wooden and stake-like didn’t take long.
When he found it, he grabbed it and only then did he get up. Lyle knew how overwhelming the first moments as a vampire were. This was his shot, while his opponent still didn’t know what exactly had happened to him. But even with surprise on his side the fledgling still managed to catch Lyle by the throat. But he failed to block the stake, which Lyle plunged deep into him.
He let go of Lyle and staggered back as he looked astonished at the piece of wood protruding from his chest. “That’s the severance package,” Lyle quipped but his laughter died in his throat when he noticed that the costumed weirdo still hadn’t turned to dust. In fact, he was now pulling the stake out and Lyle could see how the hole began to close. Even vampires didn’t heal that fast.
Then the fledgling struck like a cobra, planting the stake in Lyle’s chest before he could even raise an arm. Lyle wasn’t much for fancy words, so his last ones weren’t very memorable. “Ah, shoot.”
“Ah, shoot.” And with those words the cowboy turned to dust. ‘So that was what the cowboy had expected to happen when plunged that piece of wood into my heart,’ Shredder concluded. ‘The ooze must still be affecting me. I wonder what else it did? Well, only one way to find out.’ And he turned around to inspect the other vampires. They hadn’t moved since the fight had started and even now they seemed to be hypnotized by this sudden threat in their midst.
A being that knew at least one way to kill them and seemingly couldn’t be killed himself that way even though he should be. As far as Shredder could tell they all seemed to be like the street kids he had been recruiting from, although these four seemed especially spineless. Unconsciously he let his demonic visage slip, showing his scarred human face again.
“You all have just become members of the Foot,” he declared. Two of them seemed to recognize the name including the vampire that had attacked him from behind. The only one that might be worthy of becoming a full member. He took a seat as if he was in a throne room, giving an audience to his subjects. “Now tell me, everything.”John F. Kennedy International Airport, the same day
Faith was still uncertain about all of this. Yes, she wasn’t the girl she once was but she still had that past. Legally, she was a free girl thanks to Wolfram & Hart. And how weird was it to see Angel heading the evil law firm he had spent four years fighting against. But legal fu didn’t change her past and she still questioned the wisdom of sending her off to New York to setup the local branch of the new and improved Watcher’s Council.
But Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies apparently thought she could do it. Sure, she first tried to squirm her way out of it. But when she couldn’t she had decided there was no way she was going to disappoint B. Didn’t stop her from worrying even now but she kept a brave face on as she looked out for the person that was supposed to meet her. And then she saw him, wearing a brown business suit and a piece of paper with her name on it. He wasn’t a very tall person, she thought that even Buffy might be taller than him.
His receding hairline was the only clue that he wasn’t a young man anymore. And that was her entire staff. Everything was still so new and they had a real manpower shortage. Faith was certain that half the reason for sending her was the fact that they didn’t have anybody else. That, and she was a city girl anyway so they had figured that she would fit right in.
“So you’re my ride?” She said after she had made her way to the man.
“Ehm, yes that would be me,” he fumbled. He surprised Faith with his lack of a British accent she had expected from an ex-Watcher. Then he extended his hand. “John Vishe, with a V.”
“Faith Lehane, but you already knew that.” He had a strong handshake, which was good. The continued the conversation as they moved to the exit and Vishe’s car. He didn’t discuss business but kept to the mundane stuff like how her flight was. A good thing considering they were in a crowded airport. The other thing Faith noticed was that he seemed to stutter a bit now and then.
She mentally reviewed what she knew about him for a clue to his nervousness. When they took over they also got their hands on the old Council’s assets like money, books, lots and lots of books, buildings and of course some people. Most of the watchers had died in the explosion and half of the ones that didn’t, refused to have anything to do with the new council.
John Vishe was one of those who had stayed on. He hadn’t been held in good favor by the old Council, which spoke for him in Faith’s book. Instead they had let him keep an eye on the dormant Hellmouth and keep the local Watcher’s office usable. That building was where they were going to set up shop now, the remodeling should be finished but no telling how far they were lagging behind.
And then they arrived at his car and Faith’s knew she was in the presence of a watcher. It was a Cadillac Coupe DeVille that looked a little rundown. ‘Watchers really seemed to be incapable of getting a car that was even remotely recent,’ Faith thought.
After stuffing her baggage in the trunk and getting into the car, they could finally get down to business. But first things first. “You know about my past?”
John didn’t even pause in starting the car when the question was asked. “I-I do indeed, Miss Lehane.” And then he showed some insight. “But that is not the reason for the way I speak. It’s…just how I am. Y-your past, I mean, what you did with it.” He seemed to take a deep breath before trying to make his point again. “I read the reports from the old council and-and I know you have changed.”
“Sorry, but I had to clear that point up.” And that little speech problem was probably part of the reason why he got shipped of to New York. He just didn’t fit with the confident and cultured image the Council had wanted to maintain. “So, what’s the stitch?”
Vishe took his eyes off the road for a moment to stair at her in puzzlement before he answered. “Ehm, well, if you mean what the mystical situation is here then maybe I should start with the local Hellmouth. For starters it’s not as big as the one in Sunnydale or even the one in Cleveland. If Cleveland is a Hellmouth then think of the one here as a Hellnostril.”
That produced a chuckle from Faith, who noted that he spoke with more confidence now that Vishe was giving his report. The joke was a good sign too, she had dreaded to find another Wesley here. John continued, “we don’t have any records from before the Dutch settled here but it is believed that part of the reason they got the island so cheap was because the local tribe knew about the Hellmouth.”
Faith now interrupted him, “Thanks for the history, but I want to hear how the situation is here now. And where this Hellmouth is, that would come in handy too.”
Vish blinked. “Of course, my apologies. It’s just that the history of this city is quite fascinating.” Then he noted that he was veering of the subject again and got back on topic. “Ahum, as for-for the location. The Hellhole, I mean Hellmouth, is in Central Park. As for the local vampires, they have adopted the same organization as the criminal element. Groups of vampires have divided the city between themselves and each group vigorously defends its right to be the only one to feed in a particular area.
“This has kept the vampire population low since any vampire caught feeding without permission from the local group is killed on the spot. There are still the occasional fights over territory, but some of the groups have been around since the nineteenth century. Of course, after the collapse of Sunnydale the situation has begun to change. More and more vampires are coming here and the locals are beginning to loose control.”
Faith had read about the low vampire population and had wondered why that was. After all, the large human population along with plenty of underground passageways in the form of sewers should have made this an attractive place for vampires. And now she knew. It was attractive, but the locals just didn’t want to share. “Wasn’t there a Slayer here in the 70’s, a Nikki Wood?”
Vishe nodded enthusiastically. “Yes, but the vampire gangs, I suppose you could call them, tried to stay out of her way as far as I can tell. They even seemed to have used her to take care of any trespassing vampires, luring them into her path.” He sighed. “I read her chronicles and I know she was one of the better Slayers but she usually only fought one or two vampires. Rarely more and she only took out five nests in all her years as the Slayer.”
So that had been Nikki’s secret. She had lived so long because she had the local vamps cowering before her. “And the other demons in town? Anything going on with them, any haunts I should keep an eye on?”
“That’s actually the opposite. There are quite a few demons in the city, but they are mostly unorganized. I have a list of the local demon bars at home. There is also a small nest of Lycans here.”
Faith frowned. “Lycans, as in werewolves?”
John shook his head. “No, more like pseudo-werewolves. There is a long story behind it but I’ll try to summarize it. In Eastern Europe there is a feud going on for hundreds of years now between pseudo-werewolves and pseudo-vampires.”
“Pseudo-vampires?” Faith interrupted.
“Yes, they aren’t real vampires because they are still human and holy objects don’t harm them. As far as the Council can,” then he corrected himself, “could tell they and the lycans are related somehow. Both are immortal and both transfer their condition through biting but for the rest they seem to share the same characteristics as the creatures they resemble. And they also seem to be oblivious to the mystical world.”
“And these local Lycans?” Faith enquired.
“Refugees from this war, it seems the vampires are winning it although since the destruction of the Council I haven’t heard anything about it. In any case, the local pack is consisting mostly of females although I don’t know why that is.”
“And why is this the first time I hear about any of this?” Faith wanted to know.
“Oh, well I don’t really know but I guess they must have thought it irrelevant. As I said, they keep their war confined to Eastern Europe and the pseudo-vampires don’t even feed on humans. They drink cow’s blood.” And then they arrived at their destination, which turned out to be a large, red brick building with five stories. Alleyways were present on both sides; one was big enough to let a truck through while the other one wasn’t wide enough to let two people pass each other. The entrance was in the middle and a garage on the right.
At least Faith had assumed it was a garage, but it turned out to be an elevator when the floor suddenly sank. The basement was mostly empty, although Faith noted that half of it was reserved for parking with another half reserved for storing what seemed to be junk. A chain link fence separated the two halves. The only other vehicle Faith could see was an old Volkswagen van. The dust on the floor was a clear sign that most of the parking spaces hadn’t been used in a while.
Faith turned to John. “Didn’t this place see more activity before the Council blew up?”
John looked back with a mingling of embarrassment and anger. An anger that wasn’t directed at her, Faith was sure of that. “Yes, there were two other Watchers stationed here but we haven’t received much in the way of funding or equipment since I arrived. Our library hasn’t even received any books from the Council since I arrived, I had to buy them myself from local bookstores.”
“Haven’t you been here for 10 years?”
“Yes, ten very frustrating years.”