Their surroundings rushed by at a rapid speed as they made their way around the many obstacles in the decaying, asphalted streets of New York. Not a single building seemed to have all their windows intact, debris was littering the streets and everything seemed to be in a state of disarray. Guarded bots were patrolling the streets and their caravan of Hamato-vechiles continuously fired at them as they drove by. However, what was most unsettling was the lack of people and life in general. They had barely seen any people in the street, so very unlike the usual New York, brimming with life and the colourful vibe of the city. Not that any of the newcomers wanted to think about the various terrible fates the inhabitants of New York may have suffered. Now everything had turned dull, grey and… dead. It seemed as if there was a constant grey an smelly fog surrounding them on ground level in the inner parts of the city, a little bit like the days when the air pollution from the cars were so bad you had to stay inside to not get poisoned. Everything resembling plants or vegetation had withered away a long time ago, leaving only grey dust in its wake.
The silence engulfing the van was unsettling at best, all the unanswered questions lingering in the air like a thick fog. Leo’s stern expression and continued worried glances at the rest of the gang gave him away; Mikey could easily sense his discomfort. He knew he was probably beating himself up for his rash decision to choose the only option possible to get out of there alive. “Hey,” The youngest one piped up; “The enemy of my enemy is my bro, right?” Leo smiled at that, even Raph gave a little chuckle.
“I just hope they have some medical facilities, I need to look at Casey’s shoulder.” Donnie said in a worried tone. The teenage boy had been bandaged up by Donnie to keep stop the blood from pouring out, but it had already bled through and Casey was still lying unconscious on the floor. Raph had, in a rare display of affection, sat down and cradled him up in his arms, leaning him onto his shell to keep him upright. He was looking at Donnie with worry in his eyes, fully aware of the fact that they were losing precious minutes.
Mikey saw Donnie trying to give a reassuring smile, and decided that they needed to speed up. Quickly making his way over to the grating separating them from the driver seat, staring intently into the rear view mirror. Meeting the same confused and slightly disturbed look most of the soldiers had given him so far, Mikey raised his voice despite Leos protests; “We have a wounded comrade in the back here; can you speed up a bit?” The soldier, a purple haired, green eyed, pierced woman with half her head shaved and arms covered in tattoos, finally found her surprisingly childlike voice; “ Well be there in a few minutes, and I am driving as fast as the terrain allows me to.” Mikey flashed her a smile “Thanks. I’m Mikey by the way.” She smiled back at him, one eye still on the bumpy road in front of them; “I know.” A hint of humour and disbelief could be heard in her voice, and Mikey thought he knew why. “So… you already know me, huh?” He still had trouble fully understanding the concept of someone knowing him for years when he didn’t have the slightest clue who they were. “Kind of.” She said, a smile tugging in the corner of her mouth. “What is he… I, like?” he wasn’t even sure how to formulate that question without sounding sheepish. He gave a short, nervous laugh as he rubbed the back of his head. She paused, as if she struggled to find the words, before she spoke again; “He… is tough but kind.” She gave a small, apologetic smile; “He has been through a lot. It shows.” Despite how few words she had actually spoken, there was a whole story hidden between the lines, and it reeked of death and despair. Mikey felt his stomach turn at that thought; “That’s a good thing… right?” He said a doubtful smile on his face. The girl furrowed her brow, and looked away from the mirror; “I guess…” Suddenly something seemed to hit her; “I’m sorry, haven’t even introduced myself! I’m Angel.” She smiled again, her emerald eyes once again meeting his in the mirror. Mikey was about to answer, although he didn’t really need to introduce himself, when he caught sight of something. “Guys!” he said, again gaining the attention of his family. “I think we are here.” Before them, the seemingly endless road throughout the deserted wasteland that once was the outskirts of New York came to an end, as several large constructions came into view. They passed a rather tall watchtower to see something resembling a large hangar, followed by a huge construction, seemingly containing dozens of small apartments, judging by the many doors and staircases. The small caravan came to a halt in front of the smallest building they had seen so far. As the vehicle came to a stop and Angel disappeared outside, the turtle brothers exchanged questioning glances.
At least, all eyes fell on Leo, just as the doors were flung open and a familiar face came into view; the once lively, baby blue eyes were now greyish, a hardened glint of steel glimmering in their depths. The joyful smile were gone, replaced with an angry frown and a suspicious glare. His tattered, discoloured bandana had obviously been orange at some point. Leo thought he recognized it as the one Mikey wore during their vision quest; the loss of colour now had a very different symbolism. His freckles was a sharp contrast to the many scars covering his face and body; some fresh, others much older. He was built like a tank, all youthful chubbiness gone, his muscles threatening to rip through his skin. Raph did for the first time in his life feel threatened by Mikey’s presence, and judging by the look on everybody else’s face, he wasn’t the only one. Nevertheless, all these things seemed small and trifle, compared to his missing left arm. It was cut off, abruptly ending above the elbow.
Needless to say, nobody looked at Leo for guidance; they were all preoccupied with trying to believe their own eyes.
The older Mikey’s eyes widened slightly at the sight of them, but only a brief couple of seconds before he once again composed himself. “I am Colonel Hamato. But given the… circumstances, you may call me Mike.”