Well, it seemed like we were no sooner settled back into our homestead than we were right back out the door… all the way back to China again! Venus had been having bad dreams for a few weeks after the Holidays, and they came to a head one evening when she had a terrible vision of the Dragon Lord devouring her friends from her homeland. She had a conversation with Master Splinter and they decided that we must go back to China and see what was happening. Our Sensei had felt the disturbance as well, although not as strongly as Venus had.
We made plans and gathered supplies for the long trek back to Shanghai. We’d be taking the sub again, as it was our best bet to travel undetected. Splinter told me to ask Donatello if he would accompany us… which I thought odd, as I just assumed that he would, but Don declined. He had been very preoccupied with his work after New Year’s Eve, and had no desire to travel back to China. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about it myself, but Venus was extremely distraught, so we had to go. We waited a few days to see if Raphael might show up, but of course he didn’t. Raph had grown away from us by then, spending less and less time at home. If we saw him more than once in 2 weeks it was considered unusual. Raph was putting all of his efforts into his “Clan Sai” project, rehabilitatiing former members of the Foot. Raph’s efforts had been effective, as he had them patrolling the streets and cracking down on any criminal acts that they discovered. A few thieving rings had been broken up and several people were reporting being saved from muggings by ninjas. I was proud of Raph, but I was also hurt that he had abandoned us to such a degree. Perhaps we drove him to it… we weren’t exactly supportive of his efforts, and you know how Raph is. You’re either 100% with him, or he views you as 100% against him. He’s become more stubborn and impatient with us now that he’s assumed a role of leadership… a trait that no doubt helped him rule over his Clan, but we were not impressed with his antics. Perhaps it takes an iron hand to rule the unruly, but we’re his family, and we deserve respect.
Regardless, Raph never showed up, so we left without him. Mikey was especially unhappy that both Raph and Don weren’t traveling with us, but there was nothing that we could do. We had to move out, and we’d already wasted days waiting for Raph. I had gone out one night and found one of his Clan patrols, but he wasn’t with them. I gave them word to tell Raph that we needed him, but I don’t think they reported the meeting to him. They certainly didn’t want to see him leave them… he was all they had at this point. I guess the older we get, the more complex things become… I didn’t feel right leaving without my brother, but I knew that his newfound Clan needed him, probably more than we did. So Venus, the Sensei, Mike and I left by sea for China.
With two less pasengers the sub was more comfortable, but I was uneasy not having Don around to fix things in case of an emergency. I know a bit of mechanics, but obviously I’m not in the same league as Donatello. Venus spent much of her time in meditation, leaving Mikey and Splinter plenty of time to talk with one another. I was busy “driving” the sub most of the time, and slept when I could. The journey went well and quickly. A good omen.
As it turned out, Venus’ nightmares had been all too real. The Dragon Lord had devised another plan to capture us, which he implemented by striking at the Shinobi allies of Venus. The Dragon Lord thought that by taking us out of our element, he would have an easier time trapping us… but fortunately he was wrong.
Things got hairy for a time, but in the end we won out. The Dragon Lord just might be under wraps for another 10,000 years, which is a good thing, considering the news Raph had for us when we returned.
I hope Venus and Splinter get back home soon… we’re going to need them!
I hope you’ve been having a great 1999! As usual, I’ve got to get back to work!