2000-02 – Letters from Leonardo


Whoa! This winter has not been kind to us! We’ve all been extremely sick, except for Raph, who only had a minor cold while the rest of us were waylayed by a mega-mutant flu.

Last time I was reminiscing about how I look forward to foul weather as it usually allows us a bit of time to rest and reflect. When the cold sets in and the snow flies, most of the criminal activity in our area subsides. This year hasn’t been any different, except instead of using our downtime for some R&R, we spent most of our time being ill. One aspect of the winter that I had been taking for granted for years was how good our health has been during the cold/flu season. None of us has ever gotten particularly sick… but this year has been a different story. That cold that Master Splinter had been fighting over the holidays turned out to be a wicked case of the flu, and it quickly spread through each one of us save for Raph (fortunately for him). The Master, Venus, Mike, Don and I all spent much of the past couple months sick in bed. After this ordeal, I’m looking forward to warmer temperatures and frequent run-ins with the bad guys… anything will be better than what we went through!

Casey and April visited when they had time and did what they could to make us feel better, but they’ve both been extremely busy. Casey’s been working double shifts to earn enough money to pay the ultra-high New York rent and April has begun to do some more freelance reporting while she works on her book. April also got the flu, but she recovered from it quicker than we did. Michaelangelo was particularly sick for 2 weeks, and when the word got out about this, he received several visitors who we hadn’t seen in ages. Mondo Gecko came to visit, as his band was playing a show somewhere in the City. I told him not to stay long lest he get sick as well. Mike was out cold anyway, so while the visit was very thoughtful, Mikey didn’t even know Mondo had stopped by until he woke up a week later. Mondo left a copy of his new CD “Millennial Mutant Malevolence” that Michaelangelo has been cranking at obscene volume for the past month, much to our dismay (well, to be fair, Raph likes it too. I’m not much of a “thrash” metal fan, so I hope they get tired of it soon so I can have some peace again). Ray Fillet, Jaguar and Dreadmon (of the Mighty Mutanimals) also dropped in when word got to them that Mike was very ill. Thankfully Mike was awake when the guys showed up and we had a very pleasant reunion and caught up with our old friends. The Mutanimals have been battling pirates and crooked fisherman out in the middle of the sea… standard fair for these guys. Ray is really worried about the sad state of our seven seas, and from the tales he told us, we all should be. The MM are doing what they can, but we’ve all got to start paying more attention to the problems arising or we’re all in a heap of trouble.

Back to more personal matters, I owe my life to Raphael as he saved me from certain death. I foolsihly decided to go out on patrol when I should have stayed in bed, and when I got to the surface, the flu overcame me and I blacked out in an alley. Fortunately I had my Turtle Com with me and Raph found me in time to bring me home before I froze to death. I was a complete bozo for trying to do something so strenuous while I was sick. Thankfully Raph was here to save me (if he was still with those Clan Sai guys, I wouldn’t have lived through that night… so Shredder’s plan to knock us off was foiled because he revealed himself too soon. Typical of his strategies, he never has the patience to wait for things to settle themselves. I guess I need to learn that lesson myself). Raph has been a real trooper this winter, he’s been working three to four times harder than any of us trying to keep our perimeter safe while the we were ill. Raph took his duty seriously and didn’t complain a bit… so his time as a leader with Clan Sai has really helped him mature. He understands now the need for authority. He may not like to admit to being an authority, but he handles the responsibilities well when he has to. I think part of the reason that he and I butt heads so much is that we’re both meant to be leaders, we just have very different styles. But one thing I know for sure is, regardless of our divergent leadership tendencies, this sewer is definitely big enough for the both of us. I truly admire Raphael and what he’s becoming, and let me tell you, there’s no greater feeling than that for me. I’m sure we’ll still have our arguments, but our relationship has reached a new plateau, one of mutual respect.

Well, that’s about it for now. The weather is warmer and we’re all back to full strength, so it’s time to get back to patrols and practice. While I like my occasional R&R, it’s the P&P I enjoy the most. :)

I hope things have been going well for you. Talk to you soon!

Be well!

Master Splinter

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