2001-02 – Letters from Leonardo


Happy New Year! We’ve been very busy of late, due to the holidays and the fact that we’ve been rebuilding our humble home. After much discussion it was decided that we couldn’t leave New York City. We’ve too much to do here and too many friends to just walk away from it all. After Rat King had managed to destroy just about everything that we owned, we were so shocked and depressed that fleeing seemed like the best plan, but after we had gathered our thoughts and curbed our emotions, we knew that we would stay. We’re not the kind to put our tails between our legs and skulk away.

In some ways the utter destruction of our abode has helped strengthen us. We’ve been working together as a team like we haven’t in many years. The little differences that had been separating us in the past have all melted away, and we are a much stronger family now. There’s an old saying that goes “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” I had always thought that this applied to physical hurt, but now I see that it also includes psychological damage. While the loss of our possessions was heart-breaking, we have overcome the obstacles set before us and tightened our bonds… this is a truly great blessing.

Perhaps the best thing to come of the chaos was that it has brought us closer to April, Casey and Shadow. We had been drifting apart for a long time, but now we’re together on a regular basis. Casey has been making tremendous amounts of money working at the night club, although I suspect that he’s been doing something else to bring in the kind of green that he’s be so generous to us with. I’ve tailed him on two occassions but haven’t learned anything unusual. It’s odd spying on Casey, but when I ask him where all of the cash came from, he keeps saying that he got a Christmas bonus. But the amount of money that he’s spent on new things for us is far too much to have been a mere bonus! I’ll be keeping an eye on Casey until I can find out where the money came from. It’s not like Casey to keep secrets… well, actually, it’s just like Casey to keep secrets, but this is one that I want to know the answer to. I suspose I shouldn’t be looking a gift horse in the mouth, but Casey and Raph are both acting suspicious about the money, and I need to know why.

On other fronts, April has begun running full patrols with us now. Most often she goes out with me because Master Splinter feels that she is safest in my company, probably because I actually follow the plans that we make before leaving. If you ever run a patrol with Raph or Mike, you’ll be surprised at how quickly well made strategies disintegrate (actually, maybe you wouldn’t be surprised at all. I’m not anymore). Running with April is a different experience. While she has become a very capable swordsman, she isn’t as athletic as my brothers. I often have to slow down the pace to allow her to keep up, but this may be a shortlived hindrance. She still has alot of training to do, but she’s more than capable of taking care of herself in close combat and she’s working very hard to become more agile. It will take time, but she will learn. I’ve been skirting most conflicts with the Foot with her so far because she needs more experience before she’s ready for ninjitsu combat. However, we have been taking an active role in stopping petty thieves and scumbag muggers if the opportunity arises. Street gang activity has gotten worse since the Foot splintered months ago, so there’s plenty of work for us to do. This has been an interesting development, in the past we’ve predominantly let things be, rather than trying to be some kind of vigilante crime fighters… but April takes great pride in protecting others, so we have become “proactive,” as she says. Of course this makes Raph delirious with joy, because any opportunity to fight is great by him… he can’t wait to take April out on patrol. Raph has been individually “proactive” for ages now, so April is becoming a true philisopophical ally for him. This makes me very uncomfortable. Besides the fact that Raph could easily get April into major trouble, I also don’t like the added risks of being discovered and making so many new enemies. But if this is our fate, so be it. Perhaps it is time that we used our talents for more than just defense.

Talk to you soon!

Be well!

Master Splinter

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