2002-06 – Letters from Raphael


Please note: we’re on vacation until June 17, so we won’t be able to reply until sometime after then! Thanks for your patience!

Well, it’s been quite awhile since we’ve written, but enough people are whining about it that Don has cracked the whip on us this week and demanded reports. So here goes. Yippee.

The truth of the matter is, there hasn’t been anything worth writing about. We still run our patrols and knock heads with punks here and there, but nothing special or noteworthy. The big news is Mikey has decided to spell his name right. Yup – he’s officially changing it to be spelled the way it’s supposed to be – Michelangelo – we’ll prolly forget to spell it right now and then – old habits die hard – but we’re trying

Don and Mike are getting complacent, Leo sees it, too. It’s getting harder to get Don out of his lab and Mike off of his stupid skateboard – this isn’t a good omen and I’m sure we’ll pay for it eventually. Still, Master Splinter does make sure they get their practice in… they do go on patrols together, but usually they end up searching areas they shouldn’t be bothering with rather than protecting our perimeter. Heh – now I’m sounding like Leo! I must have a fever or somethin’! ;)

So the state of our lives: The Foot went low key after the terrorist attacks of 9-11 and they’ve been pretty much our main problem lately, so when they went incognito our worries were mostly over. Of course, as time has passed and City security has loosened a bit, the Foot have found cracks to get their claws into. Can’t be prevented, as they’re determined. Real determined.

Basically the Foot’s still fragmented from back when Shredder disappeared. The Japanese Clan has sent over several “generals” to try to get things back in order, but Saki was a more effective leader than I think anyone thought – us included. He took a ragtag bunch of locals and whipped them into true ninjas in short order with only a handful of help from Japan – seems no one else has been able to do that yet. A few have tried, but fortunately we found out about ’em and took them out before things got worse again. As Fate would have it, I’ve got a few allies working inside their organization and feeding me the straight – so far it’s workin’ out good.

Right now there seems to be several minor factions all vying for “official” recognition from the Japanese home branch. The Foot is a dog-eat-dog group, so the lifers back in the Land of the Rising Sun seem happy to sit it out and wait to see which splinter house comes out on top. Best I can find out is there’s currently four groups. Two are lead by local New Yorkers, one of these is nothing more than a snatch-and-grab thieving operation, they basically wear the Foot garb to try to protect themselves. The street gangs usually won’t mix it up with the Foot – but I’ve got word on the street what’s up with them, so I don’t expect they’ll last much longer.

The second group of yokels is much more organized. They’re attempting to corner the “protection” racket and doing pretty well at it. They’ve removed the competition that moved in when the Foot fell apart a few years back, and are definitely making powerful enemies a they attempt to expand their turf. Either they’ll win or be wiped out – but I don’t think we’ll play a role, cuz they’re crossing some heavy duty characters.

More troubling are the two Japanese lead factions. The smaller of the two is into white collar crime. Very sophisticated computer shiznit. Basically they appear to be Shredder’s hackers, who’re still operating with assistance and funding from Japan. I suspect that this is the group that will come out on top, as the more finances they gain, the more the home branch will support them. This is good, because I’d rather deal with well-funded than well-trained.

The last group is lead by what I’ve heard is a cousin or somethin’ to Saki – he’s around 20 years old and knows his stuff. I ran into him a few weeks back and was lucky to get away… he’s a good strategist and his followers are scary good. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Foot Elite are working with him. To make matters worse, this cat seems to be holding the same grudge against us that Shredder had – he’s made it clear that his goal is to wipe us out and he’s always working to achieve that. So the Blood-feud looks like it’ll never end. So be it – and bring it on. We’ve settled this in the past and we can do it again.

Don’s had nothig but time, so he’s got the lair disguised so well that I don’t think anyone’ll discover us – sometimes even I have a hard time gettin’ in. But ya never know. Saki Jr.’s ninjas are crazy skilled – so we gotta be on our toes – which is why I’m freakin’ about Mike, who goes off to skate by himself way too much. Wouldn’t be so bad if he was careful, but he lets his mind wander alla time. My temper gets me into trouble, but Mikey’s lack of common sense could be real trouble. I tail him as often as I can and I’ve got Leo covering when I’m out – but sooner or later Mike’s gonna be on his own. I warned him about it and he just gets his back up. I know it’s a Leo thing to act this way, but I learned the hard way that Leo’s way is the right way sometimes. Not always, but often enough.

So we’ve got our hands full with the Foot (heh heh – that line’s kinda funny) and thumping them when we can. It’s been quiet, but not totally quiet. Don’s so absorbed in his work he doesn’t have a clue how dangerous the situation is becomming, but he’s doing important work, so I figure he needs to keep his mind on that. I just gotta get him to run the right patrols – or Leo does. Don’s a genius, but his brain doesn’t always work the way ya think it should – common sense ain’t his strong point either.

I’ve been having alotta good talks with Master Splinter about this stuff, he’s got good insight into the inner workings of the Foot. That old rat surprises me more and more the older I get.

Casey and April are doin’ good. Shadow is always hangin’, which is pretty cool, she’s a good kid. Of course, Splinter’s got her training with April now – he isn’t happy unless he’s telling somebody what to do – but it’s cool cuz it gives him something to do. Our practice isn’t much more than keeping sharp, we know almost everything he can teach, so it’s good that he gets to see some fresh faces learning his stuff. Shadow’s a quick study – but she’s not all that into it. I don’t see her becomming a ninja. She’s just at that stage where she wants to make the adults in her life happy – that’ll change real soon… and then Casey will have a whole new set of problems. :)

Anyways that’s what’s goin’. As ya can see, nothing worth writing home about… but people have been buggin’ over what’s up, so there ya go. Now stop buggin’, k?


Master Splinter

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