Okay, that's a lie, I'd be happier if it weren't my last, but who knows what the future brings, right? Anyway, now that the issue is out, I'm going to post the last of the stories I was asked to put forward to Mirage, should Tales have continued beyond #70. I've already posted the other three, so check them out, and the reason I held back on this one was because it dealt with the events of #64, and I couldn't really post it without spoiling certain elements of that story. So, now that the book is out there, go and get it, read it, and then check this out, but ONLY read this if you've read #64, because there are some massive spoilers in this story.
Without further ado, here is...
“Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Story Proposal
“Eyes of a Dragon”
This story takes place not too long after Tales of the TMNT #64 (“The Burning Man”), and is a sequel of sorts to that issue. We will again delve into Chinese mythology, this time drawing on the popular myth of the Jiangshi (or kiang-shih) -- the hopping corpse, along with other forms of Chinese mysticism, but we cannot forget the trademark TMNT action and humor. This story will also touch on a number of threads begun in some of my previous stories, such as the ambiguous Chinese crimelord Li Xiao Yao and his rivalry with the renegade Shredder loyalists, and continue lightly tracking Hun’s movements throughout the underworld.
We open with Leo spying on a gathering of Shredder loyalists, apparently the same ones responsible for unleashing the Burning Man in #64, stealing what appears to be a piece of a statue from a shipping container. Suddenly, a new group of warriors burst into the place. The Foot put up a decent fight, but there doesn’t seem to be any stopping the warriors. Even mortal wounds fail to put them down. They are Jiangshi, but Leo doesn’t know this yet. He witnesses them slaughter of the Foot cell, and take the statue piece but when he tries to follow, he finds that the Jiangshi warriors have vanished.
Leonardo returns to April’s apartment and fills Donatello in on what has occurred and the two try to come up with an explanation for the warriors. Don (half) jokingly reasons that they could be Karai’s men on PCP or even super-zombies.
As they joke, someone knocks on the door. Don checks the new closed circuit micro surveillance system he installed in the building and sees an ancient looking Chinese man on the other side of April’s door. Leo and Don try to shake him off, but the old man is persistent and tells them that he followed Leonardo (Leonardo is shocked -- we all know how skilled he is) and that he must speak with them urgently, begging for their help.
The let the old man in and he tells them that both the Foot Clan and the Jiangshi are racing to collect the “Eyes of the Dragon”, three gemstones that, when placed in a statue of an ancient dragon, will unleash a power that could prove devastating if harnessed by the wrong people. Don backs up what the old man is saying, having read something about all this when he was researching the Burning Man curse (in Tales #64). The old man believes that one of the eyes is being held in a sarcophagus that is being transported from New York to Boston via train, but warns them that if the Foot or the Jiangshi try to steal the gem, they will unleash the eye’s guardian, an ancient dragon warrior. Don also knows about these. There were supposedly three of them and that their swords carried a great power, or something along those lines. The old man tells them that this is correct, and that the dragon warriors can only be truly defeated if their swords are destroyed. The old man says that if the Foot and the Jiangshi both knew about the statue piece from earlier, then they will certainly know about the eye being on the train. It is just a matter of who gets to it first. Leo and Don agree that neither should be allowed to obtain the stone and agree to help the old man retrieve it.
We cut to later, where all four Turtles have met up at the train yards. They witness the Foot Elite with the metal arm (from #59 and #36) commanding some men as they board a train. Logic dictating that that’s their train, they sneak aboard. The train leaves and the Turtles try to make their way as quietly as possible to the carriage containing the sarcophagus. One of the turtles discovers that a Foot Mystic is leading this particular group.
Before long, the Jiangshi appear, and the Turtles’ stealth mission goes to the fan. The Foot and the Jianshi start ripping into each other, and the mystic starts using magic to fight off the Jiangshi. The Turtles, of course, find themselves involved and reveal themselves. The Jiangshi don’t care, but the Foot Mystic becomes worried and commands two Elite to hold off the Turtles and the Jiangshi while he gets the Eye. Leo tries to stop him, but it is too late – by the time he reaches the carriage with the sarcophagus, the Mystic has the eye, and something else is happening… something is materialising inside the sarcophagus.
The Mystic tries to escape, but both the Jiangshi and the Turtles prevent this from happening, and all three groups suddenly find themselves confronted by a Dragon Warrior. It’s almost like a Chinese samurai – elaborate armour with intricate and horrifying designs etched into it. The Jiangshi attack the warrior, but it cuts them down easily, and this time they don’t get back up either. The Foot escape, and those who can’t are forced to fight.
What follows is an intense fight where this one dragon warrior manages to seemingly defeat all who oppose it, and as Leonardo now has the gemstone, it comes for him like the Terminator! Raph tries to take it down, but it tosses him aside. Mikey slams on the emergency brake, which puts the Dragon warrior off-balance and Leo takes this opportunity to strike. He turns the Dragon warrior’s sword on itself and defeats the beast with its own blade.
We cut back to NYC where the Leonardo returns the gemstone to the old man from earlier in his shop. We see him place it in a stone box where it shall be safely kept, and Leo leaves…