Some TMNT stuff was always meant for grownups.
|Tales Volume 2 > Issue # 13|
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- Plot: Stephen Murphy, Peter Laird & Rick Remender
- Script: Stephen Murphy
- Pencils: Rick Remender
- Inks & Tones: Mike Manley
- Letters: Eric Talbot
- Frontispiece: Kieron Dwyer
- Letters Page Art: Dario Brizuela
The great baboon god Pai-Doth Noor fears his end is near. He is ancient, and has many memories that he relishes, but his memories shall be no more.
An 8 year old Leonardo practices with his bokken, when Splinter appears and gives him his first katana. Through the night, as his brothers sleep, an excited Leonardo practices with the katana. Suddenly, he is summoned before Pai-Doth Noor, and recognizes three other Leonardos—one at age 15, one at age 45, and one whose age is over 100.
Noor has come to collect the favor he was promised when the Turtles visited him to reverse a spell and send them to find Splinter. He bestows a gift upon the teenaged Leonardo, and tasks the four Leonardos to deliver the gift to a "Cynocea," who resides in an Egypt in a time when that country was in control of most of northern Africa.
As the Leonardos head to the castle in which this Cynocea can be found, Middle-Aged Leonardo spies a baby floating downriver in a basket, about to be devoured by a crocodile. He beats the croc into submission, and Young Leo asks Old Leo if they should help the baby; Old Leo tells him that the baby is Moses, and that he will find his own destiny.
Three Egyptian men ambush the Leos immediately thereafter, and Teen Leo takes them on alone. The final one flees, and summons a cavalry. The Leos beat a hasty retreat, and eventually come upon the castle in the far but visible distance.
Old Leo goes to meditate, and the other Leos sit around a campfire. Teen Leo asks middle-aged Leo asks how his life will be between then and now, and middle-aged Leo says at 15, was the best time of his life. After that, things change, and life at best is bitter sweet. As the 15 year old and 45 year old Leos talk, an excited 8 year old Leo plays, thinking about how awesome their journey is. He spies old Leo levitating in mediation, and thinks that is awesome as well.
The next morning, as they approach the castle, they come across a few locals, who not only do not fear the Leos, but seem to respect them. Old Leo reflects on how the time is simpler, when man and nature were closer together. Middle-aged Leo cynically describes that it is because it was prior to the Europeans and Arabs enslaving the region and everything.
At the castle, the Leos formulate a plan for getting in. Young Leo falls into the moat and is attacked by two giant piranha, but dispatches them quickly. The Leos scale the wall and drop into the courtyard, noting that it smells like ammonia—an olfactory indication of cat urine. As the Leos browse the suq in the castle's courtyard, they smell the cat urine again, and are ambushed by a cheetah man and woman. Middle-aged Leonardo is knocked out by them.