Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.
At Yosemite National Park in Northern California, Raph, Ninjara and Naga (Ninjara brother) have decided to take a relaxing camping trip (at Splinter’s behest). Naga wonders if they’re going to see any action out in the wild, but Raph reminds the kid that they promised Master Splinter that they’d take it easy and not get into any trouble. Ninjara is fine with that order, as she thinks the scenery is so romantic it would be the perfect place for a honeymoon. Nervously, Raph runs off to find a place to make camp. While stomping around, Raph finds a fox snared in a trap. Freeing the little guy, the trio is incensed at the prospect of poachers in a national park. They spot said poachers not far away: Lucienda Van Pelt, Queen of the Fur Trade, and her dimwitted son, Trapper Jon.
The poachers have captured dozens of foxes and put them in a cage with designs on turning their hides into coats. Ninjara and Naga want to stop them, but Raph reminds them that they have to obey their sensei’s commands. They’ll make camp and notify the park rangers in the morning.
As night falls and everyone goes to bed, Naga finds himself restless. He decides to sneak over to the cage and free the foxes without anyone noticing. Unfortunately, he’s careless and is caught in one of Trapper Jon’s snares. Lucienda begins coveting Naga’s coat, contemplating all the outfits and accessories she can make from it.The sun rises and Ninjara notices Naga missing. Waking Raph, she heads back to where they last spotted the poachers, knowing Naga must have gone there. The pair arrive just in time and trounce the two poachers. They then free Naga, set the foxes loose and truss the poachers up for the authorities.
Back at the lair, Naga relates their adventure to the other Turtles and Splinter. Ninjara tells Raph that perhaps next time they go on vacation they should just try a motel. Raph moans that they’d have a better chance of finding peace and quiet on a desert island.
Zen Million Years to Birth
Down in the sewer, Splinter is attempting to teach the Turtles a lesson about zen; the art of becoming one with your surroundings, forgetting yourself and learning to act without thought. Unfortunately, he attempts this lesson through archery and the cramped surroundings make that a task in and of itself. Splinter realizes that a field trip is in order, preferably to a wide open space. And it doesn’t get more wide open than Southeast Arizona. Out in the middle of the desert, April has gladly driven the Turtles and Splinter to their training destination (and brought plenty of bottles of water to survive the trip).
Enjoying the scenery, April spots a man digging up a cactus and immediately stops the van. The man is named Cid and he’s a cactus-rustler; poachers who steal protected species of cactus like the saguaro to sell to landscapers for a fortune. Cid drops to his knees and begs them not to turn him in, and Splinter agrees to show him mercy so long as he returns all his stolen cacti to the desert. As Cid gets busy replanting the prickly things, Splinter starts the Turtles on their zen lesson.
The Turtles don heavy sets of samurai armor as Splinter explains what a Japanese rock garden is. He tells them to begin creating patterns in the sand, decorated with rocks and to keep doing so until he tells them to stop. As he leaves, April asks what the point of rock gardening is. Splinter hopes that by forcing them to focus on their gardening, they will lose track of all thought and become one with their objective. Many hours and rock gardens later, the Turtles haven’t learned squat. Cid, meanwhile, has taken to goofing off with the samurai armor on. Finishing up his last garden, Raph finds the remnants of an old town called Birth that appears to have been destroyed in a fire.
He then excavates a spaceship, The Turtles and Cid enter the ship and find several crystals laying around. A voice speaks to them through telepathy, claiming that if they reattach the power crystal that was dislodged in the crash, they will learn all the secrets of the Grog. Don suspects it may be a trick, but Cid greedily succumbs to the lure of infinite knowledge.
Plugging in the power crystal, the Grog alien mind possesses Cid, turning him into a crystal samurai. Grog-Cid boasts that in fifteen minutes, the ship will repair itself and then go about possessing the minds of all the people of Earth. Grog-Cid is then flanked by a pair of cactus creatures, the physical forms of the Grog, and they chase the Turtles outside.The Turtles try to fight the Grog, but their telepathic powers allow them to counter their moves before they make them. Splinter shows up and handily takes down several Grog, explaining that using zen techniques, his mind and body become one, eliminating all thought. At last understanding the value of zen, the Turtles employ what they’ve learned to battle the Grog. Don chases one of the Grog named Kak-Ti into the ship, but not before the villain procures a dehydration gun capable of sapping all water from its victims and transferring it to him. Unfortunately, because Kak-Ti only has one eye, his depth perception stinks and he ends up shooting his own soldiers.
Don flees outside as the ship tries to fly before its repair sequence is finished. The Turtles use their shells to smack Grog-Cid around and shatter his crystal exterior. One look at the cactus-monsters, though, sends Cid running away in horror. The Turtles take out the last of the Grog out in the desert as the ship, unable to properly fly, crashes back down to earth and reburies itself.
The adventure over, the Turtles decide to get back to their zen training, figuring they’ve just about got it down.
A Perfect Evening
Down in the lair, Leo, Mike and Don are scarfing down a peanut butter and jelly pizza. Don invites Raph and Ninjara to join them, but Raph refuses. He has a candlelit dinner waiting for Ninjara and him on the roof of April’s apartment building and nothing, absolutely NOTHING, is going to ruin their perfect evening. Naga begins to childishly mock the exiting lovebirds as the news report Splinter is watching warns of a chance of rain. On the street, Raph promises Ninjara that they’re going to have the perfect evening.
Suddenly, they spot a thief stealing a TV through a window. Raph stops him and terrifies the guy into running away, screaming. No sooner do they get their date back on track, a purse-snatcher knocks over an old lady, leaving Raph and Ninjara no choice but to be sidetracked again. As the rain begins to come down, they still haven’t made it to April’s building, as now a little girl has lost her cat down an open manhole. Raph climbs into the sewer and retrieves the kitty for the child as the rain begins to pour.
Unfortunately, Raph fails to notice a huge wave of rain water rushing down the tunnel his way. Raph is carried away in the flood and Ninjara, worried, dives in after him. She is swept away and loses consciousness. Ninjara wakes up a little while later in Raph’s arms. Being a turtle and all, he was never in any danger of drowning, so she had nothing to worry about. Their plans ruined, Don brings them some leftover peanut butter and jelly pizza (and also drags the mocking Naga away). As they sit alone in the tunnel eating the cold pizza, Ninjara assures Raph that it was the perfect evening.
- Due to Naga’s presence and the break in the serialization of the ongoing, "Fox Trap!" and "A Perfect Evening" have to take place somewhere between TMNT Adventure #50 and TMNT Adventure #55.
- Due to the lack of Ninjara, "Zen Million Years to Birth" has to take place before TMNT Adventure #28.