April O’Neil here! I’ve lived in New York City for all sixteen years of my life, and I’ve seen some amazing things.
Including four brothers who happen to be talking turtles.
I met them five years ago when they were sneaking around the basketball court on the roof of my apartment building. We became friends. Really good friends. They’re like big brothers to me.
Except, you know, they’re turtles.
Raphael is the biggest, oldest brother. We all call him Raph. They tell me he’s a snapping turtle, but I’ve never seen him snap. Because he’s the biggest and the oldest, he’s the leader. But when you’re fifteen, it’s tough getting your brothers to follow you.
Leonardo’s fourteen, and he’s supposed to be the kind of turtle called a red-eared slider. Leo’s really funny and cool. He makes me laugh all the time. He’s also incredibly quick when he goes into fighting mode.
Donatello’s also fourteen. He’s a softshelled turtle, so he wears these amazing battle shells that he makes himself. He can make pretty much anything. Donnie’s supersmart.
At thirteen, Michelangelo’s the youngest brother. They say Mikey’s a box turtle, but he doesn’t seem very boxy to me. He’s incredibly enthusiastic about all kinds of things, like break dancing, skateboarding, graffiti art, music, and basically running around being wild. He’s really fun!
They all are! Along with their dad, Master Splinter, the Turtles were the weirdest things I’d ever seen in New York. Until we met Mayhem and found the Hidden City . . .
Listen up and I’ll tell you about how we met Mayhem, why I named him that, and how he became my pet. Most of what happened I was there for, and the rest the guys filled me in on. . . .
Raph was the one who first spotted the strange little animal wandering around a construction site. When we got closer, we saw how odd the creature looked. He had a long tail, big pointy ears, huge eyes, and a couple of long teeth sticking out of his mouth. We couldn’t tell whether he was a dog or a cat. Or something completely different!
Raph started talking to him like he was talking to a baby. “Hey, little guy,” he cooed. “Whatcha doing here? Come to big Raphie. He’ll make everything okay!”
His brothers just stared at him.
“What?” Raph asked. “Pets love me. I am one with the animals!”
But the animal jumped into MY arms! He licked MY face! I loved it!
“He looks so weird,” Mikey said. “What is he?”
“A dog? A cat?” Leo said. “A rainbow weasel? Just made that up.”
Donnie spotted a glowing pink vial on the animal’s collar. “Maybe he’s some kind of nuclear Saint Bernard.”
Before we could decide what he was, two dudes in jogging suits ran into the construction site. This was not cool. The Turtles can’t let people see them, or else they might end up being dissected in some lab.
“Humans!” Raph hissed. “Plan H!” Leo spoke to the joggers in a super-nerdy voice. “Excuse me, sirs. Can you direct us to the local science fiction convention that we are dressed for?”
“Snazzy alien-turtle outfits, huh?” Mikey said in his own version of a super-nerdy voice.
“Yep,” Donnie chimed in. “We’re just typical, normal humans who got lost in the middle of our normal, everyday human lives. Nailed it.”
“Dude,” Leo whispered to Donnie nervously, “you gotta make it to rehearsal.”
“Give to me creature,” demanded one of the joggers. He had a strange accent. “We are his owners.”
But the little animal hissed and growled at them. No WAY were we handing him over.
“How you say ‘pretty please or we’ll destroy you’?” the other jogger asked. Destroy us?!
Now I KNEW I wasn’t giving these guys the weird little creature. “Forget it,” I said. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll leave. Nicely and quietly.”
“You do not intimidate us,” the first jogger snarled. He turned toward Donnie. “With or without your fake nerd voices.”
“That was my real voice,” Donnie protested.
“You better GET intimidated,” Raph warned. “’Cause we’re like nothing you’ve ever seen!”
The jogger made an elaborate gesture. A weird glow passed over the two guys, and they transformed into these big warriors riding huge, snarling dogs! They were carrying, like, scepters! Whoa!
“Weapons ahoy!” Raph ordered, taking charge. He drew out his sai blades, which looked kind of like giant forks but with really sharp points and edges.
“We agreed to reserve ‘ahoy’ for shipbased adventures,” Donnie reminded him. “I got this!”
He pressed a button on his tech-bo
staff. It sprouted two rocket engines and started twirling . . . out of control! It flew up into the air! “No!” Donnie cried. POOF!
The little animal disappeared from my arms! POOF!
He reappeared in midair, right by Donnie’s tech-bo
, and clamped onto it with his teeth. POOF!
He reappeared above Donnie and dropped the tech-bo
right into his hands. “Hey,” Donnie said, “he plays fetch!” POOF!
The dog-thingy popped back into my arms. “And teleports!” he added. “OH MY GOSH—HE TELEPORTS?!”
The Turtles gave the two big warriors their best shots, even going into ninja mode, but the warriors kept blasting them with these weird waves of energy. They even destroyed three of the guys’ weapons!
One of the warriors slammed his scepter onto the ground. A wave of energy knocked us all off our feet!
The other warrior threw a glowing ball of energy around the little animal so he couldn’t teleport away.
“I have the agent and the vial!” he crowed.
The first warrior pulled out this glowing blue compass and traced a symbol in front of a brick wall. The bricks shifted and made this weird, scary-looking face with a wideopen mouth. The mouth was an opening into what looked like a mystical world!
Copyright © 2018 by David Lewman; illustrated by Random House. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.