The Final Echo: SAINW
It was easy to see why Leonardo would have chosen this spot for a meeting. From where Donatello stood on the rubble, there was the feeling of silence, although he could hear foolish propaganda echoing from one side of the river, the silence on the other, abandoned side was more than enough to eat the white noise away.
A light breeze lifted the violet mask tails from his shoulders, causing the turtle to instinctively face the wind. He could recall a day when the fresh winds over the river brought the briny scent of the ocean, but now it only brought a smell of oil and decay from the polluted waters. Even the river far below, which had been so full of roaring life was only a deep murky swirl of pollution.
Donnie was feeling more than a little exposed on the ruins of the tall bridge. He had been told it had been a structure built soon after the Foot took control of the city, connecting the residential slums with the labor camps. The structure has been a symbol of the Foot's power, and as such been made a prime target for the rebel army.
In the end it had been the Foot who destroyed it, all to wipe out the small rebel squad.
The sharp sound of metal on metal caused Donnie's attention to snap behind him, his eyes searching the twisted remains for the source of the noise as he cautiously drew his weapon.
Another sharp snap, again from behind, this time sending a large steel cable flying off into the water below.
Don was circling now, weapon held defensively as he tried to get a glimpse of who it was in the darkness with him.
There was no warning to the strike he received from behind, knocking him forward a pace before he spun to attack. He only hit air though.
Was someone toying with him?
The next snap caused the ground below him to shudder, and Don fell to his front as the piece of road that had been stable below him only moments prior began to slide out of place. A trap.
Knowing he only had moments to climb up before he was tossed into the water far below, Don began a hasty climb as the ground below began to tilt more and more.
He didn't have enough time, and in a last moment effort to save himself, Don launched himself at a twisted and rusty support, his hands wrapping around it as he abandoned his staff to fall below.
His legs dangled for a moment while he waited for the tremors to end before he began to climb up.
As he got close to the top, he started when he saw the scar covered hand reaching for him. He reached up and placed his hand in the security of Leo's, waiting for the final pull up.
It never came. Leo sat crouched on the edge, watching Don dangling below.
"Leo? Pull me up, I'm gonna fall. What are you waiting for?" Don looked below, still hearing the heavy splashes from debris completing the harsh fall.
Donnie wasn't sure Leo was going to answer, he held his silence for so long, but then his quiet voice rasped out.
"For thirty years, I have been chasing your ghost." he began, "Thirty years I have been following your echoes."
"Leo, right now is a really bad-"
"Every single time I've come within reach." Leo continued, ignoring the pleas from below. "Your essence has faded away, nothing more than some sort of hallucination."
Don felt Leo's grip tighten on him and for a moment he thought his brother was going to pull him up.
"This time it's going to be my choice. This time I'M the one who lets go."
There was a sharp tug on his hand before Donatello felt himself being released into the air with a cry. He plunged towards the filthy water, his face twisted in breathless horror.
Leonardo felt, rather than saw the other's life energy disperse long before the purple-banded phantom reached the waves below.
There was no splash, and Leo hadn't been expecting one. Ghosts die silently.
Turning his back to the scene, Leo almost started as he felt his communicator lightly vibrate at his hip. He quickly punched the security code into the device before answering, "Leonardo."
"This is April. Listen, I need you to come back to the base. Mikey found something that might turn the odds back in our favor."