The Price of Leadership
|The Price of Leadership|
|Date of Cutscene:||23 June 2019|
|Location:||New York City|
|Cast of Characters:||Leonardo|
After Cody Garrett's disappearance, nobody knew anything for a few days. That changed when Alopex and Pippi went to see him and realized he was missing, along with the container of mutagen - rather, Utromium, since it had not been refined yet, but that's just getting too far into small details. It was what it was, and its purpose in Shredder's hands was singular.
When Leonardo found out, things did not go well. It came in the form of a note from Alopex, who he hadn't even realized had come and gone while he was sleeping. It read: "Cody mutated into a lion by Shredder. Indoctrinated. Thinks we did it to him. Need some time to collect myself. Will be back soon."
His first instinct was to track her down and bring her back one way or another. In times like this, being alone was even more dangerous. However, chasing after her ran the risk of pushing her away so soon after she left the Foot Clan and began to trust her former enemies. That trust, right now, must be on a razor-thin wire.
No. He would give her the space she needed, but be ready to respond if called on. He would trust her to be all right and return on her terms.
Pippi was another story. She initially went after Alopex but changed course and backtracked to the Lair, diving into some solo training. While Leo also let her do that uninterrupted, he found himself sneaking glances when she wasn't aware - not out of anything untoward, but rather to observe what he could make out of her capabilities.
She might be one to speak with further soon, to see how she was holding up.
As for himself, the eldest brother was running through the usual questions, some of that self-doubt creeping back in. He should have been more decisive about how to deal with the mutagen when they found it during the dock ambush. There was no way to know it had a tracker with it, which led Shredder right to Cody, but the man did not deserve to get caught up in all of this. He'd seemed honorable, trustworthy.
The matter was made worse by the idea of him being brainwashed into Shredder's service. Bebop. Rocksteady. Koya. Bludgeon. Now Nemean, though he did not yet know the name. How many more would Shredder draw into his ranks, whether human initially or animal?
Punisher was out there killing those he felt deserved it, and it pushed Leo away from wanting to work with the vigilante. Even Master Splinter seemed, in his mind, to be more willing to go that far if it was warranted. But, where was that line? If it was crossed, could anyone ever go back from there?
Was Leonardo wrong to eschew killing, to keep it as a last resort to consider only when all other options were exhausted first? What might it cost them in the meantime? With the changes going on around him, how far would his brothers go to follow his beliefs? Would Raphael challenge him on it? Would Leonardo, too, have to change?
Meditation would not provide Leonardo with the answers he sought. Even speaking with Splinter might not accomplish that this time. One thing he did know: there was a reckoning coming soon. He could only hope they would all survive it in one piece.