Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto/ Star Ocean) [draft snippet] Chapter 13 part 2

<< Chapter 13 Part 1

OoooO

Naruto’s apartment – Within Uzumaki’s Legacy

Flying above the maze of shelves, containing knowledge that he could not even begin to comprehend, Naruto could not help being dwarfed by all that had happened, of having a real piece of his parents, the history of his ancestors handed back to him.

Right at the moment, Old man Hokage was making one last attempt at finding the hidden corner where his father and mother had gathered whenever they were in the base. According to Old man Hokage, the small “home base” of his parents had been near the podium, as such, it did not took very long for the two of them to catch sight of a small corner hidden by a few shelves that looked different from the rest of the place.

There was a round table stacked with books and thick tomes, comfortable cushioned chairs around the table, and a hemmock hanging between two shelves. Old man Hokage smiled fondly as he brushed his hand against the table, his gaze seemingly faraway.

“I remembered the first time when your mother brought those she trusted into the Legacy. She took us here, showed us how to manipulate the yin chakra in this dimension into a permanent state. Because of the original structural creation of this dimension by your ancestor, it was easy to extract knowledge and formed them into books and tomes, but it was harder to shape the yin chakra in this dimension into something else.” The Hokage said in remembrance. “I never really got the hang of it, my wife, and one of my former student were however able to match your mother in yin chakra manipulation. Like your parents, they attempt to make a few small areas in this vast library places where they could rest and work. My dear Biwako and I used to have a personal space not far from your parents’.”

Naruto saw the Hokage’s eyes misting as the older man dwelled on old memories. Biting his lips, Naruto hesitated before asking. “Who did she brought in? Do I know any of them?”

For a moment, a look of pain flashed across Old man Hokage’s face. “There was my wife, your mother’s two best friends Mikoto Uchiha and Kojika Hyūga, and two of my former students, one of whom was your father’s teacher and your godfather.” The Hokage said, his eyes tightening with sadness.

“Wait… I have a godfather?” Naruto asked in surprise. “Why have I never seen him?”

“Shortly after your father’s death, he set off for a dangerous and prolonged mission outside Konoha. He has only been back to the village twice after that. The last time was when you was four. He left a toad wallet for your birthday.” Old man Hokage said with a smile.

“He was the one that gave me Gama-chan?” Naruto asked in surprise. He had received a toad wallet when he was younger, but he never found out who left it for him back at the orphanage. He had always thought it had been Old man Hokage who had given it to him. When he was moved into his own apartment and given the orphan stipend, he had saved up for a new toad wallet, keeping the original hidden away as one of his precious objects. All the subsequent incarnations of his wallet had been in the form of a toad, and nicknamed Gama-chan since then.

“Your godfather and I long suspected that the attack of the Nine-tailed beast on Konoha, and the death of your parents, were all part of a bigger conspiracy by a mysterious organisation of rogue ninja that we have been trying to track for years.” Old man Hokage said gravely. “Do not blame him for leaving you behind. He was trying to keep you safe in his own way. There are times a ninja had to make hard decisions for his people and his village.”

“Like when my father sealed the Nin-tails inside of me?” Naruto asked sardonically. Old man Hokage winced at Naruto’s words.

“I am sure your father has his reasons.” The Hokage said gravely. “And a lot of it probably stems from the fact that only a full blooded Uzumaki can hope to successfully contain the Nine-tailed beast without suffering grievous harm.”

Naruto was silent for a while before he pushed his bubbling emotions away, concentrating on the more important piece of information the Hokage had inadvertently revealed. “I am sure he has his reasons. But I can’t help feeling a little bitter over his choice to make me into a demon container… but what do you mean when you say conspiracy? And what organisation of rogue ninja are you talking about?”

As far as Naruto was aware, Sica had never mentioned coming across any of the information old man Hokage had revealed. So either the information did not threaten his wellbeing and the wellbeing of those close to him directly, or the information was never written down and archived. Which means Sica never had a chance to scan the information.

“Those issues are nothing for you to worry about.” The Hokage said, deflecting the question, giving Naruto what he probably thought was a comforting smile. “You are still a child and your induction into Konoha’s Ninja Corp is a very special case. Take your time to understand your legacy, figure out what it means to be a Konoha ninja, and train to be the ninja your parents will wish for you to be. Let me take care of the rest. I have also sent a message to your godfather about the recent attacks. When he returns to the village, I will get him to see you and tell you more about your parents.”

“That is nice, but…” Naruto begun, intending to question Old man Hokage on the mysterious organisation and his godfather. He never got the chance as the Hokage began walking around the table, lifting up several scrolls with a smile.

“Ah I remember this.” The Hokage said with a smile, unravelling one of the scroll. “Your mother was continuing Lady Mito’s research on the Uzumaki bloodline. She managed quite a headway creating an original clan technique, some kind of Chakra Chains. I remembered your father telling me she had completed the technique, shortly before your mother realised she was pregnant with you.”

The information distracted Naruto from his original line of thought, causing him to frown, as he thought back on what Sica had told him of the Uzumaki clan. “I know the Uzumaki clan was renowned as Seal Masters, and that some of the history books attribute their large chakra reserves and vitality as some sort of bloodline… But how can you create a clan technique if your bloodline just makes you more… healthy and have a larger chakra pool than others?”

The Hokage gave a laugh. “The Uzumaki bloodline is actually the same as the Senju bloodline, or at least they were the same roughly several centuries ago when your clan first begun. As centuries passed, the two bloodlines began to show subtle differences, even though at the core of it, they originated from the same source.

“The Senju were renowned to possess great vitality, large chakra reserves and potent chakra, with an instinctive grip of chakra and shape transformation. Due to inter-marriages between clan members, subsequent descendants began to gain very powerful chakra elements in either Earth and Water. The First Hokage was the first… and only one of his clan members to show the Wood Release bloodline, and it was largely thought by the clan to be a flux in their centuries of bloodline strengthening.” Old man Hokage said with a regretful sigh.

“The Uzumaki possess the same vitality and chakra reserves as the Senju. But due to their low numbers, inter-clan marriages were rare in the first few generations. Their chakra and chakra elements were not as potent as the Senju, but they possess more diverse chakra elements. Their clan members frequently showed one or two of the five basic chakra elements instead of only Earth and Water. Their chakra were also more malleable, allowing them to transfer their chakra to another without harming the person receiving the chakra infusion, or enable them to balance multiple chakra infusion in their bodies.

“Some of the best medical ninja of the older generations came from the Uzumaki clan. But the Uzumaki clan was more infamously known for their Great Seals. The Great Seals tapped into the malleability of their bloodline, were enormously chakra intensive, and could only be activated by an Uzumaki Seal Master tapping on the chakra of numerous Uzumaki clan members at the same time. The Land of Whirlpool an island located off the coast of our country, was the home of the Uzumaki clan. It got its name not because there were naturally occurring whirlpools there but because the Uzumaki clan created those whirlpools with one of their Great Seals, whirlpools that lasted till this day.”

“I didn’t know seals could do those kind of things.” Naruto said with surprise. The seal knowledge Sica had scanned and tutored him in had never shown the craft to be capable of massive environmental alterations. From what Sica had taught him of Federation History and Sciences, many Federation nations only began studies into environmental manipulation, usually weather control, centuries after their first off world colonization.

“The Great Seals of the Uzumaki clan could do that and possibly more. And the knowledge is all contained somewhere in the Legacy.” Old man Hokage said looking around the shelves filled with ancient knowledge, his lips twisting in a sad smile. “But even if anyone knew how to create those Great Seals now, no Seal Master will be able to activate them without a large group of ninja capable of infusing him with chakra to support the seals. And unless the Seal Master has a malleable chakra system equivalent to an Uzumaki, he will be unable to balance so many different chakra infusions without chakra poisoning.”

“But I am an Uzumaki… does that mean I can use those Great Seals?” Naruto asked, filling a hint of excitement.

The Hokage paused, giving Naruto a considering look before smiling. “Perhaps Naruto, perhaps you might be able to use the Great Seals of old one day, with the help of trusted companions. But right now you are only beginning to learn what it is to be a ninja. You don’t have to think about the Great Seals at the moment. Promise me that even if you find knowledge of the Great Seals in the Legacy that you will not attempt to learn it unless I am with you. Even with the Nine-tails providing you with additional chakra, you might end up seriously injuring yourself.”

“I promise.” Naruto said with a nod.

“Good.” Old man Hokage said lying a hand on Naruto’s shoulder, looking wistfully down at him. “What I have learnt about your teacher, the training you received from him, how you have handled those secrets and saved the Uchiha, all these made me realised that you have grown up while I was not looking. You have become someone matured enough to be entrusted with your parents’ legacy. The knowledge contained in The Legacy can be dangerous and frightening at times. Just remember I am always here to help you, and be wise when attempting to learn the secrets contained here.”

“I will old man. Thank you.” Naruto said, smiling back at the man who had been akin to a favourite grandfather throughout his life.

“Good, let’s leave this place for now and get you some rest.” Old man Hokage said. “As a Chunin answerable to only me, it is within my jurisdiction to have some personal training time with you. We can go through the knowledge contained within The Legacy during those periods.”

“Will I also have a Jonin assigned to officially train me?” Naruto asked curiously as The Hokage took flight into the air, flying towards the podium.

“Yes, it is tradition, even for a special case like yours. And I already have somebody in mind. Now that things are finally settling down in the village, I will get him to pick you up tomorrow afternoon to officially initiate you into Konoha’s ninja corp.” Old man Hokage said with a smile. “I never planned for you to become a ninja at such a young age, but now that you are, do me proud Naruto, and put your parents’ legacies to good use.”

OoooO

Chapter 13 Part 3 >>

Rise of the Alliance (BtVS/ Multiple) [draft snippet] Chapter 1 part 2

<< Chapter 1 Part 1

3.5 hours later, Rupert and Calendar’s Sunnydale Mansion

Richard Edgar Castle, an overnight writer sensation after the publishing of his detective series, was quite a well-known name in the writers’ circles. Hell, a few of his best buddies were writers themselves. Known to his friends as Castle, he was a single dad with custody of his one and only precious daughter.

Castle had left Alexis under the care of his mother while he was away for the Writers’ convention. It was supposed to be a weekend of get away, meeting old friends, boosting of his popular works, scoring some hot writer chicks if there were any… It was most certainly not supposed to turn him into a real life game character, with real life gamer’s powers, bond to a magical vampire who was not even out of High School!

A number of those affected had been shocked, fearful and apprehensive of what had happened to them, especially considering the reality of the supernatural world. Castle on the other hand, were among the handful that were gleefully exploring their powers, skills and the possibilities that had opened up for them.

He had tried to organise a vampire hunt for the night, only for his plans to be derailed by an actual meeting with their vampire master. Speaking of vampires, Castle suddenly had a new idea for his next novel… chuckling, he wiped out his pen and notepad and begun scribbling.

“… and so those are the rules. I am sorry it has to be this way, but I cannot allow anyone of you to misuse the powers and skills given to you, to harm innocent people. Now, let’s have a break and enjoy the evening feast that’s prepared, for those that have questions, I will be here to clarify them.” The Vampire Master. The magical vampire with a soul, Alexander Lavelle Harris, stated firmly to his twenty seven new underlings.

The Vampire Master stood atop the stairs of what seem to be a Way Gate structure from the Warcraft III games. Other than the twenty seven people from the hotel, there were also other people and… beings, most probably characters created from the Warcraft III game, standing to the far side of the Way Gate setting up tables of food and drinks.

The distant group was definitely a sight to behold. Handsome men and beautiful women were mingling with what seemed to be dwarves, elves and trolls, placing down jars of sparkling wine and steaming pork and turkey roosts. Standing at the edge of the group was a handful of seemingly more normal looking people who were effortlessly diffusing any would be interracial fights that would have happened among the crowd.

“I have a question.” One of the more vocal writers that Castle never could remember the name of, spoke out. “You said we will have our own free will in living out their lives, but as you have demonstrated before, when you got us to all come here, that we are mere puppets to your will. How can any of us be sure that our own wills and actions are not influenced by you?”

“Well…” The Vampire Master seemed stunned by the sudden question. “When I make a promise I keep it. I wouldn’t enforce my will on any of you unless you use your powers to coerce or hurt innocent people…”

“And there lies the problem. How can we trust your words when you’re the one that made us this way?” The middle aged man stated hotly. “How can anyone of us gathered here be certain that our thoughts are our own, that our wants are our own, that…”

“Oh cut the philosophical shit Herman.” One of the few female writers caught up in this mess spoke up rolling her eyes. Castle glance at the woman, identifying her as Lisa Rizzoli, a small time writer who dabbled in crime writing, though she was more famous for her erotic novels. “The very fact you can even think and make those arguments means that you’re still your ornery self. I am more interested in that monthly stipend the kid promised each of us. So… Xander, when will we start receiving those income?”

“I will be giving each of you the first five thousand dollars when you are ready to leave.” The Vampire Master said, while waving his hand to the feast tables. “I invite all of you to join in the feast that’s prepared, and talk to some of my companions while you are at it. I know some of you are interested to learn more of the supernatural and your new powers and abilities, this is a good time to clarify all your doubts.”

Herman began mumbling about mind probes, while several of the people around him began asking The Vampire Master questions about their future, a few of the more adventurous ones made their way to the feast tables. Castle sighted one of his old pals, Albert Mallory, a prolific fantasy writer, making a straight line to a group of trolls. He was about to join him when someone walked up next to him. Turning, he smiled as he saw the young Fed he had encountered this morning, recalling their near death encounter against the being he had later learn was an actual Hellgod.

“Tim.” Castle said, nodding towards The Vampire Master who was being surrounded by several of the gathered people. “Crazy day huh.”

“You said it.” Tim said scratching his head. Castle had talked to Tim briefly when those affected during the hotel incident had gathered to make head or tails of what had happened to them. Castle knew that the young man was an aspiring writer, and apparently a fan of Castle’s work, though Tim had not recognized Castle when they first met. “I am still trying to decide if what happened to us is a good thing… or a bad thing.”

“For me, it feels… exciting. Our Vampire Master promises us free monthly stipend, which I don’t really need, but hey free cash! He also gave us super powers, introduced us to the supernatural world, at the price of being able to control us, which he basically promised he would never do anyway.” Castle said with a boyish grin. “Honestly, I think I trust the kid’s words now that I have seen him. He seemed scared… apprehensive, not exactly an evil overlord.”

“He does have a name.” Tim stated dryly. “Calling him our Vampire Master isn’t really helping with the ‘we are not under his control’ mindset.”

“Aww… but it sounds more dark and grand that way.” Castle said, getting into the mood, a scene already building in his mind. His voice deepened as he swept his arms out. “Imagine, the dark and angst ridden teenage Vampire Master, who rallied his magically bonded and created underlings, against the darkness consuming the world! We are the light, his champions in this heroic and epic fight…”

Castle cut off his dramatic monologue when a dark haired beauty stepped into his line of sight, a stern handsome looking woman beside her. He recognized the dark haired woman and her girl friend from the group’s impromptu gathering earlier in the day.

“Why hello ladies, no twenty questions for our Vampire Master or any desire to partake in the grand feast over there?” Castle asked suavely. If he had any weakness, one of it was definitely beautiful women. Most of the gathered twenty seven people had dispersed to either crowd around their Vampire Master, or gathered around the feast table.

“Beckett and I are just on our way to get some drinks when your… performance stopped us. Are you usually like this?” The woman asked looking at Castle in amusement. “Or do all writers tend to let their imagination runs wild?”

“I blame it on my mother, she’s an actress.” Castle said with a grin, winking shamelessly at the woman. “You’re Angela right? One of the non-writers in this group.”

“Yes you remembered.” Angela said with a dimpled smile. “It’s so chaotic this morning, I can’t even remember half the people in this crowd.”

“Well, I always remember a pretty lady’s name.” Castle said charmingly, he turned to Tim who had been standing by his side. “What do you say Tim? Let’s escort these two beautiful ladies to the tables and mingle with the crowd.”

“But don’t any of you have questions you want to ask the teenage vampire that can control us with his will?” Tim asked looking at the three of them.

“Beckett and I have already done that.” Angela said tapping her head. “It’s amazing how that Xander kid could reply both of us and talk to who knows how many others at the same time.”

“You have spoken to him telepathically?” Castle asked, his eyes going wide.

“It seems the most logical and efficient mode of communication.” Beckett, Angela’s friend said neutrally. The woman seemed like a stern school teacher, albeit a hot looking one. “We know that Xander could communicate with us telepathically, it is only logical to try communicating back. I’ve got most of my questions answered earlier in the day when he first told us to come here, and also come to the conclusion that his compulsion could be resisted… with great effort. Now that I have seen him face to face, I am quite certain he will keep the promise he made to all of us. Unless something drastic happens, it is doubtful we will become his mind slaves. Though of course, it’s not illogical to be cautious and reflect on your own actions every day just to be sure you are not under any compulsion.”

“Nice Beckett, nice. Just when I thought I have nothing to worry about. Then you go and say something like that.” Angela said dryly as she turned to Castle, extending her arm to him. There was a twinkle in her eye as she looked at both him and Tim. “Now about the escort, not that I really need it, but I will feel much better with you two around when plunging into the crowd of non-humans. Because if I know Beckett, she’s going to want to have an up close and personal look at some of their bone structures.”

“I am a forensic anthropologist, looking at bones is what I do. There is a rare opportunity to be had here, though I usually do look at bones when their originators are dead.” Beckett stated calmly. “And Xander promised that I could… observe some of his non-human followers if I ask them myself and if they do not mind. He also told me he has a dragon guarding his home which I will be most interested in…”

Castle stilled at Beckett’s words, a long ago wish he made in childhood coming to life. “Really!? A real dragon?”

OoooO

1 hour later, Rupert and Calendar’s Sunnydale Mansion

His parents died in a car accident when he was four years old. He never could remember them. His foster father, the priest of the church his parents went to, was the one that had raised him. In a lot of ways, Father George Milton was his real father. But he had been angry and rebellious, especially during high school, he never did appreciate what Father George had done for him. Then there was that whole mess with Annie getting her pregnant, her subsequent abortion, and not long after, his foster father had passed away from liver cancer.

Uncle Jonathon and Aunt Selene, a couple from Father George’s service, had become his new foster parents until he was of age to take care of himself. The moment he reached eighteen years of age, Matthew had set off on his own, with only six hundred bucks in his pocket and a high school education. Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Selene tried to maintain contact, but Matthew had been wary of letting anyone close again, he had not contacted them in three months since he found a job in Sunnydale as a room attendant in the Swiss Royal hotel.

Life in Sunnydale had been monotonous and also a little strange. He made enough to rent a small apartment that had been surprisingly cheaper than he expected. One good thing about Sunnydale had been its low rental and housing prices. There was not much entertainment to be had in town, and he did not make enough to waste away on drinks, so Matthew had basically kept to himself in his daily routine of work, eat and sleep.

He had taken those time alone to consider his options because he could not see himself working as a lowly paid room attendant forever. The only real skills he had was that he was hardworking and willing to learn. The thought of becoming a priest like his foster father never crossed his mind. He knew all the hymns, and could recite the bible from memory, but he was never particularly devout.

Matthew had considered joining the army for the paid education but the amount of commitment that would require him to put in had given him pause. Lately though, that option had seemed more and more attractive. Matthew had actually been considering paying a visit to the army recruitment centre in Los Angeles next week, when his life was turned upside down.

As the room attendant assigned to the top floors of the hotel, he had been making his rounds when sounds of fighting caught his ears, followed by the setting off of the fire alarms. His subsequent deconstruction into motes of energies, and reformation into some kind of empowered game character was simply too bewildering to understand.

If he were to slow down and think, to reach into the power that now resides within him, he could sense the core of what he had become. Matthew Scott was now an Independent Youth unit possessing the following skills:

Independence, a passive ability that allows its user to have an 80% resistance against compulsion and binding skills.

Holy Words, a limited area of effect ability that damages nearby foes for 15 damage. Undead foes will be inflicted with an additional 10 damage. 15 MP per use.

Mark of Rebellion, an active ability that transmute any form of compulsion and binding skills on ally into boon(s). 10 MP per use.

Hard Worker, a passive ability that increase user’s base stats by +5.

His skills were not particularly impressive, especially considering some of the reality bending skills some of the writers have, but they were more than what he had a day before. It was an empowering feeling to reach deep and feel the excess of power he now had.

Beside him stood Sally, a middle age single mom who had left her kid at her parents just to sneak to this gathering. Lisa a cleaning lady for the top floor was also there. There was also a guy about his age, one Gage Petronzi, a high schooler who was working as a part time room attendant for extra cash. The four were the only hotel staff caught in the mess, and the rest were either guests or writers staying at the hotel.

Standing together beside one of the tables laden with food, Lisa looked distinctly uncomfortable at the hulking green trolls and short bristly dwarves mingling in the crowd.

“Well, I am going to take the monthly stipend promised to us and move out of Sunnydale.” Lisa spoke up, a look of unease on her face as she twitched nervously. “Find somewhere warm and quiet and live my life far away from all these supernatural stuff. It is… unnatural that’s what it is. I just want to forget that I am even part of all these.”

“I am going to get my parents and daughter and move out of this town too.” Sally said looking uncomfortable. “I have a girl to take care of, I can’t be part of anything dangerous.”

“Some of the writers and guests were talking about joining Xander, learning more about the supernatural and our powers, joining the demon hunting squads that’s being set up to protect the town. It sounds interesting.” Gage spoke up as Sally and Lisa shot him incredulous and worried looks. “I know Xander from high school, at least I have seen him and his cliché before. Never knew he was this bad ass though. I could speak with him, get him to let me be an actual part of this demon hunting business.”

“You are just risking your life for no reason.” Sally scolded in a motherly worried fashion. “Why do you even want to put yourself in harm’s way?”

“I doubt I will be in much danger, look at all these people and… creatures working for him. If what he told us is true, he could create more of them based on the Warcraft III game. I may not be a nerd, but I played that game before and I can tell you some of those units in the game possess skills and powers that’s more powerful than any of us have.” Gage said with a shrug. “Not to mention the powers and skills I gained seemed more suited to… fighting.”

Matthew nodded, Gage’s skills and abilities did seem more combat oriented. Especially the one that lets him turn into a fish monster.

“So Matthew, what’s your plan? With the monthly stipend, there’s no need for you to continue working at the hotel anyway.” Gage said turning to look at him. As the only two closest in age, the two of two had stick together back in the hotel rotations.

“I…” Matthew paused in thought. He did not have much direction for his future, and the existence of the supernatural world and his powers provided him with a goal of sorts to look forward to. “I guess I want to know more as well.”

“Well… the two of you be careful.” Lisa said with a sigh. “Sally and I will be getting out of here now after we get our money. Just try not to get in over your heads.”

Matthew nodded as the two older woman scurried off, avoiding the non-humans in the crowd. Gage turned to grin at him. “Guess you and me are going to be part of this grand adventure! Man, this is even better than the swim team.”

“You are too excited about this.” Matthew noted astutely. “You are aware if we do this we might end up being sliced and diced by whatever nightmare creatures are out there?”

“Aww come on man, are you always such a stick in the mud? Where’s your sense of adventure?” Gage said, pulling on his arm. “Come on, let me introduce you to Devon and his band. They are a band from my high school that was caught in this mess as well. I heard from Devon they are planning to stay to learn more about the supernatural. Us guys, we have to stick together. Who knows, maybe we can even form our own superhero or supernatural hunting team!”

OoooO

Notable Heroes from Deconstruction of Sunnydale’s Swiss Royal Hotel

Daniel “Oz” Osbourne/ Bardic Hero

Singing, a passive ability that allows the singing of bardic songs.

Song Creation, a passive ability that allows the creation of new bardic songs.

Instrument playing, a passive ability that allows the playing of any musical instrument.

Techno-Song, an active ability that allows the Bardic Hero, Oz, to affect technologies with bardic songs.

 

Samuel “Sam” Walters/ Ninja Hero

Thrown weapons, a passive ability that allows weapons to be thrown with great accuracy.

Playing on strings, a passive ability that allows the Ninja Hero, Sam, to produce any sounds by plucking, slapping, popping or tapping on strings.

Potential of a Ninja, a passive ability that allows the use of Ninja skills.

Hidden Weapon Stash, a passive ability that allows the Ninja Hero, Sam, to store weapons in a hidden dimension.

 

Devon MacLeish/ Werewolf Hero

Lunar Transformation, a passive ability that transform the Werewolf Hero, Devon, into a werewolf during full moon. Gain + 10 strength, + 10 Agility, + 100 Hit Points.

Wolf Howl, an active ability that cast fear on enemies in the surrounding areas, and buff up allies by + 5 strength, + 5 Agility, and +30 Hit Points. 20 MP per use.

Vocal Charisma, a passive ability that makes that allows the Werewolf Hero, Devon, to gain + 20 charisma eveytime he speaks.

Summon Wolves, an active ability that summons a pack of wolves for a limited duration of time. 60 MP per use.

 

Richard Castle/ Writer Hero

Nose for crime, a passive ability that allows the Writer Hero, Richard, to sniff out nearby crimes.

Love of writing, a passive ability that allows the Writer Hero, Richard, to gain + 20 mana regeneration while writing.

Pen is Mighter than the Sword, a passive ability that grants + 10 Strength, + 10 Agility, +50 Hit Points and + 50 mana, to the Writer Hero, Richard, when he is wielding a pen.

Imagination, an active ability that renders imagination to reality for a period of time. MP consumption is dependent on the size and mass of imagination turned real.

 

Temperance “Bones” Brennan/ Forensic Hero

Bone Sense, a passive ability that allows the Forensic Hero, Temperance, to sense the synergy and history of bones.

The Power of Bones, a passive ability that grants + 5 Strength, + 5 Agility, + 150 Hit Points to the Forensic Hero, Temperance, when she is wielding a bone.

Forensic Reconstruction, an active ability targeting a bone, that allows the Forensic Hero, Temperance, to summon/ recreate its entire skeletal structure based on the targeted bone. MP consumption is dependent on the size and mass of reconstructed bones.

Living Bones, an active ability that targets a whole and intact skeletal structure of a sentient being. The skeletal structure will be animated under the control of the Forensic Hero, Temperance, for a limited duration. MP consumption is dependent on the size and mass of skeletal structure animated.

 

Units

Timothy McGee/ Investigator Unit

Computation Mastery, an active ability that allows its user to understand any computational languages and codes for a period of time. 20 MP per use.

Sudden Intuition, an active ability that allows target to have a sudden flash of intuition. 30 MP per use.

Quiet Rebellion, a passive ability that allows its user to gain 30% increase in all resistance stats, when under compulsion/ binding skills and abilities.

Imagination, an active ability that renders imagination to reality for a period of time. MP consumption is dependent on the size and mass of imagination turned real.

 

Angela Montenegro/ Digital Artist Unit

Artist Talent, a passive ability that allows its user to have a + 15 agility when engaged in any artistic activities.

Artist Illusion, an active ability that renders its user’s visualisation to the physical world as illusion lasting a limited time and range. 20 MP per use.

Gentle Soul, a passive ability that grants allies around user + 10 Hit Point and + 10 Mana regeneration.

Free Spirit, a passive ability that allows its user to have a 70% chance to resist any hypnotic/ compulsion skills and abilities.

 

Matthew Scott/ Independent Youth Unit

Independence, a passive ability that allows its user to have an 80% resistance against compulsion and binding skills.

Holy Words, a limited area of effect ability that damages nearby foes for 15 damage. Undead foes will be inflicted with an additional 10 damage. 15 MP per use.

Mark of Rebellion, an active ability that transmute any form of compulsion and binding skills on ally into boon(s). 10 MP per use.

Hard Worker, a passive ability that increase user’s base stats by +5.

 

Gage Petronzi/ Swimmer Unit

Child of Water, a passive ability that increase user’s strength and agility by +10, and +5 health regeneration per second when in skin contact with water.

Meat Eater, a passive ability that allows user to gain health and mana regeneration when eating meat.

Sea Monster Transmutation, an active ability that changes user into a Sea Monster for a limited period. +15 strength and agility, +50 hit points and mana while in monster form. Gain a 10% bonus increase of all stats if monster form has skin contact with water. 30 MP per use.

Sea Monster Formula, an active ability that temporary grants ally the Sea Monster Transmutation. 25 MP per use.

 

Percy West/ Basketballer unit

Power leap, an active ability that allows user to leap in the air. MP consumption is dependent on the height of the leap.

Ball in hand, a passive ability that increase user’s strength and agility by +10 when holding a ball like object.

Power throw, an active ability that allows user to throw with unerring accuracy. MP consumption is dependent on the distance of the throw.

Power Feint, an area of effect ability of limited range, that confuse foes into becoming off-balance and missing their targets. 20 MP per use.

No updates for September

Hi Guys,

This is just a short post to those PM-ing me and reviewing my stories on fanfiction.net & tthfanfic.org that I am unable to post an update this month.

To cut a long story short, currently I am getting up at 5+am and reaching home usually at 8+pm due to a lot of major shitty stuff going on at work. I am brain dead by the time I reach home, and today I have another pile of shit landed on my lap.

Weekend is the only time I can get to meet my friends and rest, so hope you guys can be patient with me. I will try to at least get a new story post up by sometime in October.

Thanks!

Wraithrune

Rise of the Alliance (BtVS/ Multiple) [draft snippet] Chapter 1 part 1

(Book 2 of The Ultimate Peasant Series: Order of the Silver Hand has been abandoned.)

After a long departure from that story, I decided that Book 2 should instead be plotted about the missing two months before Xander and company left for space.

This will be written in parts.

Story Title: Rise of the Alliance

Crossover: BtVS/ Warcraft III/ Stargate/ Multiple

Disclaimer: I do not own, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Warcraft games verse, Stargate TV verse, or any other fandoms I will be dabbling in. This is a work of fan fiction. Written without profit, for the enjoyment of fans of these great fandoms.

Summary: Magic is gone from the world, and chaos rides the winds. In a battle for supernatural survival, those that seek to protect and defend need to band together… to create the Alliance.

Prologue – Death of Magic

Notable crossover cast for this chapter: BtVS/ NCIS/ Castle/ Bones/ Stargate Universe

1 hour ago, Swiss Royal Hotel

Daniel “Oz” Osbourne was a simple guy who just wanted a simple life, while making the music he loves. He was also an adept programmer because he had been fascinated by computer programming since he played his first computer game. But in other subjects that he had no interest in, he was mediocre at best. He was barely able to pass his classes during his senior year in high school. Not because he could not understand the subjects, but because he had better things to do with his time then to attend classes.

Which was why until a few moments ago, he had no idea that magic was real. That supernatural beings were out there, and that Sunnydale was a supernatural hotspot. There had been no logic in contemplating the existence of magic and supernatural, and he had never experienced first-hand encounters with the “night life” in Sunnydale.

Oh he noticed things, strange unexplained things, especially since he lived in Sunnydale ever since he was six, after his parents moved into town. There had been the infrequent reports of people being killed by gangs on PCP, which the newspapers in town barely covered. Grisly reports of those deaths were however speculated online by relatives of the deceased, who had been outraged about how Sunnydale’s police force had “covered-up” those deaths.

Then there were the handfuls of animal attacks once in a blue moon, and also the sightings of “monsters” around town in the middle of the night. All of which began increasing with frequency during the past few months. Frankly Oz was surprised with himself at not piecing everything together. He might have been unmotivated, but if he was to be honest, he was quite deductive in his own right.

Looking back, he first realised something was just not right with Sunnydale one month ago, during Halloween night. Dingoes Ate My Baby, the band he was part of, managed to get a spot at Sunnydale’s most popular nightclub, The Bronze, during Halloween night. Part of the theme had been to dress up as fantasy characters which basically forced Oz to don on a Halloween costume for the show.

He had gone as a Bard from Final Fantasy Tactics. Sam, the band’s bassist had the same taste in games as him, and had gone as a ninja from the game. Devon the band’s lead singer had dressed as a werewolf, while the band’s previous drummer had gone in his own custom made wizard outfit.

Right as the band began its performance, Oz blacked out. When he woke up much later, he was half sprawled on an overturned table, having dim memories of singing magical bardic songs, trying to calm a crowd of monsters and creatures gone wild, while dodging a hulking werewolf.

The band’s previous drummer had been a gibbering mess, screaming about everyone turning into monsters. The owner of the Bronze had chalked everything up as a gas leak. Oz had not paid much thought to that incident, especially after the state of confusion he was in when he regained his senses, though the drummer left the band shortly after.

They managed to get one of the juniors, a hulky Percy guy to stand in as a temporary drummer. Things came to a head a few weeks after Halloween, when Dingoes Ate My Baby landed an afternoon gig at the Swiss Royal Hotel in Sunnydale. There was going to be a Writer’s conference of some sort and the band were hired to entertain the crowd during breaks.

The four of them had been up early, setting up their equipment, doing sound testing before their gig started. He could still remember the high pitch screams of anger coming from above the ballroom. He remembered the whole building trembling, the shrills of the fire alarms, the chaos as the hotel staff helping the band set up cried for everyone to evacuate.

One of the large stereo had collapsed onto Devon, and everyone had stopped to help when everything had dissolved…

And then he was standing on the street, beside a wholly intact hotel. A crowd of confused hotel guests and staff were standing around him. Several standing next to the sidewalks were staring at the crowd in shock and fear, almost as if the crowd had startled them somehow.

Then he heard the voice in his head… and he knew.

He was once Daniel “Oz” Osbourne, a simple guy whose only passions were music and computing. Now… he was something more.

He was Daniel “Oz” Osbourne, a Bardic Hero. Though he bears four skills, only one was unlocked.

Singing, a passive ability that allows the singing of bardic songs.

Song Creation, a passive ability that allows the creation of new bardic songs.

Instrument playing, a passive ability that allows the playing of any musical instrument.

Techno-Song, an active ability that allows the Bardic Hero, Oz, to affect technologies with bardic songs.

He was bonded to Lord Alexander “Xander” Lavelle Harris, a magical vampire who used to be his junior in Sunnydale High. Besides him were other Hotel guests and staffs, who did not manage to escape the building before it was deconstructed, thus reformed as Heroes and follower units bond to Lord Xander.

“I am sorry.” Lord Xander’s voice said, reverting in Oz’s head. “I am sorry, but this is the only way to stop her without too much damages and area wide causalities. I know you are all confused… let me explain…”

In that moment as the voice in his head told him about the supernatural, about magic, and shared memories of visions and powerful beings with him, Oz knew that his life would never be the same again.

OoooO

1 hour ago, Swiss Royal Hotel

Tim stretched lazily as he rolled out of bed. A week without paper work and a weekend with fellow writers, it was definitely the vacation he so desperately needed. Sure traveling from Norfolk to the little town of Sunnydale took a day by air travel to Los Angeles and then another three hour car drive to here, but it was worth it to him. Writing had been his passion, and he would never missed the chance to learn from the professionals in the field, even if the venue was a bit out of the area. He heard it was because of the very competitive pricing offered by the hotel to host the weekend Writer’s conference.

Day one of the conference starts in late morning, so there was more than enough time for him to wash up and hit the hotel’s restaurant for breakfast. Reaching for his wallet it to check how much ready cash he had on him, he brushed aside his NCIS badge. He should have left his badge back in his small Norfolk office, especially since he was on vacation, but he had gotten so used to carrying it around, that it became a point of pride for him to carry it on his person.

Becoming a real NCIS agent had not been easy, especially with his father’s disapproval… Tim shrugged the thought away, he had not talked to his old man in a long time, and there was no need to think about the past. He might be just doing computational administration work in the small NCIS field office in Norfolk, Virginia, but perhaps one day he might be permitted to conduct real investigative work out in the fields.

In the meantime, he had his passion in writing to keep him creatively occupied. He had been attempting to write several detective novel drafts without much success. The plots he came up with just seemed too awkward and chunky, perhaps he might get some new inspiration during this conference.

A loud shuddering thump came from upstairs. Then incomprehensible shouting and screaming started. Tim jumped out of bed, looking up at the ceiling with his heart thumping. He thought he heard clashing sounds of metal, and what sounded like a great fight taking place up stairs.

For a moment Tim was undecided on what to do, then he was grabbing his badge and phone, running out of his room and heading for the stairs. He did not have his gun, but he was a Federal agent, and he had a duty to find out what was happening upstairs.

As he ran towards the stairwell, he could see occupants from the rooms in the same floor opening their doors, looking around in fright.

One of the occupants was a familiar looking brown haired guy who looked at him and asked. “What is going on?”

Tim did not even have time to answer before the fire alarms started blazing.

“I don’t know, but all of you better make your way downstairs. I will check out what is happening upstairs.” Tim said flashing his badge. “Move quickly.”

“I will go with you.” The brown haired man said, following Tim to the stairwell up the stairs.

“You really should go with the others downstairs. It might be dangerous.” Tim said as he rushed up the stairs, the sounds of fighting now becoming distinctive.

“I notice you only have a badge.” The man said as he followed close behind Tim. “What do you plan to do if whatever is going on upstairs is dangerous?”

Tim never got a chance to answer when a boom several levels above him caused chunks of concrete to begin raining down. The whole stair case trembled as something landed with a thump in front of him. Coughing, blinking back tears at the dust cloud, Tim could made out a snarling blond woman wearing a torn red dress, raising a hand to make a swipe at him.

Then suddenly a crowd of people appeared before him, almost as if they had just teleported in. One of the man was chanting and suddenly blue glow erupted from his raised hands, sinking in front of the woman, and formed into what looked to be a watery humanoid form.

“What…” The man who had followed him said stupefied, scrambling up from where he had fallen behind Tim.

“We can’t hold her!” A dark haired man shouted as the woman punched the watery humanoid figure which splattered in a burst of cool water on everyone. “We can’t contained her. Yalen and his group is still handling her minions upstairs! If she gets out… I am sorry Lord Xander… we have no choice!”

Tim and the man who had followed, could only watch wide-eyed as one of the man pulled out a blazing sword and tried to lunge at the woman only to be battered away with a punch, the swordsman crashing heaving against the wall. Two other men and a woman were chanting, blazes of energies lit up their hands, and the snarling woman in the red dress began dodging the blasts of energies. She raised a hand to punch at one of the man and…

Motes of lights lit up around them, then everything was dissolving. Tim bit back a startled cry as first his hands began turning to motes of lights, and then his whole body….

Bright light of the morning sun hit his eyes, causing him to wince. It took a moment for Tim to realised he was no longer in the cramped and dusty stairwell, but out on the streets, among a crowd of people, standing next to the hotel.

In the same moment, Tim gained a deep and innate understanding of himself that he never felt before.

Once he was Timothy McGee, a fresh NCIS agent who had aspirations to be a writer. Now… now he was something more.

He was Timothy McGee, a Unit of the Investigator class. He bears four skills, all of which were already accessible to him.

Computation Mastery, an active ability that allows its user to understand any computational languages and codes for a period of time. 20 MP per use.

Sudden Intuition, an active ability that allows target to have a sudden flash of intuition. 30 MP per use.

Quiet Rebellion, a passive ability that allows its user to gain 30% increase in all resistance stats, when under compulsion/ binding skills and abilities.

Imagination, an active ability that renders imagination to reality for a period of time. MP consumption is dependent on the size and mass of imagination turned real.

Then the voice spoke in his head. And somehow, Tim knew instinctively who it was.

“I am sorry.” Lord Xander’s voice said, reverting in Tim’s head. “I am sorry, but this is the only way to stop her without too much damages and area wide causalities. I know you are all confused… let me explain…”

And as the wonder of magic and the supernatural world was explained to him, as the strong connection from him to Lord Xander pulsed within him, McGee could not help feeling… that something was wrong… very wrong…

OoooO

8 hours later, Rupert and Calendar’s Sunnydale Mansion

“You ended magic on Earth.” Giles’ voice was thick with shock as the Watcher and Ms. Calendar confronted Xander who had just returned to the mansion.

Buffy and Willow had been at the mansion when Xander had returned with the Archmage Yalen. Both of them looked as though they had been through a fight, with dirt smudged clothes.

“How could you make such a decision without consulting any of us!” Giles was ranting even as Xander began to explain.

Willow was watching the going-ons with wide eyes, as Xander tried to explain about a Hellgod, his promise to some Source of Magic guy, and his plans to form an alliance with the… good demons? Buffy did perk up when she heard Xander mention a starship, even Willow looked excited, but whatever Xander was going to say about that was derailed when Ms. Calendar cut in.

“You mentioned deconstructing a hotel in Sunnydale, in order to dematerialise the Hellgod.” Ms. Calendar pointed out. “What happened to the rest of the people inside?”

There was a noticeable pause as Xander gave a sad grimace.

“Most of the staff and guests were near the ground levels, they managed to get out in time… before I dematerialise the hotel and rebuild it…” Xander stated, discomfort in his eyes. “Twenty-seven innocent people who stayed closer to the top levels, or were trapped in the hotel due to some reasons… had to be recreated…”

Giles pinched his forehead, a pained look on his face. “And there was nothing else you could do to deal with the Hellgod?”

“She was close to demolishing most of the top levels of the hotel and escaping.” Xander said reluctantly. I had to make a decision than… to… sacrifice those twenty-seven people, in order to prevent more casualties and damages across town.” Xander said looking conflicted.

“And the price to destroy a Hellgod… is the free will of twenty-seven people.” Ms. Calendar said softly with a sigh. “What do you plan to do for them?”

“I promised them that they could continue living out their own lives, and that I will help in anyway I can, if they wanted, they could… join the teams I am planning to set up to combat the supernatural. Some of the guys caught up in the mess are from high school so it will be easy to approach them from a common ground.” Xander stated. “There’s also the fact that some of the stronger willed ones, the Heroes out of those twenty-seven and a number of the Follower units with various… unique counter compulsion skills, are already beginning to push against the bonds I have with them. I have a feeling that people from this world… who end up being recreated by me, might be able to resist the innate compulsion from the soul bonds. I didn’t really notice that with Drusilla or Spike because we mostly leave each other alone, but now that I have a larger pool of Heroes and units from this world to observe from… it is blatantly obvious.”

“How many Heroes were among the twenty-seven?” Willow asked curiously.

“Five actually.” Xander revealed. “And three of those Heroes are Sunnydalers. In fact, from their memories, those three were among the many affected during Halloween night. Their innate potential seems related to their Halloween personas. All three also became Hero units… even though they did not seem to have any special qualities, decades of experience or notable will power… well other than their Halloween experience. It seemed that the events of Halloween night might have lingering effects on those affected.”

“That will be interesting from an academic viewpoint.” Giles stated. “But do you have an actual plan to deal with this situation? I doubt those twenty-seven people could deal with having their life altered into a servitude bond with you.”

“Actually… they are coping surprisingly well.” Xander said reluctantly. “I guess passing them my knowledge and experience of the supernatural, as well as what I was charged to do helps a lot I think. Some are actually sympathetic towards me, most are excited… and worried about their new… abilities. There’s even a few wandering around town right now trying out their special powers.”

“Good lord!” Giles said his face greying a little. He glared sternly at Xander. “I think young man, it is time you and I sit down to discuss what you plan for those twenty-seven people instead of just a vague ‘I will leave them alone to live their lives’. Because like it or not, they are empowered now, and you are answerable for them. So we are going to set some ground rules, and THEN we are going to discuss your plans for this alliance of yours…”

OoooO

2 hours later, Swiss Royal Hotel

“Oh god! Oh god! Oh god!” Angela Montenegro said fluttered as she paced around the room wringing her hands.

“Angela please, I doubt there is actually a god that is going to help us.” Brennan said with a sigh. “I am trying to concentrate here.”

“How can you be so calm Brennan!” Angela said staring at her closest friend. “We have been turned into game characters with special powers! I learn that there are monsters out there, that magic is real, and that I am now soul bond to a pubescent teenage vampire! Oh my god!”

“But it happened. So now the best way to deal with it is to quantify and form a logical deduction about what is going on exactly and how our powers actually works.” Brenan said calmly as she stared at a chicken bone. “Hmm… I can sense the pieces of its connecting bones all over town, a few much further. I am pretty sure I can read much deeper if this skill level is increased.”

“Okay I used to think you are creepy, but now you are even creepier.” Angela stated deadpan. “At least my skills don’t deal with death and I have access to all of them.”

“This passive Bone Sense skill is very useful.” Brennan stated, ignoring Angela’s jib. “Once I unlock my other three abilities, I can foresee them becoming very useful to me.”

“You are actually considering going on a vampire hunt tonight?” Angela said shrilly.

“We are going in a group, one of them is a Federal agent, we will be fine.” Brennan said, patting Angela’s arm in a show of comfort.

“That Federal agent is a kid! Probably fresh out from the Federal academy oven or wherever they came from. He also does not have a gun!” Angela stated.

“A few of the writers have the Imagination skill. They should be able to outfit us some weapons from their imagination.” Brennan said in a matter of fact voice.

“Those weapons will have a time limit, I was there when we were all comparing skills and super powers remember?” Angela said before shaking her head at the absurdity of the morning. “This feels like one giant comic-con nightmare. Why did I come with you to this Writer’s conference again?”

“Because you insisted that I take a vacation, and you came with me to make sure I really have a vacation.” Brennan said, apparently not realising Angela’s question was rhetorical. “Anyway Angela, I am sure everything will be fine.”

“We are the soul slaves of a vampire! And all of this started because you decided you wanted to try writing as a hobby!” Angela said, wringing her hands dramatically. “Oh Brenna, why couldn’t you have taken my suggestion of nude sun bathing or guy watching when you were deciding on your hobbies! Now what am I going to do if our vampire master order me to have sex with him, or… or do things with him!”

Brennan shot Angela an askew look, hiding her smile. “Seriously Angela, I doubt Xander wants us for his personal harem. I can feel his sincerity through the bond for one thing, and secondly we are too old for him. With your Free Spirit skill, I doubt he could give you any orders you can’t resist with time. If he really wanted to, I am sure some of the younger hotel staff are better and easier pickings.”

That was however the wrong thing to say as Angela drew herself up, giving an insulted huff. “Excuse me for being a beautiful and spontaneous mature woman. I will have you know that I am hot property and can compete with any of the younger girls out there.”

Brennan rolled her eyes. “Just wear something a little more durable and suited for outdoors tonight. We might need to run a lot.”

Angela gave a sniff and was about to remark on that comment when a voice spoke in their heads.

Everyone, please gather at this location tonight. The voice of their vampire master, Xander, said in their heads, as an image and location of a mansion form within their heads. I have done all of you a disservice and it is time I address it. We will discuss our continued future going forward, so please be there, I do not want to have to make this an order. But I will if I have to.

Because regardless of what happen, regardless of the bonds binding all of you to me, all of you are now empowered, stronger and more capable than the average human beings. It is your responsibility and mine, to make sure those powers and skills are not used for ill purpose.

We will discuss our futures together tonight, if you wish to live out your life in peace, you are free to do so, after we agreed on the ground rules, for any possible misuse of your skills and powers. 8.30pm tonight, be there. Xander said in a firm no nonsense tone of voice.

Angela shivered as she felt a faint hint of compulsion in the vampire master’s words, which she easily fought off as her Free Spirit skill activated.

“I guess we’re not vampire hunting tonight.” Angela said with a grimace.

“No.” Brennan said after a pause, a frown on her forehead. “We’re just meeting one.”

OoooO

>> Chapter 1 Part 2

Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto/ Star Ocean) [draft snippet] Chapter 13 part 1

Okay… so I decided to try something a little different in order to get myself committed and motivated to write. I will try my best to post completed draft snippet of chapter 13 on a bi-weekly basis/ weekly if I can manage it.

This will make it easier for me to complete writing the whole chapter part by part. Instead of raising my hands half way and surrender to more brain dead ways of spending my weekends ;)

For those that only want to read the full chapter 13 at the end ;) ignore this blog post to avoid spoilers.

>.<” hope I can get my rusty writing gear going again… was distracted and ended up playing Guild Wars 2 the whole day. And there’s one weekend gone…

OoooO

Story Title: Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki

Crossover: Naruto / Star Ocean game series

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters or plot from Naruto anime/manga series and the Star Ocean Video games series. This is a work of fanfiction.

Author’s Note: [To Be Filled In]

OoooO

Previously…

“Yes you will wouldn’t you?” Old man Hokage said, smiling idly. “One last thing. As this dimension is outside of space and time, when we return back to our bodies, it will be at the exact moment we left it. To leave the dimension, you need to return to the seal array on the podium and activate it by saying the word ‘Return’ while touching the middle of the seal. If you bring a non-Uzumaki into The Legacy, they need to be standing with you in the seal array, or they will remain trapped here. It has never been tested, but I am sure it would lead to unpleasant circumstances if someone is trapped in The Legacy while disconnected from their physical bodies. Without the seal bridge linking our yin selves to our physical selves, our bodies will continue aging as time moves on in the physical world.”

“I get that.” Naruto said with a nod. He hesitated before moving forward and hugged the older man awkwardly. “Thank you old man, for telling me… for giving me this… legacy from mom and dad.”

OoooO

Chapter Thirteen: [Snippet 1]

Present time, opposite the street from Naruto’s apartment

Shadou stilled as the dark clad form of the Third Hokage entered Naruto Uzumaki’s apartment through the boy’s windows. He had caught sight of the hand sign the Hokage had made as he paused for a visible moment on the boy’s window still, a hand code known only to Konoha’s Chunin and Jonin, which the Hokage must have intended for Shadou and the Senju watchers across the street to see.

The hand sign was obvious, signifying the need for “Privacy”. Shadou knew that for all his age, the Third was still immensely formidable. There was little doubt that the old man could detect the watchers stationed around Naruto’s apartment. The Third was known as “The Professor” for a reason. The village leader was infamously known to have learnt most known ninja techniques in his lifetime. The rumours might have been exaggerated, but it was widely known the Third had an impressive Ninjutsu knowledge, with a high capability in chakra sensing.

Of course having naturally strong chakra senses came with its own flaws. Most strong sensors could only bear to activate their sensing abilities in short bursts, keeping them shut off most of the time for fear of being overwhelmed. Very few, with the exception of those with chakra sensing bloodlines, could cope with their chakra senses being activated for long durations. As they would be continuously assaulted by sensations their chakra senses picked up.

Shadou’s own hard earned chakra sensing ability, trained from years of practice, was rather mild, allowing him to detect strong chakra pulses within his immediate area. The one good thing about his weak sensor ability however, was that it enabled him to turn it on for long durations without hindering him, which actually gave him a huge advantage during long drawn out Taijutsu fights.

If he had been a dutiful Konoha Jonin, he might have turned away when The Third entered Naruto’s apartment. But he had not become an Elite Jonin by dutifully following orders. Elite ninja got to where they were by thinking with their heads. That the Hokage was personally visiting the Uzumaki boy in the middle of the night made Shadou curious as to why the Hokage was there.

Naruto Uzumaki was infamously known as the Demon Container of Konoha, by Konoha’s ninja corps and a surprisingly large number of civilians. No one knew exactly who spread the information about Naruto’s status to the common populace. The identity of the demon container was considered village secret of the highest level. But after the Nine-tails’ attack on the village close to eight years ago, certain powerful and influential civilians received notes detailing Naruto’s status, and information about the child began spreading.

The boy had been but a baby then, but once his status as the container of the Nine-tails was known to the civilian populace in Konoha, the Hokage had to place Anbu protection details on the child just to protect him from attempts to harm him. The Hokage even had to place a special law in place in order to prevent the spread of information about the Nine-tails’ container. Naruto Uzuamki’s status as the Konoha demon container was one of the worst kept S-rank secret in the village. Even until now, the Anbu could not discover the party disseminating information about the child back in the earlier years.

With the re-emergence of Root the previous night, Shadou could not help but wonder if the clandestine operation had any part in spreading sensitive information about the boy. For what purpose he could not even began to fathom. Already, the newly formed Uchiha council were up in arms after learning that Danzo had stolen Sharingan eyes from dead Uchiha members. Tales of the S-rank mission last night were already riling up the inner council, and it was all Shusui could do to stop the news from spreading further.

The Third might turn a blind eye to Uchiha Jonin reporting back to their clan head about details of an S-rank mission, but if tales of what happened began to spread, the Hokage might apprehend those that leaked S-rank secrets to the common populace, like what he did when the demon container’s identity first began to spread. The Uchiha council could not afford to offend the Hokage right now, not with the recent damages and loses to their clan.

Which was why Shadou was making sure he would not get caught as he tried to spy on the Hokage…

A thin flare of light burst from the window still the Third had briefly perched on before he had entered Naruto Uzumaki’s apartment. With his chakra enhanced sight, Shadou could briefly made out a complex seal of some sort activating on the window. When Shadou turned to peer through the apartment window, he could only see dim darkness and nothing else. Shadou had no doubt that the seal had also muffled sounds inside the room from prying ears as well.

Shadou chuckled in amusement, it seemed rumours of the Third’s skill with seals was true. There were few seal masters who could utilize the Flash Sealing technique. It was a technique that allows a seal master to instantly place a seal on any surface. The Uzumaki clan were notorious for the technique, which was not so surprising since they were the ones that developed that particular Seal craft in the first place.

As for Konoha, the Second and Fourth Hokages, as well as the Sanin were known users of the craft. Now it seems that he could add the Third Hokage to the list as well. It would at least be something for him to bring back to the inner council.

While the survivors of the Uchiha clan had no plans of turning against Konoha. When one was trained to be a ninja all his life, every bit of information counts, whether it was about friend or foe. There was always a chance that a seemingly irrelevant information might mean the difference between survival or death.

Knowing better than to go near Naruto Uzumaki’s apartment to see if he could break through the privacy seal on the window still, Shadou settled down to wait, listening to the soft snores of his apprentice.

OoooO

Chapter 13 Part 2 >>

Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto/ Star Ocean) [Version 1 - updated] Chapter 13’s Interlude

Hi guys, sorry for the delay. Life… well it can suck sometimes.

To some of my readers, I previously promised that chapter 13 will come with a short interlude. However during the actual writing of the interlude… it sort of become a full chapter of its own.

I just completed everything, its still in raw draft form, and I am too tired to fine comb it (its close to midnight in Singapore, and I have work tomorrow >.<) I will post it first to those that really want to chance my horrible spelling and grammar to get at the story.

For those that decided to wait until I clean everything up, give me two – three days (double the amount if you’re feeling cynical =p) and I will post a cleaned version up on fanfiction.

I have edited what errors I could find. Here is the cleaned and updated interlude.

Thank you for waiting, thank you for reading.

And so the story continues…

To the first twelve chapters click here.

OoooO

Story Title: Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki

Crossover: Naruto / Star Ocean game series

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters or plot from Naruto anime/manga series and the Star Ocean Video games series. This is a work of fanfiction.

Author’s Note: Apologies for the dry spell of a year plus without updates. Work & life has been challenging to put it nicely. In order to say thank you to the readers who continued sending me PMs of the story, to those who read, reviewed and loved this story, I have written a bonus interlude before the actual chapter.

I hope you guys/ gals will enjoy this new chapter ;) my writing skills have been a little rusty.

The Interlude: The Missing Day takes place after the council’s first meeting after the Uchiha attack, and ends as Naruto received his legacy.

OoooO

Previously…

“So what is it?” Naruto asked confused “It looks like a metal cube to me.”

“To answer that, I will need a drop of your blood.” Sarutobi said, wondering if Naruto would be squeamish about it, especially considering his age. Naruto had simply shrugged and bit one of his finger, a bead of blood forming from the small bite. Sarutobi nodded. “Good, I need you to prepare yourself. Focus on the image of you opening a door. I need you to hold the mental image, as you smear your blood on the cube and said the words ‘Sanctuary’. Are you ready?”

“I am ready.” Naruto said with a nod. He looked at Sarutobi curiously as the older man lay a hand on his shoulder in a tight grip.

“Good, begin.” Sarutobi said. Naruto had given him a mystified look before following his instructions, smearing his blood on the cube, a look of concentration on his face as he said the words. “Sanctuary.”

The very air around them shivered, a roaring of energies surrounded them… and the essence of time… shattered. 111w

OoooO

Interlude: The Missing Day

23 hours ago, Senju Council Room

“… So the child has the Wood Release bloodline.” Roozu Senju, the oldest of the Senju clan elders said in a whisper of a voice. She had been the younger cousin of Hashirama Senju, the First Hokage, and had already crossed a century of age.

“Yes, the The Third has confirmed this. Apparently he had assigned the boy to be trained in secret.” Natsu Senju revealed as he sat in front of the two Senju Elders, with the rest of the Senju Council members beside him.

“Really… the Third said that? Tell me Natsu, what was the first lesson I taught you, when you took charge of this clan after Tsunade left?” Roozu spoke up with a dry chuckle.

“Always check the facts.” Natsu said with a nod, acknowledging that he had learnt the lesson. “I have sent a team of our ninjas to watch over the boy for the night. The team leader has orders to discreetly obtain a vial of his blood and bring back the sample for identification. He should be back any minute now.”

“Good, you went straight to the source. With the way Sarutobi protected the boy all these years, the hospital records might very well be faked. I presume you have also already prepared the blood identification seals?” Touki Senju, the second clan elder asked with a rasp in his voice.

“Yes, I have Sentai prepared it.” Natsu said with a nod. “If the boy is descended from anyone in the Senju bloodline, the seals will show.”

“I see you’ve done the necessary work… before the destruction of the Uzumaki clan, it is known that the Uzumaki paid with their lives to allow their civilians, their retainers and townsfolk to flee before their fateful end. Many of the survivors of that time took up the name Uzumaki, in remembrance of the great clan that was willing to sacrifice themselves to save those not of the clan.” Roozu said with a regretful sigh. “A lot of Konoha’s orphans from that generation were named after the Uzumaki, in remembrance of our village’s alliance with them. We can’t just make the assumption Naruto Uzumaki is a true descendant of the clan and is thus distantly related to us.”

“After the clan’s destruction, Konoha has only housed two true descendants of the Uzumaki clan. The two known full blooded Uzumaki were our revered Lady Mito and her spiritual successor Kushina.” Touki said stealing a glance at Roozu. “You know we always suspected…”

“Your old age must be making you senile.” Roozu said with a snap. “Suspicions has no place in the council. There’s no place for rumours such as that to spread.”

“Elders… are you saying that Naruto might be descended from the main Uzumaki branch? Like Lady Mito and Kushina?” Natsu asked even as his mind put the pieces together. “The boy’s age… by the Sage! If Kushina’s child was to survive…”

“Hush!” Roozu said fiercely, glaring around the council chambers as the other Council members broke out into shocked whispers. “Unless we have proof, no word of this must be spoken outside the chambers. And even if we do have proof of the boy’s origins, it will not do that have it revealed to the public.”

“But Kushina’s child, the father was…” Natsu began and was interrupted by a knock on the council chambers. He looked at Roozu in frustration before placing his hand on the protection seals engraved on the Council chambers’ floor.

The seals which protected those in the room from any spying jutsu dispersed with a cackle of energy. There was a pause before the chambers door slide open, revealing Ginrin Senju, one of the ninjas sent to watch over the boy.

“Naruto Uzumaki’s blood as requested cousin.” Ginrin said as he walked forward, placing a small vial of blood into Natsu’s hand.

“How is the boy?” Touki asked in a quavering voice, his thin and frail frame leaning forward, as he stared at Ginrin.

“I think he is aware that someone is watching him. It is subtle, but the signs are there. Quite impressive since the team is guarding him from across the street.” Ginrin reported. “The kid is also a chakra monster, especially for his age. With close to high Jonin to Hokage level reserves if I am not wrong.”

“What!” Natsu said incredulously, an expression of disbelief crossing his face. It was unheard of for any child to possess so much chakra, not even those that started training from young. Not without some external factor. “Is it because he is a… container?”

“I have no idea. But I have to spend nearly a sixth of my chakra reserves just to apply a simple Genjutsu on him while I draw his blood!” Ginrin said shaking his head, the elders frowned at his words as they looked at each other. “Once I got in though, he’s out like a light. His large chakra reserves act as a natural Genjutsu defence. Genjutsu users with small chakra reserves will have problem manipulating him, but other than that, the kid has no other defences against any Genjutsu user that has the necessary skills and lots of chakra to spare.”

“I see… a weakness to Genjutsu that will be something we have to rectify… once we confirm his heritage. Hashirama had a whole set of Genjutsu defence techniques created back when he went up against Madara. As his spiritual successor, and with Madara’s current reappearance, that child might very well need those techniques.” Roozu said with a nod. “Ginrin can you continue seeing to the safety of the boy while we… discuss matters?”

“Yes grand aunt I will be on my way.” Ginrin said rolling his eyes as he left the chambers.

“That child needs to learn proper protocol and respect.” Roozu said with a sniff as the chamber doors were closed.

Natsu wisely kept silent, reapplying the protection seals before taking out a scroll that had the blood identification seals engraved on it. Adding the blood from the vial to the center of the seals, Natsu channelled chakra into the seal arrays.

The seals glowed a bright green as it analysed Naruto Uzumaki’s blood based on the information collected from Senju members’ blood throughout the decades. It took a moment before two names and relating information was written next to the same array as the seals finished its analysis.

“Naruto Uzumaki is an identified descendant of our Lady Mito.” Touki rasped as he stared at the name. “And according to the seals, Naruto’s blood bears certain similarities to Lord Hashirama’s blood work. Not enough for a descendant match, but still certain of his blood markers are a match.”

“It must be the similarities of the two Wood Release bloodlines.” Roozu said in consideration, stroking her chin in thoughts.

Natsu frowned. They already knew Naruto Uzumaki had the Wood Release bloodline. But that he was a direct descendant of Lady Mito was however a momentous fact. Though Mito was not born of the Senju clan, she was married into the clan and her blood information was available to the clan’s medical records.

Touki continued reading the information discovered by the seals, the lines on his face creased as he peered at the words. “Naruto Uzumaki is one of her grandnephews from the Uzumaki bloodline. He is not related to any Senju of the past few generations. But since he is descended from the main Uzumaki branch, any Senju ancestry he had might have, would be before the time our clan started keeping blood records.”

“Which means it is highly likely that Naruto might be… related to Kushina Uzumaki, who was Lady Mito’s niece.” Natsu said as he straightened his back. “Kushina’s blood records should be available at the hospital archives, we can get the information and…”

“No. The information we have will do.” Roozu suddenly rasped sharply, a look of decisiveness in her eyes as she straightened her back to glare at Natsu, stopping what he was going to say. “We have proven that he is a true blooded Uzumaki from the main branch. He has a shared ancestry with our clan and that is enough for us to accept him in as one of us.”

“But he might be the son of…” Natsu began to protest but Roozu cut him off with a quick shake of her head.

“Some secrets…” Roozu said sternly. “Are best to continue being secrets. If we are really going to prod the hornet’s nest to discover the truth, we have best be very careful and be prepared for the consequences. If Naruto is really Kushina’s child… do you really think The Third would not have measures in place if anyone started looking into it? And let’s say if Naruto really is Kushina’s son, why would The Third hid the fact from everyone? Think about it all of you, before you make rash decisions.”

There was stumped silence, then Kane Senju, the accounts keeper of the clan, said in a harsh voice. “The Third was protecting the boy. If he was really born from Kushina and… her husband, the amounts of enemies those two made in their lives, especially the latter, would make Naruto a constant target for revenge and assassinations.”

“Even the Anbu cannot protect a weak baby, or a hyperactive child 24-7. A well trained assassin can strike when guards are down, or if he/she gained the trust of a child who is ignorant of why he needs protecting.” Natsu said in understanding. “If the Fourth was still alive, his reputation and presence alone would keep all the vultures away… but he’s not. And the Third is getting old, his skills and capabilities are not what they used to be. The secret, if there is really as such, was to protect the boy through anonymity.”

“Yes, and thus that anonymity had best continue. At this stage of his life, Naruto does not have a powerful reputation to deter any would be assassins, though with the Wood Release bloodline, and his status as a demon container, he would be destined for great things to come.” Roozu said. “Now if he also possesses the Uzumaki bloodline… that would be something to see.”

“So if we were to bring him into our clan, I say that we let that secret lie and not prod for the truth, whatever the matter.” Roozu continued firmly. “The Senju clan is not what it used to be, neither is Konoha. With the passing of the First, Second and Fourth Hokages, as well as the deaths of so many prominent ninjas in the previous wars, it would be a dire situation if the other ninja villages began massing assassinations attempts against us to get at the boy. Look at what Madara did to the Uchiha clan only a few days ago. Can you imagine what will happen to our clan if let’s say Earth village send all their high ranking ninjas after us to get at the boy?”

A grim silence fell in the council room. Roozu was about to continue when she was interrupted by a sudden and urgent rapping on the doors of the council chambers. The rapping was in a code that the council members instantly recognized. Natsu tensed, quickly cancelling the seals protecting the room.

“Enter.” Natsu called out, as one of the Senju guards walked in with a grim face.

“There’s been a situation. The Hokage just sent out a Top Secret code Orange through secure channels. He is recalling all Anbu, Jonin and Special Chunins currently listed as active duties for an S-rank mission. No details of the mission was sent except a time and venue. Whatever mission is going down, it is going down within the next half an hour…”

OoooO

19 hours ago, Naruto’s Apartment

Naruto opened his windows to let in the cool night air. It was already past midnight. Through his clones and Sica, he had been monitoring the take down of Root and Danzo. Old man Hokage and the Acting Anbu Head, Shikaku Nara, had been surprisingly efficient in leading the operations to dismantle Root operations in the catacombs.

Learning of how old man Hokage had personally conduct the torture and information extraction of Danzo within the Torture and Interrogation chambers of Konoha, had definitely changed Naruto’s preconception of his grandfather figure as a kindly old man. There had been a certain ruthlessness and fury in the Hokage’s actions that Naruto had never witnessed before.

The clone had recorded the whole grisly affair with his Sica. Replaying the recording in his head, mentally seeing how the Hokage had ordered Inoichi Yamanaka to mind rape Danzo of all his secrets, had shown Naruto how terrifying the Yamanaka Clan’s Mind Techniques would be.

While the Yamanaka’s clan techniques were at first glance not suited for combat, the brute force mind reading technique Inoichi used, had ripped through all of Danzo’s mental defences, turning him into a drooling mess. Konoha had gotten information on Root’s operations from Danzo’s head, at the cost of technically turning Danzo brain dead. Whatever old man Hokage or the Council would do to Danzo next would be but a formality.

It was only when Naruto asked Sica for more information about Yamanaka clan techniques, that clones stationed at the Yamanaka clan home had previously scanned, that Naruto realised the Yamanaka clan specialised in Yin chakra manipulation with a focus on mental manipulation.

Theoretically the Yamanaka mind techniques were replicable. Chakra after all was a balanced melding of spiritual and physical force, which basically contains yin and yang chakra elements. Yin chakra was theoretically formed by a highly advanced shape manipulation of spiritual chakra.

The problem was that for an average ninja, it could take years to master shape transformation of a single chakra element. With the largely non-combat application of Yin chakra, and how all the powerful Yin chakra techniques were closely kept secret by clans specializing in that field, usually the only ninjas that venture into mastering spiritual energies were medi-nins.

Through generations of specialization in their Yin elemental mind arts, most Yamanaka clan members were born with body structures that instinctively allows them to masterfully perform yin element shape transformations using their spiritual energies. The only clan that could compete with them in Yin chakra manipulation were the Nara clan with their Shadow techniques.

The whole affair opened his eyes to the wealth of information and techniques that he had previously scanned from the other ninja clans, that he had no knowledge of, either because he could not be bothered to find out, or he had made a prior decision not to copy any clan techniques of those that he was friends with. Either way, both decisions showed his own ignorance and short sightedness. Naruto now had a new resolve, to at the very least, familiarize himself with what the ninja clans in Konoha were capable of, and to further his own knowledge.

Naruto had stopped spying on old man Hokage and the Anbu after Danzo’s session. N11 and S11 did continue recording the tortures taking place, but Naruto had decided not to preview the scanned recordings. If there was anything about Root that he need to know, Sica would inform him. He had seen enough death, pain and suffering during the attack by Madara on the Uchiha clan. There was no need to add to his current nightmares, he already had trouble sleeping at night.

With the number of new seals S17 had scanned from the library within Root’s catacombs, the research clones’ Sicas had readjusted the calculations for the Shadow Clone Seal Array. It will be completed within the next 9.5 hours. The Heal array and the Fire Bolt array will be completed within the next 14 hours. Sica informed Naruto as he looked out of his windows, seemingly looking aimlessly at the dark slumbering buildings in the neighbourhood.

At these hour, almost everyone were asleep and the streets were dark. But Naruto still caught the glint of moon light reflecting off a binoculars lens from an apartment across the street. Naruto snorted and grimaced. He had to give his Senju guards points for persistence at least. Off to his left on a high apartment building, the second group of his baby sitters from the Uchiha clan remained virtually undetectable. If it was not for Sica previously informing him of their presence, Naruto might not even have known they were there. Sica’s current words however shifted Naruto’s thoughts for the moment.

Ah the library. Naruto thought with a twinge of regret. N17 had discovered the presence of the library only after the Hokage had begun launching his attack on Root. S17 had explained to N17 the significance of the find. After realising that the library contains numerous scrolls that could only be penned by the Fourth Hokage as they possessed his insignia, S17 had attempted to scan the opened scrolls in the library.

A large number of the sealed scrolls were however unscannable. Sica might be powerful, but its scans could not pierce sealed dimensional space. A small portion of the scrolls were opened or unsealed and they were scanned. N17 had then grabbed a few of the scrolls with his father’s emblem for keepsake before fleeing the library, just as one of the incoming Anbu team stumbled upon the place.

Naruto had to admit that he did wonder if old man Hokage would ever pass him the newly rediscovered legacy of his father. N17 and a few of the other clones he sent in as backup, had observed the Hokage personally leading a team to gather up every single piece of scroll, book and paper in the library, and transferring them back to the Hokage’s Tower.

The transferred scrolls, books and papers were currently kept within the Hokage’s library while the interrogation of Root members were conducted. Old man Hokage had suppressed knowledge of the recovery of his father’s legacy, all ninjas involved in the retrieval of the items were already sworn to secrecy. Naruto had no idea what the Hokage would do with the Fourth’s legacy but there was not much he could do to affect the old man’s decision anyway.

Of course, even if the Hokage was to keep his father’s legacy locked up in the Hokage’s library, Naruto was pretty sure he could find a way to get to them. No… right now there were other important things for him to worry about. Such as the Senju team “guarding” him across the building, as well as the more discreet Uchiha team that even the Senju guards had no knowledge of.

“Those Senju are even creepier than the usual Anbu guards.” Naruto muttered crossly as he turned away from the window, closing them again. “Not to mention there’s the Genjutsu one of them used on me just now, in my own room! If I don’t have to pretend to dumb down my skills, that I didn’t sense them, I would have smacked him around before he even get close enough to cast a Genjutsu.”

It is a 99% possibility that the Senju will try all means to get your blood, especially since they are set on their course of action. By willingly letting the Senju guard distract you while he drew your blood, you actually have control over the situation. You are in no danger since I am unaffected by the Genjutsu and is still able to assist in your protection should anything goes wrong. Sica remarked. Not to mention the Senju guards have kept their distance, while becoming more zealous in their duties, once your blood work has been confirmed as being a true blooded Uzumaki.

“Ah yes. The clones monitoring the Senju compound said that the Senju council members already suspected who my parents were.” Naruto snorted a little derisively. “Funny how they are now all about claiming me into their clan just because of some fabricated cover story. In the past I was the demon brat, now I am the god damn hero that saved the Uchiha clan and everyone wants a piece of me.”

Currently only the major ninja clans wanted a say in your future upbringing. Sica corrected, taking Naruto’s words literally. The civilians of Konoha will only receive news of your heroics once the new day begins.

“It’s an expression Sica, a figure of speech. I really have got to teach you not to take words too literally.” Naruto said rolling his eyes. “Anyway once the news are released in the morning about the cover story the Hokage and the elders spun for me, I have no doubts many of those civilians who have treated me badly in the past would have a change of opinion.”

Sentient societies as a whole are judgemental, and could be highly influenced by the reputation of an individual. Sica reasoned. It is logical to assume that many civilians might experience a change of heart towards you, once your reputation improved.

“Well… I don’t like it.” Naruto said disgruntledly. “But I also know there’s nothing to do about it. So let’s discuss other more important stuff. It is going to take a while for the old man and the Anbu to finish interrogating the Root operatives. The village will most probably continue to be lock down tomorrow. Add in the new Senju and Uchiha ninjas watching me, I have to be very careful if I want to continue my training tomorrow. I have to get stronger fast, especially since Madara is still out at large. Those words he said to me when he tried to kill me…I just want to be more prepared in future.”

I have already redesigned your training schedule. In particular I have begun incorporating the Wild Hunt exercises into your schedule. Sica advised. We can begin tomorrow.

“That’s good. What exactly are the Wild Hunt exercises?” Naruto asked thoughtfully.

The Wild Hunt programme, is a series of highly strenuous exercises, designed for the black operation O.M.A division. They were one of the Federation divisions that funded research for my development. As such I have limited data on their programme. Sica explained. The O.M.As are basically high level intelligence agents that were trained in the singular task of becoming a one man army, hence the designation O.M.A. They were the Elites of the Intelligence agency that none of the public knows about, and only two to three individuals managed to pass the training programme each year.

“That sounds tough.” Naruto said with a frown. “So these O.M.A people are supposed to be the ones you are created for?”

The O.M.A division is one of three Federation division that will have access to technology based on my template once research is completed. Sica noted. With my analyse of your chakra and learning capabilities, their programme is the best suited for making you combatively stronger fast. The normal Federation Infiltration lessons you requested previously would still be useful. But based on the events of a day ago, it is imperative that you gain a higher sense of combat awareness and fighting capability fast.

“So what does the Wild Hunt exercises do?” Naruto asked as he flopped down tiredly onto his bed. It had been a rough day, and it certainly did not get better with his discovery of Root and sending his clones to help old man Hokage clear them out of the catacombs. He actually became a Chunin for Sage’s sake, though what changes his new status would bring, he had yet to discover.

Basically the Wild Hunt exercises were structured in a way to train O.M.A candidates for the final test, which requires them to defeat an army of trained soldiers and operatives on their own. Due to this, strength training is a lesser criteria. Sica revealed. Intelligence, ingenuity, tactical abilities, technological expertise, medical training, chemical training (for making poisons), pathfinding and a whole hosts of other skills are considered more important.

In order to adapt the exercises to your situations, I have crafted various scenarios with different objectives, to pit you against your clones. You have to go against them without my assistance with whatever knowledge you were taught or would possess before the exercises. Sica noted. The clones however would be guided in battlefield tactics and techniques by their Sicas. Since you will receive their memories once they dispel, no tactics nor techniques will be reused. It also indirectly allows you to pick up battlefield tactics after the whole exercises through your clones’ memories. As a Sica’s range of detection is quite vast, when used against you… I predict it will be a challenge for you to even pass the first level of Wild Hunt exercises.

“What! They can use their Sicas while I can’t?” Naruto said sounding shocked. “That’s cheating!”

The purpose of the Wild Hunt exercises is to hone your battle senses, adaptability and skills. You cannot improve if you keep using me as a crutch. Sica admonished in a matter of fact voice. To allow for fair play, I will not communicate with any of the cloned Sicas.

Naruto scowled at Sica’s words and gave a reluctant shrug. “Fine.” He muttered. “But how am I supposed to go up against my clones if their Sicas inform them of my every position?”

That. Sica said in an impassive voice. Is what you are supposed to figure out. And you have to pass each level of exercises in order to proceed further. If not you will have to repeat the exercises you failed, until you figure a way to pass.

“That sounds like too work.” Naruto said, flopping lifelessly onto his bed. “Maybe I should stay in bed tomorrow… it has been a hard past day for me…”

Your earlier directive to train you takes precedence. Your attempt at inciting sympathy is unfortunately not applicable to me. Not to mention once your Chunin duties started, there will be less time for training. Sica stated bluntly. I will wake you up at 6 a.m. in the morning as per the training schedule.

“You are heartless Sica!” Naruto accused indignantly.

As I do not have a heart and am an inanimate, I must highlight your atrocious use of grammar and vocabulary. I will rectify this deficiency in your future language lessons. Sica stated calmly. Good night Naruto.

“Traitor!!!”

OoooO

14 hours ago, Hyuga compound

A gong sounded in the courtyard and Hinata jerked up in startlement, snapped out of her sleep. Blearily opening her eyes, Hinata rolled out of her futon, going to the window to see what’s going on. The gong sounded again, this time with the chiming of bells. Hinata recognized the sounds this time round, the sounds were clan codes for an emergency council meeting.

The sky outside the window was still dark, but the reddish skylights, at the edge of the horizon signified that dawn would come shortly. What would be so urgent that the council needs to be called so early?

Curious, Hinata decided to open the door to her room, stepping out into the courtyard to find that a lot of the main and branch family members were already up. A large group of clan ninjas gathered at the path leading to the front gates of the compound. Amidst the group, she noticed the stiff and weary forms of some of the clan’s Jonin and Chunins. It looked as though they had just returned from a mission.

Though only eight years old and in her first year of the ninja academy, Hinata was not stupid. Her lack of self-confidence tended to make the Hyuga main branch members dismiss her, which meant that other than her training sessions, she spent most of her time in her room reading. Her favourite book had been the compilation of her mother’s herbal notes.

Hinata was keenly aware that something must have happened to the ninjas just coming back to the compound. The whole clan had been told of the appearance of Madara Uchiha, the big bad ninja of legend, two days ago. Most of the younger ones had no idea what was happening. All Hinata knew was that no one below the age of twelve, were allowed to leave the clan compound for the next few days. Her heart clutched in fear as she wondered if Madara Uchiha was back. She had read up on him in Ninja History, and he was not a very good person.

“Hinata! What are you doing outside?” A voice raised in concern asked behind her. Hinata whirled around guiltily to find the disapproving form of Ruer Hyuga staring down at her. The motherly Hyuga branch member was her aunt and served as the caretaker of her younger sister. Aunt Ruer had also taken care of Hinata when she had been much younger, after mother had died.

“I heard noises…” Hinata began, voice trailing off as she wilted under Aunt Ruer’s frown. She might have gained some confidence after hanging out with Naruto and the others after school, but it was not enough for her to stand up to the woman who had spanked her and bathed her when she was younger. “What… what is going on?”

“The Hokage called up an emergency mission last night.” Aunt Ruer said curtly as she herded Hinata back towards her room. “It must have gone bad from the looks of it. But that’s none of our business, the council will take care of it.”

Hinata turned to see the crowd of Hyuga council members and some of the Jonins moving towards the council chambers to the east of the compound. “I think I saw cousin Yue, her shoulder is bandaged up…”

“I am sure your father would take care of her. In the meantime, you should be in your room right now.” Ruer said firmly cutting Hinata off, guiding her back to her room. “I will be bringing you and Hanabi breakfast. Stay in the room for the morning until I find out from your father what is going on.”

“But… what about school?” Hinata asked as Aunt Ruer turned around to close the door to her room.

Aunt Ruer hesitated for a moment before giving Hinata a reassuring smile. “The Academy is closed for a few days. Now since you’ll have sometime on your hands, why don’t you spend the afternoon with your younger sister, teach her some ninja techniques? She will be receiving her first training in three months, after her fifth birthday. You can do your part as a big sister to help her.”

Hinata frowned, spending the afternoon with her younger sister sounds like a great idea, but she had really wanted to meet up with Naruto and his little group again. After hanging out with the group, for the first time in her life, she felt as though she really belonged somewhere, that she was not totally useless.

But if the Academy was not going to be opened for a few days, that would be a few more days of waiting before she could see them again. As to her plans for the afternoon, perhaps she could show Hanabi the herb seedlings she had been secretly growing in a corner of the back courtyard. And she might even impress her little sister with the new academy style Taijutsu she was learning.

OoooO

10 hours ago, opposite the street from Naruto’s apartment

Ginrin frowned as Banii entered the apartment the Senju clan had rented. The apartment that the surveillance team was staying in, was rented for the sole purpose of watching over Naruto Uzumaki. The arrangement was temporarily, and would last until the clan could officially petition the Konoha council for Naruto to be inducted into the clan. Banii had left for the Senju clan compound for supplies during the early morning, and had only just returned.

“Any news from the clan?” Ginrin asked as he methodically began sharpening his kunai on a whetting stone. As team leader of the small group, he had to keep his ears open for any information from the clan.

“The Hokage called an emergency S-rank mission last night. All the active Anbu, Jonins and Special Chunins were supposed to be involved. The Senju council managed to exempt those of us looking after Naruto by citing clan rights to reject the call, and sent a few of the clan’s Jonins in our stead.” Banii said with a frown, putting down her satchel of sealed supplies next to Ginrin. “Something about the mission last night got the whole council spooked though. I heard from the clan guards that after those who left for the mission returned, they called an emergency gathering of the council members. All of them had been in the council room since before dawn has broken.”

“I wonder what mission we have missed.” Ginrin said with a thoughtful frown. “I guess it will be something to ask Natsu when we get back. I would rather have been out on a real mission than stuck being a babysitter. Though that reminds me, I thought the Konoha council was announcing Naruto’s bloodline and actions during the Uchiha clan attack to the public this morning. That was the whole reason our team was sent to watch over him with so much haste. We are to protect him and deter any would be mob that might arise from the announcement. But I hadn’t seen or heard so much as a news crier the whole morning.”

“I guess that mysterious S-rank mission the Hokage called must have derailed those plans.” Banii said with a shrug, flipping her blond mane over her shoulder as she began stacking the supplies she brought back into the cupboards. “How’s the kid doing anyway?”

“He has locked himself up in his apartment since he woke up this morning. The kid is incredibly boring…” Ginrin said shaking his head.

“Or maybe not as boring as you think.” A voice interrupted him. Ginrin turned around to see Tetsuki, his third team member, and the one who was supposed to currently keep an eye on Naruto from across the street, entering the living room of the apartment. There was a grim look in Tetsuki’s eyes that caused Ginrin to stiffen.

“What happened?” Ginrin asked, putting down the kunai he was sharpening, standing up to look at Tetsuki.

“The little imp has given us the slip.” Tetsuki said with reluctant admiration. “I have children of my own, so I thought it was weird that an eight year old boy would spend his entire morning reading in his room. I popped closer to his apartment to check up on him and realised that the amount of chakra he possessed was very much lesser than what I sensed last night.”

Ginrin narrowed his eyes. “He used a shadow clone as a decoy?” At Tetsuki’s nod, Ginrin cursed, though a smile of reluctant admiration crossed his face. “I knew he was onto us. Though to have that level of environmental detection skill in someone so young, it is almost unheard of. Is it possible he have long range chakra detection skill?”

“I can’t really tell.” Tetsuki said with a helpless shrug. “None of us in the team are real chakra sensors, and even the sensors in our clan would have difficulty determining the type of chakra sense someone has. But that’s not the only scary thing about the boy.” Tetsuki continued, drawing Ginrin and Banii’s attention. “The shadow clone he left in his room has Chunin level chakra reserves. My chakra sensing might be limited in range, but it is pretty accurate when it comes to gauging chakra reserves.”

Banii arched her eyebrow. “That kid’s a real chakra monster. Where are Haabu and Koubutsu anyway? If that Uzuamki kid has given us the slip, we need everyone to begin finding him.”

“I sent them out into the streets to gather information about the news the village council was supposed to release.” Ginrin said with a frown. “I will call them back to help with the search. In the meantime Tetsuki and Banii, search the neighbouring areas for any signs of the boy. Once Haabu and Koubutsu are back, we’ll do a wider spectrum search.”

“Hai!” Tetsuki and Banii said, their hands flickering into the Body Flicker Technique before they vanished out of the apartment in a gust of wind.

Ginrin reach into his pouch to adjust the team’s radio transmitter. “Haabu, Koubutsu. I need the two of you back at the apartment now, there has been a situation…”

OoooO

1 hour ago, opposite the street from Naruto’s apartment

Kagu Uchiha frowned as she remained hidden in the shadows, on top of an apartment building, watching the Senju clowns watch Naruto Uzumaki’s apartment.

“Why are we doing this?” Kagu asked, moaning a little to her teacher. Shadou Uchiha was a stern unyielding man, who was one of the few Uchiha Jonin left without serious injuries, after what was now being termed as the Uchiha Massacre. He was one of the best Taijutsu specialist in the clan, and Kagu had been apprenticed to him ever since she graduated from the Academy three years ago. “That Senju team is more than enough to look after an eight year old, why do we have to be around to make sure he is safe?”

“You know why.” Shadou said sternly. “He and his teacher were instrumental in preventing a full massacre on the clan when Madara attacked with those traitors. From the Anbu reports, Madara apparently tried to kill the boy when he discovered him helping us in our clan. We as the Uchiha have our honor. The blood debt our clan owned to the boy must be repaid. Not to mention those Senju fools are pathetic enough to lose the boy’s trail, you really think they can protect an eight year old from our clan’s most infamous ninja?”

“He also slipped past us, and we can’t find him anywhere in the village.” Kagu grumpily pointed out the facts. “Now we’re all waiting here, hoping that he’ll return soon from wherever he went. But that’s beside the point, even if Madara really goes after this kid for personal vendetta, there’s nothing the two of us even counting the Senju team, can do against him.”

“There’s a reason the two of us were sent here by the council.” Shadou said looking disapprovingly at Kagu. She might had felt abashed by the look in the past, but she was too used to his mannerism that it did not have much effect on her now. “Aside from our… new clan head and a few others, we’re among the fastest ninja in the clan. We can at least stall and take the boy to safety if any attacks happened.”

“Much good that will do us.” Kagu muttered under her breath. She stiffened as a flicker of movement at one of Uzumaki’s apartment windows caught her eye.

“The boy has returned.” Shadou said, a look of approval in his eyes as he observed the Uzumaki apartment. He had caught sight of the movement as well. “That was an impressive use of the Body Flicker technique, especially for someone his age. Almost precise control and power over the technique, he really is a true prodigy.”

“I can run faster than that without using the Body Flicker at all.” Kagu commented in a tone of disparity.

“Yes you could do that, after years of physical training and having me beat it into you.” Shadou commented bluntly, causing Kagu to wince. “For a boy his age, having that level of Body Flicker mastery puts him on par with some of the more specially trained Chunin border scouts.”

Channelling chakra to her eyes, Kagu sharpened her sight and looked into the boy’s apartment. “He looks like he has been out training. He’s covered with bruises and sweat. I thought his teacher is still missing?”

“The Hokage called off the search after the S-rank mission yesterday night.” Shadou revealed. “It’s possible the boy’s teacher is still alive and has continued training him. Or the Uzumaki boy might have decided to do his own training.”

“What did happen last night?” Kagu asked, perking up at the more interesting topic. “I know you talked to Shusui this morning, when we dropped by the clan compound during the search for the boy. What did he tell you?”

“Something that does not concern my annoying apprentice.” Shadou said stoically. “Now settle down, I will take first watch, you get a little sleep for the night.”

“This is the first ‘mission’ in Konoha where I have to sleep in a bed roll on a chilly apartment top, while my very comfy residence is only a few miles away.” Kahi grumbled as she began lying out her bed roll.

“The council is trying to get hold of an apartment in the area where we can better observe and protect the boy from.” Shadou stated simply. “But it will take time. The clan funds are needed to pay for the repairs of all the destroyed properties in the clan compound. At the current time, the Uchiha council can’t afford to buy out a tenant with enormous sums of money like the Senju clan did. Get use to your bed roll, because that will be what you will be sleeping in, until either our clan or the Senju gets custody of the boy…”

OoooO

Present time… Physical location – Naruto’s apartment

It was as though the air had shattered into a million sparkling shards. It felt as though the very air around him had been electrified. He was falling… no he was soaring… in a sea of fractured shards of luminous flickering images.

He could sense the presence of old man Hokage next to him, but it was as though he was frozen entirely, able to only see forward, as he was pulled and pushed by unknown forces towards destinations unknown.

As he flew past the shards, he saw…

The Senju council meeting to discuss about him…

He thought he saw himself back in his own room, after helping to take down Root the previous night…

He saw Hinata…

He saw the Senju team watching over him as dawn breaks over Konoha…

He saw the Uchiha duo sent to watch him…

He saw…

He saw…

His head pounded, the images coming at him too fast for him to completely comprehend. For a moment it was as though he was seeing through the very fabrics of time, to the very source, the essence of everything in the world.

His mind went blank as his brain gave up the struggle to understand or remember all the things he had seen. A doorway appeared in front of him and he flew right through it. It took him several long moments before he regained control of his mental state, as he began blinking, peering around him in a blur of bewilderment.

He had exited the strange tunnel of shattered shards, nearly collapsing onto what seemed to be a brown brick floor, inscribed with a set of enormous circular seal array giving off a mild golden glow. He looked up and felt his chest constrict, his breath wheezing out of him as he saw what was in front of him and what he was standing on.

Seemingly endless rows of shelves stretched out in front of him, into the far horizon. Looking around him, he discovered that he was standing on a brown brick circular platform that seemed to be floating slightly above the nearest shelves. He could see no walls around him, just endless rows of shelves filled with scrolls and books. There was sufficient ambient light illuminating the whole place, but there were no obvious light source around him.

A flicker of movement at the edge of his vision caused him to turn around. Naruto blinked as he saw old man Hokage standing beside him, the older man releasing his hand from Naruto’s shoulders. The expression on the old man’s face was filled with wistfulness and also joy as he looked around him.

“What is this plac…” Naruto began but Old man Hokage interrupted him with a smile. The older man’s eyes roamed around the chambers with a hint of remembrance and sadness.

“This… is your legacy, the true legacy of the Uzumaki clan.” Old man Hokage said gravely as he looked at Naruto. “The Library of the Uzumaki.”

Naruto blinked, remembering the strange cube with unknown seal arrays that had somehow brought both of them here. “So… You mean my ancestors actually managed to create a liveable environment within a storage seal of some kind? A sub-dimension of some sort which they set up to contain their knowledge? I thought that isn’t possible, the widely known limit of storage seals is that nothing living can be contained within the seals.”

“In a way you are correct, this place exists on a different plane of existence. However its raw form is not just a modular sub-dimension tied to the physical world, it is a malleable dimension created outside of space and time.” Old man Hokage said, smiling at Naruto. “I am surprised that you know the concept of dimensional space and storage seals. Even your father, the seal prodigy that he was, only really began his study of space-time after your mother… showed him her legacy.”

“Okay… so I take it this dimension we’re in right now is vastly different from the ones used by normal storage seals?” Naruto asked, even as he began looking around for a way to leave the podium they were on. The only way off the podium that he could see was to shelf hop all the way down to ground level.

“This dimension is not a self-contained dimension created by modified storage seals, tied to the physical world.” Old man Hokage explained. “It is in fact a sealed and mutable dimension space permanently etched into a hidden corner of our plane of existence. The unique seal arrays on The Legacy, the metal cube that you use to transverse here, actually creates a pathway cutting through space-time. The pathway connects the user of The Legacy, and those physically in contact with him at the time of activation, to the dimensional space.” Old man Hokage grinned as he waved at his body. “One thing you should take note is that we are actually not existing physically in this dimension.”

“What do you mean?” Naruto asked with a start, even as he sent another mental command to Sica. Usually Sica would have provided him with some information by now.

“It might be best for me to let you in a piece of Uzumaki history, so that you can better understand what is going on.” Old man Hokage said, his eyes glinting with humour. “This was told by your mother, to both me and your father, when she first allowed us to enter The Legacy with her.

“According to Uzumaki legend, long ago the Senju clan exiled a group of their inner council due to political reasons. The handful of exiles began their own clan, which began the founding of the Uzumaki. Later generations would mend ties with the Senju clan, but during the beginning, the clan was small, and wholly unremarkable until the third generation of the clan. Hakusho Uzumaki was the fourth son of the Second Uzumaki clan head. He was also the man who would change the clan’s fortune. He was considered a clan legend among the Uzumaki, though few outside the clan knew of this legend.

“In his youth, the only noteworthy thing about Hakusho was his fascination of the pre-cataclysm ruins and his scholarly skills. During that point of history, the deadly mists surrounding some of the ruins were beginning to dissipate, and there was a rush of adventurers’ making their fortunes by finding old artifacts or objects of power. The deterioration on the ruins meant that not much items of significance managed to survive, but enough new finds were brought forth to the world that made a handful of explorers rich, and expanded the knowledge of electric and mechanical arts in the Elemental countries.

“Hakusho Uzumaki was fortunate or unfortunate, depending on one’s point of view, enough to discover an artifact that according to your clan legend, predates even the pre-cataclysm period. There was not much known about the artifact. What was known much later was that the artifact implanted an entire repository of knowledge, most of it about exotic seals, into Hakusho’s mind, which caused his mental state to deteriorate rapidly.

“By the time his exploration party managed to bring him back to his clan, Hakusho was a jabbering mess. He was able to understand what others were saying, but when he spoke, it was in a language no one had ever heard before. The clan healer diagnosed that Hakusho’s brain was somehow breaking down due to the enormous stress of what happened, and that he would not have long to live.

“Hakusho must have understood what it meant, it was said that he secluded himself for several days. The Legacy was created by him during that time. According to the Uzumaki clan’s legend, Hakusho dragged himself to the Uzumaki council with the last of his strength, holding onto the metal cube, and in the first understandable words he had spoken since he returned to the clan, he was able to explain what happened to him, and passed on the cube as his Legacy to the clan.

“He told the council that he had extracted all of the foreign knowledge implanted into his mind and had secluded them in a separate dimension. This became a library of knowledge that the Uzumaki clan could later access. Hakusho passed away soon after his last great act, as his damaged mind gave up on him. But his Legacy empowered the clan to be able to later stand amongst the Senju and Uchiha clans in power.”

“So… this Library of the Uzumaki… is actually formed from the extracted memories of one of my ancestors?” Naruto asked slowly, trying to comprehend what he had learnt. “After some unknown artifact dump an entire repository of foreign knowledge into him?”

“In a way, yes. Artifacts from pre-cataclysm periods are dangerous for a reason, much less artifacts from a period predating that. It was said the Old Gods who birthed humanity into this world left powerful artifacts hidden in various corners of the world after they left for the heavens. Old manuscripts of pre-cataclysm era spoke of how several of those artifacts were found, how some could turn fertile lands to deserts, or sink continents into oceans, or transmute a whole civilization into a tree that touched the heavens. There are much suppositions among scholars in our era that those artifacts of the Old Gods might have been the cause of the later cataclysm, centuries after they left.” Old man Hokage said simply as Naruto widened his eyes in interest.

“I never knew the ancient artifacts could do this…” Naruto said in shock, wondering if those artifacts were advanced technologies of some kind. “I don’t think there’s anything about pre-cataclysm artifacts in the academy library, I would have found some information on them if that’s the case.”

“Konoha is a ninja village, our libraries tend to contain information our ninjas can use in their career, rather than scholarly knowledge like these. If you go to the Fire capital where the Metalworkers and Scholars have set up their bases, you might be able to find more information from them.” Old man Hokage said with a chuckle. “I do collect old manuscripts from the pre-cataclysm era in my spare time, carefully sealed away to prevent them from deteriorating further. Perhaps one day, I may show you those collections.”

“I will like that.” Naruto said eagerly, even as he sent a mental probe to Sica. He was beginning to get anxious at the continued silence from his only true companion. All these new information about pre-cataclysm era artifacts were new to him. Depending on whether they were fact or fiction, he might be able to convince Sica to re-evaluate the technological level of his world, and allow him to release more advance technologies into his world.

“But that’s enough about old manuscripts from the pre-cataclysm. Tell me Naruto, have you heard of Yin chakra?” Old man Hokage asked.

Naruto nodded. “Yin chakra is an exotic chakra element that’s often paired with Yang chakra. On its own, it is the basis of imagination and spiritual energy, used to perform…” Naruto trailed off, sprouting knowledge he had learnt from Sica before realising what he just said. He looked around the seemingly physical and endless library in front of him, and recalled what the Hokage had said much earlier about them not existing physically. Mouth opening in shock, he turned back to the old man. “You mean this whole place is made up of Yin chakra?”

“Yes… yes it is.” Old man Hokage said, eyeing Naruto in surprise. “That was surprisingly knowledgeable and deductive of you. It seems your teacher trained you remarkably well.”

“So when you say we are not physically here, you mean we are actually Yin elemental copies of ourselves? Like elemental clones?” Naruto asked, finally understanding why he could not reach Sica.

If he was a Yin clone formed within this dimension, it was doubtful Sica’s functionalities would be fully brought over. The Shadow Clone technique was the only clone technique he had tried in the past that fully replicate Sica with all its capabilities. The basic academy clone technique, wood clone technique and other elemental clone techniques he tried had all produced clones with Sica devices that were not operational. That was one reason he had stuck to using the Shadow Clone technique, even though each of the elemental clones have their strength and weakness.

“I guess calling our forms in this dimension Yin clones is not incorrect. It is very much like how the Yamanaka clan does their mind walking techniques.” Old man Hokage said with a pondering smile. He motioned Naruto to follow him to the edge of the podium. “Come, let me show you the library, as your mother had once showed me.” The Hokage said, giving Naruto an amused look, as he stepped off the podium, standing on air before an amazed Naruto.

“I didn’t know ninjas can walk on air.” Naruto said shocked. He had never heard Sica mention any air walking techniques before.

“Ninjas can’t walk on air. No one that I know of have enough chakra control to infuse and create a solid chakra platform in the air.” Old man Hokage said simply, his voice changing into a more lecturing tone. “Yin chakra is basically mental energies. This whole place is formed from mental energies, as are we. In this dimension, your own thoughts can shape the environment around you, or even yourself to a limited extend. Your ancestor built several safe guards when he created The Legacy, the major one is that the shelves containing the representations of his extracted knowledge can never be destroyed. There are others, which unfortunately I do not know about. Whatever safeguards that exists however, do not stop you from using ‘mental suggestions’ on yourself… for instance, suggesting to yourself that you are able to walk on air.” The Hokage said as he calmly turned and began walking down to ground level, as if he was standing on invisible stairs.

Naruto gaped at the older man who was already half way down. Biting his lips, taking a deep breath, Naruto decided to test out what old man Hokage had suggested. He did tense his body to jump to the closest shelf if his test attempt failed. Taking a deep breath, he leapt off the podium and focused on the thought that he could fly.

As if his body had wings, he soared in the air for a moment, before gaining enough control to follow the Hokage to the ground level. The older man smiled at the look of wonder on Naruto’s face, before motioning for him to follow. His feet touching the grey cobblestones of ground level, Naruto looked around him. All around him were shelves packed with scrolls and tomes. There was also a cleared space underneath the floating podium where a single book stand stood, with a thick tome placed on its holder. As the Hokage began to move to the closest shelf, Naruto scrambled after him, daunted by the sight of the seemingly infinite library.

“Now there are several important details you need to know about your legacy.” Old man Hokage said seriously. “First and foremost, only a true blooded Uzumaki can open a connection between the physical world and this dimension. At the current moment, that consists only of you.

“Secondly, much of the library actually contains the extracted foreign repository of knowledge from Hakusho Uzumaki. Towards his end days, when he was creating The Legacy, he was able to decipher and understand some of those foreign information in his head and use those knowledge to create The Legacy. When the foreign repository of knowledge was extracted out of his head into The Legacy, they became the scrolls and tomes you see on the shelves. Those scrolls and tomes are the mental representation of his knowledge.” The Hokage explained even as he began rummaging through some of the scrolls close to him.

“Now these two scrolls are a good example.” Old man Hokage said as he took two scrolls from the shelf. He unrolled the first one to reveal a series of unidentifiable words outlining some diagrams. “As you noticed, this scroll contains a language much different than the one we know of. This is an ancient language that probably exists during pre-cataclysm era or maybe even earlier. Your ancestors calls it the language of the gods, based on their assumption that the artifact which passed Hakusho Uzumaki all these knowledge was left by the old gods.”

Old man Hokage then unrolled the second scroll, which revealed another series of unidentifiable words. At the end of the unidentifiable words were what seemed to be actual translations of the unidentifiable words in the common language. “The second scroll contains translations of the ancient language into the common tongue used today. This is actually one of the few tiny portion of what Hakusho managed to translate and decipher, before he extracted his implant knowledge and placed them here.

“Subsequent generations of the Uzumaki made used of the translated scrolls and tomes to come up with a translation codex for the rest of the scrolls and tomes in Ancient tongue. That codex is contained within the Uzumaki Codex, the big tome located under the floating podium.” The Hokage said pointing behind them towards the tome on the book stand. “Throughout the centuries, before the destruction of the Uzumaki clan, they managed to translate hundreds of scrolls and tomes through generations of effort, unlocking rare seal knowledge that empowered them.

“Their power over Seal mastery became their downfall when some of the nations grew fearful of their power and destroyed them. Your mother Kushina and the wife of the First Hokage, Mito Uzumaki, were the only known survivors from the Uzumaki’s main bloodline.” Old man Hokage stated seriously. “Though your ancestors made great efforts in translating the ancient knowledge passed to them by Hakusho, they have not even managed to translate a quarter of the knowledge contained here. Each of the Uzumaki who have translated a scroll or tome, would form a duplicate copy of the same scroll or tome in the common tongue, and place them back onto the shelves. The Uzumaki clan saw it as their personal mission to fully translate all the knowledge contained in The Legacy.

“After the death of Lady Mito, your mother as the last surviving member of the Uzumaki bloodline, broke clan protocol by bringing your father, my wife, me and a few others, in to help with translating whatever scrolls or tomes we could in our lifetime.” The Hokage said in fond memories, a look of sadness crossing his eyes. “We also duplicated some of our knowledge to store in the Legacy, as a form of indirect payment to future Uzumaki descendants, for use of this… sacred space.

“This was where your father first gained the knowledge and idea to improve the Flying Thunder God Technique that was created by the Second Hokage. The improved Flying Thunder God Technique was what earned your father the title of “The Yellow Flash” during the Third Ninja war. The copy of his improved technique should be here somewhere. Your parents spent a lot of time here, before your birth. Where you was conceived, the protective measures in The Legacy prevented Kushina from activating it during her pregnancy. No one has been here since then.” Old man Hokage said looking at the shelves around them. “I remember your parents have a special corner set up with their own memory archives, but it has been years and I can’t seem to recall where it was.”

“I am sure I have all the time in the world to look around.” Naruto said his heart leaping at the thoughts that he might have some mementos of his birth parents, their own stored memories to look into.

“Yes you will wouldn’t you?” Old man Hokage said, smiling idly. “One last thing. As this dimension is outside of space and time, when we return back to our bodies, it will be at the exact moment we left it. To leave the dimension, you need to return to the seal array on the podium and activate it by saying the word ‘Return’ while touching the middle of the seal. If you bring a non-Uzumaki into The Legacy, they need to be standing with you in the seal array, or they will remain trapped here. It has never been tested, but I am sure it would lead to unpleasant circumstances if someone is trapped in The Legacy while disconnected from their physical bodies. Without the seal bridge linking our yin selves to our physical selves, our bodies will continue aging as time moves on in the physical world.”

“I get that.” Naruto said with a nod. He hesitated before moving forward and hugged the older man awkwardly. “Thank you old man, for telling me… for giving me this… legacy from mom and dad.”

“It is the least I can do for you.” The Hokage said with a smile. “What you do with the knowledge within The Legacy is up to you. But remember, knowledge is power, and those who wield great power must use it responsibly. Remember the Will of Fire, the legacy of the First Hokage.”

“I will.” Naruto promised, his mind whirling at the wealth of knowledge before him. As soon as he returned to his physical body, he would need to get Sica’s opinion on this. “I will. And I will need your help with this. There is no way I can translate even a small portion of… this alone.”

OoooO

Pangalactic Federation Codex

– Compiled by by Dr. Reimi Saionji (Head Linguist, Historian and Diplomat 1-A of the USTA)

A.D. 2064: World War III broke out after several clashes between World Republic Federation, the ruling government on Earth, and their enemies. Both factions of the war utilized Weapons of Mass Destruction, razing the lands on Earth. This was known as the Shattering, and it was one of humanity’s darkest era.

A.D. 2072: Dr. Arnold Maverick of the Smithson Institute found the remains of an ancient civilization on humanity’s home planet, Earth. The razed and uninhabitable landscape of Earth had been rearranged, opening up areas that were previously undiscovered by Man.

DNA of this ancient race was extracted from a corpse contained in a 12,000 year old sarcophagus. DNA testing revealed that the genes of this race bears remarkable similarities to humanity.

Project Hope, classified Top Secret by the government of that era, tried to combine the ancient race’s DNA with modern human DNA, in order to create superhumans. It was later revealed none of the experimentations were successful.

 

 

 

Village Hidden in the Bay (Worm/Naruto) (Chapter Four)

Story Title: Village Hidden in the Bay

Crossover: Worm/ Naruto

Disclaimer: This is a fanfiction. No profit is made from the story. Just a fan’s way of keeping the fandoms alive.

Summary: She was destined to be the saviour of her world. She was the fated antihero, coming into power on Jan 2011. Yet webs of fate could be altered. Realities away, a forbidden technique was used, and the web of destiny… was shattered.

Chapter Four – Change is Coming

Reality 8757-A41, Brockton Bay, 30th June 2010

Ashley Medina paused at the threshold of the job agency. Feeling weary as she looked at the small ground floor office that she had been in and out of, for the past two weeks. Ever since her husband died after being stabbed by some Empire Eighty-Eight gang thugs, she had been finding whatever jobs she could, just to keep the bills paid, to keep her son fed.

Selling off her two roomed apartment while getting a smaller place downtown had kept the family going for four months, but the funds were running low again, and if she did not find work again, she might have to pull her son Trevor out of school. It was a situation she would rather not have occurring. Her son needed to be educated, so he would have a prospect in future. But a Hispanic women with only High school education, had very few job choices in Brockton Bay.

She had been rejected for jobs more time than she could count, but she had to keep trying, if only for her son. Gathering up her resolve, she stepped into the office. The receptionist gave her a dismissive look after taking down her details. Ashley waited for several minutes on the dusty red couch which had seen better days. Surprisingly, someone came to get her faster than her usual wait.

She was led to an interview room. Her heart sank as she saw the job agent she was paired to, sitting next to a beautiful young white woman who was most probably the employer. She knew what would happen. The young woman would reject her because of her skin colour or some other faults, she would be sent back home to wait for another call…

“Ah so you are Ashley Medina.” The young woman said, getting up, clasping Ashley’s hands with a warm smile. Ashley paused in surprise, usually her agent would introduce her, and she had never seen any of the potential employers being so warm and friendly. Her agent blinked, apparently similarly surprised.

“Ashley, this is Ms. Helena Roberts, she is a stall vendor at Lord Street Market. Her business has been booming in over just a week, and she had decided to hire more help.” The job agent introduced as all of them sat down. “She has finished hiring the help she needed for her new warehouse. You are called here today because you are one of four women Ms. Helen has selected to be her stall assistants.”

“You will be paid fifteen dollars hourly. Eight hours work day, five days a week. Rest days are on weekdays, on rotation with other workers.” Ms. Helen stated, causing Ashley’s eyes to widen at the sum of money offered. On a good day, she might earn five dollars an hour, compared to that, the sum offered was huge. “I will be renting two stalls in Lord Street Market starting tomorrow. You will be managing one of the stalls with another woman I will be hiring. The contract is for one week, but as my business grows, I will be able to offer you a permanent position, with the related medical benefits. Are you fine with this offer?”

“Wait… you are offering the job to me now? Without an interview?” Ashley asked wide eyed, she had never expected the white woman to hire her in the first place.

“I have seen your resume as well as the two commendations your past employers have given you.” Ms. Helen said with a smile. “You are a hardworking worker, I need someone like you. Will you take up the job?”

“I…” Ashley said in surprise before quickly recovering. She needed the job, especially if it paid this well. “Yes! Of course!”

“Good Mrs. Medina, I will need you to sign this contract.” The job agent said pushing a stack of forms towards her. “Work will begin tomorrow at the stated location. As stipulated in the contract, you will be doing the following tasks…”

The agent droned on as she explained the contract to Ashley in detail. In a haze, she signed it at the end.

“Good Ashley.” Ms. Helena smiled at her. “Welcome to the team.”

OoooO

It was afternoon by the time Taylor reached home. After nine days of hectic sales in Lord Street Market and a morning of planning for future, she could finally take a break. Her business had doubled and tripled following the days after her TV interview in Helen Roberts’ persona.

In total sales, she had made nineteen thousand, five hundred and thirty five. It was an unbelievable sum of money that even she had trouble comprehending. But of course, unlike normal businesses, she had no production costs or overheads, which explained her enormous profits. The amount of goods she could make was dependant on her chakra, and her chakra reserve was slowly increasing every day, which meant more goods and more potential sales.

More than half the profits she made were gained once she began fulfilling the furniture sales. “Hand crafted” furniture cost a lot out in the market, and hers were cheaper, yet sturdier and made of quality wood. Once her reputation began to build, more furniture orders started coming in. A portion of her profits had went into hiring a mover truck team of four men and to rent a warehouse near Lord Street Market after the fifth day. The furniture would be deposited by Taylor into the warehouse, after which the mover team would access the warehouse to ferry the furniture to the buyers.

Part of her profits also went into extending her current stall lease. As of yesterday, she had renewed the contract of her stall for another week. She had also taken over the rental of the stall beside hers, renting it for a full week as well. This morning, in her Helena Roberts persona, she had hired four stall assistants for her two stalls. Each of them would work in rotations, with their off days being on weekdays. Thus there would be a minimum of three women working the stalls on weekdays, with all four present on the busy weekends.

By the time she paid off the job agencies, the movers, the rental for the stalls and warehouse, she had ten thousand, seven hundred and thirty five dollars of profits left. That lump sum of cash was sealed into a special seal array drawn onto her left breast. It was easily concealed, yet constantly on her body. Of course, her father would have a coronary if he thought Taylor had started tattooing her body.

Taylor did have to admit that while looking for an easily accessible spot on her body to draw the storage seal, she had chosen her current seal location mostly out of a hint of naughty thrill. The old Taylor would not have been caught dead with a “tattoo” drawn on her breast, but the new chakra wielding Taylor was a totally different girl.

She had changed a lot over the past weeks, becoming more confident of herself, and all of this was because of Hashirama. In over a month, with the awakening of her past self, Taylor finally felt that she had grappled back the reins of her life again. She had powers now, powers that were growing stronger with every day of training. She felt in control of her life. When she was acting as Helena for the past few days, she even managed to break out of her shell of solitude, playing the role of a cheerful beautiful young woman who had the world at her feet.

Hashirama never forced or instructed her to do anything she did not want to do, unless it was related to the training of her powers. Instead for the decisions she made with her life, he was just there to support and be a guiding voice. Sometimes it was like having a big brother hovering at the back of her head. He would be there to catch her if she falls, and sometimes, he could be a pain in the arse as well.

Like now.

You know I have been thinking. Hashirama was saying, as Taylor went over the business plan she had drawn up in her notepad with Hashirama’s occasional help. Now that you have begun your plans for business expansion and have hired more help, you don’t have to be in the market every day. And you have been doing quite well with your chakra training, you should take a few days’ break, go out into the world, find new friends and have a life!

“I do so have a life.” Taylor said mulishly. “Training and running a business is having a life. And I have to be around the stalls for the next few days to settle the new assistants in.”

Well the stall assistants will need some guidance at first, but after that, there’s no reason for you to manage the stalls every day. The whole point of hiring stall assistants is for them to run the stalls while leaving you free to do other things. Hashirama pointed out. And please don’t tell me you want to do more training. Even the Genin in the Ninja Academy have rest days to avoid burning out. You have been training none stop for a month after I gave you your chakra system. You need a break. Surely you have some hobbies other than training and selling things?

Taylor bit her lips. Memories of sleepovers with Emma in the past rised out of the depths of her mind. Emma had been her one and only friend, after Emma betrayed her… well, Taylor had no one else. “I have other hobbies.” Taylor stated, though even in her mind, she sounded uncertain. “I can go to the library.”

No. Hashirama said firmly. No conducting research on rest days. You already spent three evenings in the library researching the parahumans of Brockton Bay. That’s not rest, that’s work. Pick sometime else.

“I thought you said you will let me live my own life and make my own decisions.” Taylor growled.

I did. Hashirama said with the equivalent of a mental shrug. It doesn’t apply to this matter.

“What!” Taylor said narrowing her eyes. “You promised to only guide me except in terms of my training! How can you just change your promise like that?”

This is a unique circumstance. I am breaking the promise. Hashirama said simply in a voice of amusement. You will take a few off days after the sales assistants are settled in and do things that are not related to work or training.

“Or what?” Taylor said with a hint of challenge in her voice.

Or… I will sing in your head. Constantly. Hashirama said in a very smug mental tone. In high notes. I will even whistle. Mito once told me I could crack glass with my whistles.

“Argh! You are impossible!” Taylor said growling, shoulders slumping in defeat. She had never heard Hashirama sung before, but she had no doubt he could be extremely annoying if he put his mind into it. “Fine! I will have a few rest days where I do other things, after I trained up all the sales assistants, and make sure the business can run without me.”

Good. Hashirama said in satisfaction.

Muttering angrily to show Hashirama how displeased she was, Taylor stalked down into the basement, making her way to the underground bunkers. She had a few chakra intensive plans scheduled later during the day, but now that she was fully annoyed, she decided to settle those tasks first.

One of the major task for today was to build a new underground bunker. This new bunker would be her “Cape Cave” a place where she could create armour or weapons for herself, or store any future equipment she would be buying to make her own cape costume. Taylor was not planning to be a Hero, or out her existence to the local cape community anytime soon, but she was going to start preparing for the eventuality.

The cape cave will be constructed on the other end of the training bunker, with a path leading to the surface. Based on her plans, the upward path would be situated between the cape cave and the training bunker. The secondary surface entrance would come out of her own backyard, on the ground right next to her back door facing the side road. It would take several Genjutsu and Protection seal arrays to secure the new entrance from any unwanted sight or entry. The whole project would occupy her for several hours at least.

As she began to work, Hashirama started humming a happy tone.

OoooO

Reality 8757-A41, Brockton Bay, 1st July 2010

The new job was… interesting. May Jihoo thought as she tended to the stall that she and her partner was in charge of. The stall she was handling sold a wide variety of bottled spices, traditional medicines and sweet smelling lotions. She and her partner also had to assist in taking down furniture orders based on a furniture catalogue placed next to the rosewood stall table.

The furniture listed in the catalogue was obviously hand crafted and of the highest quality. May had taken a look at the furniture catalogue during the down times, and had already spotted a few nice pieces she wanted to order for her place.

To be honest, there was no need for the petite dark haired woman to work. Born to a rich Korean-American family, her father left her with quite the inheritance. Her husband worked as an attorney in Leigh and Bayle, one of Brockton Bay’s most prestigious international law firm. Her only son Park Jihoo studied in Immaculata High, a prestigious private school in the nicest part of Brockton Bay. She was basically a rich man’s wife, a rich woman in her own right.

But there had also been a streak of rebelliousness within her. She had been the good daughter, the good wife all her life. The stay at home wife who dolls up, look pretty for her husband, and greet the guests. She gave up her ambitious for a career because that was not “her role”.

Then her father died. She discovered her husband had been having a long term affair with his secretary. Something within her had died. For a period, she had been broken, but she had come out of it stronger. To maintain the appearance of a healthy marriage, for her son’s sake, she and the scumbag of her husband had agreed not to divorce.

Her husband had continued his dalliance, while May had decided that now her son was able to take care of himself, she would begin living her own life, the life she wanted for herself. It was too difficult for her to begin any sort of career at her age with no working experience. Even if she had the capital to set up a company of her own, she had no idea what business she should start-up or invest in. And she was not going to accept any pity favours from her friends by taking up a job at their companies.

In the end, she decided to take up part time jobs that strike her interest, it would occupy her time and distract her from her husband’s affair. Not to mention it would shame her husband once news of her “acting out” spreads. Sure some of high society wives might snub her when they found out about her “eccentricities” but honestly after what she had been through, she could care less. She was going to take charge of her life and do what she wanted. This particular job falls under the category of “very interesting”.

Her new “Boss” the stalls’ owner was in fact getting quite a reputation in the higher echelon of Brockton Bay’s blue bloods. In part, it was because of the super model looks of the young owner. But a large reason was actually due to the quality products the young woman sold. Her beauty creams were rumoured to be one of the best smelling products in the market. Those who used it had claimed that their skin looked healthier and softer. Now that May was selling those products, she could at least attest to the fact that the creams and lotions smelled really good.

When May first met Helena Roberts at the job agency, the middle aged woman had been prepared to hate Helena just on the principles of the woman being prettier than her. But May had never been a petty woman, and when Helena had showed her a display of friendliness and sincerity, May had changed her mind about the young woman. Helena was no blond haired bimbo, in fact May knew that there was a brain in that pretty head, considering the young woman’s business success in a little more than a week since the start of her business.

The morning crowd had stunned May, but she was able to get on with the rhythm shortly after. The goods have been carefully tagged with prices so there was little chance for May to make a mistake. And after a while, May realised she was liking the banter with the customers while promoting her products. Especially since the products she was selling was already well received by the crowd.

Helena in the meantime was running between the two stalls she had rented. She would stay with May and her partner, Leia for a while, before moving to the next stall which was a fruits and flowers stall. There were two other women operating the stall which was doing quite a brisk business as well. May could certainly understand why. The fruits and flowers Helena were selling had a remarkable wholesome and vibrant appearance. In fact all the products Helena put on sale had a certain high quality feel to them.

Though the stall had a shelter, May managed to work up a healthy tan by late afternoon. The crowd might have lessened, but a large number of tourists and locals still dropped by the stalls. A few were apparently regulars, like the stern faced Chinese looking man that just walked up to the stall. The man was tall and lanky, scars decorated his bare arms, and he gave off an intense presence.

“The usual.” The man said, after looking at the stall and its sister stall beside it.

“Oh.” May said quickly taking out a notepad where Helena had written out instructions and orders earlier in the day. Helena had just left for a toilet break, she or her partner would have to deal with the customer. “My apologies, this is my first day here, you are Mr…?”

“Hao. Just Mr. Hao.” The man said curtly.

May quickly glanced down the notepad, finding the man’s name and his regular orders. “Alright 6 bottles of saffron, 10 bottles of pepper, 10 bottles of cinnamon powder and 10 bottles of chilli coming right up.” May said, smiling at the man as she quickly packed his orders. “That’s a big order. You are a cook?” May asked, making small talk as she worked. At the other end of the stall, her partner Leia was attending to someone else, though the woman was shooting skittish looks at her.

“No.” The man said bluntly, seemingly hostile and not willing to indulge in any small talk. He also glowered at her, most probably to shut her up. The look was fierce enough to cause May to stiffen for a moment. Then her hackles began to raise as she glared back at the man. Mr. Hao was acting as though she had offended him or something.

“My sister runs a restaurant, I just help her pick up the spices.” The man finally relented when May refused to back down from the staring contest.

“Well that’s ninety two dollars in total.” May stated as she handed over the package. As Mr. Hao passed her the money, she added candidly. “You might try shaving your eyebrows a little.”

“What!” Mr. Hao said, giving her a stunned look at her off-hand comment.

“You seemed like someone that frowns a lot.” May said, still feeling upset over the antagonizing attitude the man had given her, putting a bit of bite in her comment. “You might want to try shaving your eyebrows a little so that they don’t look like giant caterpillars when you scrunch your face at people.”

“…” The man stared at her wordlessly before turning around and walking off into the crowd.

“Wow May… that was very brave of you.” Leia said, walking towards her, the woman’s eyes were wide as saucers.

“Brave?” May stared at her in confusion. “I was just telling off a rude customer.”

“You were just telling off… didn’t you see the tattoo on his left biceps?” Leia said gaping at her. “He’s from ABB!”

“Oh!” May said, suddenly feeling a little faint. ABB was one of the two most powerful villain gang in Brockton Bay, even the Protectorate had difficulties dealing with them. “Oh dear, I didn’t see that tattoo.”

“Do you think we should tell Helena?” Leia asked nervously. “In case ABB send some of its members to cause trouble?”

“I… I don’t think they would dare do anything here in broad daylight.” May said feeling a chill down her spine. “But yes, I think it is best for me to talk to Helena when she gets back…”

OoooO

Hao Yi, better known to the world as the cape Oni Lee, stalked through the crowd, finally reaching the western end of Lord Street Market, where his siblings ran a small Chinese restaurant. There was a small crowd dining in when he entered. His younger brother, officially the owner of the restaurant, was at the counter when he entered. The two brothers nodded to each other as Hao Yi made way for the kitchen, where his older sister served as the restaurant’s head cook.

“Er Di!” Lai Hua smiled as he entered the kitchen, depositing the package of spices on her table. She put down her ladle as she turned to greet him in Chinese. It was an endearment she had called him by since young, because he was the second child in the family. “Have you eaten? I came up with a new hot and spicy recipe with cubed pork and chicken.”

“I can’t stay.” Hao Yi said, looking around the crowded kitchen. “I need to leave for work after this.”

Lai Hua stilled, the smile dropping from her lips, her right hand latching on his arm tightly. Then without a word, she began pulling him after her, towards the storage room. Pushing Hao Yi in, his sister entered, closing the door, shutting out the noises of the busy kitchen. She stared at the floor, not facing Hao Yi as she spoke with a tone of resignment.

“Can’t you just not go?” Lai Hua asked softly, her shoulders slumping in defeat. “I saw the news last week. Fifteen people. The news were saying fifteen people were killed by your bombs and knives. Please Hao Yi, it has been more than a year. You have helped Lung set up his drug empire. You’ve long repaid our blood debt to him. Please brother… just leave the gang.”

“Those people were from Empire Eighty-Eight, they are white supremacists!” Hao Yi said as Lai Hua glared at him, tears in her eyes.

“They are still people. Living breathing people with families of their own!” Lai Hua hissed at him, anger and a hint of horror at what he had done showing in her eyes. “Why can’t you just scare them off? You are a god damn cape! They are just ordinary people, like me… and Dai Men.” She said sternly as she mentioned their younger brother.

“I am Lung’s main enforcer I have to show our enemies that ABB is not a force to be tangled with. There can be no mercy. Everyone I kill attest to the power of the ABB, it keeps the vultures from targeting the gang.” Hao Yi said, his countenance unyielding. He loved his sister, he would do anything for his siblings, but there were some matters he could not cave in, even for them. This was one of them. “Lung rescued us from China. He kept me free from the Yàngbǎn. Our debt to him can never be repaid. Please Lai Hua, don’t ask this of me.”

Lai Hua shuddered at his words, tears dropping silently onto the floor as Hao Yi moved passed her. Giving one last look at his sister, he walked out of the storage room. He could not afford to be affected by his sister’s conscience or tears, for he had made his path long ago. He had given away his heart and morals, for the safety and freedom of his family. To him, that was a fair trade.

His hands wept with the blood of more than a hundred people by now, but there was no room for regret, for his fate was already set in stone. Lai Hua could not understand that. Once you were in ABB, the only way to leave the gang was in a body bag, buried six feet under. And the families of the gang deserters suffered worst fates than that, not to mention the other threat Lung still held over his family.

Lung held a set of documents that must never fall into any governments’ hands. For should the truth about his family be revealed, he and his siblings would be hunted by all the governments in the world. And there would be no hiding from that.

His siblings were all that he had left. He had to protect them.

In the end, his sacrifice… was necessary.

OoooO

Reality 8757-A41, Brockton Bay, 3rd July 2010

Lisa Wilbourn was intrigued.

She had made her morning rounds, spotting a few rich and careless marks in the crowded Lord Street Market, and lifted enough cash off them to last her for another few days. She had tried getting jobs at first to get some steady form of income, but not many people wanted to hire a sixteen year old for serious jobs. She could not exactly tell everyone “Hey I am a Thinker. Let me work for you! I can tell you everyone’s secrets in less than five minutes!”

Her brief stint as a dishwasher, a newspaper girl, and a cleaner, taught her that it was much easier for her to use her powers to start a thieving career, rather than to do manual labour for a pitiful sum of money. There was also the fact that the more she uses her power to observe and analyse her surroundings for easy marks, the more she had control over her ability. It was as the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

Lord Street Market had been her hunting grounds for the past two week, though Lisa knew she needed to find another area to pickpocket soon. She had been noticing an increased in security officers patrolling the area. A few of them seemed to be specifically looking for someone. Lisa doubted she had appeared on anyone’s radar yet, but it was better to be safe than sorry.

Though she knew she had to stop hunting in the market area soon, the catch had been good while it lasted. The market area was where Lisa first supported the mystery that had been eating at her for the past few days. She still remember what happened clearly. It had been the third day since she came to Lord Street Market to hunt for easy marks. She had been lifting the pockets of a portly young man when she had spotted Her.

Helena Roberts, allegedly a beautiful young stall owner who rented a stall in Lord Street Market. She gained quite an online reputation on the internet after a video of her facing off a rogue cape got onto the parahuman forum. Her business had literally bloomed within a week, and she apparently made enough profits to rent two stalls side by side to hawk her wares. She even hired four assistants to assist her, which spoke of how much profits she had already made.

Fruits, flowers, spices, herbs, traditional medicine, lotions and hand crafted furniture orders. All those were products Helena was selling or promoting, and all of those products were of the highest quality Lisa had ever seen. But things just did not add up. With just a look, Lisa could tell that the row of watermelons on sale were the biggest and sweetest watermelon she had ever seen. She had no idea how she could tell how the watermelons taste with a look, but she guessed that the vibrant colours of the watermelons actually meant something to her power.

The flowers were of the brightest and sweetest smelling bunch Lisa had ever seen outside of a digitally enhanced image. The spices were of the highest quality and cheaper than normal market prices, the bottles that contained them were also made of high quality oak. Who the hell use expensive oak bottles to contain products without taking into account the price of the actual bottles’ production?

And the thing was, all of those products… were uniform, seamlessly uniform. All the watermelons were of the exact roundness and pattern, exact duplicates of each other. The flowers had the same bright colours and petal arrangements, exact duplicates again. The oak bottles were seamless and duplicates of each other. All the other products were exact duplicates of each other except for the spices, medicine and lotions. It was as though someone had invented a plant Xerox machine and had created duplicated copies of almost everything!

Then there was Helena herself. The first time Lisa had set eyes on her, her power had only screamed one word to her. FAKE!

FAKE! what? Lisa had no idea. Her power could tell her if someone had gotten a nose job with a look. She could tell if this guy had liposuction, that woman had breast implants, but every time she looked at Helena with her power activated, there was only one word. FAKE!

The mystery of what Helena really was had eaten at Lisa from the first day she spotted the woman and her stall(s) of Xerox plant goods. Lisa literally could not sleep most nights because she kept wondering what was wrong with the woman. What does FAKE! means?

She could of course let her curiosity go, after all she was trying to keep a low profile. But a part of her wanted to find the real answers. Her powers had never failed her before, this was the first time she actually went up against someone she could not understand instantly with her powers. It became something of a personal challenge to her. After all she had a lot of free time these days, unrevealing the mystery of Helena Roberts seemed like a worthy entertainment for her afternoons.

She perched on a container in a side alley, where she had a clear view of Helena’s stalls while remaining hidden in the shadows. The woman was currently bustling around the two stalls as she and her assistants coped with the lunch crowd. Lisa narrowed her eyes at the woman, eyeing each part of Helena’s body, wondering which part of the woman was FAKE! She could not even read Helena’s body movements with all the FAKE! interference she was getting.

Based on the information she had gathered with her power, Lisa knew that Helena was most probably a cape, a parahuman with special powers just like her. Helena’s powers was most probably plant related if Lisa was to use the stuff the woman was selling as her baseline deduction. Of course, Helena’s powers might have nothing to do with plants, it might be some kind of duplication ability instead.

Then there was the FAKE! response that Lisa’s power kept telling her every time she looked at Helena. That most probably implied Helena was a Changer, maybe she could change her appearance or something? From her online parahuman research ever since she got her own powers, Lisa knew that there were actually records of cape abilities that allows one to transform part of his/her appearance or the whole body entirely.

Of course most Changers tend to be Case 53 as well. Known most commonly to the public as the “monster capes”, they were a group of parahumans that apparently had very traumatic trigger events to the point where they lost all their memories after they triggered. Case 53 had special marks on their bodies, and most of them tends to have some inhuman features. They were classified under Changers not because they could transform their bodies, but because parts of their bodies were permanently altered.

There were a few infamous cases throughout the years, like the pitiful Slug man, the maniac Scorpio lady, the Human Amoeba… but from what Lisa could tell, Helena did not seem to be one of them. Every part of Helena seemed human in nature… just FAKE!

Lisa was sticking to her first Changer theory, that Helena had some kind of body transformation ability. She had actually started trailing Helena after the woman close the stalls for the evening, and was beginning to come to the conclusion that the beautiful twenty year old model look was not Helena’s true appearance.

Trailing capes to uncover their identities was a big No-No in the cape scene, but what she was doing now was just for fun. It was not as though she was going to reveal Helena’s real identity once she figured out the stall owner’s real mystery. Lisa just wanted the sense of achievement when she discovered the answers. Not to mention it would proof that nothing could remain hidden from her power. It was arrogant, but well, she had time to waste, and very little to do for fun.

Time passed quickly at her stakeout, by the time evening arrived, Lisa was ready. To be safe, she trailed a distance behind Helena so that she would not be spotted. As what Lisa had observed of Helen’s pattern during the past two days, the woman would enter the nearby toilet shortly after closing the stalls. A few minutes later, a wizened old lady wearing a solemn dark gown stepped out of the ladies. Unlike the first time when Lisa had trailed the woman, Lisa had kept her power activated the entire duration. The old lady was instantly pegged as FAKE!

A grin tugged at Lisa’s lips. There was no doubt about it, the old lady was Helena. Carefully, she trailed the woman again. Letting the crowd separate them for a distance, Lisa managed to get onto the same bus as Helena this time round. Helena stopped after five stops, close to the eastern suburb of Brockton Bay. The district contains rows of houses that had seen better days. The area was quiet and idyllic almost peaceful. It was obviously not the richer part of Brockton Bay, but it was better than the neighbourhoods in downtown areas.

Helena, wearing the appearance of an old woman, disappeared into a small busy diner, entering the toilet. Lisa waited outside, peering in discreetly through the restaurant windows. She was rewarded when a young girl close to her age stepped out of the ladies. Tall, dark haired, lanky and cute in a lost waif kind of way, the young girl was as different from supermodel Helena, and old grandmamma Helena, the way the sky was different from the ocean. Yet somehow Lisa’s power registered the young girl’s apparent confidence, the way she walked and moved. Somehow Lisa knew, the girl was Helena Roberts.

Age 14 or 15. Body transformation power confirmed. Active transformation hinder analytic ability. Her power whispered as Lisa observed the girl walking through the crowd in the diner. Afraid of attracting attention to herself, shy away from contact with people instinctively. Have been bullied in the past. Stronger now. Changed. More confident. More self-esteem. Has recently gained a friend, or friends, someone she could confide in. Someone that is there to support her.

Lisa blinked, a sly grin appearing on her face. Now that was more like it. Her power was working again.

Movements firm, brisk and concise. Received training, have been training. Martial Arts? Lisa’s power deducted. Poor situational awareness. Mild crowd phobia distracting her. Uncomfortable in her own skin. More confident when she was transformed. Self-confidence increased with the “fake appearances” she wore. Trust in her transformation ability to hide her identity. Guard is down, relaxed. She is on her way home.

The young girl walked out of the diner, down the street, not knowing that Lisa was trailing behind her. At the back of her mind, Lisa knew she should stop. She had proven to herself that Helena Roberts was really a cape with transformation power. She had already proven that her power, as always, had given her the answers again. Although it took more work this time for her to uncover Helena’s life story. There was really no need for her to follow Helena back to her home and uncover her real identity.

But Lisa’s power pushed tantalizingly. There was an urge within Lisa to know more about the strange girl. She had already put so much effort in uncovering Helena’s mystery, surely following the girl some more, getting some more information about her would not hurt? As long as Lisa stay out of sight, there was no cause for the girl to discover that she was being followed, no reason for Lisa to end up in any confrontation with the mysterious cape.

She would just follow the girl back to her home and that would be enough. Lisa promised herself. The cape’s identity and home location would be her little secret. Something which she did not plan to tell anyone, although it was not as though she had anyone in town to tell.

The girl slipped onto a back road where there were less people. She stopped behind a run down two storey house and walked past a row of trees. Lisa picked up the pace. She had found the girl’s home. Reaching the row of trees, she looked past to see nothing…

The back door of the house before her was closed but her power was telling her something else. Helena never entered the house. Rusty hinges on door, should have screeching sound if opened. Heard slight thudding sound before rounding the corner. Wood. Thump. There is a trapdoor. Lisa’s eyes scoured the small and barren backyard of the house. As far as she could tell, there was nothing of interest except for two dried up rose beds. Dirt disturbed to left of backdoor. Faint impression of shoe print leading up to patch of barren dirt next to house. Possible trapdoor location. Trapdoor hidden from normal sight.

Lisa’s eyes widened at the information her power had provided her. What sort of powers did that mystery cape have? Was she a tinker of some kind? Able to create devices that hide things from sight? Or was she able to create illusions?

Illusion based power higher probability. Fits in with the theme of Transformation ability. Lisa’s power provided intuitively. In a way that answer made the most sense. Capes with multiple superpowers always have a “theme”. A cape that could create forcefields might have a secondary ability of energy blast or energy manipulation, while a cape that slow down time, might also be able to hasten time. There were few capes whose main and secondary powers were vastly different, in fact Lisa could not recall any that fit the category.

Curiosity overwhelmed her caution. It was foolish, but with this new mystery presented to her so soon after she resolved the first mystery, she needed to know… more. She needed to know how Helena disappeared. She moved towards the location identified by her power as the most probable position of the hidden trapdoor.

A STRONG URGE TO LEAVE THAT AREA ALONE CONSUMED HER. THERE IS NOTHING THERE. NOTHING TO SEE. WALK AWAY.

Momentarily, Lisa’s mind went blank, her body turned to move, and then her power blared at her, wrestling back control of her body. Mental Compulsion! Mental Influence! Foreign. Artificial. Attack! It cried. It strained. It struggled. Lisa’s head pounded as if she was beaten by hundreds of hands. She gasped, her head was splitting. Trapped in a sea of information she could not comprehend, she froze in place.

A STRONG URGE TO LEAVE THAT AREA ALONE CONSUMED HER. THERE IS NOTHING THERE. NOTHING TO SEE. WALK AWAY.

Her mind went blank again. Her brain throbbed. Lisa whimpered. She could not think. She felt weak, as if her entire body was rebelling against her, caught between two titanic forces. The strange OVERPOWERING URGE was telling her to move away, her power was fighting against that urge, that compulsion. It was screaming danger. She just stood, staring blankly before her, unable to complete any of her thoughts, unable to do anything. Her legs weakened, and suddenly she was falling.

The air rushed passed her as she suddenly found herself collapsing onto the ground… Sensation, wood. Visual, dirt. Trapdoor found. Visual illusion. Mental compulsion! Unable to hide from touch. Mental compulsion! Unnatural. Not comprehendible. Not of this world. Never before encountered. Resist. Fight. Attack!

A STRONG URGE TO LEAVE THAT AREA ALONE CONSUMED HER. THERE IS NOTHING THERE. NOTHING TO SEE. WALK AWAY.

Lisa felt her stomach rebelling, bile raising to her throat. She felt sick, horribly sick. Her mind was a chaos of information that did not make sense. Something within her brain stretched, screamed, and tore

Stars filled her vision. Blackness of space. Large objects. Beings. Sparkles, shards. She could almost understand what was happening… The cosmos infinite… the entities… pulsing crystals…. other worlds…. desert… ocean… mountain… forest… sucking energy… worlds dying… crystals, shards… growing… changing… gestat…

Her mind went blank again. She had no recollection of what just happened. Why was she here lying on the ground again? Her mouth taste sour. What… happened?

She tried to focus, but there was only the mental pain in her head. She felt sick, like dying sick. Vomit came out of her mouth. It was this afternoon’s lunch. She felt hot, as if she was running a high fever. In a confused and sickish haze, she clawed at the wooden surface below her, she felt an invisible latch, almost instinctively she pulled…

Cold harsh energy surged through her body. Her hand let go of the latch as she gave a small scream. Physical pain erupted, adding to her mental agony. Her body locked up and she collapsed onto the wooden trapdoor. She hurt everywhere. She felt like she was dying. Tears formed in her eyes. She was going to die.

HELP! She sobbed, wrecked with physical and mental pain. Her throat refused to work, even though the words were there in her thoughts. For a moment, she felt a vast connection with many… things? Beings? Many felt alien, some were familiar. It was as though she was floating in a sea of darkness, surrounded by pinpricks of coloured lights. Those lights were speaking, but she could not understand them. She felt even sicker as the strange sensations engulfed her. She screamed, her voice refusing to work. PLEASE! HELP ME!

Lost in overwhelming agony, she did not hear the sudden total silence descending in the surrounding area. As darkness consumed her, her last sensation was of herself sliding to the side, as the door below her was lifted. She saw a shadow being cast over her. There was a soft horrified gasp, a scent of roses, firm hands lifting her up…

And she fainted.