Shinobi- Return of the Ninja Master
A video game novel
By Thomas Medrano
Chapter one – Storm Winds
In a time much like our own, in a place synonymous our world, in a forest
in the wilds of Japan stood a Ninja. A true-to-honor, born-in-darkness
Shadow Dancer of the clan Oboro. This ninja, or Shinobi as the Japanese
say, was a refuted and feared singularity named Jo-Musashi. He had mastered
the arts of the Ninja very long ago and now spent his life traveling the
world, learning more than what met one's eye at first glance and battling
true evil where it hindered such progress.
It wasn't until he met the Neo Zeed that he decided his quest was to assist
others with their hindrances. Before he had become thusly independent of
all others in this world, he was still under apprenticeship of the old
Oboro Master. One day long before this one, Musashi had met with the Neo
Zeed epicentric for the first time and bested their master. Little did
Musashi know (for so relieved was he that the battle had been victorious)
that overlooked went many of the standard Shinobi look-outs that mission,
and when he returned to his dojo, he found his master dying with a kunai in
his chest. His last words to Musashi were "..Zeed.". Now, with uncommon
vengance in his heart, he no longer sought to destroy Neo-Zeed from the
inside out...but simply everything that had to do with it.
He crouched low over the ridge where he saw the Neo-Zeed meeting taking
place. Ninja though he was, the Zeed were never to be taken lightly. He had
already contemplated killing a guard and replacing him in the lines, for
his hearing was not what it once had been. He had strained them to hear
every breath of the wind in every direction, every step taken on any floor
his enemies paced that even in his stout age of 27, his hearing was
beginning to distort at times. He knew it for a fact and was furious with
himself for letting things get out of control that badly. Many things he
had not counted on happened after the Zeed hit the world. He had taken up
more dangerous Arts, four of which he had become luckily adept with: Art of
Izakafuchi, Art of Fushin, Art of Shen-fire and Art of Maijin, which caused
his body to erupt violently like an explosive and form back together, with
enough luck and spirit, to live again. Izakafuchi caused lightning to
encase and protect him, but it demanded much of his concentration so as to
not destroy himself. Fushin caused his mind and senses to be separated into
into four distinct bodies, a technique perfected by an older Ninja, Ryu
Hayabusa, a revered Ninja of another time and story. Of course, while this
had advantages of raised awareness and movement, the art could drive a
person insane if they did not know mental discipline of a simple, yet
complex kind. Shen-fire, which he invented himself and perfected only two
years ago, caused dragons of pure flame to erupt in a wide, rotating radius
all around him. Again, like Izakafuchi, a formidable defense, this one with
the added advantage of temporary sentience which caused the dragons to
destroy others in a semi-aware state of attack, yet still presenting bodily
danger to the weaver of the arts. Truly, Ninjutsu was an art only worth
undertaking if you are truly willing to give one's life to a cause. Musashi
suddenly came out of his reverie, altogether surprised that he allowed
himself to distract himself with memories of the past. He slowly moved
forward on his knees, keeping two fingers on his ever-present kunai
throwing knives and listening with care to the ensuing announcements before
"If this world is to become one, we must first unify after the maelstrom
of war has past!"
A cheer from the men went up to the night sky as the fire leapt again, both
under it's own accord and a slight provocation from the speaker's mental
magic. Kyufo-yoh enjoyed inspiring his men to their personal best...and
women too. There were some in the battalion this time, and unbeknownst to
the others, more skilled than most of the men. Only his Samurai lieutenants
matched them, and even then, only one of them.
"Our mission in this life is simple!" he thundered on, "We are to be the
winds before the hurricane, the calm before the nightmare, only our assault
shall be anything but calm!"
This warranted a surprising number of tough laughs from them. He never
really considered himself gifted at humor, but Kyufo-yoh never turned down
praise when it was offered.
"Even if some of you die in this world-wide disruption, let the world over
know of it and make the end worthy of our mighty cause. LET THE ZEED WINDS
FALL AND SHAKE THE EARTH!!!"
The trees and ground rattled under the deafening battle-cries of a hundred
skilled murderers, eager for the taste of blood steeped in a thousand
peoples. While desensitized to murder, every man and woman in this
gathering were candid when it came to their work, and Kyufo-yoh knew this
well enough to send them off without specific orders. He made the gesture
of the Neo Zeed, a spreading of the fingers at either side, then raising
both hands in fists to his chest and snapping both horizontally to the
sides, like a crucifixion. There was a mass mimic of this movement, then in
almost an instant with nary a disturbance, they were all gone. Kyufo-yoh
turned into the forest behind him and took step to the cave beyond his
sight, where he was going to wait for the one only he knew had come, his
sole guest to the proceedings. A figure waited outside the maw of the
subterranean entrance, exaggerated beyond reason by some strange magic.
"I assume you understand what the Zeed are asking of you and your men,
Kyufo-san." It said, addressing him with either courtesy or mockery.
"Anything to change the world back, sir."
Musashi waited for the clearing to live up to itself, then emerged slowly
from his hiding place. He had followed the paths of those present closely
and found many of them were still nearby, as if on guard. He gripped two of
his kunai and slowly made his forward, going after Kyufo-yoh.
The attack came so quick, any lesser man would have fallen beneath it
before he knew it was upon him.
A pair of gleaming orange shuriken, characteristic to the Zeed, came
hurtling out of the trees. Musashi jumped back, instinctively follwing
their senses-slowed paths with his eyes and hand, then let fly his two
knives. In less than a moment, two of the Zeed already fell dead from the
trees, the round grip-ring of the kunai just visible from where they had
buried themselves in their hearts. So it continued in this manner, for lost
was the subtlety of his old ways. He ran with a devil's speed through the
forest, not pausing for a second, marking any movement he deemed unnatural
with his killing blades. He also remembered at this point he had brought
his Ninja-to with him, the short sword he had received from his master when
he was still young. When a knife missed it's mark and opposition jumped out
to meet him, in a flash of steel it was split asunder and cast aside as
quickly as it had appeared. Most Ninja never used swords in this melee
fashion, but this situation called for no stealth at all. Then, as he was
nearing the cave, a monk wearing a basket-weave hat appeared and slowly
approached him, holding what appeared to be a flute. Musashi skidded to a
stop, scrutinizing this newcomer closely.
"What are you doing out here?" he asked, not prepared to believe any of
what he was told.
"Oh..! Is someone there? Who is it?" the monk stopped in mid-stride and
looked around him for Musashi. Apparently, he was blind.
"Are you able to see?"
"No... I am a monk of the Getufu order, we live in a monastery beyond the
cave entry. A merciless band of marauders came only yesterday and laid
waste to our beautiful outpost." His voice broke slightly here, and Musashi
was surprised to see a man of his mind behaving so, "I'm afraid I only
survived because they felt amused enough to only take my eyes."
Although his hat covered his head entirely, his words and movement spoke
his handicap quite fluently, unfortunately. Musashi could tell this, and he
felt his newly-awoken heart throb painfully for a moment. He could hardly
believe himself helping another like this.
"It was the Neo Zeed.. the path to the city is just up the road here, you
should go there and find someone to help you," Musashi said, "I would
assist you, but there are matters to attend to here."
The monk nodded.
"You are most honorable, sir... I thank you."
He continued on his way, moving past Jo clumsily. He could hear the man's
head shifting around inside the hat, looking for something he'd never see.
The Ninja followed him with his eyes and more for only a moment, then
continued to the cave, an odd feeling of contentment and fulfillment
filling him for a moment, warming his stone heart.
Then, his ears detected a shift in the monk's pace.
A familiar shift.
Immediately, Musashi snapped off three kunai at once to his rear and shot
to the side as he did so. He stopped on his hand and spun around to meet
his attacker. The monk lay in the grass before him, his hat knocked off and
the trio of punishing metal protruding from his face, two in his eyes
(which had clearly been there) and one from the tip of his flute, which had
been brought to the lips in a clearly non-musical fashion.
A solitary dart stuck quivering in the tree which Jo-Musashi had been
facing only a second before.
He felt his eyes narrow angrily, the darkness in his heart returning, the
old feelings of distrust arising with stricken memory like a half-eaten
skeleton still clinging to life in it's decay. Musashi took one last look
at the monk and then shot off down the cave entrance.
There were no other Ninja inside, in their stead was a warrior in
red samurai armor, holding his sword above him in a concentrated position.
Musashi approached slowly and drew another knife. Then, quite quicker than
Jo had expected, the samurai brought his sword crashing into the ground and
a wave of force shot at Musashi with burning speed. It met his body with a
surge of power and threw him against the rock wall of the cave, sending a
resounding crash though the halls of stone. Musashi gritted his teeth
against the ravaging pains that shot through his worn body and slowly got
to his feet. He heard a voice come out at him.
"You didn't see that one coming, eh Ninja?"
The samurai's laugh broke through his anger-racked apathy and at once, the
Shinobi grip't his sword handle and nearly disappeared in his speed. One
moment, the laugh had been long and loud. Now, Musashi stood behind the
man, holding his Ninja-to against the back of his arm in the after-position
of a head-level slash. The kabuto helmet, owner and all, clattered to the
ground and the headless body followed. He put the sword back into it's
sheath only for a moment, then immediately brought it out again and held
the flat of it before him, crossing his chest. Another wave of force rammed
into the sword, causing the Ninja to skid back, but receive none of the
intended damage. He saw across the way, blocking what appeared to be an
earthen doorway, was another Samurai, this one garbed in a much more
extensive suit of gold and blue.
"Who are you?" he called to Jo, bringing one of his two swords out to bear
The Ninja only remained silent, such was the tradition to always be
honored. He felt the other fighter regarding him.
"... Shadow Dancer..." the samurai whispered. It seemed the Neo Zeed were
not taking any chances in unknown aggressors this time. The warrior brought
his sword crashing down again, and a bigger shockwave shot out at Jo. He
anticipated luckily this time, and leapt into the air, plunging a knife
into the ceiling and hanging by it. His other finger had already rung
another one and now sent it flying at his foe. This one was not to be
easily bested however, as the samurai saw this and brought his sword up to
block this blow easily. Musashi was irritated with his fortune now, and
fell off the ceiling into a flip, bringing a signature of his, "Punishing
Steel Rain Technique", to fall at the enemy. Using faster than eye speed,
he hurled ten kunai at him in a wide radius. Encompassing as this attack
was, it was still fended off by this strangely adept fighter. Jo landed on
his feet, then waited for his opponent to make the next move, as he was
getting awkwardly flummoxed and unable to be his usual accuate self. As the
samurai prepared to hurl another attack, Musashi saw an opening and went
for it. With his sword raised on high, the armor parted slightly near his
underarm and within a blink of it's arrival, the Shinobi had stuck a dagger
neatly into it, wedging it just so the armor caught and stayed open. The
warrior let out a cry of surprise, then there was nothing as the Shinobi
leapt back and threw his sword, which spun in it's wide radius and stuck
hard and fast into the his side. The samurai made a gasping sound, clutched
the weapon sticking out of him and fell to his knees. He didn't hear the
Ninja approach, but he did vaguely feel his sword being tugged from his
hands and another hand pushing his head downwards. Following that was a
whoosh of a sword being swung, a sharp pain on his neck and the singing of
Then he felt nothing.
O-suwa watched the Shinobi from a distance, watching him fall in and out of
shadow and suddenly reappear behind a guard, send an almighty slash of
blood skyward. His brow furrowed in confusion and anger... how could he be
getting through them? His two upper arms grasped their swords, readying for
the oncoming assault when it reached him. He heard Kyufo-yoh approach him
"It seems you've put too much faith in your men's ability once again.." O-
suwa snapped at him, watching Musashi cross a gorge on a rope suspended
from the walls. Why were Yoh's men giving the enemy such obvious paths to
"My men only do as they are told, sir..." replied Kyufo-yoh with a strange
bite to his voice.
"You'd best go warn the men at the men at the base to prepare for him. You
shall assume my rank if I am to fall in battle to this scum.."
"If, sir?". This was followed by the pattering silence that usually
heralded Kyufo-yoh's swift exit or return. It suddenly hit O-suwa.
"You set me up!" O-suwa roared at the darkness, shaking the rocks in the
"Anything to change the world back, sir..." came his distant reply from
He swung his swords over him, then turned to meet the Ninja that had just
reached him. He used his lower pair of arms to aim a deadly spear at him.
"You know where the Zeed are operating." It said.
"Bah! I would just as soon die than help a dirty Ninja like you!"
"Sir, has the plan gone well?"
Kyufo-yoh exited the cave to the cheers of his men, whom he had trusted to
his plan. He had been waiting for a chance like this since the beginning.
"Yes. I am certain the Shadow Dancer will destroy the general and his
troops. Once this happens, we can enter the heart of the Neo Zeed and
unseat the old leader, allowing for a period of rule as I see fit!"
The Ninja nodded, and then climbed into their traveling kites, which they
were to use to approach HQ safely. As they mounted the apparatus, A distant
boom roar of pain met their ears, followed almost immediately by the
clattering of hooves.
"What? He shouldn't have killed him that quickly!" Yoh spoke, waving for
the others to rise up and take the wind away from the cave. Just as they
had approached safe altitude, a brown horse bearing forth the accursed
Shinobi shot out of the cave and across the land that lay between it and
the hidden base near the lake. Other Ninja began raining shuriken towards
him, but nothing was getting close enough.
"Go down and engage him close range!" the new general ordered, "Some of
you go ahead of him and place spike fences in the path!"
The other Ninja leapt down and followed the orders. Kyufo watched from his
distant kite as his troops ran to meet the Ninja, and were again and again
struck down by the blows of the warrior and his steed.
"Damnit...why must it always come down to me?"
He flew his kite high over the clearing and leapt down, flying forth with
all speed of irritation and shot past him in an attempt to throw his
"You're going to die!"
He came from behind the horse and aimed a straight kick at the animals
head. Musashi pulled it's neck back and the killing blow nicked it's nose
barely. It whinnied and clomped swiftly after the assailant. Kyufo-yoh
turned into a giant skid, carving a huge slash of dirt in the ground. Like
two great battering rams, the man and the animal tore past eachother, one
headbutting the other, while four knives stuck into the side of the horse.
Kyufo went past his fallen kites and gathered some spears. Musashi caught
the noise coming behind him, as Kyufo leapt into the air and rained five
heavy spears at him and into the path. Only the combined quick reflexes of
horse and man thwarted the ensured crash that would've followed. A voice
rang out like a falcon cry.
Kyufo-yoh looked 'round just in time to see the Shinobi falling straight at
him before he was vaulting off the ground and back onto his horse. Yoh felt
the numerous kunai that had ripped into his body in the half of an blink.
He fell into the grass and melted slowly into darkness.
Chapter two- Body Weapon
PROGsubroutine:actv.- bootuplog.exe initiate
SYS.DIAG. running ...done
Power source- ACTV
Core computer- ACTV
Combat systems- ACTV
Motion systems- ACTV
DEAD_DOG Spc. System- ACTV
Systems OK......... code initial prog. Initiate
INTRUSION DETECTED – PRIORITY ONE code designate- 2455366.obj
AD/CU codedesignate YAJIMA v.240- BATTLE READY.
Jo-Musashi crept low in the shadow behind the ammo crate in the hidden
base. Already he had learned that this situation called for more stealth
than the others. He had been confronted by an advanced security system at
the doors, which had killed the horse he appropriated and put a bullet
through his arm. He had sat in the forest for almost half a day, wedging
the slug out with his knife and healing. His arm was stiff with pain, but
he kept quiet. The two guards with whom he'd removed lay in the snow behind
him, but already more were coming to investigate. He pulled his sword from
it's muzzle and went through the weaving motions for Fushin technique. He
set the blade flat against his hand and set it across himself. Then, he
slowly felt his mind becoming less gathered and concentrated on that
sensation, until he could feel as though his consciousness was divided into
different places. He opened his eyes and met the other three pairs of them.
The process had split his perception into fourths and he took a moment to
focus on the quadruple vision. Then, one of them focused on an oncoming
In a flash, one dashed along the wall and flipped into the ceiling rafters,
while one flung two kunai up into the ceiling, flipped to them and held on
upside-down. The two remaining approximations remained motionless and the
guards passed them all by. Using their extended awareness, Jo-Musashi
crawled and leapt to the innermost areas of the base. It was when he
approached the doorways to the elevator into the security reactor that a
sudden, piercing metallic shriek made them stop and clutch at his head like
it was splitting. He was going mad! All of his four-fold eyes were
spinning, the entire world was heaving as if on fire and screaming. The
pain was driving him crazy, he slammed his head against the floor again and
again, trying to get the shattering sounds out any way he could. Then, it
was gone... his sight had returned to normal, his forms were gone...and an
alarm was blaring everywhere.
Musashi stumbled into the open elevator, trying to clear his head. What was
that? He had practiced a number of methods to close the mind from psychic
intrusion, but this was something different...too focused and powerful to
be any one person. The ringing stopped after a moment, but in the shaft
where he was, other soldiers were setting up guns to take him out on sight,
or crawling through the spacer ducts for a shot. He cut down many of them
as they came, but the shots were becoming too hard to dodge and the armor
he wore under his clothing would not protect him for long. He took a high
jump off the elevator and landed on a outhanging wire and he heard many
guns come to bear on him immediately. Taking almost instant action, he
brought our his sword once more and held it straight up, summoning with all
he had to the ground and the particles of air surrounding him. With a roar
that shattered resolve and courage, five long dragons of crimson flame shot
from holes formed by his spirit channeling. The men before him fled in
terror, but the dragons shot out swift as thought and immolated whatever
they met, and blasted fire at what went unburned. Before anyone had a
chance to react, the entire area surrounding Musashi was now a melting
nightmare of molten steel and charred bodies, the crisp scent of cooking
flesh hanging like a doom spell cloud. Musashi held his weapon on high for
a moment, then slumped slightly and held his fingers before him in the
returning position. The blazing dragons slithered back to him and fell back
into their holes, to who knows where. He then leapt back onto the elevator
and waited to reach the top. He would have to rest after this... his body
felt shattered. The door to the security reactor was rigged with explosives
for some reason, so instead of using knives, he attempted a sort of
telekinesis he had attempted before. His mind was all in a clutter, but he
focused hard on what he needed to touch, and the bomb suddenly went off,
sending the door crashing inwards and revealing his path. As soon as he
stepped into the room, he felt the searing mental stab as the piercing
sound from before erupted all around him. His teeth clenched near to
breaking as he struggled to see where it was coming from. His mentally pre-
focused mind was still a little fresh from the bomb and so it was this that
saved him. As he looked up, he noticed a metallic form hovering before him
from which the sound seemed to be coming from. It appeared to be fazing
itself in and out of existence to keep from being aimed at, so he took for
his luck and loosed a kunai as accurate as he could. The noise stopped
abruptly and his vision cleared instantly. Although it had just moved, he
could see what it was now: a hovering, spherical machine dotted with
reception antennae and jagged relays. Sitting in the center of this
metallic deflagration was a glass case containing a puffy pink human brain.
The thing faded again and reappeared across the room, moving very
strangely. It dropped near him again, bringing a small machine gun mounted
on it's side to aim at his head. Musashi leapt backwards and used his
Punishing Rain to knock the robot back. A small explosion erupted off it
and it fazed again. This time when it reappeared, a blue field of
electricity had formed around it. Musashi saw it's stationary movement and
hurled another knife at his foe, but the projectile just swerved away from
the field. The machine shot towards him again and launched green arcs of
lightning at him. Once it did this however, the power on the shield waned
slightly. Throwing caution to the wind, Musashi leapt through the lightning
just a moment before it came down again and shot his knife straight at the
brain jar. A direct hit! Now the robot was beginning to overheat and turn
reddish. Suddenly, the room began to swim about like it was swaying and
Musashi's thoughts became erratic. He tried to move away from the spinning
walls, but only ran into them. Upon attempting to catch himself, he felt
his arms go up in front of him. Or did he? Everything seemed what it wasn't
supposed to be. If that were the case, the machine was leaving him alone
and not firing it's machinegun at him. Musashi tried to fall away from the
assault and of course, fell nearly into it. His mind worked this out
easily, but was having trouble getting it to stick in his head, as every
realization led to the same question.
' If it isn't what it is, then it's got it figured out.'
An instant reversal on this answered the question and not a moment too
soon. As the bullets from the machine tore the ground around him, he leapt
backwards into the air and landed on the machine, ignoring the pain from a
few relays stabbing into his calves. He pulled his sword in one swift
motion and stabbed deep into the brain. The explosion tossed Musashi off,
and it fell sputtering and flaming into the ground. Where he landed, Jo
laid for a long time...he'd really gone all out this time and didn't
realize that a week had passed before he got up again.
Now he headed for the research lab.
The laboratory where the Neo Zeed developed demons and created madness in a
human generalization of form was not for the faint of heart. They were
prone to mistakes in this work, and many of tanks that lined either end of
the long room contained forms of twisted, putrescent bodies that physically
defined a malaise that only a non-human could appreciate. Musashi ignored
all this, but swore to destroy the place utterly before he moved on. He
walked along a long glass tube that contained a strangely swirling viscous
green fluid. He had learned before, during a brief encounter in America,
that the brain-transplant technology had been in use since the 70's. The
battle with the security system had reminded him what twisted greed could
drive humanity to...what it already was.
This was why the Neo-Zeed had to be stopped.
A buzzing sound interrupted his reflection from above. What looked like a
round brain with wings and insectile legs was dropping towards him, a sharp-
fanged maw snapping hungrily. He flashed his sword through it and it
dropped in two pieces, but Musashi dashed ahead after this as dozens of the
creatures came pouring from the sides, droning like a horde of bees. He
jumped up and swung into some pipes overhead and the mass of devils shot
past him. He lay against the grating, not daring to breathe as he listen to
their buzz fade into the distance. Jo heaved a sigh of relief and got up to
continue. Something fat and pink smashed into him, his body colliding
against the metal wall. A very big brain on stubby feet stood before him,
pulsing sinisterly. Not certain whether to laugh or attack, Musashi opted
for pushing it away with his foot. Immediately, a huge mouth full of teeth
snapped close to his feet. He flipped back against the wall and shot off it
with a snap-jump kick and put his foot straight through the disgusting
creature. He had little time to inspect it as though, as a glob of green
liquid was flying through air at him. Jo caught this projectile in mid-air,
but his kunai melted with a hiss and hit the ground near his feet with a
noise between splat and clank. A man-shaped creature had formed up out of
the green tube through a crack and was heaving back and forth, launcing
droplets of acid at him. Caught in this nightmare of formlessness, the
undaunted Shinobi felled these opponents as best he could. Green men were
cut in two and sank drip-like into the tubes again, Brainlings and Flies
met a fiery end as he hit his knives against the wall as he went and
sparked flames in the flammable areas. Then, near a large gantry at the
end, he switched on a disposal unit and started throwing the Brainlings
still in their jars into the acid bath. While some managed to escape, none
lived in Musashi's eyesight. Once the acid bath had become clogged with
glass, he drained it, smashed the glass with his feet and leapt down into
the waste area where he planned to blow the whole place out from under
This proved to be a frightening oversight.
The floors over in the sewage dump were likened to flesh itself and it was
moving to suck him into itself, puckering and squishing with sickening
noises too gross for me to want to describe. Monstrous beetles the size of
horses crawled out of the organic ground and gripped for him with massive
pincers as he drudged through the Hell of mistaken innovations. Suddenly,
in the distance to his left, a creature bigger than all others arose from
or of the flesh and began to launch giant rays of laser at him. While it
was bearing on him for another shot, Musashi ran 'round as close as he dare
to. As soon as he reached it, his mind began hearing a voice... not his
' Kill...kill me!'
The creature arose again and Musashi barely managed to keep from vomiting.
It was as if someone had taken a pile of bloody organs and sculpted them
into what was the general idea of a human bust, with gnarled pock-marked
hands flailing in huge circles to either side. Again, the voice came out.
' Do it!'
' Is this you I am fighting?'Musashi thought.
' Yes... I can't keep from trying to kill you!'
It's hand came up and tried to swipe him away.
' My mind is trapped...i cannot get out! I used to be a human...all I know
is my name, just...D. Please, I can't take this everlasting tortue called
existence any longer! Please! KILL ME!!'
And so Jo-Musashi did.
A beeping noise awoke the guard. Something was happening in the bio-tech
center twenty levels down. Typing quickly, he found that the nuclear self-
destruct failsafe was activated! He rushed from his station and tried to
find the outlet for the shutdown. In his rush, he tripped and felt his
ankle snap. A tripwire? Of course not. Now he crawled to the nearby
deactivation pad. He pulled his key from the chain and prepared to end the
death he was planned for.
Someone had stabbed a wicked-looking knife into the panel.
A final shriek of terror, then oblivion as the land for a half a mile
'round erupted into a towering pillar of fire shot into the sky.
Illuminated by this impressive pyre was a solitary figure on a cliffside in
the distance. He smiled under his mask
"Rest in peace, my dear D..."