|The Damaged Network
Author: Onmysignalunleashwords PM
An attack on a seven year old Naruto causes him to lose any chance of using all but one Jutsu. How will this change everything? Stronger Naruto though not by too much , changed teams and humour...hopefully. NaruxTemariRated: Fiction M - English - Adventure - Naruto U. & Temari - Chapters: 34 - Words: 155,921 - Reviews: 379 - Favs: 536 - Follows: 396 - Updated: 02-15-12 - Published: 11-10-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7538664
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The Damaged Network
An attack on an academy student aged Naruto causes him to lose any change of using all but one Jutsu. How will this change everything?
Stronger Naruto (though not by much), changed teams and hopefully humour...hopefully. The real divergence from canon happens about the time of the chunin exams. (sorry, just allows me to get some stuff established)
Insert standard disclaimer about ownership here.
Konoha, 7 years after the Kyuubi attack
Hiruzen Sarutobi was not a man prone to hurrying anything. At his age, with decades of experience as Hokage, and with much younger people around to do the hurrying, speed was not something he took much time to cultivate. His job was one of slow deliberation and accursed paperwork much of the time, smoking a pipe and generally taking things slowly. Rushing about was, he reasoned, for people who could still do it.
On this occasion however, he was a blur moving across the rooftops of Konoha. Robes flying behind him as he went straight for the apartment of Uzumaki Naruto. The ANBU had made it to his office 2 minutes ago, with a tale of two dead colleagues, and a mob. He didn't need or get to say more than that as the Hokage had left the room fast; it wasn't rocket science to work out why. He was very nearly there. He feared he was already too late. He cursed his faith in the rest of the village. These thoughts were at the back of his mind however, because of one overriding emotion and thought line. Pure, untamed, bloodlust.
His speed increased as he approached the cheering crowd. No, not cheering, howling was a word more akin to the noise. About 50 villages shouted and screamed in triumph as 3 shinobi beat viciously on the young boy. The broken door opened to a tiny but ransacked apartment, which was now stained red with the stink of blood.
They stopped as he landed. Not from respect, not because they expected reward. The killing intent rolled out of the elderly man before them. It extended from him, the air felt thick and they began to choke. It seemed as if the night had just got a lot darker somehow, it dawned on some of the more mentally agile ones that now would be a good time to quietly sneak away. It dawned on the even more mentally agile, that that time was as soon as they had killed the ANBU, and the third one had got away. It dawned on the brightest of them, that they were royally in the shit now.
The Hokage first threw three kunai into the unsuspecting shinobi. They wouldn't die...a kunai would be too quick a way to kill them. Three meaty thunks and they were down in a large amount of pain. He then turned to the crowd.
One of them, a bulky man holding a broken sake bottle moved first,
"Lord Hokage, we have taken care of the de-"
Was as far as he got before the fist collided with his chest, shattering the breastbone of the man and sending him back first into the stone wall behind the crowd. He coughed up blood and was then very still. He would not be getting up. The crowd was paralyzed with fear; they had barely seen the old man move. Now there was one less of them. This meant one closer to them being next.
The elderly Hokage slammed his hand to the ground, "Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"
The puff of smoke heralded the arrival of the Monkey King Enma. He looked around, then, face contorted in disgust back and his summoner.
"Who did this? What kind of people does this?" he turned and saw the crowd. "Hiruzen, let vengeance be taken. Transform!"
In another puff of smoke, the quarter staff entered the Hokage's hands. Then the slaughter began. The street ran red as the elderly man known as "The god of Shinobi" poured forth his displeasure and wrath. And like the judgment of a God, it was swift and fearsome. Limbs were shattered and torn off as the staff twirled and the Hokage danced amongst the crowd. A Jonin could hope to withstand this if they were skilled, lucky, and had a good countermeasure. So the crowd of civilians stood and died, mostly died.
It took only 20 seconds before silence fell. The gurgle of blood flowing into the drain was the only faint sound in the devastated street, where the Hokage stood and seethed, before remembering what was at stake. He turned into the apartment, and gently lifted the boy. He checked his pulse; it was there, weak but still there! His breathing was shallow though, and he needed treatment soon.
He turned to the ANBU squad as they landed outside the ruined building.
"Boar, take this boy to the hospital. If anyone obstructs you in any way, you have my permission to use any force necessary to get him treated, and use any punishment for anyone who tries to do him harm. Crane, get these three", he indicated the groaning bodies at his feet, "to T&I. Tell Ibiki and Anko they are to suffer in agony for as long as they remain alive. Tiger; assemble the elders and clan heads here immediately. There are going to be words."
A chorus of assent later; and they were gone.
The Hokage, finally alone, placed his pipe back in his mouth and inhaled deeply. It was going to be a long night after he gave the clan heads and elders a long and difficult talk.
One stern talking to later, and instruction that the villages were to be actively informed his little bout of "just law enforcement" was to be not suppressed, but actively spread, a much more tired Hokage arrived at the hospital bed of the young boy. The lights of the hospital provided him with a much better view of his injuries. Blood still matted his blond hair, his frame scrawny from malnutrition. Bruises covered almost all of the visible skin, a cut above the eye that would likely become a scar was closed with stitches, and the cast around the arm was a clear indication of a break. Judging by the breathing, a few broken ribs, and a shortage of fluids if the multiple IV drips were any clue, maybe even a punctured lung.
"But sadly Hokage-sama, that is only the beginning of his injuries."
The doctor, a woman in the scrubs befitting her profession, and carrying a chart entered the room. She wordlessly handed it over to him, and waited whilst his eyes skimmed over the text.
"You're sure about those injuries? This makes things a lot more complicated."
"I'm afraid so."
She walked over to the sleeping child, and began to gesture.
"Whoever did this to him had some sort of medical training. They deliberately targeted the chakra network, specifically the chakra core. I think they were trying to disable his chakra entirely, and due to not being sealing experts, try to do a job with a sledgehammer as opposed to a scalpel, if you'll excuse the medical comparison.
As you know, shinobi require control to accurately harness their chakra for use. Whilst more passive techniques, such as tree and water walking do not require hand signs and are controlled within the body. This should be fine for him, as his chakra flow, which is considerable by himself, let alone what is inside him, should be fine for this. The thing is, whatever they were doing was somewhat successful.
His chakra control will never exist beyond the most basic and crude level that he is at now, it will be virtually impossible for him to learn jutsu that need any kind of control whatsoever. I'm sorry, but short of Tsunade returning quickly enough to heal this, there's nothing anyone in Konoha can do. His chakra control, which was bad enough already, will be worsened further."
He sighed internally, 'I know Jiraiya was hoping for him to learn his father's jutsus, but this will make it impossible for him to learn the rasengan.'
"Thank you, Kahoa-san, please leave me with him. Knowing his healing rate, he'll be awake soon enough. And we need to talk."
"Hai Hokage-sama, although I need to ask...I heard...rumours. Is it true? 50 men and women killed? And 3 shinobi? None of them even made it to the hospital?"
Hiruzen sighed deeply, and slowly nodded his head. The medic paled, bowed, and left quickly. He turned back to the young blond lying in the bed.
"You can stop pretending to sleep now Naruto."
Slowly, as if every millimeter moved was an endless struggle, his eyes opened. Those blue eyes, the Hokage imagined, would one day win him the attention of many women if he was anything like his father. That pure blue, so full of hope and promise, so innocent and pure, it was difficult to imagine how they could feel pain, or hide anything, as you became more and more lost in them. The eyes of Naruto's happy-go-lucky mask; and in a flash they were gone. They were different now; they were full of pain, seeming duller than ever before, wracked with the pain of betrayal and a hundred beatings. These were the eyes of a boy who has nearly died, and does not know why.
"How did you know Hokage-jiji?" he croaked weakly, before coughing painfully. The use of his affectionate nickname causing the Hokage to smile just a little.
"You don't become the Hokage without being able to read people just a little Naruto. I saw you twitch your hands as the doctor described your condition, and saw your ears twitch when I said we needed to talk."
He sat down, suddenly looking as old as he really was. Naruto saw the wrinkles become more defined, and the shoulders sag just a little, and just a twinge of arthritis as the Hokage reloaded his pipe with fresh tobacco.
"Hokage-jiji, shouldn't you not smoke in a hospital?" he questioned jokingly, this being something he'd done every time the Hokage visits him after an attack.
"You don't become the Hokage without knowing when you can break a couple of petty rules as well. Besides I've earned the right to be a little obnoxious in my terribly old age don't you think?"
Naruto laughed weakly, followed by another cough.
"Easy Naruto. You're still weak after this one. You might be here longer than usual."
"But, but, how will I become the Hokage if I let this get me down! Dattebay-", he coughed violently, a little blood coming out as he tried to sit up and punch his fist into the air. The Hokage gently pressed him back lying down on the bed.
"You know the doctor will kill me if you overdo things here." he joked, before becoming serious again. "With your new condition, unable to learn jutsu, will you give up on your dream of becoming Hokage Naruto?" he said, looking into the sullen blue pools of his eyes.
There was a pause as Naruto considered. Briefly.
"Never. Even without jutsu, I will still get that hat from you Old-man, even if I can't do hand-sign jutsu! I will become the greatest Hokage without them! I'll find a way to do jutsu without them! Datteba..." More coughing, the Hokage made a quick pair of hand signs and gently knocked the boy out cold.
"I'm sure you will try Naruto, I'm sure you will try."
The next day
Iruka was worried. Firstly, Naruto hadn't turned up at the academy today. Secondly, when he had gone out at lunch to see if Naruto was at his apartment, he found people looking at the bloodstained street and apartment. Thirdly, he had been almost immediately summoned to the Hokage's office as soon as the day had ended by an ANBU. None of these things were good. Despite Naruto being a loud-mouthed, ill-mannered terrorising prank master, Iruka did care deeply for his young charge, and he knew he was one of the few people that Naruto really cared about. So the sequence of events didn't bode well as he made his way at speed towards the tower.
Making his way past a secretary, who he was convinced was playing a card game under the desk until he mentioned he was summoned and was waved through, he knocked at the Hokage's door.
Opening the door, he stepped into the office. He'd only ever been into the office a few times before, and wished he could see what books the Hokage had on the many shelves surrounding his desk. His eyes were instead drawn to the people also standing before the Hokage.
It was difficult to not recognise Hatake Kakashi, the gravity defying white (it was well known that Kakashi declared it silver, but it was white to him) hair sticking up, and of course the signature mask. The other also had white hair, but this extended down to his lower back in all its spikiness, over a large scroll. This figure could only be Jiraiya of the Sannin.
"Now that we are all here," the Hokage began, smirking to himself that he told Kakashi to show up 3 hours ago specifically to get him here for that moment, "I can begin, take a seat all of you.
What I am about to tell you all is not, let me make it clear, to be kept a secret of any kind. That's not to say spread it liberally everywhere, but if questioned do not deny what happened. It regards Uzumaki Naruto..."
He then recounted the events of the day before, from the sudden arrival of the ANBU, to his dealing of rough justice, to the new medical condition that Naruto now faced.
As the story went on, Iruka went through confusion, to shock, to anger to abject sorrow. How, he thought, was Naruto ever to become a shinobi without access to any kind of controlled chakra? His mind went back to that day in the academy where the chakra was first tested by the new students.
"Ok class, when called forwards, we will place these pads on your hands," Iruka explained to the excited class, holding up two pads with wires running out of them. "Then, form a hand-sign, and channel your chakra as if you were performing a henge. The meter will then give us an indication of how well developed your chakra coils are, and how much chakra you have."
The class stepped forward one by one, Sakura barely got the meter to 50, the standard level for an adult civilian in good health. The other civilian born children did little better. The clan born children on the other hand performed better, with Choji and Kiba both getting to the 100's and Sasuke (to the delight of his fangirls) was scoring a little over 200.
AN (look it's an arbitrary scale ok?)
Shino on the other hand, barely scored 60, and returned to his desk feeling disappointed. Iruka watched as Naruto gave him a pat on the back and told him it was awesome anyway. Iruka decided this was probably down to the whole Aburame secret technique requiring plenty of chakra to keep up and not leaving much for jutsu.
Finally it was Naruto's turn; he formed the hand sign and pushed his chakra. At once, the meter began to rise. 20. 40. 70. 100. 200. 300. 500. 700. Iruka's eyes widened. 1000. 1700. 2500. It was still going. Mizuki, taking note of the scores looked over at his stunned colleague. Iruka couldn't take his eyes off the meter, it was still rising, the rise gently slowing. Even so. 7000. 7500. 7900. "It's...it's..."
The bang thankfully rang and Naruto stopped channeling chakra and sped from the room. The rest of the class followed in various states of excitement about how awesome their chakra levels were.
Mizuki looked over to Iruka who was still staring at the meter, which had finally stopped rising just before Naruto left the room.
"By Kami...that's ridiculous."
Mizuki was surprised, Iruka barely ever made oaths to Kami.
"So, was he above Sasuke? Maybe the 500 mark, that's the point where we start getting worried we have another like Itachi or the Third coming through the ranks."
"Mizuki, it's... it's, over 9000."
Stunned silence. Then Mizuki laughed.
"Ha-ha Iruka, you and your silly reference, seriously what was it."
Iruka silently held the meter up towards Mizuki, whose eyes widened.
"9057...you weren't joking. That thing must be broken, it must be. That cannot be the correct figure. Genin at graduation have at best 5-6 hundred, chunin score 1400 or so, Jonin in the mid-thousands. The Hokage comes in at around 10000 on this thing! He cannot have nearly as much chakra the damn Hokage!" His voice changed, becoming more angry and sultry, "It must be the demon! He must be the demon! We should warn the Hokage before it's too late Iruka! We could be heroes and not be stuck teaching academy students!"
"Enough Mizuki, I should kill you now for even mentioning his tenant. He is not the fox. He is not a demon. If you tell the Hokage anything about him being so you will die by his hand mark my words. Also I like my job. Now let's get some Ramen and forget this thing, I think I need a drink...or 5"
Sure enough, they had told nobody about the results. They put down 300 on the sheets, enough to let him know he had lots of chakra, but not enough to seriously worry anyone. Yet now he felt himself shriveling up in shame at his actions. He couldn't help it, if only he had told the Hokage immediately and not listened to his bum of a colleague, maybe Naruto might have been more protected, and maybe he might not have been so hated.
He snapped out of his daze to find everyone looking at him, he blushed slightly at the attention of three of the most powerful shinobi in the known world focused right at him.
"Sorry Hokage-sama, I was lost in thought for a moment."
"Well, now you are back with us, will Naruto be able to pass through the academy if he is practically unable to perform any of the required jutsu?"
"He wouldn't be the first to Hokage-sama; I think there is a boy in an older class than him who will pass despite solely relying on Taijutsu. That said, he is exceptional at it, and Naruto is not. Either he needs to sharpen up or learn a new skill that we could use as a reason to pass him."
The Hokage nodded, agreeing with his assessment of the situation. He turned to Jiraiya.
"Jiraiya, I think it is time that you Naruto him a copy of your book."
At this, Kakashi's eyes widened, and, as one, he and Jiraiya raised the small orange books to the sky with heads bowed down.
"Yes! I shall induct him into the ways of the Icha-Icha seri-"
"No Jiraiya, he's not even a teenager, I meant your other book. The one about seals. So he can actually become a shinobi."
Iruka sweat-dropped at the antics, were these really the most powerful ninja in Konoha?
"Seals Hokage-sama? But they're complex; and pretty advanced for an academy student with good patience, let alone one of Naruto's temperaments. Surely Kenjutsu or additional stealth and espionage would be more useful skills for him to learn."
The Hokage sighed, dismissing Kakashi and Jiraiya with a gesture. After they had left the room, he turned once again to Iruka.
"I do agree with that assessment Iruka, but sadly our hands are kind of tied on this one. You see, if the villagers see the object of their hatred being trained how to use a katana, which is pretty much the only thing he'd want to train in, they'd see him as more of a threat to them, and would likely attack him more. Also, given that it is very much non-standard for academy students to learn kenjutsu, it might let them know he has been weakened by their attacks.
Also, do you really want him to become any more stealthy and good at pranks and breaking things than he already is?", a small smile crept onto the face of the Hokage, as he imagined the unstoppable prank machine that he would become with any additional stealth.
"However, consider this. The object of their hatred becomes less prominent because he is studying a book very hard. He isn't pranking; he isn't learning destructive jutsu or flashy moves. He reads, he draws, and given that the understanding of seals amongst even shinobi is low at best, he shouldn't attract too much attention. He will have to work on his Taijutsu, but with the Fuinjutsu, there is a good chance he could surprise us all."
'Given his parentage' the Hokage added mentally to himself, 'and his tenant, I have a feeling that he could well be the perfect person to learn this.'
Once Iruka had left, and he was sure nobody was around, he quietly opened a draw in his desk, took out the little orange book, and head bowed, raised it to the heavens.
First story, first chapter, interested in knowing what you think.