Chapter One: Nocturns I

Midnight (pt.1)

Indeterminate time, realm of the gods

The Almighty God, Creator of All Things, He Who Is, Supreme Being and Principal Object of Faith, Greatest Conceivable Existent...He goes by many names. He does not care what the mortal beings He once created on a whim call Him; their names for Him come and go with the passing of time – a most tedious dimension that He rarely touches, due to its fragility – but if He had to pick one, He supposes He would go by 'Kishimoto' or even 'Kishi.' Yes, it is a name both pleasing to the ear and yet ringing of dignity and wisdom; if He had a physical body, He would be nodding in approval right now.

Currently, He is looking down at the world, mulling over the newest turn of events. A tiny residue power of creation that He once carelessly left behind has influenced the mortals in ways even He didn't expect. The power, which manifested itself as a tree, bore fruit and has led to mortals being born with spiritual energy. Over time, they have learned to harness that energy and with it, perform abilities that He had never intended them to have. They are even able to gain some measure of control over his residue of power, splitting it into more manageable pieces that they then use to wage war amongst one other.

He does not mind however. Although the mortals now have greater influence over the planet than He had planned, they have managed to keep each other in check and have yet to completely annihilate each other. And more importantly, their constant struggle for power and the ideals they have developed as a survival method serve to entertain Him; He supposes He could one day compose a fictional series based on their history and submit it to the Gods' Board of Literature. Since their history has been largely animistic, He supposes the nature deities of Japan would approve. However, they do tend to like their mortal women well-endowed, so He pauses to mutate the oppai genes – the ones that control the size of mammary glands – of one of the recently born mortal children, and...

There: disproportionally big and impervious to the effects of gravitational pull. Perfect. If He had a corporeal pair of hands, He would be patting Himself on the back now.

Suddenly, He realizes that He is being called forth by a mortal. The mortal is using one of the techniques they have developed that allows them to call on His spirit. For Him, it is a minor tugging sensation that He answers on a whim; for the mortals, it is always a technique of last resort. They call it the Reaper Death Seal, and indeed, His influence causes distortions in the physical plane, making it look as if He is devouring their soul.

Dutifully, He materializes behind the summoning mortal (taking the form of His grandmother, bless her Spirit), and is surprised to see that the mortal is sealing away half of a tailed-beast – a sliver of the residue of power that He left. The remaining half, the poor thing, is being trapped against its will inside an infant mortal.

He is the Supreme Being and Creator of All Things, but He is also merciful. The residue of power, while no longer a part of Him, was once a part of Him, and He recognizes, in a detached sort of way, the agony it must be going through. Though He cannot free the beast without directly interfering – an endeavor He strives to avoid at all times – He can make its cage a bit more...tolerable.

Before He leaves the physical plane, He sends a trickle of power towards the bars of the cage, widening the distance between them. That should give it a bit more breathing space. With a nod of His temporarily materialized head, He notes the beast cautiously sticking its head out of the cage, unable to believe its luck.

"Behave now," He says sternly, before returning to His distant realm.

Six years later, mortal realm

It is midnight.

Sitting behind his desk, Hiruzen Sarutobi sighs, wiping a bead of sweat from his lined brow.

It has been a long day at work for him – though as the Hokage, when is it never one? But for once, the biggest issue is not an external conflict over territory and borderlines. The problem lies within: ever since the attack of the Kyūbi on the village, there have been growing tensions between the Uchiha clan and the governing body of Konoha. Though nothing concrete ties the Uchiha clan to the incident, people have been pointing out that it is their kekkei genkai, the Sharingan, which has the power to control the Kyūbi. And thus, slowly but surely, they have been increasingly secluded from the rest of the village through a medium of prejudice and deep-rooted suspicion.

Recently, one of their most promising progeny – a newly-minted chūnin named Itachi – has joined the ranks of the ANBU. Hiruzen feels uneasy about the appointment, knowing that the Uchiha clan will take advantage of this to gather information on the village. But the boy seems different from the rest of the clan: more loyal to the village, more peace-seeking, and above all...more pliable. But regardless, Hiruzen has made it a point to always keep an eye on the Uchiha boy's movements and actions.

His train of thought cuts off and he stiffens as he senses one of his ANBU approaching from the window, and he turns around expectantly.

"Hokage-sama!" Owl appears before him; though his face is masked, his fretfully moving fingers betray his anxiety. "There has been an incident within the village."

"Report," says Hiruzen with a frown, as his thoughts flash back to his most recent ramblings. It is far too early for any of his fears concerning the Uchiha to have come true. So what else could it be...?

But the ANBU's reply makes him freeze.

"The jinchūriki Naruto Uzumaki has killed a civilian and left Konoha. Dog's unit has currently cornered it in a cave in the forest west of the village, but are currently on standby, awaiting further instructions. Your orders, sir?"

"Update from Hokage-sama," Owl leaps down silently to the cave's entrance where Dog and the others are waiting. "We are to apprehend the jinchūriki without hurting it, render it unconscious, and return it to the village where it is to be kept under strict supervision until further orders are relayed."

The waiting ANBU nod at their comrade and turn towards their captain, a silver-haired ninja with a Dog mask. For a second he hesitates, surprising his subordinates who are used to his near-instantaneous but reliable orders. But when he speaks, there is no emotion in his voice.

Following his directions, they file into the narrow cave quickly but cautiously. Almost as soon as they enter the passageway, it makes a sharp turn inwards, and the outside moonlight fades away.

The cave is deeper than it looked from outside, and for a while, they traverse the passageway in tense silence. All of them being the highly trained ninjas that they are, none of their footsteps make any sound, and in the quiet of the overwhelming darkness, they almost feel as if they are slowly coming apart at the seams, becoming nothing...

They are all relieved when they become aware of a distant, strangely high-pitched sound that resounds through the dark air. It grounds them and they pause, but urged onwards by their captain, they continue walking farther inwards. Growing closer and closer to the source, the sound, like a surging wave, becomes a relentless, piercing sound that sets their teeth on edge. As they edge even closer, at a certain point, they suddenly realize it is the sound of a child's unrestrained laughter, flowing maniacally without pause.

But just as they take another step forward, the laughter suddenly comes to an abrupt stop. As the last echoes of laughter fade from the cave, for a moment, there is heavy, oppressive silence. And then –

"I know you're there," a child's voice calls out in a sing-song tone.

A/N: This is a short series about an insane/psychopath Naruto.

There will be quite dark and mature themes/content in future chapters. Consider yourself warned.

Disclaimer: The cover image for this fiction is from the deviant 'marxedp.'