Um, hi guys it's been awhile, over a year. I know that many if not all of you guys are angry at this long break that I took. I was working on my new story Ninja in a Devil's World, a Naruto and Highschool DxD crossover story. But around February something happened and I wasn't able to write. But hopefully I'm back and I can write more often. Now let's get to the story. Oh yeah I don't own anything, almost forgot this.
Rise of the Revanchist Empire
"Damn it." Naruto's voice echoed through the chamber, gained a metallic tinge as it struck the steel walls and came back to him. He glanced around the room, expecting someone to reply, even object. Only Revan occupied the room with him. The retired and previously deceased Jedi showed no sign of replying.
Naruto funnelled his anger into a punch that bent his desk's metal frame. A shooting pain burst through his arm and he cursed out loud.
The sound of his fist thumping the desk faded into a harsh silence.
Naruto slumped back in his seat and sighed, feeling his emotion drain away to leave him empty. "How could this possibly have happened?" He asked.
"In Nar Shaddaa anything goes, and similar situations aren't uncommon. In fact, it's almost guaranteed to happen again." Revan replied. His tone was monotone, emotionless, as if he only spoke fact and didn't contain a shred of sympathy.
That stoked a fire in Naruto's stomach.
"Yes, I'm aware of the dangers in Nar Shaddaa, but how did this happen to us?" Naruto's voice dripped with emotion, fury turned every word into a knife edge.
Revan's brows furrowed, a symbol of his disapproval.
Naruto felt the pit in his stomach open up and swallow his heart. Losing men was not something he endorsed nor enjoyed.
Silence washed over the room again.
Revan finally shrugged. "Nar Shaddaa may be useful for avoiding the Republic's restrictions, but with that come the problems of low protection. It appears either a rival company found the Psycho-Pass, or some bandits were on the lookout for high end equipment. Either way, we were just unlucky to be there."
Naruto's temper snapped. "We weren't there though. We were here, safe." Naruto spat the last word like poison.
Revan leant across the table, his eyes cold as ice, and whispered the harsh truth. "If you died out there? Who would lead then?"
A shiver darted down Naruto's spine. Dying was not something on his agenda.
"A strong man fights with every opportunity, a wise man fights only when necessary."
Naruto couldn't bear to reply with wise words of his own. Instead he sat forward, not for the first time, to study the video on his screen. It was their current topic of conversation.
The footage had been brought to him earlier, along with a report that a squadron on Nar Shaddaa were four days overdue to return.
He had only deployed one squadron onto Nar Shaddaa. A blonde woman, was to lead her squadron onto the planet and communicate with the Nar Shaddaa company Physco-Pass. This squadron was made up of shadow clones henged in different forms. Their priority mission; gaining information on the Mark II Dominator, a task Naruto had charged her with personally.
The blonde woman clone, known as Shinobi, and her men came onto the screen roughly half way through the video. Naruto didn't skip a single minute. Not because something might happen, he knew there was nothing, but to postpone what came next.
Not a moment after Shinobi's arrival her men took a defensive formation. A group bearing the Psycho-Pass badge approached.
There were a few minutes of conversation between Shinobi and a member of the group. Naruto had turned the volume to full last time he'd watched, even tried to lip read but couldn't understand what was said.
The explosions, which interrupted the conversation, would've been a surprise had Naruto not already seen the video three times over.
Shinobi's meeting with the Physco-Pass was interrupted by heavy blaster fire. She dove to the ground whilst her men raised their weapons.
Naruto saw the ground peppered with bolts. Shinobi's men returned fire alongside the Psycho-Pass.
Naruto could make out at least three assailants from the footage, although he thought it was likely to have been more.
The screen was enveloped in chaos. Naruto saw Shinobi back on her feet, it looked like she was wielding the Force to fight off the attackers but constantly losing ground. He watched as his own men were shot down, the men he had sent on that mission, and each body that fell, every death, caused a twinge in his chest, but he found resolve in the knowledge they knew of this risk.
It appeared that Revan was slowly becoming agitated with Naruto's emotional response and brooding, as he often did, because he grasped a small parcel of the Force and used it to knock Naruto out of his thoughts.
"Enough with the brooding. It is not a trait that most would appreciate in a man aspiring to lead."
Naruto understood what that meant; Revan didn't appreciate brooding. He rubbed at his scalp before straightening up and trying to be serious. The stinging of Revan's impact was already forming an ache behind Naruto's eye.
"Yeah." Naruto tried to bury the emotion in his voice. "Losing support from the Psycho-Pass isn't a major devastation to our plans. They were developing a strong weapon, but it was only one."
"Not a major devastation? The Mark II was a weapon that would have served our purpose well." Revan chimed, already dismissing the people they had lost.
Naruto wanted to change the subject, to move away from the Psycho-Pass and the attack. If only to avoid Revan's demeaning attitude to life.
"Speaking of serving our purpose, how is development of the Chu'unthor coming along?" Naruto asked.
Revan's more than likely sarcastic reply was halted by Naruto raising his hand. He was already taking a final glance at Shinobi, swiping the video away from his screen, and bringing up plans for the ship.
The screen became a plethora of his plans; here and there structures were outlined, schedules set up in tables and a holographic projection of the ship's current state hovered inches above the holopad. Naruto found he had the urge to swipe his fingers through it but managed to resist.
"It looks like we're a bit behind schedule but the repair droids are bringing us back on. I guess it was a good idea having the Mustafar faction concentrate on getting them running."
Revan gave Naruto an agreeable nod. "It would appear so. The droids have managed to completely fix all the damaged ion drives. The shielding circuits are also up and running, we've used a more durable material than the original to ensure they last. The weapon system have arrived at the Chu'unthor and should be finished installation by the time we leave here."
Naruto skimmed over the status report. It appeared that Revan had already read it because had summarised its entire contents. Naruto began swiping it away from the screen.
As the holographic projection began to fade Naruto noticed something he recognised, something that flared his temper. A small piece of metal, only one metre in diameter, on the lower hull.
"Why have you had the Hammerhead cruiser shield installed?" Naruto's voice wavered but he forced it to remain calm. "We agreed right here in this room that it wasn't needed, that it didn't protect enough area." Naruto stood up from his chair, palms splayed on the table, his voice building into a roar. "And I've just glimpsed where it on the ship schematics. On the hull of all places. It's even less use there than its original position!"
"Naruto, do not take that tone with me." Revan replied, calm despite Naruto's outburst, like a parent scolding their child.
"If you were going to install it then why not on the bridge." Naruto grumbled. "Would've been more effective."
"The Chu'unthor needs to fly as soon as possible." Revan stared into Naruto's eyes. "And to fly safely it needs some protection. The Hammerhead cruiser shield is small but still military standard, perfect for this kind of thing."
Naruto struggled to hold Revan's gaze. "Why does it need to fly so soon? And where are you taking? There is no great need for a shield. None of this was part of our plan Revan."
Naruto let his gaze fall. He was confused, his mentor had not done anything of this sort before. Revan had made plans that needed explaining, and worst yet he was using the clone body Naruto had provided him to implement them.
"True, this was not our plan, but I have made changes to our plan. I have bettered our plan." Revan began to smirk. "The Mustafar factories are doing their jobs well. Combined with the repair droids, the factories have brought us back up to schedule, but we both know the Sith Space station would take us beyond the schedule. So, I had the small shield fitted as a precaution, in advance of this discussion."
Naruto took a step away from the table. "You planned to move the ship without my consent." He suddenly felt as if he was spinning out of control. How had he not seen this coming?
"No, but I knew you'd agree with what I had to say."
Naruto felt his feet firm on the ground again. His control was not completely lost.
"Okay, I'll admit what you're saying, it makes sense. We should take every advantage we are handed, but do not think to undermine me again. You may be my mentor but I am your leader, and I maintain that body you're walking around in, unless you want to be stuck as a hovering spirit again?"
Naruto felt ashamed, ashamed that threatening Revan made his heart flutter.
In return Revan's eyes became hard. "Of course not. I would never imagine to do such a thing to you Naruto."
Naruto sensed a change in the atmosphere, it became abnormally hostile. He swiftly called clones into the room and issued several orders to avoid any further confrontation with Revan.
If they were to do as Revan suggested the Sith Space station needed to be capable of repairing the Chu'unthor immediately, which would require materials and work droids, both formed from asteroids.
Naruto sat back in his seat and took control of his screen. He had Chisei, his super computer, send orders directly to the station system. It instructed them to travel to the nearest asteroid belt and begin preparations. The priority was to repair all the factories it could.
Meanwhile, he noticed Revan had begun fiddling with his own screen. Naruto watched him flicking through their agreed schedule, the schedule they no longer followed, from the beginning to the very end. Then he scrolled through in reverse order, pausing at various intervals. Intervals Naruto assumed he was interested in.
The clones eventually began funnelling out of the room after they were all certain of their tasks. Naruto pushed his screen away, staring at it was making his headache worse. He closed his eyes and rubbed the lids. Some people believed the massaging motions helps, unfortunately Naruto's headache didn't agree.
"You know, when we are done at the Sith station we could repair it as well." Revan's voice suggested. Naruto pushed his eyes open to see the man looking up from his screen. "The parts it offers are no longer needed for the Chu'unthor."
It was a good idea. Naruto pondered the concept for a moment but already knew he had other plans. Still, he thought it best to reject the idea carefully.
"We could." Naruto pretended to take a moment longer. "It would save time on the Chu'unthor's production, but I still believe the station's advanced technology would serve us better aboard the ship."
"Factories could easily repair both..."
"Must I remind you once more that this technology cannot be replicated anywhere else?" Naruto's voice boomed over Revan's fading words. "It will be used on board the Chu'unthor."
"As you wish." The sound of defeat was heavy in Revan's tone.
Hoping that the Sith factory would be ready to receive them in time Naruto issued a command to Chisei. Plans to make the Chu'unthor space ready were to be accelerated. He continued to mess with his screen, if only to distract himself from Revan's sulking attitude.
Naruto began to speak but decided it was best not to mention the plans he had, Revan was being difficult enough. He believed the Sith station was a waste, as were the Mustafar factories, and every other factory in the galaxy. None functioned as more than simple factories any longer. They would all soon be replaced by his Raktan space factory, the Foundry.
"I know you have faith in the Foundry." Revan said, as if he could sense Naruto's unease. Naruto had wanted plans for the Foundry accelerated, he had such faith in its success. "Unfortunately, it is a faith I do not quite share." Revan never had an issue expressing his lack of faith.
Naruto despaired at the thought of having this argument. "I believe the Foundry will offer us an advantage."
"How so? What are your plans for it? There are none on the schedule." Revan retorted, a smirk creeping onto his face. Naruto had known that he would be caught out eventually, but he had no way to hide it. He wanted to reply with a quip, something harsh to deter the man's interest, but he couldn't think of anything. He was out of excuses and lies, and it seemed that Revan could see that.
"I see." Revan said. His smirk was gone, replaced by a harrowing frown. "There is no plan. Well, if you are so determined to have your Foundry then it should be useful for something."
"You have something in mind." Naruto replied.
"I always have something in mind, as should you." Revan began tapping on his screen, jumping in and out of folders. Naruto wished he would use Chisei, it would be much faster. "We only have a few sites picked out for the production of companies. The Foundry would be a prime location for something like that."
Naruto lifted himself out of the chair and made his way around to Revan's screen. His eyes rolled back in their sockets. Naruto was once again becoming agitated with Revan's knack for being right. "True enough, but we have the ability to form a sufficient amount of companies."
"The ability to form enough for our needs at the present moment." Revan corrected. "Of course, when you begin your plans to remake the Star Forge we will need many more. If it is to be the largest factory to ever be made we will require more than just the blueprints. We need the man power."
Naruto stepped away from the screen and paced across the room. His footsteps echoed through the room.
"Much of what the blueprints show can be modernised. The process of building will be made more efficient using modern technology. We don't need many more companies." Naruto realised his mistake the moment it was made.
"Ah, but we do need more companies. Companies that the Foundry could easily produce." Revan's trickery with words had caught Naruto again.
"Fine." Naruto snapped. Naruto knew that his mentor was right again. Revan strode across the room and threw himself into Naruto's chair. "What are you doing?"
"You have a lot of work to do, both on yourself and your plans, before you've earned this seat. Ignorance is not a quality befitting a strong leader, and precaution will only strengthen your plans."
"As you keep reminding me. Now, get out of my chair." Naruto growled.
Revan ignored Naruto's command. "I was similar in my youth, reckless, impatient, and even impertinent. It won't take long to overcome." Revan said.
Naruto felt his anger boiling below the surface. His mentor thought himself infallible, when in truth all he could be was patronising. Naruto may be the Jedi's reincarnation, but he had been able to achieve a great deal without any help.
"It appears you are still impertinent." Naruto spat the words with venom, twisted his wrist and the chair bucked wildly, throwing Revan to the floor. Yet his mentor simply began to laugh.
"You shouldn't begin to rely on the Force, Naruto." Revan stood up and wiped his knees. "Your anger betrays you. It is not a sign of hatred or fury towards me, but a sign of your passion to succeed, to be more like me, although your passion is misplaced in anger."
Naruto buried his anger. If Revan was right about anything, which Naruto doubted he was, it was that anger would not help Naruto stay his course.
"I will not be like you, Revan. My destiny is my own, I will not be a lowly Jedi. I will build an empire that will cover the Galaxy."
"A lowly Jedi?" Revan's tone had a sharp edge. It bounced around the room and caught Naruto by surprise. Bursts of anger were not customary for Revan but in a moment he was composed. "That may be true, it may not. You may rule the galaxy, you may not. I have many talents but foresight is not one. Either way, I don't need foresight to know you will not succeed without utilising the Foundry, and you will not build the Star Forge with only one factory, no matter its capabilities."
Naruto felt his heart sink. "What do you mean?"
"After all of this time, after all I have taught you, you still assume me to be a fool. I may not have my own body but I still have my sharp mind. I know the credits that were required to build the original Star Forge was far beyond a trillion, much more than anything we have, and rebuilding will cost trillions more. Yet, you have not included a way to gain a substantial amount of credit in your plans."
"I am aware of the credits we need." Naruto controlled his voice, tried to fill it with authority. "Originally the Star Forge only produced ships, and, despite it doing so in large quantities, its potential was never truly met."
"And you plan to meet that potential." Revan's voice was harsh, his words stern. "How do you plan to do that?"
"I've got plans, ones I've not yet put forward." Naruto said.
"So, I am not the only one making plans in the dark it would seem, and yet you reacted as you did."
"I'll make the Star Forge better than it ever was in the past. I aim to have it travel through hyperspace, a million times more manoeuvrable. There will be strong shielding and even stealth technology. The original Star Forge was slow, easy to find and unable to defend itself, and that is why it was destroyed."
"Something like that would cost trillions upon trillions of credits Naruto, an amount we simply don't have. An amount almost impossible to muster." Revan said.
"The Star Forge will be the largest structure ever created, it was always going to cost more than we ever thought. This will be our greatest asset and our investment must be protected."
"I see." Revan pawed at his chin, taking a moment to compose himself. "You have thought this through."
Naruto blinked. He was stunned at the sound of pride in Revan's voice. It wasn't something he had heard often in his tone and he had decided long ago that it didn't quite fit.
Revan spoke again before Naruto could reassert himself. "But I must ask, how will you earn a sufficient number of credits?"
Naruto wasn't sure yet, he had thought of several plans, but none were extremely effective, nor were they guaranteed to work. Combined perhaps they could work.
Naruto sighed, there was no excuse left that Naruto could use. "I don't know."
"Well as always I will offer my unending words of wisdom." Revan grinned.
"The Foundry is your key, however one alone will not allow you to build the Star Forge. Once you have an excessive number of companies the Foundry will once again be useless to you. Unless you utilise it again. You will be able to use to the Foundry for developing a business, possibly in advanced technologies."
Naruto thought it over. The plan was better than anything he had to suggest.
"Okay, I like it. We would gain credits quickly as the Foundry costs nothing to run, and we could keep the best technology for ourselves."
Revan sighed. "It will cause more issues with our schedule though."
Naruto joined him in the sigh. "I know. We are already falling behind. We should have been away from here last week. All of these changes to our plans are slowing us down."
Naruto stared into the darkness, his eyes strained to break through the pitch that he knew ended just beyond the blindfold. He tested his grip on his lightsaber. His hands were sweaty, from the heat and his nerves. They still shook, despite all the training and fighting his nerves were uncontrollable, but the dark orange glow that permeated the base of his blindfold was always comforting.
There was little wildlife on Mustafar. It was a volcanic planet with few inhabitants, and far too many barren wastelands. What little water there was teamed with too many microorganisms to drink. The only other liquid on the surface was lava, which Naruto did not advise drinking anything on this planet.
No birds chirped or flew through the grey sky, no rabbits ran through the burnt grass, no squirrels harvested their acorn because there never were any.
The silence could have been tranquil if he hadn't been boiling in his skin.
The valley around him had fallen silent, whatever wildlife there was on Mustafar had abandoned Naruto.
A gentle breeze blew on his cheeks, ruffled his golden hair, but gave him no protection from the harsh surroundings.
His nose was filled with the smell of sulfur and charred rock. The acrid air stung the back of his throat. So heavy was the smell of death and decay that it tingled on the edge of his tongue, itched beneath his clothes.
Naruto shifted his weight and felt a twinge in his legs. There was a change in the ground, a tremor, only a small shaking, but there wasn't a noise in the air. His surroundings weren't as tranquil as he'd hoped.
There was something shuffling, slowly moving towards him. Naruto stood firm, concentrating on the distance between himself and the movement, but his concentration was broken. He felt the sensation behind him, and then it slowly surrounded him.
Naruto reached out, felt the air against his fingertips. The breeze rubbed against his skin, cooled him where the Sun's harsh rays struck. The valley sizzled with an intense heat that almost baked him.
The breeze evaporated and the space around him exploded with the sound of blaster fire.
The first round of blasts were inaccurate, falling inches away from Naruto's feet, but everything that followed did so with almost deadly precision. The bolts that came uncomfortably close were turned away with his lightsaber, luminescent flashes lighting up his blindfold each time a deflection was made. Other bolts he dodged and avoided with all the grace he could muster in the heat. Explosions shook the ground wherever his parried fire struck. All the while he counted sensations in the ground, enemy footsteps making a slow approach, and counted twenty three blaster droids.
Naruto began moving forward.
The blaster fire was unrelenting, he shifted left and right, never a moment too late and always confident of where to go next. Bolts that he parried away were aimed where he thought droids stood, some he felt strike the target, some he didn't.
The droids were closing in on him from all angles, coming dangerously close, even for blasters set to stun. No matter how many Naruto destroyed he felt that more were coming. He could feel them swarming the valley floor around him, like ants on their hill.
His lightsaber finally cut into a droid on the outskirts of the group. He broke through their formation like a stream through the land. He slashed up through another droid and burst free of their clutches. Naruto's lightsaber carved through droid after droid. They tried to fall into formation around him but Naruto cut them short. Their metallic skeletons shrieked in protest as he passed through them.
The sun's searing heat made hard work of the continuous fight. Never a moment of respite as Naruto took the machines apart. Sweat dripped from his brow and slowly ran under his blindfold. It pooled around his eyes and forced him to crush them shut against the sting.
Naruto thrust his lightsaber forward and pushed it through a droids chest plate up to the grip.
He pulled the blindfold away from his eyes and over his head.
The final droid stood, rigid and unmoving, staring at the mangle Naruto had made of its chest. He pushed its shoulder and the final droid fell as the sun reached its highest point in the sky, and once again began it's so slow decent towards the ground.
The valley slopes surrounding Naruto were burnt black, charred and destroyed, with rare patches of dry yellow grass. Tree trunks of a forest long ago destroyed jutted from the highest point of the hillside. The lowest points on the hillside were pooled with lava which flowed off into the distance. Everywhere else the dark landscape was littered with peculiar rocks and boulders, reds and browns and black were the only shades as far as the eye could see.
In a one hundred metre radius the ground was littered with droid bodies. Pieces of metal, shredded sheets and droid heads, patches of spilt oil and explosion marks surrounded him.
Naruto surveyed the devastation he had created. He fought the grin that began to creep across his cheeks. For a moment he admired his work, if only a moment, before stepping away from the carnage and heading up the slope.
He turned his attention to the sky above, admiring the pinks and purples of the broken clouds, their colours changing with the air currents and concentration of certain chemicals in it. Above him something else caught his gaze, a glint in the sunlight. He stared up and began to notice movement across the hillside, a metal hide glinting in the sunlight. The more he looked the greater number of shines seemed to appear on the barren slope.
Together they slowly formed shapes, until Naruto's eyes finally found bleak outlines, a perfectly synchronised unit of twelve droids.
Rather than the usual bronze metal that droids were constructed from these were made from a silver plate, which merged well with the blackened valley slopes. In place of the average thin shape they were large chested and far taller. Instead of blasters each one held a long blade, each one as deadly as his lightsaber in its own right. He guessed the weapons were made of a metal resistant to his lightsaber, probably some phrik alloy. A challenge much greater than a few blaster droids.
Naruto took heavy steps up the hillside, before beginning to jog, which turned into a run and he met the droids at a sprint. His lightsaber clashed with a blade and they bounced apart. Another swipe that he parried away. He twisted his lightsaber and it slipped along the droids outstretched arm. The lightsaber bit into the droid's silver chest plate and cut right through. A swift push towards the earth ended the droids metallic shrieks, splitting the droid down the middle.
A whisk of air passed Naruto's cheek, as a blade sliced the air centimetres from his bare skin. He ducked under the back swing, parried a left hand swipe and stepped into the droid's guard. The droid grabbed Naruto's arm. He brought his lightsaber up and took the droid's arm at the elbow, ducked another swipe and rammed his lightsaber up through the pelvis.
Two more droids had closed in on where he was standing, whilst another began to flank his right side. The pair pressed Naruto hard, forcing him into steps back. He was losing ground fast. Every swipe of his lightsaber was turned away in an eruption of sparks.
They took steady turns to swipe at Naruto, moving as a single systematic unit. One stepped in close whilst the other turned his lightsaber away. A blade came up and sliced through Naruto's jerkin. He threw his head back, the blade passed his throat and left a scratch on his chin. He staggered back and felt the blood on his chin.
Naruto kept them at bay, looking for the pattern in their attack, never letting them come too close. He tried to think. Droids are machines, and machines are programmed. Programs provide a droid's technique, and there techniques are repetitive. Naruto stepped back, tried to analyse their movement, all he needed to do was learn the repetition. He saw it for a moment, but a moment of the pattern was all he needed.
He disabled his lightsaber. It's comforting orange glow faded from the air and both droids paused. They were made for combat but not at the closest of quarters.
Naruto moved between the two droids faster than either could react. He clasped the arm of one, interlocking its elbow with his own, twisted, and heard the mechanism crack inside. Naruto punched out and caught the droid's shoulder, sending the machine tumbling backwards.
Too close to swing it's blade, the other droid punched out its free fist and Naruto caught it at the elbow, pulled the hinge over his shoulder, and tore it from the socket. Naruto used the removed arm to block a thrust and swipe the droid's leg.
The pair struggled to their feet. Now that they were only left with their sword arm intact it looked marvellously awkward.
One of the pair lunged at him with its phrik blade. Naruto sidestepped the attack, and using a small parcel of the Force, he made the blade carry on until it was buried deep in the other's chest.
He watched as the two droids began to represent a tangled mass of metal.
Naruto quickly rearmed his lightsaber as the stabbed droid turned its attention back to him. He turned away a final swing of its blade, before bringing his lightsaber up to cut through the impaled droid's neck.
The metal body collapsed without its head, dragging the other droid to the ground with it. Naruto spun his lightsaber between his fingers, a little flare never hurt anyone, and buried it between the moving droid's shoulders. The two droids lay motionless in the grass.
"Four down, eight to go." He panted through clenched teeth. He pulled his lightsaber from the fallen droid's back and now turned his attention to the droid that had been making its way around his flank, but it wasn't the only droid that had flanked him. He turned slowly on the spot, counting as he turned. He was surrounded by the remaining eight droids.
"Come on. There's no way this is fair."
Four droids moved towards him, their blades readied, in response.
Naruto watched them coming, constantly turning to see what was behind him. Always having at least one at his back was unnerving.
Naruto chanced a glance over his shoulder. Behind him two of the droids were only inches from striking distance. He took a step forward to increase the distance and turned back. The droid ahead was rushing at him, taking monstrous strides across the broken earth. Naruto's heart leapt into his mouth.
When the droid came to close to dodge Naruto threw his lightsaber. It spun once in the slow breeze before carving the droid's head in half. The body toppled over and skidded to a halt at his feet, his lightsaber bouncing away.
He dodged a thrust from behind, ducked under another, threw out a leg and tripped one droid. He clambered onto its body to keep it down. A blade flashed passed his nose, another sliced the arm of his jerkin. He tried to roll away but they were all over him now. The droid beneath him began pushing against his weight. Blades were cutting the air all around him.
Naruto squeezed into every gap available. He squirmed between the two blades that were trying to hack him apart. Naruto tried to dodge a swipe but the droid bucked below him. The blade slashed a shallow cut into his chest. He felt the blood beneath his skin begin to boil. He kicked off the head of the droid he'd tripped and scooped up its blade. There was a searing sensation in his thigh as a blade nicked through his skin. Naruto yelped, the blade toppled from his fingers.
The final two droids pounced on Naruto, he tried to stay upright but they forced him to the ground, and for a moment he panicked. He kicked out with his legs, wriggled as much as the space allowed. His stomach began to churn as one of the blades was brought over him.
Naruto twisted his arm, felt the droid's grip loosen, and pulled it free. He caught the blade and felt it bite into his palm. Blood dripped from the blade and onto his face. His bloody fingers slipped up the serrated edge and grabbed at the droid's wrist. Slowly the blade crept towards his head and Naruto knew he couldn't outmatch the droid with one arm.
"Disarm! Bloody disarm!" Naruto yelled. He heard the panic in his own voice. The droids ignored his instruction. The sting in his palm was becoming too much, becoming a pulsing sensation on the edge of his conscious.
Naruto felt a tear run down his cheek.
He splayed his fingers, calling on the Force. The air was filled with crackles and pops as both droids were torn apart, crunched up and destroyed.
He lay still for a moment, he watched the clouds slowly pass over head. His chest heaved and he was suddenly aware that he wasn't breathing. Breathes came heavy, the dense air stung and caught in his lungs. He felt vaguely dizzied from the fighting, every inch of his body ached, his palm especially buzzed with a low pain, but he knew that he wasn't finished.
Anger hummed in his chest. Anger at coming so close to defeat, anger at the droids hadn't listened, anger at his plans weren't advancing quick enough, anger at his own need to be angry.
Naruto pushed himself up and stared up the slope. Four more droids stood in a line, they looked awkward against the dirt and rocks. Their pristine metal structure a complete opposite to the dingy valley.
"Right, let's try this again." He growled. Naruto plucked his lightsaber out of the grass, giving a swift kick to the ruined droid alongside. He pointed the orange plasma towards the droids. "It's your turn now."
The pain in his hand was beginning to intensify, and with it his temper flared.
"Come on then tin cans." He said in protest. None of the droids moved.
The valley erupted into chaos. The ground a foot to Naruto's left exploded and left behind a crater. Lumps of mud and rock rained down all around him. A moment later the earth at Naruto's feet was thrown up and he was tossed into the air.
The ground came up to meet him like a hammer on an anvil.
He coughed, spluttering to get dirt out of his mouth. Above him leather winged creatures were scattering through the air, their squawking almost drown out by the sound of an explosion that still rang in the air, or was that just in his ears. Naruto looked out of the corner of his eyes. He glanced the crater which had made in the ground where he'd just been standing. Further up the slope, just beyond the remaining blade droids, two more droids stood on boulders, each one holding a heavy duty blaster rifle.
Naruto rolled onto his front and scrambled up. Sometimes he hated training, although he wasn't quite sure this was still training.
He took hold of the Force and flung both blaster droids into the air. They went up gracefully but slowly tumbled through the air. They crashed down, one exploding into a million pieces against the earth, the other rolling down the hillside. The four blade droids took a moment to watch before their gaze fell back to Naruto, before they rushed at him.
Naruto had lost his enthusiasm for the fight. He gave a lazy swish of his wrist and their feet were dragged from under them in unison. Each one tumbled down the hill towards Naruto with no sign of stopping. He gathered the Force above them and brought it down heavily, crushing them together. Pieces of metal came flying down the slope, one of the phrik blades almost catching Naruto in the face.
Naruto sighed, glad that it was over.
The air vibrated and Naruto's world was thrown into turmoil. The sky began to spiral, the ground no longer beneath his feet, everything blended into one. There was a jarring in his chest and then everything stopped.
Suddenly the sky was above him again and he was lying in the grass. Naruto gasped for breath, but it wouldn't come. His lungs began to burn. He clawed at his chest, he knew it wouldn't help him breath but he kept trying. Slowly his breathing settled, the panicking sensation washed over him, and in its place anger began to fill him. Naruto felt a wetness on the back of his head. He pawed at the back of his skull to ensure there wasn't any blood and was thankful to find it was only sweat.
Naruto's jumped to his feet. The air at his shoulder exploded and pushed him backwards. He twisted to see a new crater created in the ground. Below him the sniper droid was standing, scope pulled up to its face, apparently ready to fire. The first bolt was fired and Naruto caught the it with his lightsaber. It ricocheted away onto the hillside. The second bolt bounced from his lightsaber in an explosion of sparks and a grin crept across his face.
The droid pulled its head away from the rifle, gave an uncertain glance at the hillside, taking in the destruction of every other droid, and returned to firing. Naruto turned away the bolts but couldn't find the angle he needed. The ground around the sniper droid was peppered with small craters.
With every bolt Naruto turned away the cut on his palm ached a little more, every nick and bruise began to slow his reactions. Finally a bolt struck the lower half of Naruto's lightsaber and sparks were flung all over his hand. The pain became too much and his grip, slick with blood, failed. His lightsaber tumbled away across the broken hillside.
Naruto forced his eyes open against the pain. He turned, looking for the lightsaber. Its comforting glow nowhere to be seen. He took a step in the direction it had fallen. He heard the rifle fire.
Naruto spun and threw up a wall of the Force. The bolt struck and drilled through. The best Naruto could do was slow it before his protection failed. The bolt struck his right shoulder, and he barrelled backwards into the dirt.
Naruto lay dazed on the battered earth. The walls of a shallow crater surrounded him. He sat up in the dirt, shuffling backwards and propped himself against the crater wall.
Naruto was covered in mud and splattered with oil. Cuts and scrapes were present on every available piece of flesh, but all of the pain was numbed by the overwhelming ache of his right shoulder.
Naruto lifted himself up and thanked the blaster rifles were on stun setting. The droid fired again and reminded Naruto that getting hit would still hurt.
Naruto clambered out of the ditch and the droid fired again. He grabbed a boulder with the Force and tossed it at the droid, desperate to be finished. The droid tried to avoid the lump of rock that was hurtling towards it but couldn't escape.
"Don't rely on the Force, he says." Naruto said. He thought of Revan laughing on the floor.
Naruto let out a heavy sigh. He rubbed at his aching shoulder and inspected the cut on his hand. It wasn't deep but he'd have to clean it. Mud and sweat made great companions for an infection, but none of that would be done before he'd rested.
Naruto walked over to the boulder that the sniper droid had stood on and sat on it. He examined the pieces of droid nearby and wondered why they hadn't responded. He decided it was a question for later, he was just happy to conclude this morning's training. From his perch on the rock he pulled his lightsaber over using the force and wiped the sweat from his brow. He was still panting.
Naruto heard something else, other pants. He turned to find a clone running in his direction. He wore the white and red armour of a commander.
"Sir, I have been sent by Master Revan to ensure you have finished training."
"I have." Naruto wasn't in a conversational mood.
"Very good, sir." The clone paused to catch his breath. "I must also inform you that the Chu'unthor has arrived on the Space station."
"About time. And what of Chisei?"
"The super computer has been installed, is currently instructing the repair droids on what can be done to further our progress. The Rakatan hyper drive transmitter and receiver have also been decrypted. They are now ready for use."
"Thank you. Have the base packed up immediately. We leave within four hours."
"Yes sir." The clone gave a quick salute before Naruto turned away again.
Naruto returned to base with his hand successfully bandaged in the sleeve of his jerkin, he figured that would do for now. He still wore his destroyed training clothes, a tattered jerkin, vest below, and shredded.
Clones rushed from one corner of the base to the other as they committed the final protocols. Vehicle checks were well underway for moving base.
Naruto threw himself into a chair, he didn't even care that it wasn't his own, and gave a hefty groan. He rubbed at his weary eyes, feeling the onset of a headache, and then turned attention to his right shoulder. The skin under his jerkin had flared red and would need looking at. He was just grateful to have an arm left.
Naruto stood up hoping to find the physician before he was completely packed away but was distracted. There was a small whoosh filled the room as the hall doors slid open. Revan walked through with a young woman in his wake.
Naruto couldn't believe he'd managed to find her. In all of space, in all of time even, they'd found her floating through space on an advanced spaceship.
Told you I'd find her. Revan's voice echoed in his head.
It's rude not to knock, you know. Naruto rubbed his head. Telepathy always made his headaches worse.
I've told you to keep your defences up. It wouldn't hurt so much if you did.
If I remember correctly I located her. Naruto wasn't in the mood for Revan's lessons.
Well you did, but I went out and got her.
"Is she alright?" Naruto asked out loud. He began to approach the pair.
"I could ask you the same question." Revan's tone was unusually cheery.
"Training was a little harsh this morning. Wouldn't know anything about that would you?"
"Don't know a thing."
Revan's voice forced its way into his head again. If you pushed your mind as hard as you pushed your body it'd be easy to keep me out.
"Yeah. What about the girl?" Naruto wanted to know if she was still of use to them.
"She's well considering she came through a wormhole into the past and then deaged about forty years."
"Forty years is a long time" Naruto tried to imagine this young girl forty years from now and found he couldn't quite manage it.
"I know." Revan continued the conversation telepathically. She's about seventeen now, but thankfully her memories beyond the age of twenty have been lost.
"How is that good?" Naruto blurted out without thinking. Everyone in the room fell silent and looked at him. None of them knew what was being said in his head. "Sorry. Talking to myself again."
You really need to get better at this.
Naruto ignored the jibe. Before she was a Jedi or met Luke Skywalker she was a Sith. That can't possibly be good for us.
Don't worry about that. Revan's voice was calm and that reassured Naruto
How can we possibly trust her?
We have already Force bonded her to you. You can control her loyalty however you like, though I doubt you'd choose for her to betray you.
Naruto nodded his understanding and called a clone over.
"Take this woman to her ship, the Jade Shadow." Naruto turned to Mara. "You will pilot your ship alongside us."
"Be ready to move immediately." Revan added.
Mara and the clone left them and it appeared that all of the final checks were complete.
"Speaking of being ready to move, we need you in position." Naruto said.
Revan was to pilot the SHIP, their Sith mediation ship. It was something that Naruto wanted to do personally, it would be a unique experience in every way, but it had a strong connection to the dark side and Naruto could not risk being corrupted. That is why Revan would fly it, to avoid any attempts the SHIP might make to corrupt him.
"I'll be ready to fly." Revan said as he walked away, a satirical wave over his shoulder.
Naruto watched as Mara's deckhands, Shushi and HK-47, made their way towards the Jade Shadow. His own deckhands and close friends, Ros-Lai and T3-M4, were headed in the opposite direction, towards Naruto's own ship, Glitch.
He felt a sudden wave of nausea. Naruto controlled all of these men, each one followed his every command, and each one appeared ready to die at his command. He wondered how many would actually die and be replaced in his conquest of the Galaxy. It was pretty likely they'd all be gone by the time this was over. He considered that even Revan may not survive to see this through. Naruto shuddered at the thought, at the sacrifices he'd have to make, the ones he already had, and left the empty base with a heavy conscience.
Back on Glitch Naruto sat tense in his seat. He began realising how closely his plans were coming together and that made him nervous. He spent his days worrying that something would go wrong, that the slightest mistake would cost him everything. A mistake like Nar Shaddaa.
His brooding was cut short by a voice on the coms. He realised, with grave disappointment, that Revan could be right, brooding might cost him everything eventually.
"Naruto, are you there?" Revan's voice crackled through the com system.
"Yeah, I'm here."
"I feel like we're all waiting on you." Even through the coms Revan's voice had a hint of sarcasm.
"Of course. Mara, is the Jade Shadow ready to fly?"
"Ready and waiting." It was the first time he'd heard her speak. The woman's voice was unusual.
"Well let's get going then." Naruto pushed down on the thrusters and took Glitch into the air.
(Above Kuniumi) (Which is Naruto's planet)
Naruto looked down at the planet below. It was a calming sensation, to look down from space, to be above everything he had ever known. "Its good to be home." He whispered to no one in particular.
I have finally return my brothers. I now know how other writers feel when they say after taking a break its harder write. I always thought they were just saying BS, but it's true. I don't have much to say now other than the next update will be my Naruto/X-men story.