A teenage boy lay on top of a slab in a darkened room. He was naked and surrounded by surgical tools on a table next to him. While on the other contains an organic substance of a worrying nature. It resembled flesh only it looks malformed and has scales growing out of it. With how pale and dead he looked the place he was in could be considered a morgue. However, the teenage boy was not dead. He was still breathing. However he was completely pumped full of suppressants specifically created for keeping people in a coma.
Several people were in the room with the unresponsive boy. All of them were wearing black clothes that hid their physique; some had their faces concealed by hoods or masks.
One darkly dressed figure reached for a surgical knife and brought it to the boys neck with the tip ready to cut into the skin. And then without any warning, like it was a sign from a deity, a hole in the fabric of reality opened at the end of the room and two people walked out of it. They almost looked like a carbon copy of the boy on the slab.
One of them, a young man is his early 20's had actual glowing vibrant blue eyes, and wore clothing that looked foreign to them. Black trousers, a black tank top with a trench coat worn over it; military grade boots and other solider like garments is worn. He just so happens to have very pale and sickly looking skin, with the veins seen underneath the tissue, along with bleeding bullet holes on his body. And he is also floating and has a heavy mist surrounding him.
The other person is a much younger and healthier version of the man. Spiked blonde hair and blue eyes, the teenager wore clothes that are just as alien to the men. Wearing a pair of olive coloured trousers and dirtied black boots with mud and dried blood; and an unbuttoned light green jacket with the sleeves rolled up, and a black shirt worn underneath. Holstered on his waist is a Remington Model 1858 revolver. In his hands is an M-16 assault rifle too.
"Intruders!" one of the men shouted in alarm.
Before any of them could move the older blonde raised his arm, brought it back before throwing it out towards the dark clothed men. All of them let out startled screams as they were thrown off their feet by an unknown force. They smashed into the wall on the other side of the room and the impact instantly knocked them out.
The teenage boy winced at the sounds of flesh hitting stone. He was sure he had heard a few crunching sounds mixed in there somewhere.
With the men dispatched one of the newcomers spotted the unconscious boy on the slab.
"Looks like we found him, Naruto." the older man said as he lowered his arm. He floated over to the slab with the younger boy following. "And he's still alive."
"Good." the teenager, Naruto said. He looked down at the naked blonde, more specifically his face. "Fucking hell he looks like a carbon copy of me."
The glowing eyed blonde looked at the teenager beside him. "He is you." he said, prompting the other blonde to look up at him.
"A different version of me?"
His question made the sentient zombie shake his head in the negative. "No. He is you. Just like I am you." seeing the confused look he was getting, the zombie gave an analogy, "In simpler terms, think of me and him as reflections in a mirror. When it's whole you see a single reflection of yourself. But when you crack it, you get multiple reflections. You see other reflections of yourself in the cracked glass. They're not different versions of yourself, they're still you."
While a little unsure he nodded to show he understands. Well; he understood parts of it.
"I wish there was something I could use to make this version of me take my blood." Naruto 1.0 sighed.
"Well," the teenager looked at Naruto 2.0 who to his surprise took out a vial attached to a needle injector and a syringe, "I had a feeling this was going to be needed. Glad it turned out to be true."
"How long did you have that?" Naruto 1.0 asked his eyes wide with surprise and astonishment at his luck.
"I had it ever since we came out of that experiment room." Naruto 2.0 answered, before tossing the vial and syringe to the teenager. Naruto 1.0 caught them both with both hands, although he had to drop his assault rifle to catch them both.
"What should I do?"
"Stick the syringe into your arm and take the blood out, then put it in the vial." instructed Naruto 2.0 as he undid the top of the vial, "Now I don't know how effective this is going to be, I'm in the dark as you are. But I'll bet the best way for this to work for the unconscious us, is to ingest it." the sentient zombie said as Naruto 1.0 did as instructed. The blood filled the syringe and the teenager used it to fill the vial. It took several tries to fill the container as the vial was rather big and wide and it left a noticeable bruise on his arm.
"And now for me." Naruto 1.0 looked at his zombie counterpart in surprise as he held his hand out with n expectant look on his face.
"You're doing this as well?" he asked looking at the offered hand.
"Of course. Despite our differences we are still the same person. Now hand me the syringe." Naruto 1.0 was reluctant but hesitantly gave the zombie the syringe after several seconds, and was given the vial in return. The zombie looked at the needle, sighed, and stuck it in his arm. "It may not be sanitary to do this but hopefully my version of Element 115 will keep me healthy." he said as his blood filled the vial. Unlike the blood from the first Naruto, the life liquid from the second had a faint but noticeable yellow glow around it. It makes sense as Naruto 2.0 said Element 115 from his dimension is dark yellow.
The zombie exhaled as he pulled the needle from his arm and slipped it into the vial. His blood mixed with Naruto 1.0's. The lid was done up again and they stared. There was no visible change. Then Naruto 1.0 made the blood swirl in the vial to mix them in better.
"What are you-" Naruto 2.0's rant paused mid-way when he saw the blood gain a glowing aura. A reddish-orange glow. "-doing... Okay. That's new. I didn't think mixing our blood together would make a new type of Element 115."
"Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" Naruto 1.0 asked.
"I-I don't know. The side effects of our mixed blood in that vial are virtually limitless." the zombie replied with a scratch to his head. "He could have my power with your memories. Or my memories and experience with your personality. Or his, uh, body will experience a change so vast, that-uh, if he were awake it would-um break his mind. It could, could be anything, really."
"That is bad."
"Bad is an understatement." Naruto 2.0 sighed, "Alright, let's see here."
Then Naruto 1.0 saw his zombie counterpart putting his hand on the torso of the unconscious Naruto and was alarmed when the zombified Naruto's hand started glowing yellow.
"What are you doing?!" he hissed as he grabbed 2.0's wrist to stop him.
Calmly 2.0 looked at 1.0 and without stopping what he was doing answered.
"I am making sure he isn't dead. I think we can both agree that making a corpse inhale our combined blood would be short of...catastrophic."
It was a lie of course. He already knew the boy on the slab is alive. Instead he is giving the unconscious boy the European long sword and Bone Bow wonder weapons he swiped from the facility Group 935 and Division 9 were sharing.
But 1.0 didn't need to know that.
"But you said he wasn't dead." Naruto 1.0 pointed out with suspicious eyes.
"I can make mistakes y'know. This is just to be absolutely sure he isn't dead. Now can you let go of my wrist please?" Naruto 1.0 relented his hold on the zombie's wrist and allowed him to continue. Seconds later Naruto 2.0 finished transferring the wonder weapons and pulled away, informing the younger Naruto that the boy is alive.
"So, then, what now? Do we get him to ingest the blood or something?"
Naruto 2.0 rubbed at his chin. He looked to the side, thinking, pondering on what to do. Then he looked at his still living counterpart standing beside him.
"We wake him up." Naruto 2.0 said/.
"You sure?" Naruto 1.0 questioned looking between the third Naruto and the second Naruto.
"Yeah. We may need to explain some things though. And ask some questions of our own. Like who those men I knocked out were." Naruto 2.0 replied as he gestured to the knocked out bodies of the men in black.
The first Naruto looked at the second Naruto for several long moments. Then he looked at the unconscious third Naruto and let out a sigh and nodded. Telling the second Naruto to proceed.
Naruto 2.0 gave a nod in thanks and pressed his hands on the third Naruto's chest and forehead. He closed his eyes, his forehead scrunched up in concentration; Naruto 1.0 leaned in slightly to get a better look.
The third Naruto opened his eyes without warning and screamed, startling them both and made the two Naruto's back away as he rolled off of the slab on onto the floor. Inhaling and exhaling in rapid succession as he stumblingly got to his feet, the now awakened third Naruto, or Naruto 3.0, looked around the room wildly for several seconds before they landed on his other counterparts.
Naruto 3.0 narrowed his eyes with wariness and suspicion. "...Who are you two? Why do you look like me?"
Naruto 1.0 and 2.0 shared a look for a brief moment. They turned to address the third Naruto before the first Naruto coughed and looked away, "You may want to put on some clothes first." the first Naruto said; Naruto 3.0 looked at the first with a furrowed brow, not understanding what he is getting at. He finally understood what number 1 had meant when number 2 had blown at him, and felt warm air brush against his skin.
"Oh hell! Where are my clothes?!" Naruto 3.0 said frantically as he wildly looked around the room.
"I'm going to take a look around." Naruto 1.0 suddenly announced and as he made his way to the door he added, "I'm going to see if there's anything you can wear stored here in this facility."
"Be careful." Naruto 2.0 called out, and received a thumbs up from 1.0 as acknowledgement and to show he heard him, just before he opened the door and walked outside.
"Should he be by himself?" Naruto 3.0 questioned after a moment of silence. He wasn't worried; how could he worry for someone he doesn't know; but even he knows wandering around in a place you've never been too before, by yourself, is a very bad idea.
"He'll be fine." then Naruto 2.0 looked at Naruto 3.0 with curiosity, "So...what happened that ended up causing you to be in a place like this?" when he asked that question Naruto 3.0 went stiff; rigid; a look of distaste, disdain, and stress appeared on the teens face; he clearly did not want to talk about it. The zombified Naruto acknowledged this and placated the younger one. "Hey. If you don't want to say, then that's fine. It's your business. I won't pressure you."
Naruto 3.0 was relieved to hear that and his posture relaxed. Looking at the unconscious forms of the men in black on the ground Naruto 3.0 watched quietly as the zombie floated over to them. A floating zombie was a sight that made the boy double take in disbelief. Glowing eyes? He saw stranger back home. Dead like pale skin? He saw people with similar skin conditions in the past. Floating off the ground and hover around? That was something he had not see before and it took him by surprise.
Dropping to the ground the zombified Naruto got down on one knee beside one of the unconscious men and pulled the hood back and was barely able to withhold the look of distaste. The man, who appears to be getting in on the years, had his face littered with scars. He was disfigured on the right side of the face, looking as if a doctor botched up on healing him multiple times.
Looking at another unconscious man, one who had a mask on, he went over and took it off. He was getting in on the years too. A receding hairline, wrinkles under his eyes and cheeks. He wasn't littered with scars, but there were a few warts and moles on his face. Some were big and some were small.
"Oh, god..." he looked over his shoulder when he heard the third Naruto trail off in disgust and found him staring at the scarred man. Chuckling he went back to checking on the faces off the other men and the two Naruto's found out two things: these men were either worse off in the looks department, or slightly better.
They found one man who had a disfigurement on the face. One that was worse off than the man with the scarred face. This man literally had no skin covering his cheek. His jaw, teeth and tongue were all visible and made for a nasty sight.
After several minutes they were done and waited for Naruto 1.0 to return. Five minutes later he returned with clothes in hand. A brown tunic with a white under shirt brown trousers and shoes. A black cloak with a hood and a pouch with a huge amount of hold in it.
"Here. Put these on." he tossed the clothes, plus pouch to Naruto 3.0 and looked away as the teenager began to put them on. When he was done 1.0 looked at his third counterpart and nodded with approval. He then took the glowing blood vial containing his blood and 2.0's and handed it over to the third Naruto who stared at it confused.
"It's a vial containing our bloods." the zombie Naruto explained, pointing at himself and the Naruto he came to this dimension with. "When my blood mixed with his for some reason it changed to that colour."
He looked at the vial in his hand, "What should I do with it? What does it do?" he asked, gazing at the two Naruto's with expectancy. In his mind there was no way a glowing orange vial apparently containing their blood is going to be harmless. It must do something and he intends to find out what.
Naruto and Naruto 2.0 shared a look, with the former looking wary. The third Naruto was being eerily accepting of it, and they took note of that. They didn't say anything to the third Naruto regarding that though.
"To tell you the truth I don't have any idea what it does." Naruto told his third counterpart.
"I have a few theories, but nothing concrete." the second Naruto added on.
The third Naruto looked at the vial in his hand once more. His brow furrowing he rolled the small container in his fingers musingly. "Can you share those theories with me? Just to give me an idea of what to expect?" he looked at the adult with expectancy upon asking this. He wasn't going to get his hopes up but god damn if he wasn't curious!
"...If I'm going to tell you these theories, then you're going to need to know what exactly is in that vial." the zombie informed much to the surprise of the first.
"Weird orange glow aside, isn't it just blood?" Naruto 3.0 asked questionably. He wasn't at all shocked, or surprised when he received a negative head shake from Naruto 2.0. "Oh? Then what is it?"
"Before I tell you, you're going to need to know what exactly is in that vial..."
With that said the zombified Naruto began to inform the third Naruto just what is inside the vial in his hand. The side effects, both good and bad, and the likelihood of him not being the same person as he once was. Through all this the third Naruto listened patently; he never asked questions and when all was said and done after what seemed like hours of listening, he allowed himself to finally speak.
"So the vial has this...disease?"
"I wouldn't call it a disease. It acts nothing like a disease I'm familiar of." the first Naruto corrected, prompting the second and third Naruto's to look in his direction. "It's not contracted from other humans or animals either."
"If it's not from other people or animals then how did you both get it?" the third Naruto asked as he looked between the two.
"From rocks that fell from the sky. Giant ones."
The third Naruto stared for a moment and then he started laughing uproariously. However at the serious looks the other two had his laughter slowly died down, and his amusement turned to confusion.
"You...you're not joking? This disease really came from giant rocks from the sky?" he asked them all humour gone from his voice.
"No. We we most certainly not joking." the zombified Naruto replied, "Divinium – that's the name of the thing inside of the vial – is not from this world. It's so powerful that it can generate enough power to last for an eternity. But when it is applied to humans, well..."
The first Naruto picked up where the zombie counterpart left off, "It changes you. Personality, health and memory wise. Mister glowy eyes here is the extreme case of being exposed to Divinium. I am the minor case." that revelation shocked the teenager so much that he's looking at the second Naruto in a new light.
Their conversation was interrupted when they heard pained groans. The three Naruto's looked at the men and found some of them were coming too. Sighing Naruto walked to them and knocked them out.
The third Naruto winced as he saw his other self grab his assault rifle and smash the butt of it against their face one by one. Then he came to a realization. They can't stay here; he can't stay here. He looked at the tools on the table next to the slab he was laying on, and the dead scaly looking flesh, and knew what ever they were intending to do to him can't be good for his health.
"Can we leave this place?" he politely asked them, he really didn't want to be here any longer.
"Sure. This place is giving me the creeps." The twenty year old something Naruto replied. And that is saying something coming from him.
However the first Naruto looked at the newly unconscious men and wondered what he should do regarding them. Indecisive on what he should do, he decided on asking the other versions of himself and see what they would think, "Should kill these men? Killing them now would give you some time to lay low and keep your head down."
The third Naruto sighed and looked away in thought. The one in his twenties crossed his arms and backed out of this discussion. This has nothing to do with him so he will allow the third Naruto to decide their fate.
"Kill them." it was a no brainer for the third Naruto. If they were allowed to live then it would only be a matter of time before they find him again. If they were to die here, then, it would still be a matter of time before he is found again but at least he would have more than enough time to vanish. Or find a way home.
Nodding Naruto, the first one, took out his Colt. Python and shot each man point blank in the head. The loud gun shots surprised the third as he was not expecting such a noise to come from such an object. Once the men were taken care of the first Naruto put the Python back in its holster.
The men taken care of the three Naruto's walked out of the room. The first Naruto took point as he had already explored parts of the interior and has the most knowledge of the place. However the three of them got distracted when the third Naruto discovered a room. A rather mediocre looking office.
As they walked in they found it had a desk, and quite a few bookshelves with books. On on the desk itself were papers in an uneven stack. Walking over Naruto 3.0 picked up one piece of paper and frowned when he was unable to make out what it said.
"I can't read this." he said as he looked at his other counterparts.
The first Naruto walked over and took the paper from the third version of himself and looked it over. He frowned as well; he was unable to make out what most of it said but he knew what language it was. English. If only Dempsey were here.
When second Naruto walked over he peered over the shoulder of the first Naruto. "Huh. It looks like an AAR. Lemme see that." without waiting for a response he took the paper and read it.
Never having heard of the term before, the third Naruto looked at the first and asked, "What's an 'AAR'?"
"It's a shorter way to say 'After Action Report'. I'm not a solider, or a general, so I don't know what it entails exactly." he explained to his alternate self as best as he could.
"So that's how it is?" both Naruto's looked at the zombie and found him frowning with distaste. Whatever he read on that sheet of paper it made him feel immense dislike for the people in charge.
"What is it?" the first Naruto asked.
Putting the paper back down the second Naruto sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. He then looked at the Naruto of this dimension, "Looks like you were sold to these people. By your own parents."
However instead of denial or disbelief like they were expecting they were surprised when the third Naruto just...shrugged it off. As if it wasn't anything new. Like it didn't matter.
Naruto 1.0 and 2.0 stared as the third walked over to the doorway. "You're...not surprised? At all?" 1.0 asked, he was a little put off that his third counterpart wasn't going into denial or anything of the sort.
"Not really, no." Naruto 3.0 casually replied as the other two followed him out of the room. The other Naruto's shared a look and came to a silent agreement to not pressure him for more answers. They had a feeling he wouldn't take it too well. And besides it's not as if it would affect them in any way, this wasn't their dimension after all.
"So the me with the glowing eyes is the extreme case of being exposed to Divinium? What about you?" the third Naruto asked, going back to their previous topic because he hadn't learned of the lesser case of being exposed to Element 115 yet.
Naruto sighed. "I lost my memory. After that, from what I've been told my personality had been changed. I'm more...intolerant...towards people I dislike." intolerant to the degree he murdered someone just minutes after meeting him in cold blood. And he once shot a homeless person after he mistook him for a zombie.
"Well on the positive side I got healthier. Stronger and faster. On the negative side, I lost my memory and became a different person. Even worse, I could have died."
"Divinium can kill you?"
"Of course." hearing 2.0 confirm the words of the first had made the third look at him, worried and fearful. "You think I got like this alive? No. I'm a zombie. A living dead. I don't have the need to eat human flesh though. So there's a plus to that." he added as an afterthought.
"Not to mention you're pretty hard to kill." 1.0 pointedly said.
"I know. But back to the point. Both our bloods are in that vial in your hand. If you were to ingest it, then there are many side effects that can happen. Ranging from minor to extreme." he paused to let his words sink in before continuing. "Before you woke up the two of us were discussing some possibilities."
"What were they?" the third Naruto questioned.
"You could have my power with his memories. Or you could have my memories and experience with his personality." Naruto 2.0 pointed at himself and 1.0 respectively. "The possibilities are limitless. All of them are equally as good and bad."
As he took in those words Naruto 3.0 looked at the vial in his possession. He clenched it tightly, his lips thinning; after a quiet moment of debating to himself he decided to keep it and attached the blood vial to his trousers. Good or bad it'll be something that will bail him out of a very difficult situation.
Seeing the third counter part link the vial to his person from over his shoulder Naruto 2.0 nodded in approval and looked ahead of him and followed the one leading them out of the facility. An hour later the trio made it out. They could see a lot of rocky hills and barely any vegetation and flora around them. Shielding his eyes from the light the third Naruto took a few steps out in the open and stared directly ahead of him.
The other two made their way over until they were standing beside him and took in the sights too. They were on a hill as well and the facility they just came out of is built on the top of it. Like a castle on top of a plateau.
"What are you going to do now?" questioned the first Naruto.
"...Whoever these people are, they're going to be after me. I'm going to keep my head down and move from place to place."
The zombified Naruto nodded in approval. Never staying in one place for too long. And not bringing attention to himself. If he plays this smart he can keep himself hidden for years. And with the Bone Bow and long sword he secretly gave to him, the third Naruto would be able to defend himself from almost any opponents.
"What about you two?" he asked his dimensional counterparts.
"We did what we came here to do. So we are going to go back to where we came from." Naruto 2.0 answered.
"Okay." 3.0 said much to the surprise of the other two. The two shared a look; they were expecting him to ask them questions, not to just accept it willy nilly no questions asked,
"Really? Just like that? No questions asked?" the first Naruto questioned his tone matching his facial expression.
The third Naruto glanced at the first from the corner of his eye, then he looked down as he chuckled before looking out in the distance once more. "Sometimes it's best to not ask questions." he replied with a tilted head, and both Naruto's saw the wisdom in that. Asking questions lead to several possible outcomes. One leading to more trouble than it was worth, the other leading to more questions, and the third leading to more trouble than it's worth, fourth leading to nothing and so on.
As the third Naruto put it, it's often better to not ask questions that don't need asking. It's too much of a hassle. The other Naruto's nodded in acceptance to their third counterpart's decision and looked out in the distance for several seconds before they left the final person by himself.
Naruto 3.0 quickly looked to his right when he heard a loud 'SNAP' sound out and he went wide eyed in disbelief at what he saw. It was, an anomaly of some sort, to him it looked like a hole had literally been torn open in the atmosphere. The other Naruto's gave him one last look from over their shoulder, the zombified Naruto gave him a two fingered salute before both he and the first stepped through.
The hole closed behind them leaving Naruto by himself. He didn't know how long he had been standing in the same spot for but to him it felt like hours. Shaking his head the blonde inhaled and exhaled before getting himself as far away from this place as possible.
He never noticed a red scarf hanging from the entry way to the facility, following the wind as he walked away. It certainly wasn't there when the three Naruto's walked out of it...