A girl was laid flat on the wooden floor of a hut. Her body stripped to all but the most basic of coverings. Odd symbols painted on nearly every inch of her exposed skin. Her neck, wrists, and legs were tied down so she could not move. She could only stare upward at the old man who circled around her. Pacing with ritual exactness a circle painted of the floor. A circle the girl was in the center of. He was chanting, scattering strange, glittering dust over the girl as he walked around her.

The girl was scared. She didn't remember how she'd wound up here. She had been in a forest with friends, things went black, and she had woken up here. The only thing she knew was something was in her head. A voice, a voice that sounded like an old man. The old man.

Don't resist. It'll be much easier for you.

I must! I can't let you do what you're trying to do.

Do you even know what I'm trying to do?

Something to my mind… Something to change me.

Heh heh heh. Good. You're sharp. I knew I'd made a good choice. She will be most pleased with you.

She? She who?!

That will not be your concern, dear girl. You'll be able to leave that to another.


The girl didn't get to dwell on that odd remark, for the old man had stopped pacing. He brought his hands to the middle of his torso and began making signs with them at such a rapid pace the girl had trouble keeping track of them.

The man kneeled down before the girl, placed his hand on her forehead, and finished a final line of his chant. The girl's head suddenly began searing with pain. The last thing she remembered seeing was a bright light in front her. Then everything went black.

The old man looked down at the child as he rose to his feet. She was a girl no more than fourteen. Her unconscious body had become limp with the final portion of his spell. The runes and symbols painted throughout her body began sliding across her skin, focusing and combining on her forehead, coalescing into a small sign resembling a tree in the forest.

He made a gesture and two men, unseen by the child's eyes, cut loose her bonds. However, they did not move her. In minutes, the girl began to awaken. She looked at her surroundings, her face radiating confusion.

"Where… What… Who…?" She asked in her bewilderment. The old man kneeled before her.

"Hello, child."

"W-who are you?" she asked.

"I am the chieftain of the Nimmori tribe. And you, my dear…"

He brought his wrinkled hand to her cheek as looked the girl right into her pupil-less white eyes.

"You are Kashghyu N'Ga, 'She of the Ghostly Eyes,' the Chosen One of our people!"

Far from the birthplace of "She of the Ghostly Eyes," another day was passing in the village of Konohagakure. The end of a training session for Genin Cell Number Seven, consisting of Haruno Sakura, Uzumaki Naruto, and Uchiha Sasuke. Their teacher, Hatake Kakashi had just dismissed them, but as he was turning to leave, Naruto found himself being called back by Kakashi.

Naruto went to his teacher, to see he wasn't alone. He was standing next to a woman. Naruto recognized her as Yuhi Kurenai, a Jônin and Cell instructor like Kakashi. She was in charge of Cell Eight; Aburame Shino, Inuzuka Kiba, and Hyuga Hinata.

"Naruto." said Kakashi, his voice, as always, seemingly unaffected by the mask he wore over his face twenty-four seven, "I have some good news for you."

"Oh?" Naruto asked, curious and excited.

"You're going on a mission."

"We are?!" Naruto asked.

"No, you are."


"I'll let Kurenai-sensei explain everything to you." said Kakashi has he vanished in a puff of smoke. Kurenai looked Naruto right in the eyes.

"With your permission, Naruto," she began, "you're going to be loaned out to my team for a brief time."

"What? What're you talking about?"

"Something has come up." Kurenai explained, "And we think Cell 8 will need your assistance. It's already been approved by Hokage-sama, though I wished to ask for your consent before dragging you along."

"Well, of course!" Naruto said, his cockiness beginning to overcome his surprise, "What major task do you need my great skill for?!"

"Since you're so eager, I'll get straight to the point. Hinata has gone missing. You've just been recruited to help us find her."

Naruto's excitement died the instant his brain processed what he'd just been told.