AN- this is my first attempt at a Rurouni Kenshin, and I hope you enjoy reading this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please leave reviews and tell me if I should continue or simply take this off of fanfic. This disclaimer applies to ALL chapters of this story: I don't own anything that Nobuhiro Watsuki thought up and published.

Warning, this fic is set slightly in the future, you'll see what I mean.

CHAPTER ONE:

Tokyo, 2016 AD. It was a time of chaos, anarchy, and death. The terrorist Shishio Makoto had unleashed a horrible virus upon the world as a form of revenge against the government for failing its attempt to bring the death penalty that the madman so rightfully deserved. The death by burning did not kill the man, and instead left him horribly scarred and bitter.

Therefore Shishio gathered his Juppongatana, the league of assassins that he had formed during his early days as a criminal. He used all his resources, and eventually managed to create what he aptly called the "Darwin Virus." It was named as such because if you were 'strong' enough, you would survive the disease. And Shishio had somehow managed to engineer the virus so that the disease made the victim feel the flames that he felt burning within his body every single day.

People died in the thousands. Governments were destroyed, nations were crippled. There was no law and order. It was viewed almost as if it were Armageddon, so people decided that they should do whatever they wanted in the final days of their lives. Nationwide riots happened all over the world. But eventually it was discovered that infants were immune to the Darwin Virus. The survivors were encouraged to have as many children as possible so that the next generation might still be strong.

Still, what was left of the governments in most of the world powers became isolationist. Now there was only the knowledge of the here and now. No one cared what was happening in different countries, they were concerned only about themselves.

And still things worsened. Plague, famine, and war was prevalent. Cities learned to become independent, and each needed to guard what crops they had against other cities and marauders. It was a horrible time to live. Sometimes if you were lucky, you might be able to have one small meal a day. Otherwise you went without.

It was this world that Shishio took over. He chose Japan as his base of power, and it was undoubtedly even worse after he took control then before. He left everything the way it was, only he made sure to 'conscript' the children being born so that they might become the world's best warriors, so that he could force a new Imperial Japan to become the ruler of the world, all under his control.

It was not long before he launched his attack. China fell, that country which seemed to be hit the hardest by the virus. Then Korea, and then a huge portion of Russia. Most of South Asia.

But there were some who resisted this horrible conquest. The Middle East ended their internal struggles, and joined forces under one flag. The new United Muslim Alliance strengthened their borders. If Shishio was truly intent on ruling the world within only a few years, then he could have taken them.

But Shishio new better than to waste most of his soldiers taking over only that small little section of the world. And the Europeans also joined together as the European States of Freedom. And the US refused to let their pride dwindle. They had managed to counter the Darwin Virus well enough that they were still a powerful nation. They sent ambassadors to Canada, Mexico, and all the other little countries that made up North America, including Cuba. Soon the UCNA was formed, the United Countries of North America. They were undoubtedly the strongest of Shishio's enemies, but he was more intent on conquering Asia and Australia, and then Europe, and then Africa. Then he could gather forces to take on the UCNA.

But there were also resistance forces within Japan itself, and though they had kept their heads low, finally they were gaining enough strength to overthrow Shishio. This is the story of one such resistance member: the feared Hitokiri Battôsai…

BLOOD AND FIRE

The rain fell steadily, drowning out both sound and sight. The sun had set some four hours ago, and within the city itself, there was no movement. But outside of the once mighty Tokyo, well that's a different story all together. A group of dark clothed men approached a dojo stealthily. Not one of them, however, noticed the figure that moved behind them.

The figure was naught more than a silhouette that flitted from shadow to shadow. Even when looking at the figure, it was hard to believe that it actually existed, that it wasn't some optical illusion caused by the rain.

The group of men stopped in front of the dojo's gate, and the two men leading the mob pounded on the door. One was tall, whilst the other was short. The shadow drew close enough to hear the men talking.

"Are you sure that this is alright, Kihei?" the large one asked.

"Of course it is little brother! Lord Shishio said that there was no problem in our…'claiming' of this land. And then we can sell this crappy dojo for enough to go to someplace nice, like New Zealand, or Hawaii." When the dojo remained silent, Kihei sighed. "Gohei, the door, if you would."

The larger man grinned as he stomped up to the door. As he pulled out his large 10 gauge shotgun, he answered. "Oh, I would alright!" With a thundering boom, he kicked the gate down.

He entered, followed by most of his men. Kihei pointed to two of the men. "Stay outside, and guard the door. Let none escape alive."

"Yes, Hiruma," they murmured simultaneously. As Kihei strode into the dojo, the two guards took up their positions flanking the broken gate. Soon the roaring blast of a shotgun was heard. More gunfire followed its wake, their sporadic chatter cracking into the night.

"Man, I wish we could get in on some of the fun. Instead we are stuck here, making sure nothing gets out!" one whined.

"Yeah," the other answered.

"But it is not the inside that you should be worried about," a new voice said, its icy tone seemingly coming from nowhere. "It is the outside!"

The two thugs didn't even get the chance to react. There was a flash of perfect steel, and then they were both on the ground, dead. The shadow stepped over them and the blood that was coloring the puddles red so that he, for it was undoubtedly a he, could enter the dojo.

The man instantly got close to the shadowy wall. He was completely clothed in black, and could seemingly become invisible. He flicked the blade out, the blood flying from the flawless katana and red droplets. He had done it that t almost seemed like he was bored, despite the fact that he had just kill two men.

He calmly sheathed the sword, and unslung a rifle, a Colt M4 Carbine to be exact. His black gloved hands played over the action of the rifle as he switched the safety so he could fire. Methodically pulling back the bolt and letting it snap forward again, he made sure that the silencer fitted onto the barrel was still attached correctly. He pushed a button on a device that was attached to the side of the rifle, and an ultraviolet laser sight turned on. He aimed the rifle, and gave a small grunt as he evidently saw the little dot of light through his night vision goggles. He casually scratched the left side of his face, which was covered in a black full faced hood.

He ejected the magazine that was still in the rifle, and pulled another full magazine out of pouch on his tactical vest, placing the half empty mag into the now vacant pouch.

It was then that he stepped forward from the shadows, rifle already braced against his shoulder. There was a loud clatter to his left, and the rifle swung around to point at a handful of men coming out of what was probably a storage house. "Man, there's nothing of value in ther-" one of the men started, only to be interrupted by the form of a 5.56mm bullet connecting with his forehead.

The shadow easily took down the four other men before he turned his attention towards the main house. He quickly and quietly moved towards the broken door that led into the interior.

Immediately the man noticed the smell of fire, and the hallway was starting to fill with smoke. He moved even more quickly down the hallway, pausing at the first doorway he came to. He looked inside, but then almost immediately looked away. There were two bodies in their, probably the master of this dojo and his wife. They had been mutilated because they had been shot so many times. He started moving again, only to notice that the fire was coming from the kitchen that was at the end of the hallway. It was rapidly spreading, as well.

Then he heard the sounds of a fight. He ran to the source, his feet making no noise. He stopped at the shoji through which the sounds came from. This room was the dojo main practicing hall. A young girl was desperately fighting Hiruma Gohei with a bokuto. She stood over a wounded and unconscious boy with unruly black hair.

He scanned the room, and noted Kihei in the corner by a chest, holding what appeared to be a deed to the dojo and its lands. But there were also twenty or so of the thugs in the room. The man sighed as he gently placed his rifle upon the ground and drew his katana.

"I do not like someone fighting an innocent girl for their own sick pleasure," he said calmly, and everyone in the room jumped with shock. "If you wish for a sword fight, then challenge me."

Kihei didn't even pause. "Kill him!" he said without any pity, nor concern. Twenty guns were instantly trained upon the man. They fired, and the girl screamed.

But the man had simply flickered out of view before the first shot had been fired. "Guns won't work against me, and you are now dead." There seemed to be a streak of darkness that rushed past the men and the bright flash of a sword being swung. Red was suddenly everywhere, on the floor, on the walls, on the ceiling, and on the katana of the man. "Not even worth my time," he murmured quietly.

Gohei turned away from the girl and towards the man as he drew a sword out of what had previously been mistaken as a bokuto. "And now you die!" he roared as he charged. His arms upraised, he prepared to strike down what was actually a surprisingly short man. But then Gohei stopped as he noticed the blade that had been slammed deep into his side.

"You just…don't learn, do you?" the man asked. "Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu style. Battojutsu." And then he slammed his other hand against the back of the blade, shearing through Gohei's chest. As the body hit the floor, the man pointed his sword at Kihei. "And now there is one left."

In the flash of an eye, Kihei had taken out a pistol and fired. Again the girl screamed as the man stumbled back as the round hit him. But then he stopped, and straightened. He held his sword out before him, where a bullet could be seen lodged into the tsuba of his katana. "How many times do I have to tell you, guns don't work against me!"

He burst forward, and Kihei fired one last time. The bullet flew through the man's head as he faded. He had twisted to the side to avoid the bullet, and was now within sword range of Kihei. His right leg snapped out and slammed against the ground, bracing the swordsman.

His sword seemed to fly out of his sheath as it whipped through the air. Its keen edge snapped through Kihei's neck like it didn't exist, and the headless body slumped to the floor. The head hit the floor with a loud and heavy wet thump. "Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu, Ryukansen."

He turned towards the girl, whose face was deathly pale. "H-Hitokiri B-Battôsai!" she almost squeaked.

AN- translation: a tsuba is the hand guard on a katana.