Project Akatsuki 03-

"The Out-of-Character Original Character"

by SuperGrouper

The others knew that something was wrong when they heard the explosion. Certainly, they were used to explosions- but not indoors, and not so late at night. The Akatsuki immediately thought of what this had previously meant- a few nights ago, Deidara had used his power to bring clay to life to create a date. The girl, a miko named Kikyou, had gone on a bloody rampage before being destroyed... several times. "Gotta watch those vengeful, undead miko..." Kakuzu thought to himself as he ran to the kitchen. The others arrived at almost the same time that he did, and from the looks of fear in their eyes as they warily gazes at the closed kitchen door, they all shared the older man's apprehension. Itachi, braver (or dumber) than the the others, kicked down the kitchen door and ran in. The others followed him, squeezing through the door in order to get a look at what was happening. They all gazed in horror at the scene before them. Deidara had, indeed, made another clay-woman- but no one recognized this one. While Kikyou was a canon character from the Takahashi series Inuyasha, this girl didn't look like anyone they had ever seen before, in any anime or manga series. At once, it occurred to them who she was...

"SHE'S AN OC!! AN ORIGINAL CHARACTER!!!" Kisame screamed in a voice much higher than one would expect him capable of. His visage was contorted in horror as he stepped back a few feet, away from the kimono-clad woman sitting on the pizza pan. Kisame glanced over at Deidara- the blond was pressed against the wall, hyperventilating and in a cold sweat. Apparently, Deidara knew what Original Characters were capable of. He must have internet access, Kisame thought. Deidara looked paler than anyone had ever seen him. Even though his back was against the wall opposing the girl, it seemed as if he was still trying to back away from her, repeatedly backing up against the wall in a vain attempt to increase the distance between them.

"...Deidara, what is the meaning of this?" Pein asked in an extremely irritated voice. "Have you brought an OC into our base?"

"...N... nnooo, Leader-sama..." Deidara whimpered quietly. "I... I didn't mean to... I didn't know that it would be an OC, Leader-sama... I didn't know!" Deidara said, crumpling up into a fetal position and beginning to sob. Pein made a mental note to limit the boy's internet time. While he was at it, he would create a firewall to block deviantART and from being accessed on Akatsuki computers. His men shouldn't have to be stricken with this much horror at the mere appearance of an OC...

"...'O C?'" Itachi asked. "I know of these creatures... They are fan-made characters who are often made by perverse teenage girls... Such characters often try to defile us in strange and unrealistic ways... This does not bode well. I wonder which of us, perhaps even more than one, she will try to assault and doom to a life of out-of-character love-servitude?"

Sasori stood silent for a while, before mentioning that he, at least, was in no danger of losing his integrity, since his body was artificial. He appeared to be utterly unconcerned about the others' fates.

"Well, let's just get this over with," Zetsu said with a noticeable sigh. "So, woman, who are you and which of us do you like? Or, are you a fan of one of our enemies who is miraculously stronger than us and has come to kill us all, even though you have no experience or skills in battle? Are you just here to annoy us?"

"...my tale is a tragic one," the girl began. "I'm an OC who is no longer wanted, who has been abandoned to suffering because of my great transgression. When my creator was designing me, she scanned a drawing into her computer and started vectoring it in PhotoShop after discovering LemonTea's Vector Tutorial. However, after the vector contained more than 32 layer-groups, some of which had more than 12 sub-layers within them, my maker's computer couldn't keep up with the power required for creating me... and... in my crash, I utterly destroyed her only copy of PhotoShop. Not only that, but Corel Painter was also destroyed in the crash... in the end, she had to format her C:/ drive and do a clean reinstall of her OS... And it gets worse," the girl continued. "The copies of Corel Painter and PhotoShop my designer used were installed by a friend of hers, who didn't give her copies of the installers- and the friend afterwards lost the PhotoShop CD!!" The girl in the kimono collapsed to her knees, suppressing a sob. "As punishment for destroying PhotoShop, I am BANISHED! Banished to this fanfic, so shortly after my birth! I could have been great- I could have been part of her manga series someday! But, instead, I am here..."

"Wow. You really are evil," Deidara muttered, looking up for a minute. "You destroyed PhotoShop and forced a clean format and reinstall of the OS? No wonder your creator banished you to this fanfic."

"...so... I guess that I probably don't have to worry... but do you have a crush on any of the guys here?" Konan asked. "And also, what is your name? Did you get one before you crashed PhotoShop and were banished here?"

"...my file name was 'PalomaConceptArt.psd,' so I think that my name must be 'Paloma.' My kimono have a bird theme, and 'Paloma' means 'white dove,' so it makes sense... And what on earth are you talking about- do I have a crush on anyone here? You're all freaks! I want to go back to my host computer... but my original file can't be completed, since PhotoShop is gone and The GIMP only has limited vector support... And I don't think that InkScape would import me... Therefore, I am doomed to wander through this fanfic series restlessly until I am completed," Paloma said, her face taking on a terrifying expression. The Akatsuki had heard of restless spirits haunting places- but a restless graphics file haunting a fanfic series? It had never been done before...

"Well, since Deidara summoned you here, I suppose that he'll have to take care of you..." Pein said groggily. "Just don't do anything crazy."

"...why are you assigning a crazed pyromaniac to 'take care of' me?!" Paloma yelled in anger. "If this is like real life would be, he'll get annoyed with me and kill me... If this is like a badly-written fanfic, then his personality will be warped into something unrecognizable and we'll have some sort of warm, fuzzy, loving relationship... Which is arguably worse than getting blown up! If I have to stay here, at least assign me someone sane to stay with! ...and if you think that under any circumstances I'm sharing a room with him, you've got another thing coming!"

"Actually, we don't have guest rooms, now that I think about it..." Konan mused. "So, actually..."

"...I see. I'll have to kill the blond guy and steal his room. I understand." Paloma chirped.

"WAIT! PLEASE DON'T!" Deidara shrieked. "If you're an OC, then you must have all sorts of incredible powers that no one else in the series has! Wait for me to train and get stronger and then... Hey- what's wrong?"

Paloma had begun to cry in angry exasperation once again.

"My maker was going to give me some superpowers, but by the time of the program crash, she had only decided on one of them..." she muttered in an annoyed tone.

"Oh, you have power?" Pein said, waking up a bit more. "What sort of power do you have, girl?"

"...my power... my power is to... to..."

"WELL, TO DO WHAT?!" Hidan asked. "You crazy ! You guys wake me up in the middle of the night and now you're talking like that annoying Hyuuga girl!"

"Well, my power is embarrassing and almost always useless..." Paloma said. "My power... is to talk to birds."

Upon hearing this, everyone burst out laughing raucously.

"I can't believe it," Itachi said blankly. "There's actually someone with a power more useless than Ino's..."

"So, do you guys have anything to eat?" Paloma asked.

"...shouldn't you be glomping us or something?" Deidara asked warily. "You're not just trying to lull us into a false sense of security, are you?" he asked, furrowing a brow.

"You say that as if any sane human being would glomp a ninjutsu-trained terrorist..." Paloma replied, losing a bit of her appetite at the mention of such a notion. "Are there really people who want to touch you? I mean, if we were friends, I might conceivably pat you on the shoulder occasionally... but we've just met, you're a ninjutsu-using, pyromaniac, terrorist S-class criminal who probably has gender-identity issues and possible horrible blood diseases... and you think that I'm going to run up and jumping-hug you? Is everyone in this world insane?"

"I still don't trust you..." Deidara said, bracing to defend himself if necessary.

"Ummm... we just met. Do you normally trust someone right after you meet them? You're the worst ninja ever..." Paloma said, turning to look through the refrigerator, which was located to the right of the oven. "Ah! There's a hamburger in here!" She said, happily lifting it up.

"That's one of Zetsu-san's 'special' home-made burgers!" Tobi said cheerfully.

Paloma paled and dropped the questionable burger to the floor in shock. Surely, even crashed a computer wasn't worthy of the punishment of having to live with these people... but at this point, she had no other choice... At least she knew that her maker wasn't a pervert... At least she wouldn't get written into perverted fanfics involving multiple other parties... And at least she wasn't in a One Piece fanfic...

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I'm sure that you've realized by now that Paloma's designer, whom she mentions, is me. The story about her design file crashing all of my graphics programs and my having to (eventually) format my hard drive is true- even SuperWombat always refers to her as "the one who destroyed PhotoShop." Thank God, I store almost all of my files on an external HD (which I regularly back up to 2 others, which contain identical files, using the Windows SyncToy,) so it was easy enough to do.

I eventually did some other drafts of Paloma's design (using watercolor paints and The GIMP.) If you want to see her, view these urls: