AN: Your Friendly Neighborhood Xenocide here, True Believers. For those of you reading this, know that the only thing I did was organize these oneshots into some sort of order, write a useless omake, and maybe do a little grammar editing. This fic was created by the Hivemind (i.e, the group of authors) over at The Fanfiction Forum and damn if they didn't do a good job. You can find the link to TFF in Hawk's profile.
AJT's Notes: This developed as yet another one of my random ideas on TFF, but evolved into a kind of fanfiction anthology as writer after writer in TFF added snippets to this, turning it from a 'huh?' inducing idea into a whole, actual fanfiction universe. Contributors include myself, TheXenocide, Akuma-sama, Ryo-Wolf, andaandyckas, Finbar and Antimatter. Check it out, comment, and feel free to take this idea and write your own stories based on what we call the Air!Naruto Universe. Just be sure to let us know about it so we can see.
Without further ado, I am proud to present…
An Andrew Joshua Talon/TFF Production
Edited by: TheXenocide
Summary: He observed the hawk in flight. He watched as the wind danced across the moors. He saw the leaf float upon the currents. And then, he got an idea. A horrible, frightening, disturbing, and utterly evil idea. "What if I could fly?" A collection of oneshots.
Disclaimer: The Hivemind nor AJT nor myself owns Naruto. If we did, it sure as hell wouldn't be the piece of crap it is.
AN: Note, this is my own addition to everything else. It didn't fit into the technology theme that AJT wanted, so I'm classifying it as a useless omake. Enjoy.
War Games By The Xenocide
They droned noisily against the backdrop of a clear sky and burning sun.
Their wings fanned out almost in the shape of a capital A, and their cockpits, the first enclosed cockpit design of the Elemental Nations it might be mentioned, tapered off to a violent, wicked point.
It was an extremely awkward looking design, but those who flew in the hotseat knew better than to place their faith on looks alone. Still, the flyboys couldn't help but poke fun at their harbringers of death and so named them Needlers, the experimental but promising fighter that used a stored source of chakra as a propulsion system, instead of a propeller system, as most countries now did.
The Kazekage of Suna was not so shortsighted as others perceived him to be, and had immediately began collaborating with Konoha to create a sleeker, more efficient fighter plane in order to keep ahead of the booming war machine of Iwa and Kumo.
The result was the secret, incredibly expensive, and first of its kind Fūjin Mk I.
"All wings, report in!" The Kazekage's harp command rang out over the air waves, and confirmations started pouring in from all ten squadrons in the azure expanse.
"This is Dune Leader, standing by!"
"Dune Four, standing by!"
"Dune Eight, standing by!"
"Tsubame Leader, no problems." He recognized that voice as the one belonging to the Kazekage's sister. She was a feisty one, and the slight excitement in her tone belied her cool reply.
"Tsubame Seven, ready!"
"Oni Leader, standing by." Kankorou's easy voice filtered over the radio, cool and collected. He wouldn't have been able to tell just a few scant hours earlier that his captain had been slightly pale and sweating profusely, as he did before every campaign.
He felt an immense amount of pride to be the first generation of Oni Squadron, handpicked by the Puppet Master himself alongside others fresh from the newly established Air Force Academy.
The rest of his squad reported in, until it at last came to him.
"Oni Five, standing by!" He couldn't help but let a sliver of nerves lace into his words, and that evil woman from Tsubame Squadron picked up on it easily.
"Awwwwwww, what's the matter, Oni Five? Rather be down there with your mommy than up here with us?"
"Fuck you, T-7!"
A feminine giggle sounded, and he had to smile fondly at his best friend's instant attempt to soothe his nerves. He'd make it up to her with a few rounds when they got back.
"Cut the chatter, Oni Five! From here on in, maintain radio silence. Don't break from cover until I give the signal, got it?"
Itsuki whispered a quiet affirmative into his headset, confirming the order. A short burst of static shrieked in his ear as the squad leader cut off his radio, and Itsuki did the same.
They were the point guard, designed to soften up the enemy and wipe out any aerial resistance so the Nomad could come in and proceed with the systematic bombardment of Kumo's developing airfields.
He took the moment of silence to lean back against his still leather headrest and sigh loudly. The first day, of the first campaign of the war, and it had to be on such a beautiful day. The azure sky was so deep, that if he looked just right out of the top of his cockpit, it felt as if he would fall of the very face of the earth itself. And down below, there was a thick carpet of clouds that looked so soft that you could drown in them.
He closed his eyes and smiled.
This is how life should be.
Your wingmen at your side, the skies open and blue.
A few moments of peace passed by, until—
"This is it, boys! Accelerate to attack speed and prepare to engage fighters!" Kankorou's voice was pitched with excitement, and Itsuki couldn't blame him. The sky sang in his veins and called him to war. "Drop beneath cloud cover at point 067 on my mark."
Fingers tensed around the stick.
Instantly, all five squads dipped beneath the clouds, only to be met with empty skies, instead of the thick patrols they were promised.
"Nomad, this is Oni Leader. I have no joy, repeat, NO JOY."
"Who the fuck screwed up in Intelligence?" Dune Three growled irritably.
"The same one that screwed your granny, ace!" There was T-7 again, shooting her mouth off again. God, Itsuki wished she had some respect protocol.
"Oni Leader, this is Nomad. Can you confirm No Joy status on target?" Gaara's voice was still cool, but Kankorou could detect the slight anxiety that marred his professional veneer.
"Sorry, Nomad. Airfield's as clean as a whistle, and not one damn tango in sight."
A pause. A burst of static.
"I don't like this. All Squad leaders, pull out immediately. This is an official abort."
Temari's voice echoed dryly as she formed up her squad. "Gaara's going to be pissed, Oni Leader. Care to lead the debriefing when we get back?"
Kankorou snorted indelicately. "Not on your life, sis. He might not be into killing people left and right these days, but I prefer to keep my limbs intact. 'Sides, I debriefed last time."
Ari's voice crackled with annoyance. "You've got to be kidding me! Oni Five and I have been gunning for this mission forever and now you're telling me we gotta—"
A screaming trail of death blew into Ari's Needler, and it exploded in a beautifully blooming flower of metallic death.
A few more of his comrades died in a fiery conflagration, but Itskui could only stare at the spot where Marauder Seven had previously occupied, the explosion burning into his retinas.
"SHIT!! Bail out, guys, bail the fuck out!"
The Needlers hastily rolled, dove, and climbed out of formation, trying to evade the sudden barrage of firepower from the ground. Dark spots on the airfield revealed the fruit's of Kumo's labors. They may not have had the largest or the most powerful air force in the nations, but their artillery and the newly dubbed 'anti-aircraft' devices were second to none.
But Itskui could not care less about Kumo, Suna, or even the fighting right now. He could only stare.
And then, a shriek from below caught his attention.
It looked to be no longer than three feet, and was propelled by the same supposedly top secret chakra propulsion system that the Needlers now carried. The tip of the device glinted, and he absently surmised that the tip no doubt carried a double roll of explosive tags.
He could almost hear the soft clink! of metal impacting metal, and then there was nothing but blue for miles around.
More to come, True Believers. Next chapter is the beginning of the good stuff. Learn To Fly by Ryo-Wolf