Pairing: Various. Whatever I feel like.
Summary: AU. SasuSaku. In a world where those caught out after Curfew are slaughtered, where Communism, fear and death are ways of life, and where the Akatsuki might as well be gods, Uchiha Sasuke discovers a group of people who still know what freedom means.
Disclaimer: Naruto © Masashi Kishimoto. Plot © me. The italised lyrics beneath the chapter title © The Last Firstborn — Celldweller.
Chapter Six: Memories
I hear the din of the screams, sorrow in streams, the smell of farewell and the gasoline
"Uchiha Sasuke. You're up next."
Sasuke stood up from his seat as he saw Sakura walk out of the door. She waved and smiled tiredly at him.
"Don't worry. You'll be fine," she assured him. "Morino-senpai just really tires people out."
Sasuke nodded his head in acknowledgement, before walking past her and into the door. The room was bare, save for a desk with two chairs on either side. Two of them were taken up.
"Take a seat," Tsunade said, gesturing to a chair opposite her.
Sasuke sat down, and noticed a camera in the top corner of the room. They're recording this.
"You're the last person to be interrogated, Uchiha."
"So, shall we start? This is Morino Ibiki," Tsunade said, introducing the man sitting next to her.
The door opened and shut again.
"Sorry I'm late, Tsunade-sama."
"And you already know Yamanaka Ino."
Sasuke turned around to see the blonde who had just come into the room out of breath and leaning against the wall behind him, panting. She gave him a small smile before he turned back to Tsunade and Ibiki.
"First off we need some background information from you," Ibiki said. "Standard procedure. Just to know you are really who you say you are. I'm going to ask you a series of questions now, all of which I want you to answer truthfully. Got it?"
Sasuke nodded again, waiting for them to bring out a lie detector or some other form of equipment. They didn't.
Ibiki stared at him intently.
"Date of birth?"
"Name of your father and mother?"
"Uchiha Fugaku and Uchiha Mikoto."
"Name and age of any siblings?"
"Uchiha Itachi. Elder brother. Twenty three."
"Location before entering Konoha?"
"The Akatsuki Detainment Unit, North District."
"Where are the rest of your family now?"
"Deceased. All of them," Sasuke added without any hesitation.
Ibiki paused before continuing. "How did you escape?"
"Chance. My brother had left the Unit on Akatsuki business and had taken his subordinates with him. A bunch of rookies supervised us. The one standing outside my cell had only started his job the day before. It wasn't that hard."
"Were there any other people with you when you escaped?"
"Three others. Some people named Suigetsu, Karin and Juugo."
"Where are they now?"
"I don't know. They were heading towards Otogakure, I think."
Ibiki looked at Tsunade.
"I think that's all the basics covered. Have you got all that down, Tsunade-sama?"
"Almost… done." Tsunade replied.
"Wait, aren't you going to ask me about the stolen documents?" Sasuke asked, confused.
"No," Tsunade said, setting down her pen. "We're pretty sure you didn't do it, and no we shall not tell you why we think so. But just because you might not have committed that crime, it doesn't mean you might not commit more in future."
"So now comes the hard bit. Uchiha, get up, turn your chair around so it faces Yamanaka and sit down again," Ibiki ordered.
Ino straightened herself up and walked away from the wall as Sasuke did as Ibiki ordered.
"So um, just relax, okay?" Ino said. "You'll feel a bit drained after, but it won't hurt, I promise."
Sasuke nodded. Ino stretched out her hands in front of her and formed a triangular shape with her thumbs and index fingers.
"Shintenshin no Jutsu!"
Sasuke saw Ino's body collapse to the floor and then… nothing.
Sasuke lifted his head up and turned around.
"Good. You're in. Now, hurry up and get the information we need. I don't know whether he'll be able to break out of it or not, but this will be the only opportunity we have, so don't waste it."
"I understand, Tsunade-sama."
"Aniki! Can you play with me today?"
"Not now, Sasuke. I have a lot of homework to do. Maybe some other time."
"Ne, Okaa-san, is Aniki all right?"
"Of course he is, Sasuke-chan. He just has a lot of work to do right now, and he has to concentrate on his studies. Your brother will be the youngest person in the country to go to university, so he has to work very hard."
Where was he?
"Otou-san! Okaa-san! Aniki! I just got my report card; I'm ranked first in the… class… Otou-san? Okaa-san? Aniki? Aniki! What's happening, where are Otou-san and Okaa-san? Where are we, what's happening? Aniki, where are you going? Aniki!"
Sasuke whirled around to find Ino standing behind him.
"What the hell is this?" he demanded.
She shrugged sheepishly.
"I can enter people's bodies. Control their actions. All that jazz," she said, smiling apologetically. "I've recently learnt how to extract memories whilst in other people's bodies, so Tsunade-sama's been using that a lot since then."
Sasuke didn't reply, watching as his brother knocked out his eight year old self and carried him away.
"Sorry about this. It's just to double-check that the information you provided us with was actually correct. Morino-senpai's methods are very reliable — he's the best interrogator we have — but they're not full-proof."
"Wait," Sasuke said, staring at Itachi's back. "How can you see him carrying me off? I wasn't conscious when that happened."
Ino turned her head and saw what Sasuke was looking at.
"You may not have seen it and you probably weren't even aware of it, but your mind was still functioning. Every other one of your senses except for you sight was working," Ino explained. "You could still hear, smell and feel everything around you. The human mind is such that it can fill in the blanks since you were still in the same place you were before you fainted. Your body recognises that. You just can't remember it because you weren't fully conscious, so you pushed the memory to the back of your mind."
"Aniki! Where is this? Aniki, let me out of this cell!"
"I've got to go now. You know, concentrate more. I'll try to end this as fast as I can, Sasuke."
"You're in the Akatsuki Detainment Unit."
"What? Aniki, let me out! Where are Otou-san and Okaa-san?"
"They died three days ago. They didn't survive the experiments."
"What? What experiments?"
"You'll see, little brother."
Sasuke curled his fists into balls and resisted the temptation to punch the Itachi in front of him.
"Why am I in this chair?"
"Because we're going to perform experiments on you now."
"This is going to hurt. Brace yourself, Sasuke."
Sasuke looked away as men donning the Akatsuki cloaks strapped him to a chair and began to extract his eyeballs. Hearing his own screams, he could almost remember the pain.
The bastards hadn't even had had enough pity in their cold hearts to give him painkillers.
"Don't worry, Sasuke. You'll be able to open your eyes in a week. Hopefully the chemicals won't go through the rest of your system and destroy your body like they did to the rest of our family."
"That's what happened to them. All of them. Every single Uchiha, by blood or by marriage was experimented on in the same way. Every single one of them died."
"You killed them?"
"I'm going to kill you."
"Let's wait until you can actually see me first, Sasuke."
"Why did you do it?"
"To test my limits."
"That doesn't make any sense."
"It wouldn't to you. Once upon a time, the Uchiha was a respected family. It was a name one should have been proud to bear. Now, with our greedy, cowardly cousins, they've diminished it into nothing. This revolution was coming, Sasuke, this purging. We're creating a New Order, and these are merely tests to see who deserves to live. Survival of the fittest."
"Goodnight, little brother."
Sasuke inhaled and tried to control his emotions. He couldn't take this much more.
"Hey, brat. Your brother's not in today, so I suppose I'll be the one dosing out your daily torture, yeah?"
He heard sobs.
"Kisame, that's enough."
"Such a waste. The Hyuuga are such a prestigious clan. Maybe you were switched at birth eh, Hinata-chan? Well, that's all right. I'm going to be the one getting the information out of you today. Let's see whether you're really a big a disappointment to your family as you look."
Screams. Echoes from the Torture Chambers.
"Please don't! I beg of you!"
"Tell us where your friends are!"
"I—I don't know!"
"They've r—relocated! I don't know w—where they are now!"
"Lying bitch! Where's Uzumaki?"
"I don't know who he is!"
"Don't fuck with me, wench! You were with him when we captured you! Now tell us where he is, or I'll rip your fucking spine out!"
"N—No! I wasn't, I swear!"
The door opened and shut with a resounding bang
"Yo! Kisame. What'cha doing?"
"Fucking bitch won't tell us where that Uzumaki kid is. Says she can't remember him. Bullshit."
"Hah. Maybe she'll remember if we slice her head open, yeah. It'll probably trigger some memories."
"Idiot. What if she dies?"
"Then at least she'll go with a bang, right, little girl?"
"Shut up, Deidara. Now, whore, you ready to tell me where your little friends are?"
"I don't know where t—they are!"
"Liar. Oi you, guard. Take her to the acid sprinklers. Let's see whether she'll know after a nice, long, refreshing shower."
"N—No! I swear, I don't know anything!"
"Well, at least we've got a free cell now for new prisoners."
"You're gonna cooperate with us, yeah?
"Good morning, little brother."
That's enough. Get—
"You're the only person in our family that's survived the experiment. Maybe I'll try it next."
—out of my head, Ino.
"Please! I beg of you, Itachi-sama! Not my children, please, no—
"We've got too many dead bodies, Itachi-dono. What do we do with them?"
"Throw them in the pit. We'll burn the corpses later."
"What if some of them aren't fully dead, Itachi-dono?"
"Then the flames will kill them."
Sasuke saw himself trick the foolish guard into unlocking his cell. He saw himself running as fast as he could out of the Detainment Unit. He saw himself hiding in the old, abandoned warehouse. He saw himself holding the metal bar, hiding behind a large crate, ready to pounce on Naruto and Ino. He saw—
—a valley full of naked corpses, all with familiar pale skin and dark hair and open, red, red, red eyes.
"This is what remains of the great Uchiha, little brother. Take a good look, because tomorrow, it'll be like they never existed."
"Look how far we have fallen."
"He was shaking so badly," Tsunade observed once Sasuke had stormed out of the room.
"Yeah well, he could break out of Yamanaka's technique. That's something, isn't it?"
"I think he stomped on my arm on his way out!" Ino cried indignantly.
"Oh yes, he did that," Ibiki confirmed. "Tsunade-sama and I thought he would be angry. What did you see anyway?"
"Too much," Ino replied, rubbing her sore arm. "I don't even know where to start."
"So do we have enough information?" Tsunade asked.
"More than enough, Tsunade-sama."
So I know what I want to happen in this for the next few chapters. Or arc, because I'm considering turning this into a long, long fic with many, many subplots.
I've missed writing this so much. Hee.
Yes, I meant the flashback to be all words. I wanted to focus more on the audio element and the words spoken by the characters.
Deidara was added as a tribute to fisah, who understands my anguish at fangirls spelling his name as DIEdara. I'm sorry, but it irks me so.
... I need Shino.