"So, this is the stupid thing that you've been working on," noted Tsunade as she stared up at the humanoid weapon, standing from her position on the catwalks. Several technicians, dressed in uniform clothing, were taking notes as they checked the Armor for final adjustments. "Kushina's been waiting for you, you know. Somebody's got to answer her calls. If you keep your work shifts up like this you're going to lose your family."

The blonde man standing beside her smiled wistfully.

"If I don't do this, then there won't be a family for me to go back to," said Minato with a sort of silent confidence. Several techies scattered underneath as another piece of the mechanical monstrosity was brought into the large chamber. Wires and machinery were placed haphazardly around the room, hardly reminiscent of a place containing a secret weapon developed by the military.

Tsunade didn't say anything, simply taking a swig from the bottle beside her. For a while, they said nothing to each other. The cold silence in the air was broken only by the scampering of the tech staff under their feet, and the sounds of machinery – clicks and whirrs – coming from the room. "Did Jiraiya tell you about my plans?"

"Yes, and I have to admit, it'll be a pain to lose you, Tsunade," grinned Minato. "If you retire, then I lose one of my Santen Shogun. But if that's what you want, don't let me stop you. I think the kids in the cities will need your help more than us… anyway."

"Hmph, at least you understand," sneered Tsunade, although Minato could tell that she wasn't putting her heart into it. "I think Jiraiya's going to be here for a while, at least from what I can tell. Not sure what's going to happen after your death though… You haven't even given him a hint about your plans yet."

"It's for the best," said Minato, gripping the handrails. "If he knew, he'd do everything in his power to stop me. I can't let that happen now, not when the IAM is bearing down on us like this… We've already all lost so much."

Tsunade took another swig, feeling the burning liquid drip down her throat. "So you plan to die for nothing."

"Not for nothing; never for nothing," said Minato. "You haven't seen the specs on this thing yet. You don't know what it's capable of. I researched a little deeper into Armor technology… Found out some things that nobody should know. If necessary, this thing could do more than save a country – It can destroy it. With this thing we'll counter-attack. We can do it. They're focusing all their attention on offense right now, thinking we're defeated. This Gear here can turn it all around, we'll launch a counter-offensive attack and take their capital."

"Hmph… Fine, I'll take your word for it," nodded Tsunade, turning around towards the exit. "You better make sure that this country is safe for the future generations… I'm too old to be taking the reins at this point, and Jiraiya too. Sarutobi-sensei will probably take over after you, so don't be too worried."

"Heh, what are you talking about, Tsunade-hime?" grinned Minato. "You'll never get old. Alright then, go on with your business. Tell Akira-kun that I gave my full approval to your resignation, so go ahead and do whatever you want. You've probably saved up enough to spend the rest of your life partying and drinking away by now."

"Not with the role I'm taking up," snorted Tsunade. "Alright, be seeing ya. Tell Nawaki and Dan I said hello."

Before she took five steps however, Minato's voice rang out.

"Wait, Tsunade-hime."

Tsunade stopped, and turned to look at her friend and superior, her face rosy with the alcohol that she had consumed. Minato's face was one of mixed feelings, something that she currently couldn't see through, wasted as she was. However, one thing clearly stood out on his face.


"Is it… a boy or a girl?"




Spyral 9


Prologue: Orange and Yellow


-On the bridge of the UWS Yggdrasil -

"Ushiro-kun, Mae-chan, what day is it today?"

The young brunette technicians looked backwards at their commanding officer, who was sitting in his chair reading an orange book marked with a cross on the back limiting access to minors. Ushiro clucked his tongue as he realized Kakashi-senchou had his legs up on the holographic keyboard in front of him, which would be a bitch for him to clean.

"October 8th," answered Mae coldly.

"Why, senchou?" asked Ushiro, annoyed. He had been playing a solid game of deathmatch, dammit, and he had been at the top! If his stupid commanding officer didn't interfere, he probably could've gone up a level by now. "Since that stupid incident you caused back at the capital, all we've done is patrol this northern sector. You trying to mess us up even more?"

"Maa, you should have more respect for your superiors, Ushiro-kun," said Kakashi, bobbing his head as he reclined in his chair. "That was not a 'stupid incident', it was merely an accident, perhaps a piece of divine interven–"

"Senchou," the normally stoic Mae said with venom in her voice. "I do not believe that infiltrating the female cadet locker rooms could be designated as a 'holy mission', especially when General Horaki Saburou was there."

"Philistine, and I did say it was an accident," drawled Kakashi, mournfully. "Honestly, how was I supposed to know his daughter was in there?"

There was a period of awkward silence as Ushiro remembered the way that the good General's face had become bloated with rage as his freckled daughter hid behind him. They were lucky that the General's aide had been there, and had reduced his on-the-spot sentencing from instant execution to merely having him patrol the northern sector endlessly for a couple of weeks.

Luckily, the General didn't know Kakashi-senchou that well, as the man was more than happy to take some time off active duty and merely drift about some cozy countryside reading his perverted book.

"Ushiro-kun, Mae-chan," announced Kakashi in that lazy drawl of his. "Set destination to Tiltstone, I believe the coordinates are 043-072. Not directly in the city, however. I want to be at a distance where nobody will be able to notice us."

"Huh? Why?" asked Ushiro. "We were ordered to patrol this sector, senchou."

Kakashi closed his book, looking far off into the setting sun as he fiddled with the mask that covered the lower half of his face; the object that concealed half of his emotions from the rest of the world.

"To honor a dying man's wish," said Kakashi, smiling.

Ushiro and Mae simply ignored their commanding officer's smug face, and washed themselves of the curiosity that bugged them. If he wasn't telling them about it, they weren't going to ask. Even if it was in some way a bit of subordination from the silver-haired senchou to his superiors, they trusted him, no matter how reluctantly.

Ushiro closed down his game and punched in the coordinates, opening up a map in the middle of the holographic screen. Mae, too, closed down her internet browser, turning up the volume on her microphone, switching on the intercom that connected the bridge to the rest of the ship.

"Found it. Tiltstone, a city based around its fishing industry, otherwise being kind of normal," announced Ushiro to his partner. Mae responded with a nod. "It'll take about half a day to get there going at normal speed. Go on, tell the rest of the ship.

Mae cleared her throat, and spoke.

"Attention all hands."


"Attention all hands."

Haruno Sakura stopped her training, panting as she blew a couple strands of pink hair away from her face. In front of her was a beaten punching bag, showing a couple years' worth of wear and tear. Turning about, she sat down on the bench next to her, taking a towel from the rack and wiping her face with it.

"I repeat, attention all hands."

The pink-haired teen took a sip from her bottle, waiting for her body to cool down. She had been in here for hours, slaving away at the equipment. The gym had become like a second home to her since joining the Yggdrasil's crew, and it had truly paid off. Her muscles were lean, and her face was of a most healthy complexion.

She was admired by many others on board, mostly the twenty years and older men, as a girl who would grow up one day into a beauty. Her long strands of pink hair brought out her green eyes, and her personality (as long as you didn't tick her off) was as nice as could be without going into cavity-causing sweetness. Her mind was no joke either, being a university graduate at the age of thirteen, although it was still nothing compared to the local tactician and doctor.

"In ten minutes, we will be switching destinations to Tiltstone city."

'Mae-chan's voice is as cold as ever,' thought Sakura with a smile. 'And Kakashi-senchou still doesn't follow anybody's rules but his own. I guess the General's sentence didn't do anything to him after all.'

She got up, her body having cooled off enough. Entering the showers, she took off her clothing and threw it into the basket, turning on the tap. The sound of water flowing commenced.

She turned her eyes to the window as she cleansed herself. The battleship was still in the sky, and the tops of the trees could be seen as they flew by. Taking the bar of soap from the rack, Sakura smiled as she enjoyed the view.

The sky was orange and yellow.


"Attention all hands."

The blonde doctor on board set down her clipboard, glaring angrily at the paper and pen she held. She was a sixteen year old graduate of the top University in Hi no Kuni, dammit. Yamanaka Ino didn't have to deal with this crap!

She was the one who cared for everybody on board. She was the one who made sure they had their shots and were healthy and strong, dammit! So why, why oh why, did she, the beautiful genius doctor, have to deal with this annoying son of a bitch?!

"Lazy bastard…"

"Shikamaru," corrected the local tactician, a young man about the same age as Ino herself. His hair was tied up in a strange pineapple-like shape, and he was currently flipping through a magazine.

"That's what I said," barked Ino. "You're not sick at all, and you aren't scheduled for a check-up, so what are you doing over here? Go find Chouji and play some chess or something. I'm busy."

"Chouji's stuck dealing with Gear examination for the day, so he's not going to be doing anything," said Nara Shikamaru lazily. "And you're the best at playing chess here other than Kakashi-taichou."

"I repeat, attention all hands."

"So go bother him."

"I'd rather not. Having that orange book of his directly in front of you while you're trying to make a move is rather distracting you know," said Shikamaru evenly. "And even though it is a little troublesome to get you to play, at least I won't have to deal with his giggling."

"Gah, you know what you are? Troublesome."

"I'll sue you for copyright infringement. Now put that clipboard down and take off that lab coat, and play a couple rounds with me. If I want to remain a good strategist I'm going to have to brush up a bit."

"Never thought I'd hear you say that."

"In ten minutes, we will be switching destinations to Tiltstone city."

They set up the board and the pieces quickly, as Ino had just a set lying around her office for an occasion like this. Truth be told, she really didn't mind Shikamaru coming to play her at chess every now and then, even though he beat her every single time. It was pretty fun to match minds with the smartest guy on the ship, after all.

"Wow, that's so pretty," said Ino.

"What?" asked Shikamaru, taking out a pawn from his corner and moving it forwards. He was going for the Four Knights opening, something that in his experience Ino knew and followed. He wanted a good game after all, not a one-sided slaughter.

"You see here? The light's reflecting off the pieces…" said Ino, pointing at the chessboard. Shikamaru had to admit, it was rather striking. The calm evening light shot in through the large window at the side of the office, enveloping everything in a warm blanket.

"Orange and yellow, huh? What a combination. Pawn to e4, game on."

"Pawn to e5!"


"Attention all hands."

"What did you do to this poor guy?" asked Akimichi Chouji, wiping his sweat as he fiddled with the open panel on the side of the Gear's shoulder. From his position on the catwalks, he looked downwards at the other young man who was glaring at him with undisguised annoyance. "He's all busted up… His chakra emitters are all weird and stuff. Did you overload them?"

"Hn, it's not my fault that they couldn't handle it. Make them stronger," replied Uchiha Sasuke. "If they can't even handle a bit of chakra like this, I won't be able to fight anything at an equal level."

"I repeat, attention all hands."

"It's not the machine's fault," groaned Chouji as he fiddled some more. "It's just that the emitters are getting pretty old now. They were adjusted to your chakra level three years ago, so it's no wonder that they burned out. You're going to have to give me some time to order in new ones and reconfigure the Gear."

"How long will it take?" asked Sasuke.

"Give or take a week or so," said Chouji. "I know a dealer in capital. He's got what I need. But since there aren't any trade routes that go into the middle of the wilderness like this place, it's probably going to take a bit longer—"

"In ten minutes, we will be switching destinations to Tiltstone city."

"—Nevermind," said Chouji, sighing. "Tiltstone's a pretty good place for fish and stuff. I can place an order online right now and it'll reach us in about three days. It won't take that long at all."

"Hn, good," said Sasuke, turning about briskly and walking out.

Chouji sighed, wiping sweat from his forehead again, and turning back to the Gear. Stopping for a second, he looked at the machine, noting the way that the light from outside the window reflected on the surface of the metal.

"Orange and yellow? Sasuke's not much of a fan of warm colours though…"





Santen Shogun

A member of the second highest rank in the KAM before the death of the Yondaime Kagunou. The title of Sangun Shogun belonged only the most brilliant of the army, and were only awarded to those who had shown outstanding ability both physical and mental, as well as strong leadership skills. The only people in the world that retain the title of Santen Shogun are Tsunade and Jiraiya, although Orochimaru used to hold the title before his defection. However, both Tsunade and Jiraiya have left the army for their own reasons soon after the Yondaime's death.



The highest rank obtainable in the KAM, therefore the de-facto leader of the entire army. The amount of people who can use Gears are limited, and only the most talented of all in the KAM are promoted to the position of Kagunou. The position of Kagunou can only be picked by the previous Kagunou, or, if such an instance is impossible, chosen by the Council 12 of the Fire Bureaucracy and voted on by the Jougun of the army.


Konoha Armor Military

The Armor Military of Konoha, lead by the Kagunou and separated into four groups, the Jougun, Chuugun, the Gegun, and the Angun. The KAM answer directly to the Kagunou, and the Kagunou answers to the President of Konoha. However, the Kagunou operate with total autonomy, and often it's the Kagunou who directs the country from the shadows rather than the true President. This is because of the firepower of the KAM, which has sometimes up to 5000 battle-ready Gears at a time. It is estimated that a group of 300 Gears is enough to take over a country without its own Armor Military, meaning that the position of Kagunou is, literally, the most powerful position one can hold within the Fire Country.


Fire Country

The country in which the KAM is based, an island nation located off the continent of Daikuni. It is a republic run by a democratic system, and is also big on military. Has a reputation of engaging in the affairs of other countries, although their actions are often beneficial. With the power of the KAM behind them, the Fire Country leads the world as one of its top superpowers.

モビル機械体 ARMORシステム

Mobile Mechanical Body – ARMOR SYSTEM

A technology first discovered by the scientist Uchiha Madara five-hundred years before the start of the story. Although how Uchiha Madara had discovered it as well as some of the information about it remains missing, the basics of how it works is well known and many have begun to improve upon its basis. The Armor System basically links the neural network of a user to a piece of machinery, allowing him to control the object like an extension of the self. The System has been used in the creation of Gears. Armor technology is not completely developed, however, and the present system may only allow people with certain characteristics into the pilot's seat.



A weapon developed with Armor technology. The basis of a Gear is a large, about seven to eight meters tall robot piloted by a compatible user. Gears are often outfitted with weapons specialized to the user, and often have to be custom designed to fit a pilot. Mass-produced versions have been attempted, although all of them have malfunctioned without fail, often with disastrous consequences. Gears are built by Gear Doctors, and are often outfitted with Chakra Emitters, devices that form weapons from a person's own characteristics (the fuel being the pilot's own energy).




NAME: Ouroboros

Classification: KAM-ORBR

A powerful Gear, and one of the fastest in the KAM, Ouroboros has been known to be called the Grass Cutter by those on the receiving end of its immense strength. With its powerful extendable arms, it rips through enemy Gears with ease, and is outfitted with many Anti-Gear weaponry that can effectively shut down any opposing mechanical suit such as AAP grenades and Neural-Net Disruption knives. The power of the Ouroboros is to be feared and respected, although it has since been destroyed and its materials recycled due to the loss of its pilot.