Naruto, From Ninja to Autobot
Once again, I own nothing!
Blah' - inner thoughts (both humans and Transformers)
"Blah" - talking
"Blah" - talking in the Mini-Con's language
'Blah' - demon talking (including Inner Sakura)
"Blah" - jutsu being performed
"BLAH" - really angry yelling
-Blah- - someone talking through a radio/communicator link
# - scene change
Chapter 8: Intervention
"I'm only going to say this once, Megatron. Back away from the Mini-Con, and I'll let you leave with what's left of your dignity!" ordered Optimus, as he leveled his ion blaster at his long time enemy. It had been a difficult task pinpointing the coordinates of the new Mini-Con's position; the base's detection systems had nearly lost the energy signature several times. It had taken the combined efforts of both Alexis and Red Alert before the coordinates were locked on for the warp gate's position.
"Prime! I should have expected this; you always seem to arrive at the most inappropriate times! But it doesn't matter! I refuse to leave this spark-forsaken dump, empty-handed!" Megatron shot back at the Autobot leader. The Decepticon commander was seething with rage. He had the Mini-Cons and human specimen literally inches away from his grasp, before that infernal Autobot commander had arrived.
Optimus was about to take a step forward, until he noticed the unconscious human that was beside the Mini-Con at Megatron's feet. The very sight of the injured boy made Optimus's energon boil. Although he was aware of the lengths Megatron would go to achieve his goals, it still disgusted him to see how easily he would destroy innocent lives just to get what he wanted.
"Megatron, you will pay for what you've done to the inhabitants of this world!"
"Phah! Don't you start preaching to me, Prime! You act as if you're the defender of truth and justice in this war, when in reality you are no more a saint than I am! How many times have you turned a blind optic to the suffering of other lifeforms just because it inconvenienced your forces, hm? How many lives, whether they be Decepticons or not, have you taken for the sake of your ideals?"
Optimus's optics narrowed slightly. "As if you have any right to lecture me about unnecessary casualties! I'll admit that I have made sacrifices in the past that haunt me to this day, but those pale in comparison to the atrocities that you and your soldiers have committed! We Autobots strive to protect the innocent from tyranny at any cost, whilst you Decepticons attack and enslave civilizations just because you believe that you're entitled to! I've seen first hand of the destruction that your forces have brought upon other worlds, and I'll be damned if I allow this world to suffer the same fate! Now, I won't tell you again: step away from the Mini-Con and human, now!"
"Oh please, Optimus." retorted Megatron, "you're in no position to issue any demands to me. Because in case you haven't noticed, you're sorely outnumbered and outgunned, three to one!" At that moment, both Cyclonus and Demolishor aimed their weapons towards Optimus, with Megatron aligning his fusion cannon's barrel directly towards the Autobot commander's head. "I must say, Prime, I'm severely disappointed in you. Bull-headily charging in with guns a blazing; I'd expect an Autobot rookie to behave like that, not from a seasoned soldier like you, Optimus."
"Heh heh, yeah! He must have scrambled his neural net when he transwarped here! HA!" chortled Cyclonus. "I guess this means that Autobots are done for! WHOOHAHAHAhahahah-GAH!"
Any further laughter from Cyclonus was abruptly cut off, as Hot Shot leaped through a newly opened warp gate that was right behind the Decepticon, landing a powerful flying side kick to his back, knocking Cyclonus to the ground in an incoherent heap.
"Us? Done for? Keep dreaming, laughing bot!" said Hot Shot, before he ran towards the downed Decepticon, with the intent of continuing his assault before his enemy regained his wits. Cyclonus growled, before getting back to his feet and charging towards the yellow Autobot. The two bots met halfway, resulting in a mighty clash of metal against metal, each Cybertronian trying to push their enemy back.
"It's the Autobots! They've found us!" said Demolishor, before he about faced to fire at where he thought the third member of Prime's team would attack. But to his confusion, he found himself aiming his shoulder cannons at nothing. Whilst he continued to comprehend the predicament that he was in, he didn't notice a second warp gate opening up on his left. By the time he did, it was too late to defend himself from Red Alert's elbow strike to his mid-section. The power from the attack sent him skidding back, leaving deep trenches in the ground here his feet were dragged across the ground. Not wanting to let his opponent recover, the Autobot medic chased after Demolishor, intent on taking him out of the fight as quick as possible. Demolishor didn't see the upcoming Autobot until the very last second, barely having time to put up some defense against Red Alert.
"Argh! You, incompetent fools!" snarled Megatron. Seeing that his soldiers weren't going to be able defeat their opponents quickly, he made a desperate attempt to grab the unconscious Mini-Con and human, and warp back to the base. That plan failed when an explosive laser round impacted against his right shoulder treads, sending him flying back. Though the shot didn't do much structural damage, it served its purpose as a distraction, as he didn't see the flying round kick before it smashed into his face, further disorienting his senses. By the time his vision cleared he saw his most hated enemy charging at him with a punch. With reflexes honed by several years of combat, Megatron caught the punch with his left hand, holding it in place. He capitalized on this by throwing a right cross at Optimus, who in turn caught it with his own hand, resulting in a stalemate between the two leaders, both of which were trying to overpower the other.
"Rrg, why must you always interfere with affairs that don't concern you, Optimus?" growled Megatron, his orange optics glowing with barely restrained rage.
"As long as you continue to enslave Mini-Cons for your own selfish desires, and destroy the innocent bystanders that get in your way, then I'll always be there to stop you, Megatron!" Optimus shot back, his own yellow tinted optics shining brightly.
"Ha! That's so like you Autobots, always assuming that we destroy everything in our path just because we can. You should know by now, Prime, that we Decepticons treasure any source of power that we can find, whether it comes from a Mini-Con or a human."
"Human? What do you mean human? What sick scheme are you plotting now?!"
"Haven't you heard? Apparently, the humans in this world have energy levels that are almost similar to that of a Mini-Con. And that's not all, they also possess unique powers that one could only dream of wielding. That human laying on the ground over there, he has the the ability to make numerous replicas of himself to the point that he can create his own personal army! With powers like that at my control, the Decepticons will finally conquer Cybertron, and then, the entire universe!"
"There's no way that I'll allow you to use an innocent human child for your demented agenda!" roared Optimus.
"Ha! You say that as if you can actually stop me, Prime!" retorted Megatron as he kneed Optimus in the torso, catching the Autobot by surprise, leaving a big enough opening for Megatron to land a devastating left cross, sending Optimus flying back. Unfortunately for the Decepticon, Optimus wasn't too badly shaken from the assault, and was able charge up an ion pulse wave* as Megatron leveled his fusion cannon at him. Just when Megatron opened fire, Optimus released the energy gathered around his clasped hands in the form of a multicolored energy beam with large atom shapes in the center. The two attacks collided against each other, each of them struggling to overpower the other, before they detonated with a powerful explosion that sent the two Cybertronian commanders sliding further apart from each other. Much to Megatron's chagrin, the resulting shock wave had sent him further away from where the human and Mini-Con were. He was about to have another go at his most hated enemy, when his internal sensors picked up an approaching mass of energy signatures headed toward his location. Normally, he wouldn't have thought less of the newcomers and just fought them and the Autobots with vicious brutality. But his little encounter with blonde adolescent human left him with some troubling doubts. If a young fleshling from this world could create a massive army out of thin air, then what could a squadron of fully grown humans be capable of? Not to mention that if the approaching humans were even more troublesome to deal with than the child, his focus would be divided between destroying Prime and squashing the meddlesome insects, in which he would most likely lose his quarries and take heavy damage from the attack. Turning his attention back to his opponent, he had to hold back the more violent and undignified urgings that he wanted to unleash.
"Don't think that this over, Optimus. I will reclaim all of the Mini-Cons, and any other source of power that I find. The next time we meet, you'll be nothing but a molten puddle of slag, and Cybertron will finally belong to the Decepticons!" declared Megatron, before he allowed the transwarp gate to pull him back to the moon base. Both Demolishor and Cyclonus followed after their leader, already scowling at their defeat. Optimus, once making sure that the Decepticons were truly gone, rushed back to where the downed boy and Mini-Con were laying, calling Red Alert to him.
The warrior-turned-medic immediately went to work, his medical tool running a diagnostic scan on the two prone figures. The readings that he was receiving weren't in need for immediate alarm, there didn't seem to be any serious damage to the Mini-Con that couldn't be repaired back at home base. But there was something off about the human. Even though the scan had detected severe internal bruising, a few cracked ribs, and some mild burns on his body, the readings indicated that the injuries were slowly healing by themselves. And if that wasn't enough, the boy seemed to be emitting an energy signature that was similar to the Mini-Con beside him, only the scans indicated that his energy reserves were at least double the levels that he'd normally seen with any Mini-Con.
"Well, the both of them aren't in any immediate danger. The Mini-Con is just in temporary stasis. The boy, however, is exhibiting some strange behavior that shouldn't be seen in humans." stated the medic.
"What do you mean by strange behavior?"
"Well for starters, the boy's body is healing itself at an accelerated rate, much faster than how normal humans recover from injuries. According to their medical studies, a recovery rate like this should be impossible."
"Is there anything else?"
"Actually, there is. Whilst searching the boy for any life-threatening injuries, my scanners detected an energy signature that is similar to that of a Mini-Con."
"A Mini-Con? Are you sure that your scan is accurate, Red Alert?" asked Optimus. The idea of a human being having characteristics similar to Mini-Con did sit well with the Autobot leader. It just sounded too much like an experiment that Megatron would have sanctioned. But then, Megatron's words of naturally occurring, super-powered humans came rushing back to his memory. There was no way that he was telling truth, right?
"I'm positive, sir. The frequency is currently in constant flux, most like due to his current physical condition, but it is still there. Perhaps if the boy had time recover from his wounds, it would be more noticeable.
"Well that's time we don't have. I'm picking up several large energy signatures heading to our current position, Optimus. Looks like the natives aren't too happy with us barging in on their territory." Sure enough, Hot Shot's observation proved to be legitimate, as the two older Autobots noticed that several energy spikes were indeed approaching towards them at a swift pace.
"What are your orders, sir?" asked Red Alert.
Optimus remained silent for moment, deliberating the possible options that were before him. He didn't have long, however, before things went even further south.
"Incoming!" was the only warning Optimus gave, as a large volley of small knives rained down close to their position, before the burning tags that were attached to them exploded with surprising force.
"What the slag? Since when do throwing daggers explode like grenades?"
"Hot Shot, stay focused! Those were meant to be a diversion!" barked Red Alert. Sure enough, the trio were soon peppered with more exploding knives, gigantic chunks of earth, bolts of lightning, and large dragon-shaped projectiles constituted entirely out of flame. Following the path of where the projectiles were being launched, the Cybertronians were able to determine through the limited telescopic range of their optical sensors that a large platoon of humans were quickly approaching their location. The humans were sporting green vests with pockets on the front, and headbands that each a metal plate with a spiraling pattern etched into it. In fact, it was quite similar to the one that the unconscious boy was wearing. It was also at that moment that they found out exactly who were launching those projectile attacks, as even more fire, lightning, and earth based attacks were hurled towards them.
"Oh, come on!" hollered Hot Shot, as he narrowly dodged another dragon-shaped flame projectile that would have struck his head, only to jump to avoid a lightning bolt aimed to his knee. "Since when can humans shoot fire balls from their mouths, or throw lightning at things? Can the kids back at the base do this stuff, too?" Red Alert said nothing, as he was too busy dodging the earth dragons that acted more like homing missiles.
Optimus himself was having trouble with all three different elemental attacks. The shock of seeing Megatron's earlier statement of super-powered humans be proven true, right before him, had nearly caught him off guard. He and his soldiers were able to evade the larger attacks, but the smaller explosive knives still managed to hit them. The explosives didn't do much damage to their armor, but it still caused them mild pain and irritation. The humans seemed to have taken notice in that little fact, even with the large distance separating them, as there were more and more explosive knives hurled at the Autobots at increasing intervals, which provided the distraction that the elemental attacks needed to be more effective.
Optimus was about to order Hot Shot and Red Alert to secure the Mini-Con and reactivate the warp gate, when he saw a volley of explosive knives and a fire dragon fly past him. Remembering just who was behind him, he was about lunge to save the unconscious Mini-Con, when his optics widened once he saw what was the true target was for the attacks. Realizing he had little time to act, Prime threw himself in front of the blonde boy, kneeling down on one knee with his back facing the attackers in an attempt to shield the young human from the upcoming onslaught. The small improvised explosives were somewhat easy to weather, as they felt like weakened versions of the frag grenades that were used back on Cybertron, but it was the flame dragon that proved to be more painful. As the fiery construct slammed into his back, the commander couldn't stop the pained shout from escaping as he felt flames as hot as The Pit itself burn through his armor plating and possibly melt a few circuits. The mighty Autobot collapsed onto his hands just as the last of the flames expired, but his sight never left the young boy.
'There's no doubt about it, that last attack wasn't meant to hit us or the Mini-Con.' he thought, the frustration he felt towards the attacking humans shifting into anger. 'They were really going to kill a child under the pretense of defending their home! But why?'
"Optimus, sir, are you alright?"
Breaking out of his thoughts, he realized that his two subordinates were kneeling before him, concerned about his well-being. He also noticed that the humans had momentarily stopped in their attacks.
"I'm fine, but we need to retreat now! Red Alert, Hot Shot, take the human and the Mini-Con, and head back to base. I'll provide cover fire for the two of you."
Red Alert looked unsure. "Sir, are you sure that's wise? If these humans are capable of-"
"I gave you a direct order, soldier, and I expect you to follow it! Now go!" exclaimed Optimus, as he turned to face the still charging platoon, and opened fire with his double-barreled wrist cannons. Red Alert said nothing as he transformed, the back doors of the all terrain emergency vehicle opening up for Hot Shot to carefully place the two bodies safely inside. Once he was sure that the two secure, the doors slammed shut, and Red Alert remotely initiated the correct code algorithm to activate the return warp gate. His comrade transformed into his sports car mode next to him, and waited for the warp gate to take them back to base.
As this was going on, Optimus continued firing his cannons at the humans. Even though a small part of him wanted to outright harm the humans for their last stunt, his moral conscious managed to reign in that urge before he acted on it. Instead, he targeted the ground in front of them, his shots throwing up large chunks of dirt as they impacted. The tactic seemed to work, as their advancement was abruptly stopped, the armed humans leaping back to avoid being incinerated by the onslaught. He then moved his arms left to right in arcing motions in order to prevent any human that managed to maneuver around the initial attack from advancing even further. But the moment he heard the telltale sound of his men successfully traveling through the warp gate, Optimus quickly clasped his hands together, and launched an ion pulse wave at the ground, dragging the energy beam across the surface and creating a massive smokescreen of dirt and dust. Satisfied that none of the ninja dared to charge through the chaos, Prime launched himself through the warp gate, his entire frame disappearing in an instant.
With the Shinobi
"Don't let them escape!" hollered the platoon's commander. Things were just getting stranger and stranger for the jonin, even by shinobi standards. After all, it wasn't everyday that they dealt with large, metallic giants. Especially since they had the habit of appearing out of thin air, and then disappearing in a matter of seconds. He had finally managed to secure the location of the intruders, thanks to Ko Hyuga and his Byakugan. But the tension and anxiety came back, twice as strong, when after a few minutes of traveling, Ko announced that there were now six metal giants at their destination. SIX! As if one wasn't bad enough! He was seriously considering looking for a good psychiatrist after this mission.
Yet for a brief moment, things started to look up for the commander when Ko reported that three of the giants suddenly disappeared, which halved the amount of possible hostiles that the platoon had to deal with. Sure, their massive size was disheartening, and they had yet to determine what these intruders were capable of, but it was still much better than having to face six of them. When they were close enough to get a clear visual of the intruders, as well as the Uzumaki kid, the commander gave the order to attack. Since they still had a great distance to travel, he ordered the platoon to target the giants, and only the giants, using long-ranged ninjutsu as well as kunai padded with heavy duty explosive tags. He was amazed to see that the assault was a success; the attacks themselves didn't do any significant damage to the invaders, yet they seemed to only focus on dodging the projectiles instead of counterattacking. This not only boosted the morale of the entire platoon, it also gave the commander the slimmest hope that he wasn't going to face another catastrophe similar to that of the Nine-Tailed-Fox Demon.
But then, it all went to hell in a matter of seconds. One second the entire platoon was surging forward, continuing their attacks on the metallic intruder, the next, two of his chunin launched a volley of explosive note-laden-kunai and a high powered Fire Dragon Flame Bullet at the unconscious Uzumaki kid! His shouts for them to stand down did no good, as the attacks were already halfway from striking down their target. While the commander himself did not see the young boy as the beast that had killed so many of his comrades, he knew that a fair number of his subordinates did. He had hoped that none of them would have decided to take advantage of Uzumaki's defenseless state, especially after he had given them explicit orders that forbade them on doing so. But, alas, two members of the platoon were willing to risk whatever punishment awaited them from him and the Hokage. All he could do now was watch helplessly as an innocent child was attacked for something that wasn't his fault.
That is until one of the intruders, the one with red and blue armor, shielded the boy from the incoming attacks with its own body. Seeing the large creature's selfless act, as well as hearing its pained cry, was enough to freeze the entire platoon in shock. No one had expected such altruism from something so...alien. The shock didn't last long, as the platoon renewed their charge towards the three towering titans. The giant that was struck, however, had other plans. Like a vicious tiger provoked by some foolish human, the intruder about faced and aimed what looked like wrist-mounted pipes at them. It was only through Ko's warning that they managed to evade the sudden salvo of energy rounds that crashed down to where they once stood, and exploded in large plume of fire that sent dirt flying into the air. The commander didn't need a hands-on demonstration to figure out that those rounds had enough power to kill a shinobi if they struck their target dead on. The platoon tried to push forwards, but the giant always seemed to know where they would go and managed to drive them back with its cannons. Hundreds of possible strategies went through his head on how to get past this obstacle, when all of the sudden the giant clasped its hands together, and fired a multicolored energy beam at them, dragging it across the ground in a line, obscuring everyone's vision with a massive cloud of dirt and dust. Realizing that the attack was meant for a distraction, the commander gave the order for the platoon to charge forward, only to be met with the sight of an empty field that was scarred by the jutsus that missed their targets.
The entire platoon stared disbelievingly at what was once a battlefield for titans. A few of the ninja's jaws were hanging open from pure shock. There was just no way that the giants could have disappeared so quickly!
"Wha...What the fuck?" declared one shinobi.
"They...they just disappeared, without a trace!" exclaimed Ko, his Byakugan still active in an attempt to try to see through any genjutsu the enemy could have been hiding behind.
"What were those things, some kind of weird summons?"
"Don't be daft, since when do summons look like they're completely made of metal?"
"But they vanished into thin air, just like any summon does!" interjected a kunoichi. "What else could they be?"
"I say they were all demons!" shouted another shinobi.
"Why would demons invade our village out of the blue?"
"Maybe they were reacting to a distress call. I mean, didn't you see how it protected that other d-"
"ENOUGH!", bellowed the commander, immediately cutting off that particular shinobi before he would have been forced to kill him for breaking the Third's law. "It doesn't matter what those creatures were, whether they were summons or demons. What we should be more concerned about is how creatures of that size and power were able to infiltrate our village without so much as tripping an alarm, and then vanish into thin air!" That got all of other shinobi deathly silent, as the cold hard facts and their drastic repercussions began to settle in.
"So instead of thinking up asinine theories, let's process the scene and search for genuine clues as to what these things are, and where they came from. Ko, you take Divisions 1 and 2 to the battlefield, look for armor fragments, shell casings, anything that looks like they can shed more light on our intruders. Division 3, you're on reconnaissance; scout ahead as far as border just to make sure that our intruders aren't merely licking their wounds and biding their time for a second assault. Division 4, you are to report back to the Hokage, and alert him of the situation at hand, except for Soun and Akane. I would like to speak to the both of you on an important issue. The rest of you, move out!" The other shinobi vanished in a burst of speed, leaving the head commander with the two aforementioned shinobi alone in the clearing.
The commander sighed as he stared down the father-daughter duo before him. Soun was a tall man that stretched to almost six feet, with a lean build that most shinobi had. His long black hair was left free behind his back while his handle bar mustache was trimmed neatly, which was an oddity in itself since very few shinobi opted to grow facial hair in that specific area. He was adorned n the standard blue shinobi undershirt and pants, the shirt being covered by the standard green flak vest that most jonin and chunin wore. His daughter, Akane, came up to about an inch below his shoulder, and had her blue hair styled in a short bob cut. She, too, wore the standard shinobi garb, complete with a flak vest similar to her father's, which somewhat contorted around her feminine figure.
Both of them were accomplished chunin that specialized in ninjutsu and their own unique taijutsu style that had been in their family for years. Unfortunately, after the incident with the Nine-Tailed-Fox, the duo had undergone a drastic change in their personalities as they were amongst the droves of ninja that were baying for the young Uzumaki's blood so that they could "finish what the Fourth started". Even after the Third passed his law forbidding anyone from speaking about the incident, as well as telling the younger generation or Uzumaki himself about his condition, they led petitions to rescind the law and to have the kid executed for the demon's crimes. Overall, the commander had lost a lot of respect for the two. Even though he treated the young kid with indifference, he knew the difference between a kunai and its storage scroll. But if there was one thing that he hated above traitors and overzealous people, it was child murderers.
"So, would either of you like come forward and explain yourselves?" said the commander. The father and daughter remained silent as they continued to stand at attention. "Really? You're going to be like this? You're not even going to attempt to take responsibility for disobeying my direct orders?"
"With all due respect, Commander Taro, we acted within the orders you gave us." said Soun, his tone even, and his face expressionless.
"Is that so?" asked Taro, in faux surprise. "Are you saying that I explicitly ordered you to blatantly attack the unconscious civilian that was in close proximity to the intruders?"
If Soun was disturbed by Taro's question, he managed to hide his discomfort very well. "How do you know that it was us thatattacked the civilian in question, commander? It could have been anyone from the pl-"
"Cut the bullshit, Soun!" interjected Taro. "I saw you with my own eyes; both you and your daughter deliberately targeting the Uzumaki kid whilst everyone else was focused on attacking the intruders, the real threats to our village!"
"Hunh, says you." Akane muttered quietly to herself.
"What was that, chunin?" Apparently, she wasn't quiet enough.
Akane glared at Taro, having finally lost her patience. She was about to let her temper get the better of her, when her father stepped in to save her from doing something stupid. "I believe that what my daughter is trying to say, commander," said Soun, "is that we were attempting to take care of all threats to our village, both external and internal."
"Both external and internal? Explain yourself, Soun." Taro's voice took on a deadly tone, indicating that the two were treading on thin ice.
"Well, you're aware of the...boy's...condition, aren't you?" Soun sounded like he had wanted to say something else, but had forced himself to remain civil.
"Yes, yes, I am. I was there when the fox demon emerged, and when the Third Hokage explained Uzumaki's role in keeping the beast at bay. Where are you going with this?"
"It's obvious, isn't it? The Third may have publicly made that useless law in order to prevent anarchists creating hysteria and chaos amongst the civilians, but it was just an act. He was subtly sending his shinobi the order to complete the Fourth's work." blurted Akane.
Taro's eyes narrowed as he sneered at the kunoichi. "I don't whether to be disgusted or ashamed at the thought that demented sick individuals such as you two managed to be deemed acceptable as shinobi. Your foolish vendetta not only broke one our village's most heavily-enforced laws, it also jeopardized the entire platoon's safety when the red and blue giant responded to your attacks!"
"Then that should prove that the intruders are demons then, since they protected-"
"Shut your damn mouths! I don't want to hear another word out either of you! The both of you are disgraces to the very headbands that you wear!"
"Us? Disgraces? That's rich, coming from someone that sympathizes with that d-"
"Do not test my patience, chunin Akane! You and your father are already facing the charges of insubordination and attempted murder, don't make things harder for you two by adding treason to your crimes!" interjected Taro, angrily.
"Treason? TREASON?! If there's anyone guilty of committing treason, it's that senile old fool that calls himself Third Hokage!" shouted Soun, his outburst shocking not only Taro, but his own daughter as well.
"Father, please, d-"
"Don't interrupt me, daughter, you know it as well as I do that the Third has committed the most heinous crime imaginable! When that retched beast was about to attack our village, we lost thousands upon thousands of our comrades trying to keep that thing at bay until the Fourth Hokage arrived! And when the Fourth sacrificed himself to weaken the damned fox to where we can finally end its wretched existence once and for all, that wrinkly bastard passed a law decreeing that no harm shall befall on it, and forbade us from warning any of the younger citizens of the danger under the threat of death! What kind of spineless, decrepit fool ignores the deaths of his subordinates, and the suffering of the deceased's families, just so that he can his pet fox de-"
"His name is Naruto Uzumaki, and he is a hero beyond comparison for shouldering a burden that no man could ever shoulder, including you Soun!" boomed a voice, teeming with authority. Turning to face the voice's owner, Soun and Akane flinched when they saw none other than Hiruzen Sarutobi standing before them. Behind the wizened leader stood a small team consisting of several jonin, both normal and special ranked. The duo could recognize a few of them by appearance, such as Kakashi Hatake, Asuma Sarutobi, and Anko Mitarashi. Suddenly, Soun didn't feel so confident in standing up for his beliefs, especially when his supreme commander had managed to listen in on his comments directed towards the old veteran.
"L-Lord Hokage, I can explain, y-"
"Do not insult my intelligence with your pitiful excuses, Soun. You've always been a nuisance, with your constant antagonistic streak. I had thought that you would have gotten over your deluded vendetta over time, but that appears to have been a gross misjudgment on my part, if your recent behavior is any indication."
"But, my lord," pleaded Soun, "I beg of you to please see sense. We can't let the beast continue to regain its strength. If we are to have any peace at mind we-"
"That is enough, Soun! It is bad enough that you've used an innocent human being as a scapegoat for your hatred of the fox demon, but the fact that you have manipulated your own daughter into accepting your shameful bigotry shows just how far you have fallen!"
"You take that back, right now!" yelled Akane, speaking up for the first time since the Hokage's arrival. "My father is a sincere and honorable man. He didn't need to brainwash me because I already knew the truth. So stop trying to sully other people's reputation just so that you c-" The girl's word caught in her throat as a sudden concentrated burst of Killer Intent washed over the duo, making them realize that even though he was getting on in years, the Third Hokage was still a force to be reckoned with.
"Anko, Asuma, please escort chunins Soun and Akane back to the village, I think that a visit with Ibiki is in order for these two. After which, three weeks suspension from active service and mandatory therapeutic sessions with Inoichi will most likely help these two improve their attitudes on certain situations."
"What?! That's not fair! Y-"
"Would you and your father prefer a dishonorable discharge and a prison sentence? No? Then don't you dare complain about the severity of your punishment! Now return to the village immediately, before I decide to throw the both of you in prison!" The two chunin were aghast at how violently the elderly leader reacted, and decided that it would be best if they didn't test their luck any further. But that didn't stop Soun from shooting Hiruzen a scathing glare right before he and his daughter sped off back to the village, with Anko and Asuma tailing behind them. The old kage just sighed at what would most likely be another fiasco that he would have to deal with, on top of the one he had originally went to investigate personally. Akane and Soun were both well known shinobi for creating their own style of taijutsu, and their high success rate when it came to missions. It saddened him to see such promising ninja act so irrationally. But, he would deal with that situation when the time came, there were more important matters currently at hand.
"Status report, Commander Taro." said Sarutobi, addressing the commander for the first time since the drama began.
Leaf Village, Unknown Underground Tunnel
The sounds of calm, measured footsteps, as well as the clunks of a wooden cane, echoed throughout the man-made cavern. Lit torches lined the walls, casting the tunnels in an eerie glow. These conditions would be enough to convince any normal person not to venture down the corridor, but this was not the case for one man. The man had lived through many atrocities, and as such, wasn't easily put off by the depressing and dreary atmosphere. No, unlike the fools that gallivanted about on the surface, exposing themselves and their weaknesses to friend and foe alike, he cautiously lurked within the darkness of the shadows, using it to his advantage to conceal his every move as he hunted for anything that he could use to his advantage. Many would label this behavior as villainous, and to some extent downright treasonous, but he didn't care. He had vowed that he would protect his home village through any means necessary. He would make sure that the Leaf Village prospered, and would be seen as the most superior hidden village in all of the Elemental Nations, no matter how many people had to be sacrificed for the greater good.
The man made a sharp left turn to a doorway, which lead into a private study that contained a desk and a fully laden bookshelf. The area near the desk was illuminated by lit candles, leaving the remaining half of the room encased in darkness. Undeterred, the man made his way to his desk, taking a seat in the chair provided, before he stared off into the darkness.
"Report." was the short command that he uttered. Not a moment later, a shinobi wearing a white animal-themed mask, a black cloak, and armed with a short tanto blade, emerged from the shadows, as if he were a part of them. The mysterious shinobi approached the seated man, and presented him with a large sealed manilla envelope.
"My lord, this is all of the data that we managed to recover from the surveillance cameras situated at Omega Outpost #31 before the entire area was exposed, and the damage report for the entire outpost. We've had our specialists analyze what we recorded, and managed to create a few profile images of what exactly attacked our village." the newcomer said in a monotone voice. The man just accepted the envelope, idly examining it as if it were a unique trinket.
"And what of the scouting team? Have they returned to base?" asked the man, his attention still on the envelope.
"Unfortunately, we believe that they have been terminated. Reports from the tracking station say that their beacon seals have faded from the active operatives roster." The man's hand paused inches away from touching the envelope. This was not good news at all. While he was allowed to retain the operatives he had trained as a sort of personal guard, his organization was supposed to have officially been disbanded for good. If those operatives had been killed in action, then he needed to act fast.
"Did their tracers list their coordinates before they vanished?" The masked man merely nodded. "Send in a salvage team to those coordinates and retrieve their bodies. We don't want anyone loyal to the Third to find them, and implicate us of our actions."
"It shall be done, my lord." And with that, the masked shinobi stepped backwards into the shadows, vanishing completely within the darkness. Now alone in his quarters, the man wasted no time in ripping open the sealed envelope and revealing its contents. Scattered across the desk was a black disk that undoubtedly contained surveillance footage, a scroll detailing the extensive property damage done to the outpost, and a few enlarged, enhanced images of the intruder. He placed the disk and scroll aside to look at some other time, and focused on the images sprawled across his desk, with three images quickly catching his interest. The first one depicted the intruder's heavily armored vehicular form shooting its cannons at the outpost's defenses. The second one showed its bipedal form, the background of the building acting as a makeshift scale that gauged the giant's actual size. The third and final one was a close up of the behemoth's head and torso, giving the man a detailed image of the giant's visage, as well as the insignia that adorned its chest. Just from a quick glance, he could see that this being was not a construct from any rival shinobi village, going by its pristine appearance. No engineer that his spies knew about could craft something as complex as this; he would have been alerted ahead of time if such a project was in the works.
"Just what are you, and where did you come from?" asked the man aloud. "Well, it doesn't matter, I will find out sooner or later. You may have taken us by surprise this day, but we will be prepared the next time you decide to invade us. Everyone may think that we are no more, but Leaf's Foundation will always be there to prevent our village from collapsing. We will learn your secrets, and then use them to make Leaf even greater than before. And through my contributions, I will be named Hokage, as I should have been so many years ago; I, Danzō Shimura, swear this.
Autobot Headquarters, Medical Ward
"How are the two patients, Red Alert?" asked Optimus, as he and the medic stood over the hydraulic lift that was used for medical operations. It was currently in its lowered position, with both human and Mini-Con laying on top of it. The moment that the three Autobots arrived, Red Alert immediately rushed the two into the ER, much to the confusion of the children. Optimus had hastily told Hot Shot to stall the three adolescents until he had gotten a clearer understanding of the situation the two newcomers were in. Unfortunately, the young Autobot was caught flat-footed, so to speak, and didn't know just what to say to the young humans without raising suspicion. And going by Hot Shot's first question of whether or not they knew any humans that could spit fire or throw lightning as a form of an offensive attack, the commander had a feeling that it would only be a matter of time before the kids marched into the ward looking for answers.
"Well, for the Mini-Con's sake, its injuries aren't life threatening. A brief period in the Cryogenic Regeneration Chamber managed to repair all of the damage that it suffered. All that's left to do is wait until its central processor restarts. It's the human that I'm more worried about. Since his body is entirely organic, using the chamber is obviously out of the question since the process would do more harm to him than good. But upon further analysis, it appears that he won't be needing any medical assistance at all."
"I don't understand. Before we retreated back to base, you said that even though the boy's body was healing at a slightly faster pace than normal humans, he would still need additional medical treatment. Now, you're saying that he doesn't need it. How is it possible for any human to have such a rapid healing factor?"
"I'm just as bewildered as you are, sir. But I do have a theory that the child's unusual energy signatures may have something to do with his fast recovery."
"Yes, sir. Once I arrived back, I immediately ran a diagnostics program on the boy, figuring that he would be the most injured of the two patients. And if my scanners are functioning correctly, the child is exhibiting two distinct energy readings. Both of them share some characteristics similar to the Mini-Cons that are present in the base, yet, at the same time, are completely different phenomenons all together. The first readings indicate a slow, but constant flow of energy circulating throughout the boy's body. This energy is in a surprisingly large quantity for such a young creature, and is similar to the readings that a Mini-Con gives off once it combines to a larger Cybertronian. The second energy reading, however, has me a little concerned. It seems to be more centered around the boy's navel area, and its reserves completely dwarf the first energy trace. Not only that, but it bears a striking resemblance to raw, unrefined energon deposits, only more more severe and unstable." explained the medic.
"That explains why Megatron was so determined to take the boy along with the Mini-Con. I still can't believe his claims of humans capable of such destructive abilities without the aid of firearms were true. If I hadn't seen it with my own optics, I would have merely passed off Megatron's words as one of his mad delusions." added Optimus, as his hand gently brushed up against the damaged area on his back. It was still a shock to the Prime at how destructive those attacks were.
"Yes, and if this boy is an example of what those warriors are like before they mature, then I wouldn't want to return to that particular world any time soon. But I don't think we'll have a choice in the matter, considering what was brought along with the boy." said Red Alert, as he gestured to the Mini-Con on the table, and then showed Optimus something he didn't expect to see.
"A Mini-Con panel?! Where did you find that one?" he asked, as he stared at the object in Red Alert's hand.
"I found it in the boy's jacket. It's most likely the original reason why Megatron was pursuing the boy so relentlessly. But, this also posses a very serious situation for us. If these two Mini-Cons came from this unknown world, then there's no telling just how many more Min-Cons are scattered throughout that area. Add to the fact that this world is inhabited by super-powered humans, I fear that the Decepticons will be encouraged to revisit that destination a lot more often."
"What I don't understand is how there can be Mini-Cons hidden in some location that our planetary sensors couldn't pick up until now. We've sent out probes all across this planet, and they've never sent back data on any location like the one we've just been to; it's as if we were in an entirely different world all together. But how is that even possible? Canthis sort of thing even happen, or have we just happened across an isolated human settlement that has been kept itself hidden from modern society?"
"Although it does sound pretty farfetched, I wouldn't dismiss such an explanation just yet. Keep in mind, sir, that when we built the Exodus to evacuate the Mini-Cons from Cybertron, we had the ship equipped with the most advanced transwarp systems we had at the time, including technology that was still in its early experimental stages. Now this is just going by what we know so far, but I believe that combined with the damage that the ship sustained from the surprise Decepticon ambush, the journey through the warp gate, and then its final crash landing on the Earth and its moon may have caused more than just the scattering of the stasis panels across the planet. For all we know, the transwarp system could have malfunctioned during the planetary impact, and somehow opened a warp gate to a completely different dimension that exists independently from the one we're currently occupying. But like I said, this is only just a hypothesis, supported by the theory of infinite parallel universes. We'll most likely get more concrete answers from either the boy or the Mini-Con, once they regain consciousness."
"Let's just hope they wake up soon." sighed Optimus, his gaze lingering on the lift. Suddenly, the automatic door opened, drawing the two Autobots' attention to the newcomers. If they had just continued to watch the occupied lift for a second longer, however, they would have seen the Mini-Con's optics flicker briefly.
"Hey, Optimus, Red Alert, is it true that you guys fought against superheroes?" Carlos asked the minute he stepped in the room, his voice brimming with excitement.
"Carlos, you can't just barge in here without asking permission first!" exclaimed Alexis, as she ran after her friend, followed closely by Rad and the Street Action Mini-Con Team. Hot Shot ran in shortly after, looking quite embarrassed.
"I'm sorry, Optimus," he began, " but the kids really wanted to know what had happened on our latest mission. And they especially didn't like being kept in the dark when Mini-Cons are involved. I tried to explain the situation as best as I could, but that only seemed to make things worse, and then it-"
"It's alright, Hot Shot." interrupted Optimus. "I was planning on telling the children everything anyways, after I made sure that our two guests weren't in any immediate danger."
"Optimus, we're really sorry if we-WHOA! Optimus, what happened to your back?!" exclaimed Rad, as he finally noticed the burn and blast damage that scarred the normally bright red plating on the Autobot's back. His exclamation only served to alert both Alexis and Carlos of the injury as well. Optimus mentally berated himself for not hiding his injuries better so he wouldn't upset the three humans. Perhaps it would have been more tactful if he had the damage repaired a lot earlier.
"Oh my God, Optimus, are you alright?" asked Alexis, her hands covering her mouth in shock.
"Did those Decepti-creeps do that to you?!" growled Carlos.
"It's alright, you three, I'm fine." assured the Prime. "The injury stings a little bit, but it's nothing too serious. But as for your question, Carlos, no, it wasn't the Decepticons this time. I received this wound from the locals. Apparently, they're quite territorial."
"Locals? Wait a minute, Hot Shot asked us earlier if humans could use fire and lightning attacks without the use of technology. Are you saying that humans managed to drive you three off without machine guns or missiles?" asked Carlos, his excitement steadily bubbling over.
Having some experience with the boy's enthusiasm, Optimus saw no harm in answering his question. "Yes, Carlos, before we retreated, we were ambushed by humans that could utilize energy-based attacks that were dependent on focused fire, earth, and lightning." answered Optimus.
"Can't say that I've ever heard of anything like that before, except in comic books." murmured Rad. "Did these humans have any noticeable characteristics? Like, did they use any distinctive weaponry, or did they wear some kind of uniform? That might give us a clue as to just who you encountered."
"And whether or not they pose a threat to your cover." added Alexis.
"Well," began Red Alert, "from what we saw from the battalion that attacked us, the group was comprised of both adult male and female humans. Aside from their energy attacks, they used small throwing knives in conjunction with explosives that seemed to be disguised as small slips of paper. As for their attire, while they differed slightly from person to person, a majority of the warriors wore green utility vests. Additionally, they were all wearing a cloth headband that had metal plate attached to it. The plate itself had some sort of symbol engraved into it.
"It kind of looks like the one that kid is wearing." said Hot Shot, pointing to the boy laying on the lift, more specifically the headband that adorned his head. The kids and their Mini-Con partners flocked to the lift, each of them wanting to get a glimpse.
"Huh. It looks like some sort of spiraling leaf." stated Carlos, before his eyes widened with sudden recognition. "Hold on just a second, throwing knives, paper bombs, headbands? You guys fought against ninja! No, scratch that, super-powered ninjas! That's got to be the only explanation!"
"Ninjas? Really, Carlos?" asked Rad, his expression non-pulsed, having heard his friend's ramblings about "super ninja" several times before.
"Aw, come on, Rad, don't give me that look!"
"Actually, Carlos isn't too far off from describing our attackers. Even though there are some vast differences between the ninja that your historical records depict, and the battalion that we encountered, the similarities were uncanny to say the least."
"HA! I knew it!" exclaimed Carlos, triumphantly.
"Okay, so you three were attacked by ninjas. But if that's the case, then why did you bring one of them back to the base? He could be a scout sent in by the enemy to infiltrate our defenses, and look for any weaknesses that his people can exploit."
"I kind of find that hard to believe Alexis, unless you count being hounded by Megatron and then attacked by your own kind as some sort of elaborate cover story." countered Hot Shot.
That left Alexis speechless, her counter that she had prepared dying in her throat. Rad and Carlos looked aghast as well, not sure what to make of the fact that someone as old as they were was nearly killed.
"Why...why would someone try to kill a kid?" Rad thought aloud.
"That's what we were hoping to find out, once the boy wakes up." answered Red Alert.
Rad simply nodded, opting to say nothing as he was still unsure on how he felt about the situation that laid before him. That is, until he saw Carlos slowly making his way towards the mysterious kid.
"Hey, Carlos, what do you think you're doing?!" demanded Rad, simultaneously snapping Alexis out of her stupor. But before she could reprimand the Hispanic adolescent, Carlos spoke up again.
"Relax, Rad. I'm just looking to see if this dude's got any I.D. on him or something. That way, we'd at least know the guy's name. And if I happen across any ninja weapons on his person, I'll just hang onto them until he wakes up, since Alexis is so certain that this guy's dangerous." But as Carlos continued to slowly make his way towards the blonde, he never thought to pay more attention to the Mini-Con that was laying beside the boy, and thus didn't notice the small robot's optics flicker on.
It all happened so fast; one minute Carlos was reaching towards the blonde boy, the next he was launched back as something hard slammed into his solar plexus at an unimaginable speed. The kid landed harshly on his back, gasping and coughing from having the air forcibly knocked out of his lungs. But as he managed to get his breathing back to normal, he was unpleasantly surprised with the sight that was before him. There, standing in front of the downed kid, was the Mini-Con that was originally laying beside him. Since it was previously laying down on the lift, he had thought that it was in the same state as the boy. He was now regretting not paying more attention to it, because unlike Grindor, Carlos could tell that this new Mini-Con was more suited for combat. And, from its posture, it was not in a pleasant mood.
"I don't know how you are, put if you think that I'm just going to let you kick my friend when he's down, then you've got another thing coming!" yelled the small robot. It reached behind its back, where a grip, trigger guard, and trigger folded out of the middle of the Mini-Con's back. A long, rectangular section jettisoned from the middle of its back, the grip landing into its hand. With a sudden jerk, the small robot leveled the newly revealed assault rifle at Carlos' head, the boy quivering in fear as he heard the weapon hum to life, and saw its barrel glowing with a prepared shot.
The sudden action left everyone speechless, that is, except for the Street Action Team. The moment they saw that the newest Mini-Con was holding Carlos at gun point, they leaped into the air, combining into Perceptor whilst in mid-air, and landed in front of the weapon-wielding jet-bot, assuming a fighting stance, protectively shielding the human. Not wanting the situation to degrade into a fight to the death, Rad and Alexis ran to the middle of the upcoming battlefield in attempt to stop the would-be combatants.
"Wait, stop, please! You two don't need to fight each other, we're all on the same side here!" pleaded Alexis, trying to calm Perceptor.
"This is all just one big misunderstanding! If we all just take a second to calm down and talk to each other, we can avoid this conflict all together!" added Rad, standing in front of the Mini-Con armed with the gun. He didn't know what made him think that standing in front of the potentially homicidal Mini-Con was a good idea, as the small bot didn't look like it was going to listen to him.
"Everyone, please settle down. There's no need for violence." boomed a voice from above the scene. That seemed to snap the miniature robot out of its trance, its head swiveling to where it heard the voice, only to gape at just who the voice's owner was.
"There is nothing for you to worry about, little one. Both you and your friend are safe; no harm shall fall upon either of you." continued the Prime, soothingly. The Mini-Con didn't say anything, instead opting to stare back in Carlos' general direction. "I assure you that the human child meant no ill will towards your friend, he was just curious as to where the two of you came from. I'm sure that you have a few questions that you want answered, but we need to address this situation calmly if any progress is to be made. Now, if you would kindly lower your weapon, we can answer each others questions, peacefully." he added.
The Mini-Con remained still, it's gaze still locked onto Carlos. Nobody dared to move, in fear in causing a horrendous chain of violent events. The silence was becoming increasingly unbearable, until the Mini-Con finally eased its posture, and replaced its rifle on its back. Seeing that the newcomer had stood down, Perceptor disengaged and transformed back to his separate Mini-Con components, with Grindor immediately rushing to Carlos' side. Rad backed away from the Mini-Con, opting to give it more space so as not to make it fell cornered.
"If you don't mind me asking, what is your name?" Prime continued.
The Mini-Con stood to face Optimus, it posture similar to that of a soldier standing at attention. "Agent Spitfire, last surviving member of the Special Operatives Team." said the Mini-Con. High Wire, Grindor, and Sureshock all seemed taken aback from the newcomer's introduction, which the human children were quick to take notice of.
Hey, what's wrong, Sureshock? Did you know him back on Cybertron?" asked Alexis.
"Not personally, but we have heard of his team's exploits when we were still fighting in the Great War." was the scooter Mini-Con's reply.
"The Special Operatives Team was famous for completing missions that were considered to be suicidal and had no chance of success. In a way, they were like the Autobots' Wreckers, only smaller and a higher chance of survival. But things took a turn for the worst when they and three other Mini-Con teams w-"
"High Wire!" exclaimed Grindor, cutting off what the dirt bike Mini-Con was about to say. High Wire looked at Grindor, who merely shook his head. The two said nothing as they stared at each other, yet High Wire nodded his head, as if to say that he understood the underlying message that Grindor was trying to tell him. A quick glace towards Spitfire, and his trembling fists, was all High Wire needed to see that he nearly crossed onto matters that were personal to Spitfire.
"Sorry, what I meant to say was, until one of their missions was compromised, and the two original Special Ops members were destroyed in the line of duty." High Wire finished, solemnly.
"We knew that an Autobot recon team managed to recover you and the others, but we never heard word of you returning to the front lines." continued Grindor."Some of us believed that you spark had extinguished in the O.R.; it was as if you had simply vanished. If you don't mind me asking, just what happened to you? You were once considered to be one of our most proficient warriors, and your disappearance really hurt the morale amongst us Mini-Cons."
Spitfire inwardly grimaced, not knowing that his inaction since that failed mission had such a negative impact on his race. It made him even more ashamed of his acrophobia than ever before; he didn't even know how to begin explaining his crippling fear of heights without sounding pathetic. Luckily, the sound of groaning came from behind him before he could say anything. Spitfire rushed back to where the prone boy was laying, kneeling down at his side as the human began to stir.
"Uurrgh, what...what the hell happened?" murmured the blonde, as he slowly tried to sit up, with Spitfire gently assisting him. The mini jet bot had one of his hands covering the boy's still closed eyes. "Last thing I remember was...Megatron!" The boy tried to jump to his feet, but Spitfire held him down, making the human's anxiety even worse.
"It's alright, Naruto, we're safe now." Spitfire said, soothingly.
The now-named Naruto immediately stopped moving. "Spitfire? Where are we, and why are you covering up my eyes?", he asked.
"We were lucky enough to be rescued from Megatron's forces whilst we were both unconscious. The 'Cons are long gone, you have nothing to worry about, we're currently at the Autobots' home base."
"What? Autobots? There are more robots like Claw Head and his goons?"
"HEY! The Autobots are nothing like those Decepti-creeps!" shouted Carlos.
"Wait a minute, was that another human? Are these Autobots abducting human kids for science experiments?! How is that any different than those Decepticons, Spitfire?!"
"No! No, these kids aren't being kept hear against their will! And if they are, then these bots have a lot of explaining to do!" Spitfire sent Carlos a glare for unintentionally making Naruto's panic worsen.
"I assure you, young man, that you are not in any danger, and that no one is being kept here against their will. We mean you no harm." said Optimus, trying to sound as calm as possible.
"Oh great, who is that?!" shouted Naruto.
"That's Optimus Prime, the commander of the Autobots. He's...alright, this is getting ridiculous. Naruto, I'm going to uncover your eyes, but I need you to promise me that you won't have a panic attack. It's very important that you remain calm, can you do that for me?"
"Uh, yeah, sure. So long as I can see with my own eyes again." said Naruto, still unsure as how to approach his current situation. Having his eyes covered after waking from unconsciousness, and then finding out that he was in some environment he wasn't familiar with, was not a welcoming sensation. So when he felt the cool sensation of Spitfire's hand leave his face, Naruto's eyes immediately shot open to take in as much as his surroundings as he could. The sudden influx of bright light blinded him momentarily, but as his vision refocused, he was met with a sight the young shinobi never expected to see. Standing behind Spitfire were three human civilian children (two boys and one girl) as well as three more robots that were the same size as the small jet bot. Whilst Naruto had become somewhat used to seeing extraterrestrials in the form of his Mini-Con friend, it was still a surprise to see more of Spitfire's kind in person.
But when Naruto gazed upon the three hulking giants that stood further back, he involuntarily stepped back in shock. There was one that was predominately yellow and burnt orange, with gray forearms and fists, a dark gray visor that rested on its head, and strange markings that ran underneath its blue eyes. Another one had blue limbs, predominately white armor with red stripes, a red cylindrical device in place of its left hand, and a red visor in place of its eyes. But it was the giant in between the other two that really caught Naruto's attention. It stood a good foot taller than the other giants, its larger frame giving off an air of strength and wisdom. The red and blue armor that composed most of its body was full of scuffs and scratches that were most likely from countless battles. The blue head had two big antennae-shaped objects jutting behind him, and a silver faceplate that covered its mouth. Its glowing yellow eyes had a hypnotic quality to them as they seemed to draw Naruto into them, yet they held no malice like Megatron's did.
"Alright, I think some introductions are in order. And possibly an explanation if that's not too much trouble." said Naruto, as he nervously got up on his feet, glancing from one giant robot to the next.
"My name is Optimus Prime." said the red and blue giant. "We are autonomous robotic organisms from the planet Cybertron."
"But we prefer the term Autobots, for short." added the giant with the red visor. "But, we have been called Transformers as well.
"To my left, is Red Alert, our medical officer." said Optimus, as he gestured to the robot with the missing hand and white armor. Red Alert just gave the boy a polite nod. "And to my right is Hot Shot, one of the many seasoned soldiers that make up the Autobot army."
"Hey. How's it going?" greeted Hot Shot, with a short wave.
"So then, you're the leader of this Autobot army, right?" asked Naruto.
"Yes, that's correct."
Naruto then turned to other humans in the room. "And if this is a military base, then why are there civilians involved in your operations, Optimus?"
"Hey, who do you think you are, calling us civilians?! We've been helping the Autobots and Mini-Cons longer than you have!" shouted Carlos. Rad and Alexis stood ready to intervene should their friend do anything rash.
"While we normally don't allow neutral species to become involved in Cybertronian matters, especially one as severe as the Great War, but it was thanks to Rad, Carlos, and Alexis that the first three Mini-Cons were kept safe from the Decepticons long enough for us to intervene."
"What exactly is this Great War ? And why did you decide to bring the Elemental Nations into it?" demanded Naruto, his trepidation increasing when he saw the three Autobots exchange glances with each other.
"It's...kind of a long story, kid." said Hot Shot.
"Well, I'm not going anywhere, and I've got plenty of time on my hands. So why not try me?"
Optimus stepped forward and raised the hydraulic lift until the humans and Mini-Cons were at his eye level. "Our home planet, Cybertron, was once a power empire, peaceful and just. But like all empires, our government soon fell prey to greed and corruption, and soon a massive gap between our planet's social classes emerged. As living conditions for the commonwealth continued to deteriorate, more and more Cybertronians began to riot against the government. At first, they were disorganized, and were easily dealt with the government's Elite Guard. But all of that changed, when Megatron made himself known."
"Megatron?" asked Naruto.
"Once a former energon miner in one of Cybertron's many mines, Megatron became notorious as a gladiator in the underground pit fights that were held in the city-state, Kaon. As Megatron's popularity grew with each victory, he began to attract the attention of several Cybertronians that shared his resentment for the corruption that ran rampant throughout the planet. Megatron used this to his advantage to amass a large army, loyal only to him and ideals. At first, Megatron wanted to use this large following to change Cybertron for the better, to make sure that each Cybertronian was treated equally. But like Cybertron, Megatron too became corrupt through the passage time. Gone was the advocate for a free and equal society, and in his place was a cruel, power-hungry, sadistic tyrant who was dead set on conquering Cybertron, and then the entire universe. His personal army, the Decepticons, first made their presence known when they attacked and killed several members of the Senate. After which, Megatron led his followers on a violent and bloody rampage, taking over several city-states to use as strongholds for their rapidly growing army. In response to Megatron's campaign, we Autobots banded together and fought back against the Decepticons, thus starting the Great War.
"The war was an arduous one, with the rate of casualties for both sides climbing to astronomical levels with each battle. The fighting was so severe, that Cybertron itself was literally torn in half. With the planet literally divided into two separate territories, the fighting began to stagnate, to the point were both armies entered a stalemate that could not be broken. It was only with the discovery of the Mini-Cons that the magnitude of the warincreased. These smaller Transformers had the ability to combine with full-sized Cybertronians, resulting in an augmentation in their strength, speed, or even unlocking new weapons that have been hidden within our own bodies; weapons that we would normally be unable to access."
"Wait, wait, wait, why would you need a Mini-Con to use these weapons? Couldn't you activate them by yourselves?" interrupted Naruto.
"Normally, we can, but since these weapons are integrated into our internal systems, using them in combat would consume too much of our energy. Additionally, since we have to carefully manage how much energy we use, the weapons' potential firepower would be greatly diminished. If Mini-Con were to fuse with one of us, however, they could provide the energy needed to activate the weapon and help regulate remove the strain of powering them, resulting in a much higher rate of efficiency." explained Red Alert.
"Quite right." agreed Prime. "But with the many positive concepts that the Mini-Cons brought to the war, there was just as many drawbacks. With the introduction of our more destructive integrated weaponry, the devastation reaped upon Cybertron rose to catastrophic levels, further damaging our already war-torn world. Additionally, the Decepticons took to viewing the Mini-Cons as mere weapons instead of sentient robots, and were treated a lot worse than slaves, forcing them to combine with their soldiers and enhance their fighting capabilities to the point that they're left in stasis-lock. Even worse, Megatron commissioned his scientists to perform live experiments on Mini-Cons, to see how they could enhance his soldiers' abilities to the utmost maximum level. This usually involved having their internal fail-safe systems completely disabled, so that they couldn't help but give the Decepticons their all, even with the risk of having their entire systems failing. For many of the Mini-Cons that we liberated, many of them had lasting injuries that couldn't be treated despite what our top medics tried."
Naruto's eyes widened in shock, not used to hearing about such atrocities like the one that was committed on his friend's fellow kinsmen. To find out that an entire race had been degraded to mere objects, and had gone through horrors like live experimentation, made him sick to his very core. He had had plenty of experience of being treated worse than any criminal in his village, but to be seen as a mere weapon? As someone whose life could have been so easily discarded once deemed useless? It was a pretty unsettling thought; something that he wouldn't wish upon anyone, not even his enemies. Glancing to his left, he saw similar looks of shock and horror, indicating that the three kids didn't know of the hardships the Mini-Cons endured back on Cybertron.
"Realizing that the war would only worsen with their continued presence, the Mini-Cons made contact with us, and pleaded that we help them escape from Cybertron. It took a lot of difficult planning, and several nearly suicidal missions, but we were able to round up all of the Mini-Cons and build a ship that would be capable of taking them far away. But on the scheduled date of their evacuation, the Decepticons ambushed us in attempt to reclaim the Mini-Cons. We engaged them in order to buy our little friends enough time to escape via warp gate, but the damage done to their ship caused a malfunction in their transwarp systems just as they were about enter the gate. Their final destination ended up being your solar system. The damage finally taking it toll on the ship, the Exodus crash-landed, first breaking apart when it collided with your moon, and then finally landed onto prehistoric Earth. The impact from the landing, as well as the structural damage done by the moon caused the Exodus to jettison the Mini-Cons all across the world, were they remained in stasis for millions of years. It was merely by chance that Rad, Carlos, and Alexis stumbled upon the wreckage of the Exodus, and uncovered the Street Action Team. It was because the team's reawakening that both the Autobots and Decepticons sent soldiers to Earth, one faction wanting to reclaim them to use as weapons, the other wanting to keep them safe."
Naruto gazed at the Autobot commander, dreading the question that he was about to ask. "And just...how long...has this civil war been going on?"
Optimus hesitated, a part of him not wanting to tell the blonde the devastating truth about Cybertron. But he knew that after everything that Naruto and the first three children had endured at the hands of Megatron, they deserved to know the truth.
"In your time, close to about four million years." answered Optimus, solemnly.
Naruto said nothing, as he tried to process everything that he had just learned. He had learned about the three ninja world wars in the academy, and knew that they had lasted for several years, and left the world scarred and mutilated once they were over. But now, they all seemed like petty squabbles compared to the planet-scale civil war on Cybertron that had been going on since before humans ever existed. To think that an entire civilization, generation after generation, had been ravaged by constant warfare, with seemingly no end in sight, was just to much to even imagine. Glancing back at the three civilian kids, he noticed the somber and slightly horrified expressions on their faces, which easily told him that they didn't know the severity of Cybertron's war up until now.
But then, his mind brought him back to something that Optimus had said earlier, or rather, to what he didn't say. "Optimus, where exactly are we in regards to the Leaf Village? Given everything that happened, I think it would best if I let Old Man Hokage that Spitfire and I are fine." The Autobots each shared a nervous glance with each other, hesitant on answering the blonde's question.
"Elemental Nations? What part of Japan is that?" asked Carlos.
"And just what does a hoagie have to do anything?" added Rad.
"Ho-ka-ge. Hokage, the leader of the Village Hidden in the Leaves, the most powerful and respected ninja in the Land of Fire?"
"Wha-Land of Fire? Hidden Leaf? You're not making any sense at all!" said Alexis. "Where in the world are these places? I've never heard of any section of Japan being called by such names!"
"Japan, what are you talking about? What the hell is that?"
"Naruto, there's something that you need to know." interrupted Optimus, bringing the attention of the four adolescents to him. "Before we found you and Spitfire, we encountered a few...difficulties. You see, earlier this week we had picked up a Mini-Con homing beacon that mysteriously vanished just moments after it appeared. We tried to analyze the data that we received, but we couldn't reach any conclusive results. It was only after we located the second Mini-Con that-"
"The Mini-Con!" exclaimed Naruto, unzipping his jacket only to find that the storage panel was no longer tucked behind it, much to his dismay." "Aw, crap! Don't tell me that Megatron managed to get it after everything we went through!"
"It's alright, " said Red Alert, holding up the panel for the ninja to see. "The Mini-Con is safe and sound. I just moved it so that I could check to see if you were injured." Naruto sighed in relief. He then turned back to face the Autobot commander, sheepishly scratching the back of his head at an invisible itch.
"Sorry about that, Optimus. You were saying?"
"Yes, well, once our sensors managed to pick up the second Mini-Con's beacon, we encountered similar difficulties in locking onto its coordinates. It took us a while to finally pinpoint the exact location, which is why it took so long for us to intervene on Megatron. But another factor in our delayed reaction time was the location itself. You see, even though we have been on Earth for a short while, we had already managed to map out the entire planet to a degree that we were familiar with just about every major country in this world, as well as learn a brief history of a few of the civilizations that once existed on this planet. Yet, we have never came across a human settlement quite like yours. And when we compared the initial images of your village to that of the cities we've seen already, we saw that your home shared no similarities with the other cities that we've observed; the buildings and structures simply did not match with what we have seen from our probes."
Instantly, the dread that had been gnawing at the pit of his stomach returned full force for the blonde. Even though he only managed to comprehend bits and pieces of Optimus' explanation, Naruto didn't really like what he was hearing.
"Look, Optimus, I appreciate you telling me the truth and everything, but could you please just get to the main point? I've had a rough day, and I'd prefer that you tell me what you're trying to say without beating around the bush." said Naruto.
Optimus remained silent for a moment, as if he really, really didn't want to answer the boy's question. "What I'm saying, Naruto, is that your Village Hidden in the Leaves doesn't exist. At least, in our dimension."
To Be Continued...
What the fecking hell, the Leaf Village doesn't exist in this new dimension?! If so, then where exactly is Naruto?! But do not fret, for if there's a will, there's a way, and Naruto is not one to give up so easily. Meanwhile, back in the shinobi world, the Third Hokage has got his hands full trying to come to terms at the mess that the Decepticons and Autobots have caused, and how much more complicated Naruto's return will make things. And what about Squad 7, will it still exist after everything that has happened? Find next time, when Naruto learns about parallel universes, tries to prove his worthiness of being a shinobi to a chronically-late instructor, and begins to question just who exactly are his comrades, and his enemies.
*The "Ion Pulse Wave" is name I've created for the attack that Optimus uses when he clasps his hands together, and launches a beam of multicolored energy from them, which usually includes atom-like shapes in the center of the beam. This attack was seen numerous times in the anime, but I have yet to find the proper name of this move. If someone does know the proper name for this attack, please let me know.
AN: Well, there you have it, another chapter. This is probably the longest chapter I have ever posted, 23 pages in total. And believe it or not, I was actually planning on making this even LONGER! First of all, I'd like to express my deepest apologies for how late this is. During my long period of silence, I have been plagued by a series of unfortunate events that really cut into my rate of posting updates; namely having my original flash drive get stolen, traveling around Europe, and trying to find time away from college and a summer job. And that brings me to my next point: writing and posting to this site is a hobby to me, not a career. If it was, then I would gladly be posting updates at a more rapid pace. So please, even though I'm touched that so many like my stories, don't waste a PM or review telling me that I have "no excuse" for taking so long to post an update. So anyways, just like before, have at it. Leave a review if you like or don't like something, subscribe if you haven't already. Ja ne!