A/N: Okay, as you may have guessed from the length between updates, Zanzou is giving me trouble right now. So I'm working on this little piece while I try and sort out that one. This was actually partially written years ago when I was much younger, but I'm pulling it out and touching it up to keep writing. So if it kinda sucks, that's b/c I was about 15 when I started it.

Finally, yes, this prologue is meant to be fragmented. It's showing little patches of trouble - and the 'ignorance' of the majority of Konoha. Enjoy.

Disclaimer/Rating/Warnings: You will probably never see this anywhere except on ff net, therefore, I clearly don't own Naruto. Rated T for language and violence (really, can you imagine a multi-chaptered Naruto story without violence? They're shinobi, fer cryin' out loud!).

Note: This ---- shows a scene change. This -- shows a POV change within the scene.


February, 10 years ago

The woman slid back, kunai held tightly as she faced her opponent, willing away the tears that tried to cloud her vision. She was shinobi, damn it, and she would not let personal feelings get in the way of what she had to do. She would protect her village… even from her husband. It was her duty, her responsibility to protect her people from… whatever it was he was up to.

Standing on the roof of their home, she watched the man in front of her, barely able to believe that this cold-eyed person was the same warm man she had fallen in love with ten years ago.

"Mama?" a small voice called out, and the woman's heart froze. She risked a quick glance aside, to the little girl climbing up from the roof access hatch. Only eight, still learning the most basic of ninja skills, the child couldn't possibly stand against her father. The child shouldn't have to.

The man lifted one of his kunai into a throwing position and the woman reacted instinctively. She dashed, snatching her baby out of harm's way. Leaping across to the nearest rooftop, she stood at the edge and shoved her daughter behind her. "Go" she commanded. "Get the neighbors. Your father… your father is…"

"A traitor?" the girl asked softly, still hidden safely behind her mother. The woman nodded, narrowing her eyes as a smirk appeared on the face of her husband. Then those eyes widened as she heard the softly whispered "I know" at the same instant that she felt small hands shove hard against her back.

She had no chance. Balanced on the edge already, her mind going blank at the double betrayal, all she could do was fall. Even so, she might have been able to get up and fight on. She might have… had she not struck the ground at a twisted angle, breaking her spine on impact.

--

The nurse looked up as a child barged into the hospital, tears running down her face. "Please," she begged. "Please, my mom… she was helping me practice… she fell."

A medical team was immediately sent out, but when they arrived, one look at the face of the man kneeling beside the broken body of the woman told them all they needed to know.

A funeral was held, many coming to honor a loyal comrade taken by an unfortunate accident.

----

December, 8 years ago

The kunoichi listened patiently, a small smile on her lips as her squadmate spoke passionately about loyalty and the Will of Fire. Inside, she was laughing at the fool. 'Will of Fire, ha' she thought. 'Loyalty? To a Village that suffers – and protects! – a monster like that demon-child?! The Hokage is clearly senile – and Konoha has gone mad if they so eagerly follow him. They were right; this Village needs to go down. If only there were enough of us…'

----

July, 6 years ago

The man listened patiently as the others spoke in their turn. Each 'leader' gave their reports, from a new convert to the elimination of a potential threat. Finally his attention was drawn to the last speaker. "So with my acceptance into the ranks of the Academy, I will be in a prime position to recruit Konoha's children. It will take years, but we knew that already. And in time, Konoha will fall from within."

----

August, 5 years ago

Footsteps raced lightly through the trees. Short, sharp gasps echoed in the unnatural silence as overworked lungs fought for air. Dark eyes flicked frantically, vainly trying to find some small amount of moonlight with which to see a path. 'Have to…make it back' the ninja thought, desperately trying to clear his mind as panic threatened to overwhelm him once again. 'Shit, which way? Where am I? And where is Hana? Did they get her? Oh, God, which way is the village? I have to tell them…they have to know…'

A small sound, almost unnoticed even in the silence caused him to begin to spin around. Moeru Teraka, twelve year old rookie genin of the Hidden Leaf village, never saw the blow that killed him.

--

The shinobi pair stationed at the gates of the Leaf village perked up as they heard footsteps thunder towards them. "Hey" a young voice called out, preceding the boy it belonged to by only a few seconds. "Sensei said" huff huff, "Sensei said to get everyone together. The others went to get firewood hours ago, but they haven't come back. We can't find Moeru Teraka or Inuzuka Hana!"

--

The entire village rallied to search, but they could not find a trace of the missing children.