O Naruto, Where Art Thou?
A Naruto fanfiction by Andrew Joshua Talon
Disclaimer: Naruto is the property of Misaki Kishimoto. I am not writing this for profit.
April 7th, 1932
Mr. Umino had us start working on diaries when we were in school, mainly to teach us how to file reports and such. He also said that, given the way the world changes, it's good to have records of how you were feeling at the time. Being a soldier, a ninja more exactly, is going to put me into the middle of a lot of big events in the coming decades, according to him. I like that-I mean, I want to leave my mark on history. I want to become the Hokage. But I also want to know how I got there, and given my memory ain't always perfect, this is a good way to make sure everything I want to remembered is remembered.
Anyway, I ain't too sure what to actually write here. I already wrote what I wanna be, wrote a bit 'bout my team... Maybe a little more about Konoha and how it came to be? I guess. I ain't too big on history, 'cepting a few particular subjects. Sakura's always on my case to read up and study-Says it's good if I ever want to become an officer. Which I do, though I can tell she doesn't think I can make Hokage. She's a cynical one. Have to admit I kind of like her spunk though... As long as it's not directed at me.
Right, right... Konoha was founded in 1870 following the Great Fire Republic Civil War. It was split between the West, which was less industrially developed and more rugged, and the East, big city people. The East wanted to extend more and more controls over the West, standardize everythin', make everyone "enlightened" (whatever the hell that means-Bring in electricity I guess) but the way they did it apparently infringed on the rights guaranteed in the Fire Republic Constitution, set down in 1789 with the founding of the Republic. So there was a war. The East won, thanks to a number of ninja families which had stayed out of the war for the first few years signing on with the Federal forces if they'd guarantee them a kind of independence in the form of their own exclusive "Self-Governing Zone" in exchange for serving as soldiers for the Republic.
Some members of the Republic government after the war tried to heal the wounds, so to speak, and allowed ninja families that had signed on with the Independents to also become part of Konoha. As a result, the base/town is smack dab in the middle of the West and East, with total access to every major railway and road in the Republic. The Regular Army also has a few bases around us, making this area one of the most heavily armed and fortified places on the continent.
There, history lesson over. Whoever's reading this in the future, that's all I'm going to say on the subject. You want more in-depth history, go see Sakura's diary. I've seen that damn thing, it's already a damn novel series.
Anyway, on me. I want to be Hokage. I'm gonna be Hokage, and I fully expect to be re-reading this in the future when I'm Hokage. There, entry over.
Sakura's pestering me to write more. Nag nag nag... Remember that spunk I mentioned? Yeah, ain't so appealing right now.
Let's see. I guess I can talk a spell about being a ninja. See, this year's graduates numbered twenty-seven cadets. About nine get to be taught by Jounin instructors, primarily for training as potential black ops agents. The others can train independently and wait for new slots in training teams to open up next year, or go onto more specific "Trade Schools". They make up the majority of our ninja forces. Couriers, nurses, guards, policemen, mechanics, other stuff like that.
That's not me though. I wanna go in and bust up the bad guys. I wanna command troops in battle. I wanna kick ass, and for that, you train under a Jounin until he or she feels you qualify for the Chuunin Exam (Journey Man Ninja). Basically, they're the middle-managers, squad level commanders, that sort of thing. They lead small groups of ninja in combat for C to B rank missions and act as trainers and such. There are degrees of Chuunin you can achieve, from Third Class (Bottom of the ladder) to First Class. Mr. Umino is a Chuunin First Class, but ain't keen on being known by his rank. Some say he saw too much. I dunno, I can't see him in battle. He's too nice... Well, most of the time.
After Chuunins are Special Jounin, who are usually issued warrants from the Hokage for a specific role. They ain't full Jounin, lack the experience or the command skills, but they're powerful enough to fight a Jounin and possibly win. An example would be Anko Mitarashi. Now, hers is a story all her own (which is too traumatizing for me to relate just yet... Maybe after I've drunk my weight in moonshine), but suffice it to say she's Konoha's resident Snake Specialist. Need to summon snakes for any reason, you talk to her. Need creative ways to kill or manipulate somebody with poisons, you talk to her. Need to traumatize a bunch of green cadets?
You get the picture.
Jounin is, naturally, after this. They're equivalent to Colonels in the regular army and have Three Classes as well. First Class are pretty much the scariest motherfuckers you could ever expect to meet in peacetime combat, whether it be in offensive skills, spells, illusions, or just plain experience. Hell, Ebisu, our resident pervert-in-denial, is a Jounin who got there with brains, experience, and the unrelenting determination granted by the pole up his ass. Kakashi's a Jounin First Class as well, though I have no idea why. The guy's not a commander, he's a lazy asshole! And it can't be on seniority alone, he's only 30! I don't get it at all.
Finally, you get to Sannin. Now, there's a difference between THE Sannin, and regular Sannin. The latter is a rank: Sannin is the equivalent in the regular army of General-They are the badass of the badass, chosen in times of war to lead armies of ninja. Now, that may sound counter-productive, but they basically act to organize how large groups of covert operations will be conducted all at once, usually in support of regular units. The Hokage is the title of the Sannin of the Special Forces, the supreme commander.
Now, THE Sannin are three legendary ninjas, who are who most people are talking about if you ask about them. There's always a THE before it. The Toad Sannin Jiraiya, the Slug Sannin Tsunade, and the Snake Sannin Orochimaru. All scary, all awesome... And all in self-imposed exile 'cept for Orochimaru, who is a crazy, evil son of a bitch who kidnapped 'n experimented on lotsa ninja. Why? He was fucking crazy, what else do you need once you get a look at a picture of him?
So yeah, I make my way up the ranks and become the Hokage. Perfect plan. Works great. Can I stop writing now?
... She thinks I ain't too funny. Fine. I'll talk more… What else? Oh yeah.
There are few men like The Hokage in Konoha. He is strong, fair, and kind, as well as a total pervert. Now, calling him on that was downright rude, at least so far as Mr. Umino said, but people spent more than enough time deceiving others that honesty was in short supply. Honesty lit up the world. At least so said Sister Ayame. Though she admitted that honesty needed to be shielded with lies so often.
Hence, the world of ninja. Of which the Hokage was the Professor. Knew more spells and ways to kill a man than words in a dictionary. His leadership had brought a whole new level of prosperity and peace to the Elemental Nations. The fact he had the lowest kill score of any Hokage was inconsequential-He knew how to fight in order to make nobody else want to fight. "Shock and awe", he said.
He was the kind of man I wanted to be when I grew up. Moving on from a Cadet Ninja to a Genin. Supposedly it was from an old language meanin' "Young Ninja", but most of us took it to be short for General Issue Ninja. You have a problem, you buy a few General Issue Ninja to clear it up. That was the way of the world.
'Cept I wasn't any General Issue Ninja, thank you very much. I knew it, but nobody else did. Especially not this team I've been put in for training purposes.
Sasuke Uchiha. Pretty boy, always brooding, never goes anywhere without a bit of Dapper Dan's promade (The reason I can afford free ramen. Blackmail may be a sin, but as far as Sister Ayame is concerned it's just friendship). I am in awe he ain't ever set his head on fire with his fire breathing given just how much of that damn stuff he uses. Still, he ain't all bad. Rather stiff, but with the way he looks at Sister Ayame, there's some hope for him yet. Has special eyes that ain't come in yet due to his family blood. The Sharingan or some-such.
Next, we have Sakura Haruno. Pink haired, pretty girl. Hoping, like nearly every other girl in town, to someday become Mrs. Sasuke Uchiha. Dang smart too, memorized Tactical Strategies with Covert Forces volumes 1-9. Ironic thing is she acts as our nurse. But ninja nurses are different from regular nurses-They can take you apart just as easily as fit you back together. I swear that little red cross on her pack was drawn with blood, considering how much of mine she's taken for "tests".
Kakashi Hatake is our Jounin (Senior Ninja), teacher, commanding officer, and general pain in the ass. Lazy bastard insists on us running all this PT and all these dumbass missions while he sits around reading illicit literature. Now, I may be young but I ain't stupid-I've read a few "gentlemen's publications". Sister Ayame couldn't find them all in my room at the church, thank you. But reading it out in public where everyone can see you doing it? That's just wrong. Sister Ayame makes it a habit to publicly berate Kakashifor his corrupting ways, something always fun to see. He wears an eyepath, even though he's got two eyes near as I can tell. He's known as "Copy Cat Kashi" for a reason though, and it might have something to do with that eye.
Finally, there's me. I'm an orphan, raised in Sister Ayame's church since I was four. Before that, the ANBU of the village raised me in their base, to protect me from assassination attempts by the civvies and some ninja. Apparently, since the day I was born I have been hated, and I only learned why recently. The King of Demons, the Fox, is inside me. He attacked the town on the day I was born, and the only way to stop him was for the Fourth Hokage to seal the demon inside me. He gave his life for his village.
Sister Ayame's church has never had a lot of attendees. Not since I was let in. Too many people see the demon and not me, for which I've felt awful guilty about. Sister Ayame, however, told me that the Good Lord means for us to serve our fellow man, even when they hate us. Not just for honor (which I do want), or love (which I also want), but because it's the right thing to do. And because there's more than enough evil in the world, as is.
With that in mind, I decided to become a ninja. Fight the good fight, serve my town, and someday? Serve everyone and save everyone. I've had three good examples for how to live my life: Old Man Hokage, Mr. Umino, and Sister Ayame, and I intend to pay back their kindness by following in their footsteps.
I'm Naruto Uzumaki. And I'm going to become Hokage. You had better believe it.
Well, I swore to finish one fic at least, so enjoy this limited-AU series.
What is this? This is applied anthropology: A cultural context shift. The world of Naruto transformed into a world very much like Earth during the 1930s. The nations have been shifted into analogs, some perfect matches, others not. Some things remain the same-Language for instance. Other things are very different-Governments and technology.
Other things? Not so different.
As to what those similarities are, well… You'll just have to read on, won't you?