Character(s): Naruto Uzumaki
Summary: Ninja's technology had to come from somewhere, even it was the very distant past. Because they weren't the ones who created it, they obviously couldn't be familiar with everything. How disastrous could it be if Naruto was raised by someone who was?
Disclaimer: I own no one but my OC. You'll know her when you see her.
Warnings: I don't like this chapter.
xXx Chapter One: System Startup xXx
It was very disturbing, actually. She had never before seen so many trees. They were awe inspiring, but the trees were not the reason she was worried. It was that where there were trees, a forest!, she was used to seeing metal and electricity.
She was not looking at her city.
In fact, she was certain that trees like these didn't exist. They were huge!
"C-computer, calculate coordinates of position."
She felt a stream of air in her throat, the beginnings of a scream not quite formed enough to be loud.
There were always computers around her. To be without was like being without air.
"Panicking will not help. Perhaps, with all the trees, there simply are not as many computers around like in Fran San." She didn't feel the slightest convinced. She suddenly realized that she didn't have her bag.
Another rush of air escaped her, louder and almost a raspy yell.
"Where's my Pinch! My Port! Oh no, my Flip Book!" She looked around for her gadgets. In the older days, her items were called a cell phone, portable game system and laptop. But those items were outdated and clunky. Sure, they became extremely refined by 2020, but they were still thick and heavy, not to mention very fragile. Then she caught sight of her wrist and relaxed. She still had something.
She pressed a button on her wrist band. It glowed as it turned on and she sighed in relief as she leaned against a wall.
"Religion, display current date and time." The small screen blacked out before a small hologram glowed above it.
She was in the same day as she expected, maybe with an hour or so having passed without her awake. A small red triangle glowed in the corner. She frowned at it.
"Religion, open corresponding notes to display." The screen blacked out before a soft voice spoke from the watch.
Duly noted: satellite update recommended.
"Religion, satellite update permission granted." The screen whitened out and a small orange bar was displayed. It slowly filled blue for completion. After five seconds, it was complete. "God that took a long time." She muttered as she looked around. She had no idea where she was. Her screen cleared and her wrist band displayed the time and date once more. About to close the display, her breath caught in her throat.
October 10, 5069 / 2342.
This date was 2078 years after of the previous display. Another red triangle glowed.
"Religion, open corresponding notes to display." She ordered distantly. She hoped the note said something along the lines of a virus or hack. Please let it be a hack!
Duly noted: coordinate reposition update recommended.
"Religion, coordinate reposition update permission granted." Another white screen. The orange bar took two seconds to turn blue. It was a better speed time. The date display returned and the time changed in according to the time zone.
October 10, 5069 / 1242
She was on the other side of the world. The side she grew up in. She knew there were no forests like this in the time zone she was apparently in. What happened in the 2000 years shift between what she knew and when she was now? She stood up, cautiously preparing herself to start exploring the city. It had only telephone poles, and she only knew that because of her history knowledge. She sighed and looked at her wrist band.
"Religion, close display." The screen turned black, hardly discernable from the rest of the band. It looked like a shiny bracelet now. She walked into the sunlight.
The area was a lot colder than she was used to. And it felt emptier. The hum and buzz and slight radiated heat of technology had always surrounded her, to be without was very disturbing. What had happened in the world for this to be the result? The world was at a utopia, almost...
Crying reached her ears. She followed it, not looking at the rest of the population who were giving her odd looks. She tried not to stare as obviously.
They were dressed funny.
Was that cloth? Was that metal? God, she felt like a stranger with her own bright colored and slightly more, 'foreign' dress.
Her skirt was just under her butt, a deep violet and her stockings were a toned green. Her shoes were flat, but black, thick and up to her calves. Her shirt was sleeveless and deep brown, an intricate bright orange design spiraling around a ribbon just under her chest. Her neckline was very low. Her gloves were pink, and arm warmers a brighter shade of pink. Her hat was white, decorated with ribbons, feathers and keys.
She pondered how to blend in as she followed the crying. None of the other adults seemed worried about the distressed child. She found a small blond boy, whining in a secluded corner near a park. She figured she still had her ear nubs in. Without them, she shouldn't have heard his quiet tones, and this was probably why no one else seemed to hear the boy. She took them out and pushed them into her belt before kneeling next to the boy.
"Hey." The boy flinched at her soft greeting before mumbling a quiet apology and getting up to leave. She recognized the Japanese and promptly continued her communication therein. "Are you alright? You seem distressed." The boy, looking like a four year old or malnourished six year old, blinked at her in confusion.
"I'm okay." He denied, offering a hesitant smile to make her believe him. She didn't fall for it.
"Uh-huh, and I'm a plasma cloud." His smile fell to confusion. "I just want to help, seeing as I have nothing else to do until I find my way home. Come on, let's go eat and you can talk all about it. However, I have one condition." She stated sternly. He flinched and looked at her with worry. "You pick the place to eat." She said. He blinked at her in shock before another hesitant, but more real, smile appeared on his face.
"Okay. I know the perfect place!" He said before pulling her away. She didn't follow him as quickly as he started, so he slowed down to stay with her.
"Shouldn't you tell your parents we're leaving the park to eat?" She asked as she looked around said park. She didn't see many adults, and none that she did see looked like the boy.
"I don't have any parents." He said, baffled at her concern.
"I live by myself." He stated. She didn't want to believe him, but he wasn't lying. He was too relaxed to be lying through his teeth. He didn't seem worried about being caught in a lie, either. He was still baffled at her concern.
"Oh." She said when he started looking suspicious at her motives. "So, how long have you been by yourself?"
"Since I was four, I think. Old Man Fire Shadow said the orphanage couldn't keep me, and I didn't want them to anyway." The boy shrugged. Amazed at the facts, and curious about the man who made the decision in the boy's life, the girl walked even slower to add talking time.
"Hm, that's interesting. How old are you now?"
"I'm six! Today!"
"Happy birthday." She smiled. He once again looked surprised at her, clearly not expecting it, but smiled very brightly in response.
"You're welcome." She laughed. "So, what's your name?"
"Oh, I'm Uzumaki Naruto! What's your name, lady?" She briefly reminded herself of how Japanese custom required her name to be placed in a certain order. Definitely not Nickname, honorary name, family name, personal name. After all, keeping a personal name quiet was the best way to protect one's identity.
"You can call me Tarisha, Ome Tarisha." She said before something caught her eyes and made her mentally smack herself.
Currency. Currency would no doubt be different in this time so her bills were useless. There was no way she was going to make this boy, Naruto, pay for his and her meal. She slowed to a stop.
"What is it?" Naruto asked, taking her hand. She ignored the disgusted looks the people around them were throwing at them. Naruto didn't seem to notice.
"I'm sorry, Naruto.I just remembered I don't have my money with me." He gave her another baffled look.
"I thought I was paying." He said. She raised an eyebrow and cocked her hip as she crossed her arms.
"Now why would you think that?"
"Because I always do." Naruto shrugged. "Ome-san, you're weird." Tarisha blinked at him blankly and he suddenly let go and looked away. "I'm sorry." He whispered.
The word 'abuse' ran through Tarisha's mind. She gently rubbed his shoulder, since a touch alone would no doubt make him flinch, and gently pushed him to keep walking.
"It's okay, I'm not mad at you. I'm just not used to children being so independent." She said as she urged him to take the lead again. He hesitantly complied to the unsaid order. He said nothing as he led the way, Tarisha's worries of money and location giving way to worries of this boy's circumstances. Was this normal in this time?
She saw families interacting the way she was used to all around her. Children holding the hands of their parents, mothers scolding rambunctious boys and fathers cooing their daughters. Naruto didn't look too affected by the displays of family interaction, and didn't seem to notice the immediate scorn as adults noticed him.
She worried. There was no way he could not notice any of this. He must be so hurt, he believed himself used to it. That was bad. Very bad. She gave him a gentle hug around his shoulders as they walked. He flinched but bowed his head slightly as he accepted it. He was confused, extremely so, at her behavior, but didn't question it. He had wanted attention from someone who cares for a long time.
"So, Naruto-kun, where are we going?" She asked lightly. He tried to shift away, no doubt thinking the nice moment passed, but she held on softly to let him know she was fine with holding him as they walked. He pressed closer, cautiously. She gave him a gentle squeeze of assurance.
"It's called Ichiraku's. Old Man Ichiraku makes the best ramen and he doesn't have high prices either." Naruto said with pride, still slightly subdued from his earlier uncertainty with Tarisha.
"Ramen?" Naruto whipped his head up to stare at Tarisha's face as her voice echoed in uncertainty.
"You don't know what ramen is?" He asked in a tone akin to horror.
"Of course, but…"
"Don't you like ramen?" He pleaded. The question wasn't the right one, though.
Of course she knew what ramen was. It had been the college student's staple choice with its variety of flavors and quick cooking time for hundreds of years. The key words were, of course, had been.
Long ago, sort of, prices fluxed as a virus took over the company and destroyed their financial records. With paper documents at a new time low, with trees declining and pollution space shrinking, all digital records were lost, meaning paper records didn't exist as back up. Their back up system failed, and they had no back up to their back up. Thus, the company shut down, their chain of followers not far behind them. It had taken another hundred years for the food to come back, but it wasn't quite right anymore, and the sale halted for the product indefinitely.
It wasn't a question of whether she knew what ramen was. The company was the best worst example of what a digital collapse could do. It was in history. She knew what ramen was.
It wasn't a question of whether she liked ramen either. She had never had it. She wouldn't know. Thus, it was more of a question of whether she had tried it before.
Naruto seemed to like it. A lot. Perhaps the food was created the way it was supposed to be like after all this time.
"Actually, I can't say I've ever tried it." Tarisha said as she urged him forward again. Naruto gaped at her. "So, how long till we get there?"
"It's right there." Naruto pointed to the end of the street.
"So it is. How homey. Do you eat there often?" Naruto nodded quickly.
"I'm their best customer. I've even helped them make their menu!"
"Ah. You must be a wonderful ramen connoisseur."
"An expert in ramen taste."
"Yeah! That's me! Hey Ayame-nee-chan! Hey old man!" Naruto rushed to the stall when he caught sight of the people inside. Tarisha continued in her own pace and reached Naruto's side just as the boy introduced her.
"It's a pleasure to meet friends of Naruto." The young girl said to her. Tarisha smiled.
"It's a pleasure to meet new friends as well." The girl beamed and Tarisha decided she liked her. After all, unlike the rest of the population, this girl wasn't staring at her odd dress compared to them. She was also fairly cute. Ayame cleared her throat and whipped out a notebook and pen.
"So, what'll it be?"
"I'll have the normal thing!" Naruto declared. Tarisha cleared her throat nervously and looked off to the side.
"I'm sorry. I don't have my money on me at the moment. I'm just here to keep Naruto company." The girl's smile faltered and Naruto was giving her his confused look again.
"I thought I was paying." Naruto repeated. His hair was ruffled in response.
"Naruto, I said that I'm not going to have you pay for me and you." Ayame looked surprised but said nothing. Tarisha tried not to let her imagination free to what sort of implications ran around this Naruto boy.
"But, you've gotta try ramen! It's the best!"
"I'll do so next time I have my money, but I won't have you spend your money on me."
"I don't mind!"
"But I do. I wouldn't feel right." Naruto was getting that insecure look again and so Tarisha looked at Ayame for help. The girl was blinking at her. No help there then.
"Ano, my money isn't bad." Naruto said sadly. Ayame cleared her throat uncomfortably and excused herself, leaving Tarisha to comfort Naruto alone.
"I never said that, Naruto." She said, bewildered. Naruto looked at his feet, utterly still. "Alright, how about this." When unsure, turn to logic. "What kind of job do you have, Naruto? If you live by yourself, surely you have an income." Realizing this, a part of her bristled. Naruto shouldn't have to work for money. He was barely six for a day yet! He shouldn't even live by himself! What type of society was she in now?
"Old man Fire Shadow gives me money."
"And who is this man? What gives him the power to do so?" Naruto looked uncertain by her line of questions.
"He's the Fire Shadow. He's the leader of the village." He said in a tone that told Tarisha that she should know this. She stopped pressing the matter in that direction.
"Okay, so why you? Does he do this to every children living by himself?"
"Uh..." Naruto obviously hadn't thought of this before.
"Naruto, this man is giving you money to live on. I couldn't take that. We just met, and I don't have a habit of having my friends pay for the things I want." Naruto looked reassured, but still perplexed at her behavior. A throat cleared behind the counter and the two turned to a smiling Ayame.
"Problem solved! Father says you can have your meal on the house! Both of you!" Before Tarisha could argue, Naruto yelled.
"You guys are awesome!" After saying that, Tarisha couldn't refuse. Her half-hearted glare at Ayame was met with a blush and a quickly diverted gaze.
After the meal, Naruto brought Tarisha to his house. Well, she asked to accompany him back home so she knew he stayed safe. Naruto gave her that confused look again before accepting awkwardly.
"I'm home." He said to the empty house. Tarisha stayed at the door as he toed his shoes off. The apartment was cleaner than she expected for a lone child to keep. Naruto reached the living room before realizing his new friend was still at the door. "You gonna come in?"
Her own home had various intruder alarms and discouragers around her property, windows and doors. Alarm systems, security cameras and even an oddly placed pepper spray trap were everywhere. When she brought a complete stranger to the house, she had to set up a permission slip of sort for them to pass the front doors safely. It always took an extraordinarily long time of five to six minutes. She had no idea what this village had, being full of ninjas if Naruto was to be believed.
"Yeah, why not?" She idly noted that Naruto was very trusting and oddly cautious. She wasn't sure if that was a good thing. She walked in and paused momentarily to bow her head in respect. She had no idea of Naruto's religions, so she would be cautious and pay respects to the gods that guarded the boy's home if they were present.
"Thank you." She said as she finished.
"Huh?" Naruto poked his head from the door leading to the kitchen. Tarisha smiled at him and closed the door behind herself. She followed him to the kitchen and paused.
Naruto was rummaging through the cupboards, kneeling on the counter to reach the higher shelves. She had done that as a child, and never figured out her mother's hysteric reaction whenever the woman caught her on the counter. She was always completely balanced. So, it wasn't Naruto precarious balance that made her pause. Children were resilient, and Naruto certainly was more so than his peers. It was the object sitting in the middle of his table that made her heart skip a beat.
There was a computer on the table. More importantly, a Flip Book. A Flip Book was on his table, propped open like a restaurant's menu. The shiny back and dark screen glared from the sun's angle shining through the window, but that wasn't noticed. There was a Flip Book on Naruto's table! It started blinking after a few seconds, the small white light on the top flashing to say it was charging. Walking into the kitchen, Tarisha could see the folded spine was ridged. It was an earlier model, where it charged by sunlight. Not like hers, which had an unlimited source of power simply by connecting to the electricity in her own body. This model was created about three years before she was born and phased out by the time she turned thirteen. She didn't know they still existed, and could look so brand new after all this time.
Naruto hopped down from the counter and proudly handed her a juice pack. She took it numbingly. He followed her gaze to his table and gave her a look again.
"I found that in the Odd Hole. You like it?"
"Do you know what that is, Naruto?" She asked as she nodded quietly to his question and picked up the old piece of technology carefully.
"Not really. I don't think anyone's every picked one up before. Our Odd Hole is just outside the village, under the Hokage Mountain. It recently opened, I think, so we're starting to find things to use around the village. I like to explore there. Everything looks so weird. I like this because it was shiny."
"What's an Odd Hole? I don't think I had one near my village." She asked as she turned over the small 4x6 computer in her hand. It was fully charged, and hadn't been programmed to recognition. It still had its sticker.
"Really? By the looks of you, I'd say you came from an Odd Hole!" She was grateful she didn't shudder at the declaration. "Odd Holes are places we get our cool stuff from, like my TV and radio. We don't know who made them, or how, but we've all learned how to use this stuff. Mostly. A lot of the things in the Odd Hole don't look normal."
Tarisha forced herself not to think of anything concerning this supposedly Black Hole of technology.
"I think I'm very familiar with things from the Odd Holes, Naruto. I know what this is. I had something like it, actually." She smiled at him and sat down. He hopped up to sit on the table. "This is a Flip Book, a kind of computer." He blinked at recognition at the word 'computer' but seemed dubious. She smiled and touched the corner. If she was right, this Flip Book had never even been turned on before. The blinking white light turned into a smaller constant white light. If it had a user, it would be green. She smiled at the boy watching her curiously.
Language: Japanese. Duly noted: satellite update recommended.
"Computer, satellite update permission granted." Naruto stared in awe as the small computer suddenly flashed a white screen with an orange bar. The bar filled with blue in the span of five seconds. The bar disappeared and a background of the Flip Book company logo filled the screen. A small red triangle blinked from the top right corner.
"Cool! How did you do that! How did it do that!" Naruto asked loudly.
"It's a computer. They know everything through satellites up in space."
"Space? Like," Naruto pointed up. "Space, space?" Tarisha nodded.
"Ome-san, you're so cool!" She smiled at him. "What can it do?"
"Um, a lot really. You can learn from it, hack into things, guard more things, teach it to do art or music, treat it like a planner or news reel, even spy on people. If you get good enough at using it, you can even have it disguise you if you happen to need to sneak away."
"So it's a ninja's best friend?" Naruto was looking at the small black book reverently. Tarisha laughed.
"You could say that. How about this, I help you program and use this while you help me figure out where I am?" Naruto gave her that look again.
"...Did you come from an Odd Hole?" She hesitated.
"I, I think I may have." Naruto gaped at her while she idly fiddled with the sides of Naruto's little Flip Book. "I'm really lost, Naruto." She admit. "I'm actually from the past, apparently, and it's very overwhelming and intimidating to be surrounded by nature when I'm so used to electricity and technology. I need a little help, but I'd rather not go through the authorities. They tend to over react when there's always a rather simple solution to things. History says so."
"Sure I'll help you, Ome-san!" Naruto said excitedly.
She smiled and brought him into a hug.
"You're a great kid, Naruto. Now before we start, there's something you need to start doing." He looked at her determinedly. "Call me Tari-chan." He beamed and hugged her tight.
"You're my best friend, Tari-chan!"
"Okay okay, Naruto-kun. I want you to say," She looked at the bottom of the spine and pulled the sticker off to read it. "Computer Z37H90P, begin user recognition." She said as she showed the sticker for him to read. He didn't seem to know what it said, and she realized that he probably didn't know more languages than Japanese.
"Computer, Z-3-7-H-9-0-P, begin user… recognition!" Naruto may have stumbled, but he was excited.
Language recognition program initiated. State user name.
Tari quickly covered Naruto's mouth and whispered quietly as she covered the three mic holes on the book. They were extremely sensitive, after all.
"This is going to be the name of the Book, so you don't have to say Computer every time you want to use it. Sometimes there are public computers and their name is always going to be Computer. The name of your computer has to be something you don't say too often. Mine was Faith." Naruto blinked at her before nodding. She removed her hand from his mouth. "Say 'Computer Z37H90P, enter user name' then whatever name you choose." He was quiet for a moment before taking the small Flip Book and speaking carefully.
"Computer Z-3-7-H-9-0-P, enter user name Tolerance."
Username: Tolerance. State name of user.
"Tolerance, enter name of user Uzumaki Naruto." Tari whispered. Naruto smiled.
"Tolerance, enter name of user Uzumaki Naruto!"
Name of user: Uzumaki Naruto.
xXx TBC… xXx
HK: Kind of wanted this a tad longer, but I was tired of having Naruto's hand be held through everything. I love the adorable munchkin, but with the plans I'll have him do, he's going to need to grow up fast. Plus I didn't want to write too much about my OC. Yeah, Tarisha Ome is mine. She's not going to have much place in the story, just a sort of background mentor, so this will probably be the most spotlight she's going to have in a while.
By the way, I did say Fran San. San Fran is such a common phrase to say about San Francisco, I figure it's only a matter of time until switching the two small words will be normal.
Last Edit: 14Dec2010