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012607 followed the line. He neither looked left nor right. He did not stumble or speak. He was in perfect order as everyone else. Every person male and female moved as one. When one took a step with their right foot, so did the others.

Each was identical as the last. They all wore white. From head to toe. Their hair covered by a white wrap with their individual numbers above and below the wrap. Engraved into their foreheads. Beyond that number, and their faces, they were the same. A child part of a whole. A whole made into one. One made into an army.

The line of ten moved passed opened doorways, where others like themselves trained, ate, slept, meditated, or stood. They passed other lines of ten going the other way. Yet none of them acknowledged each other. There was no smiles or glares. No joking or squealing. There was just the silence of the atmosphere. Not even their footsteps where heard echoing through the silent hallway.

These children had no name, only a number, and his was number 012607. Not that anyone else called him that. Only the doctors spoke. The numbers were only allowed to speak when they were learning.

Behind 012607 was a female. What she looked liked, he did not know. He only knew she was female. In front of 012607 was a male. What he looked like, he did not care. He wasn't trained to care what his fellow numbers looked like. He'd remember them if told and only when he was told. He was trained... he wasn't sure what he was trained for, just that he had to be the best.

All that he knew was that he was different. He did not feel like the other numbers. On the outside he behaved like them but he wasn't them. He questioned things within himself. He wondered what was it that made them like they were. He wanted to know why they did what they did. He wanted to know where they came from. He had so many questions but no answers.

He worked hard to keep the blank expression on his face. He had to show he was like the rest. He knew that if he were to let his curiosty free he would be taken away like the others. The others that failed to pass the exams or the mold they were given.

But what happened to the others? Where did they go and why didn't they come back? None of the numbers seemed to care that they lost a fellow number or if they gained one. To them it was nothing. Everything was nothing. They were machines with human bodies.

When his line stopped, 012607 stopped with them. His body so in tuned with the others that he didn't have to think about it.

A doctor came out of the closed door. "Turn." He commanded and like one, the ten numbers turned right and faced him. Their movements making no noise. Going to the beginning of the line, the doctor scanned his eyes over them, making little notes on his clip board. He stopped at the first one and forced his head back. Turning it left then right. With a nod he moved to the next one. This one he checked her hands. Another nod and on and on it went. Finally he was stood in front of 012607. With narrowed eyes he stared into 012607's eyes. "Take this one to room 6." he commanded before turning back to his office. He didn't even move to the last number.

At once two other doctors motioned him forward. The others, they commanded to turn and move on. When the line disappeared, the doctors commanded him to follow and without question he did. He felt fear run down his spine but he didn't know why, the feeling itself was very foreign to him.

It seemed like they walked the whole perimeter of the building before coming to a metal door. 012607 never saw this door before. He wondered what was behind it. Watching one of the doctors open the door, he failed to noticed the needle pricking his skin. Without warning, he felt his body fall. The impact of the ground never coming as all went black.

C~ ^ ~S

"What do you think is wrong with this one?" the first doctor asked, picking up the small child. He looked like any other child in the world. The only difference was that he was an eight year old locked away since birth, trained to become the ultimate soldier. By fifteen the children were sent to war. None fighting this because to them it was natural. They were trained in all arts of combat. They were the shadows no one saw. Going in and out before their target realized they were dead.

All of them knew over fifteen different languages before they were twelve and all of them would die as a soldier that followed orders to a T. Anything that was deemed useful was taught to these young children. Anything that could make them better was imprinted into their developing minds. Anything that wasn't meant to be, got them killed.

It was sad, but with little options, it was the best solution available to them and their country. These young children were all orphans with no chance of surviving or so they were told. They were fighting for a greater good.

"I don't know and I don't care. Doctor Orchimaru said to take him to room 6 and that is what I'm doing. Can you finish this or do you need help, Kabuto?" The other doctor sneered.

"Leave." Kabuto glared, holding the child in his arms and walking through the door. "Bastard." he said loud enough for the other to hear.

"Fuck you." the other doctor growled slamming the door.

Smirking, Kabuto moved to an empty table with straps. Placing the small boy gently on the table, he sighed and ran his hand over the child's covered head. "Why are you going to die? What thing did you do wrong?" Moving over to the computer he pulled up the child's charts.

He was proficent in combat. He spoke seven languages fluently, was in the process of learning four more. He was high in his group training durning climate changes. He was the best at almost everything he did. His speed was above average, his stealth was amazing, his agility was high... the boy was already a perfect solider for his age, every portion of his body was in the higher percentage. He was at a level that so few could reach at this age. "So why are you dying today?"

With a frown, Kabuto looked over his shoulder at the sleeping child. He looked so innocent and defensless, but that was all for show. Kabuto knew that the boy could and would kill him, if ordered. The boy had no morals, no emotions, no life outside of training and learning.

Walking back to the boy, he tried to find the answer to the riddle. When none came, he shook his head and began to strap the boy down. It took five minutes to make sure every one of the straps was tight enough to hold him when he struck him with the needle. Once the liquid was poured into their bodies, they would scream and try to crawl free. The only time they went against their training. There was one strap on each of his ankles, one strap holding each of his wrist. One strap going over his waist another over his chest. The last would go around his head. To put that one on, he had to remove the wrap or it wouldn't hold. "Blonde hair." He said feeling the silky texture, watching as it rained through his fingers. Had anyone ever ran a hand like this through this boy's hair? Had anyone tried to soothe him? Don't think like that, Kabuto, he told himself, he's just like the other children. Don't make them human. Deciding to leave the stap off, it was more for show anyway, Kabuto sighed, trying to shake the ache that was building within him. One would think this would make him inhuman, but each death through his fingers was as painful as the first.

Moving to the counter near by, he began to mix the liquid that would end the boy's life. Then his body would burn in the fire. His existance erased like it never was. His number would be deleted and given to someone else some years from now. The next child unknown to the first that carried his number. Just like this boy knew nothing of the one before him, or the one before that one.

Flicking the needle with his finger, he held it up to the light. He wanted the boy's death to be as painless as possible. If mixed right, he wouldn't feel the pain they normally would when the other doctor gave them the shot. It would still hurt but not as bad.

Turning to the boy he stretched a part of skin on his right arm.

"Hello," at the sound of the young voice, the doctor stopped and looked toward the blue eyes watching him.

"Hello," he whispered back in surprise, unsure of what to do. Never had a child talked to him, or looked at him with such innocent blue eyes.

"Am I going to disappear?" the boy asked.

"What?" How was this possible? The child shouldn't-that was why he was going to die! He wasn't just another puppet! He was a boy now, not the computer they desired!

"Am I going to disappear like all the other numbers?"


"The others like me. They are pulled out of line and disappear. They never come back. The others do not notice but I do. Where do they go?"

"You remember them?"

"Yes. All of them. They all disappear and never come back." He said again, turning to look at the light above. "I always wondered where they went. Will I go there to?" He asked turning to look at him. "Will I like it there?"

Kabuto blinked as his eyes automatically turned to look at the fire burning behind a metal door. "Uh..." he trailed off unsure of what to say.

"What is your name?" the boy asked.

"Kabuto," he answered. How could he kill him? He couldn't kill a child. The others he could because they didn't talk to him. They didn't look at him with a childs curiosity. He could pretend they weren't children!

"Kabuto." The boy blinked before smiling. "If I had a name, I would want it to be as nice as yours."

"Thank you." Kabuto said blinking back the tears. Oh god he couldn't do this!

"When will I disappear?"

Kabuto took a step back and looked down at his shaking hands. With a gasp he threw the needle to the floor and kept walking back until he bumped into another counter.

His eyes never leaving the child's innocent blue ones. The blue eyes that looked on in confusion, another emotion he shouldn't have. With a shuddering breath, Kabuto slid down to the floor and held his knees close to his chest.

"Are you alright?" the boy asked.

Kabuto put his fist to his mouth to hold back the odd noises coming out. He couldn't kill this boy. He was only eight, an eight year old that was no longer needed by Orochimaru.

"Do you need a doctor? The doctors help the numbers that hurt themselves. Did you hurt yourself?"

Numbers? Oh yes, the other children in the compound created by the government. "No." Kabuto said, standing and moving quickly to the boy. He didn't know what he was doing but he had to save the boy. Removing every strap on the boy, he picked him up. He was so small, smaller then most boys his age.

The boy said nothing as Kabuto moved to the closet holding his belongings. Grabbing his jacket, he wrapped it around the child. "Don't make a noise." Kabuto commanded. With a nod the child placed his head against Kabuto's shoulder.

Opening the door they entered, he looked left then right. Seeing nothing he ran right. It seemed like a life time before they got to the exit. Kabuto prayed that this would be one of the few times the guard would be asleep. Creeping forward he let go of the breath he was holding at the snoring man. Pulling his key card free, he swiped it through the slot and waited for it to open.

Once outside, he ran to his car. Gently he placed the child in the backseat and got behind the wheel. "Stay down and don't move." He ordered once they got close to the gate. With a forced smile and a wave he passed. Did they suspect anything? Looking into his rearview mirror he laughed as the pressure on his chest let go slightly.

Now he only had an hour or two before they realized something was wrong. Speeding all the way to his house he told the child to stay in the car. Once inside he rushed to his room and began packing his suitcase, tossing in random pieces of clothing and things he knew they would be needing. Going to safe behind the swinging bookcase he pulled out wads of money and documents. Once done he ran to the kitchen and, using two paper bag, began to throw anything that would not rot right away in. Grabbing everything together he ran to the car, putting everything into the trunk besides one of his smallest t-shirts and a blanket, which he gave to the boy, he took off. Where he would go, he didn't know, he just knew that once they figured out what he did, he was going to be hunted down by the numbers, as the child called them, that he helped create and destroy.

C~ ^ ~S

"Sir he's gone." a child soldier spoke coming out of Kabuto's house. Orochimaru stood beside his car as two other children soldiers came out.

"Destroy his house. Find him and kill him. Bring back the defected soldier." he ordered before getting back into his car and driving away. Behind him, Kabuto's house went up in flames. "Stupid boy thinking you could fool me." Orochimaru smirked. "How wrong you were child, how wrong indeed."