HOT DAMN I'M BACK! HERE'S A CELEBRATORY CHAPTER! BTW: The Grad was AWESOME! MY Bro's an Airman! Funny thing is that he said that during their PT, he actually got out of shape. And I got to say...I believe him. His regular workouts (I had trouble keeping up for a bit until I was able to get off my lazy ass and work out regularly) are FUCKING BRUTAL! He beats the hell out of himself.

BTW: There are similarities to Left 4 Dead, but that's because I play it a lot. Hmhm...I love that game. Some are actually ideas from other people...at least the ones I'm going to use later on. Also...a strange development comes in this chapter. Well...a few, actually.

Enjoy!

Outbreak

Chapter Thirteen

Naruto was quick to act as the gate had came flying from its hinges due to the massive punch of the Behemoth. He was off and running, leaving everyone in at the railing as he met the gate midair before it barreled over Souichiro's men that had taken position in front of it. He drew back his blade and sliced clean through the iron with it falling to the ground just in front of them, but it knocked over candles that had been placed around the compound so that they would be able to see in the night, setting fire to the grass. Worried more about the battle before them, Naruto landed and threw his hand forward, shouting once more. "OPEN FIRE!"

He disappeared in another burst of speed and reappeared on top of the brick post that once held the gate in place and watched as they did as he had commanded. Bullets flew over the expanse and were able to mercilessly kill some of the lesser infected, but the mutated ones began their ruthless attack. Naruto was about to intercept them but was caught by a Predator that smashed into his side, sending him sliding over the concrete and smashing into the fountain hard, losing his sword in the process.

...

Everyone up on the balcony saw this and jumped into action to help him. Saeko, Yuriko, Rei, Takashi and Souichiro all jumped over the railing and ran over to try to get to him, but they were cut off by a Behemoth and its Predator duo. Takashi, Yuriko and Rei leveled their weapons as Souichiro and Saeko rushed in to fight the creatures in close-quarters.

Kohta had taken to picking off lesser infected with great effect and was about to reload but he was stopped when he heard a shrieking roar behind him. He turned quickly and saw a Predator jumping from the wall to him. He pulled a small pistol out and began to fire until it was upon him. He tried to roll out of the way, but its claws caught his right thigh with a rather shallow cut, allowing him to get onto a knee and continue to fire. It wasn't stopping, though...at least not until Saya came up behind it with the Luger and blew its brains out of the front of its skull. Kohta smirked with his fatuous glee as he ran back to his rifle and reloaded, resuming his effective sniping barrage.

...

Naruto wasn't faring as well as the others while he struggled to get up from the hit he took from banging into the concrete. He got up to his knees and was ready to stand until he felt something wrap around his waist and jerked him high into the air. He was instantly alert at that point as he looked down and saw the Snatcher and began to struggle against the intestine that had a hold of him. His glare was hardened as the infected brought him into the ground...hard.

...

Off near the tents, the battle between the sword wielders, gun wavers and the infected was going in favor of the infected as well. Souichiro had taken down many on his own, but was still on the run from a pursuing Predator. Saeko was having trouble taking down the Behemoth without another swordsman to help her break its harder skin. She scowled as she dodged a punch from it and slashed at the offending appendage with both of her swords but succeeding in only cutting it a little. "THEY'VE GOTTEN STRONGER!"

Takashi heard this and frowned as he fired at the Predator coming up on him. It was too close to dodge the shot but it was still going through it even though it lost an arm in the process. He ducked, hoping that it would jump over him, but he wasn't very lucky as it brought down a hard and gnarled claw to slice down his spine. He roared in pain but fought through it as he turned and fired another shot, sending it into the air with a hole in its stomach. He turned his head back to Naruto, seeing him being held in the air again. "NARUTO! HELP US!"

...

The blonde swordsman struggled against the intestine tentacle that held him up in the air, but he was still trying to recover from the last hit he took from the ground, courtesy of the Snatcher. It was then that he saw a Behemoth charging after the group of fighters without them noticing it, due to being caught up in their own battles. He struggled harder but to no avail as he was thrown hard into the fountain again. He didn't stay down though...

The adrenaline rush hit the protector like a haymaker to the face as he was up and running for the Behemoth, overcharging his clenched fist with his chakra as he reared it back and smashed it into the base of the monsters spine, launching it flying forward towards the group. He disappeared and met it halfway with another supercharged punch to the gut, sending it flying to the Snatcher.

Naruto smirked as he watched it fly, but growled when the Snatcher could be seen jumping out of the way with great agility. With his adrenaline pumping, Naruto took off again, leaving the others to fight off the infected that were coming at them. Saeko and Souichiro were back to back with Yuriko, Takashi and Rei all firing into the horde, taking down one at a time.

...

Naruto was dashing for the Snatcher when he saw the longest tentacle coming for him. He flipped over it and slid down the length to the creature as he smashed his foot into its face and sent it flying into the horde, smashing into a brick wall with a cloud of smoke exploding from the impact. He smirked, thinking that it was done for but when he saw another infected go flying up into the air, he knew it wasn't so.

He turned his head back to the railing. "KOHTA, GIVE ME COVERING FIRE!" His reply was two bullets zinging past both shoulders, taking the heads of two infected that were coming up on him. He smirked as he turned and began to pursue the Snatcher with an extreme purpose. 'Alter, this thing is strong! What should I do?'

He dodged the infected ones and countered their lazy attacks as he listened to Alter's voice ramble on in his head. "Your guess is as good as mine, Naruto! I've had as much experience with these things as you! The funny thing is that I think that they have been mutating based on how you've been killing them. The Behemoths can match you in strength, the Predators are matching you almost perfectly in speed and this...Snatcher...is taking you on expertly in range, keeping you from getting too close and using Taijutsu. Things are beginning to look bad for you, kid. It's only a matter of time before you run into something that can take you down in every single one of these facets. Whoever started this thing...they know that you're here..."

Naruto frowned when he heard this. 'Kyu-chan said that I was the wildcard here...things aren't going as planned!' He dodged another infected as he leaped into the air for an attack and saw that the Snatcher was ready for him to come down on it. He obliged and dove for it with his fist ready to slam into its face. "I'LL TAKE YOU DOWN!"

He was ready to hit it until he felt a jerk at his ankle and he was torn from the air and flung to the ground by a tentacle he should've seen. He was then thrown into the air, unbalanced and so disoriented that he could fix himself. Saeko saw this and broke from the small fighter group to run and aid him. "NARUTO-KUN!" She jumped onto the heads of the lesser infected and began to use them to get closer to him. As he fell, she tried to jump to catch him but something happened to her...she flinched and a feeling went through her...cold...like nothingness... She couldn't recover from it in time and was smashed in the side by the Snatcher's longer tentacle, making her go flying across the concrete to a slow stop.

Saya screamed for her and Naruto as she ran down the stairs, despite Kohta's yells of protest for her to stay up on the landing. She was down and shooting the infected with her Luger until she ran out of bullets and began to beat the lesser with the butt of the pistol. Naruto saw her and yelled out. "SAYA-CHAN! RUN AWAY! GET OUT OF HERE! YOU CAN'T BEAT THIS THING!" He began to fall and was barely able to see the Predator coming up on her from behind, grabbing her by one of her ponytails and flinging her back to the stairs. He fell into the horde...and into darkness...

...

His mind was black as the horde walked over him and somehow picked up their paces and had begun to attack far more ruthlessly than they had been before. He heard the screams for help as he lay on the ground. He heard the yells for him from Alice...but couldn't bring himself to move. 'This is a dream...it can't be real...are we losing? Are we going to die?'

He heard the desperate screams from Saeko to get up and help. Souichiro was yelling about how a true leader would deal with the situation as he was cutting down the ones that came for him. Saya was out cold and Takashi was trying his best to reload so that he wouldn't be overrun by the infected. Rei was barely able to keep them back with her bayonet and when she fired she was too weak to be able to handle the recoil, ending up on her butt with little to no time to recover.

Kohta, off in the distance, was starting to run low on ammunition and Naruto was the one with the ammo and extra guns in his scroll. He was beginning to become overrun by the infected and he was barely able to hold them back as Alice and Shizuka ran into the house to get away from them, but Predators and a Behemoth were making their ways up the stairs to them and Kohta was unable to stop them.

Naruto was too focused on his thoughts that he was unable to realize that he was being picked back up into the air. When he finally noticed...he didn't do anything about it. He was being pulled into the face of the Snatcher and he was able to get a good look at its face. It was generally normal except for the grey skin and the fact that it was missing an eye and its lips, showing its gnarled teeth. Naruto gave it a fowl glare. "It's over...huh? We're going to die...aren't we?"

He sighed as he bowed his head to the sounds of carnage...but he wasn't expecting what came next. "Y...yEssSsS..."His eyes widened as he looked up to the creature and it...grinned? It looked odd with no lips and it didn't seem natural, but Naruto was about to start to struggle against it until the thing smashed him to the ground and used its other tentacle to start to choke him. Alter tried to get him to move. "NARUTO! GET UP! STOP LAYING THERE! FIGHT BACK!"

Naruto's vision began to darken as he gagged and heard what sounded like a laugh come from the Snatcher. 'I can't...he's too...strong...' Everyone was screaming for him and he was beginning to lose his hearing as he felt darkness try to take him. "You know what? FINE! If you won't do something...then I will." In nearly an instant, Alter's chakra began to flood into Naruto's coils, effectively casing his natural chakra away for the time being. Naruto tried to fight it and had shut his eyes to try and keep out anything distracting...but it was no use...

...

Naruto's eyes immediately darkened and his neck muscles tensed as his body began to run with the evil, malevolent, black chakra of Alter. As he looked back into the eyes of the Snatcher, his voice changed. "Now...you're dealing with me, you slimy...undead...cold...SON OF A BITCH!" His hands, now pale and clawed, reached up and snatched the tentacle, pulling the creature down on him and he slammed his knee into its gut, sending it back and snapping the tendril with no problem.

He stood and shucked his coat, letting it flutter to the ground. His eyes narrowed as he held out his hand and in a dark flash of black fire, Shukketsu Souru was back in his grip. His smirk grew insane as his skin began to pale like he hadn't seen sunlight in hundreds of years. In the glow of the fire...he looked pure evil. Souichiro looked on with interest. 'What's happened to you, Naruto-san?'

The possessed Naruto, now Alter, stood still as his evil smile threatened to break his face in half. His coal black eyes were fixed on the Snatcher that had its eyes narrowed to evil slits. He was about to charge until it roared with a piercing sound wave. Alter stared at it as the remaining five Behemoth's and their Predator's crowed behind the creature that acted as the leader. Alter simply waited until the charging order was given.

When the head splitting roar was given, they all charged at the same time. Alter stood until they came closer and yawned, leaning his head back before snapped his head back with his evil grin in place. He hopped up and down like he was readying himself for a boxing match and then charged forward with his blade in a lazy grip. A Behemoth brought its fist down on him but Alter effortlessly sliced it off and took its head as well.

A Predator came at him from behind and tried to take his head until Alter snatched its arm and ripped it off, using it to spear a Behemoth through its skull, killing it and crippling the other creature. He reared back and let out an outrageously demented laugh. "IS THIS IT? HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Alter jumped into the air and sliced his arm open, getting blood over Shukketsu Souru's edge as he charged his corrupted chakra into the blade. He raised it high above his head and brought it down in a massive arc. "Sōdoāto: Buraddisupiāzu!" Everyone in the original group remembered this attack and tried to look away...but the morbid fascination drew their eyes to it.

It looked a little different from the time before, being that only one spear of blood and chakra appeared, but it was larger and more than likely did far more damage than the attack from before. The spear charged towards the ground and the Snatcher, but the last three of the Behemoth's got in front of it and tried to take the hit for their leader. Alter chuckled as he sent even more chakra into the technique making it tear through them like nothing more than tissue paper.

The Snatcher jumped out of the way but the spear followed it. The creature roared and all of the Predator's, fifteen in all, charged after him as he lowered to the ground while he was trying to lead the spear after the Snatcher. Alter saw them moving towards him and growled, relinquishing his control over the spear and readying his sword in front of him. Just as his feet touched the ground...the onslaught started.

One Predator came at him and he sliced its head clean off, but another one was already in the air above him. He brought up his sword and was ready to block until he was clipped in the gut by different one and he was sent back over the ground still on his feet but sending dust everywhere. He looked over to Saeko who was on the ground and then to Souichiro. "Both of you...GET OVER HERE AND HELP!"

Saeko tried to recover from her dazed state, but Souichiro was already on the move with his blade barely out of its sheath but ready to strike. She picked up both of her blades and staggered a bit, feeling the same pang that she felt when she was unable to save Naruto, but she was quick to shake the feeling away and run after Souichiro with a roar of courage and determination. The two sword wielders were nothing more than an enigma as they cut through the horde that separated them from Alter, the Snatcher and the squad of Predators.

Souichiro rolled on and stopped as he cut three of the infected in half as Saeko used his back and vaulted over him, crossing her blades and descending like an Angel of Death. She was quick and flawless in her execution of cleanly slicing through five of the infected ones. They were on the move again as they ran side by side.

Saeko, while running, threw a blade at one of them and jumped, pulling it up and cutting its torso in half while cutting another clean in half down the middle behind it. Souichiro shot past her and cut down the final line of the horde that kept them from Alter. They broke through and were immediately in the thick of the fight.

...

Alter saw them break into the battlefield and they were quickly attacked by two Predators as the other twelve came for him. He took a deep breath as they circled him and began to look at him as though they were contemplating just how they were going to take down their prey. He closed his eyes and began to gather his energy, ready for them to come at him with every intent to kill him. "Come at me..."

They came for him one at a time...a poor tactic for creatures that seemed to be evolving so quickly. He cut the first one in half and the speed of their attacks began to pick up when the next one came. He sliced it down the middle and then when the other came, he stabbed his blade into the ground and dodged the Predator, grabbing its arms and tearing them off as it passed. He threw one arm at another charging one, spearing it through the chest and used the other arm to bash the previous ones head in.

He ran back and pulled out his blade from the ground before he diced the other one into five different pieces. He jumped and slammed his blade hilt deep into the sixths Predator's head before he tore it out. The rest of the infected mutants stared at him with eager eyes until the raspy voice of the Snatcher spoke out, echoing slightly. "K..kiLlLl...ThHhhhAt...Th-thINg...HaRvEsSSsst...ENERGY!"

Alter closed his eyes once more as they all jumped for him at once, ready to kill him without mercy. They never got the chance to do so as he brought up his blade and dragged his foot across the ground and spun, tearing Shukketsu Souru through the air. In one second, the six surrounding Predator's were cut in half and fell to the ground around him.

...

Souichiro was able to take care of the Predator on him but Saeko was simply playing with hers. She had taken its legs and an arm, now watching it crawl along the grown with a grin. She began to feel the pain in her head again and her vision went blurry for a split second, but she was back to normal in a moment with her attention focused on the crawling Predator. With a slash of her sword, she cut its head from its shoulders. When the dying shrieks were heard, the attention of the two swordsmen and the swordswoman went to the Snatcher. It snarled at the pale monster and Alter just disappeared, reappearing in the same spot with his blade covered in blood seconds later.

The creature stepped forward only to feel its right arm fall off in the process. Alter grinned as he disappeared again, following the same routine as before. Another arm was lost from the creature as it roared at Alter. "WoRthLEsssssss...TrRAaAAaaSHhHh!". It roared again and charged towards him, but Souichiro took the reins as he ran in front of it and ducked, using the blunt side of his blade and upper-cutting it into the air when it got close. Saeko saw this and acted, jumping towards it and cutting clean through it at the waist from behind, leaving it looking like it was still whole.

Alter watched this and saw it still complete in the air and grinned even wider as he let it fall before he cut it from its crotch to its head, watching it fall into four pieces to the ground. The sword wielders all stood in a triangle around the body and Souichiro spoke. "It was a good fight and we all fought hard...but now there are far more than we can all handle...you all need to get out of here."

Alter tried to speak out but he found that it was getting harder as his eyes began to close. His skin changed pigments back to Naruto's normal tan color and before his eyes were fully closed, they returned to their cerulean blue. He fell to the ground with a simply thud, letting Shukketsu Souru clatter against the stone beneath them. Souichiro tried to laugh, but it was dry and unemotional. "See? Even he is exhausted...there is no point anymore...you need to get everyone out of here, Busujima-san. We cannot win this fight at this point, anymore. Had he had been able to stay standing then maybe we could've...but now we have no chance. Yuriko-chan and I will stay behind and hold them as long as we can...but you all must go...now..."

Saeko nodded and moved to pick up Naruto, but found that all remainders of the infected horde were beginning to surround them, leaving Kohta, Takashi and everyone else uninhibited by the creatures. Souichiro saw this and yelled out. "YURIKO-CHAN!" The woman turned her head and saw her husband looking at her with the same smirk he had on the day that they had met. She read his lips and blushed. "Let us die together...my love..."

She smiled and with renewed vigor, began to attack her way to her husband, blowing away infected after infected while Saeko picked up Naruto and ran to where Takashi and Rei had picked up Saya. Kohta was getting Shizuka and Alice from the house and they were running for the garage. When they got there, Takashi kicked the door. "DAMN IT! I forgot that Saya-san said that the EMP knocked everything out! I'm guessing that means the car as well..."

Kohta walked up to the Humvee and began to look over it and under the hood. "Hmmm...none of what it has under the hood looks fried...it looks like it would work. I guess if it doesn't then we'll just make a run for it. And if we don't make it...I guess this is the end..." Everyone nodded and Saeko sighed as she hefted Naruto into the back of the Humvee with only a slight struggle as his body was far heavier than hers. 'Too bad about your coat, Naruto-kun...'

Shizuka jumped into the driver's seat and everyone hopped into the back with Takashi putting Saya in the front seat. She turned the ignition and heard it sputter. She stopped and tried again, getting the same sputter. She slammed her head into the wheel and hit the dashboard, causing the engine to roar to life. She jumped with a slight yelp and felt the rumble of the Humvee. She smiled and pressed down the gas as hard as she could; pulling out from the garage and bowling through the infected that blocked her path.

In the back, Naruto was starting to come to as he felt the shaking of the Humvee while they ran over the infected horde. He leaned up and rubbed his head and heard Saeko. "Naruto-kun, you're okay!" He turned to her and nodded with his eyes closed. "Where...where's Takagi-sama and Yuriko-sama?" Saeko looked down and didn't speak, letting Naruto get the picture immediately. His eyes snapped open and he ran to jump through the hole in the top, but Takashi and Kohta grabbed him.

"Naruto-san, they stayed on their own! We didn't abandon them!" Naruto growled as he used his returning strength to break from their grip and jump through the hole, screaming the whole way. "I WON'T LEAVE THEM BEHIND!" He burst through the hole and onto the roof of the Humvee. He crouched and held on, ready to jump off when his stop came. He reached to his sheath...but remembered that he left Shukketsu Souru in the back of the Humvee. He started to snarl at his own stupidity until he saw Souichiro and Yuriko in the distance, fighting off what used to be the people that followed him.

"TAKAGI-SAMA!" The man turned just in time as the Humvee made a jump just beside them. He stopped his attack and bowed his head solemnly, trying to convince himself that he as doing the right thing in leaving his daughter alone in the new and cruel world of the undead creatures. His musing was cut short as he felt a jerk at his collar and he was torn up from the ground. His cry of surprise was matched by Yuriko's as they were both lifted from their places on the battlefield and were dragged into the hole in the top of the Humvee.

They hit the back wall of the speeding vehicle and grunted in their displeasure. Souichiro narrowed his eyes directly at Naruto. "What the hell were you thinking?" Naruto tried to catch his breath, holding up a finger to tell him to wait. When he had his words ready and his lungs filled with glorious oxygen, he spoke. "I told you...if I can help it...I won't leave someone behind..."

Yuriko smiled and nodded. "I'm glad you were able to get up in time, Naruto-san." Her husband nodded his head and crossed his legs and arms after he took off his sword. "I too am glad. Being ready for death and facing it are two entirely different things. Though...I wonder...why did you grab us?" Naruto sighed as he turned around in a crouch so his head didn't hit the roof of the Humvee. "I'm not repeating myself." Souichiro smirked at this and chuckled. "Anyway, on another note, it would seem that I've been demoted..."

Naruto raised his brow and turned back to sit cross-legged while everyone was in their seats talking to each other, oblivious to the conversation. "What are you talking about?" Souichiro grinned as Yuriko moved past Naruto to go sit with everyone else. "You see...you lead this group. When you grabbed us, you brought us into this little squad. Now we are under you..."

Naruto was confused at first until he got it. He giggled like a little schoolgirl until Alter's voice popped up into his head. "What'd I tell you about letting this shit go to your head?" Naruto stopped immediately as he looked to the Takagi leader. "So you now follow me?" The man nodded and Naruto sighed. "Unfortunately I do not have any intention to order you around, Takagi-sama. You still have a lot of experience in certain things over me."

Souichiro laughed slightly and spoke. "You seem to have a bit more experience in fighting these things, though. In this new world, that counts for a whole hell of a lot more than political experience." Naruto nodded. "That is true...and my combat experience more than likely outweighs your own. Hmmm...I think that maybe we should put the subject of leaders away for now, though. The more pressing matter at hand is what are we going to do now?"

Souichiro cupped his chin in thought much like Saya did earlier that day. "Hmmm...I guess we would have to find a place we can survive in for some time. Also...we would have to find any other survivors if we could. There is one place that we can go to that fits both bills for that." Naruto looked at him confused until he continued. "We could head to the mall. There would be food there and I'm sure that some group of people has also taken a claim there as well."

Naruto nodded. "It would be a good idea...but we can't have our group getting too big. It was like I was explaining to the group back at the estate..." Souichiro raised his brow. "What were you all talking about?" The blonde shrugged his shoulders. "I simply told them that we would be better off leaving the mansion in the first place. Being with a larger group creates more noise and would attract these things quicker."

The older man nodded and leaned his head back. "You're right about that. So I guess that's where we are going then?" Naruto nodded and lied down across the back. "I'm going to lie down for a bit...can you tell them what we're doing?" Souichiro nodded and crawled awkwardly over Naruto to the front to talk to Shizuka while the blonde boy simply stared at the roof of the Humvee. He huffed and closed his eyes.

'I think that now would be a good time to talk to Alter...'

END:

I know it wasn't as good as some others, but this is my first full scale battle scene between multiple people moving around and fighting. I hope it was good.

R&R

Elemental Shadow Out!