Justice League Fire Shadow
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or DCAU so stop sending the lawyers after me already.
Underwater Battle Royale
( ): Thoughts
((" ")): Conversation with Kurama
Deep in the ocean over a rough stormy day…
A US submarine was currently on a routine scanning patrol of the ocean floor. This sub however was no ordinary naval combat vessel. It was one of the submarines tasked with carrying a small but no less lethal array of nuclear armed missiles used for intercontinental attacks. The sub captain knew that this was a new patrol route that he had been assigned to but he was hoping that this trip would not become a major pain in the ass…and just be another mission run even if they were in international waters though this was a new path selected by the head honchos back home.
However, his hopes were going to be proven false as one of his crew, a sonar operations officer called it in.
"Con-Sonar, I am picking up an incoming contact."
"Out here? Do we have any idea who it is?"
The officer listened and was quickly surprised by the fact that the sonar signature…DID NOT match any signature that was recorded in the US Navy records.
"Negative sir! Unknown contact's sonar signature is not known on records!"
Any other comment was thrown out the window as they now found themselves under attack as the unknown ship rammed them. The Captain immediately orders all hands to man battle stations and to send word of the sudden and unprovoked attack by unknown hostiles.
Outside of the sub, the other submersibles come into view, and it's perfectly clear that the subs were NOT built by any of the known navies in the world itself. Their designs were utterly different and they were not alone as human like figures were seen moving along with what resembled jet-skies though these moved in water.
Normally any human without some form of personal protection or in a submersible would have died from the sheer pressure and lack of oxygen in such depths. These people on the other hand had no problem dealing with both and seemed to be more at home in the environment that they were now in.
And for good reason…they were not human…but Atlanteans.
In the main vessel, the Atlantean crews worked on their consoles as a shadowy figure who sat in what obviously was the command chair of the vessel looked on. Soon it was clear that they were going to deal with the vessel without even bothering to state their intentions. The commander however was pleased to hear one of the officer's speak.
"The surface ship has been disabled your highness."
"Good, then let them sink."
However, the call had managed to make it through to the surface and backup was on the way.
Back in L.A…
(Why the heck am I here again? Oh yeah…I'm here to buy enough food to feed a pack of wolves. Damn….for a woman with a body models would kill for, Kory's got an appetite that I only ever saw with the Akamichi Clan.)
Naruto mentally groaned as he was now pushing at least two shopping carts filled up to his chest with food items. Kory indeed had a hell of an appetite, that much he had already borne witness to and now he had run out of food a bit too early for his liking. At least he could take heart in the fact that only the food he had in his house' fridge was gone and now resided in said beauty's gut since he made it a point to carry spare food in his scrolls. That was why he still had food though now he was going to have to work on overtime to buy enough food for himself, Raven, and Starfire. He felt like he was dealing with a drop dead gorgeous but very slim and fit member of the Akamichi Clan when it came to Kory's appetite…than the Kami she did not get any extra mass when she ate.
The one bit of good news he had though was that at least Raven was not as ravenous as Starfire was when it came to food. That was something he was thankful for since if she was as hungry as Starfire was, then two carts worth of food was NOT going to cut it. He placed that aside and began to dig into the wallet he had as he got to the counter and took out a large wad of one thousand dollar bills to pay for the food he had purchased. The man who was there to man the counter the blonde had lined up on whistled the very second he saw the two carts and the food they had.
"Man…that is a LOT of food. You plan on having one hell of a party at some point sir?"
Naruto grinned a bit and replied.
"Let's just say that my housemates have very big appetites."
The man laughed gently and replied.
"I hear that…I had some dorm mates back home who ate like there was no tomorrow."
The two continued until Naruto's orders were done and paid for in record and for that he was thankful. Though it still made a LOT of people who watched him boggle at the amount of food he bought. He chuckled a bit to himself as he wondered how they would have reacted if they learned of his old running buddy Chouji. Now if he was here and met Kory then he would have competition for food all the time and nothing made his now long pasted deceased friend fight for food harder than having competition.
He got them all stored away and headed back to his pad, he had no workloads today and had gone off to get some time alone with his new room mates. Not in that sense but to make sure that they were all getting along and he would be able to call in on the League and get them up to speed on the situation he found himself in.
(("Yeah…tell them about the half human/half demon babe who is now residing with you."))
(You got a better suggestion Kurama? Cause if you do, I'm all ears.)
(("Nope, just voicing it out, seriously though this is going to be a very interesting situation for you since I can bet that Raven being around is going to make life interesting."))
Naruto groaned mentally at that as he started the SUV and headed back to his hideout, and with his supplies, all he could hope for was that he did not make too many of these trips. At least Raven did not eat too much and she was more of the eat enough to both nourish and enjoy but no binging and the like. She was a major fan of books though, something that he found out after a few days since all she usually did was ready most of the time.
He looked at the new pile of books he bought for her since she did make a request for them, and she was VERY thorough on what she wanted. She had at times moved out of her robe and when he got to see her figure in a leotard…man…for all her gloomy atmosphere, Raven was drop dead gorgeous, one thing was certain, even if she was trying to be dark and mysterious, along with magically dangerous woman, she was still very beautiful, demonic blood and origins aside to be sure.
(Geez…I really have to control myself.)
(("True that, you could always visit your boss and hang out with Pamela if you feel up to it so you can forget those ideas for the time being. I'm sure they can be more than willing to help you deal with the stress of the whole idea of two women in the same building as you."))
Naruto did not like the snicker in that tone on Kurama's voice and replied with sarcasm.
(Oh sure…do the mattress dance with my boss and the same with someone who I am trying to help turn her life around and make her see other choices that she make. As tempting as that would be, I know that's not always the right idea.)
Kurama snickered at that even more and then spoke to Naruto seriously.
(("Be that as it may kit, sooner or later you will have to tell them about her, and the way I see it, better they hear it from you than someone else with LESS than noble intentions. Plus, there is the fact that sooner or later, you will have to talk about me and your origins…ALL of your origins."))
Naruto nodded in agreement with that, sooner or later he would have to tell them, even more so in revealing Kurama and the powers that his long time ally had given him. But like before he had a feeling that it might not be so well received in several areas.
(You know that it is going to cause some serious reactions Kurama, you and I are allies, but once they learned of your…past actions, they might not see it that way. Not to mention the fact that if I do come clean with them about my past and my connection to you, that also means I have to tell them about my whole life. Not too sure how they would react to what they would learn if I tell them, but I can bet that if I reveal my…martial situation it is going to raise eyebrows.)
(("Of that I have no doubt, even more so for your Amazon companion since as hot as she is I doubt Diana would take kindly to you being able to have more than one wife, due to customs. And let's not even begin with the 'Big Blue Boy-scout' you know as Superman, but let's face it, it's all part of the whole package deal that is your life. If they can't accept it, then that is their decision and you can always choose to place aside your League membership and strike solo if it comes to that. Though if Starfire and Raven are anything to go by, you can bet the term 'solo' may never apply to you."))
Naruto chuckled at the truth in that statement since they were his partners in a sense. Diana's reaction also worried him since he had learned enough from her about the reasons why men were disliked or outright hated in Themyscira though she personally did not have a visceral hatred for men as some of her sisters would. However, he could wager a guess she would not take kindly to the idea of him being married to more than one woman. But if she met the female ninja that he had been married to she might change her mind.
As he drove deeper into his home location, he parked the SUV and got out to get the supplies and heard a voice which he recognized easily as the cheerful nature told him who it was.
"Friend Naruto! It's good to see you!"
Naruto smiled and turned to say hi to Kory…only to see that she was once more fully naked in front of him, and judging by the fact that she was covered in water, she had just gotten out of the shower. His eyes could not help but stare at the droplets of water that were on her form from head to toe along with on her hips, breasts, and the like. And adding the fact that as she flew to land before him feet first, Naruto was given one hell of a full frontal show by the drop dead gorgeous female Tamaranean who was smiling radiantly at him for his return.
Had it not been for the fact that he was quite used to seeing naked women, and he was aware that Kory had no problem with being naked, he would have thought she was seducing him on purpose. Even more so when said naked woman hugged him tightly/…pressing her more than well formed and ample bust to him. This was a major test of his ability to resist the desire to grab the orange toned beauty with red hair and green eyes and have his way with her. Now most guys would have urged him on to do it or kick him aside to take his place, but that would never happen since Naruto was not going to go to that length even if it seemed that Kory was not the least bit worried by that.
Yet again he was thankful his mega-pervert of a godfather was not around to see this…he'd be shouting with glee and speaking along the lines of ryo and gaki, meaning him, in ways he was not keen on remembering.
As soon as Kory released him after he struggled to tell her he needed air, she gave him a look of apology.
"I am sorry for my over enthusiastic greeting friend Naruto, I am just pleased to see you so soon."
"Heh…I kind of figured that, anyway, now that I am here, we should get some of the stuff back into the kitchen. And uh…Kory…I know this is going to sound redundant to you, but can you please put some clothes on?"
Kory gave a pout that was once more cute and yet seductive at the very same time, coupled with her more than beautiful figure, it was devastating.
Naruto sighed and replied.
"Yes…I normally don't have a problem with that since you are comfortable about this sort of thing, but for the sake of learning new things about this world, please wear some clothing Kory. It's not that I don't find you attractive or anything because I really do, but because it is not recommended that you be like this in front of every guy you meet."
Kory's pout faded and then she smiled as she spoke.
"Not to worry friend Naruto, I will not do this in front of others, since I planning of only doing this in front of you after all since I trust you."
Naruto could not help but be gobsmacked at that comment, though naturally there was a part of him being a man that was saying thank you in all the known volume settings. How in the heck would someone like him supposed answer a woman when she said that she would be naked only for him to look at her?
Any attempt to try and speak was cut short however when a call came in. Naruto was quick to get himself focused on the task at hand. It seemed that the call also made Kory become more serious as she headed off to get herself dressed. As soon as she did so, the two of them were there before the communication screen provided by Batman, Raven was there but deemed it best to remain well away from the viewer system to avoid being caught. She was well aware of the fact that her presence would be seen as a threat by someone, who she did not know yet, but she was not taking a chance.
That proved to be a wise idea as Batman appeared on the screen.
"Hokage, Starfire, we've got a situation, we need the both of you at the Watch Tower now, we will fill you in on the situation once you get here."
Both nodded and when Batman was gone, Raven came out and Starfire greeted her in her usual fashion.
"Friend Raven! We are going on a mission with the league! You wish to join us?"
Raven shook her head and replied.
"I can't, not right now, I cannot leave at all until I am assured that I am being hunted no longer by those who seek my powers."
Starfire was not happy to hear that and wished that her new found friend with Naruto would be able to join the League. After all, they accepted her, they would be accepting of Rave too would they not? Naruto however was quick to see Raven's discomfort with the idea and spoke to Kory to make sure that she did not do something that could be seen as an intrusion by Raven in her own private thoughts and emotions.
"Raven has a point Starfire, for now she will be fine here, I made sure to find very good books for her and we can meet up with her after the mission okay?"
Starfire reluctantly nodded and soon Naruto used his Hirashin Jutsu and now they were in the Watch Tower. The others were there…with the marked exception of Flash and Hawkgirl which was a bit odd on his view. That was something that he would have to work on in the later time frame when he could. The only team members left were Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, J'onn, and Wonder Woman, some of the heavy hitters so whatever case the other to were working on in their own time they could handle.
"Good to see you made it."
Superman greeted them and soon it was Naruto who spoke.
"What exactly is the emergency?"
"We got word that a US Navy submarine named the Defiant on a routine patrol in the Atlantic Ocean was suddenly under attack by unknown subs as well. The weird thing is that there's no known path used by other nation's navies. We don't know for certain what happened or who was responsible, but since the ship was operating in international waters it could be anyone…or anything for that matter. What makes it worse is the fact that the sub in question is carrying nukes."
Naruto raised an eyebrow at that and began to try and figure out just where he heard of it before. It quickly clicked in his mind just where he heard of them. He had done research on the military of the US and was quite impressed by what he was able to read, the technology here gave them a major advantage when compared to his homeland though back home they did their own tech research though like before, most of it was for military application before being given civilian versions.
However, that also meant that he knew what subs were and blanched quickly at the idea.
"Hold it…we're going into the ocean?!"
In the Javelin…
Naruto was not too comfortable with the idea of being underwater as the multipurpose jet was moving to where the sub was last reported to have been. He had managed to chat with both Isobu and Kukou and they had provided him a chakra technique that they knew could help him move and breath underwater. Which he had been working on ever since he got the message that the League had to check it out since the last report from said sub mentioned being hit by unknowns while on routine patrol, which in Navy speak was bad news.
The sight of the world underneath the ocean certainly did not improve his mood either as he looked around. This was soon seen by Diana who spoke to him.
"Are you all right Hokage?"
"Honestly? No…this whole idea of being underwater is really freaking me out. And coming from a guy like me Diana-hime, it's already saying a lot as it is. Are you sure that the Javelin can handle being this deep underwater?"
Batman replied to that.
"Positive…we have the whole Javelin fleet rated for space travel after all so underwater operations is not all that unexpected."
That did little alleviate Naruto's feelings but he sucked it up and focused on the task at hand.
Naruto was thankful at least that even in this veritable flying sardine can he could gather Senjutsu chakra, one good thing in his mind about being this deep in the ocean is that there was plenty of life here and the Nature energy here was not affected too heavily by pollution, not like in the cities. Kory looked at Naruto and could see that he was really edgy about being deep in the water and was still in the process of calming down.
She decided to hug Naruto and spoke to him in a very consoling tone.
"You will be fine Friend Naruto, I will help you as best I can."
Naruto could not help but feel a bit more amused by the action of the Tamaranean, and he was busy to also try and not allow himself to react to the closeness of the woman. The others were looking on as well though with obviously different takes on the blonde's rather awkward situation. John ignored the whole thing, J'onn merely looked on impassively, Superman was trying not to laugh, Batman…well, he's Batman, and Diana was merely looking with a raised eyebrow at the situation.
Any other comment however was put to rest when they finally came to the exact location the US Navy said to them that the sub had gone down and had been deemed lost. They looked around to find the cause of the sub going down and Kory got serious as well. Much to Naruto's relief as he was about to let his more perverted side have some fun, he decided to tap into his Sage Mode to try and search for the chakra signatures of the crew to determine if they were still alive. He soon found them and focused on their exact location, but suddenly he picked up several other signatures.
"We are not alone down here."
It was not long before Naruto's comment was proven true when they spotted several ships heading in their direction. John was quick to act as he realized that these ships were NOT of any sub he knew of. He might have been gone for a while from Earth, but he still knew enough to know the kind of subs that were used. These were definitely NOT subs he knew of.
"Now we know just who attacked the Defiant. But those are not any subs I know of."
Batman then spoke.
"I'll take the Javelin, let's see if we can't ID these attackers and hopefully prevent a shootout."
That however was out of their hands when the ship tried to destroy them and John replied.
"Looks like they are not in the mood to talk."
Superman sighed as he knew where this was going to lead as he and the others got out. Batman would handle the Javelin and the rest of them would deal with the attackers, who he knew of well enough.
"I was hoping it would not come to this, I can only hope Aquaman is here and can reason with his people before this gets really ugly."
Naruto raised an eyebrow at that as he summoned the chakra shroud.
"Aquaman, someone I knew of a few years back, he's the leader of the Atlanteans, and they are the ones outside."
Kory then spoke.
'Why then do they have such hostile intent towards others friend Superman?"
Superman gave a slight scowl as he was all too familiar on the why of it and decided to give the short version to Kory as well as the others.
"Long story short, Lex Luthor captured Aquaman and planned to experiment on him when I met him, needless to say, a friend of mine, Lois from the Daily Planet, and myself helped free him. That incident though made him LESS than happy with the people on land and we had to convince him not to go to war with the surface world. If he's with them then perhaps I can convince him to stop this before this gets way out of hand since he does listen to what I said, I just hope he's in a reasonable mood when we meet him."
Batman spoke once more as he managed to move the Javelin away from some more attacks.
"Then I suggest we get to it, though we're going to have to knock some sense into them first. Talking to them isn't going to happen if we're not alive to do it."
The heroes who could fight in the ocean soon left the Javelin and Superman decided to try and call out to Aquaman and prevent this from devolving into a shooting match. The Kryptonian's efforts were not going to bear fruit though as the sub attacked them all and so they had no choice but to fight them all and keep themselves alive long enough to stop this from going any further. Both Superman and Wonder Woman soon focused their strength to take on a much larger vessel to allow the Javelin to avoid the weapons it had on target on the smaller fighter. But once they managed to deal with that one, then two more of the same massive subs were coming in, and the Atlanteans were now going on into the fight using what would be considered the underwater version of jet skies. The League members were now caught in a fight with the Atlanteans and there was no ifs or buts about it.
Naruto was thankful that the chakra technique that the two water borne members of the Nine in him was helping him not to only breathe but move as well. He dodged another attempt by an Atlantean soldier to skewer him and then managed to land a kick into the man's face. The impact might not have been that powerful due to the water nearby, but the blow was enough to send the man off that sea vehicle of his and allow Naruto to quickly grab it and then after a brief struggle guided that thing to slam into another one being piloted by one of the Atlantean soldiers. Hat forced the second Atlantean to jump clear, only for him to slugged by Naruto in the face before the blonde took out his sword to block an incoming strike to his head from another Atlantean.
Kory was not far behind as her own energy shroud allowed her to move through the water as well and she soon fired several blasts of energy at her attackers. The blasts destroyed their rides and forced them to face her in hand to hand combat when she charged. But she knocked them aside with her energy covered fists and feet as well. She even went further by grabbing a nearby boulder from the sea floor and tossed it at another one of the massive vessels.
Superman was also doing the same thing though in his case, he was tangling with the subs alongside Diana. John used his Power Ring to form walls and beams to knock the Atlanteans aside and defend the others. When they were attacking him of all people, he formed a barrier and held them off just as J'onn came in and took them down. One of the Atlanteans tried to take down the Martian, only for the Martian become intangible and the blow missed the intended target and J'onn knocked the man out.
Diana was next to defend herself as some of the Atlanteans fired their vehicle's weapons at her, forcing her to defend herself using her bracers. The second the Atlantean stopped she rushed in and dsite the fact that sh should be slowed down by being in the water, she got into the man's face and landed one hell of a haymaker on the chin. She soon blocked another one coming at her with her bracers, bfore moving to use her lasso…She caught the attacker and yanked him off his ride, and turned him into the head of an impromptu mace to send two more of his fellows out for the count.
Batman was not far behind either as he used the firepower of the Javelin to fight off the larger subs and was thankful for the extra armor and firepower the multi environment fighter gave him in a place like this.
It was not long however that more of the Atlanteans were coming in to reinforce their fellows and this time around, someone else got into the act.
The former Hokage looked at the new arrival and he could tell immediately that this man was the head honcho of the bunch before him. The fact that he carried one wicked looking trident and acted like a king added to the whole deal as he readied his swords since they were heading in his direction. The fact that a fairly high number of Atlantean soldiers accompanied him also made Naruto more than aware that this was not going to be a good situation if things went south.
"Halt! You and your companions are in the territory of Atlantis!"
Naruto snorted and spoke, as the chakra shroud he used also allowed his voice to be heard.
"I don't recall seeing any signs that said this section of the ocean floor had been claimed."
That statement seemed to have stuck a chord in the Atlantean soldiers as they glared at the blonde, though the leader of the bunch who he could guess was Aquaman, the same one that Superman spoke of kept calm. And it was not long before the Big Blue Boy Scout himself came into the scene.
Even with the neutral look the man had on his face, Naruto managed to see a flicker of recognition on his face when he turned to look at Superman himself.
"So we meet again Superman."
The Kryptonian and the Atlantean did indeed know one another and that was a good thing in everyone's books as they hoped that Superman could finally convince the man to let them go and save those people trapped in the submarine.
"I am sorry for the intrusion into the borders of Atlantis, but we came here to answer the distress call of the Defiant that was hit here."
"They should have stayed on the surface where they belonged."
The disdain in the blonde man's voice for the lives of the sub they attacked grated at Naruto's nerves a bit more. While he could understand the idea of forcing people off one's territorial borders, but what these Atlanteans did was really pushing the limit on what was acceptable in protecting one's territory. And he made his dislike for the action along with the man's attitude clear.
"Did they attack you first?"
"What was that?"
Naruto sighed mentally at the man but kept his cool as he knew that this was not the right time to lose his temper. They had better things to do than continue with a debate with him.
"If I recall right, the only reason one would retaliate was if they were attacked first. So that leads to my question from before. Did they attack you first?"
"No, and that is of no consequence now."
"No consequence? Has all this time in the sea water pickled your brain or what? In case you haven't noticed, they had done nothing hostile on your people to warrant this little stunt. Had you let them leave without incident then none of us would be here. But no, you decided to SINK them and endanger the crew of that ship which if memory serves in my day, is an open act of aggression that makes you and your people the hostiles here. That in turn makes this stunt of you're people an open declaration of war."
Aquaman was not pleased by that though his face was neutral as he spoke. The only proof of his hostility was the fact that he held his trident tighter. The same went for his escorts though the blonde king did nothing to order an attack on the former Hokage.
"Are you threatening my people?"
The blonde snorted and replied.
"I'm not, I'm just stating facts, I happen to know why you don't like the people up there and Kami knows there's plenty of people who are very much the worst kind. But that is NO excuse for starting a war when no one attacked you and even more so when you condemn innocent people who took no part in attacking your own to begin with. You let those people leave alive, and perhaps it MIGHT help ease the tensions around here. Don't…and well, let's just put it this way, if it's a war you want, then it's a war you shall get."
The Atlanteans were not too happy about that but they did nothing as Aquaman did not give them the signal to attack. The blonde king however looked at the one before him and wondered just why he felt that his words had more weight in them. He may look young, but Aquaman felt that he was far older than he actually was.
(His words have a ring of truth in them.)
Diana then spoke as calmly as she could, knowing full well she was addressing a King and thus a fellow royal. Despite what many would think about her people's recognized distrust or at times hatred of men, this did not apply to all of them. Diana was well aware that Atlanteans were a whole different bunch all together and thus they were to be respected due to not only their power but the fact that they were of a different race as well. Besides, despite her less than stellar meeting with Lantern, she had begun to get used to being around her male colleagues in the League.
"Please, they will drown here."
Aquaman looked at the League and then to the sub, thinking on what had to be done. And he finally decided on a course of action.
"Very well, take the crew of that vessel, but that vessel stays right where it is."
THAT did not sit well with one of the League however.
"What?! No way is that going to happen?!"
Lantern came there and it was obvious that he was less then happy with the option given to them by Aquaman. The others were none too happy about the idea either but they also had to admit that with time against them, they had to choose, either take the ship and risk making this situation a lot more complicated, or take Aquaman's offer to take the crew yet leave the nukes and stop this from going any further.
Aquaman's next speech only served to anger the former Marine even more.
"What makes you believe that you are in a position to argue?"
The former Marine was none too happy with that statement and was about to power up until Superman stopped him. A good thing he did that too since the Atlanteans leveled their weapons at Lantern.
"Lantern, we have no other choice here, if we don't move now the crew drowns. I don't like the idea of leaving those nukes either, and I wish we can get them and the crew, but time's against us."
That was finally enough to get John to calm down, but Naruto hardly doubted that this was the last time the former Marine was going to let this go unresolved. He actually like that idea even if he and Stewart was not exactly buddies or anything.
Naruto was not blind to the fact that a number of the Atlantean soldiers were looking at Diana and Kory intently. And being who he was and what he experienced, he had no problem seeing the LESS than pure thoughts flying around in their heads. Thus he made sure to send a bit of killing intent with Senjutsu chakra mixed in and Kurama's to warn them to back off. That worked as the leering Atlantean soldiers moved away though it was clear that his action did not go unnoticed by everyone in sight range of him. Yet they had more pressing matters at hand so they did not continue the whole thing.
The good news was that they were now able to get the people of the sub out and take them back to the mainland. Naruto was quick to get up to the surface and be thankful to be out of the ocean for now. Kory was kind enough to help him up to the Javelin while Diana gave him a smile of thanks for helping her when her attackers tried to double team her much earlier. That however allowed him to hear the conversation between Aquaman and Superman.
"This doesn't have to always end like this."
"And what would you propose?"
"Go to the World Assembly and air your grievances to the people there as they too represent their nations in this world."
The blonde looked at Superman warily and replied.
"Am I supposed to come in their act like a beggar?"
"No, you're to come there as a King and ruler of Atlantis."
Thankfully it seemed that the crew of the US Naval vessel were now being taken away to safety by the others, though he had no doubt Lantern was anything but happy. Even more so with the idea that they had to leave the nukes behind, and if he were to hazard a guess, the head honchos of the Navy were not going to be too happy with that either.
In the Watch Tower…
Superman was not all that happy with his current situation in dealing with an obviously irate Admiral of the US Navy. The submarine's crew were back safely but the report the said crew gave to their higher ups had the brass in the US military up in arms. Not that Naruto could blame them, when he read up all he could on these…nuclear missiles, they all sounded like the high tech version of the Kinjutsu Hotaru had on her body that could level battle fields and poison the land.
That last part did not sit well with the blonde with him being a Sage and all that and he did not eve want to guess the number of people who would be killed in such an event a weapon like that was used. He was thankful that none of his enemies back home had not developed the tech to make these nukes since the last thing he felt his world needed were those things.
The blonde looked at Superman who at the moment was working hard to calm the man, and he then turned to John and Diana, the former marine was not in the best of moods to say the very least and Diana was doing her best to try and calm the man. He already knew just why they were arguing.
"I am telling you, leaving those nukes with that madman is a bad idea! Who knows what the hell he is going to use those nukes for!"
"Aquaman is not a madman Lantern, he is a king, leader of his people and he is only doing his best to defend his people."
Lantern was not all that happy however and relied in kind.
"And who is going to protect the people on the surface from him?! I am not going to let those nukes just lie there and be used by him or his posse."
And with that in mind, he turned around and headed out.
Diana tried to reason with Lantern but Naruto was there and shook his head at the Amazon princess.
"John's made up his mind Diana-hime, and to be honest, I can't exactly blame him either. I know that Aquaman is trying his best to defend his people, I would do what I could if I was in his place as well. Hell, I did the same thing myself more than once as Hokage. But the fact remains that John is honor bound to defend the people here and thus he has more than ample reason to react the way he did. Those nukes are very much a cause of concern for anyone and John has a right to be worried. Both of them are not going to budge on the matter."
"I see…but what can we do?"
'All we can do is wait and see if we can't find a solution that can at leas work for both sides, though I can bet ten to one that Aquaman is NOT having an easy time of it."
And Naruto was right…for Aquaman was facing one of his own people who was making demands…though in this case, it was for something of a more offensive nature towards the people on the surface.
In the City of Atlantis, throne room…
Aquaman, or rather Arthur was currently facing one of his military officers, in fact one of the more recognized heads of the military, one General Brak who was currently speaking about the recent altercation with the surface dwellers. Next to him was his brother Orm, and his wife Mera, Orm was one of his advisors apart from being his half brother and his wife Mera was nearby holding their child and serving as his consciousness on what was being spoken to him.
"My King, we cannot just stand back and let the surface dwellers do what they please! Not any longer! These barbarians treat the ocean as if they have a right to do with as they please! They dump their garbage into the seas, they pollute the waters and foul once fertile hunting and harvesting grounds! They take all and give nothing back! They sail their weapons over the seas with impunity! It is high time that we put a stop to this before our people will suffer from their neglect and arrogance! And we in the military have a solution."
"And what is that?"
Brak was serious about the whole matter and replied.
"Our military has the technology, the will, the resources, and the manpower. The surface dwellers have yet to have anything that can atch us conventionally. Our military can invade and sweep through the surface world and remove these barbarians from the lands once and for all!"
Aquaman knew immediately that it meant total war, and unlike Brak he knew full well that despite their appearance, the surface dwellers were anything but primitive. Yes they lacked certain things that the Atlanteans had in far better numbers than they did, but that hardly meant that it was going to be as easy as Bra would want to believe.
Not only that, there were others among the surface dwellers who had more than enough power to be major dangers to his people…the recently formed Justice League being among them. He also had no desire to lunge Atlantis into a war that would lead to the deaths of who knew how many of his people.
"General Brak, I decide policy here as King, not you."
Brak then did something that that got on the blonde Atlantean's nerves as he actually moved forward and showed a more aggressive and demanding posture and tone. These were not good things to show before one's own leader.
"But we cannot delay any more my king! We should end this all now before they cause even more destruction with their barbaric disregard for the oceans!"
Aquaman's eyes narrowed as he looked at the still defiant Brak, he was still trying to digest the fact that not only was Brak defying him, but also acting as if he was going to force him to take military action. This was something that had troubled Aquaman of late as he knew that Brak's words were not without merit. He too had experienced the actions of the surface dwellers when he had been taken captive and experimented on by the one known as Lex Luthor. He had wanted to wage war there and then to avenge his suffering, but in that same instant, he too knew that not all of the surface dwellers were enemies of his.
Superman and his friend Lois Lane had helped to free him and they were those who talked him down in order to stop the war with the surface world. They were among the few people who he would listen to and thus he was now torn between his desire to stop the surface dwellers with any means deemed necessary or to find a more peaceful solution that did not result in him willingly leading his people into war that would result in the loss of lives.
That was why he was not the least bit pleased by the way Brak was speaking to him,
However, Orm came in and spoke to Brak.
"That is enough General, your king has spoken."
Brak looked at Orm and nodded.
"of course my Lord Orm, I apologize."
Aquaman already knew that this was not going to be the last time that he would have this discussion with Brak, but he had to consider many things. Even more so when he looked at the direction of his wife Mera and their child and heard his son cry a bit along with Mera working to calm their child.
"I will take your words under advisement General Brak, there is much for me to consider and to also make sure that this is done with everything considered."
Aquaman walked into the private quarters and headed for the crib where his son and heir to the throne happened to be resting while Mera kept him company. When he held his hand before his son, the young babe held his fingers and squeezed. Arthur smiled at that and was more than willing to let his son grip his hand.
"He has a strong grip indeed."
Mera nodded with motherly affection and pride
"He takes after his father."
He smiled at that but his smile was not going to last as he thought about all that has happened. His change of demeanor did not escape his wife and Mera soon spoke to him as the blonde leader of the nation of Atlantis moved to the balcony of the city and looked it over. The city of Atlantis was nothing like that of the old Greek style that it had descended from in the books, due to them having to adapt into their new world and develop not merely magic but technology even though there were few forms of magic. His people were able to live in peace and thus were able to prosper for many centuries prior to the rise of the surface dwellers in their own over the same time frame.
"Arthur, something bothers you deeply, please tell me what it is."
Arthur looked at his beloved wife and then into the city as well as to their son who was now sleeping in the crib.
"Am I doing the right thing Mera? I know that what Brak said is true and had he suggested it years ago I would have given him my consent. The surface dwellers have caused more than enough damage to our world, and I have known first hand their callousness and disregard for the lives of others. Yet I have also met those among them ho have shown to me that they are not barbarians and can be trusted."
"You speak of Superman and his friend Lois Lane?"
"Yes, and if I do go to war with the surface world he and I will be enemies, and can I truly agree to starting a war that will drag our people into Gods knows how long a conflict? Am I strong enough to take such a course of action that will have my hands stained by so much blood?"
Mera understood where Arthur was going with this and held his hands in her own as she spoke.
"You're hands are strong enough to defend our people and our home, and I gladly entrust my life and my future in them."
That made Aquaman smile and he began to think back on the suggestion made by Superman, and after a few more minutes, he made a decision and then proceeded to tell his wife.
At the site of the Defiant…
Atlantean patrols were moving around the downed US Navy submarine as per the orders of their king to make sure the sub stayed where it was. That would have been proof enough to most people that Aquaman was serious in keeping his word. However, John Stewart was anything but most people as he began to sneak in quietly and patiently, avoiding the patrols and using his training both as a Marine, and a Green Lantern to get into the sub.
One would think that a man who was covered in a glowing green silhouette of energy could e seen, but the patrols were not focusing on him. John took that into account and quickly headed to where the missile bay was, showing that even though he was a Marine and not a guy who usually worked on subs, he knew enough to know where to go. He scanned the area with the ring and sure enough he now had a greater reason to distrust Aquaman.
The nuclear material used on the missiles was no longer there.
Back on the surface…
The people on the beach were currently enjoying some regular time in the sun and also with families and loved ones. Beach sports and the like to make sure that they were all able to be entertained. However all that took a back seat when some of the swimmers began to move away from the water and move back to shore. Normally that would have meant something bad, like sharks or whatnot, but instead a tall man came out from the water without any form of breathing apparatus or diving suit. The beach goers just watched as the man moved through the beach and soon headed into the city.
As soon as he got there, he moved through without caring much for who was looking, Aquaman had come to the city and already he was not the least bit happy. No doubt not liking the smell of the air which had smoke and smog in it, and also the stench of garbage that he could smell easily enough as he moved forward ignoring the stares directed at him. There was also the fact that apparently he was lost, he needed directions.
As he crossed the street cars quickly stopped to avoid running him over, one driver however made the mistake of shouting at the annoyed Atlantean king.
"Hey you idiot! Get the hell of the road!"
And what was Aquaman's reaction to that rather unflattering remark? Closed fist on the hood of the car that literally caved it in and made the car's rear move forward, showing that he was NOT someone one shouted at unless one had a less than stellar regard for one's own health. That shut said driver up pretty darn quick and brought a nearby traffic cop, who had to be given credit for doing his job even though the man he faced was that strong.
"Hey! What on Earth are you doing?"
Aquaman looked at him sternly and apparently learned enough to know that the man was a man of authority due to the badge. He then proceeded to get the information he sought…his way.
"Where is the World Assembly?"
Back at the Watch Tower…
The very second Lantern came back to the Watch Tower, he was irate and revealed that he had gone back to check for himself the status of the nukes. The missiles were there to be sure, but the nuclear material that was the main and the most dangerous component of the whole package was no longer there. Diana asked him if he truly suspected that Aquaman had done the theft, to which he replied sarcastically if there were any other Atlanteans they knew of.
And naturally he stated they should go to Atlantis and get some answers, normally a good idea had Superman not shot that down.
"If you want to have a word with him back at Atlantis John, you can forget about it."
Superman parted from the screen to show the World Assembly which was in session right now…and guess who was there?
"Because he's already here, and from the looks of things…it's not going well."
In the World Assembly building…
The people in the Assembly were busy trying to make sense of what was happening in where they were working. The day had been focused on dealing with the recent loss of said submarine and now they find the one responsible of said loss of sub in front of them. Aquaman was naturally making his move and his intentions clear to everyone in sight range and earshot as well.
His demands in his mind were fair and reasonable.
But to the others? Not so much.
Many of the people in the World Assembly made their own disgust with the demands leveled to them by Aquaman very clear as one man, who no doubt represented the French Government spoke.
"You and your people have the audacity to sink a nuclear sub and then barge in here to make demands for peace like this? Who do you think you are?"
Aquaman replied in the same serious and calm tone as before.
"I am the sworn in and sovereign ruler of the kingdom of Atlantis."
"A country that is not recognized and as such has no right to make demands!"
Aquaman glared at each member of the Assembly, making sure to focus first on the French representative as he replied.
"These are the final terms of peace between your nations and mine; discard and ignore them at your own risk."
The speaker then replied as he tried desperately to keep things in the hall in order, the last thing he wanted was a riot in the hall itself.
"But those demands of yours are outrageous and impractical! What you are proposing seriously undermines not only the security and defense of our respective nations, but out economic security as well!"
Aquaman looked at the man and replied.
"Those are your concerns and problems, they are not mine."
That did it as the whole Assembly rioted and the leaders and officials were all standing up and were hurling threats and insults at Aquaman. And while he remained calm, he could not help but feel some level of disappointment. He had arrived to air his grievances and set his terms as Superman suggested, and now it seemed that he had wasted his time.
The leaders turned and so did the Atlantean as Superman came along with John Stewart, J'onn, Naruto, Kory, and Diana herself. As Superman landed in front of Aquaman, the Atlantean king spoke bitterly to the Kryptonian.
"I came here and offered them a chance for peace between their nations and mine, and this is how they respond. This was a waste of my time."
Superman replied to that, hoping to try and salvage this situation before it turned ugly.
"Please try to be patient about this, things like this takes time."
"I have wasted too much time already."
As Aquaman shoved aside both Diana and Kory and in not a gentle fashion when they were in his way, the blonde Hokage clenched his jaw behind his mask at the action done by the royal who was now leaving the premises with a serious chip on his shoulder. The guy was a real hard case and he was resisting the urge to do something about it since he could understand to some extent where he was coming from. He had a similar situation with B's brother A, the previous Raikage when the Fourth Shinobi War ended so he was not all the unfamiliar with the blonde Atlantean's antics. That hardly meant he liked it one bit though.
(("The guy's about as diplomatic as a kunai up the nose"))
And it was fairly obvious that the same sentiment was with the rest of the team as well. John himself summed it up easily while he helped steady Diana while Superman did the same for Kory.
"A real prince charming this guy."
Naruto nodded as he and the others decided to move out and try to convince Aquaman to at leas try again and find a compromise. They knew that unless he found a way to work with the people, it was not going to end well.
However as the man came out of the building, he was quickly beset by the media who asked him all manner of questions. And a fair number of said questions were not all that flattering either. He was more than willing to ignore it and also the calls of the League to slow down and try to take the diplomatic route again. That was soon changed however when he was suddenly attacked by what appeared to be a missile.
It missed most of the bystanders nearby as well as the media who had been following the Atlantean but it nearly clipped him. However before another attack could be made on the obviously injured Atlantean the League stepped in. Naruto reached out with his Senjutsu senses to track the attacker and pin him down, and he managed to sense a faint signature fleeing the scene, but right now getting Aquaman to medical treatment was high priority. Thus he had to cut any attempt to chase down the man, besides seeing that Batman was up to something he decided to let the Dark Knight make his own move.
The news of the attack on Aquaman had spread quickly as they had, despite their less than stellar liking for the surface dwellers, they found it prudent to monitor them. That naturally meant that they were also tuned into the news and the fact that their king had been attacked had been really alarming. In the command center of the Atlantean military, junior officers were still trying to figure out what the next move was while the senior ones were now on the move to try and work on dealing with the news.
However before they could make plans, someone else got into the act and carrying the Trident that symbolized the Kingship of Atlantis, and the person in question is none other than Orm.
"We cannot spend what time we have left in mourning, we will make the surface dwellers pay for their crimes. Muster our forces!"
While some of the younger officers were smiling at the chance to avenge their fallen king under Orm, the more senior ones nearby spoke.
"Lord Orm, even if you are indeed the brother of our King, you do not have yet the authority to command the military to rise up in arms. We have not yet confirmed the status of the king and the next in line is your nephew due to the rules of succession..."
"Who is yet a baby General, I am acting as regent until this crisis is dealt with as he cannot rule in his current age. Until we make the surface dwellers pay for the attack on our king, I will lead our people in this dark time."
Any other discussion was cut short when Mera came to the room, the military saw the distraught look on their Queen's once calm face and decided that it was best that they wait for a better time than to discuss their next plan or what the current state of the king was.
"Orm! Is it true?! Was Arthur attacked?!"
"I am afraid so Mera…the news is grim."
Mera was shocked but she was not breaking down at that exact moment since she was aware of her husband's resiliency and strength.
"We must find out if Arthur is all right Orm! We have to know if he is all right!"
Orm gave a sad look and replied.
"I wish that it can be done Mera, but Arthur's been taken by the surface dwellers to one of their facilities. They say that he is being taken for medical treatment, but I have not forgotten the fact that Arthur had been taken in the same pretense as before, but while he escaped that one, I am afraid that we may very well be too late."
"No…we cannot give up like this Orm…"
"No…we won't Mera, I will need to work on our response to this mess…please Mera, let me do what I can for our people here in this dark time."
Mera left with her thoughts in a mess, all focused on the state of her husband. She wanted to feel being in his arms again and to be assured by his presence and his voice that all would be all right. But she knew that she had to deal with their son and keep him safe. Thus she headed off to see to her son…unaware that as she left a smile was appearing on Orm's face.
In the hospital…
Aquaman's situation was anything but ideal in his view as Naruto and the others watched for him to recover. The doctors in this place had little to no idea on how to treat him since his skin was as tough as a rhino's as needles were broken a number of times. It was all bad until Batman came in and began to work with the Doctors to house Aquaman into a specialized tank that used Seawater that was conditioned to his situation. Thus they had to be nearby to observe his recovery progress, which seemed to be going rather well, proving that Batman's calculations and recommendations were spot on.
(Well at least he's not going to die.)
("True enough Naruto, but I doubt that once he wakes up, we're going to be any better off.")
And sure enough the very second that the doctors assured them that Aquaman was going to be all right, Lantern made his move and proved he was jus as diplomatic as Aquaman was, needless to say it did not end well. Finally Naruto had run out of some of his patience and decided to act now. And besides while the two were arguing away at one another, he decided to scan Aquaman and what he had seen was enough to convince him to get serious with this whole thing.
"WILL THE TWO OF YOU SHUT IT?!"
Naruto has enough of the arguments between Stewart and Aquaman, they were not going to resolve the issue of how to deal with Aquaman's attempted killer and what happened to the nuclear material if these two were going to argue like mad over the whole thing. The two looked at him and Naruto glared back with his mask off and spoke to Stewart while using his Senjutsu and Kurama's chakra.
"Listen here Lantern, I took the liberty of scanning Aquaman's emotions and he was not lying in the least that he had given those strict orders to have that sub secured and not to be tampered with. And he has no idea who did take them so that means that we have a major problem on our hands since that means someone countered his orders or outright ignored them. I am already old enough to know when someone is lying and Aquaman over here is not lying about anything. Didn't they teach you to keep a cool head and try to find all the answers before doing the good cop bad cop routine?"
John stared back at Naruto but agreed that the blonde did have something going for him. But that did not mean he was going to cool off just yet. The nuclear material was still a major issue in his mind and unless they dealt with it now and got answers, this was not going to end well. Still what he blonde mentioned got his attention as well.
Naruto then turned to Aquaman and replied.
"You are not acting like a real king right now."
"You heard me, a King is supposed to keep a cool head and try to find all the possible angles and solutions to a problem, and acting like you are right now only adds more fuel to the fire. You said you want to avoid war for your people? Then stop acting like that and LISTEN to others for a change. You are NOT doing your people and yourself any favors by what you've just done in that meeting earlier. You're a king and that means being a diplomat when peace is what you have in mind, but what I saw in there made me shake my head in consternation since you acted like a war hawk than a negotiator. I know you are not lying about what you told Lantern but acting like this only going to make you look all the more guilty."
Aquaman looked at the youth though he had long since suspected that his supposedly youthful appearance was misleading. And that action was enough to prove him right and somehow his words had a ring of truth in them so he sighed a bit and decided to reign in his impatience and anger for now.
"All right, I'll listen."
Naruto sighed in relief and began to run through what they know thus far.
"That assassin who came after you, I sincerely doubt that it was a random thing, how did he know you were here, what you were going to do, and the weapon he used tells me that he had a LOT of data on you. You never told anyone about your little trip up here since from what I know of you thus far, you and your kin don't like being on the surface world as you call it up here?"
"No…I only spoke to my wife about it."
Naruto nodded and replied.
"That rules out the idea of our assassin being hired by people here since no one knew about this with the marked exception of us. That only means…someone in your land told him about your plan."
Aquaman's eyes widened at the implications of the Hokage's statement. That also got the attention of the League, Stewart most of all since he could easily see just what Naruto was getting at.
"Are you implying that one of my own people…"
"Hired that assassin to kill you and is a traitor? Yeah I am."
"That's preposterous, all of them are aware that what you are suggesting is that of treason and in Atlantis there are high punishments for treason."
Naruto shook his head at that and he had good reason to do so. He had his fair share of experiences with the situation Aquaman was in. His wife Koyuki was one such example and of course Hikaru and his father were another, and of course, reading history here in this reality told him all he needed to know.
"You might think it's preposterous, but I've had enough experience to know that it can be a very glaring possibility. Think about it carefully, if this was an attack by someone of the surface world, how could they have gotten their hands on an assassin on such short notice? Why the heck would he use that kind of a weapon to kill you? And how did they even know where you were going when you only spoke to your wife and we were in our little base and never told anyone else? Somebody had to have hired that assassin only when your plans were revealed to them, and the only way that happened is if they were eavesdropping on the conversation."
"And let's not forget there are always dissidents in any nation, yours is no different since I can suspect that some of your own people don't exactly get along with you."
Aquaman frowned at that as despite his desire to defend his people's honor and reputation, the masked fighter did raise a valid point. His thoughts went to Brak and his recent speech against launching an attack on the people of the surface even coming to the point of openly defying him in front of his wife and brother. And he also kept in mind that if that was the case, then there would be others too. But he was not going to accept that right away until he saw it for himself.
"You cannot expect me to just agree with you on this, even if your argument does possess merit. I need more proof in order to accept that what you say is the truth."
Naruto shrugged and replied.
"Hey, like I said, it's one possible theory on how you nearly got killed, it's up to you if you accept it or not. There's bound to be others to be sure, but you'll never know which one's the truth and which one's the dud. And there is an old saying…sometimes the worst enemies to a nation are not from outside…but within."
Batman then spoke.
"We'll work out those details later, I managed to pull some data on who your attacker was, the man's name is Deadshot, a highly skilled mercenary marksman which can explain why he nearly took you down even if he was using something not normally used by assassins. And knowing him, the news of you being alive is not going to sit well with him. He will try again both to finish the contract and protect his reputation."
Aquaman spoke next.
"Very well, what exactly do you suggest?"
Superman replied to that.
"If there's one thing high paid assassin's love more than money, it's their reputation like Batman said. That's how they get hired. The fact you are still alive since we did speak about you being confined here means that he will try again. We can however leak that while we have saved your life we have to get you to a more secure location as well as a facility with better equipment. He has no idea you already recovered and we made sure that only that last rumor left the hospital. So…we lure him here instead of having to chase him since we'll be spared having to search the entire city the normal way."
Naruto grinned at that and replied.
"Well now…deception and deceit from you of all people Superman? Looks like you're not the big blue boy-scout you show yourself to be."
Superman shrugged and smirked JUST a little.
"I have my moments, and I never did earn a merit badge myself anyhow. At any rate, if we do that, we can lure him out into the open and capture him for interrogation."
"And what am I to do?"
"Stay here, J'onn's a shape-shifter so you can guess who we are REALLY transporting."
Naruto smiled yet again…it seemed that if it was the only option, Superman can be just as devious and downright underhanded when it had to be done. Though that was only to fool people, he was still a straight up moral guy and Naruto was thankful for that. He was not too keen on the idea of a morally bankrupt Superman being head of this team anyways.
That however apparently did not sit all too well with Aquaman.
"I am to hide like a coward while this craven assassin lives?"
Naruto sighed, trust the guy to spoil the fun.
"You won't help your people much if you are a corpse you know."
That along with a bit more discussion finally convinced Aquaman to sit tight and let the League deal with this. Naturally though they left someone nearby to inform him and make sure he could wait for word of the Assassin being secured. Naturally being that he still did not trust the Atlantean king all that much, Stewart volunteered to keep an eye on him. Naruto groaned a bit mentally at that and hoped that they caught this guy before the two of them butted heads again.
(This is like putting Shukaku and Kurama in the same room.)
Kurama and the portion of Shukaku in Naruto replied in unison.
(("WE HEARD THAT!"))
The League quickly moved about as the news crews around the hospital began to report that they were going to move Aquaman to a more dedicated marine medical care and observation station. This was all a trap of course, as they were moving out quickly to wait for the assassin to make his move. The only one of the team who was not with them, was Green Lantern as he was watching over Aquaman as they had moved him quietly to another room to avoid word coming out that the Atlantean was alive and well.
All they allowed to come out apart from moving him was that Aquaman was still alive and was struggling to recover, They quickly got into position and waited for the right moment to occur as Aquaman came out from the hospital in a gurney. They will not have to wait long as the assassin came out from a nearby sewer and quickly moved to attack, this time carrying a much larger rocket launcher.
He got into position and aimed his weapon, intent on finishing his mission and not care about who got caught in the hit.
Unfortunately for him that was when Diana spotted him and told the others.
"There he is!"
Batman nodded as he looked with his binoculars.
"We see him!"
Before they could respond Deadshot fired the missile, but there was someone on the scene, the Hokage then infused some of his naturally born Wind chakra into his now fully extended Demon Windmill shuriken and he quickly fired it away, just as the rocket came out from the launcher/ The assassin had no time to react as the missile was cut in half a considerable distance the intended target and exploded. That had caught the people nearby off guard and that was when the League was on the move. The assassin however had to push even more as the blonde ninja was firing out several smaller shuriken and some spare kunai while the others followed in an effort to slow him down but not inflict fatal injury as he was needed alive for questioning after he recovered the much larger shuriken.
The Hokage stopped firing his weapons and then used his chakra chains to recover them. Once he was assured that all of the weapons were recovered, he then quickly moved down and landed on the ground with no problem and soon began to run while using his Tree Walking Jutsu to allow him to run on the sides of the buildings to catch up with the others, while using his Senjutsu to try and track the man, even with the interference around him.
One thing was sure in his mind though, this guy was NOT going to be easily caught.
Sure enough, the man did, as he entered the sewer and sealed the cover, Superman arrived and tried to follow him. He reached to remove the cover, but got hit by an unexpected amount of high voltage, Superman screamed at the unexpected surprise and was sent back smoking and unconscious. The man moved down and revealed that he had rigged a trap just in case he was being followed.
As soon as he got down, he removed his clothes and was in his suit, revealing himself to be truly Deadshot, the mercenary assassin cursed what happened and he knew that he had to cut the mission short. After all, what was the point of taking a contract if you die not doing it? Besides, he had a feeling that as long as he remained out of League reach he could find the man he was sent to kill later.
Batman and J'onn arrived after the disguised Martian helped the people and removed his disguise as Aquaman. Batman checked on Superman while J'onn went down to the sewers by being intangible. Deadshot moved past him as he quickly contacted Diana and Kory.
"Diana, Kory, be prepared, he is heading in your direction!"
Diana and Kory nodded as the two of them quickly moved off the building they were on and both women quickly struck the street sending out a shockwave that caused the road to cave down, forcing the assassin to the direction they both wanted. Neither super powered women wasted no time and ripped out the grid and moved down into the sewer, and the very second they did so the two of them were before the assassin.
The man turned his right to stop as Diana spoke, though the man's use of low level light only revealed her outline and that of Kory as Diana spoke.
"End of the line!"
The man replied calmly at that.
"Sorry, I'll take a detour."
Wonder Woman had no choice but to shield herself when the man fired a grenade into the roof and buried her in rubble as he sped away. Diana and Kory moved the rubble away from them and once their view was clear they tried to look for the man but it was clear that he got away from them. She however kept her cool and reported to the others.
"He managed to get away from me and Kory but he's moving to the other tunnel to the right."
Lantern looked at Aquaman carefully as he waited to get word from the others that the assassin was taken down and secured. Aquaman had indeed asked him of news, to which he responded that nothing was happening yet and he had to wait. However, that chance never came as Aquaman turned around and quickly slugged the Green Lantern in the face to knock him unconscious.
Aquaman looked at John Stewart as the former Marine was on the ground still alive and replied.
"You presume too much."
And with that, he left; time to him was too short in supply for him to wait.
Batman was not far behind as he quickly used his grappling gun to move out of the way as he placed traps on the path Deadshot was taking. The traps sent the motorcycle he was on crashing into the ground and Batman spoke to him seriously as Deadshot was not the kind of person to go down without a fight.
Deadshot however ignored that as he tossed some smoke grenades at Batman and escaped, using the scanners in his targeting system to move through the tunnels. Once he was clear and a fair distance from Batman, he climbed upwards to the sewer cover…right above his van.
As soon as he arrived and got into the van he went for the driver's seat, but not before checking his van's stock of ordnance from guns, sniper rifles, swords, daggers, explosives and the like. Seeing none missing he wasted no time in gunning the engine and make his escape. But as he did so, he was spotted by Superman and was soon being chased by the Man of Steel.
He focused so much on evading Superman that he failed to take into account that Superman was not the only League member tracking him. Naruto was there ahead of the van and waited patiently with his now Wind Chakra infused kunai at the ready and as soon as Superman burned the rear tire on the right side, he fired the kunai, one into the van's engine block, and two into the front tires. The Wind enhanced blades had no trouble cutting through the metal and soon burying themselves deep in the vehicle.
This stopped the vehicle and sent it crashing hard though Deadshot was alive but not able to go anywhere as Superman came and extracted him from the vehicle. The mercenary was more than willing to talk now as he knew that escape was impossible.
"Okay, okay, I give up."
Superman wasted little time as he knew that they had to hurry since he knew that the longer this went on, the higher the chance Aquaman would pack up and leave and make the situation worse.
"You were trying to kill Aquaman, why?"
Deadshot decided to take the more sarcastic route in this matter as the others arrived though John was a bit late.
"Oh, that's a good question there. Why would a hired gun try to kill someone? Simple, I was paid to do it."
Diana and Kory landed on either side of one another as the raven haired woman and the red haired alien woman were ready to find out what was going on as Batman, J'onn, and Naruto. Diana was the one to speak first and looked at the captured mercenary Deadshot.
"Then who gave you that order?"
"Yes I would like to know who ordered you to attack Aqua-man as well."
The mercenary looked at both the Amazon princess and the former Tamaranean Princess and had to admire the beauty both of them had. He was well aware that they could not harm him since doing so would make him clam up and not give them what they wanted. So in the mean time he was going to have some fun at their expense, or rather at the expense of the two beautiful women who were there.
"Sorry ladies...but it would be a blow to my professional reputation if I talk. However...if you both make worth my time... I might change my mind."
Diana frowned darkly at the implications of that statement and amazingly enough, so did Kory as she frowned instead of having her usual smile on her face. The Amazon princess had a very accurate idea on what was cooking in the man's head and the same could be said of Kory. She could sense the malevolent and perverse emotions being directed at her and Diana and it did not sit well with her one bit.
However before either of them could react, Naruto was the one to make the move himself. The blonde Hokage did not need to have his wife Hinata's Byakugan to know the perverted smirk in the face of Deadshot when he looked at both Kory and Diana. It angered him that this merc thought that he was going to be snide about this and act like this was fun. His killing intent began to filter out of him once more but he decided to direct it in a more straight forward approach.
He walked up to Superman and replied in a very neutral tone.
"Let me see if I can convince him to talk."
Superman was quick to see the body language and could tell that Naruto was not happy with Deadshot's comments. Neither was he but he recalled the amount of killing intent the blond had revealed when he got enraged at Stewart from before. He worried about that but decided to let Naruto have a go at it.
The merc looked at Naruto and snorted.
"So the ninja wants a crack at making me talk? What exactly are you going to do to me?"
Naruto then spoke in an undeniably evil but joyful tone.
"Funny you should ask."
Before Deadshot could respond Naruto grabbed a long Senbon out from his pouch and then jammed it into Deadshot's leg with blinding speed. The merc could only scream in pain as the long needle punched easily through his uniform, the armor, then the flesh, and the tip soon buried itself into the bone. The tip actually was coated in a thin amount of Wind Chakra to enhance the cutting or rather piercing effect of the weapon. But it was soon followed by another senbon piercing his other leg which sent him down to his knees in pain as the other needle was now buried into the bone.
Deadshot looked up at the Hokage in shock and shouted at him.
"What the FUCK?!"
Naruto however replied with a hard slap into the face that sent Deadshot to land on the ground with the sound of what was cracked teeth as Naruto then made him move back to his knees as he spoke in a cold merciless tone.
"Watch your language merc…you should consider yourself lucky I didn't drive those senbon in far more vital areas. Now, do I have your attention?"
Deadshot swore and tried to attack Naruto, only for Naruto to suddenly grab one senbon, namely the one buried in the right thigh of the merc and he then channeled Lightning chakra into the needle. The needle lit up briefly and crackled as lightning danced over the metal and soon Deadshot was screaming in pain as he felt he was being electrocuted. Just as briefly as the pain hit him in the face, the blonde cut the flow of Lightning chakra to the needle, and in turn into Deadshot.
"Let me repeat that…do I have your attention?"
"Yeah…you sick mo…"
"Finish that last sentence Deadshot and I will fire enough lightning into your nerve system and your heart in particular to give you a heart attack. Or I could fire enough to actually boil all the liquid in your body to the point you'll know what it's like to be a turkey in a microwave. So, one more time before I decide to fry you…do I have your attention?"
"Yeah you do! Stop it already!"
Naruto snorted and replied.
"Not until you listen to what I have to say merc. First, you will apologize to both Wonder Woman and Starfire. And second, you are going to tell us who hired you to kill Aquaman,"
Naruto growled at that and replied.
"Don't pretend you did not hear me fool. You will apologize to Wonder Woman and Starfire or else I am going to make you feel pain like you wouldn't believe. Take this as a warning, I happen to have a very high level of respect for both Wonder Woman and Starfire, both are trusted allies of mine and I consider them to be important to me enough that I will gladly fight to the death to make sure no one harms them. That includes you merc trash, if you had cooperated you would not be in this situation, so where is the apology?"
Deadshot was not going to go down quietly though and shouted.
"Go Fuck Yourself you freak! And the same goes for your bitch friends too!"
Naruto growled at that and then grabbed the other Senbon and then pumped a larger dosage of Lightning chakra into Deadshot than before. Not enough to kill to be sure, but to hurt the man like there was no tomorrow. The man screamed and writhed in pain as arcs of lightning surrounded him and came from the senbon, he pain only grew as the energy flowed through his bones as well which REALLY hurt like crazy. This lasted for only four seconds before Naruto powered down, but Deadshot was groaning and twitching in pain.
Naruto waited a bit until Deadshot was coherent and replied.
"Let's try that again since I am going to pretend I did not hear you call my friends that. Apologize to them."
"Bad choice of words…let's up the amps then!"
Soon Deadshot was writhing in agony as lightning coursed through him, only this time the arcs were larger and more potent as he wailed desperately in pain. Naruto did not reach lethal point yet but he was tempted to do so after the insults. He soon stopped and this time Deadshot was smoking a bit, gasping for air and obviously twitching harder than ever before. Naruto stopped the flow and spoke once more.
"I hope you can smell yourself Deadshot cause right now you smell like fried chicken…so unless you want to be roasted, you will apologize."
Naruto sighed and replied.
"All right then…let's REALLY amp it up."
And sure enough, the merc was subjected to double the power as before, still in the non-lethal range, but definitely enough to cause serious damage to nerves and muscles as the merc twitched and shuddered as the pain increased for him. Soon Deadshot was really in pain and gasping from the effects as Naruto spoke once more once he stopped trying to literally light the man up.
"You think I am not going to go too far Deadshot? Think again, if I have to fire enough lightning energy into you to literally light you up like a Christmas tree I will. And if I have to go as far as to unleash enough lightning into you to actually let us see your skeleton I will. I will do what I have to in order to prevent a war, a war you started when you did that to Aqua-man as well as demand an apology for the bullshit you spewed at my friends. Now either you do as I said or…|
Deadshot couldn't take anymore and shouted.
"All right! ALL RIGHT! I'm SORRY!"
"That is NOT how you do it merc! Do it again!"
Naruto made him look at Wonder Woman and then to Starfire who were surprised at all this and he then spoke.
"You will look each of them in the eye and you WILL say their names in perfect order and apologize for your words. YOU WILL mean every last word of it, because if you lie…and believe me I can sense when one is lying, I will really make you scream in pain. And you will show respect to women in the near future. And if you don't and I find out about it…well then, it's human Christmas tree time for you."
Deadshot did not hesitate to do it as he looked first at Diana and apologized using her full name and then did the same to Kory. Once that was over and Naruto seemed satisfied with it, he spoke once more.
"All right, not so hard to say sorry now is it merc? Now then, on to the second question, who hired you to kill Aqua-man?"
"I…I don't know who hired me, all I got was the fish guy's name and my payment. I never ask questions about the target and who's the one placing the hit."
Batman soon stepped in though he kept an eye on the actually century old blonde ninja who still had his hands on the senbon. The show that Naruto gave when he showed a more ruthless side to himself was new but he ignored that, and he figured he could talk to the blonde later once Deadshot was done talking.
"That is not good enough Deadshot."
Naruto nodded a bit and replied.
"Pretty vague too…shall I…"
"NO! NO MORE DAMN IT! LET ME FINISH HERE! The only thing that was weird is how I was paid…look, it's in the van."
Superman took the cue and so did Batman as the pair headed to the mercenary's truck and soon found a chest and broke it open. There they found coins, all made of solid gold and with markings. All of which were easily recognized by the Dark Knight.
"Spanish doubloons, all during the Colonization period of Spain…each is worth atleast one hundred thousand dollars right now."
Superman nodded in agreement and spoke as well/
"And all of them are in mint condition too…money like this is not found anywhere and certainly not in amounts like this. Only place that this many could be found is from a sunken treasure ship…"
J'onn then commented.
"Atlantis is the only place then, the amount here is impossible to gain from any vault or collection."
Deadshot then spoke,.
"There! You got your answers…now get this freak off of me!"
Naruto glared a bit behind his mask and merely reached to the side of Deadshot's neck and pressed, knocking the man out cold.
As soon as Deadshot was out cold, Batman walked over to Naruto and spoke darkly.
"What the hell was that for?!"
"What? You mean the shock therapy Deadshot went through?"
"We do NOT torture people."
"I know…but we're on the cusp of war here Batman, there's no time for being nice about it, not with the lives of who knows how many people at stake. I never enjoy torture even if I seem good at it, It's messy, and sometimes the bad guys say anything for the pain to stop and that ruins any chance of getting good and trustworthy information. But if it's the only viable option that is available then I'll take it and deal with the outcome later. Besides, Deadshot already knew we could not do anything physical to him to get the information so he was playing hard to get. Not to mention acting like an ass and a pervert, wasting time and no doubt allowing his contractor back in Atlantis to do who knows what. And what I've seen in terms of the money…the guy who paid him is high up there in whatever hierarchy Atlantis has."
Superman began to grasp this and nodded.
"I don't approve of it Batman, and I hope that Hokage does not make a habit of it, but we have to take into account what we've learned. This much money means that whoever bankrolled Deadshot is indeed high up in Atlantis."
Kory then replied.
"Perhaps he is a noble then?"
Diana agreed at that as well.
"I can agree for Starfire since only high ranking nobles could have access to such wealth in what I have learned in my studies about kingdoms that are like that of Atlantis in ancient times…but that means!"
Batman nodded reluctantly though he still planned to make sure to have the Hokage rein in or remove the need for him to resort to these kinds of tactics.
"That the one who hired Deadshot is a member of Atlantean high society…or even one of the royal family if Aquaman is indeed king which means that if he goes back…he is walking into a trap."
Naruto groaned as he felt that this was way too familiar for his liking.
"Well then, we'd better go find old royal sourpuss and inform him about what we found, and stop him from doing something stupid."
"Good luck with that."
The others turned to see none other than John flying back to them with him rubbing the back of his head.
"The impatient royal pain in the ass knocked me out and left already while you guys were chasing Deadshot. No doubt he's gone back to Atlantis right now."
Naruto groaned and slapped his forehead in exasperation.
"Wonderful…now he's walked right into a trap he doesn't even know about."
The others also felt greatly worried by all this and it was Diana who spoke out what she felt was most appropriate.
"Hera help him."
Naruto and the others were right to be worried as Aquaman walked into Atlantis, the whole situation for him felt wrong. There was a lot of grieving and anger towards the surface dwellers, far more than even he had expected when they caught the submarine nearly two days ago. He also was surprised to learn that the Atlantean military was being given a full mobilization order to go to war with the surface dwellers. That really made him concerned as he had left no such order to the generals when he left.
What doubled his worries was the fact that some of the soldiers he met were stunned to see him alive, one of them even had the gall to demand him to halt and explain why he would dare take the countenance of the recently slain king. That surprised him immensely and he demanded who had stated that he had been killed. The answer that it was Orm who had made that response made him quickly realize that something was horribly wrong, even more so when the words of the one in the League called the Hokage came back to him.
The words that implying that there was indeed a traitor in the ranks of his people and possibly the one who hired that assassin to kill him when he had gone to the surface.
(Can he be right? Can there really be a traitor in my kingdom?)
(Is Orm a co-conspirator…or is he the one who is the leader of this…insurrection?)
(No! I cannot make such a judgment until I know more.)
But as he got to the throne-room he listened into what seemed to be someone rousing others in a martial speech…and he recognized just how was speaking.
"The time has come brothers! The time to finally bring the surface dwellers to justice for all of their crimes! We shall invade the surface and make them regret angering us, and soon they shall be our servants!"
The cheers coming from the throne room filled Arthur with absolute shock and he decided to quit hiding and burst through the door, the cheers quickly died down as many people looked at his direction as he spoke.
'What is the meaning of this Orm?!"
Orm then spoke as Aquaman came closer.
"Brother, I was doing what I felt was right…I had thought that you were…"
He marched towards his brother, angered at the sight of his half brother wielding the Trident of Poseidon and wearing the crown as if both were his. The line of succession in Atlantis was clear to all and, as he could now see that his brother had not even taken the time to learn his true condition and tell their people that he was not dead.
"As you can see brother, I am not yet dead, and now I want answers!"
"Answers to what brother?"
"You ask me of that? Why are you ordering the mobilization of the fleet and our soldiers?"
"I am doing what I feel is right, this affront to our people by the surface dwellers must be avenged! And what better way to do it than by using our technology and manpower to end the threat forever of the surface dwellers who pollute our seas, and encroach our borders with impunity."
Aquaman could not help but feel his anger and worry build, and he made that clear.
"I may have been injured in my time on the surface brother, but I am not dead, I am still king Orm. I did not give any order to start a foolhardy war with the surface! I gave the both of you and Brak strict orders to…"
Orm glared at him and replied.
"You don't seem to get it brother…I am now the one giving the others around here."
"Orm, you are forgetting that I am alive and I am still king! And as King I am ordering you to stand down! Or else I shall mark you as a traitor!"
Orm glared and replied darkly at his half brother.
"You say that I am the traitor? It is you who is the traitor here; you sold us out the surface dwellers when we could have easily overpowered them with our technology. We have the manpower and weaponry to end their blight once and for all, and all you have done is avoid it! You are a coward and a true traitor to the power of Atlantis brother, and you're wasteful and weak reign is at an end!"
That was more than enough to finally push Aquaman's buttons as he could not stand hearing this from his own sibling of all people.
"Enough of this! Guards! Arrest the traitor!"
Aquaman looked at the men who were there in the room alongside him, Orm and Brak, he then recognized them to be Brak's men. He hoped that even with his war hawk like nature, Brak and in turn his own men would still remember his and their sworn loyalty to his king and that was him by right and choice by their father, and not some pretender even if it was Orm. But that proved to be a flaw…
Orm spoke in an arrogant and utterly satisfied tone to the soldiers with him and Brak.
"You heard him…arrest the traitor."
Aquaman was shocked even more when instead of arresting Orm as was ordered, the soldiers of Brak followed Orm instead! They aimed their weapons at him and before he could react, the others nearby grabbed him and held him fast, rendering him unable to fight back without increased force. There and then he realized that he had indeed a traitor in his kingdom…and the traitor was not alone, nor was the traitor without power and resources.
(That one known as the Hokage was right! I have been betrayed! And by Orm and Brak as well!)
"Say what you want brother, but your time as King has passed, soon, I will accomplish what you have been too cowardly and cautious to do! To end ALL threats to Atlantis' greatness! And when I am rid of you and all of those who follow your weak rulership…everything that should have been mine WILL be mine!"
With that, Aquaman was forced away by Brak's men and he could only watch in ever increasing fury at his traitorous sibling who now had taken the throne. That fury was matched by the shock at the discovery of the fact that he had been fully blinded by his worries towards the surface world and the surface dwellers, that he had not watched out for the enemies who were around him already.
He managed to free himself and fought off the people restraining him and tried to attack but he was shocked by the Trident and before he fell to unconsciousness, he saw his brother smiling darkly at him before darkness claimed him.
Orm smiled darkly as his brother was led away, he might be alive and his surface world hired assassin had failed him, but that could soon be remedied. Once his half brother was gone, then he could finally begin his rule and bring not just Atlantis under his rule, but the surface world once it was purged of the surface dwellers.
And soon all of the world shall be his to rule as was his right as the true king of Atlantis, and any surviving surface dweller shall learn their place…under his rule as slaves for the glory of Atlantis.
And despite his actions, he had to thank his brother for he had the means to do so…and now he had the materials so provided by his unwitting brother and the surface dwellers.
To be continued…
Well, the cat or rather the fish is out of the bag now…
Aquaman has buried his head deep in this one as Orm begins to take over Atlantis and all manner of trouble is coming in to the story for the League. Though you can bet that with Naruto and Starfire along for the ride on this mission, things get very interesting for the gang here.
Now on the matter of Naruto using the torture method on Deadshot, I had been planning that for a very long time actually. I could have gone for the Killing Intent bit but after the confrontations bit of Naruto and John I felt doing so would be a rehash of it, and so I dumped the idea. Plus I got some flak from the whole rant thing, for which I have apologized for in the past.
You can bet though that the show of ruthlessness is going to be a sore point for the others in the League and Batman obviously is the one who is more vocal about it. But I can tell you that I have made this plan for a long time and I do not plan to deviate from the course. I made it this far so I might as well see it through, both in good water and bad water.
Will it be the last time?
Not too sure yet.
And if there are errors here, feel free to PM me and point them out. Just be constructive and helpful...flame me and I will remove you in a heartbeat.
On the topic of Starfire's actions in the chapter, I HAVE seen her fly about without a stitch of clothing on in one panel of a comic, never knew where or which comic it was, but it was there. DC may have faded the full frontal to black but I don't need Superman's vision to know just WHY they darkened it. And let's not forget that DC does not always shy away from sensitive topics even if they censor it.
Speaking of topics, I have no doubt that a lot of guys would ask me about the lemons for this story.
They are coming and will be in the Dragon Champion Lemon format so stop worrying about it. I have also plans to move on to the next Naruto fic in the update list.
See you all soon!