A/N: NeonZangetsu: This is a story co-written by myself and Uzumaki Crossover! The pairing shall be NarutoxJackxTali, and shall span across all three Mass Effect games. I give credit to Crossover for presenting me with the idea in the first place, as I never would have thought of it otherwise. I sincerely hope you enjoy the total product!
Uzumaki Crossover: And I got this idea collaborating with Storylover213.
Nz: And thus, together, we give you our great masterpiece...BRING DOWN THE SKY!
Try to touch her. Just try. You won't like what happens...
He laid there, the breath of life fading rapidly from his lungs.
Not like this.
It can't end like this...
He'd been defeated.
Not like this!
After a long and violent battle against Uchiha Sasuke, his longtime friend and rival, the Battle of the Valley of the End was over. Uchiha Sasuke had won. And he, Uzumaki Naruto, had lost. He had failed; because he was about to die, and his promise to Sakura would die with him. Perhaps this was for the best. It was better that he die for his failure than return to an expectant teammate and deliver the news of his failure.
Victory was his, but it was a bittersweet one; because it had come at a terrible cost. Straining, the genin turned his head, searching for the prone form of Uchiha Sasuke. He'd spoken the truth on that day, after all. He'd take on all of Sasuke's hatred and die with him.
He wanted to speak; wanted to call out, desperate to see if his friend-turned-enemy was still alive. Despair threatened to overtake him WHEN he saw the Uchiha standing over his body, his soon to be corpse. The avenger's eyes wept tears of blood. He was quivering, struggling to reign his despair in. Despite himself and despite the pain, Naruto gave a small smile. So that's how it is, Sasuke. He tried to laugh; it was a bitter, hollow, sound. It stank of despair and rattled off into a harsh coughing fit. Damn. Must've pierced a lung or something; because he could taste the blood now.
He tasted the stuff when he breathed.
He felt in his lungs, cloying each breath, clinging to him as he choked on it. His once pristine tresses were sullied by it; the dampened locks cling to his face and forehead even as he struggled to squint through bloodshot eyes. No matter. He'd be joining him soon. Yup. Not much longer now. By the time Kakashi-sensei arrived, he'd be long gone. The Uchiha stared down at him, the inarticulate ultimatum communicating more than words ever could. The thought of his death didn't trouble Naruto, strangely enough.
His only regret was a silly one; he was going to die a virgin.
It was silly. Stupid.
And yet he still regretted it. Ero-senin would mock him incessantly in the afterlife for this. Assuming there even was an afterlife. Naruto had never really been one to pray, but he found himself praying now. Maybe he didn't want to die yet. Maybe he wanted to live just a little bit longer. Ha! Who was he kidding? He was a dead man. If exhaustion did not do the deed, than blood loss would.
No medic could possibly hope to heal these wounds. Not even Kyuubi could hope to patch him up now. They'd exerted all their chakra, the both of them, and he was beginning to feel faint. And even should he live, should he somehow survive these wounds and live on, what was there to live for? He'd lost, to his best friend. He wasn't worthy of being title of Hokage, nor was he in any position to earn it after all he'd done.
It was sad, really.
He'd never had the chance to live. Never got to go on a date with Sakura-chan. Never kissed a girl. Never had sex. Never raised a family. Never became hokage. Never. There were too many 'never's' in that sentence for his liking. Looking back, he'd lived his entire life as a shinobi; because it had been all he'd ever known. He'd grown up expecting a career as a ninja. As a trained killer. He'd never really thought about it like that. Until now. Until he lay here, dying, soaked in his own blood and gasping for air...
"You idiot." Sasuke's words were dark, distoretd, strained. He was blurred against the rain as though one were looking at him through tinted glass. As he looked on the colors of his world began to shift and to bend, until he could make no distinction between the two; between sight or sound or any of his other five senses. He didn't know whether it was intentional or deliberate
Naruto wept as he lay there, in the river, drifting away into nothingness...
He woke to blackness.
It came as less a surprise, more a relief, when he finally awoke.
At first, anyway.
His first clue that he had returned from the land of nightmares came when darkness truly fell. The visions evaporated, and the voices went with them. For a very welcome period, there was nothing to see or hear, or even think. He could just rest, and be.
Then new noises began to intrude on the peaceful silence: the whirring of rustling cloth, low-pitched whispers and murmurrs from someone, a fizzing, spitting noise that could have been running water, and other sounds that had no place in his serenity. His heart rose at the sound of a respirator rising above the others. The faint sticking point between each cycle was horribly familair.
Someone-who is it-spoke:
"Sir... Subject Crimson is regaining consciousness."
"Keep him sedated until the procedure is finished." Came the immediate reply. "If he wakes up in the middle of the procedure...
For a moment there was only silence.
Wait a second.
"Yes, sir." Was the answer.
Wait a second!
Naruto raged against invisible bonds to move limbs he couldn't feel. The babble of noises faded for a moment, and then returned, this time with light and sensation accompanying it. A needle swelled before his vision, encompassing his entire existence in a single instant. Then the rest of the world swam dizzyingly into focus. He was strapped prone to a medical table in the middle of an operating theater. Multicolored tubes and wires ran from several places in his body to dark machines stationed around him, and stretching up to the high ceiling above.
A steady bleating that had to be his pulse spiked irrevocably; rocketing skyward with his heartbeat.
"The sedative, now!" The voice commanded from somewhere beyond this terrifying vision. "Double the dosage!"
There came a sharp, pricking sensation in Naruto's neck. An eerie, icy calm washed over him, taking the terror away with it.
"Sedative injected." A woman's voice swooned from somewhere above and all around him. "Hearbeat dropping...Vitals stabilizing...He's stabilized, sir." Momentarily, the pain in Naruto's eyes dimmed. He struggled to speak, to struggle, to say something, anything, but the darkness took him in the form of those damned black crows and the pain threatened to obliterate his existence once more, piquing ever higher until...
There was only the blackness.
Naruto awoke in a haze of pain. His eyes felt like they were on fire; every blink was like shards of glass through his retina. His chest ached so much that it took an act of will just to inhale. The air he inhaled was redolent of medicinal smells. He almost choked on the cloying odors, but just imagining how much coughing would hurt made his throat relax.
Whatever obscure scene he had found himself in, it had passed. He closed his eyes and let out a small sob of relief, but refused to lower his guard all the same. The darkness had still yet to lift from his vision; because his eyes remained painfully scrunched shut. Whether a refusal on his part or simply his body coping with the trauma, he simply could not bring himself to see a thing.
An unspecified amount of time later left his throat dry and his body reeling. Slowly, he came around, the sights and sounds of the world as he knew it proving too much for his slumber once more. He cracked open sleep-gummed eyes to see, to finally see a hand resting lightly on the blanket over his sternum. Attached to the hand was a wrist, to the wrist, an arm and, as his gaze traced the length of said appendage, he found himself staring into the most wonderful pair of pale, lavender eyes.
And then he woke up.
He creaked his eyes open, head spinning. He looked around to find himself in a dark room; it looked like they'd tossed him into a cell. He groaned. Great. Not only had he lost his battle with Sasuke, he was now in some strange place. A place he did not recognize. It was all dark blotches and hard floors and unyielding steel. He felt his way along the wall, searching for a light switch, for some form, any form, of illumination.
Finding none, he found himself to be alone in the room.
"Hello?" He called out, hoping someone-anyone-would answer him.
The air grew suddenly thick, heavy against her skin, clogging their ears. A horrible shriek split the night as the sky itself screamed, and then the wrath of the heavens, all unseen, struck the earth. Struck him. Naruto felt his every synapse fire, fry beneath the sudden jolt that crawled through his skin.
His feet left the floor and he was sent hurtling across the room. His back struck something hard and black spots speckled between his vision. A tiny hand fisted around the lapels of his jacket, giving him full view of a pair of glowing knuckles. Knuckles that plowed into his face, nearly breaking his nose and driving him to the floor. He tensed in preparation of another blow, but when none came, he was left to deal with the full explosion of pain left
"Ow!" He cried, glaring bloody red daggers in the direction of his attacker. "What the hell was that for?"
"I should ask you the same thing!" A gritty voice answered. "What the hell are you doing in here!"
"I don't even know where here is!" He squinted through the dark, searching for the one who had struck him. Dimly, he made out a silhouette through the blackness. A person? It was...a girl? He scrubbed at his face with the back of a hand, wincing as it came away scarlet. But the sight of blood didn't frighten him. He'd shed blood many a time during his time as a genin, and this was no exception. That didn't mean it didn't hurt like a bitch, though.
"Come to think of it, neither do I." his attacker said suddenly.
"I said I don't know where here is either, dumbass!"
The girl eyed him speculatively.
"What, so they didn't send you in here to fight me?"
"Why the hell would I attack you!" Naruto exclaimed aghast, glaring at the girl. "I don't even know you!"
"So...what?" He noted her tone was slightly less harsh than before. "They just threw you in here?" She'd stopped waving her hands, and now, she scrutinized him. "You think I'm supposed believe that? You're full of-aaargh! That's fucking bright!"
The lights snapped on so suddenly that her words ended in a cry of surprise and pain. On that they agreed. Naruto groaned, shading his eyes, squinting against the harsh light as it flooded his retinas. Dimly, he became aware of the girl's ranting; a harsh snarl of curses and obscenities that would make even a jonin blush. Overwhelmed, both by their incessant din and the light and the sound, the genin clamped his hands over his ears.
It was a fruitless endeavor. He could see a dim outline of his surroundings now; gradually becoming aware of his fellow prisoner. It was girl. The high pitched shrieks and swift fury were from her as she pounded against the glass window made that much obvious. Dimly, he could make out figures beyond the glass. Adults? Children? He couldn't be certain, and, now that he thought of it, he didn't want to be. Anyone who would strap children to a table and experiment on them was not someone he wanted to meet.
"Hey, assholes!" She screamed, drumming her fists against the one-way mirror. "Let me outta here! LET ME OUT! Or at least get this dumbass outta here!" Naruto tried to try, he really did. He tried to ignore her; tried to pretend that she wasn't there, what with her shouting and screaming and swearing-
In short order, it became too much to bear.
"Be quiet." He hissed, his chewing on his lower lip. She only pounded the glass harder than before. "I said be quiet!" Abruptly, the words died in his throat.
She rounded on him, glaring bloody red daggers.
"What the hell did you just say to me?"
"Shut. Up." Naruto demanded, his eyes gleaming a gruesome red. "Just shut up and let me think!" He pinioned the girl with a gaze. A low, warbling hiss left the child's lips, as if she couldn't believe what he'd just said. Her eyes were wide, her pupils dialated, her fists glowing but she did not attack. Naruto stood before her and came closer, and still she did not attack. Naruto took a small step forward, his palms splayed to show that he meant her no harm.
Then she attacked.
"HEY!" Naruto cried, snatching her off the ground with one hand before she could gauge out his eye. "What the hell! I thought we were past this!" The girl shrieked at him as he caught her by the scruff of her neck, hoisting her upward. He dangled her there a moment, making it clear he wasn't about to put her down without a fight. She didn't take kindly to that. Not at all.
"Put me the fuck down!" She swore at him, her boots ineffectually striking his chest. Naruto bit back a laugh. Without that power, she was declawed. Little more than a tightly strung ball of anger and hatred. It was kind of cute, really. So was she.
She was a scruffy little thing, her brown hair matted, her clothes ragged, her eyes fierce and wild, like that one Akatsuki member, Kisame. She looks more like a cub, Naruto thought to himself. It was almost laughable. If not for that violent display of cray power earlier, he might have found her words amusing. Her power certainly wasn't. He set her down and he resisted the urge to ruffle her hair. She'd probably blow his arm off if he did that. Still he had to wonder what that power was. Was it some sort of Bloodline?
Still, she couldn't have been more than seven years old. She had those eyes that he saw in the mirror. Eyes filled with pain. Tormented eyes. Eyes that knew what it was like to suffer, to know unbearable agony.
"What the fuck do you want with me?" The girl demanded.
Biting back his initial surge of anger, Naruto extended a hand.
"Well, I haven't got a clue. I was fighting….and then I wake up in some crazy place, and now I am here. The name's Naruto by the way." The blond offered. She slapped at his hand, but he refused to lower it. Naruto, after all, was nothing if not persistent. It would take more than a slap on the wrist to dissaude him. He only prayed she wouldn't try a attack like her previous telekinetic shove.
She glared at him, hard, jaded.
"Jack." The word was guarded, bordering on tentative. Her lower lip trembled...before she sank her teeth into it to stop the trembling. Tough one, this girl. She must've led a hard life, Naruto thought to himself, reflecting back on his own troubled past as a youth in Konoha. Granted he wasn't quite as violent Jack, but then again, no one had taken him from his parents and experimented on him for the duration of his young life.
Naruto offered his most winning smile.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Jack." Naruto paused and then asked, "So can you tell me what that power you suddenly used on me?" The girl eyed him suspiciously before she saw the pure confusion on his face. The little girl was still guarded with him, but he at least needed to know if he was sent here.
"You really don't know shit, do you?"
He'd heard worse words from his sensei. Not from a child. Certainly not the child standing before him. It was ghastly. Appalling. So naturally, in his infinite wisdom, he made the mistake of doing something about it.
"Didn't your parents teach you any manners?"
His words seemed to set something of in Jack; because she went totally still.
"Seriously, I thought they'd teach you better than-
Her attack was as sudden as it was unexpected.
With a shriek of pent up fury, she flung her hand forward and cracked him across the jaw. Not gently. He hadn't expected any sort of force behind the blow; leaving him quite surprised when the glowing fist sent him sprawling. Stars-entire planets-exploded before his vision, and the next thing he knew, a tiny hand had closed around his throat. Too small to strangle him, he realized, but more than enough to pin him in his weakened state.
"Don't you fucking talk about my parents." The girl snarled, her words little more than a feral hiss. "Don't you fucking dare!" She raised a hand her fingers curling into another glowing fist of doom. Naruto only had enough time for one thought.
"This is going to hurt, isn't it?"
And then there was only the clinging blackness.
(Meanwhile, in parts unknown)
The Illusive Man read a data pad in one hand while he smoked his ever present cigarette. His strange blue eyes read each word with great interest. The boy that appeared in the front of his Cerberus facility on Pragia and had some interesting qualities that he ordered his men to exploit.
What was it about this strange boy had intrigued him so much? Well, he was the first human ever to have natural Biotic power whirling inside him. He had a strange natural network that generated that power. Subject Zero was already powerful, but this boy was valuable and if he could make those two eventually have a kid…his organization would become even more powerful.
Reading further, it seemed that his network was made of natural Element Zero. Astounding! Then there was this red energy that flowed through the boy's system at random intervals. The probes said that they found a second consciousness within the red energy and that it was concentrated around the boy's stomach, where a very intricate tattoo was located.
After hearing this, he'd immediately sought ways to get rid of this second consciousness to make the boy even more powerful. The report he was reading was the results of those attempts. The nanobots his men injected into the boy had infected the red energy. Of course it fought, but he made his equipment to be the best and he won. The side effects was that the red energy over took the blue and he was sure that without a doubt, that the boy's biotic power would be red when he used it.
Now….now came the real experiments to make the boy stronger for the good of humanity.
There was also the matter of finding where this boy came from. He could use more warriors that were so interesting.
(Back with Naruto and Jack.)
Something sharp was prodding his gut; because he felt an intense discomfort between his ribs. He rolled over. Strange. Had the floor always been this soft? He pushed at the thing prodding him and was rewarded with the creaking of springs; a small hiss of pain.
"Just a few more minutes, Sakura-chan...
"Who the fuck is Sakura?"
Alarmed, his eyes burst open.
He was in a bed.
For a second, he dared to hope that this was all just a dream; a wild flight of fancy, some figment of his imagination. He was wrong. He opened his eyes and was immediately greeted by the bright white glare of his cell.
Jack sat in the bed opposite him, nursing a healthy bruise across her jaw and what looked like several blotches across her arm. Her knees were tucked against her chest, her head bowed, her body trembling. She might be crying, he realized, with a sudden pang of sorrow.
Naruto forced himself upright, propping himself up on his elbows. He saw the bruises and narrowed his eyes. "What happened?"
Jack glared at him for a moment. Then she seemed to soften, if only marginally. "Assholes dragged me out after they saw me beating you up. Of course they also had another experiment lined up for me, so that was just an excuse." She growled the last part, eyeing him to see what his reaction would be.
Naruto himself growled at the thought, nay, the mere mention of these…people…experimenting on kids. It felt like he was in one of Jiriaya stories about Orochimaru. That's right…was he in that snake freak's base?
He looked back at Jack and his eyes softened. What he said earlier was probably the wrong thing for him to say, especially him because he too had no parents. Judging from her reaction, she was the same. "Look, I am sorry about what I said earlier."
Jack's guarded eyes regarded him for a moment. "Whatever." She replied before walking over to lean on the wall.
The blond sighed. She was way too guarded, but he could not blame her. This place was not for kids. Looking at her, he decided to tell her about him. "Look, I really shouldn't have said what I said because….well, I never had any parents."
"What the fuck?" Jack growled. "So then where the hell do you get off telling me how to act like my parents 'taught' me, huh?"
Naruto sighed again, "Look, I'm not that smart when it comes to these things and the only reason I know them is because of the Old Man back home." Jack blinked at that one and at the same time felt jealous. Old man, huh? So this guy at least had someone who'd been like a parent to him.
Okay now she was curious. This kid-fine he was older than her but so what-had a strange childhood. Kind of like her. "Alright, tell me more." Realizing what she'd just said she hastily added, "Not like we have any better to do in this hellhole." Naruto nodded and begun to speak of his home world.
Naruto was panicking. Whatever these people had done to him, it had sullied his way of doing chakra attacks. Of course, they called the power he, Jack, and the other kid had Biotics, but still, something was wrong.
Jack looked on in amusement. "What the hell is your problem?" It had been a week or so since he had come here and now that he was finally going to show her his power, it doesn't work. Damn boasting blond. She was still having trouble wrapping her head around the concept of chakra and jutsu and all this other garble, but hey, the galaxy was a big place. And what did she care? Not that any of it mattered to her, anyway.
"My chakra is not working normally!" Naruto nearly shouted.
"Retard." Jack failed to restrain a smirk. "Its not chakra. Its Biotics. You use it differently here than the fucked up way you use it on your home world." Naruto calmed down at that. Did chakra/biotics work differently in different environments? If so, then he would have to watch Jack and the kids more closely when they used their powers. Still he felt rankled, irked, knowing that his power would not respond the way he wished it to.
Several hours later, after watching the kids through the glass in his and Jack room, Naruto felt that he was ready to try an attack and see if he could work this Biotics power. It was worth a try, he supposed.
Jack just sat on her bed with a bored look on her face as her roommate was finally deciding to use his power. This was going to be a disaster, she just knew it.
The blond closed his eyes in concentration and reached for his biotic power. He felt it after a minute and nearly growled. Those people had gotten rid of his normal chakra and replaced it with Kyuubi's. However, he didn't feel the fox's presence and the hatred that came with it. He felt…nothing. It was odd.
He pulled at the power and mimicked the motion he saw Jack do once and pushed his hand outward.
Jack looked on with wide eyes as she saw Naruto's normal blue eyes go red; as scarlet energy engulfed his body and pushed outward. The red energy hit a nearby coffee table that she'd never bothered used and blasted it into the wall, leaving a sizable dent in its otherwise pristine surface.
"Whoa." The two replied. Despite himself Naruto grinned. He now knew he could use this power, biotics, now came the training. He was going to get out of this place and damn it he was going to take Jack with him.
(The escape, exactly one year after Naruto arrived)
Jack was sitting on her bed, watching her blond roommate trying to do…something. He said it was an attack that he used back in his home world and that it was pure chakra manipulation. She smiled at that. He had told her about his plan and she agreed with him. However, where would they go? Wait, why was she thinking that? She just wanted out of this place!
Still, over the year, the two had grown close. They saw each other as brother and sister and she was a bit nicer to him now. Just a bit. Okay, maybe more than just a bit. Hell, he'd even taken a few experiments in her place just to keep her safe. He was so kind to her, unlike the asshole kids and adults. Now, while Jack still thought of him as a brother, she also had a small crush on him….not that she would EVER admit to anyone…even to herself.
Naruto glared at the door, focusing his power. Commanding it. Demanding that it obey him. He gathered it and coallesced it, dredging it up from the blackest, darkest corner of his mind. At long last he felt it, the swirling, spiraling sphere gathering in the palm of his hand. How long had it been since he'd last used this jutsu? Week? Months? Maybe even a year? It didn't matter. They were getting out of here.
And they'd be doing it in style.
Jack gawped at the spiraling sphere, cradled within his fingertips.
"What the fuck is-"
Naruto answered her question and demonstrated the technique all in one motion.
The alarms were deafening.
Blaring and whooping across the base, they alerted all personnel to the event they'd long since dreaded and feared. An escape attempt. No that wasn't quite right. An attempt implied that there was the possibility of failure. An attempt, meant that they might not succeed. This was not an attempt. This was an escape.
"Subjects Crimson and Zero have escaped!" A technician shouted, clamoring down the hall as fast as his legs could carry him, frantically consulting his omni-tool. "Repeat, the both Subjects Crimson and Zero have-urrk!"
The tech never got to read any more of the report.
Abruptly, a red-skinned hand slashed out of nowhere, catching him across the throat. He stumbled, clutching at his windpipe, before another blow took out his legs and sent a wave of fire coursing across his back. It was with a belated agony that the man realized what had been done to him, as his legs went boneless beneath his waist. His spine. He choked aloud as he toppled forward, striking the deck. The boy had severed his spinal cord!
"Surprise!" Naruto laughed as he blew past him, the blow rendering the technician effectively mute and powerless. Raw with fury the technician uttered a rasping cry and tried to catch the blonde's leg, his fingers clawing feebly at the teenager's heel as he sped down the hall.
Whimpering, the technician dragged himself into the ops center.
"Sir," He rasped, "What are we going to do? The guards can't contain-
What he saw there caused his hope to wilt.
The project chief, a wiry man by the name of Thomas was sitting upright in his chair, his face strangely calm. In the middle of his chest, a dark red stain was spreading across the spotless white of his admiral's uniform. He stared down at it in disbelief, his mouth working wordlessly as he watched his life slip between his fingertips.
"Order the retreat." The words ached in his throat, in a way that had nothing to do with throbbing pain of the biotic's treacherous attack. "I said, order the-
He never did get to finish that sentence as a glowing fist caved in the side of his head.
(With Naruto and Jack)
All though out the facility, Naruto and Jack laid waste to the place. They used their biotics to literally blow away all that opposed their escape, which was just about everyone. The children. The Adults. Hell event he automated defenses!
Not that it mattered to Naruto. Over the year he had spent there, he had learned how to be a true biotic. So taking these things out was easy. With a few well projected shockwaves from him and Jack, it was made easier for their escape.
When they made it to the exit of the base they had found themselves in, they noticed a strange vehicle parked right outside. It looked like a car with rockets for wheels. No matter, if this got them away from this facility they were golden.
Quickly getting in, they were baffled at the controls. Neither had had any interaction with this type of stuff and Naruto was certain this thing didn't belong anywhere within the elemental countries. The meant that he was even further from home than he'd expected. Meh. Not like they wanted him there anyway.
The blond noticed his younger companion was pushing random buttons with an angry expression on her face. She was desperate to get away and she was not going to let her stupidity of these vehicles get in her way. And with a stroke of pure luck, the vehicle they were in blasted upward in rapid succession.
After that, they didn't know how far they had traveled or for how long. After all space travel is shorter now that what it used to be thanks to the mass relay that ran into. When they ran into that, a strange map appeared in front of them. Mesmerized by it, Naruto touched the first thing that got his attention….which was a giant red lighted jellyfish. Omega. After he touched it, it disappeared and a disembodied voice rang out telling them they were going to Omega.
All throughout the trip, the duo slept on the floor. Naruto lay with his back to the metal wall, his head lolled slightly to one side. At some point, Jack decided to sit next to him, and eventually, she too succumbed to exhaustion, falling asleep with her head leaning on the blonde's shoulder. He smiled at that as she looked peaceful. She really was cute. When she wasn't screaming or swearing or trying to bash your head in, that is.
A beeping sound woke them up and when Jack saw what she was sleeping on, she punched him off of her with a small blush on her face, which she quickly hid. Naruto rubbed at his shoulder, shrugging off the blow. She was always like this. It was kinda wierd.
They looked out the window of the vehicle they were in to see the 'jellyfish' called Omega. They had made it and after they fiddled with the light up buttons on the console, they found out that it was a space station…whatever that was. Several minutes later, their ship docked and they stepped outside, if the giant space station could be called such. It was…dirty to say the least. However, they saw a large building called Afterlife in front of them and, at Naruto's behest, decided to try and get in.
Now, under most circumstances, they wouldn't have lasted an instant. They had yet to realize it, but Omega was no place for children. Least of all two biotics, and children at that. Had they encountered any of the unscrupulous denizens that dwelled in the stations depths, they likely would never have been heard from again. They would have been killed without a thought, stripped of their meager possessions, and left for the Vorcha.
Fortunately, Jack bumped into a young woman, wearing, in Naruto's opinion strange clothes. Of course Jack didn't care about that and glared at her, her eyes jaded. It was all too clear she still had trust issues and the only one she actually trusted was the idiot she was standing next to.
"Watch we're your going-
She never had a chance to finish that curse, as Naruto clamped a hand over her mouth. Jack's first instinct was to bite him, but after spending more than a year together, she somehow knew the blond intended no harm. She still bit him anyway, just to show him who was boss.
"Yeow!" Naruto yelped as he released the smaller girl, his hand throbbing. "What the hell was that for, Jack!"
"Sh-Shut up, dickhead!"
The woman smiled at them as her little girl clung her to leg. If Naruto had to guess, she was barely Jack's age. "What are two kids doing out here all alone?" She asked, "My name is Diana by the way and this is my daughter, Nef."
Seeing that Jack was not going to answer, Naruto flashed his foxy smile and said, "Well, that's just it. We don't know. We just escaped these people who were not that nice. I think they called themselves Cerberus?"
Diana gasped when she heard that name. It was a human extremist group that would kill off aliens for the good of humanity. And if these two children where held captive by them….who knew what horrors they had to face. Steeling her gaze she nodded to herself. These two needed to get off world and find a safe place. Omega was not a place for a couple of orphaned children.
"Come on, you two need to get off this station and the best way is to ask Aria for help." Diana responded as she led the two children around the back. She was no fool, she knew a couple of kids would not be able to get in through the front door. Thankfully, that wasn't the only way inside Afterlife.
As they walked, Nef looked at Naruto with interest. Jack scared her, so…the blond was it. Said blond noticed this and smiled at the girl and started up a conversation with the shy child while Jack just glared at the two. Her blond friend was way too nice sometimes.
Diana smiled softy at the interaction of her daughter and the other two kids. She could already tell that the blond one was going to be a heart breaker when he grew up and with his caring nature, any girl would be lucky to have him. That brown haired girl, although guarded, seemed to have a thing for the boy already. Luckily, through the boy's ranting, she learned that his name was Naruto and the girl was Jack.
Soon they made it and thankfully didn't encounter any Vorcha. Those guys were always trouble. Diana walked the children to the back door and a Turian was there guarding it. Luckily she was friendly with this man, who nodded at her and Nef.
Naruto of course blurted out the first thing that came to mind. "Whoa! What kind of Bloodline do you have mister?"
The turian blinked rapidly before he laughed. "Kid, you obliviously don't know much about aliens."
Diana shook her head. "I am sorry my friend, but they escaped Cerberus and don't know a lot about the Galaxy." She replied, making the turian know what she wanted and nodded silently to her. "Naruto, this man is a Turian and Aria is an Asari."
The turian spoke up, "I'll take them to Aria, I'm sure you don't want Nef in there." Diana smiled and thanked him. Naruto said goodbye for him and Jack since she was still being really quiet about all of this. He could see that she really didn't trust anyone at the moment.
The turian dropped the two kids off in front of a blue skinned woman that looked like she was in a bad mood and after what the turian told her about the two, she was even more pissed off. Cerberus was always a pain in the ass. She eyed the two children for a moment. The girl looked really guarded while the boy….actually looked bored despite the booming music in the club. She smirked at that.
What the hell. She'd get them off this rock.
Just to spite Cerberus.
(In parts unknown)
True to her word, Aria actually helped them off of Omega via a ship that was going to one of the colonies in the terminus systems. Naruto was well liked in the ship because he often helped where he could and he was given an Omni-tool for future use and he put it on his right arm. Jack, well, she often caused people out for being stupid and kept to herself or just spoke to Naruto.
Their free time and bonding was cut short however, because another ship attacked them. From what the crew was yelling about, they were being attacked by the Geth. The crew's captain yelled for them to run to the escape pods because the ship had sustained too much damage.
Naruto got Jack to one of the escape pods before an explosion rocked from the side. Naruto looked with wide eyes to see machine like people with one optic lens. This place was far different than what he was used to. That thought made him wonder if he would ever find a way home.
Naruto shook his head of those thoughts and turned back to Jack. She had a look of fear when she saw the Geth, but when she noticed Naruto looking at her, she nodded with a look of determination. Naruto sighed when he heard people in trouble. He looked Jack straight in the eyes and said, "I will be back."
"What the fuck are you talking about?" Jack shouted, "Get your ass in here or at least let me fight with you dumbass!"
Naruto smiled softly at the girl before he took off Tsunade's necklace that those Cerberus people never bothered to take, and put it on the confused girl's neck. "This is my promise to you, I will come back. I'll be back for you and for that necklace.
"But!" she managed to say before Naruto leaned in and kissed her cheek, freezing her in place. He smiled at her and then closed the door to the escape pod before turning to the approaching Geth.
"Come on, let's get this over with." Naruto said, a bit uncertain on how to beat these things. The Omni-Tool was still new to him but one thing was for sure, it needed a blade, and a blade it did not have. He had no weapon to speak of, and…
"Screw it, Shockwave!"
(Several Minutes Later)
Naruto stumbled into an empty escape pod with a defeated look on his face. He should have just left with Jack, but no, he had to be the hero. The geth were too strong and most of the people had already perished. He'd taken took a few guns, but they were difficult to use, so he missed a lot. Now, he was alone.
Suddenly he heard a noise and looked behind him to see a crawling geth. He must have blown the leg of that one. Naruto panicked and frantically palmed the door switch as hard as he could...just as it was half way through the door. The geth uttered an electronic squeal that sounded a great deal like a human scream as it was cut down, severed at the torso, with its upper half collapsing into the escape pod.
"Ha!" Naruto couldn't help but to grin. "Serves you right!"
He spun around as he felt the confines of the pod give way with a metallic clang; the bulky device lurching away from the cold embrace of the freighter that once housed it. He felt nothing but exhileration, the adrenaline finally fading from his veins.
Naruto's moment of triumph was short lived as he realized he had no way of knowing where he was going. He had no idea how to fly this thing, and even if he did, there was no console by which to control the thrusters, nor was there anything more than a thin mirrored slit by which to chart his progress. Peering out into the cold expanse of space, he saw the freighter; saw it jettision the remaining pods, each of which shot off in a different direction.
Which one of those pods belonged to Jack?
He didn't know.
What was he going to do? It occurred to him how she must feel; how she must feel betrayed by his absence, must be thinking that he'd abandoned her. He pounded his fists against the glass, suddenly overcome with the realization that he wasn't going to see her again. Not for a very long time.
It was with another, sickening lurch that he sat and looked at his right arm. It was postively gruesome; the flesh charred and the musculature ripped to pieces from the foolish firefight he'd so recklessly engaged in. To make matters worse, it was not healing properly. Usually Kyuubi's chakra, sentient or not, healed him along with the nanobots. Only it wasn't doing a damned thing. What the hell was going on?
Looking back at the so-called Geth, Naruto saw that it was still alive…surprisingly, but the light in its flashlight-like head was quickly fading. Well, he had nothing but time now so he might as well try and find out why it attacked and what it really was.
After all, he had nothing but time.
(In Jack's pod)
Jack had nothing but time.
She knew, the moment the pod lurched away from the dock. She knew. He wasn't coming back for her, was he? Either he'd finally betrayed her, just like everyone else, or he had gone and gotten himself killed while playing the hero. Strangely enough she hoped for the latter, though the thought still pained her. It was better to think that he was no longer alive, that he was dead, rather than dead.
So long as he hadn't betrayed her, it lessened the sting of his passing. Wait, why the hell did she care? No! She didn't care about him! Not at all! He was just a boy! Just some kid who'd taken the brunt of the experiments for her. Whom she'd become close. Whom she maybe, kinda, sorta...had a crush on..but what did that matter now? He was dead now, dead and gone and lost to the frigate as the Geth pounded it to pieces with ultraviolet lasers.
Despite herself, despite all her anger and bile, she suddenly found herself on the verge of tears. He was dead. No! He couldn't be dead! He couldn't! Not after all this, not after all they'd been through together, not after they'd finally escaped...
"Damnit." She'd meant to use the word as a shout, as a curse to strengthen her, but all that emerged was a weak, broken gasp. She flopped down against the thin padding of the pod's floor and fought the urge to curl into a ball. Fought the urge to weep.
The soft rasp of metal across steel drew her from her teary reverie, demanding her attention. It was the necklace. His necklace. In her grief, she'd nearly forgotten about it. If there was anything left of him to remember him by, then this was it.
She touched the necklace he had given her, her small fingers trailing over the smooth, cool surface of the crystal. It was warm to the touch, she realized. She hadn't noticed it beforehand; because she'd been too focused on trying to beat her way out of the escape pod. It had been cold once. But now it was warm. Pulsating. Almost like...a heart. But not just any heart. A human heart. His heart. The pulse was faint, sporadic, but ever present. Like a beacon.
Maybe...he wasn't dead. Maybe...just maybe...he'd made it to an escape pod? The thought, drove back her anger and bitterness, albeit briefly. What if he was still alive? What if he was just as desperate to find her as she was him. She focused, searching for any sign of his presence. In their year together, they'd developed a strange sort of bond, an eerie connection that allowed them to sense the other's biotic power whenever it was in close proximity to one another.
"You'd better not be dead, dumbass...
At that very instant she felt it. Like a flare, lighting the darkness of her mind. That proved it. He was alive. And he was nearby. She couldn't pinpoint his precise location but if he'd somehow made it to an escape pod, then that meant he was at least alive. Good. She had time for only one thought before the thrusters ignited before her pod burst into motion and carried her pod away from him:
"Naruto...I swear I'm gonna find you and kick your ass for leaving me in this pod!"
A/N: Lo and behold! This is our masterpiece! This will be an EPIC story,spanning across the entirety of Mass Effect 1 all the way to Mass Effect 3! We'll be including the Mass Effect choice engine of course, which will only make this all the more interesting! Will Naruto and Jack ever be reunited? And where oh where is Naruto's escape pod headed?
Also, I think we got Jack and Naruto's personality down perfectly, don't you? Be sure to review! This fic is the product of many a night of blood sweat and tears!
Stay tuned to find out!
Uzumaki Crossover will be writing the next chapter! Look forward to it!