Nz: And here we are with the second chappy! Things heat up in this chapter (literally) as we see Naruto's injury and other events come together in ways not forseen by anyone! That being said, this chapter's one hell of a doozy! The events of the first Mass Effect kickof as of next chapter! But until the, feel free to the wondruous wonder that Uzumaki Crossover and I have created!
Hearts are the hardest things to steal. Because, in the end...someone just might steal yours.
In the end, he didn't learn a whole lot from the dying Geth. He learned that the race known as Quarians where the ones to create them and that they were AI, something he still didn't know about. It also told him they were after the ship that he was on for supplies.
It mentioned that all organics feared them and that the Geth themselves did not hate the organics, just trying to find their own way in life. Naruto himself would have tried a more diplomatic approach to things in the galaxy, which was what the Old Man said often enough. The Geth he had been talking to seemed to contemplate it and then shook it's head. It feared that it would not work as things were now, but it thanked Naruto for the advice all the same.
As Naruto was fading in and out of consciousness do to exhaustion, he noticed that the Geth was barely hanging on. "Maybe...you guys aren't all that bad. Maybe in the future, we could be friends if what you say about your hive mind is correct."
"It is...a possibility." The geth replied.
"Heh, good to know...Legion." Naruto replied with a smile before he drifted off.
The geth processed the word, Legion, and found that it was an appropriate name, but it could not hold that new title, maybe one day, another shall take up that title. For now, it was finished, but at least it could relay its last moments to the rest of his kin. They would like to know they have a future...if this boy survived. And perhaps, someday some where, in the near future, another would once again take up the title of Legion...
Admiral Rael'Zorah of the Rayya was on a scouting mission, looking for more Geth parts to use in his experiments. All this was for his family, for his late wife, for his daughter, Tali. He had promised her that he would find a way to retake their homeworld to that he could give her a home, a real home. Not another starship.
"Sir, our scanners are picking up something." A quarian reported at his terminal.
"Any idea as to what it is?" Rael asked, thinking that it was strange that a lone object would be this far out in space.
"The scanners are reporting that it is an escape pod and there are life signs with in it, but…they are fading."
"I see, then let's pick it up and hope it is not hostile." Rael replied before walking off to the area of the ship where it would be located.
Rael'Zorah was ready for anything and thankfully, the scanners didn't report anything dangerous with in the pod. So, he took a crew member and his daughter, Tali, to check it out. She had only just gotten out of her bubble and she needed real world experience. This was the perfect opportunity for that. But none of them where prepared for what they found the pod opened.
"Father," Tali began softly, "Is that...
"Keelah..." Rael replied when he looked inside.
For inside the small pod was a young human boy with a very damaged arm. And there was the torso of a Geth there as well. Just what the hell happened to this kid? Thinking quickly, he ordered his daughter to take the Geth back to his lab, he would decide later on what to do with it. He also didn't want his daughter to be too affected by the gruesome state of this boy's arm.
He and the remaining crewmate carefully took the boy to the med-bay of the ship. He only hoped that they'd saved him in time.
Rael sighed as he sat in his lab. They'd stabilized the boy. It seemed that he had been within that pod for some time and he was very weak, however, his arm was going to be useless. It was already too late for it. Eyeing the Geth that was within the pod with the boy, he wondered if he could make a cybernetic arm for him…with the boy's consent of course. The medic said he should be awake soon.
A beep was heard from his Omni-tool and Rael knew what it meant; the report he sent back to the fleet had finally been received and they wanted to speak with him...now. He sighed, pressed a few buttons on his console and the faces of admiralty board appeared on the screen. There were four in all their faces each hidden behind a mask much like his own, with the subtle difference giving proof to their individual identities.
Admiral Daro'Xen vas Moreh, responsible for many technical breakthroughs used by the rest of the Fleet. Shala'Raan vas Tonbay, commander of the Patrol Fleet and all but critical to the continued protection of the Live Ships. Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib Qwib, commander of the Civilian Fleet. Then there was Admiral Han'Gerrel vas Neema, Rael's longtime friend and fellow admiral. And of course, Rael himself.
"Is there a particular reason why you've brought a human aboard your ship, Rael?" Were the first words out of Xen's mask vocoder. In his younger years, Rael would've all but bristled at a rebuke like that. Now he was older and wiser. Now, he shrugged off the remark like...what was that human saying? Water off a duck's back? Something like that.
"Hello to you, too, Xen."
"Is what you reported true?" Admiral Shala'Raan asked with some concern for the child.
"Yes, unfortunately it is true. I would not have believed it myself, had I not been the one to see it." Rael replied sadly.
"What do you plan on doing with the young human boy?" Koris asked.
"I am not sure, but if he agrees, he can stay on the ship and help us. He could be a valuable asset to the Quarian Race. He could freely go where we could not and if he was to be introduced to our traditions, it would assure his loyalty to us. Plus, my daughter does need more friends since I cannot be with all the time because of my work."Rael offered.
Now that got them thinking. Humans were very unique to them and from what they heard about them in the alliance, they could be a useful ally. Finally, although some of them were skeptical about having a human within the fleet, they agreed to let the human stay with them, but he would have to go on a pilgrimage like the others if he was going to follow their traditions.
Rael smiled despite the other's reasoning. He was mostly doing this for Tali. She indeed needed friends.
Tali was curious. They had recovered a young human boy from the pod and he was very hurt. Still, she wanted to know more about him and where he came from. She wanted to know more about the outside world. She was sure he had a lot to tell.
Walking right up to the boy's sleeping form with some caution; she peered down at the boy's face. He was cute…for a human, especially with those strange whisker marks on his cheeks. Where they birthmarks or scars? She reached out to touch them, but hesitated for a second, before she tenderly rubbed the marks.
She wasn't expecting the reaction she got. He was purring! From what she had heard, humans didn't purr!
Abruptly, the boy's eyes shot open. He made as if to rise, but he was too weak to move. Looking at his surroundings, he noticed he was in some sort of med-bay, that much he knew from his observations of the last ship he was on. However, he was not prepared to see the masked individual…staring at him. However, he was about to figure out that this person was young and it was a girl. Still, he wondered what was with the mask.
"Um…hi?" Naruto replied weakly.
Tali jumped and withdrew her hand from his face with a small 'eep!' "H-hi!"
It was at that moment that the door opened to reveal Rael'Zorah, who saved Tali from further embarrassment. Naruto turned his head to see that this man was like the young girl, a suit and mask. However, now that he looked closer, he figured that that these people where not human. They had 3 fingers on each hand and had strange legs, but they were near human, that was for sure. However, he knew enough to tell that these people where neither Turian like the guard back on Omega, nor Asari like Aria. So...just what were they, then?
"Um…what are you guys if you don't mind me asking?" Naruto asked lamely.
Rael eyed the boy for moment, regarding his body language. The boy didn't seem afraid of them, just curious. "I am Rael'Zorah and this is my daughter, Tali'Zorah. We are Quarians, have you heard of us?"
"Um…that Geth mentioned Quarians." Naruto said. "I just had no clue what you looked like."
"I see." Rael replied, wondering what this boy and the dead Geth talked about. There was also the fact that they had not been seen in nearly 200 years. He shook his head and got down to business. He relayed his offer to the young boy about being his guardians...if he didn't have a family to get back to that is.
Naruto thought about the offer in great detail and what the man-Rael was it?-offered. He would be an honorary Quarian and have the power to do what most Quarians couldn't do; leave the fleet when needed. He would be able to search for Jack when he was out there. Smiling softly, he nodded and accepted. He felt pretty alone right now and if these people wanted to help him, he wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Plus, with these kind of resources, he might be able to find Jack. He just hoped she was doing ok.
"Also, about your arm, it is not fixable by medical means," Rael stated and before Naruto could start to feel sad about his useless arm, Rael continued, "However, it is possible to replace your arm with technological means."
"How so?" Naruto asked, curious about what he was proposing. He was still new to technology in general. Just what were they suggesting?
"Simple, we take parts of the Geth that we have collected over the years and convert it into a human arm for you. This could give you a technological advantage over most because you would be considered a Cyborg of sorts."
Naruto arched an eyebrow at that. He would be able to better understand technology with his cybernetic implant? Now that was useful. Also, if they did this, it would be like he had a stronger connection with the Geth. With a thoughtful expression, he asked, "Will I still be able to use biotics?"
Both Rael and Tali blinked at that. This kid had the power of biotics? "Can you show us?"
Naruto nodded and with his good arm, he sat up…with the help of Tali of course. Focusing, he reached out for a glass of water on the other side of the room. Rael and Tali each watched with wide eyes as Naruto's form glowed with red energy and the glass slapped into his palm.
"Keelah!" Tali yelped in surprise.
After Rael regained his bearings, he nodded and said he would do what he could. Naruto, in turn, explained that he was different than most humans, something that Cerberus exploited. Rael suspected Naruto was telling the truth, after all, he had no reason not to.
The blond human then explained about his chakra network that was created by the overabundance of Element Zero and how his people were able to bend the elements to their will. However, now that changed for him when he came into the galaxy.
Rael listened intently to the whole story and decided that he would need to put some Element Zero in the arm to help Naruto be able to use biotics in that arm. He would also implant an omni-tool within the arm that had a biotic amp and a tech amp. He nodded and left, he would need to work fast and he had a few surprises in mind. After all, the young human would not be able to rely on just biotics and his eventual tech skills.
As he left, Naruto seriously debated on whether to just escape this room like he did back home, but thought better of it. He was trying to gain the trust of these people and that was not the way to go about it. That and he would get lost easily in a ship. Oh and his arm was screwed!
So he glanced over to Tali, who was making her way back over to him. He smiled; he might as well get to know this girl. "Hey, I didn't catch your name."
The girl paused.
"Nice to meet you, Tali."
It took a week but Naruto finally got his arm back...well his new cybernetic arm. Rael explained that it worked in direct conjunction with his nanites, that it created a direct connection with his brain, giving him a better understanding of technology. His arm also let him directly hack computers and terminals. Still he needed to learn more about technology, but with Rael and Tali's help, he was sure he could get the hang of it...eventually.
"Naruto, I've added Tech and Biotic amps to help you out in those areas. I also added Element Zero to make a network like you told me of your body's." Rael explained. "Now, there are two features that will help you in the long run."
"What would they be?" Naruto asked as he weakly moved the arm. He was going to have to get used to a new arm. After all, they had to surgically remove his wasted arm to implant this one. He needed to regain mobility if he was going to of any use to Jack or these people.
"I've added two components that could be useful for you in the near future. One is that you can turn your hand into an Ionic Beam that can deflect beams shot from lasers and be used as a sword if you need it. The other is that you can turn your hand into a cannon of sorts. I call it the Ionic Cannon."
Naruto smiled. "Thank you."
(Naruto is now 18)
Naruto smiled as he walked down the hallways of the Rayya and nodded to the crew as he passed them. He now wore black steel toed combat boots, black cargo pants, a red muscle shirt, and a black trench coat with the Uzumaki Clan Symbol on the back and a hood that worked as a helmet that made him look like Quarian. He thought about ripping the sleeve off his right arm, but opted against it.
Over the years, Naruto had come to realize that most of the galaxy's inherent beliefs about the quarian people were outright wrong or gross distortions of the truth. They were wrong about the quarians. All of them. The universe considered them to be scavengers, beggars, and thieves: a culture of petty criminals not to be trusted. Having spent most of the last five years with the flotilla, Naruto saw them for what they truly were.
They were resourceful.
They were a people struggling to survive with limited space and resources, yet they refused to allow their society to degenerate into selfishness and anarchy. To accomplish this, they clung fiercely to their powerful sense of community. There was something noble in this unity, enforced though it might be by their circumstances. Ever quarian truly believed they needed to work together to survive. The strong family bonds among shipmates, and the willingness of individuals to sacrifice for the greater good, were values Naruto thought other species could aspire to...should they ever learn to see past their own prejudices and preconceived notions about the quarians.
Naruto certainly had.
He'd gained the respect of not only the crew but all of the Migrant Fleet. It was odd to them that he was initially as selfless as they were, if not more. Still he was a bright light to their lives and they would not trade him for anything in the world. After all he freely left the fleet just to procure supplies when needed. He also never gave up on his search for Jack.
He came very close to finding her. Hell, he came close a lot of times, but lost each chance. There was one time that he came so freaking close! The looked at each other, but it was already too late! At least he knew she was still alive. However, after that, the trail went cold.
It was supposed to have been a routine run for supplies. Tell that to the Blue Suns hijacking the freighter. He'd already dealt with the boarding party as he made his way into the bowels of the ship, picking off the mercenaries with biotic and tech attacks alike. He had his sidearm a Locust SMG but he rarely found need to use it as he waded through the chaos, batt
And then he saw her.
She was standing there, shrieking, flinging mercs against one another like toys.
He gawped at her. It was hard to tell where the ink ended and the woman began. Because she was a woman now. Smooth auburn brown locks lofted around a heart-shaped face from which eyes of dark chocolate shone. Was this the little girl who'd helped him escape from Cerberus? It'd only been five years since they'd last seen each other but in that time, she'd obviously grown into an adolescent. Maybe she hadn't been seven back then, after all? Maybe she'd been his age all along, and suffered from malnutrition all that time?
Regardless, she was clearly healthy now. In place of the old Cerberus rags he'd last seen her in, she wore an equally tattered black vest, matted jeans and...his necklace! She still had that necklace he'd given her! It dangled just above her chest, forcing him to notice she was no longer as flat as he once remembered. She wasn't anything like he knew or remembered. It was like she'd become someone else; an entirely different person.
All that changed the second he stepped forward. Jack flung a wall of biotic energy at him, the powerful pull yanking him from his feet and into the bulkhead with enough force to crack his helmet and spatter stars before his vision. Were it not for his own barrier, she'd have split his skull right open.
"What the fuck do you want, jackass!"
Yup, definitely Jack. Appearances aside, she was still very much the foul-mouthed child he'd escaped with. The thought brought him no small amount of comfort as he lay there, swooning from her attack. He forced himself upright as another mercenary landed beside him, this one a turian, its neck twisted at a hideous angle. He stood woodenly, not taking enough care.
That was when she saw him.
"Another one?" He heard her hiss from across the cargo hold. "You son of a bitch! I'll destroy you!"
She raised her hands to strike and in the same moment Naruto leapt to his feet, placed both hands on the seal of his helmt, and flung it to the deck. His teeth rattled against a sharp charge, his hair standing on end from the sheer force in the air. He neatly deflected the crate she flung at him, batting it aside with a subtle biotic push. Beyond that her voice rose in a great cry of frustration. "Why you-
"Jack! Stop! It's me!"
The biotic aura. The same red aura as before! He couldn't be...
"Naruto?" When she spoke, it was more a small, doomed wish than a question. "Is...Is that really you-"
And then the hatch slammed shut between them.
He sighed deeply at the memory of that day. If he hadn't been late, he would have been able to take her with him. He hadn't seen Jack since that day though, and that'd been months ago. To make matters worse, the trail had gone cold in recent months. He still beat himself up about it. Thankfully, Tali was there to comfort him. She was a very nice girl, always looking out for him as he did for her.
Even he could tell that she had family problems because she was always trying to live up to her to father, which he thought was annoying, but he was always there to pick her up when she was feeling down. That what friends do, right? But she would act all shy with him and he could not figure out why. Hell, she didn't even get annoyed at him when his goofy personality came out. And she never hit him either, unlike a certain pinkette...oh no you don't!
He shook his head, driving the thoughts of his old life away. He liked it here. He was accepted here. He had a life here. Friends. Family. Not some team that treated him like a dead last. Not a girl who was hopelessly in love with some emo punk. None of that
Walking into the engine room that Rael had called him to, he instantly knew something was wrong. Everyone was in a panic and the engine core was thrumming loudly, a high pitched wine that threatened to give out at any moment. "What the hell is going on?" he yelled over the noise.
"Our engine is going out! "Rael shouted in reply, his voice barely audible over the incessant din. "We're going to need a new one soon!" No sooner had Rael said this than that engine spat sparks, shuddered, and died. "Bosh'tet!" Rael swore. Engines were expensive.
"Alright, I'll need to raise some money for one." Naruto replied.
"Are you sure?" Rael asked, concerned about the boy. When he went out, he often went to Omega to get a random merc job. The boy was like a son to him and he kept Tali happy. In fact, even he could tell that his daughter had a major crush on the boy. Precisely why he didn't like the boy going to Omega. The terminus station had ruined many a quarian, and he feared it would one day do the same to the impressionable young human.
"Yeah, I can handle it." Naruto said as he walked out of the loud room. He would of course say his goodbyes to Tali before he left.
"Wait, you're doing what?" Tali asked.
"I'm going out again." Naruto said as he packed his bag. "We need a new engine core." Thankfully with his tech knowledge he was able to store virtually everything within his omni-tool.
"Just promise me you'll come back safely." Tali asked shyly. He was very important to her and she wanted nothing to happen to him. She wasn't sure how she felt for him yet, but she knew that she cared for him a lot. They'd become fast friends over the last five years, and, as always, she was said to see him go, though she knew it was neccessary. She herself had yet to leave the fleet, having yet to leave on her pilgrimage
"I will." Naruto said with his megawatt smile as he hugged the girl.
"Naruto?" She spoke softly as he turned away.
The human grinned.
"Keelah se'lai, Tali."
Naruto took the Kodiak that he'd salvaged and flew it to Omega. It was black, perfect for stealth missions. It was a simple affair, everyone in the Terminus Systems knew not to mess with him. Aria, despite her cold personality, looked out for him and no one wanted to piss her off or suffer Naruto's biotic wrath. He was, after all, called the Crimson Biotic. Not just for the color of his aura when utilizing the deadly dark matter mind you...but for his bloodstained appearance after nearly every conflict.
Knowing this, most of Omega gave the boy a considerably wide berth. Most, but not all.
Docking in Omega, Naruto swiftly made his way inside Afterlife, ignoring the idiots in line complaining that Aria was waiting for them, and nodding to the elcor bouncer. As he walked in, several Batarians stared at him, some smirking as he walked past. They wanted to kill him for the fun of it. He was powerful and for that they respected him but he was also an annoying human and that made them want to kill him. After all, what respectable warrior acted like a goofball?
Why are these things never simple, he thought darkly as one of them moved to bar his path. I just cleaned my boots, too...
"Where do you think you're going, human?" one of the four-eyed aliens demanded.
"I'm here to see Aria." Naruto answered, silently hoping the batarians would just leave it at that. They didn't. One of the batarians tilted his head to the right- a gesture of contempt among that particular species. His two upper eyes slowly blinked, while the bottom pair continued to stare at the interloper.
"You've come here a lot." a second batarian noted. "Looking to get some favors with the boss, huh?"
Naruto didn't answer the question. Despite all his training and preparation, he knew that most humans were regarded as inexperienced or vulnerable. Especially to Batarians. He couldn't afford to show any sort of weakness. Especially on Omega. He heard more laughter behind him and the creak of fine leather as the batarians rose to their feet in anticipation. None of the batarians were wearing armor. He was, and he'd been gathering power in his fists for the last five minutes.
"Gentlemen," He began amicably, remembering to smile, "Surely we can resolve this without violence?"
A chorus of dark chuckles said otherwise.
Naruto flexed his fingers and pushed out with his mind.
"Have it your way, then."
The ensuing warp tore through the first batarian, reducing his face to a bloody pulp. Before the second could react, the biotic lashed out with his mechanical right arm; the high velocity blow neatly snapping the aliens neck. By then the two remaining aliens had drawn their sidearms; and by then Naruto's biotics had recovered. Even as they tracked as his movement, even as they fired the very first shots, he was gone.
The omni-tool blade neatly unfolded from his left arm, its razor sharp edge burrowing deep into the batarian's side. Even as he cried out in pain Naruto moved onto to the next and unleashed a deadly reave on the nervous system of the sole remaining batarian. The alien dropped like a sack of potatoes. Naruto considered finishing him off like the rest but mercy-or was it pity-stayed his hand.
"Hold still." He grunted, bending over the battered batarian, his omni-tool flaring. "I've got medi-gel...
In thanks, the batarian levered the pistol at his head. He wasn't expecting that head to jerk forward in a renegade interrupt. Helmet clashed with skull and the latter gave way to the former. The four-eyed alien slumped to the ground, his head lolling to the side at an awkward angle. He wasn't dead. But he certainly wouldn't be getting up for awhile, either.
"Bosh'tet!" Naruto spat, glaring bloody red daggers at the prone alien.
The conflict resolved, he moved into the inner sanctum of afterlife.
As soon as he entered the main room, he was met with the booming music the club usually played. The asari dancers smiled at him as he passed by, each hoping to attract an earnest gaze or a brief glance from the one who held the favor of their mistress. Naruto, for the most part, preferred to nod as opposed to smile. Even after all these years, he still got flustered around the scantily clad dancers. How was it that he could mercilessly kill batarian's just outside the door and yet, the moment he set foot inside the Afterlife he was like a flustered child? As if on cue, his gaze slipped, falling upon one of the gyrating asari. And it lingered, a tad longer than it should have.
The dancer caught his eye, her light violet eyes gleaming in the dim lighting and pulsating beats of the club. She raised her hand and waved, daintily. Almost unbidden, Naruto found himself returning the gesture. He snapped out of it at the last second, his cheeks burning.
Gotta stop thinking about that!
Shrugging it off, he made his way toward Aria. Every time he came here he remembered Jack; how intimidatig everything had seemed back then. The guards stopped him to make sure he was not a threat. Aria was having none of that.
"Let him through."
Naruto smiled as he was walked through and sat on a party couch next to hers. He saw aria as a big sister figure, a bit cold, but she looked out for him, especially after what happened on the ship.
The guards all shook their heads, this kid was able to change people for the better and Aria was no different. They knew that Aria saw the boy as a little brother or a son. After all, she was protective of him.
Aria regarded the boy for a second before a smirk formed on her cold face. "So, what can I do for you this time Naruto?"
"The Rayya's engine core is about to go out and well, I was sent to get a new one. I was wondering if you had any special jobs for me." Naruto replied.
Aria narrowed her eyes. Those buckets of bolts the Quarians still used were always falling apart, but Naruto still stayed with them, even if most the galaxy hated them. She herself had tried to recruit Naruto and he declined, but said he would help her any time she needed it and she had an idea on how he could help this time. "I have a job that you can do, but you are going to need a team. The job is to find one of my agents. She was sent to a planet in the Eternus Nexus and the Shadow Broker's forces intercepted. I am not taking any chances with that man; I want my agent out of there."
"What's so important about that planet?" Naruto asked with a raised eyebrow.
"It's in an unexplored region because it is near the center of the galaxy. From my sources, it is rich in element zero. I sent my agent to investigate, but I am not sure what the Shadow Broker's interest is with it." Aria replied before she continued, "You do this for me, and I'll pay for the new engine core myself."
Naruto blinked, before he smiled. "I'll take it! A little mystery and danger never hurt anyone...too bad. Anyway, I am sure you have some people in mind."
Aria smirked. This kid's smarter than he looks. She thought. "You're right. Two of them you already know. Kasumi and her boyfriend, Kenji."
Naruto's eyes lit up at those names. "Awesome, I get to work with Kasumi-sempai again! She and Kenji taught me how to be stealthier...especially with the cloaking tech they gave me."
Aria smiled at that. To the blond, most people he met helped him and he considered them family. It never ceased to amaze her. "Right, there's also a Drell doing a job in the apartment section of Omega. His name is Thane. Finally, we have an old friend. He's a Krogan that was once hired to kill me, but he failed. His name is Wrex." She paused. "Once you track them down, I'll have a ship ready for you. That black Kodiak you came here in will not be enough."
Naruto scratched the back of his head with a smile. It was true, he didn't have a whole lot of room in his ship. "Hey, uh, where are the others located?"
Aria smirked. "Where else would they go? They're all in Afterlife!"
Naruto smiled as he stood up and said, "Thank you, Aria."
"No problem kid, and if you succeed with this mission, I might even have a surprise for you..." Aria replied before the blond nodded and left. He had to kill some time, so he could either visit Diana and Nef while he waited for Thane to finish, or he could quickly find the others. Eh, he visited Nef and her mom last time.
Shaking his head, he wandered around Afterlife with a bored expression on his face. It would do not to show weakness with all these battle hardened mercs eyeing him. Suddenly, he was tapped on his shoulder. He turned, but saw no one. Must be my imagination. This happened several times before he finally smiled and sighed. "Kasumi. I should've known you would be the one to find me."
"Oh Naruto, you know I'm always watching. The best thief in the galaxy has to be on her toes after all." Kasumi Goto replied as she appeared in front of the blond with a smile that put the sun to shame. "It's good to see you again, Naruto-chan!"
Rolling his eyes, he asked, "So where is Kenji-sempai?"
"You know, for being a ninja, you're easy to sneak up on." Kenji replied as he leaned on Naruto's shoulder. Once the blond would have jumped. Now he brumbled darkly about the constant topic on which he was tormented.
"I have an excuse for that, but you've already heard it." Naruto deadpanned at his older brother figure.
"Yeah, yeahm you were a low level ninja back where you were from and didn't get time to learn more." Kenji mocked the blond in good nature. "So, what're you looking for us for?" When Naruto grinned it put Kasumi's grin to shame.
"Oh, I'm on a job to get a new engine core for the Rayya. I am to track down Aria's agent on a planet in the Eternus Nexus."
"That barely explored system?" Kasumi asked.
"Yep and we have to deal with the Shadow Broker's forces." Naruto said like it was nothing. But it was something; because the Shadow Broker was an individual at the head of an expansive organization specalizing in information, always selling too the highest bidder. It was a lucrative business: all secrets bought and sold never allowed one customer of the Broker to gain a significant advantage, forcing the customers to continue trading information to avoid becoming disadvantaged thereby, allowing the Broker to remain in business.
They were a tough bunch, all things considered and they were the source of Naruto's very first mission with Kasumi and Kenji.
Kasumi grew serious. "We can't let you go it alone, we'll help you."
"Do you have anyone else in mind for this mission?" Kenji asked.
"Well, we have a heavy hitter in a Krogan named Wrex and a drell by the name of Thane."
"An old Krogan and an assassin?" Kenji asked before he shrugged. "Fine by me."
"It'll be hard getting a Krogan in on this." Kasumi contemplated. "They're a stubborn bunch."
"Well, let's go find him!" Naruto said with a smirk. He didn't mind the challenge. In fact, he looked forward to it. He'd never fought a krogan before. Turians, asari, salarians, and especially odd hanar a few week back...but a krogan? He'd seen them before, but he'd never had the chance to speak with one. His childlike fascination with the other races aisde, he was simply eager to meet this Wrex fellow.
"Well, I heard he went to the Merc's office here in Afterlife." Kenji replied. Naruto nodded and head that way. "Oh, and I should warn you...
"Warn me about what?"
Once inside, they saw an old Krogan in red armor arguing with a batarian in Blue Suns armor. Despite the fact that the krogan was easily twice his size, the batarian didn't so much as flinch when the old brute roared out a reply:
"Whaddya mean you have don't have any work for me?"
"I meant what I said, Urdnot Wrex." The four-eyed alien all but sneered. "You're not really a part of the main three mercenary groups. Your best bet it to go ask some random junkie on Omega. HA!" For a moment, just a moment Naruto thiught the old krogsn was going to tear the man's head off. Imagine the boy's surprise when the krogan lasheed out with a throw instead, planting the recruiter across the wall. There was a sharp crack and he landed awkwardly his upper torso lolling to one side, his lower, the other. With this sudden display, Naruto had to restrain to the urge to gawp at the krogan. He was a biotic!
"That'll teach 'em." Wrex mumbled as he walked toward Naruto and his old friends.
"I've got a mission that will be a good challenge, old man." Naruto called, his words earning the krogan's attention. Wrex turned his head to Naruto and glared at the young human and his two guardians. "And what 'challenging' mission would a few humans have for me?" he asked, his grizzled face pulling back into a defiant smirk.
Naruto returned the sentiment in kind as he crossed his arms. He couldn't lightly give out the details for the mission-least of all to a krogan-but he'd just now thought of a way to recruit Wrex with as little effort as possible. "We're going up against the Shadow Broker's forces in the Eternus Nexus." he said simply. Did it really matter if Wrex knew the true purpose of their mission? Not really.
"The unexplored system?" Wrex asked, his red eyes narrowing with interest. New worlds attract all kinds of people, even the more dangerous ones. Naruto nodded. That made the old Krogan smirk dangerously. "Heh." he chuckled. "Sounds interesting. Son of a bitch has something of mine, anyway. Kasumi and Keiji exchanged a terse glance. They'd made it this far by keeping a low profile. If Wrex was out to make enemies of the Shadow Broker...
"And what might that something be?" Keiji asked.
"Something I intend to take back, human." Wrex huffed, his disposition softening as he returned his bloodred gaze to Naruto. "Your kind has an old saying, don't you? There's strength in numbers. Or something like that." Naruto nodded in self-satisfaction. All it really took was to play on the Krogan's likes. He wasn't proud of it, but they needed an unstoppable juggernaut that only a krogan could provide.
"Looking forward to working with you, Wrex."
And like it or not, Urdnot Wrex was that krogan.
Naruto and his newfound partners made their way to the apartment district of the jellyfish looking space station. But before he and the others could really enter the district to get their final crewmate, a door on the side opened and an old friend of Naruto's walked out. It was none other than the messy haired, art loving, Nef.
"Naruto?" the girl asked with wide eyes and a smile.
"Oh? Hey Nef, how are you and your mom doing?" Naruto asked.
"We're doing great, but what are you doing back here?" Nef asked with curiosity.
"Ouch, my pride." Naruto replied in mock hurt. "It seems I am not welcome here."
Nef's eyes widened and she waved her arms wildly, "NO! I was just curious, I just...oh, you were joking." She laughed nervously when she saw Naruto''s smile.
Kasumi and Kenji smirked at the scene while Wrex...didn't care. Naruto smiled and nodded. "So, how is your art going?"
"Great, but only a few are actually caring." Nef said a little down.
"Don't worry, I am sure you'll get a break someday." Naruto replied reassuringly. He then put on a thoughtful look. "I do wonder though. I wonder what most on Omega have a preference in art. Is it the quick fleeting moment of art; as an explosion or a blooming flower? Or is it the ever-lasting art? Like statues and puppets?"
No one really got an answer in; both because they didn't know what to say and because, at that very moment, the door to the apartments district slid open, revealing a Drell. Basically the only drell on the station. "Um, Hi?" Naruto asked. "Are you Thane?"
"Yes, that is my name." The Drell answered right away, cautious, but at the sametime interested in what a human boy wanted with him. He'd seen many human in his lifetime but this one struck out like a sore thumb. Not just the way he held himself, or the color of his hair. His reputation preceded him.
"Great. Aria T'loak asked me to take you on our mission. We have to find an agent of her's in the Eternus Nexus. There' a planet there that the Shadow Broker is interested in and Aria wants her agent back.
"Anything involving the Shadow Broker is dangerous." Naruto said with a serious outlook and his arms crossed. "I need a team, I can't do this by myself. Besides, an assassin can get things done." A pause. "I can pay you, if that's what you want."
The Drell seemed to consider it before he replied, "Aria already contacted me and I had already agreed, I just needed to get a job done first. And I am done, so you have my services. My body is your weapon."
Naruto smiled at that. Leave it to Aria to make a set up for him. She had already gotten the Drell on their side; all they had to do was pick him up. Yeah, she thought of everything. "Well then, let's get to the ship and save Aria's agent from the Shadow Broker!" The blond cheered like a kid with his fist in the air. The Krogan and the Drell sweat dropped at that while the Thieves both chuckled, used to the blonde's personality.
Nef…quickly walked back into her apartment and started cracking up.
Naruto and his crew were aboard an Asari frigate called the Azure Flame. They had taken off as soon as they entered. They were not going to waste time. It was a pretty small ship, perfect for this type of mission. It was piloted by an all Asari crew. Naruto wondered if Aria got this through her connections with the Asari Councilor on the Citadel.
As soon as they entered the Eternus Nexus, they found out why this place was dangerous and fairly unexplored. It was full of asteroid belts. Hell, there was even a fairly large comet passing through the system. However, their mission turned out to be easier than they thought because there were only 2 intact planets left in this system. One was a gas giant and the other was a small planet that was just radiating Element Zero. Hell he could practically feel it like back home. However, there were barely any life signs on the planet, so this was not it.
"Alright, this is it!" Naruto replied as they descended onto the planet. He looked at his teammates and smiled. Kasumi and Kenji were reliable thieves….ironic, no?...and they were basically like him. Space Ninja! They helped him through thick and thin, and they were open minded enough to believe he was from a different human homeworld and not some messed up colony.
Then there was a Drell. A master assassin who grieved for his lost wife and left to protect his son from his enemies. He could tell there was a lot of sadness in the man, so he had spoken to Thane amidships during the journey and offered his hand in friendship. Despite his given profession the drell assassin had agreed.
Finally, the Krogan was very rough around the edges. Wrex only really cared about fighting. He'd given up on his own people simply because they would rather fight for credits than search for a way to cure the Genophage, the near-sterility that plagued their people. But even he could tell that Wrex was lying. He cared a lot of his people, but was just disappointed with their choices. Still, after a while, he warmed up to the blond…but not much.
As soon as they landed, they found themselves in a large rocky terrain. Mountains in the distance, with a smattering of trees here and there. That got him curious. He was on an Element Zero rich planet just like his old planet. Maybe…he could do some of his old ninja moves?
Walking up to a nearby tree, with his team looking at him with confusion, Naruto laid a hand on the old oak, remembering what it was like in the Land of Fire. Kasumi saw the sad look on his face and was about to ask what was wrong before they all watched the blond put his feet on the tree and walked up tree! "W-what the hell?"
"Heh, this kid's full of surprises." Wrex muttered boredly, although he too, was impressed.
"Indeed." Thane replied, wondering how he did it…before the blond fell right on his ass when he was three quarters of the way up.
"Ow…" Naruto groaned out as he rubbed his ass. He looked up at his teammates and chuckled nervously. "Sorry, old thing I used to be able to do in rich Element Zero zones. It is a ninja thing."
Thane arched an eyebrow. "I was unaware humans were able to do that."
"Normally they can't." Naruto said with a shrug. "But then again, I am not from Earth or the colonies. I am from…some other place." They looked at him for a moment before they too shrugged, seeing as even he didn't know where he was from, they were not going to get an answer.
Before they could ask where they were supposed to go, they heard sharp retort of weapons fire. Nodding they took out their respective weapons and headed over to ridge. Peering over the edge, they saw a young Asari woman getting shot at by what they assumed as they agents of the Shadow Broker. There were about twenty of them. A few Vorcha, some Turians, a Krogan...some Salarians, and even a few Batarians. A Turian with red facial markings appeared to be in charge as it ordered the others to keep the pressure on while taunting the young Asari.
"You might as well give up, bitch!" The man yelled. "What the Shadow Broker wants, he gets! And not even T'loak's daughter is going to get in our way!"
"Damnit, this is not what was supposed to go down. I was just supposed to scout this place out." The young Asari growled to herself. Her name was Liselle and like the Turian said she was indeed Aria's daughter. He'd seen them together on occasion and it had been more than enough to make the connection. It made sense, really, why Aria wanted her "agent" off the planet.
She was a mother looking to protect her daughter from the likes of the Shadow Broker. And if his eyes weren't playing tricks on him, he would even say that was a reasonable cause. These guys were nuts.
"Ok, Wrex and I will distract them with a surprise attack. Kasumi, Kenji, and Thane, take the rest out from the shadows. These idiots won't know what hit them!" Naruto gave a dark chuckle as he finished giving them their orders, earning a smirk from Wrex. The old krogan wondered how the young human would start this.
When the three disappeared, Wrex asked, "So how you want to do this?"
"You any good with Biotics?" Naruto asked.
"Heh, I'm better with a gun, but I do have some biotic skill. What do you have in mind kid?"
Naruto smirked before he held out his hand and a red ball of swirling biotic energy formed. "Just try and keep up old man!" Naruto replied before he launched himself off the ledge and shoved the red ball right in the surprised Turian's gut. It connected solidly; blasted the avian alien into a nearby rock.
For a moment, there was total silence. Shocked silence from all in the fight before. Liselle could not believe someone was actually sent to save her. Her mother must have gotten word that the Shadow Broker's forces were here as well. Still, she had to admit that her savior was pretty cute and if she had to guess, this guy was who her mother spokeof on occasion.
However, none of that mattered to the forces sent to kill her. They recovered just as quickly and began their counterattack. However, that too was short lived as Wrex started laughing after he got over his shock and started raining down bullets on the warriors while Thane, Kasumi, and Kenji took out the stragling idiots on the side. They never knew what hit them.
However, there was on agent left and that was a Krogan, something Wrex picked up on when he saw it charging the blond. "Kid! Look out!"
Naruto ducked under a shotgun blast from the charging Krogan. Getting up quickly, he clapped his hands together as red biotic energy swirled around him and then split off in different waves. The energies formed into energy constructs of himself. Biotic Clones. Now that caught the Krogan of guard. So so much that the clone managed to punch him into the air. Naruto then followed up by throwing off his coat as his metal arm shifted into his cannon mode.
White energy blasted outward and struck the Krogan, before passing right through it. The krogan fell to the ground in a sizzling heap. Liselle looked on in awe as Naruto's arm shifted; the smoking aparatus reverting to a normal and he put his coat back on. "That was….amazing!" She yelled as she ran to the blond.
"Thanks?" Naruto asked as the old Krogan jumped down next to him while Kasumi, Kenji, and Thane appeared next to him, clearly impressed.
"I've never seen anyone use biotics like that!" Liselle gushed, taking his armin hers. "And you saved me too, so how do you want to be repaid cutie?"
"Wh-wha…" Naruto asked, not knowing how to respond to that. While he could take down a whole platoon of Shadow Broker forces-albeit with help from his friends-girls were still a mystery to him. Especially this one.
"Awe, little Naruto is saving grateful damsels in distress. He's growing up!" Kenji laughed with pretending to cry.
"Yes, our little brother is about to become a man!" Kasumi teased.
"I have a read several stories that include this sort of situation in human books." Thane replied, not really knowing that he was teasing the blond.
Wrex just grunted to himself. It was funny, but he had no jokes to say to mess with the kid.
Naruto's face was completely red, whether from embarrassment or anger, they couldn't tell. Suddenly, he rounded on them and with the use of biotics, he managed to mimic Iruka's big head jutsu. "NOBODY ASKED YOU!"
Liselle giggled while Kasumi and Kenji laughed. Wrex and Thane looked a little off guard at Naruto's panting form. The blond quickly straighten up before stomping off to the ship. "Let's go back to Omega already."
"Right behind ya cutie. Maybe we can have some fun on the ship!" Liselle cheered, knowing what effect she was having on the blond.
Naruto bristled before continuing his stomp back to the Azure Flame.
"This is going to be a long ride back…"
Naruto and his team made it back to Omega with little trouble. Luckily they got out of the dangerous system with little trouble, of course there were a few close calls with the asteroid belts.
Now, they were back in the club called Afterlife. The booming music was a welcome change to Kasumi and Kenji's teasing. Aria smiled when she saw Naruto and his team come up to her with Liselle clinging to Naruto arm, who gave her a pleading look.
Aria smirked at that. "I'm glad you found my daughter, which I am sure you already figured out."
"Yep." The whole group replied.
"Good." Aria replied before a thought came to mind to tease the blond. She put on a serious mother face and stated. "So, are you planning on courting my daughter, Naruto?"
"W-what?" Naruto stuttered.
"Well, judging by the way my daughter is clinging to your arm, I'd say the two of you are a couple now." Aria replied while her guards all chuckled at the good entertainment. He w
"Wait a second." Naruto replied, sweating up a storm. "Wait a second!"
"Oh Naruto, you really want us to be like that?" Liselle asked, catching on.
"I-I don't know if I am ready for any of that!" Naruto freaked out.
Finally, Aria could not take it anymore and laughed, making the others laugh as well at Naruto's flustered state. "Oh, don't worry, we're just messing with you. Now I have the Engine Core ready to go and got you a better ship to hold it in while also getting your Kodiak in there as well." Naruto didn't know what was really going on so he just sighed and thanked her. He was too flustered to do anything else.
Aria nodded herself. "Like I said, I also have a surprise for you. You know what a Spectre is, right?" Naruto scratched his head, not seeing how this was relevant. "Yeah, they protect Citadel Space and all that. Basically the right hand of the Council, right?"
"Correct." Aria nodded, amusement prancing in her eyes. "Now, since I'm in charge of this place. I hereby appoint you the Phantom of the Terminus Systems. It's basically the same thing as a spectre, but you'll report to me and me alone. I trust you, that is why I am doing this." A slow smile worked its way across her face. "And, just in case you get any ideas, I won't take no for an answer."
Naruto didn't know what to say. He was deeply honored that Aria would choose him to be the protector all of the Terminus Systems. Not that they needed protecting mind you due to being pretty much lawless. He'd simply be reporting to Aria, just as he always had. Giving the position a title was really a formality in and of itself. Still, it was an honor he had no intention of refusing.
"I accept." he managed at last.
"Good, now if you ever need anything, just ask." Aria replied, turning away from him.
"Yeah, see ya later cutie." Liselle said.
Naruto opened his mouth to say something and promptly snapped it shut. Words were unecessary. He had what he came for. Time to say his goodbyes and report back to the fleet while his dignity-what was left of it-was still intact. Kasum and Keiji were gone almost before he'd even had the chance to say goodbye. He'd promised to keep in contact with Thane, and Wrex, well...if they ever saw each other again the old krogan promised him an entire barrel of ryncol-whatever that stuff was-upon his return.
His mission complete, Naruto gave his farewells to everyone and headed back to the shuttle. Sure enough, the engine core was there, tethered to a gleaming black vessel that put the Kodiak to shame. Years of piloting experienced kicked in as he navigated through the Mass Relay that would eventually lead him back to the flotilla. A few short jumps later and the Mirgant fleet loomed before his vision.
"You are entering a restricted area." A voice crackled over the comm. "Identify."
"This is Naruto nar Alarei, seeking permission to rejoin the fleet."
His answer was clear and simple.
"My body travels to distant stars but my soul remains with the fleet."
There was a silence. Then:
"Welcome back, Naruto nar Alarei." Meaning, welcome back Naruto, child of the Alarei. "Admiral Rael'Zorah's been waiting for you." Naruto puzzled at that one, but decided to ignore the remark. He was probably waiting for the engine core, that's all. He found himself yawning as the docking ports latched into place; securing the shuttle, and its most precious cargo. The mission had taken its toll on him. He was tired. Borderline exhausted, really. He needed to catch some shut eye, and soon. There would be plenty of time for that, once they had their brand new engine core installed, he reasoned.
After he saw Tali, of course.
After he found out what Rael wanted with him.
He could only begin to wonder what the man he'd come to see as his father figure had planned...
...and how very little he knew.
A/N: Aaaand there you have it! Naruto is not from earth. He's from another planet entirely, one in which humanity became something entirely different than the Reapers predicted! As promised the events of Mass Effect 1 begin next chapter, and Naruto and Tali will almost certainly be at the forefront of things! So will Commander Shepard of course, but that's a given! Because next time...NARUTO AND TALI GET SENT ON THEIR PILGRIMAGE!