Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, last I checked. I have a couple of plans in motion, though...
Chapter One: An End
"I can help you, just release me!"
Tobi struggled with all his might, trying feverishly to break out of the seals that bound him.
The monster in human form grinned at him. "In a sec, in a sec. Now look, Naruto's clone runs in. Are you following me?"
"I already know all this." Tobi growled.
"Oh no, you see, this is where it gets good." The thing said. "So, the clone tosses the jutsu..."
Tobi tried to activate his Kamui. A fiery burst of pain exploded in his right eye. The masked man let out a scream.
"Are you really going to keep doing that?" The monster asked. "Here, maybe you'll stop if I take that mask off."
A wave of ice surged through his veins. Tobi tried frantically to will his body into action, but his muscles would not respond to his command. His captor reached out a hand and plucked the mask from his head.
The monster gave an incredulous laugh. "Obito Uchiha? Oh, that's fantastic! Kakashi is going to have a fit when he learns about this one! I'd give my left arm to know... wait, no, I'm going to know in a couple of minutes anyway! Silly me."
"I am not Obito Uchiha!" Tobi snarled. "Obito Uchiha died..."
"Yes, yes, blah blah blah." The thing said. "Anyway, the clone tosses the jutsu, the chakra goes up the statue and boom! There's a big explosion. And everyone in the room has their souls plucked out of their bodies and sent merrily spiraling back into the past!"
Tobi's eyes widened as the seals began to take effect. Claws of burning fire reached into his head and began tearing at his mind.
"Except not." The monster leaned in close, a savage, inhuman smile on its face. "Because that, you see, is where things went wrong."
(Namiashi Wastes - Land of Lightning)
It was a cold cloudy day in September, and the human race was doomed.
A vicious wind howled over the landscape towards him, driving sharp flecks of sand into his sensitive eyes. Above, the dark sky promised a thunderstorm, growling angrily as black clouds boiled over. The land around them, once a lush, verdant forest, was now a blasted, broken wasteland. The air around them was thick with the bitter tang of ash and smoke, making Naruto's nose twitch in irritation. And at the opposite side of that blasted heath stood nearly three-dozen resurrected ninja, and one living one.
As Naruto stared out at the hordes of the dead, his stomach twinged with nausea. He recognized many of the people standing in those still, silent ranks. Haku, Asuma, Zabuza, Nagato, Sasori. All torn from their peaceful oblivions and forced to fight in the cause of Madara Uchiha. If he failed here today, this was what humanity would become. Empty, soulless puppets, slaves to the whims of a madman.
They had already clashed with Madara and his six jinchuriki once. Now, he and Bee had another twenty or so S-rank ninja to deal with. Kakuzu, Deidara, Kimimaro, any one of the shinobi facing them could pose a significant threat on their own. To have to contend with all of them at once appeared an insurmountable challenge. Nevertheless, he would not allow himself to flee.
Iruka had given him his blessing. The world was counting on him. The Fourth Shinobi World War was in his hands.
"Ready?" He asked, eyes focused on the masked man at the back of the throng.
Bee nodded. "Ready."
Naruto clasped his hands together and a cloak of brilliant yellow light exploded into being around him.
"Then let's begin."
As one, the two jinchuriki began their charge. On the opposite side of the ruined sandy wasteland, the resurrected shinobi with ranged attacks began flashing through hand seals.
A second later, a maelstrom of blades, fireballs, dragons, boulders and missiles flew out of the crowd.
Naruto leapt into the air, narrowly avoiding a swarm of shuriken. A water dragon flew up to meet him, hungry maw threatening to swallow him. Creating an arm of chakra, Naruto met the attack with a Rasengan. The dragon destabilized instantly, exploding into harmless water.
Below, Bee dodged to the side as a titanic boulder nearly took his head off. Morphing his arm into a tentacle, the dark-skinned man grabbed Naruto's leg and flung him high into the air. The distraction cost him; a Raiton-enhanced shuriken took him in the right shoulder. He was knocked back, cursing loudly.
Flying through the air at breathtaking speed, Naruto was propelled right over the storm of attacks below. Before any of the resurrected shinobi could react, the Kyuubi jinchuriki landed directly in their midst. Creating two more limbs of chakra, Naruto drove Rasengan into the chests of the two ninja closest to him; a long-haired Hyuga and the Fourth Kazekage, sending them flying back into the shinobi around them.
Spinning on the ball of his foot, Naruto charged towards Madara. A dozen shinobi moved to block his path. A grinning, red-haired woman with a Mist headband slashed at him with a pair of swords, lightning crackling around her. Naruto slid under the attack, lashing out with an attack of his own that turned her leg into ash.
Zabuza and Kimimaro leapt through the air towards him, weapons raised. Naruto lashed out with yet more chakra limbs and the two were flung backwards.
From behind, a man with a bizarre hammer-like weapon darted towards him. Leaping above the man's swing, Naruto used the man's shoulder as a launching pad and vaulted backwards towards Madara. The Third Raikage leapt to meet him, right hand alight with lightning chakra and drawn back for a strike. In response, Naruto summoned a dozen clones, each surrounded by a chakra cloak. Using the shoulders of his clone as a handhold, Naruto propelled himself even higher into the air, sacrificing the clone to the Raikage's attack. Below, the rest of his clones engaged the resurrected.
Suddenly, a thin, blue strand of chakra wrapped itself around his leg and yanked him violently downwards. Progress arrested mid-flight, Naruto was pulled downwards, straight towards Sasori. From behind the puppeteer, a Suna kunoichi with orange-and-green hair ran out to meet him, hands flashing through seals.
Forming a mini-Rasenshuriken, Naruto flung it towards the woman. The tiny ball of light sliced straight through her neck and expanded, turning both her and Sasori into clouds of ash.
Alerted by the odd sound of steam being exhaled, Naruto turned to see a titanic man in red shell-armor traveling towards him at high speeds. The man's punch drove into his gut like a freight train, propelling him backwards through the air. Naruto landed awkwardly, blood dripping from his mouth. His remaining clones moved to cover him, holding off the rest of the enemy so that he could catch his breath.
How the hell was he supposed to win this? Any damage he dished out, the dead simply regenerated from! Even if he turned them into ash, they just kept coming back!
A short distance away, Bee had recovered and was engaging a swordsman from Mist. Catching the tall, masked man's needle-like sword on Samehada, Bee lashed out with a brutal kick that caught him in the face. The other swordsman fell backwards, laughing madly as he did so.
"Hey yo, Naruto, these zombies are really messing with my flow!" Bee yelled.
Naruto looked at him. "Yeah I kno... Whoa!"
A red-cloaked Deidara somersaulted over the line of clones, flinging small clay birds at Naruto as he did so. The jinchuriki jumped to the side, barely avoiding the resulting explosion.
Deidara landed a short distance from him. "Long time no see, un!"
Naruto launched a tendril of chakra towards him. Deidara dodged it, twirling to the side as he flung more explosives at the jinchuriki. Naruto growled and charged at the man. His hands grasped at empty air, the bomber leapt backwards and summoned a large clay bird to act as a mount.
The bird began to gain height. Deidara laughed. "Can't get me up here, can you? I hope you're ready for my C..."
Deidara's speech was cut off as the lanky swordsman that Bee had been fighting slammed into him at high speeds, knocking him off the bird and sending the two of them plummeting to the ground.
Bee grinned at Naruto, the arm that he'd used to toss the swordsman shrinking back to regular size. "Yo, little bro, figured you'd appreciate the sa..."
A chakra arm launched through the air, slapped the brown-haired shinobi who had been moving to impale Bee out of the sky and sending him right back into the clone-melee.
Bee blinked. "...Thanks."
Naruto smiled. "No problem."
From within the crowd, a creature that Naruto recognized as one of Kakuzu's mask creatures released a torrent of fire. Instantly, another four of his clones were wiped out.
Bee looked to Naruto. "I hope you don't hate, but I'm going to bring out the big eight!"
Spitting a mouthful of blood onto the ground, Naruto nodded. "Go ahead. We won't be able to handle them as we are."
Slicing his finger open with one of his canines, Naruto drove it into the ground "Summoning!"
A titanic cloud of smoke appeared, covering the entire battlefield. The resurrected froze in place, alert for any attempt to use the smoke as a distraction to strike at Akatsuki's leader.
From somewhere in the mist came a cry. "Futon: Great Breakthrough!"
As the smoke began to clear, several forms slowly came into definition.
Gamabunta. Gamahiro. Gamaken. Gyuki.
From his position on top of Gamabunta's head, Naruto smirked.
"The real fight begins now."
Oh. That could prove a problem.
From his position at the back of the horde, Tobi began issuing orders to a Zetsu. "Have Nagato summon the Dog, the Rhino and the Bird. Keep the rest of his summons in reserve. The Third Raikage and the Dog handle Gamabunta. Kakuzu, Toroi and Mangetsu deal with Gamaken. Deidara and Mu handle Gamahiro. Nagato, the Rhino and the Kazekage take on the Hachibi. Everyone else is to focus on the Kyuubi container."
The Zetsu would instantly relay his instructions to another, who would then pass them onto Kabuto. Tobi couldn't risk having him at the battlefield. Having Sasuke break Kabuto's mind with his Sharingan had had some unfortunate side effects; the medic had been reduced to a drooling shell capable only of obeying orders. It was having an effect on the shinobi resurrected with Edo Tensei, too. While the ones who retained their personalities (like Deidara) were still fighting at close to full strength, the ninja who had to be controlled manually had had their reaction times slowed significantly. As a result, Naruto and Bee were tossing S-Rank ninja around like nine-pins. Still, it was worth it to finally have the smarmy medic completely under his control. All the conditions for victory had been met. Now, all that remained was the acquisition of the final two bijuu.
It shouldn't be long, either. There was no possible way that Naruto and Bee could handle the entirety of his forces. They hadn't even been able to handle him and his six jinchuriki.
Actually, maybe he'd keep those in reserve. His first clash with them had already drained a significant portion of his chakra. Better to let the rest of the resurrected go first.
As per his orders, Nagato's summons materialized in front of his forces. All he had to do now was sit back and watch.
As if waiting for his mental command, Nagato's dog summon ran forward. The rest of his forces did the same, converging on their chosen targets.
Seeing the dog coming at him, Gamabunta slid to the side, swinging at it with his tanto. The giant weapon carved through the monster's head like a knife through butter, sending it crashing to the ground.
Gamaken turned to beat the summon down before it could regenerate. Seizing the opportunity, Mangetsu leapt up onto the magenta toad's head and dealt him a punishing blow with Shibuki. The great toad made a yelp of pain and reflexively lashed out, hitting Gamabunta with his sasumata.
From their positions on the ground, Zabuza, Haku, Fuguki, Jinan and the Second Mizukage each launched off a water dragon. The five dragons combined into one enormous one, speeding like an arrow at Gamabunta. A clone appeared at Naruto's side and leapt into the path of the attack, a Rasenshuriken screeching in its outstretched hand. Both the clone and the dragon were obliterated.
Deidara and Mu flew up into the air, circling Gamahiro. Mu raised his hands, and a Jinton cube formed between them. Sensing danger, Gamahiro leapt backwards just as the attack was launched and the cube landed harmlessly in the dirt below.
The now two-headed dog summon leapt up from where it had fallen, launching itself towards Gamabunta. An enormous tentacle caught it in mid-flight. The Hachibi lifted the creature and tossed it into the air. A dark ball of black energy formed on the Hachibi's mouth.
"Nighty night, motherfucker!" It yelled.
The black ball of energy caught the dog summon in the chest. There was a magnificent explosion of white light. When it dissipated, no trace of the creature remained.
From his position on top of Gamaken's head, Mangetsu continued to pound at Gamaken with his explosive blade. Seeing the toad in distress, Naruto moved to assist, only to be blocked mid-jump by Hanzo, who was mounted on Nagato's bird summon. Dodging the sickle part of Hanzo's kusarigama in mid-air, Naruto grabbed onto the chain and yanked Hanzo off the back of the bird. The two plummeted towards the ground together.
Screaming in pain, Gamaken finally managed to wrap his hands around Mangetsu, only for the man to morph into water. Taking advantage of the toad's distraction, Kakuzu leapt up in front of him and extended his hands. A wave of tendrils shot out of the man's sleeves and began to burrow into Gamaken's skin, anchoring Kakuzu to the toad.
Kakuzu grinned. "Katon: Intelligent Hard Work."
A wind-enhanced fireball emerged from Kakuzu's mouth and hit Gamaken directly in the face. The toad screamed again and fell backwards.
Gamahiro continued to dodge Deidara's and Mu's attacks, taking occasional hits from Deidara's clay bombs. The toad was paying much more attention to Mu than to Deidara, which seemed to be irritating the bomber to no end.
The rhino summon lowered its head and made a charge at Bee, only to be impaled from the side by Gamabunta. The Toad Boss flipped the rhino onto the ground and began stabbing it repeatedly.
Freed from the threat of the summon, Bee turned his attention to Tobi. "You've been going steady, but I hope you're ready!"
As before, a ball of black chakra began forming in the Hachibi's mouth. Suddenly, a tsunami of gold dust flew up from the crowd of resurrected and formed a noose around the bijuu's neck. The noose yanked the creature's head upwards, forcing it to fire the attack harmlessly into the sky.
Landing hard on the ground, Naruto was forced to immediately leap backwards to avoid being split in half by Zabuza's sword. Behind him, Hanzo got to his feet. With Zabuza, Kimimaro, Hanzo, Asuma, Kushimaru, Ameyuri and Jinin all charging at him with weapons raised, Naruto did the only thing he could think of. Thirty clones came into being and immediately engaged the seven kenjutsu experts.
Gamaken lay on his back, still struggling feebly. Kakuzu released the tendrils that were attached to the toad's chest and climbed up onto his head. The Akatsuki member placed his palms flat on the summon's face, just below his right eye. More tendrils emerged from his hands and began burrowing towards the toad's brain. The toad's struggles slowed, and then stopped forever.
After a surprisingly large number of stabs, the rhino summon finally disappeared. Gamabunta turned, only to be struck in the chest by the Third Raikage's Four-Finger Hell Stab. Electricity shot through the toad's body, and he began to convulse involuntarily.
Seizing the chance, Kimimaro broke away from the Naruto clone that it was engaging and leapt into Gamabunta's mouth. An arsenal of razor-sharp bones burst out of the Kaguya's body. Kimimaro began slashing at the toad's mouth and throat, trying to make his way to the summon's brain. Obviously panicked beyond reason, the creature dispelled itself and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
The golden noose around the Hachibi's neck began to tighten. Growling, the creature wrapped its tentacles around the collar and pulled. The noose fell apart, but reformed into a long, thin blade.
Noticing his ally's distress, Naruto turned his attention to the Fourth Kazekage. A translucent fox head formed around Naruto's own, and the jinchuriki fell down onto his hands and knees. A bijudama began to form in the construct's mouth.
Tobi prepared to activate his intangibility technique.
With a roar, Naruto fired the ball of energy. Right before the black ball hit the Fourth Kazekage, Nagato leapt in the way. The red-haired man caught the ball in his hands, attempting to absorb its power. The attempt was only partially successful. Rather than leveling an entire mountain range, this attack only expanded to about the size of one of Naruto's Rasenshurikens. Nagato, the Fourth Kazekage and several other shinobi were completely obliterated, although they quickly began to reform again.
The gold dust that had been threatening the Hachibi fell to the ground, the controller incapacitated for now. Immediately, Kakuzu, Kimimaro and the Third Raikage moved to fill the gap.
A short distance away, Deidara and Mu still hadn't been able to bring down Gamahiro. It seemed to now be pissing Deidara off to no end.
"Screw it." Deidara growled. "Time to bring out my masterpiece, un!"
Deidara shoved handfuls of clay into his mouth, then turned and vomited it out over the side of his bird. The clay trickled to the ground, then began to take the shape of a gigantic version of Deidara.
Tobi blinked. Then he blinked again, not believing what he was seeing.
Deidara had used C4.
Deidara had used the technique that disintegrated people on a cellular level. On the people that they absolutely could not allow to be killed.
What in god's name was wrong with the man!?
Tobi span around to face the Zetsu. "Have Nagato use Shinra Tensei. Maximum strength."
"What?" The Zetsu said, confusion clear on its face. "But that will..."
Deidara's construction was beginning to bloat.
Nagato had almost finished reforming.
"I know what it will do!" Tobi said, for the first time since the beginning of the war feeling truly panicked. "Just do it! Now!"
The C4 doll burst open.
The Rinnegan-bearer raised his hands. "Shinra Tensei!"
And the world exploded.
Peck. Peck peck.
Naruto let out a groan. "Mmmph..."
Where was... what had...
Fourth Shinobi World War. Evil ninja. Wake up.
Naruto opened his eyes.
There was a crow pecking at his leg. Naruto gave the limb a shake and it flew away squawking.
He was lying in a very uncomfortable thorn-bush. Somewhere in the middle of a forest, apparently. There didn't seem to be anyone else around.
He must have been catapulted here when Nagato used that jutsu. It was a miracle that he'd survived the flight.
Still, this was no time to be lying around! He needed to get back to the action!
First of all, though, he should probably try and find a member of the Allied Shinobi Forces. It was weird, he hadn't seen any trace of them anywhere! The only people he'd met since leaving the island were Bee and those weird tree people.
Naruto slowly got to his feet, feeling his muscles groan in protest. To be fair, it had been a very long day.
Forming a couple of clones to gather up nature energy, Naruto slipped out of the clearing.
A few minutes of searching later, the jinchuriki caught a glimpse of something moving in the distance. Stealing his way through the trees, Naruto finally got close enough to identify the characteristic, ponytailed form of one Shikamaru Nara.
The blonde gave a sigh of relief. Finally.
Naruto stepped out from behind the tree. "Shikamaru! Over here!"
His friend turned to face him, and in that moment Naruto realized that something was very, very wrong.
Shikamaru's eyes were jet-black. His skin was cracked and broken.
Upon seeing him, Shikamaru's eyes widened. "Naruto! You have to get out of here!"
"Shikamaru, what the hell happened?" Naruto demanded "Where are..."
"We lost, Naruto! They're dead! They're all dead! You need to run!" Shikamaru yelled, the panic clear in his voice.
Naruto shook his head, unable to comprehend what he was hearing. "Dead? Who? Sakura? Kakashi? Ino? Chouji?"
"Everyone! They're all gone!" Shikamaru shouted, pain clear in his voice. "Now go! They can see through my eyes, Naruto! They know you're here!"
"How? How did it happen?" Naruto yelled.
"I can't stop myself!" Shikamaru yelled. "Just go!"
Suddenly, the sound of chirping birds came from Naruto's rear. Dodging to the side, Naruto avoided Kakashi's Chidori with inches to spare. The copy-nin landed next to Shikamaru and turned to face him.
Just like Shikamaru, Kakashi bore the unmistakable signs of Edo Tensei.
"Kakashi-sensei? You too? How?" Naruto whispered.
"Deidara put C3 bombs into Zetsu constructs disguised as Allied shinobi, which detonated whilst in the midst of our forces. The First and Third divisions were decimated and many of the reanimated shinobi were able to escape due to the blasts. Gaara has been resurrected, most of us are dead." Kakashi said, speaking quickly and with impressive calm. "I think Headquarters might still be operational. Now, you need to go before Madara gets here."
Naruto cocked his head to the side. "Madara? I've already been fighting Madara."
Kakashi shook his head. "The man in the mask isn't Madara. Madara is a thousand times worse. Now for god's sake, go!"
"Actually, I'd prefer if you didn't."
Naruto span around, searching for the speaker. In that instant, Shikamaru's shadow lashed out, latching onto Naruto's own.
"I'm sorry, Naruto." Shikamaru whispered.
Somewhere in the distance, one of Naruto's clones dispelled. Naruto's eyes went orange and he began fighting against Shikamaru's jutsu.
"I don't think that will be necessary." A man dressed in red armour with long, black hair emerged from the forest. "I'd rather end this quickly."
Naruto drew back his fist, ripping free of the shadow jutsu. The other man was faster.
With insane speed, Madara wrapped one hand around Naruto's throat and drove the other into his gut.
Pain like nothing he had ever felt before exploded through Naruto's body. A sharp, red-hot fire began to flow into his chest, making his way through his system. Arms and legs shaking out of sheer agony, Naruto weakly lifted his head.
A weird, black substance was seeping out of Madara's hand, seeping into his skin. Slowly, the pain began to lessen.
This was Madara? Then who was the other guy?
"I just imbibed you with a materialized portion of my will. Apparently, the Kyuubi does not appreciate it." Madara stated. "Still, it should stop you from manifesting any of its chakra for the time being."
"..not...on.." Naruto mumbled.
Madara raised him into the air by his neck. "I didn't quite catch that. What did you say?"
Naruto grinned. "I said... Surprise!"
Naruto yanked his head backwards and drove it into Madara's own.
Out of sheer surprise more than anything, Madara released him and stumbled backwards. Suddenly, the ground beneath Madara burst open and a loud, chiming sound shattered the air.
"What I actually said was... I have another clone!" Naruto yelled.
From beneath Madara's feet appeared his second clone. The man's eyes widened and he tried to activate some sort of jutsu, but he was too late. With sadistic glee, the clone drove the Rasenshuriken into Madara's crotch. There was a burst of blue light, and Madara disappeared. Kakashi and Shikamaru, who had moved to assist, were obliterated too.
For a second, Naruto just stood there, panting. Then, he raised his trembling hands into the clone seal. A single clone appeared.
Naruto nodded to it. The clone saluted, and took off into the trees. Then, spinning around, Naruto took off in the other direction.
If this had been a fair fight, then that would have been the end of Madara. Unfortunately, he wasn't so lucky. He had no means of permanently sealing Madara. The Kyuubi's chakra was sealed. His allies were either dead or gone...
Oh god. Sakura.
No. He couldn't think about that now. There would be time to mourn the dead later, but the living still needed him. And even if he couldn't escape, he could perform one last act.
As he'd thought, it didn't take long before Madara's presence reappeared behind him. Rather than chasing after him immediately, the presence seemed to remain in the same place.
Well, the longer Madara stayed off his trail, the better.
When he looked around half a minute later, he immediately rescinded that thought.
A large portion of the forest was simply gone. In its place stood a glowing red behemoth taller than most mountains. The samurai-thing's glowing white eyes were fixed upon his fleeing figure.
Naruto stared at the thing for a second, then the corners of his mouth quirked up in a rueful smile.
Truly, it was a foe fitting for the great future Hokage Uzumaki Naruto.
The Susanoo drew back one of its swords and swung it in an overhead arc towards him. Unable to get out of the way in time, Naruto instead remained stock still. As the sword drew close, the Kyuubi jinchuriki suddenly raised his hands.
And caught the blade. Centimeters from his head.
"Raaaargh!" Naruto screamed in exertion.
Slowly, arms trembling with the effort, Naruto began to lift the blade away from his face. The Susanoo remained still for a second, as if surprised, then drew its other sword. Raising it high in the air, it came in for a second strike.
Letting go of the first blade with his left hand, Naruto caught the second one too.
The strain was unbelievable! Even with sage mode, his hands felt as if they were on fire!
His feet began to sink into the dirt. Mustering every shred of energy, Naruto pushed with a strength he didn't know he possessed. With every muscle in his body straining under the pressure, the Kyuubi jinchuriki... began to... lift... the blades.
Suddenly, a shadow blocked the sun, blanketing the immediate area in darkness. Steadily making progress with the Susanoo's swords, Naruto looked up to see a dark shadow descending from the heavens. A gigantic ball of rock, half the size of Konoha.
"Oh, come on..." Naruto groaned.
He couldn't move from this spot or those swords would crush him. Even if he could, there was no way he could get out of the way of that meteorite in time. He'd just have to hope that sage mode and his Uzumaki blood would keep him safe.
Three seconds before the meteorite hit the ground, his nature chakra ran out.
Unconsciousness came within an instant.
(Four Days later - Naruto's Mindscape)
Naruto flew backwards, landing harshly against the walls of the sewer.
The Kyuubi roared. "Fool! After all the gifts you were given! After all the advantages you had! You failed! And to think I almost believed in your Will of Fire crap!"
The Nine-Tailed bijuu continued its advance towards Naruto, stepping out of the open cage doors. Naruto tried vainly to lever himself off the ground, but his muscles simply would not obey.
Reaching its host, the Kyuubi stopped and lowered its head over Naruto, transfixing him with its enormous orange eyes. "All your promises, broken. I give you my chakra, and what do I get in return? Nothing but hollow words!"
"Please... Kurama..." Naruto pleaded.
The Kyuubi roared, and battered him with its paw once again. "You do not get to call me by that name, Uzumaki! I am the nine-tailed Demon Lord Kyuubi! I was a fool to believe that we could ever be anything more than enemies!"
Naruto slumped to the ground, too drained by the events of the last week to even think about resisting. The Nine-tailed fox turned away from him, and stared up towards the roof of the mindscape.
Kurama laughed bitterly. "Listen well, human. You mean nothing to me now. Even if this act destroys you from the inside out, I. Will. Not. Die. Here.
And with those final words, the Kyuubi began preparing a Bijudama.
Madara and Sasuke were out mopping up the last of the Allied Shinobi forces.
Kabuto had been put in his place.
Itachi Uchiha was chained to the wall and bound with repressor seals.
And they had just began the final extraction of the Kyuubi.
Tobi allowed himself a sigh of satisfaction. Finally, decades of planning had come to fruition.
Akatsuki had won. Utopia would finally come, and a perfect world would be everyone's to enjoy.
On each of the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path's ten fingers stood a shinobi that Tobi considered somehow symbolic to Uzumaki's life. Kakashi, Shikamaru, Zabuza, Gaara, Kimimaro, Sasori, Deidara, Kakuzu, Nagato and, of course, himself. Not usually his style, but he could afford to be a little theatrical now and then.
By the entrance to the cave, Asuma, Haku and Chiyo stood guard. On the floor of the cavern lay the cold body of Killer Bee.
Three more days. Three more days and everything would end.
Tobi was snapped out of his musings by an exclamation from Deidara. "What the hell is that, un?"
Something had gone wrong. Bright strands of red energy, tempered with a strange black hue, were flowing out of Naruto's body into the blue miasma surrounding him.
Tobi swore. "Shut it down! Shut the jutsu down, now!"
The Akatsuki members began making hand seals, moving through the sequence that would end the ritual.
Suddenly, a familiar chiming sound came from the entrance to the cavern. Spinning around, Tobi was greeted to the sight of another Naruto racing through the entrance, straight past his resurrected guards.
Damn useless Kabuto!
"Hey mask-man!" The other Naruto yelled. "Eat this!"
Leaping high into the air, the Naruto flung the Rasenshuriken it was holding straight into the middle of the circle. Tobi was forced to phase out to avoid being killed by the blast. The other resurrected shinobi were not so lucky, dissolving into clouds of ash.
The chakra at the center of the Rasenshuriken, however, seemed to be absorbed into the ritual chakra, turning it into a chaotic maelstrom of blue, black, red and purple hues.
The clone was dispelled by a well-aimed senbon from Haku upon landing, but the damage was done. The chaos began flowing up the chakra streams, towards the statue itself.
Frantically, Tobi tried to dismiss the summoning jutsu. The statue began vibrating violently, but remained in place.
The Kyuubi's chakra hit the statue.
From his bound position, Itachi smirked.
And the world turned white.
Edit (27/4/2012): Hey, assorted people. If any of you read this story before the time of this edit, you probably know that the first chapter of this story used to be completely different to this one. Unfortunately, however, it was confusing and poorly-constructed. So it has now been replaced by this one.
That said, the original chapter showed how events got to this stage in the first place, which this one doesn't. As such, I don't want to get rid of it entirely, so I've stuck it into its own one-chapter story under the title 'Failed Reset: The Fall'. It's no longer the first chapter of this story for a reason, but it's still completely canon so feel free to check it out if you want a bit of background on what happened.
Also, combat sequences with 30+ combatants? Pure evil. Seriously.
Naruto with bijuu-cloak? Also evil. And compared to the combat abilities of characters like Sasori, Kakashi or Kakuzu, surprisingly uninteresting to write, may I add. He pretty much just wipes everything out. There are changes coming, though.
Thanks to ElementKitsune for the beta.
Oh yeah! They say all good stories have a hook in the first chapter!
Eheheh, aren't I hilarious?
No I am not.
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