Reaper Threat v2
Normandy SR-2: Bridge
"How far out are we from Eden Prime, Joker?" Naruto inquired of the helmsman
"About five hours," came the reply, "Plenty of time for Shepard."
"I can only hope," the blonde ninja said.
"Naruto," came Ashley's voice over the comm, "Do you have a few minutes?"
"Sure, Ash, what's up?"
"I've been inventorying our ship's arms and armors with Vega, and it seems that Aratech Arsenal sent a new armor suit they want you to test out."
"I'll be down in a few minutes," Naruto advised Ashley, then turned to the ship's pilot and said, "Let me know when we're at Eden Prime, Joker."
"Will do, man," Joker replied, and after that, Naruto turned and walked through the C.I.C. to the lift, taking the short drop down to the shuttle bay, where the new armory was located.
"Ash," he called out, stepping from the lift.
"Over here, Naruto," Ashley answered, gesturing for him to come over to where she was at. The shinobi got more curious as he ventured over to the armor locker. Ashley Williams looked different from when Naruto had first met her. She had grown her hair out, and she had foregone the white and pink armor suit for a suit of blue armor, or while on the ship, an Alliance Non-Dress blue uniform. She opened up the armor locker to show Naruto a streamlined black armor suit with orange highlights.
"Alliance R&D found this and other shinobi-styled armor suits on the Cerberus networks," Ashley explained, "They sent the designs to Aratech to be developed for Alliance Shinobi personnel, since the Shinobi work closely with the Alliance, and a lot of them now also serve on Alliance ships. This one is called the 'Shade'. One has been sent to you, and one to Sasuke to test. This one boosts damage from your chakra powers. They have one other that needs testing, called the 'Nightmare', which boosts melee and weapon damage."
"Melee damage, you say? I may know someone who can test it out for them," Naruto said, amused, "EDI, get me Rock Lee on the Dreadnaught, Rushmore."
"At once, Naruto," EDI responded, and her voice was soon replaced by that of Rock Lee.
"Lee here," the taijutsu specialist called.
"Lee, it's Naruto. How've you been?" Uzumaki asked of his old friend.
"Naruto, it has been way too long," Lee stated, excited, "I have been just fine. Neji and Tenten are also on the Rushmore, but Gai-Sensei is still on the home world."
"That's cool, Lee," Naruto noted, "Look the reason I'm calling is that Aratech arsenal has sent the Alliance some new armor suits to be tested by us Shinobi. Sasuke and I have one to test which boosts the damage done by our jutsu, but we have one here that needs to be tested by taijutsu specialists. I thought of you and Neji. Have the captain of the Rushmore get in touch with Aratech and have the suit called 'Nightmare' sent to you two for testing. It's being developed for shinobi, so they're already set for our chakra system."
"Thank you, Naruto, I will contact the captain at once. Is there anything you want to say to the others?"
"Just stay safe and I'll see you guys around the galaxy. Naruto out." EDI then cut the connection, as Naruto turned back to Ashley. "We'll have a chance to test it out soon enough. We're on our way to Eden Prime."
"Shepard said the visions were back," Ash replied, "Where is she now?"
"Up in her cabin, trying to sleep. She's not had a decent night's sleep in 2 days. You were at Eden Prime. What exactly happened there?"
"That's where I first met her," Ash explained, "I was stationed on Eden Prime with the 212th Marine division. My whole division was wiped out by geth and husks. She, and Kaidan helped me, and then I joined the Normandy crew. She first got the visions when she threw Alenko out of the way, after he got too close to a Prothean beacon."
"Thanks, Ash," Naruto said, "I've got to get back up to the C.I.C. Have that suit ready in a few hours. We'll be going back down to Eden Prime, as soon as we get there." Naruto then turned and headed back to the lift.
Shinobi Home world – Land of Earth.
Sasuke Uchiha had traveled from Konoha to the Land of Earth. He read, for the ninth time, the text on the Sage of Six Paths and set a nav point on his omni-tool, then began walking. He found himself looking over the area, which was far away from the village of Iwagakure. "This has to be the area where Kaguya found the God-tree," he thinks to himself, remembering his readings with Tsunade.
Flashback – Konoha – Hokage's mansion – 16 hours prior
"Kaguya, the sage's mother, searched long for the 'God-tree', to eat of its fruit," Tsunade read, "This fruit gave her chakra. She soon had two sons, who had inherited her chakra. One of them became the Sage of Six Paths. Her sons had sealed the Ten-Tails, the avatar of the God-Tree's anger, within themselves, when it came in search of the chakra that Kaguya had taken."
"A useful legend, but a legend none the less," Sasuke thought out loud, "We now know that something changed our genetic makeup, which gave us our chakra abilities. Could it come from this Kaguya, a common ancestor?"
"I think so. The thing is, it doesn't say anything about the origin of the God-tree."
"Does it say where Kaguya found the God-tree?"
"It sure does," Tsunade stated, "I'll get you a map."
"So Kaguya found the God-tree around this area," Sasuke thought, "There has to be something that shows the Jyuubi's origin around here somewhere." He found a cave not far off, and ventured in.
Thessia – Temple of Athame
Liara T'Soni's search had shown results. Where once stood a statue of the Goddess Athame, there now stood a huge Prothean archive. She stepped up to it, and punched up a few commands. Not long after, a green orb of light came from the command console, and took the form of a Prothean.
"I do not sense the taint of indoctrination in you, Asari," it says, "And I do not see the Reapers around. Can it be that the galaxy has been saved from the Reapers?"
"Not at this moment," Liara explained, "We are preparing, but we need to know more."
"I will come with you, then," the Prothean construct noted, "And we must go to the Archive on the 4th planet of the Sol system." The Prothean construct loaded itself, and a copy of the archive, onto her Omni-tool, and the Asari shadow broker turned to leave the temple.
Normandy SR-2 - C.I.C. – In orbit over Eden Prime.
"Naruto," Joker said over the ship's comm, "We're in orbit over Eden Prime. Cortez will have the shuttle ready when you and Shepard are ready to go."
"Ok," Naruto nodded, "I'll go get Alexa." He turned from the Galaxy map, and walked into the lift. He hoped beyond hope that Alexa Shepard had been able to get some sleep during the trip.
The lift stopped and the door opened, emptying into the cabin that Shepard and Naruto shared. He walked into the room and looked over at the slumbering form of his commander and lover on the bed. She seemed to be resting, and Naruto breathed a sigh of relief. He walked over to Shepard's side and lightly shook her. "Alexa," he quietly said, "We're at Eden Prime."
Shepard blinked her eyes as she got them to focus. "Thanks, Naruto," she said, smiling up at the shinobi. She sat up and turned her legs over the side of the bed, as she rubbed her eyes. "How long was I down?"
"About five hours," Naruto replied, "You rest ok?"
"I think so. I sure feel better than I did earlier."
"Ok, Cortez will be waiting for us at the shuttle. Who's coming with us?"
"Ash," Shepard answered, "She was with me on Eden Prime before, and may remember a few things."
"I will advise Lieutenant Williams," EDI stated, as Shepard finally stood up.
"Thanks, EDI," Shepard responded. She and Naruto then walked out of the cabin, and into the lift, hitting the button to go down to the shuttle bay.
"Everything's ready to go," Ashley told Shepard and Naruto, "As soon as you're both armored up, we can leave." The two both head to the armor locker, and suit up. Shepard in the modified Cerberus armor that she had used previously, but was now black with red highlighting, and a red and white stripe down the left arm, and had the N7 logo on the right side of the chest plate. Naruto grabbed the 'Shade' armor that he was supposed to test. Both armed up with Mattock Assault rifles, the new Black Widow sniper rifle, and a new M-77 Paladin pistol. Ashley was already armored and armed herself with a Mattock, Paladin, and foregoing the sniper rifle for an M-27 Eviscerator shotgun. The three entered the shuttle, and the landing craft left the Normandy's shuttle bay.
Shinobi Home World – Land of Earth – Cave
Sasuke had proceeded far into the cave, but the further he went, the more the cave looked like it was made by a sentient being, and not by natural erosion. He ran into a dead end, but once he put a hand on the rock wall, it opened up, showing a hallway leading further in. Sasuke set his visor to record what he sees, and walks in.
Unknown Cavern Complex.
The area looked like it had been constructed several millennia ago, but still, some of the technology was active. "This is beyond incredible," Sasuke thinks, "Maybe there was a Prothean presence on our world after all. But what's powering all this?" He turned a corner and found what looked like a control console. He activated his Sharingan, but could still not make heads nor tails of the writing.
"You are one of the natives of this world," came a voice from the console, "I had compensated for this eventuality, and had this complex powered by geothermal energy." A holographic image of an alien looking being appeared before the Uchiha.
"How can I understand you?" Sasuke inquired.
"I have observed your race for thousands of years," the voice answered, "During that time, I had learned how your people communicate. This event wasn't an unheard of idea, so I will tell you what I can of the creation of what you know of as the Ten-Tails, or Jyuubi."
"Who are you?"
"I have long left this world. My name was Shankara. I was one of the last remaining members of the Prothean race, and a scientist. I had taken refuge here, creating a cryogenic stasis chamber, and using it to prolong my life until the Reapers left the galaxy, and went back to Dark Space. After that, I started experimenting with means of defeating the Reapers during the next cycle. I used dark energy reactions to merge element zero with the local plant life on this world, after I had revived."
"Doing that must have had some consequences."
"It did. The sapling tree I had used in my experiment started producing fruit capable of creating a more stable form of biotic power that only got stronger the more the user trained his or her self. It could also take on forms of the elements of fire, wind, water, lightning, and earth. I learned all this when the one called 'Kaguya' and her sons, used the power of that fruit to create what you call 'ninjutsu'. However, the tree had also become sentient, and vengeful of anyone who would take its fruit. It changed into the monstrous creature you know as the Jyuubi. Kaguya's sons sealed it within themselves. The one son, Hagoromo, who you know as the 'Sage of Six Paths', split his half of the Jyuubi's power into nine different beings of incredible power called the Biiju. I had met Hagoromo, before I died, and told him how I had created the Jyuubi. He thought me a god at first. I told him how I was trying to create a means of stopping a threat to all life, and he then took me before the nine biiju. They have probably forgotten about all of it, but they were to become a means of defending all life from the Reapers in the next cycle. They were not supposed to be weapons for countries to wage war against each other, but that's what happened over the years."
"Those days are done, and we're preparing for the Reapers next coming," Sasuke told the Prothean data construct, "We shinobi are joined with the races of the galaxy to fight the Reapers."
"Then you must take me, and my data, with you. My research could prove useful to your efforts."
"Then let's go. Load yourself onto my omni-tool with the data. I'll take it to the Alliance."
Eden Prime – Shuttle Landing Site
"This place brings back memories," Shepard says to Ashley, as they and Naruto leave the shuttle, and proceed through the now empty colony, "Do you remember where the Beacon was found?"
"I sure do," Ashley answers, "Follow me, let's go." She led the two from the landing zone to an area on the outskirts of the colony, where they found the dig site, from which the beacon was found."
"Looks like the elements have eroded away some of the earth, and uncovered something else," Naruto noted
"It's still getting power," Shepard added. She touched a few buttons on the device, and a strange chamber rose up from the ground. It started generating a palpable heat, before opening up, to reveal an alien being.
"Is that a Prothean?" Ashley asked.
"Has to be," Naruto answered, "You said that a Prothean beacon was found near here."
The creature lurched forward, taking in his first breath in supposedly 50 thousand years, and opened its eyes, before asking, "Where am I?" However, Shepard could understand him, but not answer back, since she didn't actually know how to speak the Prothean language.
"Naruto," Kurama said, "Let me take over. I've heard this language before, and can talk to him."
Shepard noticed that Naruto's facial features had changed, signifying that Kurama had taken over, the Biiju and the alien spoke several times, before Kurama turned to Shepard and said, "His name is Javik, and he is a Prothean. He heard us talking earlier, but he needs more of a reference to learn to adapt to our manner of speaking."
"I can understand him, Kurama," Shepard stated, "But apparently, you can communicate with him. How?"
"The old man introduced us biiju to the Prothean that created the Jyuubi, from which we were created," Kurama explained, before the Prothean said something. Kurama answered back, and told Shepard, "Maybe if we took him to the Prothean Archives on Mars, we could better acclimate him to this time, and find out if he could help us prepare for the Reapers."
"Good idea," Shepard noted, "Kurama, let him know we're friends."
"I already did, and somehow he knows that Naruto's not exactly human. Apparently, he knew the Prothean that wound up on our home world. Said her name was Shankara. He'll come with us, no problem."
"Good, let's go." Shepard led the group back to the shuttle, which lifted off from the ground and jetted toward the Normandy.
"He is asking how we plan on fighting the Reapers," Kurama translated, "Since we know the Reapers are coming, I told him we're making plans for their arrival."
"Tell him we were hoping he'd have a few ideas on weak points, and other ways we could fight them," Shepard said, and Kurama translated it into the Prothean language.
"I may have a few ideas," Javik finally said, "And you do not need to translate for me anymore, Kurama."
"Good," the Biiju stated, before sinking back into the seal, changing Naruto's features back to normal, which did not go unnoticed by the Prothean.
"Kurama and this boy are joined together, aren't they," Javik inquired.
"Kurama is sealed inside me," Naruto explained, "He's actually a friend, once I got to know him. He's been sealed inside me since I was born."
"Where are we headed?" Javik inquired.
"The Alliance has access to an enormous Prothean archive on Mars, the 4th planet of the Sol system," Shepard explains, "We're headed there."
"I'll tell Joker," Naruto says and heads to the lift, "He should have us there soon."
"Ok," Shepard noted, before turning back to speak to Javik. It would not be long before the ship is headed to Mars.
"Your mind has touched the beacon," Javik said, once he and Shepard were alone, "And you see the visions, yet it keeps you awake. You cannot control them?"
"I am able to understand them, but I cannot control when they come to me," Shepard explained.
"Then I can help you," Javik stated, "let my mind join with yours, and I can show you how to control the visions." Shepard nodded, and Javik leaned his head in toward hers.
Starboard Observation – Time: 20:00 Hours.
"I'll see your 100, and raise you 300," Ashley Williams said as she put the chips in for her bet, "I've got to see what you're holding."
"Your funeral, LT," James Vega smirked, "Alright, fox, what about you?"
Naruto threw his cards in. "Fold. I've got nothing,"
"OK, Vega," Ash jibed, "Show me what you've got?" She turned her cards over to reveal 3 queens and 2 jacks. "Full House."
"Oh, you wound me, chief." Vega turned over his cards to show an inside straight flush, 4-5-6-7-8 of hearts, "Read 'em and weep." James pulled the chips into his pile.
"Well, guys," Naruto began, while handing the deck over to Lt. Cortez, "I'm out for the night." What he didn't want to say was that poker night was a lot more fun with the old crew, especially Garrus, around. He got up from his chair and headed out of the observation room, making his way to the lift. When the door opened, Shepard was standing there.
"Poker game over?" she asked.
"It was for me," Uzumaki answered, "Honestly, it's not as fun anymore. I'm still learning about some of these new people. Vega's ok, and you know that Ash is cool. I'm still getting to know everyone else."
"Give it time," Shepard advised him, before hitting the button for their cabin, "Think you can handle things for a few hours tomorrow morning? Javik helped me control the visions, so I'm going to try to catch up on my sleep."
"Sure," Naruto smiled, "You know you had me worried for those couple of days."
The door opened into the Captain's Cabin, and the two entered the room, knowing that the next day would be the start of the real preparations for the Reaper War.
End Chapter 23
Next Chapter will have a timeskip into ME3. Get ready, the Reaper War is upon us.
Coming up: Chapter 24: The Reapers Arrive