Chapter 12: Contact
He walked through the solemn streets, rain pummeling his shadowing hood. It was a pale white, a color reflective of his mission to cleanse the cursed slate of his clan. He stood out in the humid Village Hidden in the Clouds; he was the second most wanted man in the world at the moment. He took great pleasure in his effort to insult the intelligence and skill of the Kumo ninja. He quietly studied each face that passed him by, it didn't take long to discern between the useful and the useless. Of course he knew there would only be one place here where he would find anyone useful. He eventually reached his destination beyond a great lake he was familiar with stood the tower, instantly recognizable by its blue windows shining with the light of the sun. He cracked a devious smile, itching to take of his hood.
Crossing the lake, he approached the door to be greeted by two ninja, a young woman and man who immediately prevented him from going any further.
"Are you an outsider or something? The Raikage's headquarters are off limits at the time being, especially to outsiders." The man said.
"I'm only here to ask a question. I get an answer and I leave. Easy." He said.
"Listen punk! I don't know where you get off thinking you can throw around demands, but we run shit here! You should be grateful we haven't thrown your ass out already." The girl violently shot back.
He was unresponsive.
"Come on man, now's not the time to be difficult. Go back to your village. You're not gonna find any company here at the moment. Until Sasuke Uchiha and the Akatsuki are brought to justice, there's not gonna be peace for a while." The boy warned. He then noticed the stranger had no village band. "What country do you come from anyway?"
The white hood was silent.
"Quit wasting your time Omoi. This guy's only gonna leave with force." The girl said readying her weapon.
Before she could make a move, she was already pierced with an electric blade.
"No…way…" She whispered as she collapsed in pain.
Before he could attack he found himself being choked and pinned against a wall. Filled with contempt, his eyes met his assailants. All he saw was a blood red pool surrounding a pattern of darkness a familiar pattern.
"It can't be! How dare you even show your face back here you-"
Once again cutoff this time by the illusion cast by the black hood's eyes.
After some time, more ninja came to the site.
"Karui!" One said as he immediately picked up her body.
"What the hell happened here?" another ninja said as he tried to wake up Omoi.
"It was…Uchiha…" he said slowly coming too.
A few miles away, his face now clear to see, he walked down a lonely road. He was not faltered by his solitude as he was the only one who could see the way through this path of darkness.
"I see, so I'm not too far away. Finally you'll see how far I've come, Brother. You'll see our clan's purification through me." Sasuke Uchiha said, itching to capture his target.
(I hope I'm not too late!) Usopp ran through the dead forest, no longer worrying about the dark aura it emitted or the supposed demons that dwelled in it. (It's four against one anyway right? They couldn't have been…) Usopp feared the worst. (I can't think like that, I got them into this mess I have to do what I can to get them out.)
As he ran he could see his own set of footprints in the soft soil made in his earlier sprint. (If I follow these I'll be sure to find them)
He continued full of energy down the path as a clearing came into view.
"YES!" He said feeling invigorated. His feet quickly went into overdrive as the clearing came ever closer. There were trunks with holes in them and some trees burned completely as he made his way, but he paid no mind. He reached for his slingshot prepared to do battle but as the scene became more apparent his legs suddenly loss all of their rigidity. He began to hobble over like a marionette with a string cut. He finally stopped moving altogether when he could see his friends' corpses lining the scenery. He slid to his knees shivering.
"…Damn….it…" He muttered in both rage and guilt. He suddenly broke into tears as he pounded his fist into the ground managing to even break some of the soil in his fury. "DAMN IT ALL!"
As he cursed himself and everything around him, feathers began to descend upon the area. With his eyes veiled by tears, Usopp didn't even notice them gently float to the ground and with his mind blurred by anguish, he could not feel himself become sleepy. Even as he was slowly lulled to sleep, he hissed and cursed his lungs out, all the way until he hit the ground, knocked out.
Three ninja suddenly appeared upon him. They were heavily garbed and bore breathing mask.
"As always you were correct my angel. He was sure to return here after going to arms against Deidara." One said, his speech sounded almost robotic when muffled by his mask.
"I don't mean to go against your word, but are you sure we should not simply kill him here and now?" Another one said as paper began to swarm the area.
"No, we bring him to the dungeon. God Pain has a need for the Strawhats to remain alive." A gentle voice said as the paper began to take human form.
"What about the skeleton? He is also a part of the crew and not far from here, should we imprison him as well?" The first ninja said.
"No." The paper said as it took the form of a woman with violet hair and wings in the sky. "For what God Pain plans, he will be of no use to us."
"Do you see him yet Cyclops?" Luffy asked Kakashi as they jumped through the ruined trees into towards Sasori.
"No, after he came out of that shell he summoned something and vanished. Be on your guard." Kakashi warned. He then realized Luffy was staring at him.
"Uhh..." Kakashi said as a bead of sweat rolled down his neck.
Luffy continued silently stare. He was entranced by his sharingan eye.
"AH! WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR EYE?" Luffy finally blurted out.
Kakashi almost lost his footing at the sudden shock. He eventually landed on the forest floor, doing his best to forget what just happened.
Luffy dropped down next to him. "I thought you only had one eye this whole time! Can you see through that thing?"
"Well actually…" Kakashi began but then he noticed a black cloud take shape not far behind Luffy.
"Look Out!" Kakashi said as he tossed Luffy out of the way and evaded the cloud.
Luffy quickly got to his feet. "Damn I was careless." Luffy said seeing the large clump in the air. "What is that thing?"
"It's…iron sand. This is the third Kazekage's technique." Kakashi deduced. "How did you get an ability like this Sasori?"
"Yeah show yourself you coward!" Luffy said.
"Puppetry has come a long way, Hatake." Sasori's voice called out from within the forest. "When you are resolved to become the best of your craft by any means necessary, creating lifetime lasting works of art with human flesh is possible."
As he spoke a puppet appeared behind the iron cloud. It wore a large brown cloak with a demented glare and black hair.
"You really did it! You made a puppet out of a corpse, and the third Kazekage even." Kakashi said surprised at the figure.
"Where did this guy come from? He's the one making all the iron stuff?" Luffy asked.
"Strawhat, be thankful you'll be spared. Even if I had planned to kill you, it appears you have some resistance or immunity to poison. However, I can't say the same for you Hatake."
"Like hell, if you're gonna try to kill pinkeye, you're gonna have to kill me too!" Luffy said defiantly.
(I don't think that statement turned out the way you planned.) Kakashi thought.
The puppet outstretched its arms.
IRON SAND GATHERING ASSAULT
The iron sand began molding together
The spear shot towards Luffy and Kakashi again.
They both easily evaded the attack, each jumping to their own side out of its path.
"Don't think that is the only thing the iron sand is capable of." Sasori's voice warned.
IRON SAND DRIZZLE
The spear dissolved into small bits of iron that began to sharpen. They then fired like bullets towards the two fighters.
Kakashi parried and evaded as many as he could. He managed to back flip far enough to prepare some seals.
EARTH STYLE WALL!
He placed his pals on the ground and a mighty layer of earth sprang up, blocking the bullets as they collided. Luffy, using his haki, evaded the bullets more easily. He then seemed to disappear out of their way.
Luffy reappeared above the Kazekage puppet.
As Luffy prepared his attack the iron bullets all stopped and began taking new shape in the sky.
On each of Luffy's opposing sides there was a large block of iron. Noticing them, Luffy quickly flipped over the colliding masses.
"Now…" Luffy prepared as he continued spinning in the air.
The iron sand gathered around the Kazekage puppet.
Luffy planted both fit firmly into the iron clad puppet. The shield did little good to protect against the attack as the puppet was shattered on impact with the ground.
Luffy landed with a satisfied grin.
"How's that Iron guy?" Luffy said.
The puppet mysteriously melted into the pool of iron sand surrounding it.
"You didn't think I would risk my favorite puppet being damaged did you?" Sasori said, still hidden.
(An iron sand clone…) Kakashi realized standing atop his pulverized earth wall.
The sand began to form into a spherical shape.
"Luffy get out of there! It's a trap!" Kakashi called out.
"What?" Luffy said noticing the orb began to expand.
IRON SAND WORLD METHOD
The iron sand suddenly burst into hundreds of spikes firing in every direction. Each spike bore through the trees and ripped apart the forest. Some split apart the earth itself and extended their reach through it. The sand stretched on for at least 10 meters. In a minute the forest was decimated.
"This damn forest is starting to get on my nerves. I wonder if Hidan is finished with that bag of bones yet." Kakuzu said as he made his way through the forest. "He better not of completely wrecked him. He's gonna need to look good for the black market."
Neji did is best to hide his presence as Kakuzu walked by him.
(This is bad, I knew this would happen.) Neji thought to himself. (He appears to be heading back to Amegakure at least, so I know the village isn't in immediate danger.)
With his Byakugan he could see the entirety of the range of events in the dead woods. From the corpses of team 8, to the battle between Brook and Hidan, to the crew of Amegakure soldiers leaving with Usopp, and of course Kakuzu making his way to the village.
(It also seems like they aren't intent on killing Usopp, yet they also want to destroy the zombie. Seems suspicious.) He focused more now on the corpses. (At least that monster is satisfied for now, the fool.) He then noticed a body he hadn't before. It was walking slowly and seemed wounded but it was making its way towards Amegakure.
(What is he doing?) Neji thought as he rushed towards the figure.
The violet haired woman flew high across the gray sky, the rain pounding on her paper wings. With the speed of her flight she managed to dry them just as quickly and continue up towards the only object visible at this height: the tallest skyscraper. As she descended the tops of the other towers could also be seen.
"Good of you to return Konan." Tobi said as she walked into the dark vestibule. It was a fairly small room, but big enough to fit a small house or possibly a ship. "I only recently got back myself. How is Nagato?
"While it has been slow his recovery is-." Konan began.
"Konan…don't worry I am well enough to answer myself." A voice spoke. "I will be capable of fighting at one hundred percent just as soon as I have my paths of pain restored." An emaciated figure said as he appeared from within the depths of the room.
"I believe I have already found one of your potential bodies." Konan said as he approached them.
"Excellent, things are moving more quickly then I had hoped."
"One of the bodies? Don't tell me it was that long nosed weirdo Hidan was chasing." Kakuzu said as he also entered the room. "He'd be a waste of time as a path of pain, just hand him over to me and open that portal up.
"The portal won't be opening up again. Remember our main goal Kakuzu" Tobi noted. "Zetsu has there been any word on the others?"
"Hidan appears to be having difficulty with the undead pirate." Zetsu began.
"I wasn't worried about him. He wouldn't be of much use in this meeting anyway."
"Sasori on the other hand is keeping Straw hat and Kakashi busy just as you ordered. When I found him his beloved Hiruko had just been shattered but he was determined to complete his task before he arrived here."
"What about Deidara?"
"Deidara is attempting to catch the Nine-Tails. It appears revealing yourself as an Uchiha has rubbed him the wrong way, for him to go out of his way to prove himself like this."
"He is efficient, if not tenacious. Whether he captures the nine-tails or not he has already succeeded in slowing him down." Tobi concluded. "Kisame?"
"Well it appears he overestimated his own abilities. He will not be showing up here anytime soon."
Tobi jolted for a split second somewhat surprised. But just as quickly, he settled back into place.
"There's a surprise, did he fail to capture the One-Tail?"
"Apparently he crossed paths with one of the Strawhats subordinates. Even with his greatest techniques he could not win."
"So the fish finally went belly up. I have to admit, he was one of the few people here who didn't make a habit of pissing me off." Kakuzu said.
(Perhaps I should be wary of these pirates. To be a subordinate capable of besting Kisame…) Tobi thought.
"Fair enough. The seven of us are more than powerful enough to reach our goal." Tobi said as he looked down a shaft in the room. In it lied the Thousand Sunny shrouded in darkness.
"I am curious to know Tobi; just what do you have in store for us. You sent away young Sasuke and seem to be focusing on these pirates."
"Patience. All will be revealed soon enough."
"If these pirates are as strong as they seem, we shouldn't waste anymore time." Nagato said.
Suddenly a flash of light appeared from the far wall. Everyone took a step back as the light expanded into a brilliant tunnel.
"What is this?" Konan said trying to shield her eyes.
(What is that punk doing? This wasn't a part of our plan!) Tobi thought to himself as a giant figure appeared from the light. Soon a warship peaked out of the tunnel and made its way to the hard surface of the room. The Akatsuki had to retreat in order to escape the vessel's pursuit.
Nagato pushed himself slightly to keep up with the others.
Finally the vessel crashed completely into the center, blowing away just about everything around it. After the wave of debris cleared, the Akatsuki opened there eyes to see a marine ship invaded their hideout and the light now illuminated the dark cave.
While they couldn't quite see, the sound of a door opening and closing could be heard. Out came a man of about thirty with a sharp looking pasta encrusted beard and dark blue hair. He adjusted his shades and looked at his surroundings.
"How troublesome. I almost got spaghetti on my coat." He said casually. He then noticed the people below him.
"Yes, sorry about your floors, the marines will pay for the damages." He said as he jumped down.
"Tobi what is the meaning of this? Who is this man?" Konan asked.
Tobi remained silent for a moment.
"It's not important! This man or anyone else from that world should not be here right now!" Tobi said in frustration.
"You need someone erased? Not a problem." Kakuzu said as a mass of threads with a mask formed over his shoulder.
WIND STYLE: PRESSURE DAMAGE!
A huge burst of wind fired from its mouth, aimed straight for the man and the ship. He didn't move an inch as the wave blew away almost everything in the room.
After the dust cleared, there was a large round hole in the ship and pieces across the room. However, the man stood, with minor scratches and a trail of blood from his skull, but otherwise unfazed.
"Vergo sir! What's going on down there? We're being attacked!" A voice called from the remains of the ship.
"Now that was a stupid thing to do." Vergo said brushing dirt off of his clothes. "I just want to ask a few questions. Do that for me and I promise I won't kill you."
So hopefully Vergo's entrance was badass enough. I'm sorry that this chapter is so short, but when I need to make fight scenes, I have to think about how it goes in its entirety, I also have to kind of balance the characters out a little bit so it's interesting, then when I complete how a fight goes, I have to think about how to break it up among each chapter which is important to avoid that Kisame fight incident. So forgive me if it seems some chapters end up being much longer than others. As a side note, I am overwhelmed with joy at the reactions to the last chapter I posted, both good and bad. I think it says a lot about how much people enjoy your work when you get such an emotional response like that. I promise we will find out the truth next chapter although I'm sure people who are familiar with both series, (read everyone) already has a foregone conclusion in their mind. I think I'll stick with adding music suggestion in edits since it let's me get the chapter out faster. Thank you and continue to enjoy the story. I'm having a great time writing it.
BTW normally I don't like to do this, but I've been a real TVtroper as of late and…well…if anyone wanted too…you know, put this story in Fanfic recommendations…that would be just fine with me. Peace out.