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Hunted

Prologue

"Those Bastards."

Naruto growled angrily as he watched the horrid display through the glass wall of his cell. A young dark-haired boy of sixteen was being dragged along by two men dressed in black.

They must have withheld his drugs to make sure he felt every stroke of the lash. A third guard came ruuning, then a fourth, together dragging the poor boy to the bench kicking and screaming. Naruto could not hear them, the transparency of the cell wall gave the illusion of freedom but the barrier was soundproof. Finally the guards forced the young boy to his knees so his chest lay across the whipping bench and restrained him.

Kabuto, the commander of the guards, stepped up with a long cane in his right hand. He flexed it as he spoke to the victim, making him wait. It was all a show, as much about psychological torture as physical. The humiliation hurt as much as the flesh wounds.

Suddenly, Kabuto brought the cane down and made contact with the victim's buttocks. The young boy fought the restraints but there was no escape. Naruto could imagine the whistling sound of the cane as it sliced through the air, finally landing on the bruised flesh, He didn't need to hear the screaming and pleading of the victim, it echoed in his memory. He'd been the recipient of Kabuto's expertise more than once.

Finally after about 15 minutes, Kabuto stepped back and let the cane fall by his side. He glanced around the room, his expression a warning. Disobey and this is your fate. Refusing to back down, Naruto pressed his palms against the thick glass that separated him from the rest of the laboratory and bared his teeth.

Kabuto's mouth took on an unpleasant twist and his expression turned more resentful. Naruto's brash attitude always brought him more punishment than the others, but he didn't care anymore. He'd already been beaten countless times,

what more can they do to him?

TBC