The Shadows of the Sun
A young man awoke in an alley.
Then he took a shuddering breath, as if awakening from an endless nightmare.
For a time he did nothing but sit up, leaning over as he placed a hand on his chest, attempting to bring his ragged breathing under control. A fresh sheen of sweat covered his face; eyes were wide and unfocused, glassy even. As he worked on getting his breathing under control he took a look at his surroundings, feeling a rise of panic in seeing how completely unfamiliar they were.
He was sitting in a narrow alleyway, framed by huge walls made of an equally unfamiliar material. The only sources of light were a couple of dim street lamps, one of which was flickering continuously as its life slowly ebbed to an end. Shadows reached out like clasping hands, attempting to devour what little light remained. There was dirt and trash scattered about, some in piles, one of which he was sitting in. The smell made him wretch, but he summoned his resolve and slowly brought it under control.
Slowly he rose, using the wall to his right for support as he got to his feet. Just that motion seemed too much for his body, every muscle seemed to be burning in agony, his throat was parched and felt like sandpaper, his legs felt like lead weights and he knew that if not for the wall he would have collapsed again.
Azure eyes scanned surroundings, searching for any sign of danger as he fought through the pain and slowly willed his body to move. He made it three steps, and the second he placed his feet on firm ground he nearly collapsed, but instead shifted his weight so that he would collide with the wall, using it to keep him upright as he took a few more shaky breathes.
Slowly sliding down into a sitting position, the blond haired man felt his head spin and a burning in the back of his throat. That definitely wasn't a very good sign. He got onto his knees, lowered his head and proceeded to throw up the contents of his stomach. All that splattered the floor was a mixture of water and bile. He didn't know how long he was like that, on his knees, retching and coughing but by the time he leaned back and hit the wall an acrid smell filled his lungs, his eyes were puffy and red and an acidic, awful taste was stuck in his mouth.
He sat like that for a time longer, slowly working on his muscles as well as mentally preparing himself for when he would have to move. With nothing else to do but wait and rest he decided to have a look at himself, what he was wearing and what he still had.
That at least would take his mind off things for a time.
On his feet was a pair of slate grey sandals, as well as an orange pair of tracksuit bottoms lined with black, and a matching jacket, the signs of a black shirt noticeable through the half closed zipper. On his hands was a pair of black gloves, fingerless with metal plates on the knuckles. A black long-coat was worn over all of this, with red and orange flame markings lining the hem and the cuffs. He felt the familiar weight of a headband tied tightly to his forehead, keeping his locks of slightly too long blond hair from getting in the way.
The young man frowned as he tried to remember what he was doing here, but everything came up blank. He didn't know who he was, or what he was doing here before he passed out. Frowning in deep thought he crossed his legs and folded his arms, closing his eyes and he attempted to remember something, anything about who he once was.
"Well," he muttered hoarsely, voice so soft and raspy that it surprised him. "This really sucks."
What was his name?
He could feel something in the back of his mind, something that was trying to crawl through the mass of darkness which was his memory. It was like chasing after someone, yet they were always just out of your reach.
"Come on brain, think." He ground out; just uttering a syllable was painful and the act of thinking was quickly making his head spin again, bringing with it the familiar, unwanted queasiness from a few minutes before. "What is my name? It starts with a K... no an N, yeah that's it. Naru... Naruko? No, no, no. That's not it... Narupo... Narubo... Narudo... Naruto."
Hat sounded right. His name was Nauto. A small smile crossed his smudged features as the first small hurdle was crossed. He now knew his name, but how did he get here and where was here?
After what seemed like an eternity of thinking he couldn't remember much else, just a few blurry and inconclusive images was all his memory could bring. He slowly rose to his feet, finding that the time of inactivity had helped a little, his legs and arms still felt like lead, but moving wasn't nearly as much of a struggle. The queasiness, the swirling vision and the migraine had also been brought down to at least manageable levels.
"Well," he found himself saying to no one but himself. "No point in worrying about this now, it'll come back to me eventually... first things first let's see about finding something familiar."
It sounded hollow coming out of his mouth. He knew that it was an empty thought born out of the feelings of desperation and helplessness he was currently feeling.
With a deep, this time even, breath Naruto began to walk.
He walked until he came to the end of the alleyway, and then out into a main passage. Wherever he was it wasn't bringing up any familiarity. He came out into a wide walkway, made of some kind of steel like material.
Naruto's brow furrowed as he surveyed the scene before him. He had thought that moving around would help him remember something, but all it seemed to do was bring more questions and confusion to his foggy mind. Unlike the nearly deserted side street he had come from this route was considerably busier, filled with people.
His frown deepened as he watched a reptilian creature walk past him, a full head taller and slightly hunched, wearing a loose brown robe, tail flicking back and forth behind him as the creature continued on its way, paying Naruto no heed as he attempted to digest this surge of information. There were people of his type and build, humans or not far from the, but there were also other beings that he didn't know or recognise.
A surge of panic grasped at his heart, but he took a few deep, calming breathes and managed to at least partially relax, but it didn't last. A sudden roar made him wince and jump back, something springing into his right hand which he clutched tightly. With ragged breathe he looked up in time to see something fly overhead at a fast pace, followed by another and another. Their passage above him came to his senses as a mass of roars and growls as whatever they were continued their path.
Naruto, for the longest time, did nothing but stare at the sight, taking in the slender creations as they continued their path. He was like that for the longest time, marvelling at the sight before looking back at the main street and the throng of beings which travelled along it.
Even with his mind the way it was he was aware, at the most base of levels of what this place was. His thoughts were given focus by his still raspy, hoarse voice. "This isn't home."
His memories told him nothing, yet somewhere in the deepest recesses of his mind, under all of the fog and all of the doubt he knew in the depths of his subconscious that this was not where he belonged.
He growled low in his throat at that train of thought.
Then where did he belong, damn it?
Sighing he brought his hand up to massage his forehead, but stopped and gasped when he saw what was clutched in his trembling digits. It was a knife of some kind, a ring led to a metal hilt, covered in white cloth, no guard, leading to a trowel shaped blade which glinted dully in the low light. Naruto could do nothing but look at this weapon, transfixed. This he recognised, images of hundreds of similar weapons flashing before his mind's eye.
This led to another memory.
He saw a picture holding four people, two boys in the beginning of their teenage years, a girl around the same age and a tall, lean figure hovering over them. He recognised that he was the one on the right, arms folded and a disgruntled look on his features as he glared daggers at the boy on the far left, who ignored him and looked at the camera with an irritated expression, the pink haired girl in the centre of them was smiling like she had won a contest, and over the three of them, with a hand on each of the boys heads and an apologetic smile was an adult wearing some kind of military uniform, a headband worn over his left eye and a piece of dark cloth covering his mouth.
Naruto frowned as the image faded from his mind, and with a sudden flash of movement he reached up, untied the headband from his forehead with his free hand and brought it down to look. It was a simple creation, black cloth with a metal plate bearing the symbol of a falling leaf. It was exactly the same as the headbands those four were wearing.
Someone shoved him, bringing Naruto unceremoniously out of his train of thought as he stumbled back a few steps into the side alley. He looked up, seeing a man standing in the way to the main street, only he wasn't like any man he was familiar with, everything in his foggy mind screamed unfamiliar about this guy... girl... thing.
His skin was green and seemed to be scaled, with a frill of spines stretching from his forehead to his shoulder blades, large pitch black eyes focused on him and in place of a mouth was a long tapir like snout. He wore a dark gray jacket with matching pants and a pair of knee high black boots, a knife was held in his hand.
Another two flanked him, one was a human with reddish hair, wearing the exact same clothing as the freaky green skinned creature, but with a bandanna tied around his head, stubble on his features and a deranged twinkle in his eyes. The last one looked kind of like a human, except his skin was a pallid grey, cruel dark eyes and twin tentacle like protrusions running from the back of his skull down to the small of his back; and yes, Naruto was fairly sure he was a dude.
The central one spoke, it was in a mass of noises Naruto didn't understand but the intent was clear. These guys were thieves, and he was their next target. He should have felt afraid, even terrified by this realisation, but to his surprise he didn't. He felt calm, relaxed, his hands slowly tightened into fists, knife in his right hand creaking. He was suddenly focused, seeing the three of them with a different perspective, a greater clarity as he took note of their postures, the way they held their knives as they spread out to encircle him.
He allowed his body to move, not impeached by thought or emotion, spreading his legs and falling into a stance, releasing the hold of his knife and allowing the contraption attached to his wrist to bring it back in and sheathe it. He took a breath, calm, even and he waited.
The three of them were shouting at him now, waving their knives threateningly as they advanced further into the side alley. It was the tentacle headed one who acted first, lunging forward, knife aimed for his stomach.
He backpedalled a couple of steps, forcing the thug to overreach himself, then lashing out with both hands he grabbed the stretched out fist and spun, throwing the thief over his shoulder and slamming him down to the ground hard. The creature's breathe escaped his lungs in one go, knife falling from his grasp as Naruto gave him a stiff kick to the head for good measure.
The human came forward next, lashing out with a horizontal slash. Naruto watched it and reacted again out of instinct, intercepting the wrist with his hand and snapping it with a slight exertion from some power he recognised as eerily familiar and welcome. The thug screamed in pain, cut off when the blond haired man bypassed his guard and planted an elbow into his face, feeling a satisfactory crunch as he connected with his attackers nose.
The man fell back, last good hand moving to the place where it hurt most, his nose as he thrashed in obvious agony.
Naruto paid him no mind, watching as the green skinned creature threw the knife at him out of desperation. The amnesia stricken man leaned back, watching as the knife flew just a few millimetres from his nose and lashed out with a hand to catch it by the hilt. He felt a slight tug of inertia as he brought his attention back to his last opponent and using his leaned back position for extra thrust threw the knife back. It traversed the space faster than should be possible, glowing a dim bluish white as it imbedded itself into the leaders shoulder.
As the leader fell to the ground, crying out in pain in an unfamiliar voice, Naruto found himself looking at the carnage with a lack of empathy or remorse. Instead he walked forward, passing by his would be attackers as he left the alleyway and melted into the throng of people moving about their daily lives.
He listened for any snippets of language he could, and the more he was able to hear the worse his thoughts became. He was stuck in an unfamiliar place. Didn't know the language or the people and as he walked under billboards he realised that he didn't recognise the symbols and arithmetic of the writing either.
He definitely wasn't from around here.
But the recent series of events had yielded one very handy piece of information. About what he was before waking up in that dim, trash covered alleyway. He had a very good idea of what his profession was when he was whole.
He was a soldier.
Naruto managed a small smile as he continued to walk, placing his hands in his pockets as his sharp eyes took in every detail he could about his surroundings. He may be in an unfamiliar land, alone and with no knowledge of his surroundings, but that would soon change. Over time the fog of his mind should begin to dissipate, new memories and information will come, but until then he would survive.
The lost boy learned a new piece of information about himself as he continued to walk.
He was an optimist.
Author's Note: Just to let you guys from my other Star Wars/Naruto crossover know that the wait is almost over. I am currently awaiting word from my beta-reader, which should be either tonight or tomorrow, on his fixing up of the latest chapter, which will be a slightly longer one than before.
As to this little snippet let's just say it's another Naruto/Star Wars idea that's been stuck in my mind for a couple of weeks now and I just decided to write a prologue for it and see where it takes me. I've got an idea about how to go with it, and with me nearly finished with the first segment of the Wanderer storyline I decided to throw this out into the proving ground.
As for story, well, I'm not telling... but let's just say that this idea of mine is going to be a little bit of a more... gritty outtake on Star Wars and Naruto as well. There's going to be no Naruto is found by Jedi and taught in their ways here, though he may make enemies and friends from them... this story is more into the underworld of Star Wars, the Hutt clans, Black Sun, to quote Obi-wan it will be focused more on the 'Hive of scum and tyranny' and our amnesia stricken hero is about to be thrust head on into it.