"Fall back!" His Sensei's shout caught the attention of the young shinobi, who turned to his superior.
"What?" he questioned. Why would they retreat? Surely it made more sense to continue fighting rather than to expose their backs.
Another loud roar sounded around him, sending shivers of terror down his spine. Who could have guessed that the dobe was hiding such a power? A power so great that his team's opponents had focused all their attention to the boy?
"While they're distracted, get to the ship, quickly!" His sensei yelled, urgency and a slight amount of trepidation in his tone.
Not about to question his orders a second time he ran back to the ship, grabbing an unconscious Sakura on his way and flinging her over his shoulder.
He reached the ship filled with the fearful people that made up the crew they were to escort and was surprised when his sensei appeared next to him moments later.
"Sensei?" he asked. Why were they all here? Why was his teammate fighting the other three enemies? No, wait, the pink one was down, that made two.
Turning to the sailors his sensei gave the order that explained everything.
" Get us to Yukigakure immediately!" The sailors were more than happy to oblige the silver-haired ninja.
As the ship began to leave, Sasuke could only turn back to the image of his teammate who was still fighting. Fighting so that they could finish the mission, fighting to allow them to escape, fighting to let them live;
Fighting because he thought they were right there helping him.
Sasuke's stomach tied itself into a knot, a cold hand grasping his heart. He was running away, abandoning a comrade to save his own skin, betraying the one he thought of as a brother.
A hand set itself upon his shoulder and a quick glance revealed shinobi gloves. "Why?" he questioned quietly. Only his sensei and recently awakened comrade could hear him.
"Sasuke," sighed his sensei. "I had no choice. He's unstable in that form and even if he wasn't we can't beat them, our best chance is to escape and hope that he takes them down."
Sakura gasped as she realized what had happened, but only Sasuke heard his Sensei's whisper.
"We can only pray that he's still alive when it's over."
He ignored another kunai that lodged itself into his bloodied flesh, the Kyuubi's chakra would heal the wound and he didn't have the time to take care of it. He had just beaten the pink haired one, Fubuki, if what he heard their leader say earlier was right, and was now focusing on the large man on a snowboard.
Sasuke was guarding the clients and Kakashi had been fighting the leader, so that meant Sakura had been defeated. He wanted to turn around and check on her but resisted the temptation. It wouldn't do to die just because he was worried for her safety, she was a kunoichi and could take care of herself.
He let out a primal roar, something caused by the massive amounts of demonic chakra flowing through his system, and clawed his opponent across the neck, slashing it open. Yeah, it was his first kill, but he didn't have time to think about that, his team needed him and he'd be damned if he didn't do everything in his power to help.
With two of the three shinobi down, Naruto turned around to aid his sensei.
He wasn't expecting to see a large dragon of ice headed straight towards him.
Jumping to the side, he attempted to dodge the no-doubt deadly attack but couldn't quite make it out of the jutsu's range.
Why was the leader attacking him? Shouldn't he be battling with Kakashi-sensei? Unless Kakashi had been defeated, which was unlikely.
Holding his left arm, which bleed profusely, he gazed at his attacker before he noticed something; the boat.
The boat that was moving away from the iceberg, the boat that was leaving him here with his enemies, the boat on which his team stood watching him.
They left him, they actually left him, abandoning him to die on this piece of ice. Then he realized something that caused his cloak of chakra to burn even more furiously;
The used him.
His own team had used him! Had thought of him as nothing more than a distraction so that they might escape, as if he was unworthy of being part of their team!
An enraged growl tore itself from his parched throat. If he was going to die he was going to take his enemies down with him. He would fight until it was no longer possible to move, and then, while whatever remaining enemies gloated over his corpse, he would activate the hundreds of explosive tags on his person.
Before he could attack again he felt something enter his right shoulder. Now, having experienced the feeling countless times, he could easily identify it as a kunai, no different from the others buried within him. There was, however, one thing that set this apart from the others, which he noticed due to the slight hissing sounds it produced.
Even as his wide eyes looked at the tag, which was being eroded by his chakra, he knew it would go off no matter what he tried. Hoping to lessen the damage, Naruto ordered all the Kyuubi's chakra to the rest of his body, an extremely difficult feat, leaving his arm exposed.
He knew he'd have to quit his shinobi career, if he survived this, due to the damage it would cause, but he couldn't really care at this point. The only thing that the blond wondered was who had thrown it. Cocking his head behind him he was met with the sight of a smirking Fubuki, propping herself up on her forearms.
There eyes met as the tag went off, a massive explosion that rocked the entire iceberg, and she fell back into unconsciousness once more, her victorious smirk never leaving her lips, even if the opponent had only been a single gennin.
She had no doubt in her blissfully slumbering mind that he was now a very dead gennin.
Sakura let out a horrified scream. She may not have been able to see Naruto, the person she had begun to see as a brother even if she didn't show it, but she had quite clearly seen the large explosion that shook the iceberg enough to produce the waves threatening to capsize them.
She couldn't believe they had left him there to die, just so they could run away to lick their wounds. It may not have been so bad had he sacrificed himself, but he hadn't even known what they were doing. A small part of her was glad that he hadn't known, both so they could live and so he wouldn't feel betrayed.
A bigger part wished he had known, had happily accepted the task and sacrificed himself for their sakes.
Collapsing to the wet floor of the ship, she drew in her legs and began to cry, her whisper wrenching the hearts of all the ship's occupants.
"Nii-san, please don't hate me."
All was silent, the freshly fallen snow undisturbed. Two figures remained motionless within it's frozen embrace, their life slowly leaking away.
A metal foot sank into the white powder, its owner striding towards the younger body, the blond boy in the bloodied rags. Yes, he would do nicely, they would have a master once more. Gently, it scooped up what remained of the young shinobi, consisting of a head, torso, and pelvis, ignoring the blood that even now stained its white cloak crimson.
It's brother picked up the other figure, the pink haired kunoichi that had damaged the potential master they had been observing. She would pay, they swore it, she would serve their master, the one she tried to kill. They would leave her alone for now, it wasn't their place to train her nor was it their priority.
The new master came first, they had little time until he passed away. Nodding to its brother, the two IG-100 MagnaGuards departed to what little remained of the ship that had crashed here millennia ago, now buried beneath the ice.
They would save this boy, the legacy of General Grievous demanded it.
The sound of monitors mixed with the whirring of machines as robotic arms went about completing their assigned tasks. Aside from the artificial limbs, nothing moved within the metal room. In shadows cast by the single flickering light darkness waited, observing as an abomination, a monster, and the most complex combination of man and machine to ever exist came into being.
As the robots finished their work the beeping stopped, both the arms and monitors disengaging.
Frozen blue eyes flashed open, glowing with unholy rage that stood out prominently against black sclera.
An anguished scream pierced the air, tearing itself from the newly created monster.
And then all was silent.