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Maelstrom

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“This story….is the story….. of my death”

*Thunk* * squeel* “ Baka!” *Sounds of two feminine voices raised in rage and fleshy thumps were heard*

“Ow! Ok,ok I'm sorry! Sheesh, take a joke already!”

*Different male voice*“ You should just tell the story, dobe”

“ Yeesh, okay, okay. Now, from the top, this story is the story of my life, with all of the triumphs, tragedies and utterly bizzare situations that I found myself in. The friends I made. The family I built. And how I became the Hokage of Konohagakure No Sato”

“Though I should start from the beginning. And it starts like this….”
_______________________________________________________________

I woke up from what felt like a deep slumber, as my mind slowly swam it's way to the forefront of my consciousness.

My eyes opened to an unfamiliar ceiling, which gave me flashbacks to the time I watched an Evangelion episode. The ceiling was an unfamiliar green-blue that I would never use.
I pull myself upright as I get up, stretching my.....tiny arms in front of me.....

What.

I scramble upright and look around for a mirror. A few minutes of fruitless searching I enter the tiny bathroom. And get the shock of my life.

I was looking at a reflection of Naruto.  And not just Naruto, but chibi Naruto.

The fact that he had the same horrified look that was running through my system pretty much sealed the deal for me.

And I promptly blacked out.


 

The steady dripping of water roused me to wakefulness. Peeling my eyes open, I'm greeted by Naruto's mindscape. In the distance stood the gates barring the Kyuubi No Yoko. He also responds to 'Kurama', 'fuzzball', 'Fido' and 'Dinner'.

And just as the thought crossed my mind, I felt the power and malevolence of Naruto's tenant. Two red, slit-pupil eyes stare out of the darkness, while sharp teeth gleam predatorily.

"Who dares to violate My sanctum?" came a voice as if hatred were given voice. Dark, empty as the voids between galaxies and equally cold.

I should have worn the brown pants.

A terrified squeak came from somewhere as high as my elbow, causing me to look down to see a chibi Naruto standing there, terrified blue eyes darting between the Kyubi and I.

"Who're you? Who's that? Where are we? What's going on?" he said rapidly in his reedy voice, edged with fear, slowly inching towards hysteria.

I needed to take immediate action.

"Hey kid. Hey, hey take a deep breath, hold it, breathe out" I tell him, repeating my instructions as I work to calm him down. Slowly but surely he got his breathing under control.

"Hi there, my name's Ron. And you are?" I say, deciding to introduce myself.

"Uzumaki Naruto! Future hokage! Believe it!" he replied, his voice becoming a hoarse shout at the end of the statement. And my heart broke for him.

Because it was clear as day to me that the kid's lonely.

"I believe it. So...." And whatever else I was going to say was cut off as in the blink of an eye we were transported out of his mindscape.

Next thing I know, I feel like we had been dropped onto something straight out of Halo.

"Woah" I turn around and see Naruto's awestruck expression, looking around at the floating pillars as flocks of drones flew around tending gardens that were being fed by streams.

"Kid, whatever you do, don't get seperated" I ordered Naruto, who promptly came closer to me as we scanned our surroundings.

"Welcome Reclaimer"

We both did not jump five feet in the air.

"You don't have a nose!" shouted Naruto, pointing at the Forerunner standing in front of us. The being chuckled in amusement as he looked on us. He was easily ten feet tall, in a Promethean combat skin similar to the Warden in Guardians. But there was a serenity to him that calmed me down.

" I believe the correct term of address is Ohaiyo, Uzumaki-san. Correct?" he replied, his kindly eyes speaking of wisdom and power far beyond mortal ken.

"O... Ohaiyo! Um, who are you? And where is this place?" Naruto asked as he looked around in awe, watching the drones fly by.

The Forerunner sighed as he looked on us with concern "My name in your tongue would be Eien No Honō o Miru Kishi. And it is because of who you are and  what you hold within you that I have brought you here. Our story begins three hundred thousand years ago....."
_______________________________________________________________

I was still in a daze over what had been explained to me.

The thought that our planet was in the crosshairs of an advanced civilization from an alternate dimension on top of all the crazy stuff we would have to deal with when the Otsuski made their move..... It boggled the mind.

Well, it seems as if I had my work cut out for me.

"Hey, Naruto!" an aggressive female voice, as sharp and as pleasant as shattering glass broke through my thoughts. I blinked, looking around and realising that I had come to the Academy under autopilot. I looked to where the insistent voice had come from.

My gaze locked onto green eyes the same shade of newly budding leaves. Pink hair framed her face, while her pretty face was marred by a scowl.

"Haruno-san?" I politely enquire, my tone a mixture of curiosity and quiet reproof. The benefits of having merged with Ron had been many, the most prominent being how to insult others without them knowing a damn thing. He always enjoyed trolling people. And judging from the bemusement crossing her face, I can see why.

"Wow, are you sure you're ok, Naruto?" she asked in bemusement, her gaze darting at Ino and the other girls of the 'Sasuke fanclub'. Another benefit of having Ron integrate with me was giving me an opportunity to enhance my ability to read people. I now understood why she was the way she was.

Ugh, teenagers. Even though I am one now.

"I am very well Haruno-san. And you?" I asked her politely. This set her further on the backfoot as she replied.

"Um, quite well. I just wanted to know if you're ok. I mean you had your placement exam yesterday. How was it?" she trailed off uncertainly, not knowing what to do with Naruto Uzumaki 2.0. And if I have any say on the matter, neither would the rest of the world.

Judging from the fact that even Shikamaru Nara is paying attention, I guess I should be worried about my continued existence.

" The written test was..... decent. Practicals showed me where I am slipping up and what I should improve on" I gave a slightly theatrical sigh as I shrugged and continued, "my chakra control is absolutely horrible, couldn't nail down the Bunshin"

Judging from the dumbfounded looks I was getting, everyone was not expecting an intelligent statement from me. Damn, this is fun!

"So once a dobe, always a dobe, eh Usuratonkachi?"came a drawling voice. I turn around to look into the cooly detached eyes of Uchiha Sasuke. I kept an impassive face as I returned his cool look with interest. From what Ron had analysed, I had been sent in unprepared for my exam. As if someone was trying to fail me out of the program.

So, like everything else that has happened in my life in the past two hours, I now have bigger concerns than a child with a pumped up sense of self importance. Or an infatuation on one of his most prominent fangirls.

When his stare upgraded to a glare, I decided that the gloves were to now come off. I moulded some chakra and mixed it with my annoyance, unleashing my Killing Intent.

And promptly everyone in the classroom ended up on their knees, struggling to breathe.

I blinked a couple of times, give an exasperated sigh of annoyance and cut the flow of chakra. Immediately everyone around me starts breathing properly.

"Yeesh, sorry about that" I said in a conversational tone as I helped Sakura to her feet, her face pale and clammy with sweat.

"NARUTO!!!" ah yes, the infamous Big Head Jutsu of Umino Iruka, chunin and senior sensei of my class, who had just entered the classroom with Mizuki.

Oh dear, I think this is one of those times when life decides I needed to be worked over with brass knuckle-dusters.


 

The upshot of the incident was that now I was suspended from the Academy for the next six months for 'unleashing my Killing Intent on a comrade'.  Considering that I was in my final year of the Academy, plus the goodwill of the Hokage, prevented my expulsion from the shinobi ranks.

I did end up getting a stern talking to from the Hokage, the Shinobi No Kami himself, Sarutobi Hiruzen. And it was done in such a tone of disappointment, if I hadn't met Ron, I would have broke down crying.

Instead, I took my chops. Once he had finished, I bowed respectfully to him, apologised for my behaviour as unbecoming of a shinobi and wasting his valuable time. I offered to apologise to the class as whole for my behaviour. When one of the elders scoffed, thinking that I was trying to wriggle out of my punishment I said "Not because I wish to escape punishment, but because it is the right thing to do"

The Hokage granted me permission and I went and apologised to my class for my behaviour. I was met with jeers, taunts and catcalls, to which I kept a stoic facade. When it reached a crescendo, I turned to Iruka and Mizuki and requested permission to leave.

As I walked out of the Academy, I looked up at the clear blue sky. And my resolve strengthened.

This is my planet! And they will get over my cold dead body.

So, Operation Carbon, the protection of the planet is a go.

First stop, the library.
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Despite the side glances I kept getting from the librarian, I got scrolls on chakra, chakra control and calligraphy. I then found scrolls on D-rank ninjutsu, kenjutsu and basic taijutsu.

Deciding that this was enough for now, I head to the market and buy provisions for myself. Stopping at a stationery shop, I purchased writing material and ink.

By the time I reached the apartment, news of my suspension had spread throughout the village. The whispered comments, the jeers. The taunts and self satisfied smiles, were really getting annoying. Honestly, part of me just wanted to go Kyuubi on them.

I squelched that thought by reminding myself about Operation Carbon. The necessity of it. It helped steel my resolve.

I decided to have an early dinner, knowing tomorrow was going to be a hectic day for me.