As the variable capital always stays in the hands of the
capitalist in some form or other, it cannot be claimed in any
way that it converts itself into revenue for anyone.
It all starts the day Akari gets into a debate with Minato Namikaze on a battlefield during the Third Ninja War.
She, Ay, and B were sent out to cut off a potential Konoha offensive. Or rather, Ay and B were sent out to cut off a potential Konoha offensive. She's here because, in the words of the Third, their wise Raikage, "somebody has to keep her and her bitch mouth under control so she doesn't embarrass our village, and you two idiots are the only ones who might do it."
So here she is. Out, patrolling, when the three of them come across Minato.
Akari hears Ay start swearing.
Minato eyes the three of them up. She can tell that he recognizes Ay and B, as most people do. But there's an undisguised confusion in his gaze when his eyes land on her, and Akari relishes in the opportunity this presents.
A fresh audience? That's exactly what she's here for.
Akari clears her throat.
Ay whips around to look at her and snaps, "Don't you dare—"
"Hey, you fucking tree hugger!" Akari shouts.
Minato blinks. He points at himself.
Ay makes a grab for her and Akari ducks out of the way. "Yeah, you, blondie! I'm talking to you!"
"You kiss one of those trees, lately? Ever try and stick your dick in it?"
Still, this garners no reaction. Minato continues to stare at her like he hears this every single day of his life. And maybe he does. She always hears that Konoha ninja are a weird bunch. Tree-related-sexual activity could be a regular thing for them. It wouldn't surprise her.
Ay glares at her. "Akari, one more word and I swear I will—"
"How's it feel to fuck a tree? Real rough? The bark leave a bunch of scratches on your micropenis?"
B leans over to Ay. "Yo, she's got it, though," B stage-whispers, one hand raised to block his mouth. "Say what you want, but her ducks are in a row."
"No, they aren't," Ay says. "Or she'd have learned to shut her mouth and listen to her superiors at some point in the last seven years."
Akari pays them no mind. She's too focused on putting her core into it as she screams, "I bet it can't compare to how hard you've fucked your own ninja. Really letting the system do the work for ya, eh? With your autocratic dictatorship built on the backs of child soldiers?"
Minato frowns. "I'm—wait a minute. Kumo uses child soldiers, too."
Ay glares at her.
"But we're not an autocratic dictatorship! We're a communal one."
"You're not… what's an autocratic dictatorship? And a communal… dictatorship?"
"Dictator. You know, big bad leader, total power over whatever they're leading. In an autocratic dictatorship—see: your shithole of a village—is when there's no input from other people, it's all down to the dictator. No meaningful participation from the subordinates. A communal dictatorship involves transparency and mandates. We hold our leaders accountable."
"But… Kumo is just as bad as us?"
"Yes!" he says. He knits his eyebrows together and looks at her like she's told him it's summertime in the middle of a blizzard. "All of the ninja villages are autocratic dictatorships, according to that definition," he says. "They were built on a foundation of military dictatorship. Kage titles are passed down to the most powerful ninja in the village. And if it's 'communal' in the full definition of the word, that'd include the community, wouldn't it? As in, some kind of population representation? None of the villages have that."
"But Kumo is transparent about this. That's the key, here," Akari says. "We're not trying to act like we've got some kind of moral high horse." She smirks. "We're not a bunch of bitch ass babies continuing to show blind loyalty to a corrupt government, all the while acting like we're anything other than literal murderers for hire."
"Oh, shit," B says. "She went there, man, that's lit."
From where she stands, Akari can see Ay's life pass before his eyes as his soul dies on the spot.
"Fine. It might be a flawed system—"
"—but that doesn't mean it can't be changed from the inside."
"Oh, yeah?" she says. "Sounds like big talk from a pretty boy like you."
"Anything is fixable," Minato says firmly. "It just takes the right person to do it. And I plan on becoming Hokage one day."
Akari scoffs. "Dismantling a system from the top just sets you up to be absorbed by it."
"What's your plan, then?" he asks. And unlike her, he doesn't sound like he's asking out of bad faith. His voice is too earnest and open.
"Violent revolution against ninja?"
"Yes, that's exactly what I said, dipshit!"
"Trying to spring a violent revolution on a military dictatorship is asking to be killed."
"Not when it's a ninja versus ninja fight! The playing ground is even."
Ay pinches the bridge of his nose and mutters under his breath, "Fucking moron."
"You're just saying that because you're bourgeoisie scum and you know that when the revolution comes, you're going to find your head propped up on a stick."
Minato holds up a hand. "What's… bourgeoisie?"
"The powerful ones. The oppressors. Those benefiting from the fruits of the worker's labour."
"You should be sectioned," Ay says.
"Only if you have a death wish." Akari turns a disapproving eye on him. "If you sectioned every slightly unstable jonin you'd have an empty workforce. Besides, don't act like it's not in your best interest for all of your jonin to be slightly unstable—it makes them more dependent. Warped ninja have no chance of developing outside skills and breaking from the ninja lifestyle."
Minato, looking almost surprised, says, "I think she has a point."
"Yeah, you are kind of bourgeoisie scum," B says. "Even if I think that word is dumb."
"It's a dumb word to describe dumb people like all three of you."
"You know what?" Ay says.
He sinks into a fighting stance and Akari knows that her debate is over. So does Minato, from the way he tenses.
"You're going to tell me either way, right?" Minato asks.
And instead of answering, Ay flies at him.
Akari takes this as her cue and gets the fuck out of dodge.
"What have you been told?"
"No revolutionary ranting outside of actual combat encounters, where it can serve as a worthy distraction tactic."
"And what did you do?"
"Go on a revolutionary rant before the combat started."
The Third nods slowly. He regards Akari calmly. "So this is what it feels like to fight a losing fight," he muses. "Were you spanked a lot as a child?"
"No. Spankings are unconstitutional."
"Is that so?"
"Corporal punishment is a breach of basic human rights. And honestly, if you have to devolve to hitting your kid, that's a mark of having already lost the fight because it shows that you can't reason your way out of the argument." It's an argument she got a lot of mileage out of against the Kumo villagers who helped 'raise' her after she was 'kidnapped'.
Akari grins. "You gonna spank me now, daddy?"
Ay bristles like a cat whose tail was stepped on. "Show some respect, you brat."
The Third waves a hand. "She's fine. Really, I expect this shit from her." He raises an eyebrow. "And it sounds like whatever she said worked, too. You almost landed a hit on Namikaze?"
Ay clenches his jaw. "Almost, yes."
"Better than any of our other ninja can say," he says. He exhales from his nose, his arms crossed over his chest. "Though I recall you also were charged with preventing this little asshat from running her bitch mouth. Those were my exact words, weren't they?"
"No," Akari says. "You told them to keep me and my bitch mouth under control."
"Ah, right. Thank you."
"I tried to intervene—"
"But the revolution cannot be stopped. Once the cry rings out amongst the workers, nothing can stamp it out forever. Revolution is inevitable—"
"Kill me," Ay mutters.
"—and the longer you fight against it, the worse it's going to be," she continues, louder to speak over him. "You can still save yourself now."
The Third makes a couple of vague hand motions.
"We need a clean break from the system, so that means the two of you are going to have to go. We can't move forward until all traces of the old power are wiped out. But, hey, if you give in willingly and accept that communism is the superior form of governance, I don't see any reason why you can't make it out of this with your heads intact."
A couple of ANBU appear on either side of Akari. Each grabs one of her arms and together, they lift her off her feet.
"You can't silence me!" she shouts as they drag her out. "The red voice rages on!"
"Have your mission report in by tomorrow morning," the Third calls to her.
"You'll get no mission report from me and like it!"
"No report, no pay!"
Akari turns in a ten-page manifesto as her mission report, and she gets half the payment she was supposed to.
The bourgeoisie scum continues to dangle capital over her head. But they cannot keep her down.
"For the love of the kami, shut the fuck up."
"I'm morally opposed to the whole idea of having jinchuuriki. It's like, flawed. You're enslaving sentient beings."
"Who got her started?"
"I dunno, man. I think somebody brought up that B was working with the Hachibi again, and that's why he was gone all day yesterday."
"Like that's really fucked up. Tying them to vessels without their permission? No wonder the tailed beasts are so difficult to work with—you wouldn't want to work with one of the other villages if they kidnapped you, put you in chains, and said you had to take orders from some random asshole."
"We had a rule. Nobody was supposed to bring up Hachibi around her—even you B!"
"Sorry, yo. Hachibi likes her though."
"And anyway, no one person should have that much power. Even if we ignore the enslavement part, you can't share the power of a tailed beast equally. Only nine people will ever be able to hold the power, and even then, not all the tailed beasts are equally powerful. There's no way to create equal distribution. It seems like the obvious choice, to just let nobody have it?"
"You realize that you'd kill every current vessel to do that, right? Including B?"
"Sacrifices must be made."
"Whoa. That's cold, bro."
"Look, nuclear deterrence is never a good way to go about things."
"What does that even mean?"
"No, dude, don't—"
"The big dum dum goo goo babies need a better explanation?"
"Great. Look at what you did."
"I'm not drunk enough for this."
"The jinchuuriki are the big boom boom. Make things go explodey. If you have something that can make other things go explodey, it makes you more likely to use it. So, if you want to keep things from going explodey, you got to eliminate the big boom booms."
"Somebody, just kick her out."
Akari sits on the ground in front of the bar at three in the morning.
No matter what she says or does, they resist her. They're hardwired to do it at this point. Nobody wants to listen to their local rampaging communist when they get up on a soapbox. She knew this would happen—it happened in the other world, too. Working as a city planner, at least, she had the power to manipulate the cities to benefit the revolution, even if all the municipal suits learned to tune out her ranting within a few weeks. She could make sure the streets were wide enough to riot, keep the sewage closer to the bougie parts of town, allot additional budget to improving the poorer parts of the city, small things like that.
She doesn't have that kind of power in this stupid weeb world. Not yet, at least. Being a jonin is cool, and all, but she doesn't even get to vote on anything. She just gets a title to throw around that makes people shake in their boots, sometimes. There's no political power. No practical use for inciting change.
She needs a new plan of attack.
Her eyes wander around the seedy streets of Kumo's bar district. Flashing neon signs, litter all over the concrete, a handful of ninja passed out in drunken stupors. A few prostitutes wander around, lit cigarettes in their hands. The place reeks of downtrodden working-class energy, and she spends more time here than anywhere else in Kumo.
But how? What should she do next?
A drenched piece of paper carried by the breeze smacks her in the face. Akari pulls it off with a sneer, holding it between two fingers. The ink is smudged. She squints, and she can make out some kind of advertisement for a new restaurant opening down the road.
Then, the idea comes to her.
She'll write her way out. She'll write everything down, as far as she knows. And then she'll distribute the means for righteous revolution to the masses.
To herself, she whispers, "It's time for the proletariat to rise."
"What did she just say?"
"Ignore her. I think she's that dumbass jonin who got her promotion from being so annoying that she frustrated enemy-nin into turning around and leaving."
"Really? I heard she made three nin commit suicide at once to get away from her."
"You know, I've heard her go off a few times, dude. That wouldn't surprise me.
She turns to look at them, a couple of chunin stumbling along arm in arm. They're clearly drunk, and one of them had a brown stain on his flak jacket, which could either be alcohol or barbeque sauce.
She sneers at them and glares. "Vive la revolution, fuckers," she says.
Their eyes widen and they scatter.
They'll learn. All of them will learn, one day. And she's going to teach them.