A new story from me! Sorry it's so long, but I wanted to start the mission by chapter 2...
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, Warhammer 40,000, or Gaunt's Ghosts
(comments or useful information)
'quotes/sarcastic speech/use of term'
To Ally with Ghosts
Visitors? Naruto's exciting new mission!
It is the 41st millennium. For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the master of mankind by the will of the gods, and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day, so that he may never truly die.
Yet even in his deathless state, the Emperor continues his eternal vigilance. Mighty battlefleets cross the daemon-infested miasma of the warp, the only route between distant stars, their way lit by the Astronomican, the psychic manifestation of the Emperor's will. Vast armies give battle in his name on uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst his soldiers are the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines, bio-engineered super-warriors. Their comrades in arms are legion: the Imperial Guard and countless planetary defence forces, the ever-vigilant Inquisition and the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus to name only a few. But for all their multitudes, they are barely enough to hold off the ever-present threat from aliens, heretics, mutants – and worse.
To be a man in such times is to be one amongst billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be re-learned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.
By the middle of 776.M41 (year 776 of Millennium 41) the twenty-first year of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, Warmaster Macaroth's main battle-groups had penetrated extensively into the Carcaradon Cluster, and had become locked in full-scale war against the main dispositions of the archenemy overlord, ('Archon'), Urlock Gaur.
However, to Macaroth's coreward flank, an equally savage war front was being prosecuted by the Warmaster's secondary battle-groups – the Fifth, Eighth, and Ninth Crusade Armies – as they attempted to oust the forces of Magister Anakwanar Sek, one of Gaur's most ferocious warlord lieutenants, from the margins of the Khan Group.
The theatres of that campaign read as a roll call of Imperial heroism and endeavor: the glass beaches of Korazan, the black glaciers of Lysander, the high sierra forests of Khan Nobilis. However, the jungles of Mori should be especially noted, as there have been rumors of outside help…
-from A History of the Later Imperial Crusades
15.24 hrs, 257.776.M41 (day 257 of year 776 of millennium 41)
Orbiting Unknown Planet 387
Lord General Van Voytz, decked out in full ceremonial uniform, looked upon the tiny world from his flagship in space. This particular world was located on the far outer rim of the Sabbat worlds. It was small in size and was mostly covered in water, if not for one large continent on the equator. "Tell me again, Biota," he said, "what was the name of this planet?"
"This planet has no name, sir. It has not been touched by the God-Emperor or Chaos filth. In fact, it was just discovered scant months ago, we came here to decide what to do with this planet." With that, chief tactician Biota stepped back and allowed his superior to think.
"Hmmmm…yes…well, the first thing to do is to scout out the planet, eh?" without pausing to let Biota answer, Van Voytz continued, "Send down some of the 'ghosts' to see what's down there. Let Gaunt pick who he wants to bring."
"Yes, sir." Saluting, Biota left the viewing room to complete the task assigned to him.
Upon the planet's surface, a thunderhawk gunship screamed down into a forest clearing, quickly opening its belly to unload ten men, just ten men with mysterious weapon in black leather and green cloaks.
Meanwhile, in Konohagakure no Sato, a fifteen year old Naruto (and most likely the rest of the village) watched what appeared to be a falling star fall with a loud screaming noise into the northern section of the grand forest in fire country with his friends.
Tsunade, the village's hokage, had witnessed the falling 'star' as well. Thinking it suspicious, she sent an ANBU squad to investigate the site of its 'landing'. The squad, under the captain Natsukawa, left immediately.
The group of ten snuck forward. Since their landing in the forest, they had proceeded with the utmost caution, with their camo-cloaks over their heads, making as little noise as possible. Their senses were stretched to their limits searching for hostile objects; they were well aware that this world could be as hostile and barbaric as the orcs.
Thusly, they continued through the forest, so quiet that only those with the most skill or those that knew what they were looking for could detect them. These men searched anything, everything, and nothing. They searched for signs of life or anything that could be used or settled in. They moved forward confidently, as if they were sure that nothing would see them. This was a well-founded confidence; however, as when they moved, they disturbed nothing, cast no shadows, and made no noises. They were almost like…ghosts
The ANBU had reached the clearing and were currently searching for clues that could potentially be used for tracking. Natsukawa was inspecting the bark of a tree when one of his subordinates talked to him. "I believe that we've found something, captain." The ANBU said.
"Oh? What is it? Show me." Natsukawa was curious to see what it was; he had not seen a single thing since they showed up. Granted, his field was not in tracking, but he still should've noticed something.
"Of course, captain. This way." The ANBU then led him into the middle of the field.
"What is it? I don't see anything."
"Sir, the grass is bent and flattened, as if a strong wind washed over this area." True enough, the entire center of the clearing had its grass flattened. The ANBU member continued, "This does not seem to be a chakra based attack, because if it was a fuuton jutsu, the grass would have been shorn away, not just flattened. The way it is, it seems as if something literally blew a strong gust of wind to cushion a fall or something…" He trailed off at this point, leaving the rest to the captain's imagination.
The captain was angry at himself for missing something so obvious, but he calmed down and asked, "I see…have you found anything else?"
"Yes, sir" the ninja replied, "there also seems to be footprints leading away from the clearing to the south. There appears to be around ten people. Also, the first set of footprints is a fraction deeper than the rest, which indicates that they jumped off of something."
When the ninja was telling his captain of the direction the mysterious people were headed, Natsukawa gasped, Konoha is to the south…they must be stopped before any harm can come to the village! With this thought in mind, the captain waited until his subordinate was finished before rallying the squad and setting off in pursuit of the group of people who were, in his mind, going to attack Konoha.
The group of ten had reached another clearing, and thought it a good place to rest. So, the group of ten spread around the clearing, polishing and cleaning their weapons, taking a nap, and enjoying the scenery. One even started smoking a cigar!
The leader's name was Gaunt, or rather; his full name was Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt. Dressed in a formal military outfit complete with a greatcoat and officer's cap, he had short, cropped blonde hair and piercing electric-blue eyes. He was also wearing his regiment's, the Tanith first and only, or Gaunt's Ghosts, standard camo-cloak and was equipped with a single bolter pistol, 15 clips, and an ornamental sword. This ornamental sword was special, it did not slice like an ordinary sword, for it is a power sword; the power sword of Verghast's (a previous world he had fought a war in) first leader: Heironymo Sondar
He looked upon the men he had taken with him (he was refused the right to rally all of the ghosts, as this was strictly a small scout mission, and a whole force was excessive). His men: Major Elim Rawne, Sergeant Mkoll (leader of the scout specialist squad), Dermon Caffran, Mkvenner (an excellent scout), Bonin (one of the scouts, nicknamed 'lucky' Bonin), Doctor Dorden, Murtan Feygor, Hlaine Larkin (the sniper, nicknamed 'mad' Larkin), and Brostin (the flamer specialist). They were all his best and finest, most suitable for the job of scouting an uncharted planet. He was proud of them and trusted them with his life.
As Gaunt sat down under the shade of a tree, he could hear Bonin, smoking his lho stick, yell out, "Haaaaahhh, to be back in a forest again, it feels great!"
"It certainly does," Rawne agreed, "Especially after all those wars on forge-worlds and agri-worlds. I haven't seen a forest this big in a long time. You kind of miss these things, you know?"
Gaunt, who was paying attention to his troop's babble, jumped when he heard the voice of Mkvenner next to him saying, "Colonel-Commissar-"
"Just call me Gaunt"
"Gaunt, sir," Mkvenner continued, unused to using his name, "do you know where we're going from here on out?"
"Yes. I'm planning to just head south until we hit the beach. On the way down I think I saw some civilization to the south of our drop zone."
"I see" Mkvenner replied, "then I await the time when we leave."
It was at this point when Mkoll heard a tiny rustling of leaves. He was about to tell Gaunt when, a second later, four men in black cloaks and white facemasks appeared, holding Gaunt, Rawne, Mkoll, and Mkvenner at knifepoint.
"What the hell! Who the feth are you! Get your knives off of their throats!" The rest of the squad yelled in surprise and anger.
"売る性!" The one in the wolf facemask yelled before quieting down and demanding, "誰だ、お前は？"
All the ghosts seemed dumbfounded, "What…what the feth did he say? What kind of language is that?" Bonin asked no one in particular.
None of the ghosts had a clue what was said, and all seemed lost, as the lines of communication failed and they could no longer bargain for their leader's lives. Suddenly, Mkvenner spoke, seemingly unafraid of the knife at his throat, "It seems to be a modified dialect of Old Gothic. I'll try to translate. That one just said: 'shut up!' then, 'who are you?'"
Getting desperate, Dorden yelled, "Well, what are you waiting for, Ven! Answer them!
Nodding, Mkvenner said, "俺たちはゴンツゴスツです" Then, fishing out the translators that were given them in case they met intelligent life forms, Mkvenner continued, "これはラングエージトランズレーターです。君の顔にひきます。"
The cloaked men restraining Gaunt, Mkvenner, and Mkoll took the translators that were handed out to them and put them over their faces (think like Kakashi's facemask, except there are earflaps, as well). The cloaked figures started twitching, as if the devices were uncomfortable, which they probably were. Deciding to test it, the people spoke, "What – you – doing – here – for."
"What's wrong with the translators? That sentence was barely understandable." Dorden said.
"It seems that the translator can't work well enough due to the fact that this dialect of Old Gothic was greatly modified from the original. Didn't you hear the blank spaces?" Mkvenner replied.
Gaunt, tired of getting nowhere, tried negotiating, "We don't mean any harm. May you take us to your leader?"
The strange devices that man gave the ANBU quite uncomfortable. The seemed to do the trick, however, as they could now understand, if a little roughly, what the rest of the rogue group was saying. So, it was no surprise that they understood when the leader said, "We…mean…no…harm. Take…us…to…leader?"
The ANBU conferred together about this. On one hand, it would be easier and possibly more beneficial for them if those men were taken to Tsunade-sama, but on the other hand, it could also be endangering their leader, their village, and their families.
Eventually, the ANBU decided that Tsunade could take care of herself and that allowing them to see her couldn't hurt, so they herded the men together and led them southward.
The ghosts waited for the decisions of those men. After a few minutes of consideration, mostly done by small gestures, they appeared to approve. Three of the men formed up to lead us; two behind and one ahead. The fourth one went ahead to, apparently, alert their leader.
Sacred feth! The ghosts thought upon seeing the cloaked man leave. They were watching in silent wonder as the ANBU leapt up into the trees and proceeded to dash forward with almost inhuman speed and grace. How did he do that? Jumping from tree to tree…that's impossible!
It took three hours to reach the gates of konohagakure, and when they got there they were immediately ushered into the Hokage's office. All along the way, from the gates to the office, the Ghosts were staring at everything Konoha had to show; they were awed at the size of the gates, amazed by the mountain's carvings, and interested at the commotion in the market on the streets. Obviously, by the time they got to the Hokage's office they had multitudes of questions.
Tsunade had been waiting for the foreign convoy for about two hours now, and she was really annoyed that it was taking so long for them to get here. She was just about to explode and take her frustrations out on the numerous inanimate objects in her office when her secretary, Shizune, walked in, "The foreigners are here, Tsunade." (She doesn't have to use the honorific because they've known each other for so long)
"Finally, let them in." Tsunade sighed, and dropped down onto her desk, trying to look as official and impressive as was possible.
The four ANBU walked in accompanied by a group of ten men in black leather body armor and cloaks that were a dull green with a little brown and black mixed in here and there. The ANBU then proceeded to tear off their translators, the captain giving his to Tsunade to put on, then started explaining about the mission and the group that went with them, "Hokage-sama, our mission was a success. We went to the site. Then, Hikami noticed the area was windswept. We traced those people southward and intercepted them three hours walking time from the village. We had control of the situation, but those men wanted to see you. Lacking a clear objective in that situation, and seeing that they were not a significant danger, we led them here, although you may want to examine their weapons, they are…peculiar. You will receive a more complete report later, Hokage-sama."
"I thank you for that, Natsukawa. You are dismissed, but may wait outside the door if you like. I want to talk to these men alone." Tsunade said. She then adorned the translator that she had in her hand and turned to the Ghosts, waiting for the ANBU to leave.
"Hello. I am Tsunade, the Hokage and leader of this village and you are?" Tsunade started off.
"Gaunt walked forward, "My name is Ibram Gaunt. I hold the rank of Colonel-Commissar. I lead a regiment of fine soldiers from Tanith, called the Ghosts. These are some of my boys here." (I'm getting tired of putting pauses and taking out words, the lag of the translators is now implied. I have spoken. XP) He gestured towards his troops, who reacted with jovial gestures ranging from a simple smile to a friendly wave.
Tsunade was greatly confused with his explanation, but managed to keep it in check. She instead channeled that confusion into a highly articulate and eloquent question, "Tanith…Ghosts…Colonel-Commissar…wha-?"
Gaunt caught on immediately and apologized, "Oh, you don't understand, I'm sorry. All will be explained in due time. For now, may I ask some questions of my own?"
Tsunade nodded, "You may ask."
"What is this place, who are your soldiers, and can you give me a brief summary of the way this world works?"
Tsunade did not understand completely, but answered the best she could anyway, "This village is Konohagakure, the village of the hidden leaf. We are all ninja, people who specialize in stealth and assassination. With the help of jutsus, or techniques, coupled with high skill in hand to hand combat and weapons handling, we are able to call upon various skills to burn, drown, bludgeon, slice, decapitate, and psychologically torture our enemies. Our stealth is so great that we can melt into any environment, and no one will know we're there until the second they die. As for the workings of this world," Tsunade pulled out a map, "This continent is split into several countries, the fire country, wind country; earth country, water country, and lightning country are the major powers and the largest countries. However, there are also minor countries like rice country, wave country, and bird country. Each major country houses its own village of ninjas, as do a few minor ones. The major villages are the hidden stone in earth country, the hidden sand in wind country, the hidden mist in water country, here, the hidden leaf of fire country, and the hidden cloud in lightning country. The terrain of each country can usually be deciphered by its name: fire country is vastly forested, wind country is a big desert that receives high velocity winds daily, the rock country is mostly mountains and canyons and there is hardly any arable land, the water country is mainly marshes and is sometimes covered in mist, and lightning country has a lot of plains and hosts many thunderstorms throughout the year. Each country uses has its own army, but mainly we shinobi, or ninja, are used as we have much more skill. There have been many large wars between shinobi over the years; in fact, we are still recovering from one that happened 20 years ago. During peacetime, we shinobi find work through missions requested of us by anybody, whether they be regular peasants or political leaders of the highest degree. The shinobi villages also have a system of ranking for both ninja and for their missions. Genin are the lowest rank, they are beginners, with almost no battle skill and only the most basic jutsu; they are only allowed D-rank missions, the lowest ranking missions, D-rank missions have no chance of battle, and are usually menial labor like washing windows. Veteran Genin, however, are also allowed on C-rank missions, which entail a chance of battle, but only with those that are non-shinobi, and are mostly low-level escorting, delivery, or retrieval missions. Then there are Chuunin, mid level ninjas who are the equivalent of a squad leader. They are allowed to go on C-rank missions while veterans are allowed on B-rank missions, which can involve battles with shinobi Chuunin rank or lower, and usually entail low level assassination, low level scouting and surveillance, or high level escort and protection. Jounin are high level shinobi, and usually only go on A-rank missions; which usually entail high level and complicated versions of what lower rank missions entail, like protection, assassination, surveillance, retrieval, delivery of dangerous and/or important packages, and the like. However, they do go on B-rank missions if there are no A-ranks left. There are also ninja that do not fit inside the ninja ranking system. There are the ANBU, who were the ones to escort you here. They are elite ninjas hand picked by the kage out of those in the jounin rank. They are the personal bodyguard of the kage and are usually assigned to take care of security in the village, but are on occasion given S-ranked missions delegated to them by the kage. There are also medic-nins, who are ninjas who are trained in the medical arts department of shinobi, and hold intricate knowledge of the human body. Another type is the Hunter-nin, jounin rank ninjas who specialize in tracking and killing missing-nin, ninjas who betrayed their village and wander the continent as criminals. These missing nin also have official rankings based on how dangerous they are to the villages. Ranging from D to S, just like missions, D is equal to Genin, C is equal to Chuunin, B is equal to tame jounin, A is equal to malicious jounin, and S is equal to missing nins who are suspected to have grown to kage level and are to be eliminated with extreme prejudice by a team of 3 or more hunter-nins from any country. Last of all, there are the kages. Each major country has its own country, while the minor countries have leaders who can be considered as kages within their villages, but are not officially recognized as such. The kages are me, the current Hokage of Konoha, the Kazekage of Suna (sand), the Tsuchikage of Iwa (rock), the Mizukage of Kiri (mist), and the Raikage of Kumo (cloud)." Tsunade lay back in her chair, her mouth a little sore from the long explanation.
Gaunt, however, was still trying to process all the information given to him. It took a while because it was so much info, so detailed, and in such a short time. Meanwhile, the rest of the ghosts in the back were in shock at all the information, the simply couldn't understand all of that, so the stopped trying. After a while, Tsunade spoke up again, "Now may I ask you a question?"
"Where are you from and why are you here."
Sighing, Gaunt prepared to launch into the second long explanation today, "Alright. I and my men…come from space."
Tsunade's jaw dropped in shock before turning red in anger, "YOU EXPECT ME TO BELIEVE THAT! THE NERVE OF YOU PEOPLE! YOU HAVE THE GALL TO BARGE IN HERE, AS STRANGERS, NO LESS, AND HAVE US TREAT YOU WITH HOSPITALITY, THEN SPIT OUT THIS BULLSHIT AND EXPECT US TO BELIEVE IT!"
Gaunt sighed again, "Please, just listen to me, and then you can judge whether it's true or not."
Tsunade calmed down, "Alright, fine. Prove to me that you aren't lying."
With that, Gaunt started up again, "I and my men come from another planet, one that is already long dead, called Tanith. Since then, we have been fighting a war called the Sabbat crusades. The crusades are a war to free a group of worlds that are considered holy from the enemy that killed Tanith. This enemy is called Chaos. Our society, the Imperium, has many enemies, whether they are aliens, like the green-skinned orcs or the lithe and acrobatic elder, to chaos, the epitome of corruption and evil. Chaos is our archenemy, a force that calls upon demons and mutates men into unrecognizable beings of horror and death. To combat these forces we ourselves have many different armies. The Imperial Guard, regular foot men like us, the Inquisition, an order responsible for detecting the taint of chaos and eliminating it, the Commissariat, which provides men trained to motivate people and keep them working hard. The greatest of our armies are the Adeptus Astartes, or the Space Marines. They are genetically engineered super-warriors, capable of superhuman feats of strength and bravery. They are accompanied and assisted by the Adeptus Mechanicus, who experiment with weapons and armor, and provide them with the latest in armor and weaponry. That was the basic rundown of our universe and what's happening. As for why I'm here, this is an unnamed planet in the Sabbat worlds that has been recently discovered. I was sent here with a strike team to scout this planet and see if there was anything worth using. Imagine my surprise that I would find a whole civilization here, especially with such a great fighting force."
Tsunade was clearly not convinced, "Look, that's a really nice story and all but can you just tell me the truth now?"
Gaunt was not surprised by her response, and answered calmly, "You still don't believe me? Fine, if it's alright with you, I can bring some people from your village back with me into space. Then you can see if I'm lying or not."
Tsunade, although still not convinced, was nevertheless intrigued by Gaunt's proposition, "Very well, I'll send some people with you. SHIZUNE!"
Hearing her master's call, Shizune entered quickly, "Yes, Tsunade?"
Tsunade handed her a packet, "Bring these people to me. Jiraiya should be peeping in the hot springs right now, when you give him away, prevent the girls from beating him, he's needed."
Shizune nodded, "Yes, I'll be right back."
An hour later, Naruto, Shino, Kiba, Neji, Lee, Shikamaru, Tenten, Hinata, Kakashi, and Jiraiya filed into her office. "You called, grandma?" Naruto said.
Tsunade smacked Naruto upside the head before moving on to why they were there, "I have called you here to ask you something."
The assembled ninja stood there for a minute before Jiraiya broke the silence, "Go oooooonnnnn…"
Tsunade started in surprise, "Oh! Right. Recently, a group of foreigners have been brought here for questioning. They claimed to have come from space. I didn't believe them, but they proposed to bring an envoy back to their 'ship'. So, I sent for you. Do you accept?"
All of them nodded, curious to see where they would go. "When are we leaving?" Kakashi asked.
Gaunt answered for her, "You have one hour to pack anything you may want to bring, as you may be up there for a week or more. We will meet at the northern gate."
Up in the flagship, Naruto and the gang were being led through the many corridors into the 'Lord generals room', whatever that was supposed to be, by more of the men in the same uniforms as those that came down to their world. When they reached their destination, they saw that man, Gaunt, walking out. He spotted them and motioned them in. Stiffening in anxiety, the ninjas from Konoha strode in.
-Lord Militant General Barthol Van Voytz PoV-
Van Voytz dismissed Gaunt from his office, as he had already finished telling the Lord General about his findings on the newly discovered world. He was greatly intrigued when Gaunt told him that he brought some of the natives of the planet back with him, and asked Gaunt to let him see these 'ninjas' that he spoke of, to which he replied that he had already asked the ninjas to be brought in. Gaunt was not gone for a minute when he suddenly reappeared in the Lord General's room, ten 'ninjas' following him.
Voytz looked at Gaunt expectantly, expecting him to introduce them. It seemed Gaunt caught on quickly, as he suddenly spoke, "Oh! Sorry, sir. These are the ninjas that were sent from Konoha: Jiraiya, Kakashi, Shino, Naruto, Hinata, Shikamaru, Neji, Kiba, Lee, and Tenten." He gestured to each ninja in turn as he introduced them.
Van Voytz studied them for a minute, before replying with a reserved, "I see…" He was deep in thought for a while, before he spoke to the Konoha shinobi, causing them to flinch slightly as they were already all too uncomfortable with their unfamiliar surroundings, "So, Gaunt tells me that you're all 'ninja'? And that you specialize in various covert operations, such as assassination and information gathering?"
Kakashi was the one that answered, having been the first to recover from the wonder and anxiety that was caused by being in a place that was totally alien to them, "Yes, we do all those things and more."
Van Voytz nodded, "Good, I was curious to see these…abilities of yours."
Jiraiya raised his eyebrow, curious, "Oh? And how would you plan on doing that?"
The Lord General was smirking slyly, "I would have you go on one of these 'missions' of yours."
"What would you have us do?" Jiraiya asked.
"Recently, one of our officers has been captured by Chaos forces. A general to be exact. You are to go to the planet, Lexion, where he is being held, and retrieve him." Van Voytz turned to Gaunt, "Gaunt, I would have you accompany them, but you may only choose a tactical force of fifteen, including you."
Gaunt saluted, "Yes, Lord General. I would be happy to." With that, he walked off to prepare the men he would take with him.
After Gaunt left, Kakashi voiced his question, "This is an A-ranked mission. How do you plan to pay us?"
The Lord General answered simply, "In supplies, of course. We will pay in food and various pieces of technology that might be useful to you. Also, if you complete this mission, we will be coming back with merchants for trade, and give your people access to different worlds."
Jiraiya nodded, "Then we accept." He turned to Kakashi, "Kakashi, I'm leaving this mission in your command. I have to go back and report to Tsunade about all this."
"And I will lend you a drop shuttle." Van Voytz said, "As for the rest of you, spend the night here and leave tomorrow. My tactician, Biota, will lead you to your barracks."
With that, Biota stepped up, saying, "Follow me.", and led them out the door.
Before they went to far, Van Voytz's voice rang through the door, "Oh, and before I forget, there will be extra payment if you assassinate the leader responsible for the abduction!"
In case you all wanted to know, this takes place one year after the three-year jump, so Naruto is 16. Naruto is a chuunin now, but everyone else's rank is the same as they were after the three year jump.
Dialogues too awkward? Explanations too long? I'm open to comments so read and review!