Author's Note: Stop! I can hear what you're thinking: "this has no business being fan fiction". Well, this was an (ORIGINAL) short story I finished a few months back, which I converted into a fanfiction for fun (I'm trying to get it published, and since THAT won't happen anytime soon, I couldn't wait for reactions). So here's Naruto with guns and sci-fi, all in good fun. Hope you enjoy!

Oops, almost forgot the disclaimer!

In a change of pace from most fics, I own almost everything in the story! The only things I don't own are names and concepts that come from Naruto (i.e. Sasuke Uchiha and his Sharingan)

Credit to u/BendyWend for the cover image.

Chapter 1: That Night, We Fell From the Heavens

You never forget your first drop. The howling, the heat, the red lights and blaring klaxons. Sitting here on my hundredth birthday - almost eighty years later- I still remember everything about those two terrifying minutes.

When they shoot you out, it's jarring – a rough kick in the gut before weightlessness sets in again. The planet below you gets bigger and bigger before it completely fills that tiny viewport in the pod door.

The planet below us on our first D-Day was red. A sun-seared desert planet, covered in wisps of toxic smog. Its name was –innocuously enough- Quiet Dunes, a large desert planet orbiting Fomalhaut. You could see its largest city -Erebus- all the way from orbit. It was a massive industrial metropolis, fed by mining operations that dug deep into the red sands.

Erebus was our target, our LZ. The plan was to land in the sprawling slums, and work our way into the enemy military operations, where we would wage guerrilla warfare against almost four hundred thousand of the entrenched rebels. Harass them, harry them, sow the seeds of chaos, drive them to exhaustion and paranoia, while the main assault force pushed its way into the city. That was it. Simple, but certainly not at first.

When we detached from our titanic host ship, the Omodaru, I saw the other drop pods through the viewport. The sheer number of them astounded me. I guessed our landing force to be about full battalion. My squad was to remain autonomous unless ordered otherwise by the woman in charge of the assault on Erebus - Field Marshal Tsunade.

I heard comms crackle in my helmet, a hail from our dispatcher, the cheery and helpful Shizune Kato.

"Be advised Fireteam Seven, you're hitting atmo in thirty seconds, how copy."

"Copy that, Shizu-chan, we're secured and ready to drop." I tugged at my harness to emphasize the point. True to form, it didn't budge.

"Good hunting, Fireteam Seven!"

"Ooh-rah!" We shouted back. Not long after, the shaking started. The planet's atmosphere had swallowed us.

"Drop pod is entering the atmosphere. Have a safe descent." An automated voice chimed, filling the cramped space with a calm, soothing voice.

I knew the shaking would be bad, but the simulators they ran us through at the Academy didn't compare. It felt like my guts were turning into a smoothie.

I looked over at the rest of my fireteam. Despite their apparent uneasiness, they seemed to be holding up pretty well, bulky and intimidating in their black titanium-plate armor. This was something we've been preparing for our whole lives. All of us, the so-called 'Konoha Twelve'. We'd spent all of our lives living and training together, and now it was do or die: our baptism in fire.

Almost literally. The friction of the atmosphere crashing against our tiny drop pod had superheated the interior, leaving the floor boiling hot and the air nigh unbreathable.

Sakura, my oldest and closest friend, adjusted well to this new hell. Leaning on her monstrous, tri-barreled 'Hellhound' HLD-6 LMG, she gave me a small grimace through her visor and gave me a sarcastic two-fingered salute.

Her enormous frame and sheer brute strength must have been the only reason she wasn't gripping the harness with an iron fist. That, and her will to put on a tough face for Sasuke. The teme himself saw nothing of course. He kept his eyes shut in an attempt to remain serene despite the sheer noise and violent tremors that shook us around like toys.

I was scared as hell, but I was having the time of my life.

"Whoooo!" I shouted through comms, "fine day for flying, huh?" I was playing with fire, talking like that. It was fifty-fifty if I bit my tongue or not.
"Shut it dobe." Sasuke said, not deigning to open his eyes. I may have been the commanding officer of the 'Konoha 12', but we were too close to not have some light-hearted ribbing. Comms popped on again.

"Ok, Kosenjobi (Kosenjobi Squad being the official name for our squad, the so-called Konoha 12), you should be breaking cloud cover in ten seconds." Shizu-chan again. She'd be providing us with almost all of our support in the coming week, issuing orders, supply drops, orbital strikes, navigation and the like. Since I was the gunso of Kosenjobi Squad, we'd be in near-constant contact. Not that I'm complaining mind you, hearing that silvery-sweet voice of hers did wonders to brighten my day. Even if my day currently included being dropped from low orbit in a three-meter-wide pod plummeting towards half a million angry rebels at 11km/s.

Even though the worst of the rattling was over when we broke cloud cover, the ride didn't get any easier. Red emergency lights blinked on, bathing us in a dark crimson glow. The klaxons activated, blaring a keening, desperate wail.

Our braking jets slammed on, crushing us into our seats. Then, the flak started. Huge explosions rippled outside our dressed-up deathtrap, shooting swarms of shrapnel that rattled us even worse than atmo entry.

At once, my squad set comms on fire.

"Oh, shit! Hole! They shot a fuckin' hole in us!" Kiba cried.

"Who's down? Everyone alive?" Neji shouted.

"They hit our flaps! We've lost control! We're goin' wide!" Someone screamed. Too many people were talking now, I couldn't recognize the voice.

"Who's that? Who's hit?"

"We're burning up in here!"

"KOSENJOBI!" I shouted over general comms, as loud as I could without biting my tongue off. "Who are we?"

Sakura replied immediately. "We are Marines!" She yelled, desperate to be heard over the bursting flak and roar of decent. Teme was next, followed by the rest.


"WHAT ARE WE?" I cried. They were focusing now, ignoring their peril.



"TO CRUSH OUR ENEMIES BENEATH OUR BOOTS." They chorused, a deep red anger giving the Marine's Creed a righteous fury.

"WE ARE THE HARBINGERS OF THEIR DEATH, THE VANGUARDS OF THEIR DESTRUCTION." A piece of shrapnel whizzed through my pod, but left my fireteam unharmed. Wind howled through the hole it made, drowning out any other sound, even my own hoarse screaming.
"AND WITH OUR COMING, THEY WILL KNOW FEAR." We finished. Our parachute unfurled, jarring us again as we slipped under the range of their flak cannons.

"Ooh-RAH, that's right, Marines! Now give me a god-damn sit-rep!" I yelled.
"Shino here, Fireteam Eight. We're alive, but our pod's coming apart at the seams." Landing would be tough for them but not impossible. Of course, Shino delivered his report in the calmest, most detached voice possible.

"Shikamaru here, Fireteam Ten. All O.K. Flak's a drag." Typical Shikamaru.

"Neji reporting for Fireteam Nine. All breathing."

"We're good over here." I said, looking over my squad-mates and best friends.

I looked at the pod. The hole was burned at the edges, heated to melting point by our entry. I still felt sick. The flak had pushed us way off course, and the blue map on my visor's HUD placed us in a very, very bad spot: four kilometers from the center of Erebus.

"Heads up guys, we're landing in the middle of a hornet's nest." I said. "You know where to go. Do your best to get there on time!" I clicked off general comms. Radio silence from here on out.

"Naruto!" Sakura yelling again. She sounded angry and… scared?

"What's up, Sakura-chan?" She pointed at the altitude meter.

"Prepare for impact." The pod chirped cheerily. Shit.

With a bone-jarring crash, we landed, our pod rolling down the street before coming to rest against a street lamp. After shaking away the urge to pass out, I assessed my team. A quick look told me my friends were alive, if not altogether well. Sasuke hunched over and vomited the shitty paste breakfast we ate aboard the Omodaru. The pile of sick immediately started steaming, superheated by the floor. It was pretty gross, but I grinned. Sakura and I managed to fight off our nausea, and now I could torture Sasuke about his weak stomach for months.

The pod door was facing the sky, showing the stark black night and the stars we hailed from. I tried to open it, but no luck. No matter how much I grunted and struggled, the hole in our pod had screwed up the locking mechanism, and it refused to budge.

"Uh... Sakura?" She gave me a devilish grin before placing herself below the door.

"SHANNARO!" She shouted, shunting the door open with an explosive upwards kick. Turning back to me, she gave a deep, sarcastic bow. "After you, Naruto-hime." I rolled my eyes.

"Thank you for the time-wasting theatrics." Sasuke said, wiping his mouth with an armored fist. "Now can we go?"

Agreeing, I grabbed my rifle, (the standard-issue M-34) before clambering out of the pod. Taking in the city around me, I gave a low whistle.

Erebus was a dirty red nightmare. Legions of pre-fabricated buildings stood roof to roof, lacking any sort of logic or order. Red sand covered the walls and streets, a thin film that stuck to the city like a layer of grimy, bloody skin. Thick clouds of pollution spilled into the sky, by-products of the city's gargantuan mining operations. Sparks from busted power lines danced and flickered into the street, thanks to a certain drop pod's disastrous landing. A lone siren howled into the empty streets. Time to go.

Sakura was busy hauling a dazed Sasuke out, graciously accepting a noncommittal 'Hn.' as thanks. Fireteam Seven was ready. Armed and armored to the teeth and traditional hitae-ate tied around our helmets, we were ready. We warborn had survived our first drop.

Sasuke assessed the city with distant, blazing eyes. They were a bright red with three small flecks that looked like tomoe, thanks to his gen-mod (snarkily referred to by the much cooler name Kekkai Genkai) the Sharingan.

We all had the same choice after joining the Marines when we were six: to choose a genetic modification, or refuse them entirely. Nearly everyone accepted them. The general populace often saw those who did as monsters, but we didn't care. We are Warborn, and the opinions of the civilians we protected didn't bother us (on the rare occasion we actually heard them).

Sasuke chose the Sharingan mod like the rest of the legendary Uchiha family, allowing him to see half again as far as a normal human, as well as the ability to perceive roughly one hundred frames per second. Naturally, he was the squad's designated marksman.

When Sakura gave me a thumbs up, it struck me once again just how huge she was. Having chosen a myostatin-inhibitor as her gen-mod, she was a hulking brute, two meters tall and leagues stronger than every other member of Kosenjobi Squad. Besides her tri-barreled LMG, she carried eight drums of ammo and sixteen satchel charges, a living, breathing, pink-haired armory.

After I made sure they were okay, I checked my surroundings. Comms were totally silent, an unusual and alien sensation. I desperately wanted to call a comms check to make sure my friends were ok. I was their leader. I couldn't help but feel responsible.

I also missed the banter. Hearing Shikamaru's constant bitching, Shino's dry snark, Kiba's vulgarity, Lee's enthusiasm, and Ino's tsundere act always kept me calm during training missions. I decided to annoy teme instead, it would have to do for now.

"You gonna make it, Sasuke?" I asked, grinning wide. He huffed.

"I'll do my best dob-" his head snapped up. "Contact! Enemy APC inbound!" Learning long ago to trust his Sharingan, we dove for cover, despite not seeing the threat for ourselves. It made itself known anyway. Throwing on its floodlights, the armored vehicle bathed us in a pale white light. It plowed through abandoned civilian cars, pushing them to the side of the street with ease.

"Ah, shit." Sakura hissed, crouching behind a minivan. As I saw it, we had two options. We could book it to the rendezvous point and hope they didn't follow us, or we could…

"Sakura! Give me your gun!"

"Naruto, what the hell are you planning?" I wasn't sure myself, but if I stopped to think about it, I'd lose whatever inertia I had.

"Just… do it!" I whispered, careful to stay behind my own cover, a rusting, abandoned bus. Reluctantly, she obeyed, tossing me the heavy gun like a toy. I caught it, a painful oomf escaping me.

"Now," I said, snapping my fingers. "Take care of it. Sakura-style." Settling the massive LMG in a broken window, I saw the APC come to a halt a few dozen meters in front of us. I opened up, pouring a storm of .30 caliber rounds into the vehicle.

"Naruto!" She cried. "You're insane!" But she obeyed, dashing into an alleyway.

"Get in that shop, Sasuke! Cover her!" The APC returned fire with a regular, deafening roar of its cannon. High explosive shells ripped the bus I was hiding behind to shreds, sending twisted metal and shrapnel flying.

A dull pain laced up my arm, and I sprinted behind the nearest pre-fab, hearing the shells whistle past me and shredding the street behind me. Red sand choked the air, kicked up from the gunfire and explosions. Hazarding a glance at Sasuke, I saw him dive into the shop. Thankfully, I had drawn all of the attention. No bullets sought him out. Sakura had disappeared.

I blind-fired around the corner, spent casings pattering the cement in a torrent of brass. The rounds themselves ricocheted off the APC, whistling high-pitched screams into the night. A regular popping noise sounded out, Sasuke's rifle doing its best to be heard over the roar of the cannon. If he was firing, it could only mean one thing: rebel troops were deploying.

The building I was behind shook and rattled, withering under the constant barrage. A round exploded into the corner with a flash of white. I flew black into the ground, covered in debris. Ears ringing, I stood and dashed out again. Sakura should be about to strike, and the enemies' attention should be focused on me.

Sure enough, while the squad of soldiers shot at me (and now Sasuke), they missed the hulking rosette behind them. Brandishing one of her satchel charges, she sprinted forward and threw the explosive into the APC's open troop bay. She spun on her heels and ran before diving down into the red-stained road, arms over her ears and clasping a detonator. Rolling away, she thumbed a big red button.

A resounding crack issued forth, followed by a huge plume of fire that shot into the night sky. The pressure wave knocked me back, followed by a blast of heat. When I opened my eyes again, I saw a flaming, twisted wreck where the APC used to be. Charred corpses surrounded it, and the road was silent again.

Sakura threw a fist into the air, her mouth making the shape for 'shannaro'. Damned if I could hear it though, my ears were still ringing. I gave her the Hellhound back when we reconvened.

"Too heavy for my tastes." I said, grinning widely.

"You're so lucky that worked." She replied, coughing. The sand had filled the air again, and it tasted like metal. Sirens and faint flashes of red and blue pierced the thick clouds of dust. A klaxon echoed throughout the city. We were in the middle of an incoming shit storm.

"We need to keep moving." Sasuke said, acting like he wasn't impressed. He was right though. Reinforcements would be here soon, and just three Warborn couldn't hold off that shit storm.

"Right. Rendezvous is going to be a little tough to get to." I said, waving them forward into a jog. "We'll have to cut through this commercial district." I pulled out my data slate from inside of my armor. The data slate was a small, thin black pad with most of my HUD info, except that it was linked into the HUD of my fireteam as well. I drew a line on my data slate, updating our maps with a path through Erebus.

"Uh. Naruto."

"Hm? What's up, Sakura-chan?"

"That's the wrong way, dobe." Sasuke said, finishing her thoughts.

"Oh. I rubbed the back of my head in embarrassment. "Oops."

"It's not the wrong way. Just less efficient." Sakura said, drawing her own path. A line appeared on my map, cutting through a tangled mess of residential pre-fabs to the actual rendezvous.

"Damn it. All those classes…"

"People make mistakes." Sakura said, shrugging.

"Stupid mistakes." Sasuke corrected, never missing an opportunity to harangue me.

"And some people get a wittle sick in the tum-tum." I countered. I honestly felt bad about the slip-up, hence my defensiveness.

"Naruto!" Sakura said slapping me in the back of the head. "I'm trying to help you here!" I heeded her, deciding Sasuke's rancid look more than made up for it. "And besides, it was our first drop, it's a miracle we survived!"

As we jogged through twisting alleys and piles of debris, street lamps became more and more infrequent, until there were none at all. Shrouded in night, we felt a little more comfortable moving around.

After two klicks, I remembered I had been hurt. That was the downside to my own kekkai genkai, a nociceptor inhibitor. I could take quite a bit of damage before I felt any drastic pain, and even bullet wounds only hurt like a dull ache. However, with this lessened response, I had to remember I was hurt; otherwise, I could injure myself further. I stopped our march.

"Hey guys, let's take a quick breather." When Sakura to face me, her eyes widened. She finally saw the wound. I didn't blame her for taking so long, it was pretty dark out.

"You're hurt!" I looked at it. It hurt, sure, but it wasn't more than a deep scratch. Nothing had lodged itself in me, thankfully, but blood had seeped down my arm to soak my navy-blue fatigues a deep crimson. Sand caked the wound, and loose clothes and skin were torn to hell around it.

Sakura already had her medkit out.

"Sakura, that's not-"

"Shut it sir." She said, with as much sarcasm as she could muster. A quick swipe of an anti-septic pad and a spray of med-foam was all it needed.

I sighed in relief as the foam settled into the cut. Med-foam was a medical wonder, combining a sealing agent, nerve dimmer, and anti-bacterial solutions. It never fails to cure what ails you.

Feeling the foam dull the pain receptors on my arm, I flexed it, satisfied the seal would hold.

"Thanks Sakura, I owe you my life. Allow me to take you on a dinner date as thanks." She snorted at my grandiose (and exaggerated) thanks.

"That sounds more like punishment than gratitude." I waved her remarks off.

"Just hand me the anti-septic." I pouted, pretending to be hurt. The date thing was a long-running joke between us. Despite what everyone thought at the academy, we didn't see each other in that way. She handed me the wipe, which I used to mop up some other scratches I had sustained. When you came to a new planet, it's prudent to watch out for any kind of infection. Sasuke took the time to slide rounds into a magazine, each 7.7×56mm round pushed into place with a metallic click.

I took a deep breath, ready to continue.

It was unnerving. Us three vs. an entire city of enemies. Every corner, every turn could be the last one we ever take. Distant and staccato small-arms fire was a constant song that spilled into the night, and each pop and crack had us thinking about our squad mates. Was that them? Are they all alive? Are they dying as we speak?

It was torture. Communication was one of the most important parts of waging war (that had been drilled into my head since Day One of the Academy), and I was completely devoid of it.

Sakura, knowing what was on my mind, patted my shoulder. A small smile worked itself onto her face.

"They'll be fine. We're alright, aren't we?" She had a point.

"I guess our first drop could have gone worse, huh?" I said, smiling back. She was right though. My squad, the Konoha 12, the Kosenjobi, were alive. We had a mission to complete, and hell, if I was leading it, I was going to make damn sure it was done right.

We had a long way to go, but we could do this.

Author's Note (PLEASE READ!): That wasn't so bad, was it? It was? Well, be sure to let me know why! I love hearing thoughts and criticism (in case that wasn't obvious) so hit me up with a review or PM. No matter what, I'll respond. And if you ask a good question or have an insightful comment, I'll put it in my author's notes for the chapter.

And if you liked the story, I got good news for you - it's done. A'yup. All done. I'll be posting a 'story' chapter every other day, while I post 'interlude' chapters on the intervening days. These 'interlude' chapters will be insights to the 'Warborn' universe (as I've tentatively decided to call it), as well as hints to the story's progression, and splicing more Naruto characters into the story's background.

Which brings me to another point. There are only two significant OCs in this entire story. So those who are worried this will be my OCs from the original story + a few token Naruto characters, you are dead wrong. I heavily rewrote this story to fit the themes and characters of Naruto. And in all honesty, it's a lot more fun. And I hope you think so too.

See you next chapter!