Okay, here's the last part of the Haran flashback Arc, as promised I will then get back to the main course.

Shoutout to Kurogane7 and UnitedOsprey1991 for helping out this chapter in both military, writing, grammar and etc. Could not do this without them. Especially not with the results of this chapter, 13K!

Also, this chapter happened to be finished right before I happened to read the scanned version of 1061 and wow, the amount of characters and revealings being done is awesome.

Now with the latest chapters coming out - oh boy! Am I excited!


Gaikotsu Bay

The sun was beginning to rise in the Gaikotsu Bay, as the seagulls were seen in flocks, flying in the blue air. However, they would be silent witnesses - the first of an act that today would shock the world.

Sky Shinobi aircraft carriers were seen in full preparation as the maintenance teams were on deck, all in their uniforms while they were in good morale, waiting eagerly for this moment.

The pilots of the metallic wings being prepared on the deck, checking their ammunition as bombs were loaded into compartments next to their bodies that allowed them to shoot this weaponry with only the pull of the trigger.

These weapons had new upgrades as a belt of unusually pointy metal was fed by a clip to a trigger mechanism. Under their wings of some were two large, metallic bombs; long, metallic tubes with a propeller were attached. These weapons were specifically designed to go into the water before speeding towards its target, where the warhead could penetrate anything below the waterline that was made of wood or steel.

And now these weapons were to be used today against their new enemies stationed at Haran Harbor.

Hundreds of these pilots awaited their orders, as their main command had yet to be given by the men standing at the end of the flight decks.

One of them was seen wearing a balaclava over his head that only allowed his eyes to be visible, checking his own watch to see what time it was.

The time was 7:00 in the morning; right on schedule. The leader raised a clenched fist to his troops, signaling that the operation was a go.

VROOOOM!

The first Sky Shinobi was launched into the air, thanks to the mechanism of one of the deck workers who smashed the launcher in that allowed the fighter to be shot into the air.

Their numbers grew as pilots were launched into the air after another, all grouping up into squadrons just as planned.

"For the glory of the Hidden Sky! Attack, Attack, ATTACK!"


Meanwhile

As one of the unaffected parts of the Elemental Nations, the Land of Water and its Shinobi settlement of the Hidden Mist Village were far from the battlegrounds of the 4th Shinobi War.

But it was also the main place of an interesting development where now several thousand Marines were stationed, with the consent of the Daimyo, allowing them to hold a base with an active Vice Admiral stationed there.

In that base was a telecommunications line that was sending everyday crucial information to Marineford. It was also home to an intelligence unit whose mission it was to intercept and monitor communications between the mainland of the Shinobi Continent and the rest of the world.

While their operators were not busy with that, they were seen playing checkers with bellies at stake.

"Done!"

The two men were just finishing a match as the red player had just won and was collecting his winnings.

"Want a drink?"

"Yeah, I guess so." Black said, rubbing his sleep-deprived face, "What've we got?"

Typ-Typ-Typ!

The two marines startled for a moment when they turned around and saw that the Enigma machine was seen pushing out an encoded message on a small paper.

"New message?" The winning marine wondered as he walked up to the machine and told his buddy. "Read it."

"On it." Black replied, inputting the encoded message in his Enigma.

"I'm calling the Vice-Admiral." The Marine stated as he grabbed the transponder snail. "What does it say?"

….

"Ensign, what are you reading?" The higher ranked marine demanded, turned around impatiently "It'd better not be some prank-"

"End all negotiations."

The intelligence officer asked, stunned. "What?"

"End all negotiations with the World Government, Navy and any other peacekeeping force in the Elemental Nations." The Ensign continued reading out loud. "Destroy all documents, and leave the city immediately, peace talks deemed useless."

"Deemed useless…" the officer mused, until a thought had crossed his mind. "Someone's about to attack. Ensign who's this coming from?"

"Directly from Amegakure - Akatsuki's Headquarters.

Purururu!

*Click!*

The other end of the transponder snail responded.

"This is-"

"Pass me over to Marineford, immediately. This is an emergency."

"Sir this is not the line for Emergencies-"

"Hear me out!" The marine yelled through the horn. "We might have a war!"

"... Standby to reconnect."


The sun was blotted out by a swarm of Sky Nin fighters flying in the hundreds in formation, but relatively close to the ground.

Now flying over the Land of Frost, a nation that was largely spared from the wars of the Shinobi Lands. A land that was, for most part, desolate after the local population had long fled; save for some small mountainside villages.

Including those, these fighters were seen by a few children playing on the hills, stopping to watch the flying Shinobi in absolute astonishment.

Those kids would not know what they just witnessed.


Haran Harbor

As the day was starting early on it was the time for the shifts to change, mainly those for the patrol units.

As the day dawned, the patrols were about to change shifts. On the water, this meant swapping out the MAS 15 torpedo boat on the water. Though lightly armored, they were equipped for anything.

"Ugh!" One of the men was seen vomiting over the ship, barely holding his rifle and even his glasses to his face. The soldier was being kept from falling overboard by his squad member.

"Come on, Kelly. Stop throwing up for once." His friend Bloomfield said in annoyance.

Kelly held his head up. "I can't help it…"

"How the hell did you get through basic training?" Bloomfield asked. "Your job consists of fighting on the ocean, yet you are seasick."

"I can ask the same, Brooklyn." Vic sniped back, manning one of the Maxim machine guns, "Now shut up and get back to your post."

'For the last time, I'm from the-"

"Shut it, Brooklyn, and get to your post." Hawkins told him off as he walked up to the driver's seat as he ordered around. "Kelly, take those seasickness pills I gave you and get to the back gun."

"Wait, there are seasickness pills?" Kelly asked.

"Move it!"

The two soldiers got to their posts, allowing Hawkins to turn to the front gunner and approach him; it was none other than the headband guy.

Gin wordlessly loaded the 20 mm gun as he was on the boat first, having already checked the gasoline tank plus the torpedoes.

Leaving little to anything to say, Hawk then proceeded to say. "Let's be sailors for a few hours, boys. Training exercises will begin within one hour."

In the Sea Snake, things weren't going as planned, as the big ship was still not moving, causing Bishop to even get up to the bridge and question the crew.

"Alright, lads. What's the problem here?" The veteran asked. "We're getting behind schedule."

"Problem in the engine room, sir." One of the engineers replied. "Something's up with the boiler, we need at least 30 minutes to fix it."

"Then get on with it, son," Bishop told him. "Because you know how Whitehall is."


Meanwhile

In Marineford, it was an assembly day for the Marine commanders and anyone of the Vice-Admirals who could attend directly to Fleet Admiral Sengoku's debriefing.

Once in the office, Sengoku was trying to drag Garp with him, with much less luck convincing him.

"Damn it, Garp!" Sengoku barked at him while preparing papers. "Get your lazy butt up and move it."

Still eating his lunch, Garp laughed at him and said. "Sorry, but the last thing I want is to attend another boring meeting."

"Like you have a say in anything-"

The door slammed open, causing the two Marines to turn to an exhausted lower-ranked grunt fighting his way past the guards trying to restrain him. Even saluting the two Marines.

"Sir!"

"This'd better be good, boy." Sengoku said as he was irritated enough already.

"Sir, we've received an intercepted correspondence from the negotiation team of the Akatsuki," The marine debriefed, "Ending all negotiations, orders received to burn all documents."

The Fleet Admiral's head shifted back to the intelligence marine and walked up to him, grabbing the report to read it for himself.

"When was this?"

"7:17, sir."

Sengoku's head raised up with near shock as he spoke. "It's 7:42!"

"Decoding delays sir." The intelligence officer responded.

It was then that a second intelligence officer barged in with his own report, only he wore a suit and he was a member of Cipher Pol's intelligence unit stationed at Marineford.

"Fleet Admiral Sengoku - an urgent report." The Cipher Pol agent reported, too panicked to even bother saluting.

"We know, the Akatsuki ended the negotiations."

"It's not about that, sir," the Cipher Pol continued, "Our agents on the ground spotted two groups of unidentified movement close to Haran Bay."

Sengoku's eyes widened with realization upon hearing this. "No…that means-"

This time, it was Garp who said something as he stood up and cleared the whole situation. "It's a declaration of war."

The realization was confirmed by Garp's unusual tone as he barked out his first order.

"What are you two grunts waiting for?! Warn Haran Harbor, they're about to be attacked!"


As the swarm of Sky Shinobi flew over the mountaintops, they soon reached the snowcaps.

Not far from their target, the anticipation could be seen on their eyes, covered in sweat as their eyebrows were, they were more than ready for this mission.


Back in Haran Harbor

While the news was spreading fast about the changing situation, it had not reached the harbor yet.

Back on the overlooking hilltop, Naruto was seen preparing some coffee that he managed to make, all the while the two ladies were still sleeping in the back of the jeep. Leaning with their heads against one another, at peace. Something that was wholesome to watch.

It brought a smile to Naruto's face as he then looked up to the other Marine - who was seen leaning against the jeeps' hood, with his hand rubbing over the temple of his head.

"Ugh…."

"Some coffee?" Naruto offered a cup to the cigar-lover. "It'll help."

"No, thank you," Smoker declined, reaching for a pair of cigars that he lit up, not even awake for ten minutes and he began to smoke a pair.

"Guess a Devil Fruit's power got some plus points?"

"They do, I just like to smoke." Smoker responded as he noticed that the lieutenant had his sleeves rolled up that showed the tattoos on his arms. With also some scars from what he could presume were earlier encounters in battles.

"What's that ink?"

Naruto looked up to his arm. "Oh this? It's a Fox, one with nine tails."

"I can see." Smoker said as he paid attention to the good amount of detail. "Who did it? One of your men?"

Naruto chuckled, remembering who put it on him."Actually, somebody from the East Blue, when I did my first year there."

Small Flashback

"Hold still, young man."

Laying flat on the table, a bandaged up younger Naruto was seen in the doctor's office on some island in the East Blue, having dealt with a problem that long needed fixing. The bloody bandages told of a recent, nasty fight.

Eighteen-year-old Naruto was still an officer-in-training at this point, and had arrived at the island with a platoon that had just finished a mission resulting in the liberation of this and many other islands who were under the rule of a handful of notorious pirates that had been bribing the local Marines for quite some time.

Outside the doctor's clinic, the Legion troops could be seen marching down the streets with a few civilians talking with them. They were too busy to notice one small pre-teen girl moving through the crowd and running inside the clinic.

"Nako!"

"What are you doing here, kid? Go home!" The sunglasses-wearing doctor admonished "Go back to your sister-"

"Nami!"

The orange haired girl felt a hand grabbing her by the hair. On the other end of that arm was a teenage girl named Nojiko who had been chasing after her younger sibling across town.

The small Nami whined. "Ahh, Nojiko stop that!"

"You were about to go to big bro Naruto with my drawings!" Nojiko angrily said to her younger sister as she tried to snatch the paper from her sister's hand.

Naruto chuckled at the sight of the two girls. As he was informed by some of the villagers that they were indeed sisters who were orphaned at a young age by the pirate who had taken the life of their mother in front of them.

And due to personal reasons, he felt guilty of their demise, seen by him standing up as he approached the two girls, with his upper body exposed as he knelt down to them.

"Can I see your drawing?" Naruto asked the girls.

Of course being young girls in their pre-teens, both Nojiko and Nami could not contain the flushes on their cheeks when they saw Naruto's body.

Nojiko clearly was about to stutter but she composed herself by saying. "I got the pattern right!"

"But I made it better!" Nami added quickly, handing over the drawing. "Here!"

Naruto accepted the drawing and saw what it was, having mentioned once what his favorite animal was, and it looks like they did not forget about it.

The drawing was that of the Nine Tailed Fox, and it gave him an idea.

"Hey doc, you know your way around ink?"

Present Day

Looking up at his arm, Naruto smiled at the ink he still had as he was afraid to display the art that the two girls made for him and the doctor put it on him.

"So you had two girls' drawings tattooed on your arm?" Smoker asked, a bit stunned by the story, "Kinda unusual to be honest, you lived there?"

This time however, Naruto's smile slightly dropped as he held the tattoo with his other hand, even squeezing it a bit as guilt was read on his face.

"It's…difficult to explain."

VROOM!

The two officers were caught by surprise, as they saw a plane they didn't recognize had flown over them.

"The Captain's men?" Smoker asked as he looked up. "Quite early for a training exercise."

Naruto looked up and focused on the flyers - what he saw was alarming.

"Ugh…what's going on?" Domino asked, the noise rousing her from her slumber,, "What's with the training exercise?"

"Those aren't my men…"


The situation in the Harbor itself was astonishing. It was business as usual as the sailors and even the locals went about their daily routines or enjoying their free-time.

A few of the sailors held fishing rods while sitting on dry land, amazed by the sudden appearance of these fast-flying kites in the air that were on the horizon.

Even some of the Marines on deck of their warships playing with dice, happened to then turn their heads upwards at the sight.

One Marine Captain even walked outside his quarters and looked up to see the skies with one thought on his mind: "What the hell's going on?"

That was the first question that the commanding officers were asking themselves, even Bishop was watching the planes entering the harbor.

"Those aren't Rackham's normal biplanes…" one officer questioned. "What are they-"

"Those aren't ours…. Sound the alarm!" Bishop shouted as he ordered. "Get me Rackham on the radio, NOW!"

"Sir!"

"And get Whitehall here!"

Now going in formation, and seemingly having the element of surprise on their side. The Sky Shinobi were staring at their intended targets, especially those equipped with specialized equipment who knew where to go and where those targets were located.

One of whom was seen going with a long tubular torpedo, seen flying on low altitude, nearly touching the surface water as the group had its sight on the already sailing ship that was one of its main targets.

The Dreadnought battleship from the Vodka Kingdom - the Koslova.

*CLICK!*

By the click of a button, the fighter dropped its payload into the sea, its propellers making haste for the dreadnought.

As the fighters broke formation and got away from the target, the men on the ship were wondering what was happening.

Two sailors on the Koslova saw the object coming for them. They were busy washing the deck as it flew towards the side of their hull, but once they spotted it, they were already too late.

"What the-"

BOOM!


*GASP!*

Ain and Domino stood up from shock as they heard the explosion, with Ain being the first to ask. "What's going on?!"

Both ran up to their male colleagues, Ain continuing to ask for the situation until she saw the scene for herself.

Planes attacking the unsuspecting ships at Haran Harbor with impunity, the first bombs being dropped on their targets.

"Oh my…"

"It's an assault!" Smoker spoke, nearly biting his cigars in half. "An assault, and we just watched it happen!"

Domino asked. "But I thought that pilot captain…" The blonde's words died in her throat when she saw the Lieutenant of the Legion walk up to the radio.

Grabbing the telephone horn, Naruto didn't hesitate to try to contact the first person he needed to reach.

"Who's this-"

"GET ME THAT BASTARD COMMANDER!" Naruto shouted through the horn without hesitation, clearly angered. "NOW!"

"Y-Yes sir!"

The Marines however, were standing by, clearly shocked by Uzumaki's change of demeanor as he was waiting patiently.

When Rackham got on the horn, he was less than pleased in the background as it sounded like he had just woken up.

"Uzumaki! What's the meaning of this? This bett-"

"SHUT IT!" Naruto shouted over the horn, the veins clearly seen on his throat as he continued. "We're under attack! Get your men up in the air, now!"

"Impossible, we're in a protected harbor. No ship can reach it-"

"Newsflash, we're being attacked by the air. If I don't see those planes up in the sky in the next thirty minutes, I'm going to make sure you get put on the firing line!"

*CLUNK!*

Having hung up, Naruto then proceeded to hop into the jeep's driver seat and turned the engine on.

Hearing a noise, Smoker turned around quickly and saw something in the sky.

"We've got company"

The four turned around to see three Sky Nin at their 6 in high speed as they dived towards them.

"Hop in!"

The two women quickly jumped as Smoker got in the back, quickly as Naruto hit the gas and drove off, just as the bullets started to whistle over them.


Haran Harbor

Back in the harbor, things were just starting to get worst, as more of the ships started getting hit with bombs, with explosions rapturing the docked steel ships that were totally unprepared.

The Sky Nin flew through the smoldering smoke of their damaged targets and unleashed their machine guns at anything that was moving. One such unleashing of gunfire caught the crew of a nearby Marine Warship off guard, killing scores of them before they even had a fighting chance.

"What the hell's going on!"

"Grab your rifles!" One Marine shouted holding a rifle. "Shoot them down!"

They didn't have a chance to respond as another Sky Nin happened to fly over them and dropped a bomb over the deck, about to hit them.

"LOOK OUT!"

BANG!

The Marine Warship was set ablaze with the screams of dying and unprepared men filled the air, The survivors could be seen jumping off the sinking vessel to try to save their own lives as the flames engulfed the deck.

Meanwhile, inside the Sea Snake, the men sleeping in their sleeping quarters received a rough awakening-

*RUMBLE!*

The violent shaking roused most of the men awake, wondering what the hell was going on as some stood up.

"What's going on?"

"Is it practice?"

"It's too damn early-"

BOOM!

The second that explosion was heard eliminated all doubt, the sailors fully awake certain that this was no exercise. Just as one of the Sea Snake's crew members burst through the door-

"We're being bombed! We're being bombed!" The man shouted. "Get up! Get up!"

Not even getting prepared, many of the off-duty Legion members made a beeline for the exit, some still in their undergarments as they went on to the top deck to know what was going on. Just as the intercom was repeating:

"All crew, man your battle stations! All crew, man your battle stations!"

The next explosion could be felt as the men were running through the cramped hallways as they were getting upstairs.

"This is no shit, the Koslova just got hit! Get your asses up and man up the guns!"

Up the bridge, the men were instructed to get the Sea Snake out off the dock and sail, following Bishop's orders.

"Take us to open water!" Bishop further ordered. "We cannot get bombed here!"

"On it sir!"

Whitehall then entered the bridge and demanded. "Report!"

"No major damage, sir!" one man reported, "But Koslova's reporting that her fuel tanks were hit, and three Marine Warships are reported to have been abandoned due to severe fires!"

Bishop asked. "What about the Scarlett?"

"It's out of the docks!" One other officer reported. "But the captain's reporting that they're being targeted by enemy aircraft! They're all focused on her."

Whitehall went. "Anything else?"

"Torpedo boat units are engaging enemy aircraft, but they're getting picked out fast!"

BOOM!

Another explosion went off, causing the Captain, the Major and the rest of the bridge to duck for cover but soon realized the explosion came from the ship next to them that was docked.

"Move her! Now before we get hit!"

"Power to the engine!" One shouted through the comms. "More power!"

The moment that was said, the Sea Snake was moving forwards at a slow pace as her anchor was barely raised by the crew.

As it was leaving her docking spot, the Collier-class Sea Snake was making its course for the open bay where the other ships that managed to sail out, assembling and trying to fight off the flying enemies that were trying to pick them out one-by-one.

"Damn it, man any gun that's available!" Whitehall said as he turned to the radio operator. "Any contact with the 7th?"

"Nothing yet, sir!" The operator was trying any number he could try, with the right side of his ear bleeding from an earlier explosion. "Nobody's responding."

"Keep trying, son." Bishop encouraged him as he looked out. "Any word from Lieutenant Uzumaki?"

"No, sir."

"Captain Rackham?"

"Nothing, sir."

"Then keep course to the sea." Whitehall ordered, his priorities clear. "Order the other ship to engage the enemy and prepare the cannons - and keep trying to contact the 7th."

VROOM!

Another Sky Nin flew by, flying directly over to another nearby Dreadnought that was already hit multiple times, and it dropped its ordnance over it as it then-

BOOM!

Laid another hit, with a large burst of fire went sky-high, meaning it was just hit in a bad spot, with the ship now seen setting its anchor as it slowed down.

"That was Orion, sir. She's been hit six times!"

"What's the bridge saying?" Whitehall asked. "Can she still stay in the fight?"

"Captain's reporting in: negative, too much damage." The radio operator replied, shaking his head sadly as he went on. "Crew's about to abandon the ship temporarily, the fires are too close to the munitions."

"Damn it!" Whitehall cursed before getting back focused. "Tell the captain to-"

"INCOMING!"

Flying now even closer, a squadron of these fighters was at such a close range that it was now possible for Bishop to identify them from such close distance.

"Sky Shinobi…."

His words were cut short when one lone fighter was flying straight for the bridge as his instincts kicked in-

"TAKE COVER!"

The windows began to shatter as bullets were fired by the fighter, taking fire at the bridge as it was a clear attempt to take them out - even destroying some of the equipment inside the room as it was shot to bits.

"Get down!"

An uncountable number of bullets happened to hit some members of the bridge, who were either unlucky or unable to get to cover quick enough, suffering from either bullets that pierced through their bodies or the shattered glass and fried equipment that they were too close to.

Having just escaped the hail of bullets, both Legion officers stayed low as the Major decided he'd had enough of this.

"I want those guns firing now!" Whitehall ordered. "You coordinate the firing teams, I'll be here on the bridge!"

"Sir, yes sir!" Bishop responded as he left the bridge as just one sailor was brought in wounded from the fly-by, clearly bleeding from his open shirt.

Whitehall focused on the main fight and said. "Keep communications with the other ships! We need to coordinate-"

"Operator's dead!"

Hearing that forced Whitehall to turn around to the radio spot - where indeed the young man operating it was seen draped over his console, his entire body perforated with high-caliber bullet holes.

"Fuck! Replace him then." Whitehall ordered. "We need to stay in contact!"


VROOM!-

BANG! BANG! BANG BANG!

One Sky Nin happened to be unlucky - as a shell hit its wing and crashed down to the water surface, as it got hit by a direct shot.

A shot that came directly from a 20 mm prototype anti-aircraft gun that happened to be manned by Gin.

"Nice shot, Corporal. Keep hitting them!"

The MAS 15 Torpedo boat was speeding through the harbor waters as it was trying to engage into the fight as the chaotic scene around them left them little to any chance to slow down.

But even in that chaos, the seasick Kelly was unable to gawk at the whole scene of what was happening in Haran Harbor - the sight of burning ships and gunfire going off anywhere up the skies and flying planes was something he was clearly not prepared for.

"My goodness-"

"Private Kelly, return fire!" Hawkins ordered, seen steering the boat at full speed. "I won't tell you again!"

"But-"

"Incoming!"

An pair of Sky Nin had its sight of the motorboat, firing at them with the bullets seen hitting the water ahead of them-

"Cover!"

The whole crew ducked as the bullets hit the boat, only to ricochet or bolt off the armored boat, much to their luck.

"Sons of bitches!" Vice jumped out of his cover and fired the Maxim MG at the Sky nin passing over them. Barely hitting them as they got out unscathed.

Brooklyn fired once at the flying Nin and cursed. "Come on, where are our fighters? We're sitting ducks down here!"

"Where's the Lieutenant, that's what I'm wondering." Kelly asked manning the back MG as he was clearly overwhelmed. "I haven't seen him all day, you don't think-"

"Keep yourself focused, private Kelly!" The Sarge spoke. "And keep firing!"

"Contact!"

An nearby squadron of Sky Nin was seen closing in on them, having just flown over a burning Marine Warship that was destroyed, they were now in their way, and started firing.

"OPEN FIRE!"


Meanwhile

Racing through the forest, Naruto's jeep was still being chased by the Sky Nin that had been on their heels ever since they were spotted.

"They're still after us?!" Domino asked, surprised at their speed. "How? We're going fast!"

One Sky Fighter fired its machine gun, trying to hit the jeep, but missing terribly as it blasted a tree to smithereens yet nearly hitting the jeep's tires.

Naruto was then seen turning on the radio frequency, causing the passengers to look at him as though he'd suddenly sprouted a second head.

"I need to know what's going on, just need the right - Got it!" Naruto shouted as he got it.

What could be heard over the chatter, was harrowing.

"Three tangos, up there! Up there!"

"Holy shit! You see that?"

"No time to celebrate! Keep your eyes on the -Augh!-"

The sound of gunfire in the background had told Naruto exactly what had happened to the AA gunners. On every channel, he could hear the extent of the devastation this unprovoked attack had wrought; he could only weep silently to himself at the situation the harbor was in.

"Put out that fire!"

"Tell Samara I love her!"

"This is Captain Rossi of the Venganza, we're under…"

*SCREEEEECH!*

The whine of the radio feedback nearly blew out everyone's eardrums when Domino tried to tune it down, except she'd accidentally turned the wrong dial and got on a different frequency altogether.

"This is Corpsman Hasegawa, of the battlecruiser Tatsumaru's marine complement! To anyone listening in on our frequency, our ship's going down! We have wounded sailors and marines on board! Requesting immediate assistance!"

"Corpsman, this is Major Whitehall from the Sea Snake. We're hearing you loud and clear. Give us a full status report, over!"

"Our captain's dead, so is our XO and the bridge is ablaze. Anyone who can still fight is on deck firing any weapon they got at the circling aircraft. But we're low on ammo and taking in water!"

"Stay on course and Oscar Mike, or you'll be an easy target. That's how Koslova was taken out!"

"I know, we saw it with our own eyes! we-LOOK OUT!"

After hearing the chatter on the radio, Naruto had enough and wasn't having it anymore. That was no terse message of helplessness; it was a very low-hanging fruit that needed to be picked, as Tatsumaru was moored not too far from his eventual destination. Naruto was not able to help everyone, but at least he could help save these sailors.

But first, he had more immediate matters to take care of. Naruto wordlessly pulled something out from under his seat.

"Here."

Ain looked confused. "What-" Just being given what looked like a rifle. Upon closer inspection, she saw that it was a Winchester Model 12, with multiple shells of ammunition on her lap. A pump-action weapon notorious for its ability to "slam-fire," allowing it to quickly fill an entire area with 00 shot within seconds.

"Shoot 'em down!"

"Hey-"

"Smoker!" Naruto shouted. "You're a Logia, take them out!"

"Took you long enough…" Smoker said, as he then jumped off the jeep and-

POOF!

A puff of white smoke exploded in the middle of the road, catching both the jeep and the tailing Sky Nin in its thickness.

The jeep drove through without a problem, the cloying smoke to tail the Sky shinobi.

*Grab!*

The wings of the last flying Nin suddenly felt heavier, as then the pilot reacted.

"What the-"

CRACK!

Smoker's Jitte smashed off a wing of the Sky Nin's machine, causing the electronics to malfunction as sparks danced from the wound, fuel spraying everywhere like a severed artery, even onto the pilot.

"What the-" The pilot panicked. "What happened?!"

"Look up."

The pilot looked upwards and was caught by surprise by the white smoke evolving into Smoker's face, causing him to nearly gasp whatever air he had left in his lungs.

"Enjoy the crash, scum." Smoker said through his cigars. "Your fellow cowards will be joining you soon enough."

Flying off Smoker was not around long enough to hear the pilot's frantic cries of panic.

"No! NO-"

BOOM!

The pilot was unable even to scream as he was engulfed in a massive fireball, the burning remains smashing into the road behind them.

The other pilots happened to see what had occurred behind them, and it caused shock among them.

"We lost one!"

"How did that happen?"

"Doesn't matter, just kill them!"

The jeep went onwards, as the Sky Nin chased them, but were trailed by a predatory Smoker, who was closing in on them.

As he got closer to them, his smoke expanded over them, closing in on the nearest pilot, causing him to panic.

"He's on me! He's on me!"

*Grip!*

"Your crispy friend says 'hi.'"

The smoke gripped undid the pilot's harness attaching him to the machine, and letting him fall to his death as his machine flew out of control-

CRACK!

The second victim of Smoker's kill count died forcefully crashing to the ground with his remains left behind by his comrades.

The renegade flying machine however, flew everywhere until it crashed down on another nearby pilot's back, causing him to join his comrade in his meter-high drop, albeit with a broken spine.

"This guy's too fast, let's get outta here!" One of the pilot's broke down. "Regroup! Regroup!"

"Screw that, I'm closing in-"

*BANG!*

The protesting pilot's voice was shut down quickly by the whiplash as his machine crashed against a tree, exploding in a cloud of dust, wood splinters, and metal after having been shot in the chest at close range.

Seeing what had just happened, the other pilots were quick to swerve sideways, throwing off Ain's aim. As she waited for her targets to get closer, she held the trigger, took aim, and started racking the slide as they got closer. The second shot missed, but she scored a shot to the shoulder on the next pump, dropping another Sky Nin out of the sky.

"Break off! Break off!" The leader called. "Fall back and regroup!"

The remaining Sky Nin broke off before Ain could fire another shot, pretty much abandoning the chase and giving the Legion officer and the Marines some much-needed space.

"Good shot, Ain." Domino complemented her. "Real good shot."

Ain however coldly and stoically replied. "Was aiming for the head."

"Jeez, you are cold."

Naruto kept on driving with Smoker flying next to him.

"To the airfield, now!"

Smoker nodded. "Right!"

The two raced towards the airstrip, rightfully believing they would not be the only ones with that thought in mind.


7th Aviation Battalion - HQ

Even when Haran Harbor was under attack, there was no sign of cowardice. The report of guns cycling hot, people running to aid sinking ships, even the nearby medical facilities were doing their best to keep everyone alive.

Somehow the fighting had not even reached the airfield where the atmosphere was simply just another day, where most of the men were still sleeping off the previous night.

Some however, were given the early duty, like the new pilot seen with only his pants and a wife beater as he walked up to the stalls and relieving himself over one of them.

As he was busy doing his business, he noticed that all the Bristol F2's were stationed outside their hangars, all set up and ready, alongside a few new additional Salmson A2 biplanes that were just out of repairs. Around a total of sixty planes were present as most of them were cleared for combat readiness.

Vroooom!

The buzzing sound got the bartender's attention, prompting him to look through the window only to gape in shock.

Over the horizon, multiple flying aircraft were seen going towards them - the ones that matched yesterday's description.

"... Fuck!"

While still sleeping, many of the pilots were seen lying on their beds.

*WHUMP!*

Busting through the door came that same awakened pilot, as he managed to wake up everyone in the room of what was going on outside, the shock managed to stop him from talking coherent words, giving the false impression to the men.

"Too early, man." One man groaned underneath his pillow.

"Out-t–" The man stammered as he tried to point out of the window. "The-The-t-"

"Shut up, man." One told him.

The man winched through his mouth as he got the whole crew awake, barely giving him time to utter a sentence.

"The Naps are here-"

*RATATATATATAT!*

Then the windows were shattered by the storm of gunfire that ended the pilot's life. Some were fast and lucky enough to take cover, wondering as to what was happening.

"What the hell's going on!"

"Cover!"

The bullets even shredded through the walls as even the decoration got blasted to pieces, yet managed to not hit the stammering pilot.

"Get outside! Outside!" One pilot shouted as everyone began to run out of the building with whatever clothing they could take with them, knowing fully well this wasn't no training.

Wilson was seen among those men running out of the barracks, as he happened to run up to the Captain's office as he tried to open the door.

*Click* *Click* Click*

"Locked?" Wilson wondered as he tried to enter in. "Fucking posh bastard!"

*CRACK!*

A foot kicked into the door, causing Wilson to turn around to see it was the bartender who did it and wondered if he was mad for breaking down the officer's office.

"Thank me later, get those keys!" The bartender said entering the office. "Armory keys are here."

"Are you mad? You'll get court-martialed!"

"Better than all of us going down without a fight!"

*SMACK!*

Having just broken another offense, the bartender even broke open the locked cabinet with the handle of his revolver, grabbing out of it a pair of keys that he'd taken. Nobody said anything after crossing the threshold, being too helping themselves to the officer's personal collection. The bartender himself quickly snatched up the officer's expensive bottle of whiskey.

"We'll need some serious firepower for those flying bastards and I ain't waiting for that moron captain to show up." The unnamed bartender said as he walked past him. "Come on, we've got no time to lose."

"Who are you anyway?" Wilson demanded. "Because I am not going-"

"Clyde Blackburn, that's the name you can give to the MP's." Clyde said as he ran. "Now let's go!"


The assault at the Harbor resumed as the Sky Nin kept pressure on the naval vessels to coordinate its directions as many of the ships, both Marines and Expeditionary Forces were taking massive damage.

By no means were they going down quietly, as some of the ships like the Sea Snake and the Scarlett, alongside some Marine Warships were giving these flyers some difficulties as their defenses held fast. Slowly, but surely, many fighters were swatted out of the sky, their numbers dwindling as more organized efforts were made to gun them down.

"FIRE!"

One cannon fired an anti-aircraft shell into the air that soon exploded, causing further disruption for the Sky nin who were forced to spread out, exposing them to a followup volley of machine gun fire. Some however, were unlucky or careless enough to fly into the explosion, their bodies and their machines shredded by razor-sharp shrapnel; assuming of course, they weren't killed in the initial explosion.

"Good shot! Keep up the pressure!"

The shouting came from Bishop as he kept running through the open deck as his men worked on overdrive. Walking and dodging any bullet that zipped near or past him, seeing his efforts coming to fruition in a matter of only minutes. He'd managed to get every man he could find to grab rifles, machine guns or man the main guns for a fighting chance.

"Six o'clock! Six o'clock!" One spotter told an AA-gunner. "Two over there!"

"Got it!"

Two daring Sky nin were seen coming, seen as they were flying fast and low over the water surface with a payload of torpedoes.

"Open fire!"

A manned Vickers machine gun was seen firing, unstopped by one Huxley as his gun was being fed by a Raider who was pushing in more bullets through.

The two fighters kept flying towards them, trying to dodge the hail of bullets as more firepower was focused on them.

"Take them out!"

As luck gets it - one of the Sky nin broke off and flew away, but the other one was less lucky; as he got hit in the left wing and crashed into the water hard with it even bouncing off the cold ocean a few times.

"Got one!" Huxley shouted. "I got one!"

*GASP!*

It didn't end there as the Sky Nin sprung his head out of the water and was seen struggling to keep his upper body above water.

But before anyone could react, one officer with his Thompson aimed and pulled the trigger-

TKTKT! TKTKT!

The rounds came full-cycle, turning the Sky Nin into chum while ending his struggle to stay above water as he slowly sank down to the bottom of the sea as it was assured with the heavy equipment still strapped onto him.

Huxley looked over his shoulder to see who it was, and noticed it was his NCO Sgt McCullin, who seemed unfazed by his action as he turned to his men.

"What're you all staring for? Gun those bastards down!"

The shooting resumed as Bishop watched briefly before walking down the aisle as now even the Lewis guns and some of the detached Maxim MG's were pulled out of the armory with the men carrying ammo belts across their chests. Using everything they had to fight back.

VROOM!

Hearing this was close, Bishop looked up and saw that a dozen Sky Nin were circling above their ship, their focus on something else - and the captain saw where they were going.

He was quick to realize their current destination.

The Koslova - these men were going to attack the Koslova.

Up in the high sky, these Sky Nin were trying to go up higher and higher as they now knew that every gun on these ships were going to be trained on them.

But they still had objectives to fulfill - especially the one who was more focused now as he was carrying a large bomb that he could only carry thanks to an antigravity jutsu as it was attached underneath his wing. He had a small picture of his target with the name of it attached to his device.

The picture was the Koslova itself, and he now was focused on making the precise hit on the largest battleship that was currently stuck in the middle of the harbor as it was fighting off the many other Sky Nin.

And once he flew over the Koslova, he hit it-

*Click!*

Pressed the button in, the Sky nin just dropped his seventeen hundred pound torpedo, as it began to directly aim towards the Dreadnought's front deck at such a pace that it was almost horrifying to watch.

Every crew member was working at full tilt to defend their ship, trying to weather the storm that had come knocking on their doorstep. The guns on Koslova were firing at full-cycle, trying to swat the annoying fighters out of the sky. At the same time, the corpsmen had to set up a triage for the sailors fighting back, steeling themselves through the traumatizing experience of dead bodies in the wake of the dastardly attack.

Were it not for the extenuating circumstances, Admiral Yuri Medvedya would have been proud at how well his crew were holding up. Any other day, he would have been puffing his chest in pride while recommending so many men and women on his ship for medals for their bravery…but now was not that day.

Beneath his mighty ursine form was a man who was frantically trying to survive the day after having to take command after Captain Sergei Petrovich, the normal XO of his ship, was gunned down in a strafing run. Even so, he did his best to stay calm in the face of the storm; every order he gave was terse, direct, and for the very good of everyone on the ship.

"Admiral! They're flying too fast!"

"Hold fast, they can't stay for long!"

"Admiral! We're taking in too many wounded!"

"Wait for a lull in the fighting, then you can leave with the wounded!"

The Koslova was as mighty as his homeland, having weathered many battles and survived a devastating war, she would survive this barbarous act. Medvedya would do everything in his power to keep it that way in hopes of getting revenge.

"Admiral! We've got a new contact!" cried a radar operator, "Coming in hot!"

That was new. Most of the contacts were too busy harassing The Koslova to be any threat; which meant a significant threat was coming this way.

Medvedya made his way towards the radar console, trying to make sense of what he was seeing. This contact was fast, which meant another fighter…though this one was a little slower than the fighters that had been whittling down his point defense screen for the past hour or so. Even worse was the fact that it was making a beeline straight for Koslova…and then the fighter's speed drastically increased midway towards the ship—about as fast as the nuisances before fleeing the scene.

The only reason a fighter would suddenly get lighter was if they were carrying a payload. Such a drastic change could only mean one thing, and Medvedya was quick to give his next order:

"Abandon ship! ABANDON SHIP!"

*CRASH!*

Right in front of the admiral, the bomb smashed through the upper deck's floor that was right above the munitions magazines of the main guns.

But the bomb didn't go off - which brought the admiral to wonder what went wrong.

Was it a dud-

BOOOOOOOOM!


BOOOOOOOOM!

As if a Sea King itself had entered the bay, the Koslova was nearly shorn in two thanks to an explosion that came out internally and split the ship apart with the explosion being felt to anything nearby. Causing an apocalyptic view of the ship from the Vodka Kingdom being ripped in half in front of the entire harbor.

"Oh God!" One of the Marines of a nearby warship watched in horror. "They got the Koslova!"

The Koslova, the proclaimed underdog of the Expeditionary Forces, was destroyed after a harrowing hour spent defending herself. Flames ate away at its deck as the titan was claimed by the ocean, the nearby ships too shocked to act.

The Trickster was a frigate whose crew had decided to mount rescue operations, and whose path had taken them to extract wounded from the Koslova. They were given a front-row seat to one of the worst losses to come out of the disaster…made even worse by the fact that their captain had lost her father on that boat.

Captain Sasha Medvedya watched the smoldering remains of her father's ship, angrily clenching the grip on her shashka with her vision focused primarily on the flaming bridge. As the fires danced on Koslova, she silently swore vengeance on the Land of Sky for this. For now however, she had other matters to attend to; namely the rescue of anyone she could find from her father's ship.

"Get dive crews out there, now!"

Everyone on the bridge turned their attention back to her. Most were too afraid of having the attention of ice-blue eyes filled with rancor directed at them.

"But, captain-"

"The Koslova survivors will not save themselves," Sasha added, her gaze still on her father's ship, "I want those dive crews cutting her open and active rescue operations three seconds ago."

Nobody on the bridge argued with her, working posthaste. The Koslova may be lost, but her survivors may still be of service later on.

From the mood of their captain however, the crew of the Trickster knew only one thing: any Sky Nin in the water had better pray they were dead by the time they were found.

Back at the Sea Snake, Major Whitehall was shocked at what he just witnessed. It took a good five seconds to finally register what had happened to the Koslova before he called it in.

"All ships nearby, reporting in - the Koslova has just been destroyed. I repeat: the Koslova has been destroyed."

"We've received communications that the Trickster's in the vicinity, mounting rescue operations."

"So the Bear has survived by his cub." Whitehall muttered to himself, knowing who was in command of that ship. "Still, I'd be surprised if there are any survivors from that explosion."

"Look out!"

Another Sky Nin crashed nearby, this time nearly hitting one of the torpedo boats that had avoided that fireball.

"Where are those damn fly boys?!"

"Scarlett's hit again!"

Whitehall's face turned to the left side and looked at where her position was at:

Even though she was the strongest ship in the Bay, the Scarlett was unable to withstand resistance against the formation after formation of Sky Nin fighters that were swarming around her.

Two other explosions happened to occur in the back of the battleship as already multiple fires were erupting over the deck, bridge and even the center cannons that were destroyed.

"Sir, report from the Scarlett!" The replacement radio operator shouted. "She's taking water fast, ruptured access trunks to the two forward boiler rooms as well as the transverse bulkhead."

"She's gonna capsize…" Bishop muttered to himself, as he made his rounds through the bridge, "First the Koslova, and now the Scarlett too?"


The swarm of Sky Nin induced their efforts on the Scarlett, with no moment being spared on the ship just as another bomber happened to then lay yet one more hit on the front deck-

BOOM!

With more bodies of sailors being flung into the ocean, others who were unable to get back on the battleship had no other way than to swim away from the carnage, either trying to get themselves to safety or by any chance entering another ship and continuing to fight.

"Swim away from the Scarlett! She's going to sink!"

"Get to the nearby ships!"

It however didn't mean they were being spared - as some of the Sky Nin dived down to then fire a torrent of bullets at the fleeing sailors.

"Look out-"

Bullets fired from the sky began splattering through the open waters as bullets pierced whatever that was moving, killing or severely injuring the fleeing seamen of the Scarlett that were without cover or firepower.

"Bastards! They're shooting at us!"

"Cheap shots!"

Bullets continued to shred the water, forcing even some of the experienced swimmers to dive for cover behind some of the rocks underwater in the bay, with bullets even killing those underwater.

One sailor who was swimming then noticed what was happening behind him - and didn't hesitate to shout out.

"THE SCARLETT'S CAPSIZING!"

Inside the Scarlett's hull, things weren't any better as the crewmen trapped inside were trying to limit the damage that was dealt to the pride of Dressrosan fleet.

Water was pouring in fast as the remaining crew were trying in vain, their hands flailing in the pitch darkness, to try to find any dry place or to force a broken hatch gate open to try to have an escaping chance.

Two pairs of men were seen struggling to open the door.

"It's stuck!"

"Keep pulling! PULL!"

BAM!

The walls groaned as more pressure buckled the hull, intensifying the panic amongst the trapped sailors to the point a young man inside of it was frantically heard yelling.

"I don't wanna die! I don't wanna die! I don't wanna die!" The young sailor cried with tears in his eyes and desperation. "PLEASE GOD! I DON'T WANNA DIE!"

The strongest of the trapped Dressrosan sailors was even seen struggling, with all the might in his arms that he could summon, to try to open the hatch that was their only way out of this drowning end.

"Come on! COME ON!"


Airfield

VROOOM!

*BOOOM!*

Bombs were already dropping as the pilots, gunners, maintenance crews, and anyone else on the airfield started to pour out of the barracks and run throughout the whole area.

Confusion was clear around them as it was Wilson who gave the orders around in absence of any officers.

"Get those Vickers ready! Keep them away from the planes!"

Already a couple of men jumped into a nearby MG nest and quickly pulled out the machine gun, readying it for its use as then the much-needed arrival of a jeep passing by was spotted - it being Naruto and the Marine officers.

"Wilson! Lieutenant Uzumaki's here!"

Quickly parking up, Naruto got out fast and demanded. "Status report, now!"

"We just woke up, what's going on, sir?" Wilson asked. "Why are we being bombed-"

"Harbor got attacked, the Land of Sky is behind it." Naruto explained in the shortest way possible. "Things are pretty bad, Koslova got hit and so did the Orion and other Marine Warships."

One pilot asked. "Are we at war?"

"Pretty much." Naruto responded. "Now get your asses inside those planes, I need those planes flying now!"

"Contact!"

Three Sky Nin fighters were descending on the runway as they started firing at the grounded biplanes. Smoker noticed the fighters making another pass, this time aiming for the massive fuel tank at the end of the runway. Add to that, he noted that some of the planes with bullet holes were on fire, which could only mean one thing: the bastards were gonna try to strafe the fuel tank with incendiary rounds, destroy the airfield, thus grounding them for good.

"Like hell you will!"

Smoker was quick to action, his body dissipating into smoke as one of the fighters flew low enough. As he regained his form, Smoker undid the pilot's buckle, allowing him to fly face-first into concrete, before jumping after the nearest fighter and jamming the reinforced tip of his jitte through the machine and out his chest.

BOOM!

The explosion proved to be disruptive as the last Sky nin of the formation crashed down to the ground hard, having his wings damaged, landing hard on his head.

"He's still alive!"

The Sky Nin tried to get up but then felt a hard kick into the back of his head, coming from one of the pilots carrying a BAR rifle and used the butt to knock him out before he could make a run or a standing chance to fight.

"I got one! I got one!" The sentry said, aiming for the pilot as more men came with their guns aimed for the now-captured Sky Nin. "What now?"

One supply officer with a pistol suggested. "I say we-"

"Tie him up!"

Everyone turned around to find Naruto striding towards them. "He may be a small fry, but he might have some intel the spooks are gonna want. So if you guys wanna punish him, make damn sure he's alive, and intelligible."

The culprit was soon dragged out of the field as Naruto watched on for a moment, seeing the bastard was going to get a warm Haran Harbor welcome in the form of fists and kicks.

"Lieutenant!" called up an officer, "What're our orders?"

"How's our radio?" Naruto asked, looking over at the communication tower that was partly damaged. "Can it be fixed?"

"By my guess, it's gonna take half an hour tops."

"Do it in five or ten," Naruto ordered, "I don't care how you guys do it, I don't even care how good the signal is; we need that radio back on or we're gonna be blind, deaf, and mute. In the meantime, get any plane fully loaded and get them flying; things are bad at the harbor. How fast can you work?"

"We've still got five spare Bristols, all gassed up sir," Wilson responded, "They just need ammo."

"How long?"

"10 minutes." Wilson calculated. "Ten more in 20."

Just then Smoker appeared from the smoke and landed both Domino and Ain ran up to them, seeing him giving orders.

Not noticing that soon a small group of a dozen men were standing by, they wanted to listen to the Lieutenant's commands, while he himself wondered one thing.

"Where's Captain Rackham?"

"Nobody knows, sir."

Naruto closed his eyes for a moment before then turning to Wilson, not giving a damn for later ashe then said.

"I want those flyers out double time." Naruto pointed at him. "You'll lead the men into the Harbor."

"But sir, I'm not a pilot."

"I can." One of the men said, it being the bartender that Wilson recognized, but before the gunner could ask, Naruto was up ahead.

"Can you fly?"

Blackburn nodded simply, his answer half-hearted. "I know how."

"...Then you're good to go." Naruto said, turning back. "Wilson, you're up with him."

"But-"

"CONTACT!"

More Sky Nin were diving down from wherever they were hiding, as they were seen attacking the airfield once again. Everyone on the airfield was quick to take cover as they were strafed with another rain of bullets; anyone with a Browning would return fire after them, hoping to take at least one of them down.

"If those tangos fire ONE MORE ROUND…"

One bomb was seen been dropped over at the barracks, punching through the rooftop and exploding, with the blast seen destroying everything inside and shattering the glass out of the building.

"They're going for the kites!"

Bullets were seen shredding the wings of a few Bristols that were on the ground, the ones laid outside for repairs, that were getting blown up one by one as they were bursting into flames with another bomb landing on them to finish the job.

Naruto's rage was at the breaking point, which surprised nobody when he started roaring. "WHERE THE HELL IS OUR AA!?"

The next strafing run had approached, this one much closer than normal. Naruto was pushed down to cover as more bullets rained down upon the survivors. That's it, he'd had enough!

"Smoker! You're on overwatch duty!"

"Right!" Smoker responded as he saw the covering men staring at him fearfully. "What the hell are you looking at? Get up and get to work!"

As the men started standing up and proceeded to follow their orders, Naruto was seen standing up alone as he was with Ain and Domino behind him, but one maintenance worker was too shocked by what he saw when Naruto looked at him.

"What are you waiting for, soldier? We've got a war to fight!" Naruto shouted at him. "Move it!"

"Lieutenant…" muttered one crew member, "Your neck…"

Naruto felt around his neck, and found his entire hand covered in blood. As the adrenaline rush from his rage subsided, he felt his knees weaken as the rest of the gathered people on the airfield rushed to his aid.

"MEDIC!"

"Don't waste time on me, just get busy and swat those bastards out of the sky before they gun us all down!" Naruto said to the combatant. "We got people depending on that air support!"

"Sir!" The maintenance worker saluted before he ran off with the others, leaving Naruto with the female Marines, who looked at him with such surprise.

"Don't worry, the medic's on his way!"

"Lieutenant, the blood-"

"Don't matter now," Naruto calmed his voice as he told them. "Go and get into that radio tower, we need an update on the-"

"CONTACT!"

Again, now Naruto turned around and saw that another Sky Nin formation was seen coming for another strafing run, having already caused much damage not too long ago. It seemed as if the cowards were actually enjoying the potshots they were taking.

But this time - he wasn't holding back, as Naruto started to walk over the airstrip towards the direction the Sky Nin were coming from.

"Lieutenant?"

The others around for cover, were just as bewildered by what the unarmed Lieutenant was doing as they started shouting for him once they noticed the enemies were seen aiming for him.

"Lieutenant, get down!"

"Go!"

"You're going to get killed!"

"Don't mind me and get those AA guns out fast!"

The three Sky Nin began diving for the lone Lieutenant's position, having seen he was in a different uniform - he must be a commander.

But what they didn't expect him to do was him suddenly putting his hands together - and as he flew through a series of hand signs, they were quick to realize the truth.

That alone prompted one of them to try to open fire, nearly hitting him multiple times but then-

He took a deep breath before he unleashed. "Fire Style: FIREBALL JUTSU!"

As the entire formation neared Naruto, they were engulfed in an extremely hot fireball as they passed by too late, everything burning in flames almost as hot as the sun itself. Nothing escaped the inferno as the three Shinobi crashed burning to the ground.

The moment everyone realized what Lieutenant Uzumaki did to this formation, allowed some reactions to come out with words best not heard.

"Damn, he burned them like fried chicken…."

"Glad he's on our side."

Both Domino and Ain were especially shocked by the ruthless cutting down the friendly officer did to these men in only mere moments.

"AHHHHHH!"

Both jumped by the sudden rise up of all three bodies of these Sky Nin, who somehow were not blessed with a fast end and instead were given an agonizing slow death that ate away their bodies.

All three running around in pain, it was only the merciful thing to do-

BANG!

The first burning enemy was silenced with one shot that came from the 1911 pistol that Naruto had pulled out of his belt, killing him swiftly without a word.

"At this point, there's no intel you can get from someone who's gonna die soon," he said angrily.

He quickly shot the other two, ending their lives as they dropped to the ground. Without missing a beat, he sighted the heads of the next two Sky Nin and quickly ended their lives. Naruto finished off by holstering his pistol.

"Sir! We've got the radio back!" One radio officer ran up to him, briefing him. "Signal's dirty as hell, but at least we've got it working."

"Get it as clean as you can by the time I get there," said Naruto, the comms officer nodding and rushing back to the radio station.

Once that was settled, he turned his attention to the rest of the airfield, "The rest of you, get those AA guns up and running or we'll never get anything done. In the meantime, get some planes fueled up and ready, I wanna be up in the air at a moment's notice!"

"Sir, yes sir!"

VROOM!

What just flew towards Naruto this time wasn't a Sky Nin, but one of theirs: a Bristol biplane that had just taken off with three more that were following the one with the flag patch - Rackham's squadron had arrived.

"Rackham's up there?"

The newly-arrived planes made a half circle before getting in formation and flying towards the Harbor.

Then, when he wanted to step, Naruto felt dizzy and dropped to his knees, causing others to run up to him.

"Lieutenant! Lieutenant!" One of the medics happened to be nearby, having reached him and pulled out some box. "Lay him down, now."

"I'm fine." Naruto said to him. "Let me-"

Suddenly feeling himself getting put down on the ground, Naruto saw it was the tender hands of Ain who did it, who was then beginning to loosen up his buttons, revealing what state he was in.

"You just got shot not too long ago," she reminded him firmly, grabbing him by the other shoulder, "The war can fight on without you for a few minutes, so settle down!

Once his chest and torso was totally exposed, the amount of blood seen drenched into his clothing was astonishing and made those seen wondering how on Earth it was possible for the Lieutenant to be standing at that point.

"You're shot in the shoulder, Lieutenant." Ain stated, grabbing some bandages and sutures from the medic as she swabbed a disinfectant on the wounds, "Your neck's the easiest part, but there's at least three bullet holes in your shoulder. Luckily, it looks like they've all gone through without hitting any bones, so that makes my job easier."

"Its- gah!" Naruto winced, as the needle went through his skin.

"Adrenaline can work wonders, but even it has limits to how long it can keep you going while injured," Ain added, quickly stitching up each of the bullet holes, "Nothing I say or do is gonna keep you down—that, and we still need you. So I'm just getting you ready for the next adrenaline rush so that you don't tear yourself apart without even realizing it."

After closing up all the larger wounds, Ain went to work bandaging the stitches to prevent further blood loss. "Don't strain yourself on that side, or you'll ruin all my hard work."

"I'm…"

"Please…" Ain's voice softened, which itself was a rare thing to see from her as she pleaded with concerned eyes to Naruto. "You've done everything you could; let us do the rest."

A worrying plea from a concerned woman was all it took to humble Naruto. He slid his head back to the ground, allowing the medics and Ain to work on him as he was given something to lay his head on by Domino, it being the shirt she wore.

"Lay your head on it."

Naruto nodded as he then called for the radio in his jeep as it was brought to him - He wanted to know what the fly boys were going to do.

"This is Lieutenant Uzumaki to radio tower - over."

"Radio tower to Lieutenant Uzumaki, we copy, over.

Naruto commanded. "Connect me to Wilson's biplane."


Haran Harbor

"Keep firing!"

"We're running low!"

Guns kept getting fired as the Sea Snake was proceeding to engage in combat against its aerial opponents, even when their options of defending themselves were getting kneecapped.

One Maxim gunner shouted. "I'm out!"

"Me too!" Another AA-gunner shouted. "That was our last belt!"

"Then use your rifles!"

Inside the bridge, Whitehall was joined by Bishop as he was now informing him on the current situation.

"We're running low on ammunition for our turrets, Whitehall. We're opening up our last ammo caches as we speak." Bishop briefed him as he asked.

Whitehall glared at Bishop scathingly. "Gee, thanks for the good news, anything else to brighten my day, Bishop?"

"I really don't know what to tell you, except that we're still taking losses," Bishop added, unfazed by his captain's sarcasm, "But the good news is that it looks like the enemy's running out of ammo too, because the losses we're taking on are slowing down."

Whitehall then happened to look up and noticed that another wave of Sky Nin appeared from the clouds.

"You just had to say it - Bishop." Whitehall frowned as he slammed his fist against the window. "Concentrate fire!"

The flying machines were in the middle of a dive when they were pelted with a hail of bullets from above. The crew of the Sea Snake watched as the Sky Nin were downed by a number of Bristols diving after them in turn. Lessons learned from dogfights the last war taught them that the pursuers always had the advantage, forcing them to abandon their strafing run as they were pursued by the Navy counterattack.

The surviving crew of the Sea Snake cheered after the Bristols.

"About time!"

"Get 'em, boys!"

"How do you like them apples?!"

"There they are!" Bishop smiled seeing their flyboys, "Bout time!"

One of the Bristols was seen chasing two Sky Nin that he managed to shoot down in only a matter of a half minute that lead the two commanding officers to be impressed by what they saw.

"Look at that, they're eating them up!" Bishop said, noticing the pilots. "Especially that one."

"The Tatsumaru is engaging the enemy, sir!"

The focus was turned back to the water as the battlecruiser Tatsumaru was indeed seen engaging the enemy, its head guns aimed for the air. Its attack was coordinated and well-calculated, firing from a distant position with explosive flak shells to shred multiple fleeing Sky Nin formations, driving the rest out of the Bay.

Whitehall finally felt the need to push his hat off his head as he felt the exhaustion leaving his lungs.

"Thank goodness, they're going."

"Sir, transmission from the Tatsumaru," The radio operator spoke. "Captain Chosokabe is requesting permission to pursue."

"Denied, our priority is to secure the area." Whitehall made his orders clear as he noticed a few dozen planes were still in engagement. "Tell Chosokabe to shoot the stragglers down, and bring the survivors ashore so the Naval Intelligence boys can have their way with them. In the meantime, send rescue parties to Koslova and Scarlett, now!"


Gin, alongside the crew of the MAS 15 torpedo boat he was with, and other teams of the 9th Raiders were sent to the Scarlett, taking cutting torches to her hull in a desperate attempt to free her crew.

The enemy attackers were cut down to a more manageable number, which made things a little easier, but it still didn't detract from the time crunch they were under. The Scarlett had been capsized for far too long, which meant that every second they delayed was another dead sailor. There were rumors of portable thermal lances being developed for situations like this, but this was all they had at the moment.

One way or another, Gin was going to save as many seamen as he could.

He waited with anticipation as the torch was nearly done opening a hole for the rescue teams to go through. He could feel the adrenaline pumping through his veins as he watched the torch cutting through thick metal…a few more seconds and he would move in.

The second the hole in the hull was finished, and the plate removed, Gin was the first one to dive in…or he would have if a pair of arms hadn't breached the water underneath.

Gin and a nearby Raider wasted no time in pulling the seaman out. Once done, Gin was quick to lay him aside, attempting to resuscitate his charge as everyone else dove into the hatch to try and rescue as many sailors they could from that spot.

"C'mon, c'mon!" he muttered desperately, pounding on the sailor's chest in an attempt to get the water out of his lungs.

A faint "HELP US!" could be heard nearby.

The pleas were heard all across the hull as tapping and slamming could be heard across it, causing some confusion for the rescue operations to pinpoint where to start as they tried to find the sound of thumping.

"Over here! Here!" Vice shouted for backup as he was over an open hole. "Got some live ones!"

Some men circled around the hole as some men were seen using their bolt cutters and even wrenches to try to widen the gap, trying their best to save some men.

"Hold on!" Brooklyn shouted to them. "We're getting to you!"

"There's water everywhere! It's coming up!"

Then a nightmare scenario came to reality, with water beginning to pour through the hole as desperate arms popped out of the hole of men close to death's door, with one of them even seen carrying something in his fist.

"AVENGE US!"

Thud!

The first arm out of the hole fell down to the metal, with it exposed to the cold, frail looking skin and sickened wrinkles. They were already too late as these sailors now had become death's latest acquisitions.

This however left Vic and the others disillusioned at how they weren't able to save these men and just having watched them die. It really then became a moment of failure they've experienced.

Vic especially looked down at the frail hand and noticed a piece of paper clenched in the dead man's fist and opened it up to find a picture of a man standing next to his wife and two kids.

An emotion flared inside the man's mind that he blew out verbally.

"Damn them…." Vic smashed his fist against the hull, "Damn them!"

Gin, who was kneeling next to the unconscious Dressrosan sailor, could only shake his head at the situation they now were in.

"What a mess…"


Meanwhile, on the Sea Snake, the aftermath of the whole assault was a depressing sight. Burning ships, a harbor ablaze, and two battleships sunk, it was one of death.

With the reports being given now to both Major Whitehall and Captain Bishop by the radio operator - only validating the death toll with the amount of estimation being given.

"Sir, the Trickster just updated its latest report: with 79 more deaths being confirmed by the rescue teams. Meaning up to 749 confirmed KIA and still 1100 MIA and 209 wounded and rescued." The radio operator somberly stated to them while listening to the horn. "Scarlett's crew has reported to have only 159 of its men to have been out of the ship confirmed before its sinking, and up to only 300 confirmed KIA."

While still watching the Scarlett's wreck being lifted by cranes, Whitehall and Bishop saw it was clear enough that the ship was stuck in the low water while it still was sinking downwards but not to the same depth as the Koslova.

"Anyone missing?"

The operator shook his head at the numbers. "Only around 12 managed to be pulled out. Most of the crew is still stuck inside."

"That's almost 1500 men….Christ…" Bishop sighed dejectedly. "That's a lot of families to notify…"

"Yeah…" Whitehall agreed. "One of many…"

He however, felt like it wasn't going to be over.

"One of many to come…"


Airfield

As the news of the Attack on Haran Harbor started to circulate the world, the men on the airfield were now just trying to rest with what they've just gone through.

Not minding the smoke billowing out of the burning buildings, the corpses being collected by survivors and even the debris of destroyed infrastructure that had landed across the place, they all were exhausted and still trying to wrap their heads around what had just happened.

Especially for Naruto Uzumaki, who now instead lying his head on the shirt of Domino, now had his head laid on Domino's lap, now that was told to not move after two more gunshot wounds were found in his leg and hip. He was surprisingly lucid considering the amount of morphine likely circulating his system, as he drank in the sights of Haran Harbor burning around him. It would take some time before the base was up and running again,

As Ain had just finished bandaging Naruto's leg wound up, she sat down on her own butt and looked exhausted - but then was offered a burning cigar, and it was surprisingly offered by Smoker.

"Felt like you could use it." The white-haired smoker said.

For once, Ain didn't decline and grabbed the cigar before doing one stroke and then puffing it out before she began coughing hard.

"Probably wasn't the best decision to do that fast." Smoker suggested before he noticed his fellow Lieutenant.

Naruto was himself smoking from his own pipe, all the while he didn't notice that his hair was lightly being stroked by Domino who did it as subtle as possible.

"Any suggestions on what to do, Lieutenant?" Smoker asked him. "I'm pretty sure you'll be called back at any moment."

After a moment of thoughts in his own mind be settled, he then said.

"Right now, I'm unable to drive - so expect me to spend my days planning and listening from a hospital bed."

"And afterwards?"

"Simple." Naruto responded. "We'll unleash hell on them."


Watching from the sidelines the whole show that happened in Haran Harbor, a spot not far away where Naruto and the Marines were, stood both Itachi and Kisame, joined by a transponder snail they were using to report to their leader, sitting in a bunker far away.

"Has Haran Harbor been destroyed?"

"Nearly three quarters." Itachi replied to the master's request. "We can say that two of their biggest battleships, the Koslova and the Scarlett have both been destroyed with many of its crew having gone under with it."

"You were given orders to completely destroy Haran Harbor." The leader sounded unsatisfied by these results. "How has this come to pass?"

"By the time they were able to counterattack, the Sky Nin were able to completely cripple them. I can assure you that at this point, they are too broken to even think of attacking us," Kisame stated, a satisfactory grin on his features. "Give me the word, and I might be able to further decapitate their abilities."

The leader was silent for a few seconds, his decision coming shortly afterward. "No, we'll have lost the element of surprise by now," The leader finally said, speaking through the snail, "For now, we'll focus on Phase II, but we'll have to work faster. I expect you two to help the main force on the remaining territory."

Itachi himself kept himself, having intimate knowledge of Phase II, and nodded. "We'll do as we're told."

"Good, I expect results soon, good luck."

*Click!*

The sound of the comm ending caused the snail to then sleep in resting mode. Causing Kisame to turn to find Itachi staring off in the distance.

"What's wrong, Itachi? You look troubled."

Looking upwards, Itachi was outwardly calm…his eyes however, told a different story. What he said next disturbed Kisame to no end:

"I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant, and the leader knows it."


As Naruto then fully stood up, he was now walking over to the jeep - knowing fully well as the men around him were wondering what was going to happen next. The young Uzumaki didn't need to guess what was to come.

War was going to happen - one that was going to change him and the world. As he then pulled out a match and a pipe, and ignited the end of it.

*TCHK!*


Now, that is done - we'll be back to the main course very soon - So I hope you all liked it and pay respects to Kuroganen and Osprey.

Leave a review if you like, and peace!