A/N: WARNING! Intense chapter ahead!

Massive spoilers for the Atom Eve special as well.

Right, so this is me, finally throwing my hat into the Invincible ring.

I was content, I was going to leave it well enough alone...until we got that new Atom Eve special. You can find it on Amazon and Youtube.

And this old man thought to himself, nope, nope, nope. Not having that kind of pain and suffering. Eve had it bad enough but her four "siblings" and her real mother, Polly...?

*inhales deeply*

NOPE. Nuh-uh. I aiiiiin't having that shit. Put on your hard-hats, lads! We're going to WAR.

After all, while we now know who her real mother was in the show, we never received clarification on her father...

With my fifteen year anniversary on this site finally here, I find myself reflecting on the little things in life. What was once a lazy pastime meant for me and a few friends really grew and evolved over time. There are days when I look back on the last fifteen years here and I wonder if anyone will remember me; if I made an impact, despite never making a single cent on any of these stories. Some days were happier than others, and some stories I enjoyed writing WAY too much; to the point where I'd stay up all night working on them.

And of course, there are times when I look to the future and wonder what will become of things when I'm gone.

Of course, I try not to dwell on the latter overmuch; I'm still alive and still writing. In an ideal world, I'd like to keep doing so for as long as I can. But old age is catching up to me and these days, the world is filled with so much madness and death. Feels like everyone's lost their minds sometimes. Even before that, so many friends and fellow writers I once knew are gone, now. Will I still be here in twenty years? Ten? Five? Its a chilling thought. But for now, I'm still here, still writing.

So here we go. The fate of this story depends on you, the reader. Your feedback determines the fate of this tale, and many others.

As ever, I own no references, quotes, themes or memes. They're tributes to legends far greater than I.

I'm just a humble author trying to make his way in this wild world, one word at a time.

Time and feedback will determine if this remains a story. Simple as that.

In other words...its up to YOU, the reader. Do let me know~!

"Beware the wrath of a parent, of a father forgotten.

For the apple does not fall far from the tree...

...and all who dare oppose him...

...who stand against him...

...who hurt his family...



Apples and Atoms

Naruto awoke in the water.

Everything was painful.

It all...hurt.

Blurry vision obscured his sight, but he could feel everything. A mask on his face and a tube in his throat, choking him, yet also pumping precious life-giving air into his lungs. Just as he felt that, so too did he feel the rest, more tubes in his arms, torso, even his legs. So many of them. What was the point of them...? They were draining something from him, he could see a faint shimmering light leaving his body, pumped down the tubes then up and away. Yet despite them, he remained weightless, suspended in the water in spite it all.

A tank, he realized. They were holding him in a tank of some sort. Why? He didn't remember...

An irritated, weak, raspy voice intruded upon his thoughts. "You do."

'Kurama? No, no I don't-

"Yes, you do. I'm sorry, Naruto. I am so, so sorry."

And just like that, he did.


Let me forget.

We're going to have a baby.

Let me forget!

No! Stop! Don't let them take me!


There had been a fight. A flash of lightning. A familiar face. The brutal, bitter sting of betrayal. He wanted to forget. More than anything he wanted to go back to sleep, go back to his dreams and pretend none of this had happened. But he couldn't now, could he? The memories lit a fire in him. Dull blue eyes blazed back to life, snapping into furious scarlet slits as they hadn't in years. He remembered it all. His heartbeat spiked. Bubbles burst behind the mask. He heard muffled voices in the water.

"He's waking up!"

"What? That's impossible."

"He's been comatose for twelve years."

Shock nearly silenced his anger. Twelve years?! No, that couldn't be right. It just couldn't.

"Search your feelings. You know it to be true."

"Brain activity is off the charts! He's awake!"

"Keep him sedated!"

Sedated? These people weren't here to help him, then. He could sense their anxiety, their fear. Which meant...

"Heartbeat is spiking!"

"But the tissue and semen samples...!"

"To hell with the samples! Give him another dose! Quickly!"

He felt something rush through him from the tubes, flooding his systems. Drugs no doubt, meant to keep him compliant. They wanted to keep him numb and dumb. Asleep. Deafened to the horrors of the world. Ignorant of who he was, where he had been, and what he had lost. A few moments ago he might have accepted such a fate.

It only made him angrier.

"That's it! Fight! Don't let them put you under again."

He'd do more than fight. A snarl bubbled up through the tube and behind the mask. His muscles tensed and his back arched. Chakra, dormant for so long, came rushing back, restoring him. His body doubled over, tearing at the tubes holding him. Pain ripped through him and he gasped, choking around the tube.

"Suppress the subject!"

Subject, was he?

And just like that he was out of the fires of hatred and flung onto the proverbial ice, his rage colder than death itself.

They didn't think of him as a human. He was so much meat to them, feed for the grinder. No more.

Not one moment more.

Steeling himself, he reached up and grabbed the tube affixed to his mouth. Then he yanked. Gagged in a stream of bloody bubbles, as he spat it out. Not a wise choice. Water rushed in even as he clamped his mouth down on it. Panic mounted in him to render the world a rich ruby red. Out. Had to get out. Air! Now!

"You have ten seconds before your lungs burst. Move!"

His right arm twisted, nearly breaking itself to get at one of the tubes affixed to his back. Bony fingers found it and yanked. Blood flowed forth as the wound tore open...but only for a moment as Kurama forced it shut with fresh chakra. The pain centered him. Woke him up. Together they were stronger than either would've been alone.

One down.

He focused chakra to his eyes and his vision sharpened. He found the tubes in his legs next. Two. Now his arms. Four. He tore the them free one after the other and cast them into the ether, temper rising with each tether. His ears began to ring, muffling the voices beyond the glass. He flung out a hand toward it. Water swirled as the wind rose. He pushed at it, lungs aching, forming a familiar jutsu in his grasp. Not big enough. Larger. Size mattered here in the confines of his prison.


When faced with the massive spiraling sphere, even hardened glass couldn't hope to hold out for long. Before his very eyes it fractured. Cracked. Shattered. Water flowed free and carried him with it to freedom as his jutsu fizzled out. His bare back hit the ground in a tangled tumble and instinct took over, forcing him into a pointed crouch, wasted and gasping for air.

But air he received and with each breath he grew stronger.

"Focus. We're not out of the woods yet."

"Activate all systems!"

Gunmetal gray walls greeted him as he raised his gaze, pushing wet blond hair out his eyes with the back of his left hand. He could hear men and women bleating, but their voices were faint, indistinct, downright muted now. What was this place? It felt...wrong. Unnatural. The air smelled too strongly of antiseptic and other medicinal things he didn't recognize. It was a sanitized smell, one that made him gag anew just by breathing. He pushed himself upright-

Someone slammed a gun to his forehead and drove him back down. "Freeze! Hands where I can see 'em!"

He coughed blood as his lungs healed. "Poor...choice of words."


His body blazed gold and black. A hand scythed up, fingers hooked into a claw as they found flesh. Skin shredded. Meat mangled. Bones broke. He skewered them like a pig, slamming his arm into, then through his skull to blow off the top of his head. They were dead before they knew what was happening. A mercy. Still gripping the body, he withdrew his arm and wrenched it around-

Just in time.

A door opened on the far side of the room.

Guards pounded through. He counted almost a dozen.

As one they dropped to their knees. Someone barked behind them. "Open fire!"

A hail of bullets ripped into his impromptu meat-shield. It held somehow. He heard guns click empty, accompanied by a cacophony of curses as they fumbled to reload. He looked down and saw the grenades on the vest of the crimson cadaver he was currently clutching. A shit-eating grin stretched across whiskered cheeks. He pulled the pins-all of them!- and with a flick of his wrist, flung the corpse at them. It landed dead center in a team of ten. Their eyes widened as he dropped the pins to the floor-

The explosion that followed was truly spectacular; he knew it because the entire room absolutely shook.

Another tremor rattled the base deeper within. Good.

Must've hit something important.

He walked through the fire and flames that followed, casually disemboweling a straggler as he went. They dropped behind him, clutching at their stomach. Someone shot him in the back of the head. The bullet ricocheted off his skull and shot them dead. Still he kept walking. Alarms blared, klaxons wailed, flashing lights bathed the world red. His relentless advanced continued, bare feet padding against the cold metal floor. Men and women were screaming. Voices crackled from the speakers overhead:

"Use the gas!"

"We can't! Valves are jammed!"

"I told you to check them, Anders!"

Naruto's lower lip curled in disgust. Scientists. Profiting from his pain. They'd get theirs later. Right now he just wanted out of here. He could think about...other things later. Kill them all, find his wife, and of course, burn this place to the ground with extreme prejudice. That was the order of the day. Kill them all. Burn them all.


Another voice brayed from above. "All guards to sector six! He's loose!"

Sure enough, he walked around the corner into an ambush.

More men than before. Almost impressive, that.

He could've talked them down.

But he didn't want to talk.

Bullets skittered across golden skin, caromed off a wall and struck a stray scientist dead.

"Don't use live ammunition, you idiots!" someone hallooed through the gunsmoke." Use the tranquilizer rounds!

They wanted him alive, did they?


A hand rose and Kurama howled with it.

Thought they could take him, did they? Never again.

He exhaled harshly, a plume of steam fleeing from his mouth, bent double in a crouch...

...and leaped at them.

They never had time to reload.

One of soldiers swore. "Oh, shiiiii-

His voice trailed off into a bloody gurgle as a fist tore through his chest. The next guard he grabbed died due to an acute case of asphyxiation-via losing most of their throat. The third didn't fare much better. A giant golden claw crushed that one to a pulp against against the wall and left him there to die. When a fourth tried to club him with the butt of their gun, he tore it out their grasp and swiped left with a golden hand, lopping their head clean off their shoulders before using that to stave in the face of a fifth.

Someone called him a monster. He never knew who. Didn't care.

Clutching the much-abused rifle in his grasp, Naruto flooded its magazine with chakra and flung it at a sixth guard. By dint of luck or a sheer blood miracle, the man actually managed to catch it. The impact sent him lurching back into his fellows. He had a moment to laugh in relief. He thought himself safe.

He was not.

The weapon detonated, ripping him to shreds. Bullets and blood everywhere. More died to shrapnel; bits of metal that skittered harmlessly off his impervious skin. From there he found a seventh soldier and cut him in half. An unlucky eighth flung a flashbang at him. He slapped it back and it detonated in his face, blinding every guard before him. The stunned men and women never saw him coming. But they felt him tear through them. They screamed, just as she had screamed on the night he'd lost her.

On and on it went.

He fought his way through waves of enemies and killed them all despite their pleas; ripping and tearing, the world a whirl of words and wails and weeping until finally...



...it all stopped.

Heart bounding, chest heaving, Naruto dropped a limbless, headless corpse and spun in search of others.

Of the men he'd massacred, only one remained. The last living guard took one look at him; saw the hate in his scowl, the murder in his eyes, the blood dripping from his body, and promptly soiled his trousers. Naruto felt the moment his resolve broke, watched him cast his weapon down. No words were given, no explanation offered. He turned and fled for the exit like the hounds of hell were at his heels.

They were.

Naruto pointed a golden finger at his rapidly retreating body, closed his eyes, and uttered two words. "...mini rasenshuriken."

The tiny jutsu hurtled forward from his fingertip and struck true.

Nothing fled after that but bloody steam.

Finally, the lab was silent.

Sweet, blessed silence.

With the sudden dearth of violence, he found himself able to think again. Questions babbled in the back of his brain without end. Polly. Where was she? Where was his wife? He couldn't sense her. Not even a little. Panic mounted in him. If he couldn't sense her...she was either dead or too weak for him to detect. Grief bloomed in him and he stamped it down with a snarl. Where was their-her!-baby? She'd been heavy with child the last time he saw her so WHERE-

A whimper caught his ear. He rounded on it.

The noise had come around the corner-

Nothing. Just a door.

He sensed a scientist within, huddled in the broom closet for shelter. Coward. He tore the door off its hinges, ignored their plea, seized them by the scruff of neck and hoisted them up. Glazed eyes took in their frazzled features at a glance. A man. Grey hair. Tall and thin. Dark eyes, likely somewhere hair in his fifties to sixties. Didn't care. Didn't matter.

Dragging him close, he smashed his forehead against his. "Where is she?!"

The man quivered in his grasp. "Where is who?!"

He shouted him down. "My! Wife!"

They whimpered. "I...don't...

He dug his fingers in.

"Don't what?!"

"I don't know!" his legs kicked out at his chest, to no avail. "We were told to keep everything separate! You and the children!"

Naruto's brain blanked. "Children...?"

"I tried to tell you...

"Brandyworth!" The scientist babbled, desperate to save himself. "He was the head of the project! But he vanished years ago! That's all I know! I swear!"

...describe him."

The man did, haltingly, then was forced to repeat what he knew.

He whirled and stretched his senses out once again. That ability at least, remained keen as ever. At his peak, he'd been able sense someone an entire dimension away; by contrast a world was child's play. Still, there were so many lives. So many people. Only one of them would have the chakra he sought. His chakra. Surely they couldn't be that hard to...




There was more than one.

Much more, to his great disbelief. There were...five?!

That couldn't right. Unless poor Polly had quintuplets, but no, she'd only been pregnant with Samantha. One child. Not four. He'd checked. So how...

Belatedly, he recalled what he'd heard just before his rampage.

"But the tissue and semen samples...!"

They shouldn't.

They couldn't have.

They should know better.

But they hadn't, had they? They'd done it anyway. The bastards. The absolute bastards. He'd been comatose for twelve years. Plenty of time for them to harvest all sorts of things from him. His rage blazed, absolutely incandescent. The scientist wailed in his grasp as he slammed him backwards, rendering his back intimate with the wall in a way no one desired. He wedged him there, heedless of their pained cries, their pleas, as his fingers dipped under their chin and found their throat.

It was so easy to squeeze the life out of him. To watch his eyes bulged and his face turn purple.

"Don't." Kurama cautioned before he could. "He's of no use to us dead."

His grip slackened. "He deserves to die for what he's done."

"Kill everyone here and you'll never have justice. He's proof. Leave him for the police."

Anger welled up in him again. Naruto almost laughed at the irony of it all. In what world was Kurama the voice of reason?

But he was right.

He turned his senses inward again, trying to find the five signature he'd felt before. Calm. Focus. Think. It was damnably difficult to do any of those things, but he managed, somehow. Four were in the same place. Surely they were safety. Safety in numbers and all that. But one was alone, isolated from the others. Older, if only a little. He could feel her fear, her anxiety. Her chakra, dormant, untapped, but still present. That was her. Had to find her. Had to get to her. Surely...surely...

He staggered a little and leaned against the wall as exhaustion overcame him. He shoved it aside and struggled back to his feet.

Couldn't stay here. Had to move. Had to find them. Save them. Before it was too late.

Kurama vetoed it. "You're still too weak. You need to recover."

"To hell with recovery!"

"Then find some clothes, at the very least!"

Naruto looked down at himself, clad in nothing more than a sopping wet pair of black boxers.

His gaze turned back to the quivering scientist still wilting under his gaze.

By some miracle, he had no blood on him or his outfit...



...I need your clothes."


Doctor Brandyworth considered himself a good man.

He had found his conscience late in the game perhaps; almost too late, he knew that, but better late then never, as the saying went. What happened on that god-awful night...he'd never agreed with it, never countenanced it. He'd done his part and tried to see the girl to safety once he realized what the government intended for her. He hadn't been able to save Polly, but he'd managed to spirit her daughter away. And for a time, he'd thought that might be it; that she would be left in peace, and he, content to watch over her from the shadows.

Only said daughter had come into her powers.

He'd seen her using them, told her -begged her- not to use them.

Ah, but young Samantha Eve Wilkins was stubborn. Of course she was. She was a child, after all.

Children didn't see the world the way adults did; where he saw a right to be cautious, she thought herself Invincible. She wasn't. She thought she had everything under control. She didn't. Was she skilled? Certainly. Gifted? Undoubtedly. In great danger? Indubitably. To that end, she mustn't keep using her powers. They would find her if she did. And if they did, she'd never know peace. He'd told her as much, but he doubted she'd listen now not when she was still reeling from the revelation of being adopted in the first place. In hindsight, that might not have been the best move, but still.

And so they'd parted ways in the park. He'd fled into the trees. She'd flown away.

Something must be done. He had to help Polly's daughter, protect her, keep her safe. Her mother would never forgive him if he didn't. That might mean taking her from her "parents" but what choice did he have? It was that or let the government find her again, and who knew what would happen then-

A shadow emerged out of the gloom ahead him, resolving into the shape of a man.

"What's up, doc?"

Brandyworth stumbled, eyes bulging.

Funny how he could make three words sound so threatening.

In an instant he found himself whipped around into a tree. "Lets talk about my daughter."

Realization broke within Brandyworth and broke him. "Oh gods, its you, isn't? I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!"

The blond berserker scowled at him, not quite comprehending. "Have we met?"

"No, no. I've only heard of you. but I'm not your enemy, I swear!"

A small part of him had always suspected Eve's father was still alive out there, somewhere. The way Polly had spoken of him...someone like that didn't simply die; nor would they ever go quietly into that good night. Rather, they-he!-couldn't be killed. Surprised, yes, even subdued given a once-in-a-lifetime miracle, but killed? Oh, no. Could you kill the air? No. Slay a storm? Impossible. Seize the stars? Absurd. There were some things in this world you simply could not defeat. You could only contain them, and even then not for very long.

They must have held him captive.

To that that...by gods, they must've kept him drugged to the gills. He looked like he'd seen better days; and that was saying something, coming from one who'd lived on the streets for some time himself. The clothes he wore were a size too small for him, shirt buttons straining at his chest. Whatever the government might have gotten from him, he hoped it was worth it. This man would never lower his guard again. He could not be found wanting, not be caught off guard, no, never. He would find the ones that had done this to him, and woe betide the rest.

And if he wasn't very careful he'd be joining them in a shallow grave.

"I tried to help her." he babbled quickly, eager to placate the monster before him. "I couldn't save her mother during labor, but I made sure her daughter had a good life, a decent life."

The silence proved palpable.

...Polly's dead?" the words were a rasp.

"For twelve years now, yes. She spoke of you fondly, before the birth."

"Prove it. Tell me my name."


The young father palmed his face with a deep, shuddering sigh and glared at him between his fingers. So much anger. So much rage. This had been a good man once. Before he'd been betrayed. Before he was taken. Before he lost everything he held dear. For a wild moment, Brandyworth thought he might murder him in cold blood. He had every right. He should have said more. Should've done more to help that poor girl. But he hadn't, not until it was too late. He would carry the weight of that sin to his grave. Maybe he'd be going to it now, if that man looming over him had any say in the matter.

Finally, his face softened. "I believe you. That's the only reason you're still alive. But my daughter's in danger. So here's what you're going to do...

A fist caught him by the shirt and reeled him in.

"Take me to her. NOW."

A/N: Aaaaaaaand scene.

Papa bear is unleashed! Run for your lives!

Its heavily implied that someone caught Naruto off guard once...and it wasn't Omni-man.

Who could it have been? Are they still out there somewhere? Or are they gone. Time, and this story will tell.

Well? What say you? Do you want this to be a story? Yes? No? Maybe so? Make yourselves heard! Really need to hear from you, here.

Finally, to clarify, "Eve" had FOUR siblings in the special. Two little brothers. Two little sisters. What those poor children became...it made this old man's blood boil.

Once more, we're sticking with the "Embers" rule for this particular story, and others. If folks don't like this, it won't be continued. Meaning that if the story itself isn't popular? Well...I'll not continue it. I'm working two jobs -might need a third soon!- so I barely have time to write; as such, I cannot afford to write something folks don't enjoy.

So by all means, speak up! Your voice matters! Make yourself heard! As ever, reviews are the fuel that sustain me. Without them I cannot write a single word. Simple as that. Working nearly all hours of the day keep me absurdly busy, and I can't bring myself to write something folks don't like.

Aaaand there we go. As ever, reviews keep me alive. Without them, I cannot write. So...in the Immortal Words of Atlas...

...Review...Would You Kindly?

Enjoy the previews.


Eve blinked. "Doc? Who's this...?"

"Its a bit of a catch twenty two." the stranger tugged back their hood, revealing himself, letting wind flow across his fingers. "For the longest time, my purpose was to guide life, protect life, and in that, I failed. You could say failure is my defining trait." a rueful grin flashed about, briefly lighting his dour face. "I've failed many times. And learned from each one. But what they did to you...no one has the right to alter or end life at their convenience. If I'd know what they were doing, what they intended.

She'd always wondered why she had these marks on her face. They called it a birth defect. A deformity, something she should cover up with makeup.

"I always wanted a family," the blond man crouched down before her, "But things went wrong. I'm sorry." he reached out and laid a hand on her head. "I wish I'd known about you; wish I'd broken out sooner. I wish you didn't have to live twelve years of your life suffering like this."

"Wait, wait, wait!" She flung up both hands. "Are you saying you're my...?

...yeah. Could you find it in your heart to forgive me?"

It was everything she'd ever wanted to hear.

A tiny hiccup tore past her lips.

Her eyes watered. "Daddy?"

"Whoa, now. He held up a hand. You don't want this fight."

"Screw you, old man!"

"Old?! Is that any way to talk to your pops?!"

His words had the desired effect. The four of them froze.

The blond one, the only one who seemed to be able to speak, rallied first. "Liar...you're lying! We don't HAVE a father!"

They flung a car at him. He caught it with one hand. Glared over the hood at them, now.

"I AM your father. And this is your sister...

"KNOCK KNOCK BITCHES! I've come for my wife!"


"Oh, Polly...what did they do to you...?"

"Y-You can fix this, right?! Fix her! You're a healer! You said so!"

His expression was telling. "I'm gonna try...

"You don't seem to understand. I don't give this," he snapped his fingers, "About your precious government. Touch my family again...

He crushed a soldier's skull in his hand. Blood spattered everywhere.

...you will all die screaming."

Nolan sighed. "Oh, great. He's back. Thought that bastard he went to sleep.

A giant golden fox burst from the building and laid waste to everything around it.

No need to get involved in this disaster. He'd just pretend he didn't see anything...or hear anything...

A mace smashed into his face.

"Good to see you, War Woman. Mind moving? I just need to kill a few people, take my family, and be on my way.."

She heaved a sigh. "Naruto, no."

"Naruto, yes!"

...its him."

EDIT: As ever, the Embers rule remains: If people don't like this story? If they don't enjoy it? Well...I' won't be able to continue it. That's no joke, folks. I'm so busy these days with two jobs; holidays are HERE and basically, I don't have time off. Not anymore.

My free time is limited and as such, I can't afford to focus on something folks don't like. Reviews keep me writing in these times, and keep the daily updates flowing. Silence...silence only hurts. I hate having to beg for feedback, but without it...well, it feels like I'm not making an impact...

Looking forward to chatting with you all when I get back from work~!

Warm regards,