A/N: Heeeyo! How's it goin' peeps! Guess what! IT'S THANKSGIVING BREAK! OH YEAH! WOOOOOOTT! Why am I so excited? Because I have for your all's enjoyment A MASSIVELY LONG CHAPTER! It's to commemorate the holiday if you didn't guess yet. Anyway, it took me many a day to finish this piece of work, and I'm quite proud of it. Took me forever and it may have gotten stale in some placed, but it does its job right I think. I'm rather disappointed though; only six reviews for my last chapter. I don't know if that's because I uploaded the last two chapters one after the other (and I mean like within a week of each other) or whether it was a bad chapter, but I'd really like it if you all would comment on how I'm doing. It really does help. And try to make it more wordy than just "Hey good job! Can't wait 'till next time!" It makes me feel good, but doesn't help me improve. And on the subject:
Ty to marc, Kage Bijuu, Sdarian, Eipok, Frostius, and Thoketan-XER298-RedRover. See? Short list :( I'm sad.
Onto the story!
P.S. Did I mention I have a girlfriend now? :D Yay!
Chapter 11: Revelations
Darkness. That was all Naruto could see. But the darkness was gradually replaced by a fuzzy feeling of awakening, as if he had just awoken from a long sleep. The images around him were blurry and unclear, but he could catch small glimpses of advanced technology; consoles and monitors, gurneys and people. The room he was in was shaded in a cool blue that seemed to emanate from large cylinders along the walls. He blinked, trying to clear his eyes of their sleep, but when he opened them again, the scene had changed completely. Now he was standing on a large balcony over viewing a massive gathering of people. The halls of golden light permeated the entire gathering. There was a muffled chorus of words every so often, and he squinted to see who this multitude could be, and why they were there.
He blinked again. This time, there was a figure standing next to him, seemingly familiar, yet different somehow. He could make out that it was looking at him, and as his eyes slowly focus in, he could see that it was a girl. She turned away from him saying something he couldn't discern. He looked in the direction she had and saw that same benign herd of people. All of a sudden, he felt a warm spread through his body as if joy were literally injected into his system. But then he blinked again, and he felt as if he were floating in the air. He felt like a bird, slowly soaring through the darkened, cloudless skies. And then a great agony ripped through his body that caused him to to cry out in pain, but all he could hear was a muffled whisper. A shadow crossed his vision and he looked towards it, only to see the face of some creature bearing down on him, its face engraved with a permanent whale of agony. The face grew bright as light emanated from it, and his vision pin wheeled, only adding to the dementia as the face's radiance erupted in a blinding flash.
Again, there was darkness. But this time, it slowly faded into a dim, early morning light. Now his vision cleared completely and found he was staring at a ceiling. He blinked. Nothing happened. He blinked again. Again nothing. He looked around, his eyes now sharp as a hawk's as he took in every detail of the room he was in. Its walls were curved and smooth, with rounded edges where it connected to the ceiling and the floor. It was bluish in color, with thick horizontal stripes of the same color splashed half way up the wall. There were few pictures on them, and what he could see was foreign to him. Turning to one side, he saw a small bed stand that held a series of paper shapes. Upon closer inspection he found they were origami. He furrowed his brows and tried to sit up, using his elbows to prop himself up. Reaching over and grabbing one of the creations, he saw it was a wolf-like animal, though it easily could have been a fox. He blinked again. 'A fox...' He looked at it again hesitantly before placing it back with the other masterful foldings. It was then he noticed a pressure on his right side. Turning to the other side, he found a figure gently wrapped in the silk sheets. Its back was to him and it was still. Leaning over slightly to see its face, he found that it was Hinata. Her midnight blue hair spilled out beneath her even as she breathed softly, he facial expressions set in a peaceful manner. Whatever she was dreaming, it must have been calm.
He smiled softly. Reaching over, he stroked her cheek, feeling its warmth against his cooling skin. He blinked again. His face adopted a look of concern. Looking around again, he tried to think of how he got here and why, but nothing came. 'Why am I here...?' He questioned himself mentally. Calmly sitting up against the headboard, he took a more analytical look around. It was obviously some sort of apartment, but he didn't know where. There was a door at the far end of the room. It was made of metal, almost steel as it reflected to clouded sky of pre-cloud-break. Looking to his right, beyond Hinata, he could see another nightstand, covered with similar paper items, and the wall on that side was a full window, covered by beige blinds that filtered the room in a calming gray.
Slowly, he pulled the covers back, still looking at the room. As he slipped his legs out from them and to the floor, he noticed something. He was wearing boxers and black tee. But they felt almost... new. As if they were just being "broken" in so to speak. He furrowed his brow in confusion, but not quite alarm. He looked back to Hinata as if she held the answer to his questions, but turned back to himself. Shrugging it off, he slowly pushed himself up onto his feet, his muscle groaning and stretching in protest. He moaned in discomfort as his muscle tissue slowly adjusted to his movements. Leaning back, he reached his arms out and stretched, rolling his neck and shaking his hands, trying to get some blood flowing through them. Looking back to Hinata, he went over and pulled the covered that he had inadvertently pulled off of her back to her cover her bare shoulders. She ever so slightly melted into them, relaxing in their warmth.
He smiled as he watched her. It was almost pacifying to watch her. He honestly could stay like this for hours, simply watching her sleep in peace, but he knew he couldn't. Turning back to the door, he walked up to it and saw a small electronic panel with buttons on it. Pressing one the door opened to reveal an elongated living room that was surrounded by windows on all sides and the arched ceiling. It was covered with comfortable looking furniture. They were colored in the shades of beige to brown, while the rug floor was a deep and vibrant blue. In the middle of the room was a coffee table of sorts. On one side of it was a futon and on the other side was a large couch. Directly to his left was a small kitchen, and on his right was a decent sized table with enough room to seat six. Further to his left was another hallway, but this one was all metal with doors along the wall. Figuring they were more rooms, he ignored them and walked into the encompassing living room, looking out at the clearing sky and the ships that passed by in the distance. His eyes weren't wide; for some reason he wasn't amazed to see them, or the magnificent view beyond. Instead, he was more worried about where he was. Hinata was here so obviously he wasn't kidnapped, and even if they were, he was pretty sure no kidnapper would give them such great accommodations.
He could tell the place was quality and probably expensive, so it must have been someone with at least decently sized pockets. The abrupt sound of a throat being cleared sent him spinning to see who it was. What he saw was Konan standing of to the side, having come from the windowless hall, confirming his belief that it contained more rooms. Her blue hair was accented by the room perfectly, and the black and red cloak also contrasted well. These colors all combined to make the place seem inviting and calming, somehow.
"I see you're finally awake." She said in a clear voice. He looked at her suspiciously. Why wasn't he dead?
"Where am I?" He asked, his stance wide and ready, just i case he needed to fight his way out of there. 'Wherever this is.'
"You don't remember?" She asked, surprise somewhat evident in her voice.
Naruto's resulting silence was her answer. She sighed. "Here, sit," she said, gesturing to the couch in the center of the room. He reluctantly did so. She sat across from him on the futon, her back position proper and reminiscent of high-class society, as opposed to his in which he was leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees and his fingers intertwined with each other.
"What's the last thing you remember?" She asked him simply.
He looked down at his hands for a minute or two before shaking his head. "I remember... a desert... and Hinata. There was this slug thing too." As the images flashed through his mind, more seemed to appear, as if his mind slowly began remembering what happened. "I rescued her... And then Zetsu found us and took us on a ship here." He tried to remember more but that was only fuzziness. He could vaguely see Pain's face, and then a splitting headache. That was all.
Fortunately, Konan seemed to be willing to fill in the blanks. "When you arrived here, Pain offered to give you information about this place: Languages, technologies, vehicles, planets, and indigenous peoples to name a few."
Naruto blinked again. Attempting to access information on what Konan said Pain gave him, he realized she was right; he hadn't been surprised by the scene outside because he understood what it all was, and he knew exactly how to use the door panel in the bedroom. He shook his head as if trying to see whether the knowledge he now possessed was real or not. But he was not given time to resolve the fact, as Konan spoke up again. "It seems your friend is awake as well."
Naruto blinked at her, wondering who she was talking about. The hissing of an opening door drew his attention back to the door he'd come from. In its frame stood the most beautiful creature he'd ever see. Hinata stood there, sleepily rubbing an eye. The other was halfway lidded as if she were waking up after a long, casual night. She would an amazing cream colored evening gown that reached her knees and was loose, but form-fitting enough to accentuate her figure. It was a tad thin, but did not place emphasis on the erotic, but rather one the comfortable. He could see the form of her thin stomach and lower chest, and he could barely see the form of her breasts. But his view was zoomed out to admire all of her in his dumb-struck, slack jawed, wide-eyed expression. Konan glanced at him from the side of her vision and almost smiled at his reaction.
Hinata's sleepy moan disturbed him from his reverie. "Naruto-kun...?" She mumbled, bringing the hand she'd been using to rub her eye back down to her side. She simply stood there, almost half asleep in her appearance. Naruto suddenly got up and walked to her, stopping a foot in front of her. He was gain=zing directly at her face. While normally she'd become a bit flustered at his direct and so attentive attention, her drowsy condition rendered her mind considerably unconcerned about her usual shyness. He was looking at her directly in the face, but slowly looked her up and down, as if unsure that such a gorgeous woman (he simply couldn't call her a girl when she looked like this) could exist, and better yet, belong to him. Unsure of what he was supposed to do now that he was here, he slowly, and with only slight awkwardness, wrapped his arms around her and gave her a gentle squeeze.
"Morning sleepy-head," he said not quite sure what else he could have said. She sluggishly reacted and let her hands slink around his waist. Her pale eyes were blank, as if she wasn't staring at anything, and this was normal. But her acute orbs did not miss the other female in the room. Suddenly her eyes hardened into a fierce, territorial scowl, and her arm amazingly regain some of their lost strength and squeezed Naruto harder. He noticed this and tried to pull back to look her in the eyes and see what was wrong, but her grip only tightened. He did manage to bend his back enough to look at her eyes, which weren't on him, which surprised him, but were looking past him. He was just beginning to look in the direction she was when he remembered the Akatsuki in the room. Taking his right hand and bringing it to her face, he directed her gaze onto him, which caused her eyes to soften considerably.
"Hina, it's ok. She's... helping us," he said, and then mentally added, 'I think,' to his explanation. "She's helping me to remember what happened last night."
Hinata's gaze softened and looked at him concerned. "You don't remember?" She asked worriedly.
"You do?" He responded.
She nodded her head. "Of course I remember everything. That Pain person injected memories into us. How come you don't remember?"
Naruto had no answer for that, but it didn't matter since Konan decided to pipe in. "Regardless, you two have some adapting to do. Foreign information injected into one's mind tends to cause adverse effects on their day to day lives. It can turn into a type of trauma, but most likely will not," she said looking the both of them in the eye." Like I told Naruto, Pain placed knowledge of this galaxy's languages, technologies, locations, and peoples. However, it is still extremely limited in the broad scope of things here."
Hinata felt an odd sensation as images and information of each subject she mentioned pooped into her head as if she'd always known them. Konan continued in a more serious tone. "Also, you both have been asleep for nearly a week."
Both of the teen's eyes widened in astonishment. Had the strain that had been put on their minds been so great that they'd fallen unconscious for that long? "You might also have noticed you're wearing different clothes than you were before." They both looked at each other and then down at themselves, each having the decency to blush at not only their current apparel in the presence of each other (Hinata considerably more so than Naruto) , but also for the realization that someone had dressed them while they were asleep for those seven days.
"You needn't worry; we've been having skilled medical assistants come in every day to monitor you both. Unfortunately, both of your clothes were in great disrepair. As such new night clothes were decided for you. I hope you don't mind."
Naruto looked at her with a sarcastic but still embarrassed look. "Oh that's not awkward at all, is it?"
Hinata, for her part, was holding up considerably well for realizing she'd been dressed by another person like a child, and that her current garments were far too revealing for her comfort. Had she been alone, it wouldn't have bothered her, but in the presence of her love...
"Do you not find them satisfactory?" Konan asked Hinata as she could see the girl's embarrassed state. The Hyuuga heiress shook her head and tried her best to smile while desperately trying to hide herself from Naruto's view. "N-not, not at all A-akatuski-san, it's j-just t-they're a b-bit revealing..."
Konan gained a look of understanding, but her expression was still impassive. "I understand. However, from one female to another, I'll offer you some advice." She leaned in to the surprised Hyuuga and whispered, "it will only pique his interest in you more. Trust me."
Hinata blushed crimson as thoughts of Naruto admiring the intimate arts of her body entered her mind, but before Konan could withdraw her head she responded said, "T-that may be true, b-but I want Naruto to love me for me. And if he likes my b-body then t-that's good too," finished with a resolute tone, but embarrassed speech. Konan smirked at the girl; she certainly did have her priorities straight. Either way, she didn't have any other evening wear yet, so she would take pleasure in the girl's discomfort for a while longer.
"And my name is Konan, Hinata-san. Please refer to me by that from now on." Hinata nodded her head, in obedience. Somehow, the idea that the woman was an S-class criminal made her think that Konan was above her in status and authority. Normally she wouldn't have bothered with a title at all, but with them trying to become neutral, of not allied to each other sparked a sense of respect for them. But if the woman did anything to try and hurt her Naruto-kun, then she'd have another thing coming!
"Anyway," Konan began, "your new clothes will be delivered to you shortly. In the meantime, try not to strain yourselves with your new knowledge." With that she slid past them and into the adjacent hallway, which actually had a massive door that closed behind her, leaving the two alone in the large windowed living room. A silence permeated the room for quite a few moments before Naruto gently directed the girl to the couch. She followed numbly, still trying to cope with the new information in her head, her embarrassment regarding her current appearance in front of Naruto, and her still hazy thoughts of where they were and what had happened the night- no... week before. But amidst all of that was Naruto's calm, guiding hand. She accepted the seat he provided for her. He smiled at her mixed expression, being sure to respect her privacy considering her outfit, knowing how mortified she must be right now to be dressed like that in front of him. As fortune would have it, there was a blanket on the back of the sofa she was sitting on and he grabbed it and wrapped it around her. She smiled at him gratefully.
The fact that he was still in his boxers didn't evade their minds though, but with Naruto having slept with her in them before, it wasn't as embarrassing for either of them. What was embarrassing was that Hinata had never seen him in them. Before, he'd slipped in behind her to avoid said embarrassment. But when she looked at him now, he looked almost casual, as if he were more comfortable with being in them in front of her than she was being in her night gown in front of him. She supposed it was normal, since guys rarely cared as much as girls do about that sort of thing.
So she sat there, those thoughts filling her mind, as Naruto turned around and set about fixing them something for breakfast.
"Pain, they've awakened," Konan reported from behind the stoic man.
He was silent. He was leaned over, his chin resting on his folded hands, supported by his elbows on his knees. He barely acknowledged her presence. He'd been contemplating what had happened two days earlier. It had thrown him for a loop at first, but it explained a lot. He was seated in a small, but lavish room that was decorated for primarily VIPs and senators. Fortunately, Pain had gathered enough money for them to live here for a while. 'Not that money is an issue anymore,' he mused.
It was walled in by wood-covered steel. A large ornate fireplace was off to the side and burned with a transfixing multi-colored flame that came from a unique type of wood that had to be imported to the planet. A large abstract painting hung above the mantle. The entire wall opposite the door was a massive holo-window that could project any view he wished or act like a normal window and show what was really outside. Currently, it showed a burning blue world covered in lightning and storms. Flashes of light and the rolling of winds streaked across its surface as it floated freely in space.
A bed lay off to the side, a type of silk bedspread pulled back and left abandoned from where he woke up three hours earlier. "I'll speak to them in a bit. Let them get acquainted with their new environment... and knowledge."
Konan nodded and went over to sit across from him. He sat on an onyx couch that faced the large panoramic window. In front of him was a wooden coffee table with a set of exotic flowers, and on the other side of that was a duo of comfortable chairs. It was in one of these that Konan relaxed, staring at his impassive face with interest. "Thing's will be different now," she said.
Pain shook his head. "They would have been different anyway. This is just a different type of different."
Konan thought about that before gazing into the beautiful fire. "I don't suppose you're just going to inject the information into them again."
"...No. They've only just rediscovered each other. I don't want to ruin that for my cousin, or cousin in law." He replied.
"Then how will you communicate it to them?" She asked curiously.
"I'll tell them. They can know of their past without needing the actual memories. Besides..." He looked up to meet her eyes, his Rinnegan pulsing with power and knowledge. "We don't want them to have to relive the pain we've all suffered."
Konan nodded to that, her face taking on a sad expression. "I can't disagree with that. I wish you'd never shown me our past myself." Pain said nothing to that. She continued after a moment, "But, I understand why you had no choice. I needed to know. They don't. When will you tell them then?"
"Later this afternoon. I don't want to wait too long."
Konan nodded and stood. "I'll leave you to your thoughts then."
Pain grunted an acknowledgment. But as she opened the door to leave he called out to her one more time. "Konan..." She turned to see the back of his head, his solid orange hair broken only by the back of his headband tie. "Don't tell Madara." She nodded, and even though he was facing the other way, she knew he knew she did. The closed with a *swoosh.*
Alone again, Pain let his thoughts drift slowly back to what had happened only a day and a half ago...
Pain slowly walked down the sparsely crowded pavilion. It was a higher level of Coruscant than most beings used, for this was in the more expensive region of the planet. Mainly only very important people like senators, lords, ladies, and the numerous rich persons used these walkways. As such, the security was high, with camera droids buzzing all around, but not to the point of annoyance. Most had no fear of being assassinated in an area like this, but bounty hunters were clever creatures, and they always found some way to beat the system. Still, it was the safest area to be in if one wanted security. However, Pain liked it because, well, he was a god after all. It was only appropriate he walk in such a place. Of course, it was high up too, and it gave him a perfect vantage point to control his other bodies. Naturally he kept hem close by watching the walkways for dangers. He felt absolutely secure in this place, but he knew he still had t keep a weather eye open for potential hostiles.
It was for this reason, and this reason alone, that he was able to detect the rapidly approaching threat. Spinning suddenly, and disturbing the few pedestrians walking nearby. He was just in time to see a cloaked figure lunging toward him, his hand nearly on his throat. Then, i an instant he was blown backwards several dozen feet by an invisible wall. Pain's expression didn't show any signs of surprise or fear.
'Five seconds...' The man quickly got up and charged again. Dodging the man's strikes, which he had to admit were expertly thrown, he managed to leap away and latched onto the side of a nearby wall. He was surprised however when the man didn't stop and simply ran up the wall after him. 'A chakra user?' Pain wondered in earnest.
Suddenly he found himself assaulted by the incredibly agile figure. However, the figure was outnumbered. A series of missiles came screaming towards them both, to which Pain used Shinra Tensei to blast himself off the wall at the last instant before the missiles exploded. He landed on the walkway gracefully, followed by Asura Realm right behind him, his arm locking in place from where it had shot its missiles. The pedestrians were now scurrying away in fear calling for the authorities. But the figure wasn't finished. He fell from the smoke and landed with light grace that Pain could respect. He held out his hand and shot another telekinetic blast at the attacker who was blown away, but lathed himself to the metal walkway as best her could.
When the blast was gone, he dashed to the side and jumped over the railing. Asura went to investigate. Upon looking over, its sight was instantly blinded by a flash bomb thrown directly at it. Pain had time to shield his own eyes, but not so for Asura. It was blinded and would remain so for a while. Two more bodies landed next to him; Human Realm and Animal Realm. He had to hurry and capture this ninja before the authorities did, and he could already hear the sirens in the distance.
Sending both bodies forward, along with God Realm's, he aimed on disabling him. But the figure dodged every attack as if he knew it was coming. All of a sudden, Pain felt that strange sense he had before, like someone was connecting with his mind, but he could not tell who it was. But as he watched the figure, he became all the more convinced that it was the culprit. A swift kick to the jaw send Human Realm into the ground, and quick duck saved him from Asura's bladed wrists. Kicking backwards and up, he nailed Asura in the chest and sent him sky born. He charged at God Realm.
Animal Realm summoned several dog-sized lizards that rushed forward doing their best to snare the being. But it easily evaded them, and slipped past Animal Realm's black blade. Nothing stood between him and the figure. "Shinra Tensei." Another telekinetic wall blasted into the figure, only for him to poof into smoke.
'Kage Bunshin?' He just managed to glance behind him as the figure's hand reached out and gripped his orange hair tightly. Pain already had a chakra blade prepared to stab the figure when his mind was suddenly assaulted by information. Tons, and tons of information, and as it rushed through his mind, and by consequence, through every mind connected to it, he began to see it wasn't just information, but memories.
It was over as soon as it began. Pains Rinnegan eyes were wide with wonder and astonishment: it all made sense now. But in that moment he realized something. Looking deep into the shadows of the figures cowl he could see the numerous piercings on his face, and bleached orange hair, and the Rinnegan eyes. His eyes widened even more. But the figure suddenly let go of his head and dove over the railing. All four Pains ran to the edge to see where he went only to catch him making hand signs and then vaporizing into the air, barely leaving even ash to float through the air he had once occupied. God Realm's eyes hardened.
The memories he'd been given from that other Pain were beginning to settle, and he could sift through them at a later date. For now, the sirens of the authorities were growing louder, and escape was primary at the moment. All four bodies vanished into the darkness of the street.
And so here he was sitting alone, sorting through the memories he'd given himself. It all made sense now. How they got here, why they couldn't remember what happened... it was all crystal clear. He would have to share this with his cousin as soon as possible. But first, there was something he needed to do.
System name: Omore
Region: Unknown Regions
Sovereignty: Akatsuki Alliance
Security Level: N/A
"It's been nearly a week and still no word from Pain." Came the voice of Rayta Werdin, CEO of Vertigo Corp. It had been nearly five days ago they had finally found the right metals to outfit their ships with to withstand the stresses of "hyperspace." And it was on that same day that Pain, took one of those shuttles and vanished. They hadn't heard from him since.
"If he died in transit then were fucked." Exclaimed Ector Aranous.
In that week, Rayta and Ector had moved a series of advance guards into the wormhole, along with themselves, to provide additional defenses to the Jonathan and Yoma's initial forces, and to bolster Alen's nearly destroyed fleet. They'd been able to bring in some supplies for creating more ships with the meager resources they had. It was a daunting task; rebuilding a fleet of nearly a hundred ships, not to mention the modules for the ships themselves, such as weapons and defenses. But by now with over five hundred ships defending the outpost, any and all attacks by the Unknowns were now futile gestures. The only problem was that there now wasn't nearly enough room in the hanger for the pilots.
That meant that nearly four hundred ships now loitered around the outpost, frequently being sent on patrols around the system. There was good news to this though. With this many pilots, mining operations were being started in the asteroids. Strip miners were sent in large groups to collect every last morsel of materials from the floating rocks. Alen, had intended to start moon mining, but the equipment hadn't been brought through yet, causing them to be short several thousand tons in mineral supplies.
And amidst all this lethargic confusion, Pain, the only man who probably could have taken charge, was missing.
"What do we do if he is gone?" Asked Yoma from the inside of his ship.
Jonathan shrugged. His ship was docked and he was sitting in his private cabin, clean from the ectoplasmic goo that surrounded him when he was in his pod. He was fully dressed in a black trench coat with a tan t-shirt beneath. His pants were black leather with gray shoes. He was lounging in a leather chair, leaning back with his feet propped up on the consol. The console had a massive holographic screen was nearly five feet tall and seven feet wide. He had a cigarette between his lips and was sucking the chemicals into his lungs, feeling the stimulants relax him instantly.
"If he's dead then we have no idea why he wanted us in this wormhole, or how to proceed. We'll likely return to empire space as soon as possible," he replied after taking a particularly long drag of his narcotic.
"But Pain obviously thought there was something valuable inhere if h was so Hell-bent on moving and entire fucking alliance in here," answered Yoma. "I mean, one doesn't just issue an order like that on a whim… Do they?"
"There's been greater stupidity in this galaxy before. I wouldn't be surprised," Alen muttered from his ship. A tone sounded from his console and he reached forward to it. "Op, sorry, got another call."
"Yeah me too."
Alen's eyes narrowed for a moment before hitting the receiving button. Instantly his screen was replaced by a distorted image of what looked somewhat like Pain. His hair was noticeably shorter, and the piercings were different, but he still had those weird purple eyes with rings in them.
"Greetings. I'm sure many of you are curious as to my whereabouts. Unfortunately, I cannot share them with you at this time. Know that I am safe and secure. I send this message to all corporation CEOs in this space. Continue with operations as previously discussed. I will contact you in person soon."
The message ended, being prerecorded, and his communication line with the other CEOs reconnected immediately. The other three appeared on screen. "You all saw that right?" Yoma asked with hesitation, as if he didn't believe they had.
"Yeah, we saw it…" Reyta said.
"Well, the twat's back, might as well do what he says." Alen said, getting up and ending the conversation, getting a response of grave nods before the line cut. He turned and looked out his cabin window. The dock was cramped now, with tons of excess materials now lying around the ships they were unleaded from. Ironic that only a week ago they were cannibalizing other useless ships to repair the bigger and better ones. Now they didn't know what to do with all of it. Alen took a moment to bring out a datapad and scroll through the list of pilots getting new ships.
Reneden had lost lots of armor, but it had been replaced easily enough.
Apollos had almost lost his ship in a sabotage mission, but had returned barely intact. It too had been repaired.
Raidden Hetoquis had lost his Caracal, but as his skills with ships and equipment weren't all that good, it would take mediocre equipment to replace his ship.
Josiah Valorous, better known as Method, had lost his Hurricane and had gone back to Empire space (since the wormhole was still up and running) to get a Drake, which had better defenses and used missiles, which were far better at destroying large amounts of enemies.
Black Lister had scraped his Myrmidon and had gone back in a shuttle to get another ship and supplies. When asked what he was going to get he said he didn't know.
Hutchie had gotten a bit scratched but the amore needed to repair him was minimal.
Pennywise had lost several fighters and drones, and a cargo ship had already been sent through the wormhole to get more for his carrier.
And the other sixty or so minor members had either left to get their new ships now, or had decided to wait to get theirs from the assembly arrays around the POS. New ships were being constructed, but it would take time. Some were willing to wait, most not. It was probably for the best, since they never knew when the unknowns would attack again. But even so, they had over five hundred ships here now. They would have plenty; five times the amount they'd had before.
All that was left was for him to get to work too. "Damn I hate mining." He said as he headed out to get into his Hulk, the biggest mining ship they had available.
Pain walked in with a duo of thin boxes under and arm. He saw the two teens stop their talking to look at him. Walking over calmly, he placed the boxes beside him on the seat and sat down himself. He didn't say anything, but to Naruto, he didn't seem to look down at them, as he had done before, but seemed to gaze at them evenly.
"I have something I need to tell you. Both of you."
They both blinked at his curiously.
"It concerns how we got here, and your relationship." Naruto instinctively gripped Hinata's hand tighter. His eyes narrowed.
"I could show you, but too many memory transferences will cause extensive brain damage. So I'll just tell you, and when you feel you're ready, I'll transplant them."
The lovebirds looked at each other and nodded, then nodded at Pain to continue.
Pain took a deep breath and closed his eyes. After a moment he spoke. "We all know that we somehow appeared her out of nowhere, and we assumed we came here from our world. What we didn't know is that those are old memories."
The duo looked at him confused.
He continued. "Let me start at the beginning; where our memories leave off..."
"It was an impossibility when they came. They descended from the sky in metal creations we'd never dreamed of making. Their golden walls adorned with advanced weapons we could not hope to counter. At first they came with the intent to conquer, but not three days after they attacked, they stopped. In those three days; however much they didn't want to, the Five Kages sought we Akatsuki out and were willing to pay us to fight with them against the invaders, due to their increasingly massive casualties. It was unnecessary. I only fought one battle. I won, needless to say."
"But the next day all attacks stopped. They didn't leave though; their floating castles still hovered in our sky, as if taunting us with their presence. But there was little we could do. Even our longest weapons could not reach them. The fourth day, a new ship appeared in the sky and descended to the earth. This was strange as they had always landed troops via smaller shuttles. We thought they had brought something to finish us off that would need direct transport. However, when the strongest of us went to investigate, we found a large amount of enemy troops. But they did not attack us. They were on edge, but when they saw us they made no notion to attack us. They seemed unsure, but calm."
"We stood at a stale mate, neither of us attacking, however much we wanted to. Then, at about midday, a large ramp on the underbelly of the vessel descended, and several rows of guards stood on either side of the middle of the walkway, and out of it came a woman clothed in almost feudal regalia. She carried herself with authority and power. Her eyes scanned the crowd before resting her gaze on a select few of us. Me, you two, the Kages, and probably others I did not care to notice. She was obviously looking at the most powerful among us."
"She proceeded down the ramp, her soldiers obviously assured that since she was here they were safe."
Pain smirked as the two listened intently now.
"She came to a stop before us and announced 'I am the thirteenth Amarr Empress Avaris Ardishapur. Who among you do you name as leader?' Naturally we didn't understand her. It took hours to figure out what she was trying to say, and even then it was with gestures and body language. I was quite tired of waiting and stole the memories of one of the guards. He died of course, and it was obvious they wanted to kill me for it, but they paused when I spoke their language."
"'We are the leaders of this world. What is the meaning of this attack?' I said. She was obviously taken aback by my sudden comprehensible speech. She repeated her earlier declaration and continued. 'We are on a crusade to conquer the unholy and obtain that which is ours by divine providence. It is our manifest destiny.' Having absorbed the soldier's memories, I knew what she was talking about."
"They were a space faring race that had only just discovered stellar travel a few hundred years before. Highly religious, they believed they had the right to enslave and destroy anything they wanted, because their god told them to. But, she told us that she would spare our planet, if we would become one with their little 'empire.' I translated to the Kages and they felt they didn't have much of a choice. I know how many more soldiers and ships they had, and we did not have the power to fight them off. It wouldn't be for many years that I learned why exactly she had spared our people and world. The power we had, we have; Chakra. With it we can do anything, and she claimed she felt god tell her we were a chosen people, a people who would guide Amarr on its road of manifest destiny."
"Whether she really heard her god's voice or not didn't matter. What did matter was that the notion was correct. Ten years went by and out planet was considered a 'holy land' where Amarrians would travel for enlightenment and worship. We didn't mind it. Most of us were having difficulty adapting, and having others who knew the ways of life we were learning was a godsend. The pilgrims were more than willing to help us. They worshiped us. Our power, our way of life. But we kept to ourselves. Our cities were off limits. Only towns and tourist centers allowed the wandering peoples of that empire."
"We were their mystery, their legends, their dreams, their bedtime stories… We didn't like it, but at the same time, filled us with pride and joy. We still had our little in-fights, but they were minor. However, one particular fight changed our lives forever."
"Kabuto, who had discovered your heritage wanted our Uzumaki blood for experimentation. The longevity we were fabled to have piqued his interest greatly. During the fight he was gravely injured, but he succeeded in capturing you. He did nothing untoward with you, but he did drain you a majority of your blood. You have the Kyuubi to thank for your being alive afterward."
Naruto looked down at his belly and place his free hand on it as if in a deep, sad daze.
Then he looked up before Pain could continue. "Our."
"You said 'our Uzumaki blood.' What do you mean by that? And what do you mean my heritage?"
Pain deliberated on that for a moment. He supposed he could handle it. From behind Naruto and Hinata came, once again, Human Realm who placed a hand on Naruto's head. "This one won't hurt so bad." It said.
There was a brief twinge of pain as the information trickled into the Kyuubi container's mind. Sorting through them in an instant, Naruto felt an unknown tear flow down from his eye.
"Kaa-san…" he mumbled dreamily, his eyes glazed over in fond remembrance of his mother. Then after a moment, tears still streaming down his face, his eyes widened and he looked at Pain. "Nii-san…?"
Pain smiled slightly. "Yes Naruto, you and I are cousins. The Uzumaki clan's blood flows through both of us. Well, all three of us actually."
Both Naruto and Hinata looked at him in surprise. He explained it with a chuckle.
"It happened long ago. Hinata, as a Hyuuga you know that every chakra signature, or rather, every human's chakra is different, correct?"
Hinata nodded, her hesitating slightly at how Pain said her name as if he were her friend.
"It's possible to use another person's chakra to heal someone but what you all don't know is that when you put your own chakra into someone else, their chakra system takes it and changes it so it isn't harmful. It's like a blood transfusion, but instead of needing an exact blood type, any chakra will do, as your own chakra will alter it to flow with the rest of yours."
Naruto nodded, understanding. "Several times, Naruto, you two shared chakra and your unique Uzumaki chakra forced itself onto her system, altering certain aspects of her chakra and physical DNA. Over time, her blood adapted to yours and gained the same longevity you and I share. "
Naruto nodded, along with Hianta, who while outwardly look normal, inside was squealing with joy that she and Naruto now shared similar chakras and that she would live as long as Naruto, however long that was. It was romantic and relieving in a way; for a moment after Pain mentioned longevity, she grew cold, realizing that Naruto would live much longer than her. Now her heart calmed down and pumped softly.
"But I digress. Now where was I…? Oh right, Kabuto. He kidnapped you and stole a lot of your blood. When you were finally rescued, Kabuto had gone. It wasn't long after, while you were recovering in the hospital that he came back and offered a serum that would gradually change one's DNA to incorporate the Uzumaki DNA, at least as far as long life was concerned. We took him in warily. He claimed to have been forced to capture you or he would have gotten nowhere. It would be another month before we found that his serum worked perfectly. It was at the end of that month that you awoke. But by then Kabuto had fled. But he left us with a gift."
"By using the blood from those already injected, we were able to spread the drug any who wanted it. But it was also a secret; if any average ninja found out about it, they would have attacked us in a heartbeat. We had to be very careful. Still today it is a secret we share with only the select few."
"W-what does this have to do with where we are right now?" Hinata asked quietly.
"Keep that in mind, it will come up later." Pain replied. He continued easily enough. "Over time our people did adapt and learn to live the way the Amarrians did, minus the religious fanaticism. We learned advanced sciences, mathematics, trade, technologies, and skills. We could fly their ships as easily as they could. We had reached their level at long last. That was nearly a decade after the Amarrians came to us."
"Hundreds of years passed and we were happily allowed to migrate to other planets. This is where our legacy began."
Pain paused and closed his eyes. Both Naruto and Hinata looked at him, still not quite sure how to process the information. Of course, they thought he had finished. He had not.
He opened his eyes again, his Rinnegan glowing faintly. "That was over twenty-two thousand years ago."
Both of the teen's eyes widened immensely. Naruto was the first to speak from the resulting silence.
"You're fucking with us… right? You've gotta be totally fucking with us!" He exclaimed loudly, almost unsure whether he should believe the man or not.
But Pain made no indication he was going to recant. In fact, he made no movement at all, but simply stared at Naruto with hard eyes. Naruto realized Pain wasn't lying and his expression changed to one of shock. He leaned back in his seat, his eyes wide and his mouth slack. Hinata sat similarly, her hand clutched tightly in her love's. She couldn't believe it, so she asked the question; "T-then if that's true… How are we still alive?"
Pain continued, his expression unchanged, "I told you that Kabuto had created an 'Uzumaki drug' that would increase one's life. Naruto and I, with his Kyuubi and my Rinnegan were able to live much longer than any other Uzumaki. And you, with your constant exposure to him, allowed you the same life span. Any other Uzuamki would have died long before. We are not ageless though, we do age, just very slowly. In those twenty two thousand years, I can honestly say we've only aged about a year in appearance."
"But not long ago, a process called cloning came into practice. It creates and exact replica of your body that grows like any other human being. Another technology called the 'capsule' allowed one to link his mind to the vessel he is flying. The combination of these two technologies created 'pod pilots.' There is significance to this."
He continued solemnly. "Let me go into some details. When a ship is destroyed, the capsule is ejected like an escape pod and if capable of getting away easily. But if by some chance the pod is destroyed, as soon as the internal computers detect a hull breach, the pod takes a sort of picture of your mind and sends it remotely to the facility you have your clones stored in suspended animation."
"The mental information is then downloaded and the clone will awaken. This is where the story of how we got here begins. "He looked at the two with interest. "I'll tell you this now; this is not the same galaxy as we were born in."
They both widened their eyes, but only in slight surprise. They knew (from their new information) that inter-galactic travel was nearly impossible, but they had just assumed that this was the galaxy they were found.
"We lived in the galaxy we called New Eden. That is our home. But anyway, when this technology came out it was quite buggy, but it was fixed not long after. We tried it, and we liked it. As long as we had clones, we would never die. We would live forever, unable to be completely killed. Clones would still age, but even that was slowed because of our blood. Our people's best pilots formed an independent alliance of corporations, using it to gain funds and make a name for ourselves in galactic society."
"But one day it all ended. Almost Seven months ago..."
"...What happened?" Naruto asked curiously.
"You, Hinata, Konan… everyone's clones were destroyed, and then so were we."
Naruto blinked in surprise.
"With no clone for our memories to go to, they were re-directed to a backup batch of clones we had created in an abandoned station years before. Just in case. But that was foiled. Only part of the information got downloaded before the stream was interrupted. I had been away when the assault had happened. Apparently a massive bounty had been placed on us, and you had been destroyed for it."
"Who was it?" Hinata asked, becoming disturbed at all this information.
"…" Pain hesitated. But his Rinnegan eyes glowed bright as he spat out the name of the man who had tried to destroy them.
Both of the teen's eyes widened. They were struck speechless.
"I'd heard of your destruction, and the loss of contact. I feared the worst. I double-timed it to the secret facility and found Madara there. He'd interrupted the data stream and was attempting to teleport all of your clones into himself. I managed to stop him, but it came at a price. I was able to interrupt his teleporting ability, but I didn't stop it. It still teleported your bodies somewhere. But at least I saved you."
Pain smiled. "It's fortunate I had so many bodies. I lost five of them. Only Human Realm remained. Using him, I managed to collect the remaining information from the machines and stored it in him. He now had every thought and memory from everyone who had disappeared. "
Naruto nodded understanding. "That's why you were able to give me that information a moment ago? Because they were my memories you stored?"
Pain made a "not really" face and continued. "Well, yes and no. See, I searched for you guys for two years, using every resource I had to find you. I had no luck until a wormhole, I assume you two know what those are, opened and I instantly felt a connection to it. See, my own clone had also been sent away, so I could feel it clear as day, functioning in this galaxy. Using my alliance to gain a foot hold, I was able to, as Human Realm, blitz here and transfer the information to my own clone; me."
Naruto held up a finger. "Wait, so you have your clone… transfer our collective memories into another clone?"
"What about your original body?" Naruto said, barely realizing that until a few days ago, he didn't even know Pain had an original body. Damn that information transferring!
"It was one of the ones to be transported here. Five of the Pains were destroyed in the incident with Madara and the clones of them were taken away."
Naruto scratched his head. "Damn that's confusing." Hinata had to admit, even though she was smarter than Naruto (in some cases) even she was having trouble understanding.
"Wait, why didn't you just inject this knowledge into us too?" Naruto asked.
"The information I gave you last week was the equivalent of forty years of experience and knowledge. Forty years equals one week, and that's with advanced healing. Do you really want me to inject twenty-two thousand years of memories into you? It'd be easier to wake someone up from a coma." Pain said with mild exasperation, but humor in his voice.
"What about Hinata? She doesn't have advanced healing." Understanding why Pain didn't do it, but not realizing that Pain himself didn't know anything about this until after Naruto and Hinata has fallen unconscious.
"That was tens of thousands of years ago. Things have changed in that time. Her… experience with you has caused a natural high-speed healing factor to appear in her."
Naruto's eyebrows rose in surprise. He turned to Hinata with a smirk but then it quickly turned into a slight frown. "Wait, what do you mean by experience?"
Pain chuckled; an oddity Naruto was just experiencing for the first time, as far as he remembered. "You seriously didn't think you were both alone for those millennia did you? Don't forget I have access to your memories. I know the love you two had for each other. You got married about a year after the first contact with the Amarr empress."
Naruto smiled with sudden happiness. "Really? Wow Hinata, we're an old couple!" He laughed lightly and gave her his foxy smile that infected her face and caused her mouth to curve upwards as well.
Hinata thought about it and realize they must really have loved each other to remain married for all that time. 'I wonder how many kids we could have had in that time…' Though she thought of it lightly, she suddenly grew red at the thought of not only having Naruto's children, but having a multitude of them.
"So how many kids did we have?" Naruto said as if he'd read her mind, suddenly sounding proud. He crossed his arms over his head and leaned back, resting an ankle on his opposite knee.
Pain chuckled, unnerving Naruto for a moment. It would probably be something he would have to get used to. Pain raised a hand to his chin and thought. "If I remember correctly, or rather, if you remember correctly, you have seven kids."
Naruto's smile suddenly turned into a saucer-eyed, slack jawed expression, and his balance was suddenly lost and he fell to the floor in a disbelieving heap. Hinata for her part had gone read with embarrassment, though didn't faint, and was only able to stutter-mutter out, "S-s-s-seven…? That's so many!"
Pain laughed heartily. "Yes it is isn't it? I'm surprised you had so few. From what I can see in both of your memories, you two did it so much I was sure you would have an army of sons and daughters roaming around with you." Hinata seemed to retreat into her shoulders at the mortification.
Naruto, who'd been laying on the floor muttering out "s-seven k-kids" every so often suddenly grew red faced and stood up, pointing an accusing finger at Pain. "Hey! Stay outa those!"
Pain simply laughed again. "Trust me, I'm trying. Also, there was another reason I didn't give you your memories."
Both teens used the new subject to regain their composure. They looked at Pain with expectation.
"You've both only rediscovered your love for one another. I didn't think it appropriate to muddle it with the experienced love of your past so soon, or without your consent."
Naruto had gotten back up and sat down again next to Hinata. He looked serious for a minute before speaking. "Are we happy?"
Pain nodded. "Very."
"Then it's ok. Our current relationship just proves that we're soul mates. To have fallen in love again…" He looked at Hinata longingly. She did the same, her gentle, sweet smile capable of breaking even the coldest of hearts beaming brightly at the blonde.
Pain smiled and nodded approvingly. "In that case, to make things easier for everyone, I'll create a seal that will slowly leak your memories back to you every day."
Naruto looked surprised. "You can create seals?" Pain merely tapped the corner of his Rinnegan eye in answer.
Both Naruto and Hinata nodded in understanding, excitement suddenly filling their bodies. A Rinnegan user could create any jutsu they wanted, seals included.
"But for today, spend the day together. And on that note…" Pain reached beside him to the boxes he'd brought in with him. "I brought you both a pair of clothes. I guessed your sizes, but I think they'll fit just the way you want them."
He handed one box to Naruto and the other to Hinata. Naruto opened his and pulled the contents out. It was a crimson red shinobi flak jacket with a spiraling red cloud embroidered on the back. Underneath it as a black Tee with jagged red lines flowing from the collar down to the hem. The pants were next; they were cargo pants that reached well below his ankles. The basic shinobi shoes were directly below those, and were a jet black color. And of course, the last thing in the box was a forehead protector. It was black, fitting with the rest of the outfit and the straps were long, reaching the middle of his neck. Engraved in it was the Akatsuki cloud, but with s spiral dead center within. He wondered the significance before he remembered that Pain had said something about being in an alliance called Akatsuki. But the spiral was unknown to him, except that nearly every leaf shinobi had it adorned somewhere on them.
Hinata opened hers to reveal a black flak jacket with midnight blue sheen, as it was somewhat reflective. On its back was the very same blood red insignia as Naruto's, contrasting with the rest of the jacket. The shirt underneath was also a Tee, but was a plain, pale lavender that accented her eyes perfectly. The pants were a simple black just like she normally wore. The shoes were identical to her normal high-heals as well. Last of all, her headband was a navy blue and was normal sized.
"Wow… these are nice!" Naruto cried out as he turned them this way and that like a kid at Christmas. Hinata's eyes shone with happiness as she ran her hands over the clothing.
"T-they're wonderful, Pain-san." She said with glee.
"Please Hinata, call me Nagato. That's what you always call me."
Hinata realized he was talking about their unknown past, but obliged him. "O-ok, Nagato-san." She didn't quite feel familiar enough with him to regard him as close as he desired. Pain chuckled and shook his head. It would do for now.
"Why don't you go try them on?" He suggested, and they both nodded, Hinata heading to the room and Naruto (waiting until the door had closed) simply dressed on the spot. It didn't take him long. Meanwhile pain spoke to him.
"You both took the news of being twenty thousand years old pretty well. Surprisingly."
Naruto paused in his dressing to regard that statement. "Yeah, we did. I guess it's only because the full eight of that hasn't hit me yet. At least, that's how it is for me. It'll probably hit me later when it's the least opportune," he muttered.
He finished dressing and looked at himself in the window, seeing his semi-transparent reflection. "Damn I look good! I bet all the girls in that other galaxy were falling for me, huh?" Naruto boasted half-heartedly. Pain laughed and shook his head, deciding not to tell him how much girl troubles he actually did have.
Naruto wore the new cloths well. The pants sagged a bit but weren't too loose, though had they been he could have gotten a belt. His new headband was tied to his forehead, sitting snuggly where it should and shining brightly in the sun. The vest he left unzipped showing the shirt beneath. Pain noticed he should get some shinobi gloved to complete the picture. 'That's what I was forgetting.'
With Naruto finished, he sat down and waited for Hinata to emerge. It was nearly ten minutes, and several "why do girl's take so long?" comments later before the door opened. Naruto and Pain both stood, looking expectantly at the open doorway. Hesitantly, Hinata stepped out and into the sunlight. Naruto's expectations were blown and his face turned an unhealthy shade of red.
Her she looked just like she had when he came back to Konoha, except that instead of a jacket, she now wore the vest. She had opted to zip it closed, but even so, her ample bust could be seen pushing against it, though not in discomfort. Her new headband now hung from her neck, the shirt contrasting with the blue cloth, but that vest accenting it perfectly. Her hips were easily visible, the pants hugging to them.
One arm hung limp from her side while her other reached behind her back and held onto the elbow of the other. Her pelvis was stuck out slightly and her head hung a little low. But her cute smile and pale pink blush made her look like an angel to Naruto. She appeared a bit uncomfortable in a Tee, but she wore it well, her milky, smooth skin gleaming in the light.
Naruto slowly moved over to her in amazement. "H-how do I look?" she asked simply.
Her answer came in the form of a pair of hands on her biceps. Picking her head up, she saw Naruto before her, his eyes roving up and down her body in ecstatic approval.
"You look beautiful Hina-chan! I've never seen someone as… amazing as you... ever!"
Hinata blushed at the compliment. Suddenly she felt her arms dragged from her side and behind her to in front of her. Naruto let his hand slide down her arms to her wrists, holding them tenderly as if they were ancient pottery. He admired the texture of her skin, the fine hairs of her arm bending over as his fingers brushed them. When at last he reached her hands, he held them before him. Then, in an act of impulse, he pulled her to him and captured her mouth in a tender kiss. Hinata's eyes went wide and her blush darkened, but she did not resist. Instead she leaned into the kiss, wanting to feel the love Naruto was so fervently trying to express.
Pain simply stood in the background smiling. But his had a double reason; he was enjoying the romantic scene taking place in front of him, and, it was also the last time he would need to have this talk (he'd already talked to the other Akatsuki members). Now that Naruto and Hinata knew of the situation, he could finally relax a little.
Location: Jedi Temple - Archive Library
A bronze bust of Count Dooku stood among a line of other busts of Jedi in the Archive Room. Obi-wan stood in front of it, studying the striking features of the chiseled face.
On the walls, lighted computer panels appeared to stretch into infinity. Farther along the room in the background, several Jedi were seated at tables, studying archive material.
After Obi-wan studied the bust for a few moments before Master Jocasta Nu, the Jedi Archivist, is standing next to him. She was an elderly, frail-looking human Jedi. Tough as old boots and smart as a whip.
"Did you call for assistance?" She said, breaking him from his thoughts.
"Yes... yes, I did..." Obi-wan replied distantly.
Nu, realizing what his distance was about looked at the bust as well. "He has a powerful face, doesn't he? He was one of the most brilliant Jedi I have had the privilege of knowing."
Obi-wan nodded. "I never understood why he quit. Only twenty Jedi have ever left the Order."
Jocasta Nu sighed. "The Lost Twenty... Count Dooku was the most recent and the most painful. No one likes to talk about it. His leaving was a great loss to the Order."
She sighed sadly. "Well, Count Dooku was always a bit out of step with the decisions of the Council... much like your old Master, Qui-Gon Jinn."
Obi-wan's eyes widened and he leaned forward. "Really?"
"Oh, yes. They were alike in many ways. Very individual thinkers... idealists..." She gazed at the bust. "He was always striving to become a more powerful Jedi. He wanted to be the best. With a lightsaber, in the old style of fencing, he had no match. His knowledge of the Force was... unique. In the end, I think he left because he lost faith in the Republic. He believed that politics were corrupt, and he felt the Jedi betrayed themselves by serving the politicians. He always had very high expectations of government. He disappeared for nine or ten years, then just showed up recently as the head of the separatist movement."
"It's very interesting. I'm not sure I completely understand," Obi-wan said shaking his head.
Nu smiled and patted his arm. "Well, I'm sure you didn't call me over here for a history lesson. Are you having a problem, Master Kenobi?"
"Yes, I'm trying to find a planet system called Kamino. It doesn't seem to show up on any of the archive charts."
"Kamino… It's not a system I'm familiar with... Let me see..." Nu leaned over Obi-wan's shoulder, looking at the screen he was now seated at. "Are you sure you have the right coordinates?"
Obi-wan nodded, pointing to the screen as he spoke. "According to my information, it should be in this quadrant somewhere... just south of the Rishi Maze."
Jocasta Nu taps the keyboard and frowns. "No coordinates? It sounds like the sort of directions you'd get from a street tout... some old miner or Furbog trader."
"All three, actually," he mumbled humorously.
"Are you sure it exists?"
"Let me do a gravitational scan."
Obi-wan and master Nu studied the star map hologram.
"Hmm, there are some inconsistencies here. Maybe the planet you're seeking was destroyed," Nu guessed.
"But wouldn't that be on record?" Kenobi asked, looking at her and then back to the screen.
"It ought to be, unless it was very recent." She shook her head. "I hate to say it, but it looks like the system you're searching for doesn't exist."
Obi-wan turned from her and focused on the screen, tapping a few keys futilely. "That's impossible... perhaps the archives are incomplete."
Nu turned to him and in an almost offended tone responded, "The archives are comprehensive and totally secure, my young Jedi. One thing you may be absolutely sure of; if an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist!"
She noticed a young boy approach and turned from the Jedi master and left with the youngster. Obi-wan continued to slave over the console for a few minutes more before he decided could figure it out later. Then an idea popped into his head. Accessing the galactic search engine, he put his hands to the key board. "M-A-D-A-R-A…" He hit enter.
Very little came up for the word: several sentences where the word was used as part of other words or phrases, but nothing as far as people went. He shook his head in slight frustration. It was probably fake name, but even so, names had cultural backgrounds. Even phonetically the word would at least bring up something. But there were hardly even those results. He'd have to be sure to visit Dex's again when he had the chance.
"I know your there. Samehada can taste your chakra easily." Kisame said. He stood on a small overhang, and under it was a large river. To a normal bystander, the following scene would look quite freaky. The water seemed to rise until it formed the shape of a man, and the shape of the man colorized, revealing deep shades of vilet and light sheens of blue and tan.
"That's a handy little ability you have there, Kisame-senpai." Suigetsu said as he finished forming from the water, the Kubikiri Houchou strapped to his back and a smirk on his face.
Kisame smirked and looked behind him. "You guys too."
Juugo stood up from the bushes. Out of the trees behind him stepped Karin, and on the branch above her was Sasuke. "What do you want?" He demanded.
"My my, how cold of you. No 'hello,' 'how are you?' You really are turning into your brother."
Instantly Sasuke's eyes narrowed. "I'll never be like my brother," he said with finality.
Kisame only smirked more, knowing the truth of their pasts that they no long remembered. "If you say so. But in the meantime, I don't suppose you guys could use a ride outa here." He said turning away from them and walking.
Sasuke's eyes hardened and he followed immediately. Suigetsu and Karin both made as if to argue with him but were silenced by Juugo who explained. "The Akatsuki is offering us to take him to Itachi. That's why he is following him."
"That's not exactly the smart thing... What if he's leading us into some sort of trap?" Karin questioned, Suigetsu nodding behind her.
"All the more reason for us to go with them, in case it is a trap." And Juugo followed after.
Suigetsu shrugged his shoulders and brushed by Karin, giving her a smirk as he knocked her off balance.
"Watch it Suigetsu!"
He merely wave behind him, brushing it off. She huffed in annoyance and adjusted her glasses. 'I don't care what karma throws at me, I will never get along with him!'
If only she knew the truth of their past.
She followed as well.
A/N: And there you go! The mystery of their position has been revealed! Hope you guys liked it. I tried/wanted to add more details into how the whole cloning thing works, but I could only do so much before the flow of the story was affected, so if there are areas you don't understand, I'll try to address them in the following chapters. Or if you don't want to wait you can ask me and I'll try and explain it as best I can. In case you were wondering, I'm giving the Star Wars plot some time extensions to fit with the rest of the story. Sorry if it seems off. Anyway, I hope you guys liked it! And have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Next chapter will include the long awaited interactions of shinobi and Jedi. Look forward to it!