Authoress pre-ramble: I'm not dead yet! Things got a little rocky personally and professionally, but I'm all set again. I've got a great new job in a new part of FL which of course means I had to move...again... I'll set a record for that one of these days.
I wanted to give a huge thank you to all of my readers and reviewers, new and old! I apologize greatly for not responding to any reviews or emails in the last few months, but I promise I still read them all and love you all! A obvious plug for CasaHouse's The Code which needs to be read and the author given cookie's in the form of reviews! I owe him that much for betaing much of my writings and putting up with my harassment of continuing his fic...
Without further ado...
Title: Weapon Shichi
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, and this makes me sad. It also means I make no money from this venture. Naruto belongs to Misashi Kishimoto. I do own Shichi, my OC!
Main Pairings: Eventual IbikixOC
Rating: M for mentioned violence & adult themes
Warning: AU, time-line? What's that? Also is OC-centric. Hold your pants, all will be revealed as the story progresses.
Summary: The sole survivor of a program to create the ultimate assassin, Shichi is sent on a mission she know will be her death, kill the Sannin Jirayia and Tsunade of Konoha, orders from Orochimaru.
Cigarettes. They were the one habit she allowed herself. The one thing they had allowed her to diverge from her training in. Of course by the time she decided she would keep smoking, she could take any one of them on.
Her handlers. She never knew who her real parents were, not that it mattered to her anyway. Years ago she decided her parents sold her to get themselves out of poverty…something the rest of the area was still struggling to accomplish. Her first memory was of her training.
Training. It was all she could really remember of her so call childhood. She ate, slept, and breathed it for as long as she could remember. But gradually she noticed a difference in how they treated her as she became more advanced. Their confidence in their plans soon became her confidence, and her fear of the training techniques became their fear of her soon unequaled abilities.
Her self reflection ended almost in sync with the end of her long slow drag on the butt, but one last stray thought slipped through. Cigarettes. She figured since they addicted her to the performance enhancing drug, she could at least have an addiction she initiated. She flicked her gaze from watching her own booted toe crush the butt into the ground back up to the handler on rotation.
That was one of their methods. Attachment was weakness. No handler was allowed to deal with her for more than one month's time. No one was allowed to touch her accept with clinical hands to conduct a test with the drug running through her system. Long ago she learned not even to ask them their names, she thought of them as numbers now. This one was 292.
"Master Orochimaru has a new threat against him you are to eliminate," stated 292. "You are to assassinate the Sannin known as Jiraiya and Tsunade. The method is up to you."
"Dismissed," replied Shichi. Accepting the mission was not a choice. She didn't see any logical reason to imply she accepted the order that might mean her death, just that she would obey it. The legend of the Sannin was not something she was ignorant of, but to fail was to die. It was better to die in the service of Orochimaru then to fail and be at his mercy.
Going back to her rooms to pick out her weapons for the mission, she mused on her past assassinations. At the age of twenty seven, she had many, and this next assignment sounded more than a challenge for her. But her first kill was still her finest.
Shichi was the only survivor of the program. The seventh test subject. Those that came before and after had all been failures and perished. The hopes of Orochimaru rested entirely on her at the age of 14. To fail is to die. This has been drilled into her endlessly. To fail is to die. Serving Orochimaru was the only way to live. Master Orochimaru wanted the Fourth Kazekage dead. Shichi would deliver this for him. The reasoning of the mission, was never in question.
She was laden down with her weapons, ashiko hidden in her boots for climbing the village walls, neko-te for her hands to take care of the guards on the other side. Her blowgun and poisoned darts would do well for the actual assassination, her tanto and ninja-to for dealing with any other threats. Her handlers also made sure her body was her primary weapon, physical conditioning and the drug they kept giving her made her superior to any opponent with no chakra manipulation needed. Shichi handled the journey through the desert's harsh windstorm at night as if she were going for a stroll in the finest weather.
The full moon's glow was her flickering light in between gusts of wind. Casting an eerie light upon her dark hair, almost causing it to look midnight blue, a person would not expect someone of such confidence and beauty to be a small, 14 year old assassin on her way to execute the Fourth Kazekage.
At the wall, Shichi shed her cloak which had protected her from the whipping sands. Tying a mask across her face, she checked her ashiko were extended and attached her neko-te to her hands to assist in the climb. However, before taking her first handhold, Shichi reached into her bag and produced a small, pre-measured dose of the drug and inserted the needle into her neck.
Closing her eyes and flexing her hands to determine the drug was absorbed and working, she began her climb. Her heart beat became louder to her own ears. The wind sounded harsher, but felt diminished. The top of the wall was soon within reach.
The guards had been caught unaware in the sandstorm. They were quickly dispatched with a few slashes to the face and use of her tanto to the neck. Bodies were propped back into place to buy time until the next shift came and discovered their deaths.
Shichi ran down alleyways and darkened streets to her destination. The Kazekage's residence was difficult to miss. Taking out her blowgun, she executed the guards and entered the grounds. Relying on her ashiko and neko-te to scale the curved outer wall of the building, she slowed her climbing speed to reduce noise as she approached the one window still lit from within. When she reached the window, Shichi saw the Kazekage sitting at his desk within, hunched over paperwork. Setting her tanto to the windowsill, with one hand she pried open a space just big enough to insert her blowgun and took the shot.
The Kazekage fell forward, head hitting the desk with hardly a sound. Prying the opening bigger to allow herself entry into the room. Shichi removed the body from the desk and carefully packed the piece of paper with blood on it into her vest. There was unfortunately no way to keep the sand from the room during the storm. Removing her dart and repacking it with the rest she had removed from the guards, she again injected herself with drug. The Kazekage was much larger, and she would need the added strength to bring the body back to Orochimaru's lab. Slinging the dead weight over her shoulder, she retraced her steps to exit the village and return to the lab. No alarm was ever raised.
Upon returning with the body, she dutifully went to her assigned cell to await the possible withdrawal effects of the drugs for the mandated 24 hours. Smaller doses were given to her at intervals to stave off the worst effects.
Shichi carefully arranged her long dark hair on top of her head to conceal tetsu-bishi and a few sebon. Her ashiko boots were never parted from her, neko-te carefully arranged for ease of withdrawal in one of the pouches on her vest. Tanto and ninja-to in their respective spine and horizontal back sheaths for ease of movement. A long and bulky coat, enough to cover any remaining visible weapons but still look natural was the last to be added to her outfit. The last of her weapons, her enhancing drugs, placed in a small tin to go in the vest after each dose was measured and counted. One for travel, one for the assignment, one for the trip home, and two for emergencies.
A trail through the trees was hardest to track, so Shichi picked her path to Konoha along the hardwoods whose bark was less likely to show bootprints. The drug was already racing through her system and seemed to mimic her heightened senses, speed, and strength.
Pausing just before the clearing announcing Konoha's gate, something struck her as odd-heightened senses picking up something beyond normal human perception. Shichi slowed her heartbeat and respiration, closed her eyes and listened. No sound. Not even crickets. The soft creaking of the guard's sandals in the gatehouse was all she could pick up. Something was wrong, the village was on alert for the approach of an enemy.
To fail was to die. She circled the outer wall of the village until she could no longer hear the guards at the gatehouse or other noises from the other side of the wall. Coming down from the trees, she visually assessed the distance and height of the wall. Deciding against taking another injection, Shichi ramped her respiration back up and began counting. As she reached 30 she began to sprint towards the wall, at 2 meters she executed a handspring to propel herself onto the wall. Using the gained momentum, and her increased strength, she twisted herself up and over the wall to the other side and landed in a crouch. Adopting a purposeful gate, she walked in the direction of the Hokage's Tower to accomplish the assassination of Tsunade.
Shichi only walked about 20 paces and rounded a corner when she ran into her first confirmation that Konoha indeed, knew she was coming. A number of masked ANBU stood in her path to the tower. The sound of muffled heartbeats moving behind her alerted her to more hidden in the shadows. Her hand darted to the tin containing the drug.
The ANBU moved to strike, sure she was going for hidden weapons, and were surprised when she leaped back and crouched down.
Hands on the extra doses and deciding on the calculated risk of pushing her mind and body to the limit, Shichi slammed all of the extra doses into her leg in concealment from the ANBU and went on the offensive. To fail was to die.
The senbon stored in her hair found their targets within the necks of 4 of the ANBU and gave Shichi enough time to draw both of her blades. Three were brave enough to surround her now that the swords prevented her from throwing more senbon. At a speed that even the ANBU could barely track, she thrust the point of her blades into the necks of two ANBU and twisted, severing the head off of the third. Not wasting any time, Shichi charged another group of ANBU that had the sense to jump back and place themselves outside of reach of her swords.
A rustle of fabric was heard to her left. Schichi spun and brought the broadside of her swords to bear to deflect senbon and then continued the spin to block a few more senbon and some kunai aimed at her from the opposite direction. The result from the outside observer was a spinning blur that seemed to block attacks from all angles by any throwing weapon.
Picking her next target, Shichi ended her spin and seemed to fly towards two more ANBU that died by her tanto and ninja-to. Shichi paused momentarily to slow down her breathing which had become slightly erratic with the overdose of the drug.
The momentary distraction was all the ANBU needed. Seeming to have come to some unspoken agreement, the remaining ANBU came rushing at her at once.
Losing herself to the feel of her own body movements, Shichi appeared to dance as she spun, slashed, and thrust her weapons at her surrounding opponents. A few more fell to her steel. At some point in the whirlwind of motion, the blades broke, the weapon of the assassin always inferior to that of the samurai in steel quality. Forced to throw them aside, Shichi continued her spinning dance with her body as her weapon. Taking cuts and hits from the ANBU she managed to kill more by mere brute force.
Several senbon and kunai were now protruding from her limbs, her vest had protected her chest and back. Blood-loss was affecting her ability to control her muscles. For now, the drug kept the pain at bay. Gradually her movements slowed. Dropping to her knees and still attempting to keep on the offensive, ANBU tightened their formation on Shichi. The last thing she remembered was a weapon raised in a killing blow that changed its angle last minute at the barked command of another.
Shichi awoke to darkness and cold. There was a thin line of light coming from the bottom of what she thought was identifiable as a door. Moving slowly, in a small concession to her aching muscles and joints, she made her way to the door to feel for edges and assess what it was made of.
Steel. Three hinge points and three bolts. A small knock confirmed her suspicion it was solid steel. Turning around, and feeling along the walls, no other openings were found.
Sitting approximately 4 paces from the door and with her back turned to help buffer any ill effects of harsh light when the door opened, Shichi took stock in her physical condition. Her hair was unbound, no weapons left there. There was a large swollen area from where she was struck unconscious. Her captures did not see fit to leave her with any clothing, eliminating other hidden weapons. She had several cuts-the deeper ones still oozing blood-along her arms and legs and triple the number of bruises. Her left forearm felt sore, and her drug allowed a small spike of pain through when she attempted to rotate her wrist. With the amount of drugs she gave herself before the battle in combination with the amount of pain made a fracture more than possible. Grasping her left hand with her right, Shichi gave a sharp tug to ensure proper alignment of bones and sat down to wait for interrogation. It was the only reason she was still alive.
Authoress post-ramble: A definite departure from the shinier world of Paige and Shino. I wanted to dabble in something darker. Questions, comments, criticisms? Leave me a review, they are always appreciated, even when life gets in the way and I'm way behind on my responses!