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Oct 21, 2019 9:34 AM
inanna's ring!sasuke wakes up in narutoverse
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The night outside is silent, betraying no trace of the carnage that just washed the streets of the enclave. Uchiha Itachi stands in the sitting room, his parents kneeling in front of him, the last remnants of the clan. The moon shining in through the window flashes brightly off the blade of his sword held at his side and lights up the tasteful landscape decorating the right-side wall. The artist was clearly a master of his craft, giving life with each brushstroke to every leaf on the tree, each blade of grass on the hillside. Itachi has always had an eye for detail. One can't cast a proper genjutsu without intimately understanding the reality one is replacing. The way his mother's head tilts slightly downward, the stiffness of his father's back.

"Take care of your brother," Fugaku says. The spot of light on the wall bounces to the ceiling. One breath. Then another.

On the exhale, the sword swings through a perfectly horizontal arc, and two bodies collapse forward. Itachi gives the blade a flick to shake off the traces of blood and smoothly sheathes it over his back. Attention to detail is important. Care for your weapons properly, and they won't fail you. When he looks up, he sees a small face staring in horror back at him. Red eyes spinning, Itachi holds his gaze. This next part is important. If he gets this wrong, the rest might as well have been for naught.

"Remember this, little brother. And when you have the same eyes as I do, come and find me." Itachi lays the Tsukiyomi over his brother like a blanket of nettles, tenderly as he can.


And then he leaves. He needs to report the success of his mission.

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Sugira wakes up groggy and sore. And not in a good, post-night-of-fun way. More like a 'got the shit beat out of him' way.

Except he hasn't seriously, no-holds-barred, fought anyone in years, and he hasn't even sparred this week. Was there a raid he forgot - but he should still be on parental leave -

There's wood, smooth, pressing into his cheeks, and he forces his eyes open. His vision's clear, and the night seems well illuminated.

...His limbs are short. What the hell? Was he undercover as a kid? Sugira pushes himself up, doesn't activate his ring to return his apparent age to normal quite yet, and looks around -

What. What the fuck why are there bodies -

Two. Killed with a bladed weapon. Likely a sword. Someone standing behind them. The person was right handed, short. A teenager at most, likely a preteen, Sugira analyzes, fading into professional mode. The two bodies show no signs of regenerating, so they don't have Phoenix…

He shouldn't touch the bodies. He's not crime scene. He'll need to give a report on this, though, and being on the witness end always sucks -

He looks around, notes the blood splatter - they likely died fast - and no signs of struggle.

Sugira takes a deep breath, and reaches for his mental connections to Mu-Shita and Ishara, which he really should have done earlier -

Nothing.

His connections to both women are blank.

He gropes at his hand, and - he doesn't have a ring on, doesn't have any jewelry on, can't summon the interface for making new rings -

The fuck is going on?

...And if he doesn't have his rings, doesn't have his invulnerability, he should not be hanging around a recent crime scene.

He slinks out through the doors, glancing around, but hears no one. Just wind, distantly. The settling of an old house. There's no sign of the killer.

Sugira… Doesn't quite know what to do here. He can't contact anyone, not even the emergency telepathic channels the city maintains. He's in a child's body for some goddess-forsaken reason, at the site of murders -

No.

A massacre.

He steps onto the street, and sees death like he hasn't since he was on Ur-Namush's trail. The woman had destroyed entire towns and all those in them, except the children…

Did someone cast an illusion over him, to give him the perspective of one of her survivors? Did Inanna do something? He knows he's adjacent to people who've caught the goddess's attention, it's not unreasonable she decided to make a story of him -

He needs to secure his own safety. He's a witness, even if only to some sick fuck's idea of an illusion. He needs to contact allies - he doesn't know who allies would be here, but he'll assume anyone unarmed is a potential -

First: does he have any powers left? His ring powers - teleportation, speed, invulnerability, telepathy, extraordinary senses, his damage capabilities - are gone, but he started with basic magical talent and clawed his way up to one of the more powerful mages on his planet -

He rubs his fingers together… And discovers he still has his cantrips slotted in his head. Nothing else, and no signs of a spellbook. Inanna fucking damn it.

He's really not used to listening without the benefit of enhanced senses and cognition, but he does his best to figure out how to get out of the compound without stepping in any blood (difficult) and without drawing attention. He can hear no one, see no signs of the attacker, and the bodies are rapidly cooling.

Sugira reaches a set of gates, swinging open in the wind, takes a deep breath, and darts through. There's a road, and -

Distantly, lights through the trees. Artificial ones.

He breaks into a run.

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He's not quite at the town (electric lights and buildings of stone, brick, and clay, backing onto an exposed cliffside with four faces carved into it) when two figures swing down into his path. They're wearing matched sets of body armor in dark, muted colors and white masks that cover their faces, one shaped vaguely like a dog and one reminiscent of a horse.

Horse holds up a hand to stop him. "Whoa there, little Uchiha. What are you running from?"

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He skids to a stop. He's not even having to pretend to be wary and kind of panicked (and startled at them appearing, holy shit he'd forgotten how bad baseline senses are).

"There's bodies. A massacre."

Also 'little Uchiha' - that sounds like a name. Kind of weirdly like that one boyfriend of his mom's. Implies - he's in media res? There's a backstory to this? He can dissect this later, but for now he'll lean towards 'he shouldn't start claiming to be someone other than who they think he is.'

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"A massacre?" Horse repeats. Dog's head tilts, and he flashes some sign language at Horse. "In the compound?"

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"Yes. I didn't see anyone alive. Blood was wet." A kid also shouldn't be able to estimate how long ago it was, unfortunately...

He's hoping they're on his side. They're acting kind of like it, at least.

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Horse signs something to Dog, and Dog vanishes, too fast for the eye to follow.

"Come with me, little Uchiha. I'll take you somewhere safe."

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Well if he tries to run the speedster just proved he won't be able to. Stupid baseline body.

He nods, slowly.

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Horse escorts him into town. The streets are almost deserted at this time of night, and the few people that are out take one glance at the mask and steer well clear. They come to a round building painted red at the center of town, right at the base of the cliff. Horse takes him around to a side door that's almost but not quite hidden and slaps the side of the frame. Tiny, incomprehensible scribblings fan out across the door then disappear, and it swings open. Inside is a hallway such as might be found in any office building. Horse steers him to the right and down a set of stairs, and then into a small, plain room with two metal chairs on either side of a square table and one lonely light fixture overhead.

"Have a seat, kid," Horse suggests. "Do you want something to drink?"

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He sits.

Possible interrogation room, great. Hopefully just being repurposed as a panic room, or he's misinterpreting it and it's the universe's most depressing office break room.

He'd almost prefer it be an interrogation room. The Empire basically doesn't have depressing office break rooms, and you can usually judge how reasonable a place to live a frontier planet is by its workers' amenities.

He shakes his head. He's not thirsty, and he's also not stupid enough to willingly put possible drugs in his system. "Not now..." he says, quietly.

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"All right. You sit tight and just take it easy, okay? I'll be back in a bit, I'm just going to tell some people we picked you up."

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"Alright."

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Horse exits the room and clicks the door shut behind him.

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He doesn't see any obvious cameras but that obviously doesn't mean he's not being observed. Scrying is common, after all - at least where he's from, he didn't notice rings on the two masked men.

He makes a point of evening out his breathing, and mostly just... Thinks. Head down, so it's plausible he's hiding some kind of strong emotional reaction.

They're acting like he's familiar. Like he's a charge. 'Little Uchiha' - not the only one of the Uchiha family. Was the massacred - compound? - the Uchiha?

...He hadn't really paid attention to people's faces. Hadn't checked if they were anyone he actually knows. At least... At least he's a kid, and his younger siblings and own kids can't have been among them without breaking the logic of this place. And... He's increasingly assuming Inanna is behind this. Horror stories usually aren't her style. 'Tragic backstory to the dark and mysterious love interest' might be, which, ugh.

To the masked men - they communicated in sign. Didn't emote much. A cultural tendency away from strong expressions of emotion? Matches with the masks. Sign... Something he wasn't expected to know. Looked more like field-codes than a full signed language. They're used to communicating silently, and were able to follow each other's motions even in the dark. The people on the street studiously ignored them. Secret police of some kind? Worrying, that.

There's more, but... He really only has scraps, for now. Their armor wasn't blatantly magical, he hasn't seen signs of common magic amenities. People are mostly inside at night. A curfew? He's more used to places this size having significant nightlife, given that a decent chunk of the population doesn't need sleep anyways.

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It's perhaps twenty minutes before the door opens again, this time admitting a tall, blond man with his hair tied back in a ponytail.

"Sasuke?" He says. "Do you remember me? I'm Yamanaka Inoichi, Ino's dad."

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...Sasuke is kind of close to Sugira if he squints.

"Not really well," he says, figuring that's the best middle ground.

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Inoichi sits down in the other chair, posture open and friendly.

"The Anbu said he found you on the road outside the compound, running away. Do you remember that?"

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"Yeah..."

Quiet and not volunteering information is reasonable traumatized kid, even if it rankles a bit to not be reporting properly.

But- "There were bodies. In the compound."

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"How many did you see?"

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"A lot. I didn't count, or look at the faces. Two in the room I woke up in." No hiding that, probably. He suspects they'll be able to track his scent around. "The house was at the back, so..."

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"'Woke up'? You were unconscious?"

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"I woke up in a room. I don't know how I got there. I was sore. Face down on the floor. There were two bodies. I couldn't see their faces. I left the house, and there were more, and... I didn't see anyone alive until the Anbu."

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"Sasuke... That was your house. Those were your parents."

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"Oh."

He didn't really know his dad, but his mom - 

"Everyone else?" he asks, voice a bit weak. His older sisters would be the only ones born when he's this young, and he'd kind of expected, but...

Death isn't supposed to happen.

And they're not acting like there's an unfortunately long resurrection queue.

They're acting like people do after someone erases themselves.

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"They haven't... finished counting everyone yet, but so far... your brother is the only other body missing. Sasuke, do you remember anything, anything at all?"

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...He has one brother who is twenty years younger than him. This. Maybe isn't at all like his world.

"I. Don't know what my last memory is. Or who did it. It's - jumbled."

And it's true. For some reason he can't remember what he was doing before waking up. Where he was. It's terrifying, more so than the kind of unreal massive death.

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