[FFML] [Fic][Draft][Naruto][Nanoha] Overkill, Chapter 5

aleh at aol.com aleh at aol.com
Thu Nov 27 15:52:07 PST 2008


And here's my current draft of Chapter 5 of Overkill. Previous chapters 
can be found at http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4131406/1/Overkill . C&C 
would be greatly appreciated.

-----------

    Naruto was just supposed to be an ordinary child in Konoha, but
a series of sudden situations changed everything. In the first, Naruto
lost his birth family and gained a giant, nine-tailed fox sealed in his
stomach. In the second, Naruto gained a true friend. As he walked the
path before him, Naruto couldn't help but wonder. Were the encounters
that introduced him to the world of magic fate? Were they coincidence?
Were they the work of the gods' meddling?

    Naruto wasn't quite sure, but...

    A tale of spectacular overkill begins now.

-----------

    Overkill,

    A Naruto Fanfiction,

    By Aleh

    Chapter Five: Mokkori Trouble, Part One

-----------

    Disclaimer: I don't own any of the series used or referenced in
this fic.

    Also, I owe SoftRogue thanks for his suggestion of a cover story
for the Seeds.

-----------

    A woman walked through the streets of Uminari as the breeze blew
through her chestnut-colored hair. Her casual manner of dress and
bearing belied the way she felt as she approached her brother and
sister-in-law's café. Before she could enter, however, a man who she
recognized as the kumicho of Japan's strongest Yakuza group exited, his
eyes betraying the utter, complete terror that he felt t
o the woman's
experienced eyes.

    "Momoko-chan, Oniichan," Mikami Misato thought, "just what have
you gotten yourselves involved in?"

-----------

    Slightly under a week later, Nanoha stood facing her school late
at night, Raising Heart's staff form in her hand and her Barrier Jacket
active. Yuuno was at her side, looking at his pupil and taking in the
resolute expression she wore.

    "Stand by, ready," Raising Heart declared.

    "Lyrical, Magical," Nanoha chanted, swinging Raising Heart.
"Jewel Seed Serial Twenty, Seal!"

    "Sealing," Raising Heart confirmed.

    The sky was lit with pink light for a moment and the Jewel Seed
returned to its natural form, that of a small, blue stone. Raising Heart
let out a burst of steam from its exhaust ports as the Seed approached.

    "Nanoha, good job!" Yuuno told her.

    Nanoha just panted from the effort as Raising Heart confirmed
its receipt of the Jewel Seed.

    "Oh no!" she exclaimed, suddenly. "I'm late!"

-----------

    In his hospital room, Naruto frowned. He was /finally/ going to
be discharged... and Nanoha wasn't there. She'd promised...

    Then again, he'd sensed another Jewel Seed activate earlier. He
supposed that Nanoha was still dealing with it, but he couldn't help but
worry.

    The time Naruto had spent in the hospital had passed
excruciatingly slowly for him. Sure, his family kept him reasonably
busy, rarely leaving him alone and giving him lessons20on a variety of
subjects. Nanoha even helped him keep up with his schoolwork and their
studies at their juku. Alisa and Suzuka also visited as often as they
could... and that was discounting the time Naruto spent with Hayate.

    Still, it wasn't the same. Naruto had become used to living with
his adopted family, spending far more time with his friends, and eating
Momoko's cooking. Had it just been the change in rooms, he could have
gotten used to it. Had it just been the hospital food, he could have
taken it.

    Even if his family wouldn't let him become truly lonely, he
missed the sense of camaraderie that came with spending most of his time
with his friends. He couldn't stand being unable to stand by Nanoha and
protect her as she searched for the Jewel Seeds. Perhaps even more than
that, he couldn't stand being forced to practically /stay still/ for
days on end. For an energetic person like him, it was the worst sort of
torture.

    The fact that Naruto /knew/ that his legs were already fully
healed and that the casts were just for appearances didn't help.

    On the plus side, Naruto was showing steady progress in his
studies of magic. Yuuno was more than a little impressed at how quickly
he'd learned the basics of gathering power, but there was a ready
explanation for that -- the techniques for gathering magical energy that
Yuuno was teaching him were remarkably similar to the Mikami Fuwa's
techniques for gathering spiri
tual energy.

    When Kyouya had commented on this to Yuuno, the ferret-boy had
been much more surprised that the Mikami Fuwa had techniques that used
spiritual energy than that the techniques were similar. While Yuuno's
initial explanation had been difficult for Naruto to fully follow, he
had managed to gather that magical energy was made of a mix of spiritual
energy and some other type of power which Yuuno called "iryoku" and that
magic relied on using your spiritual energy to gather that "iryoku" from
the surrounding area.

    This was also apparently what made overusing magic put a strain
on the user's body. According to Yuuno, spiritual energy coexisted and
maintained a balance with yet another type of power in the user's body,
something that Yuuno called "physical energy". Using too much of your
spiritual energy upset the balance between the two powers, which led to
your physical energy surging out of control and damaging your body.

    Kyouya had simply nodded at that and made a comment about
something called "ten-chi-jin". Yuuno had cheerfully agreed.

    On the other hand, those same factors also made magic far safer
than would otherwise be expected. "Iryoku" apparently mixed even more
readily with that combination of physical and spiritual power than it
did with spiritual power alone, creating yet another type of power.
Yuuno described it with such words as "inert" and "unstable", which
Naruto didn't quite understand, but he managed to gather that=2
0it was
short-lived and apparently the sort of power more suited to people who
spent all day contemplating their navels than the sort who actually
/did/ anything...

    ... which basically boiled down to the fact that it was a lot
harder to kill someone with magic than most would expect. As his current
situation proved, however, that was certainly not foolproof -- there
were a number of ways around that issue, ranging from simply
overpowering the victim with enough magical force to snuff their
life-force out like a candle flame in a hurricane to using magic to form
a physical structure or manipulate an existing physical object.

    Naruto was broken out of his thoughts by the sound of Nanoha
running down the stairs to his floor of the hospital. "Sorry I'm late,"
she frantically apologized, "but there was a Jewel Seed at school. I
tried to seal it right away, but it still took time and--"

    Chuckling at his daughter's antics, Shiro interrupted her. "That
makes five so far, right? You're doing pretty well!"

    "But there are still sixteen left!" Nanoha objected.

    "Nanoha-chan," Naruto interjected, trying to calm his friend,
"Dad's right. You've even managed to find one of them before it
activated!"

    "And with all of the people looking for them, there's not really
much else you can do, Nanoha," Yuuno chided. "I think it'd be a good
idea for you to rest tomorrow."

    Logically speaking, Nanoha knew that Yuuno was right. The20police
had enough numbers that one more pair of eyes wouldn't make that much of
a difference. "But..."

    "Tomorrow, you /will/ rest," Yuuno insisted. "If you don't, you
won't be able to last. Besides, you already have plans, right?"

    Nanoha smiled at that last reminder, remembering the welcome
home party her friends and family were planning for Naruto. "Yeah," she
agreed. "I guess that I'll take a small break from Jewel Seed hunting
tomorrow."

-----------

    Around an hour later, a car pulled up to the Takamachi family's
home. Shiro and Kyouya were the first to get out, setting up Naruto's
wheelchair and helping him to get out. Nanoha exited with her highly
embarrassed friend, lending what support she could.

    "Welcome home," Momoko and Miyuki greeted in unison as the four
of them entered the house.

    "I'm back," Naruto returned, his eyes becoming moist with
emotion.

    The moment was broken, however, by Misato attaching herself to
Naruto like a limpet, his wheelchair seemingly not posing even the
slightest obstacle to her apparent efforts to hug the life out of him.
"It's good to see you out of the hospital, Naruto-kun," she told her
surrogate nephew while fussing over him and apparently inspecting him
for injuries.

    "Air," Naruto gasped. "Need... air."

    "Oh dear," Momoko told her sister-in-law. "You might want to let
Naruto-kun go, oneechan... he's not really used to this sort of
thing..."

    "I know,
 Momoko-chan," Misato answered, lightening her grip on
Naruto enough to let him get a few desperate gulps of air in. "He's
missed so much growing up..."

    Although he was rather embarrassed by her behavior, Naruto was
rather fond of Misato, her attempts to smother him with affection --
usually metaphorically but often literally as well -- aside. While they
did manage to cause him considerable embarrassment, those attempts also
made her feelings blatantly clear.

    It was a nice feeling, the awkwardness of the situations she
kept putting him into aside.

    "So," Misato asked Kyouya, still clinging to Naruto like a
barnacle and nuzzling her cheek against the top of her head while
pressing his face into her chest, "how's my cute little nephew's
training coming along?"

    "He's doing pretty well on /ken/," Kyouya replied, referring to
the Mikami's main healing technique. "He won't get much further with it
until he can try some of our more advanced techniques. I think I'll
start showing him /shin/ tomorrow."

    Naruto's reaction to that statement was pretty thoroughly
muffled by Misato's breasts.

    "Oneechan," Momoko observed, "I think Naruto-kun is trying to
say something..."

    "Oh dear," Misato answered, pulling herself back. "What was
that?"

    Naruto simply panted for a moment. "What's '/shin/'?"

    "It's the art of seeing things by their sound and other
indicatory motions," Miyuki answered. "But why are you teaching him that

so early?"

    Kyouya nodded. "Yeah, it /is/ early for him to learn that, but
/shin/ doesn't require much motion..."

    "So you can see in the dark?" Naruto asked.

    Shiro chuckled. "And through walls," he added. "But only living
or moving things. At the more advanced levels of the technique, you're
more sensing spiritual energy than listening per se, but even the basics
can be useful."

    "It's like a sixth sense, a heightened awareness of the
environment, Naruto-kun," Misato explained before pausing and taking a
look at the expression of dawning understanding on her nephew's face. A
moment later, Naruto once again found his head buried between his
surrogate aunt's breasts. "You're so /cuuuute/ when you're confused!"
Misato exclaimed, glomping him.

    "Oh my," Momoko remarked as her youngest daughter suddenly
slumped a bit, Nanoha's warm smile taking on a tired quality. "Nanoha,
are you alright?"

    "Mmph," Naruto tried to ask, unable to really say anything with
his mouth pressed into his aunt's sternum.

    "I'm alright," Nanoha told her mother. "Just a little tired..."

    And, with those words, Naruto's friend collapsed, still smiling
even as her face pressed into the floor of her home.

    Several cries of "Nanoha!" echoed throughout the Takamachi home.

-----------

    Nanoha awoke to the sound of Yuuno's voice. "... I'm really
sorry for not noticing," he apologized.

    "No, Yuuno-kun," Shiro replied, his voice in the 
serious tone
that Nanoha knew that he reserved for serious occasions. "You're doing
the best you can. If anything, I'm upset with myself for not noticing
either."

    Feeling something warm briefly brush against her cheek, Nanoha
opened her eyes. Finding herself staring into Naruto's sapphire orbs,
the young magical girl quickly realized that what she'd felt had been
her friend's hand.

    "Nanoha-chan?" he asked, seeing her stir. "How are you feeling?"

    "I'm fine, Naruto-kun," Nanoha softly answered.

    "Nanoha-chan, you idiot!" Naruto cried, mirroring Nanoha's words
to him after he woke up in the hospital. "Don't do that again! If
anything happened to you, I'd..."

    Naruto's speech was cut off by Nanoha squeezing his hand to draw
his attention and starting to speak herself. "Now you know how I felt
that day," she gently told him. "We're friends, aren't we? When you
smile, I'm happy. When you cry, I'm sad. When you're hurt, I worry. To
share feelings with those you care for is only natural... to care for
those you are close to is part of what it means to be human... and to be
close to your friends is to be a good friend."

    While Naruto's eyes were no less dry at the end of her quiet
speech, he seemed far less upset.

    "Yes," Shiro stated, interrupting the moment. "That's certainly
the case... but, Nanoha, I think we need to talk about some other
things, like overworking yourself to the point where you pass out an
d
hiding it from your family."

    Nanoha gulped.

-----------

    In retrospect, Nanoha reflected as she lay in bed the next
morning, she'd gotten off lightly. The lecture had been embarrassing,
sure, and her family had certainly embarrassed her enough, but other
than making her take it easy for the day and insisting she cut back on
searching for the Jewel Seeds, her family hadn't done much. Since they'd
already decided on that, it amounted to getting off with a warning.

    Her actual "punishment" had been being confined to the house for
the day with an understanding that she'd spend most of her time resting.
She'd already planned to spend the day with Naruto, so that wasn't
exactly a hardship.

    Nanoha knew that it was because her parents understood the
reasons why she'd pushed herself. What really chilled her, however, was
one of the points that her father had insisted on making: what if one of
the Jewel Seeds had activated while she was in that sort of condition?

    She'd been hoping to prevent the Seeds from injuring anyone else
by finding them as quickly as possible, but...

    Nanoha rolled onto her back and held out the red jewel pendant
that had become her constant companion over the last week.

    "Confirmation," Raising Heart intoned, projecting the images of
the five Jewel Seeds Nanoha had managed to collect so far into a circle
around it. Nanoha spent a while just staring at the projections as they
spent
 a while dancing around Raising Heart.

    Sighing, Nanoha released Raising Heart. The images of the Jewel
Seeds soon vanished, leaving behind a single, troubled young girl and
her Intelligent Device.

    Despite her uncertainties and her guilt over troubling her
family, however, there was one thing that Nanoha was absolutely, utterly
certain of.

    Nanoha would do her best to make Naruto's welcome home
celebration go off without a hitch.

-----------

    "So," Naruto asked, enjoying the feel of lying in his own bed
after so long in the hospital, "what was that about..." Naruto paused.
"Umm... 'physio'..."

    "Physiological and psychological adaptation to an unfamiliar
series of spell matrices?" Yuuno replied from the pillow next to the
young boy. "We were talking about why it's tiring to use magic you're
not used to."

    Naruto blinked. "So you have to get used to new spells?"

    Yuuno nodded. "Because Nanoha's not really used to using magic
yet, it's much more tiring for her that it would be otherwise. I've
never taught someone before, so I didn't really know how much it'd wear
her out..."

    "And Nanoha-chan didn't let you know how tired she was."

    Yuuno lowered his head, resting it on his forepaws. "If only I'd
noticed..."

    Naruto sighed. "She seemed so... lively. I guess she was just
faking it for our sakes, but..."

    "Yeah..."

    There was a moment of companionable silence before Naruto spoke


up again. "Hey, Yuuno-kun?"

    "Yes?"

    "Magic is pretty dangerous, isn't it?"

    Yuuno lifted his head and turned to his sometimes-student. "Why
do you say that?"

    "All of this talk about damaging your body and wearing yourself
out and such..."

    "That's not just magic, Naruto-kun," Yuuno replied. "Pushing
yourself too hard is dangerous no matter what you're doing. There are a
lot of things that are far more dangerous than magic... like traveling
between dimensions unshielded or using kidou..."

    Naruto blinked. "Kidou?" he asked. "What's that?"

    Yuuno's voice suddenly became deadly serious. "Kidou are... like
magical spells, but someone who uses kidou is using their spiritual
energy in its pure form instead of gathering iryoku and forming magical
energy... but because of the damage that causes, it's really
dangerous... it's said that someone who uses kidou is using up their
life with every attack."

    "But Kyouya-niisan is teaching me to use my spiritual energy!"

    "Yes, but you're not focusing it like you do magic or projecting
it outside your body. Any energy you use in a kidou is effectively lost
to you... you regain it eventually, but the strain that loss causes on
your body is immense." Yuuno sighed, his voice becoming tinged with an
undertone of sadness. "Magic's almost always easier and more effective,
so kidou is a forgotten art to most."

    Naruto briefly wondered how Yuuno knew about it if that was t
he
case, but decided that it wasn't worth asking. He got the feeling that
there was a story involved, and it probably wasn't a happy one given
Yuuno's tone.

    "I understand," he said, nodding slightly. "So why would anyone
use kidou?"

    Yuuno seemed quite pensive as he answered. "Because they felt
that the price was worth it."

    Naruto's initial response died on his tongue as he realized that
Yuuno was speaking from experience. "Oh."

-----------

    Takamachi Shiro smiled as he watched his soccer team, the
Midoriya JFC, eating his wife's cooking. Coaching them and guiding them
to success was normally one of his greatest pleasures in life and, even
if he'd rather be home, watching over his family, at the moment, his
team had earned this little celebration. The Sakuradai JFC were ranked
number two in their soccer league, and Shiro's players had managed to
completely shut them out, winning 2-0.

    Although he didn't let it show on his face, Shiro inwardly
sighed. What had Nanoha been /thinking/, pushing herself like that?

    The fact that Shiro knew the answer didn't help. He was
genuinely proud of her for wanting to keep anyone else from being hurt,
but her recklessness...

    "Thank you for the food," the team chorused in unison after
everyone had finished.

    "Everyone, you did really well today," Shiro told them. "Let's
do our best in practice next week and win the next match like we won
this one!"

=0
A   "Yes!" his team chorused.

    "Well then, dismissed! Be careful on the way home."

    "Thank you very much!"

    As the team broke up and the members headed home, the team's
goalkeeper took a small, blue, jewel-like stone from his bag and put it
in his pocket. Having already headed back into the Midoriya, Shiro
didn't notice the action or the Jewel Seed.

    It would have prevented quite a bit of trouble if he had.

-----------

    Two young men exited Uminari's train station, chatting away as
they walked to a nearby bus stop. The older, a dark-haired man with a
serious demeanor, adjusted his glasses as he pointedly ignored the
temptation to pull out the gun he had concealed in his trenchcoat and
shoot his companion.

    "Ryo," he exasperatedly asked, "could you be serious for once?
This isn't a joking matter!"

    "But, Makimura," the man's companion, a rather handsome man who
wore an unbuttoned white shirt over a red undershirt and a pair of
jeans, insisted, "it's not like you to worry about a bunch of people who
were driven off by a eight-year-old... oh!"

    Ryo's bearing underwent a sudden change as he noticed a
brown-haired girl in a skintight sweatsuit jog by. "Thirty-two C," he
commented, shamelessly leering at her.

    Makimura pinched the bridge of his nose, recognizing the girl.
"She was rather attractive, wasn't she?"

    "Oh, yes," Ryo agreed, goofily nodding his head. "That was one
/mokkori/ babe...
"

    "I'm fairly sure that her husband would agree."

    "What? Husband?"

    "Yes," Makimura Hideyuki cheerfully confirmed. "He's the head of
the Uminari Vegetarian's Association and a noted pacifist."

    Ryo stared at his friend and business partner.

    "Did I mention that she has a pilot's license?"

    Saeba Ryo groaned. "Come on, Makimura... don't ruin all of a
man's dreams," he whined. "How do you know that, anyway?" he asked after
a moment.

    "Well, I," Makimura began before catching a sudden flash of blue
out of the corner of his eye. "Wasn't that..."

    "Yeah," Ryo confirmed, his demeanor suddenly serious.

    There were no further words exchanged between the two men as
they approached the boy who they'd seen handling a Jewel Seed.

-----------

    Takamachi Nanoha collapsed into her bed, utterly exhausted.
"Well, then," she told her mother as she nuzzled her pillow, "until
dinnertime, good night."

    Naruto's welcome back party had went pretty well, all things
considered, even if Nanoha had needed to spend quite a bit of energy to
seem her usual self. She was pretty sure that no one had noticed,
but.... Utterly drained, Nanoha fell asleep before she could finish that
thought.

    Momoko stepped out of her youngest daughter's room and gently
closed the door. "She's asleep," the Takamachi matriarch told her
youngest child.

    "I see," Naruto quietly replied, not wanting to wake his friend.
"Nanoha-chan
 was really exhausted the whole time, wasn't she?"

    "It seems so," Momoko agreed.

    "But she seemed so cheerful earlier..." Naruto sighed and leaned
against the back of his much-hated wheelchair. "She was faking again."

    "She didn't want anything to take away from your return home,"
Momoko observed. "Such things are supposed to be happy occasions."

    Naruto grimaced and clenched his fists. "If only I was
stronger..."

    Momoko's smile slipped for a moment before she regained her
usual composure. "It is only natural to want to be able protect your
friends, Naruto-kun, but be careful not to forget why you want that
strength."

    Naruto blinked. "What do you mean?"

    "There are many reasons to want to become strong," Momoko
replied, "but wanting to protect your friends is among the best of them.
As long as you hold onto that desire and remember the reason why your
power exists, you will not be led astray."

    "The reason why my power exists?" Naruto asked.

    "Yes," Momoko agreed.

    Naruto's eyes widened for a moment. "Iryoku," he muttered under
his breath before suddenly moving to run to his room.

    Unfortunately for him, however, his wheelchair chose that moment
to remind him that yes, he was still in it and that yes, his legs were
still in casts. The young boy promptly tripped and fell, landing on his
face.

    "Oh dear," Momoko muttered, a sweatdrop rolling down her face.

-----------
=0
D
    About a minute after his unfortunate fall, Naruto finally made
it to his room. Quickly making a beeline for Yuuno, the young would-be
mage promptly asked him a question.

    "Yuuno-sensei," Naruto attentively inquired, "just what is that
iryoku stuff you mentioned?"

    Uncurling himself, Yuuno met his sometimes-student's eager gaze.
"Iryoku is the energy of nature, the power of the world around us,"
Yuuno explained. "There's more, but... just what do you want to know
about it?"

    "Well," Naruto explained, "I was just talking to Mom and she
mentioned something about the reasons for my power... I was thinking
that my incantation..."

    Yuuno nodded. "I see. Some people's incantations are like that.
They're often something personal... some think that they have something
to do with your nature, the type of power you use, or so on. Many mages
who specialize in ice magic have incantations that have something to do
with cold, peace, or rest, for example... but other times it can be a
description of yourself or a reminder of something."

    "So Nanoha-chan's incantation..."

    "Is absolutely nothing like that!" Yuuno cheerfully completed.

    "Right...," Naruto answered as a sweatdrop fell down his face.
"So anyway, magic is a mix of iryoku and spiritual energy..."

    "Yes. Since iryoku is all around you, magic is sometimes called
the power of our soul's connections with the world."

    "Connections," Naruto muttered, thinking for a moment a
s he
turned inward. After a moment of that, his eyes lit up.

    Naruto's bright-eyed expression only lasted a moment, however,
as he suddenly felt the distinctive sensation of a Jewel Seed
activating.

-----------

    Makimura Hideyuki placed a hand on his forehead and sighed.
Finding one of the devices that the police had been searching for had
been unexpected, but hardly a problem. That honor went to Ryo coming
across an attractive female police officer when he was trying to turn it
in.

    Only Ryo, Makimura thought, would use an experimental weapon
designed to cause mass hallucinations to try to get into a woman's
pants.

    The real problem, however, started when Ryo tried to cop a feel
as he pressed the device into the officer's hand and made yet another
request for "hot /mokkori/ action". Before she could so much as slap
him, the device had surrounded them with a white light. Makimura had
only a moment to realize that his partner had somehow activated the
device before he was staring at the base of a giant, ten-story...

    Makimura's mind promptly shied away from what he was seeing. It
was just a hallucination, after all. The best thing he could do was to
ignore it and hope the effect passed. Since he was obviously effected by
the device, he couldn't trust his senses.

    Ignoring the panicking crowd, Makimura moved to sit down on a
nearby bench. Walking past a man who was staring and muttering something
about
 "10SBRC certification", whatever that was, Makimura calmly took a
seat as the... thing... raised one of its two spherical "feet" and moved
it forward as if to walk.

    When the hallucination took its first step forward, however,
Makimura's calm was shattered. The fleshy orb crashed into the pavement
with enough force to shake the ground... and Makimura's bench.

    "I felt that," he thought in stunned disbelief, knowing enough
about hallucinations to understand what that meant.

    In that moment of sudden epiphany, Makimura Hideyuki nearly
froze out of shock. His reflexes narrowly prevented that, however, and
he moved to protect the panicking civilians as they cleared out of the
area. Drawing his gun in a single, smooth motion, the former police
officer fired a shot at the creature's long shaft before the creature
could take another step.

    Three things quickly became readily apparent in the seconds that
followed. The first, that Makimura's actions probably had been
ill-advised, was first shown by the fact that the bullet bounced off of
the cylindrical body. The second, that rampaging Jewel Seed incarnation
had noticed the ineffective attack, was shown the creature swinging its
bulbous head into a nearby building, causing considerable damage to its
structure, before it suddenly turned and charged down the street.

    The third, that the creature was not really a creature, per se,
was revealed by a pained shout coming from between the creature's
"legs".
0A
    "That was Ryo's voice," Makimura incredulously thought as he
heard the yell.

    A few moments later a piece of pavement struck him on the head
and rendered him blissfully unconscious.

-----------

    "Yuuno-sensei!" Naruto exclaimed, pushing back on his
wheelchair.

    "Yeah," the ferret-changeling replied. "For a Jewel Seed to
activate right now... and so strongly..."

    "It felt different from usual," Naruto observed.

    Yuuno nodded. "If a human puts their strongest wishes and
desires into a Jewel Seed, it releases its strongest power. From the
feeling this time, that's what happened."

    Naruto paled. "And with Nanoha-chan as-"

    The blond-haired boy's statement was interrupted by the sound of
his closest friend running past his room. "Sorry, Mom, Dad!" Nanoha
shouted, heading down the stairs. "It's important!"

    "Nanoha-chan!" Naruto shouted, wheeling towards the door in
panic. "Wait!"

    It was, however, too late. By the time Naruto managed to leave
his room, Nanoha had already left the house.

    "Yuuno-sensei!" Naruto exclaimed, addressing the ferret that had
jumped onto his shoulder in the panic.

    "Yes!" Yuuno replied. Hopping off and jumping through an open
window, the Midchildan ferret-changeling took after his wayward student
in the arts of magic, using his own abilities to speed his movement as
he bounced from building to building in his haste.

    Naruto wheeled himself to follow his friends as quickly=2
0as he
could. Approaching the staircase to the ground level of the house, he
focused inward, remembering what little Yuuno had told him about the
theory behind magical flight. "Lunas, solis," he incanted. "O ephemeral
feathers of eternal fire, o threads of vanishing eternity! Heed my call
and become my wings!"

    Levitating slightly under the power of his magic, Naruto began
to lower himself towards the door which his friend had failed to close
in her haste to intercept the Jewel Seed.

    "Naruto-kun!"

    "Sorry, Mom, Dad! It's important!" Naruto shouted, unconsciously
echoing his friend's earlier departure as he lowered his wheelchair to
the ground and altered his spell to help propel him towards his
destination.

-----------

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nanoha was the first of the three to
catch sight of the activated Jewel Seed. Seeing it aim its tip towards a
news helicopter and let loose with a burst of some sort of white goop,
however, Nanoha paused. Fortunately, the helicopter dodged. The sticky
projectile missed and struck a nearby building, promptly starting to eat
through its façade like acid through Styrofoam.

    "Eeeeh?!" she exclaimed, her eyes wide as she stared at the
monster that was attacking her home.

-----------

    Elsewhere, Alisa Bannings picked up her cellular phone and
triggered the speed dial. "Suzuka?" she asked as her friend picked up.
"Are you watching the news?"

    As she completed the safety checks
 on the Mishima Industries
vectored jetlift aircraft commonly known as "Poison One", Tsukimura
Suzuka wondered just how much trouble she'd be in for taking it out
before she finished her pilot training. Then again, judging by the
situation...

    At least Farin would make a good copilot and gunner. She might
be somewhat clumsy as a maid, but her combat programming was first-rate.

-----------

    A.N.: And herein the reason for me introducing City Hunter is
revealed...

    Anyway, please review.


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