(This is a Naruto based story and completely fictional. Tobi Senju is my own Original Character and Shisuke is the character of a close friend whom gave me permission to use in this story.)
Light, quick footsteps tapped rabidly across the sodden earth, splashing randomly in puddles, muddying the legs and feet of a certain ninja.
Blue sandals covered in grime raced onward, uncaring of the weather conditions as he sprinted.
Arms were outstretched behind the male as he ran, spiked silver hair clung to his head and a water patterned mask concealed his face, though couldn't hide the two glowing red orbs shining from beneath.
The ANBU had a mission, and he would carry it out and complete it without fail.
Two days earlier the head ANBU captain had received notice that one of their member had gone missing.
He ordered the squads to gather, Tobi Senju being among them.
The young sixteen year old stood within the base meeting room, mask covering his face, red hues shining from below.
People often wondered why he had such bright red eyes, being from the Senju clan.
This question still lay unanswered even by Tobi, who didn't even understand himself.
Not that it bothered him, though. He secretly liked that he appeared more intimidating to people.
The ANBU squads stood in formation, bodies rigid as their captain paced along their ranks.
His battle scarred face aged his appearance considerably but showed his experience in battle and wasn't one to test your cockiness against.
Emotionless gray eyes swept coldly over the statue like forms before him before finally opening his mouth to speak, a rough and ragged voice dragging across his tongue.
"Team Five arrived this morning short a member. The others have no idea what happened to him, nor was there any trace of his disappearance. They searched for two days before returning empty handed.
"However, the search must continue until he is found. I want no team to be less than three members large and never leave each other’s sight at all times. We are ANBU Black Ops, not children but whatever happened to Team Fives Shisuke is something to cause serious worry. I don't want to lose any more members. Understood?"
The masked ninjas nodded their heads in unison and the captain went about assigning teams of ninjas who worked best together.
Tobi was assigned into a team with a skilled Storm release user and Earth user.
Tobi knew both of his new teammates, but names were prohibited in the ANBU organization, so they went by Lance, the Gale style user, and Muu for the earth user.
Tobi went under the code of Silent Serpent.
After packing the necessary supplies, the team headed out with haste.
None of the members spoke much, Tobi being the most silent of all. His companions exchanged words every so often, but not a word was uttered from the Senju's mouth as the traveled.
The ANBU were traveling at night, using stealth darkness to their advantage, as well as sensory from the Silent Serpent. Being a Senju, this was one of his trademarks.
Once the team reached the camp where Shisuke had vanished, they settled down for the rest of the night, taking turns keeping watch of the camp.
When Tobi's watch came, it was around four in the morning. He could tell this by the very faint orange glow over the eastern horizon.
He sat on a tree branch overlooking the camp and watched the sun as it woke from its slumber.
The moon sunk low into the western skies, whispering gentle words of farewell as it slipped away behind the mountains.
Tobi let his crimson gaze drift across the clearing where his companions slept.
He knew they were sleeping lightly and even the slightest sound would wake them in a flash, so he was careful to remain still as a pole on his perch in the tree.
The sun was well awake now, casting yellow rays of liquid gold across the lands and spreading warmth onto the earth as it came to life once more.
A pool of sunlight splashed against Tobi's body, and he welcomed the warmth against his cold skin. His water pattern mask beaming brightly in the sunshine.
He could feel his teammates arousing, so he reluctantly rose from his spot and lightly leaped down to the ground. The only sound which could be heard was the *whoosh* of air around the boy.
He greeted his companions with a brisk nod, and after a hasty breakfast, they vanished without a trace.
Tobi had however, taken time to observe closely the surroundings before they left, and he found a single footprint pressed into the dirt. The toe of the shoe print was facing northeast, so that was the direction the ANBU Black Ops team went.
Since Tobi was the sensory nin of the group, he was in charge of not only alerting the group enemies, but also due to his sharp eyesight, watching for signs on the direction the targets had taken.
It wasn't long, however, when Tobi found another print in the earth facing the same direction.
The sun was well above the horizon when the second track was found but the ANBU team did not stop for breaks or to eat, there was no time to waste when one of their teammates was in danger.
ANBU's were usually trained to feel no emotion, however that didn't mean they held no loyalty.
Shisuke was a particular friend of Tobis, and though the boy did not show it, he was extremely worried about his friend.
The boy didn't make friends very often, his cool personality made people apprehensive, and his ruby red orbs intimidated people to the point they avoided him completely.
But that had not been the case with Shisuke Inuzuka.
The Inazuka was bright and cheerful, odd for an ANBU.
He was always smiling about something and no matter how tough things got, he never let it bring him down.
Despite this, he would become ruthless is battle and was known for his skilled tracking and hunting, being an Inazuka, and for this reason Tobi assumed that is why he was an ANBU.
Tobi used to view Shisuke as something of annoying and unworthy of the title 'ANBU', due to his carefree attitude, but he soon learned how mistaken he was teamed with Shisuke and ambushed by rogue missing nin.
Tobi had been in a tight spot with a Ink user who kept ruining all his water based attacks by using ink to either blind him or make his water so that he could not manipulate it.
He'd almost gotten the upper hand on Tobi had Shisuke not arrive at the scene with a scorching Fang over Fang, plowing directly through Tobis inky water and into the Ink users chest. Being that Shisuke had Scorch, the rogue was dead before the attack actually hit, cause of death was instant dehydration.
However, since then Tobi held an appreciation for the Inuzuka and his scruffy ninkan mutt.
Nonetheless, Tobi always kept his feeling hidden while on a mission, and now was no different than any other mission.
By the time afternoon came, Tobi had found another track, still facing the same direction, only one print in the soft soil.
Something was beginning to feel wrong about the situation, however.
Why would their targets only leave one footprint in what seemed to be a timed pattern?
Thoughts rolled around in the male Senju's head, but as long as they were heading in the right direction, that was all that mattered. That didn't stop the Silent Serpent from putting pieces together, though. Something about this seemed extremely odd to him.
He could tell his companions were also a bit unsettled the the way they kept so alert to every snap f a twig, or rock which bounced away from their feet.
It wasn't long before dancing Lightning, otherwise known as Lance caught up to him and kept pace.
She glanced over for a moment, golden eyes glittering from the slits of her wolf mask as she observed her teammate.
"What do you think?" She questioned, her voice was muffled by the mask and now keeping her gaze trained ahead. Her short purple hair jumped around her mask as the air from their movements brushed past them.
Tobi eyed her from his peripheral vision but did not turn his head.
"Something isn't right about this." The boy stated matter-of-factly.
"Tell me something I don't know," Came the short reply from the Gale style ninja.
This time, Tobi turned his head to face the female, his ruby hues beaming emotionless.
"I have a feeling we're walking straight into a trap, but we don't have time to worry about such things when our teammate is in danger. Keep your eyes sharp and don't let your attention wander for even a second. Whoever these people are, they are extremely skilled to have caught Shisuke without leaving any signs of a fight."
Tobi turned his head away which was a clear dismissal for any more questions.
Lance murmured something but dropped back behind to travel besides the ninja known as "Muu".
It was late evening now, and the sun was obscured by a thick covering of clouds which had rolled in from the northwest.
A cold breeze swept past the team, flapping their cloaks roughly.
Tobi's silver hair swayed harshly, but they did not falter. If anything, the team traveled faster.
Rain was coming, and if they didn't find their targets before that time, any trace or tracks would be washed away by the rain.
Trees groaned in protest as the wind tugged at them menacingly, ripping leaves from their branches and bushes rattled loudly just as the first drops of rain splattered against the ground.
Alarmed, Tobi began to search frantically for another track before they were all washed away.
His red eyes flicked frantically back and forth as he searched. It couldn't end here, not after coming so far.
It was then that the floodgates in the sky opened and a torrential downpour was unleashed upon the earth.
Horror struck Tobi as the drops pelted against his body, pouring down his mask and soaking his silver hair until his clung to his head.
His clothing soon became drenched, but he continued his search for another track, unfaltering even due to the rain.
His feet tapped lightly against the ground, splashing through puddled which had formed in small shallows in the earth.
His shoes were muddied and grime as spattered up his legs but the boy couldn't care less at this point. Pure dread rolled off him in waves. The rain poured down in waves, and the wind tore across the area like an angry bear, ravaging everything in its path.
It was then that he saw it.
Mud sprayed through the air as his feet slid to a halt and he stood panting.
A single mask hung from a low hanging tree limb by its strap, swaying roughly in the wind.
Walking up to it, Tobi grasped the item in his hand and tugged it off the branch.
His heart dropped to his feet as he saw it was a dog ANBU mask; one which had belonged to Shisuke Inuzuka.
Tobi spun around to show his companions, and his eyes widened when he realized for the first time that he was completely alone.
The mask slipped through his fingers and landed face first in the mud as Tobi stood motionless, crimson eyes staring blankly back towards the path he had just come from.
When had he lost them? The male had been so caught up in his frantic search that he forgot to pay attention to his teammates and just assumed they were behind him the entire time.
Throwing caution to the wind, Tobi bolted back down the way he had come until he noticed nothing looked familiar to him. He spun around searching for the path he had taken earlier, but every time he took a step it was as if he was walking into a completely new forest.
Fear touched his nerves and he began to feel very cold suddenly.
ANBU weren't supposed to feel fear, but in this case Tobi could care less about the ANBU code.
He had no idea what was going on anymore, where his companions had gone and felt an overwhelming sense of guilt.
It was his fault for becoming too absorbed in finding Shisuke and not paying attention to his team.
The boy shook his head, spraying drops of water in every direction, mentally scolding himself. Even if he had placed FTG seals on Muu and Lance he could teleport to them instantly, but he'd been careless and irresponsible.
In the middle of his self-scolding, Tobi felt a presence approaching from the northeast direction and twisted rapidly. Perhaps it was one of his Squad!
However, what his eyes saw was not the familiar figures of either of his teammates, but a sinister, hunched over, slow moving person who held an air of darkness about it.
The boy couldn't tell if it was a male or a female at this point, but as it stepped closer, Tobi grew even more concerned.
The figure wore a black hooded cloak that drug across the muddy ground, concealing its entire body.
The persons face was also obscured by the hood which hung down over its head, and it was hunched over, moving slowly but steadily towards Tobi.
The Senju boy reached into his tool pouch and withdrew a special kunai of his with a seal for instant transportation as the person drew closer, then halted.
Tobi's crimson eyes narrowed as he watched the figure just stand there not doing anything, so gathering up his courage the boy took a step forward.
"Who are you, and where are my teammates?" He demanded, trying to keep his voice from quivering.
The figure did not move, but a low menacing chuckle drifted out from below the dark hood.
"Such...courage for one in such a helpless position." The figure cackled again, and this angered Tobi.
"Who are you calling helpless?!" He spat, gripping the kunai tighter in his hand, his knuckles turning white.
The figure raised one hand into the air, which could not be seen below the sleeve of the cloak.
"Ah, but you have yet to attack me, yes? This shows either your confidence is merely an illusion you give to trick people into being intimidated, or you have already realized how powerless you really are."
With an angry snarl, Tobi launched the kunai towards the cloaked figure with a skillful flick of his wrist and raised his right arm before teleporting to the kunai once it was only inches from the figure.
"Grr, Rotating Water Blade!" He growled, swinging his arm at the figure.
A heartbeat later, Tobi's stomach dropped as he saw his justu was nonexistent.
With insane speed, the cloaked figure whipped its arm around and grasped Tobi's right wrist, and his mouth went dry when he saw the figures hand for the first time.
The skin was a sickening gray, shriveled and bones jutted out from beneath the flesh, but its grasp was powerful, and he howled in pain as he felt bones crunch and pain shoot up his arm into his shoulder.
At the same time, the figures body swung around and its left arm came smashing down onto the left side of the Senju's head, knocking him senseless.
His wrist was released and he was sent flying through the air until he struck the ground, sliding through the mud helplessly and colliding with a large tree.
Dazed, Tobi just laid there, making no effort to stand.
The world spun from the blow he'd received to the skull and the pain in his wrist was almost blinding.
The figure slowly waded through the mud towards him, and Tobi felt like he would vomit from pain and fear.
He watched as the person drug its cloak through the mud and halt in front of him.
It knelt down just inches from his face, leveling its hooded face with his, and Tobi's eyes caught what was underneath,
His red orbs widened as glowing blood red hues, even redder than his glared at him from below the hood.
"Pathetic..." Its voice hissed, and the Senju felt his stomach convulse as the sour stench that wafted against his face. It was like rotting meat left to fester for months.
"At least the dog boy put up somewhat of a measly fight. You are nothing but a waste of life."
The words angered Tobi, not only being insulted, but hearing his friend be insulted as well.
Gritting his teeth, Tobi mustered his strength and teleported to his kunai from earlier.
Once he had placed about 20 feet between him and the... thing before him, he gathered what little strength he had.
After a quick observation, Tobi discovered that this person had somehow managed to not only drain him of chakra, but hidden the fact that it had done so and make him believe he was at full strength.
Now Tobi understood why his justu had not worked earlier, he didn't have the chakra reserve to perform it. Luckily, teleporting hardly took any chakra, if any at all, so he still had that over whoever this person was.
His mind was working like a motor now, wheeling around trying to put pieces together.
It was hard to think with the pain in his wrist distracting him, and he also noticed that his healing factor from being a Senju was not working either.
As he was trying to think, the figure rose slowly and gave a hissing chuckle. It sounded like claws dragging across a chalkboard more than an actual laugh.
Tobi cursed under his breath as the figure turned towards him again, its bloody red eyes boring into him.
"Nice little trick, but I'm afraid you'll need more than that to defeat me."
The figure then started running towards Tobi at insane speed, which shocked the boy, forcing him to spring backwards to keep a distance between them.
He couldn't use justu, that was a fact, and with a shattered wrist, physical combat was lagging severely on his end. Not only that, whoever this person was had incredible strength.
Tobi began to realize just how helpless he really was in this situation, but he wouldn't go down without a hard fight even if he died trying.
The figure appeared to be only a blur now as it raced towards him, its cloak flapping madly making a snapping sound and it was gaining on the male rapidly.
Tobi searched frantically for a way to escape, but he hadn't places any other FTG seals.
A wave of nausea spun the Senju's head and his foot slipped on a patch of wet grass.
His body reeled to the side as he struggled to maintain his balance, but the figure was only five feet away now.
As he fell, Tobi made one last attempt to save himself by using his right hand to grasp onto a tree branch, momentarily forgetting about his broken an shattered wrist.
His vision blurred and turned a hazy red as he screamed out in pain, and his mask was knocked off his face, crashing against the sodden ground and landing right next to the wolf mask of Shisuke.
The figure reached one hand out of its cloak and grasped Tobi's throat in its powerful grip, cutting off his air supply.
The boney shriveled skin of the persons arm was revealed once more, and Tobi struggled in vain against the grasp which cut off his source of oxygen, his eyes locked onto the bloody hues that glowed beneath the hood of the cloak.
Pointy black fangs were revealed as the figure let out a sadistic, menacing snarl as Tobi slowly lost consciousness.
His vision flickered briefly, and a single thought drifted through his head.
I have failed...
Then everything went dark.