Akari crash-landed through a thatched roof and immediately began to swear. “Bitch-shit-fuck” came in quick succession, followed by an equally creative combination of profanity. She spit out hay and jumped to her feet, brushing off dirt as she looked around. A man was staring at her, mouth half-open, rice still unchewed. Everything about him screamed Fire-Country laborer: tanned with callouses and a stained, ragged yukata.
Which, great, but she’d been slapping an Iwa ninja five seconds ago on a mountain in Lightning. Akari looked up through the new hole in his roof. Nope, no mountain. And judging by the lack of whiny screaming, no Iwa-nin either.
“Huh,” said Akari. This was new.
Seriously, what the fuck? Akari was standing on a dirt floor under (and on top of) a hay roof, so whoever the bougies were in this part of town, they were fucking the proletariat harder than a virgin in a whorehouse. Where was she, some petty warlord’s pigsty? She knew there were corners of this shitty ninja planet that were worse than others, but this was a little extreme.
“Um,” said the bedraggled proletarian, putting down his bowl of rice to walk slowly to her. Gutsy, approaching a random ninja. There was still hope, then. Still that burning worker’s light. “Do you… need help?”
Akari leaned over and pressed a finger to his lip. He flinched and froze in place.
“Shh. That’s my line. But I know that you do need help, so I ain’t gonna ask the line. Just sit back and grab a pitchfork. It’s role reversal time. Mommy Marx is here to shove her dick up your tyrant’s ass.”
These poor, oppressed idiots thought she was crazy. Which, fine, maybe that wasn’t the best opening line, but come on. Just as she started her impassioned plea (also found in the pamphlet “So You Wanna Eat the Rich?”), they started clucking like oversized chickens and herding her towards whoever passed for a doctor in this shithole.
(Akari meant shithole affectionately. It wasn’t their fault it was a shithole, and she loved shitholes. All her people lived in shitholes. She had one herself, though she called hers Kumo instead of Chiyuku. What kind of name was Chiyuku, anyway?)
But that wasn’t the reaction she’d expected. Skepticism? Sure. Maybe a few token lines of “Waa waa it’s impossible to take down the rich noble, he’s too strong” or something that normal people who couldn’t make lightning finger guns would say. Not this… brainwashed, class-consciousness-less sympathy.
Whatever. The healer hut reeked of petty bougie: the wood panels shone dark, smooth, and seamless. Plus the inside was full of fancy-pants antiques. What was a doctor in this place doing with some stolen museum pieces? Did she need to slap a class traitor bitch?
Akari squinted at the wall. Wait, was there chakra in the wood? How did that happen?
The healer—or who Akari guessed was the healer, judging by how she strode in—looked as prole as everyone else here. Her clothes were a little nicer, but she still had the tanned skin and calluses.
“I’m Healer Yui.” She smiled, gentle. “How can I help you?”
“Overthrow the bourgeoisie,” Akari said. “Unless you’re the bourgeoisie, in which case I have some bad fucking news for you.”
The woman stared at her for a solid three seconds. “What.”
“Boo-shwa-zee,” Akari repeated, stretching out the word. Bootleg ninja Japanese didn’t have a word for it, and the pronunciation was a pain for most people. “It’s a name for the assholes keeping your town poor.”
Yui still wasn’t saying anything, which was encouraging. This woman was a respected village leader or something, right? Akari had gotten that impression from the man’s babbling while he’d herded her in this direction. Maybe if Akari could get Yui on her side first...
“Look. I know how it is. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and though those fuckholes sit masturbating in their mansions, they somehow don’t have enough money to give everyone a decent roof. As Daddy Marx and Engels said, way back when, the system is—”
“Marx,” she interrupted.
Yeah, maybe throwing in her jargon wasn’t the best of ideas, but her red heart couldn’t help it sometimes. Akari waved a dismissive hand. “Just some old dudes who came up with the idea. But anyway—”
“Marx,” stressed Yui. “Like the…” She struggled for a moment, and the words came with a heavy accent. “Communism? Russia?”
“Marx was German,” Akari corrected automatically, “and—” Her turn to stare. “Wait. Bitch. ”
Yui was just as wide-eyed. “Are you—did you—” She took a deep breath, and like it was a struggle to speak, said, “Were you also reborn into this world?”
“Bitch, what the fuck!” Akari whooped. “No way, you got stuck here too?”
She seemed at loss for words.
“I got ‘kidnapped’ by the Kumo nin when I was five, or I’d be stuck in a dinky village like this.” Akari laughed, honestly a little gleeful. She wasn’t stupid: if she’d been reincarnated, then others might’ve been too. Akari hadn’t thought too hard about it when there were revolutions to spearhead, of course. “So spill, what on Wallerstein’s sweet world is going on here?”
Yui’s forehead wrinkled. “Kumo nin? Is that a ninja clan?”
“What? Uh, no, it’s one of the big boy ninja villages? Like, I get this is bumfuck Fire Country, but you have to know what Kumo is even if Konoha’s the one who burns shit down in this place.”
She opened and closed her mouth. “What’s Konoha?”
Akari paced back and forth. Time travel. Time-fucking-travel. Time-bitch-ass-fucking-shit-for-brains-travel. Great. Exactly what she needed in her life. After Akari connected the dots, Yui had said nothing, simply handing her a cup of black tea. Which, fine, coffee was better, but she’d take any kind of caffeine in times like these.
Wait a minute, time travel. Before the ninja wars, before the ninja military industrial complex entrenched itself deep in the dickhole of the political system. This was… actually a great fucking chance.
This was Fire Country though, so running over to Kumo and bitch-slapping the future First Raikage could wait. Time to slap some tree-lickers first. Thanks to blondie-boy’s ranting about his village’s systems, Akari knew an unfortunate amount about the formation of Konoha. And also Daddy Leaf was infamous for being a roided monster, so…
“Say, I know this is a long shot, but do you know anything about Hashirama Senju or the Senju clan?”
Yui almost dropped her teacup. “How,” she said plaintively, “do you keep doing this?”
Akari grinned. “Music to my fucking ears.”
It was Yui’s turn to tell her life story, and Akari was grudgingly impressed. The healer chick was a bit like Bunpuku, but without the woo-woo religion tied in. Though she got the feeling that Yui would cut a bitch if needed. Smiles that soft were always sketchy.
“Huh, you got a different set of brass balls,” said Akari. “Still balls, though, so I can dig that. Especially since you’re trying to invent small-scale socialized healthcare in the old school anarchist commune style.”
“Thanks?” Yui said, hesitant.
“I’m more the violent revolution kind, but I can respect a red heart, even if it’s more fuschia than bleeding crimson.”
“Uh, did you say—”
“Together, though, we can turn future-Konoha’s emblem into a hammer and sickle! Are you with me?”
“Perfect.” Akari rubbed her hands together. “I have a feeling that this is a start of beautiful friendship.”