Hello, thar. Meinos Kaen here!
So, are you prepared for Easter? I'm so ready to get myself a fill of chocolate eggs and most importantly, roast lamb! Hmmm, laaaaamb... There's going to be all kind of delicious threats for you too, next week. Why?
Well, first, I'm going to post the first excerpt of my original story! The teaser banner is going to lose some more protection tomorrow, giving you a juicy hint at the story's content, or at least the world it takes place into.
Second, you're probably wondering why I still haven't posted the next part of Corridor of Uncertainty, the poll being over. Well, that's because there's a lot to write, and I want to write it well. One of your choices brought forward something that I'm certain you'll find awesome!
Third, I'm going to put up a contest pertaining to the blog. I'm sure you'll like the idea, even if it'll require you to face... REAL LIFE. *hisses at the sun*
Well, that said, let's get today's show on the road with a brand new What If! This sprouted by some thoughts I had about Naruto's great organization of villains, Akatsuki. We now know that the organization originated in Rain Country under the leadership of Yahiko with the assistance of Nagato and Konan. Their original intent was to bring peace to the world of Shinobi by making Yahiko into a God, but the plan met its end because of Hanzo and Danzo, which was also how Tobi eventually perverted and manipulated Nagato and the organization into what it eventually became.
Now, let's say that Nagato thought about what to do next a little more, this new thought brought upon by a little comment made by Jiraiya as he trained them, about how the ninja system doesn't work. It's the root of the problem that also Naruto will eventually have to face. So, let's say that Nagato decides to revise his plan. Today, I ask you...
What if being a ninja became illegal?
Yep, illegal. As in, against the law. Let's go through the works.
Part I: The Current Ninja System
It works. It's a perfectly oiled machine that supplies itself over and over. The problem is that it's still a system based on mercenaries, soldiers who sell their services to the best buyer, services that go from babysitting to escort detail to assassination. The only difference with real life mercenaries is that there's no open warfare option, unless it's in a war between ninja villages. Now, think about it this way: D-Missions aside, the Ninja System works on a save lives/end lives binary, protecting people and taking care of threats only behind payment, duties which in a modern country are up to a police force and/or an army, under the orders of the government. Without situations requiring such services, ninjas would have no reason to exist. In a few words, the current ninja system thrives on strife.
We never get much into the reasons why the Ninja World Wars happen, but logically speaking, a war every now and then it's inevitable. Think about it, it's a man-eat-man-eat-dog-eat-man-eat-missing nin system, it thrives on trouble to solve, and what happens if trouble starts dieing down? There's no more income, and a war is the perfect way to brew some more. Think about what a war entails: ninja going rouge because they become disillusioned or just because of nice old PTSD, civilians losing their homes or resources and having to find other sources of income, general misery. It's a no brainer why the Big Five use small countries as their battlegrounds: they create the strife they thrive on which eventually pans to affect other countries and at the same time they prevent the rise of new Hidden Villages. In this optic, Nagato's plan for World Domination was sound, take away the income of all other countries and become the only ninja force in the world, but there's the problem that it wouldn't take care of the root of the problem. Now, let's see how we can change history.
Part II: The Great Upheaveal
Logically speaking, there's only two ways to get rid of the Ninja System for good: bring peace to the world or providing a valid alternative to it. Most modern countries have no need for mercenaries on their own territory, because they have their own security and defense organizations. So, let's say that after Yahiko dies, Nagato takes a minute to think of a more elaborate plan. Like the original, it's something that takes years, but fortunately Daimyo are civilians and are easily influenced by ninja techniques, if the need is to come, the time is need for secrecy not efficiency. His objective is to make it so that ninja villages are forced to become the real armies and protection details of the countries they are in, turn them from mercenaries to government officials. Such a big change needs a big event to spearhead it, though. Let's say here that, remembering Danzo's involvement with Yahiko's death, Nagato decides that the village that will be made example of will be Konoha.
As in Canon, Nagato forms the Organization with the same members, with the base still being Hidden Rain. After years of subtle/not so subtle manipulation, the Daimyo of Fire comes out with this world-wide announcement out of the blue: never shall the good citizens of Fire Country rely on money-hungry, war-mongering shinobi anymore. With the annexation of Rain Country, Fire also gains its own official defense force: Akatsuki. The only price for it is an increase in tributes to pay this force's wages, but it is overall still inferior to the amount of money Konoha makes annually off the good laborer's skin. Of course, the Leaf wouldn't take this lying down: Nagato was counting exactly on that. Thus, the flattening of Konoha happens, three years before Canon, and it follows up with hunting down any left over Leaf Ninjas with extreme prejudice.
Thus, the situation after the destruction of Konoha in the Fire Country is: 1. Only those accepted into Akatsuki can get trained as Shinobi, any outside form of studying or practice of ninja skills is illegal; 2. All possessors of bloodline limits are required to register their names with the government, joining the Akatsuki is not required but it's encouraged and richly rewarded; 3. All possessors of Clan Techniques are required to register with the government, sharing of these with the Akatsuki is not required but it's encouraged and richly rewarded; 4. Any free-lance ninjas are welcomed into Akatsuki.
This new system makes ninja live among civilians, everywhere they're needed/stationed instead of holing up into a village, and it also turns Fire Country in a haven for missing nins, especially with Tobi doing his thing with Yagura and bloodline limits in the Mist. The Fire Country would quickly become the leading military force in the world, and the most peaceful and progressive. Too long to explain why, just think of what people with enough money and worry-free time can do for their country and for themselves.
With time, the other villages would have no choice but to adequate themselves, turning themselves willingly into the local equivalents of Akatsuki, Nagato essentially bringing peace to the Elemental Countries and, being the real mind behind it all and the de-facto leader of the most powerful country in existence, becoming a god in the Shadows and finally bringing peace. Although, a question remains. Well, two, actually. How would Nagato convince Itachi to go along with the destruction of the village he loved? Well, remember that Itachi loved Sasuke even more than the village, so with the promise that he would be spared and taken care off. The second question is, of course: whatever happens to Naruto?
Part III: Jinchuuriki and Bloodline Limits
As we already said, Nagato would put into place a series of policies to encourage possessors of bloodline limits and clan techniques, things which naturally make one a potentially strong ninja, to join the Akatsuki. This would be true even and especially so in the case of Jinchuuriki. In this case, Naruto. With Konoha gone, it's also gone his dream to be Hokage and the young Uzumaki finds now himself a war refugee, other than an orphan. This would make him an easy target for Akatsuki recruitment. How? Well, it's quite simple. Naruto has to be willing to join, and that's more easily done by making him somehow grateful towards the organization or one of its heads. The simplest way to ensure a ten years old Naruto's loyalty is to find him a foster family. Something he's always wanted but a pipe dream back in Konoha but quite easy with Nagato's new position and the fact that no one knows about his secret in the Fire Capital. So, here's pronto Naruto's new dream: become Head Commander of Akatsuki.
Let's go over what's happened up to now. The old ninja system is dead, there's now a new world order based on the prospective of progress and peace-keeping instead of war-mongering. So, where does trouble come from, now?
Part IV: Insert Hallmark Guy Meme Here
First of all, let's not forget that world peace or not, this new world order was brought upon by the vicious termination of a village full of ninjas, and even if they weren't ninjas, there's bound to be people discontent with the new situation, be they from Konoha or other villages that didn't go along with their own country's changes nor joined Akatsuki. The methods of retaliation would be many, although resistance or open warfare would be stupid or just fanatical. I see any rebels keeping their true intentions a secret, masking their activities and agendas with the worst enemy of any peaceful government: politics. I see Jiraiya being a master of this, followed closely behind by Madara and Orochimaru, although with other agendas.
Also, Nagato brought peace not to the world, but the Elemental Countries. There are whole other continents out there ready to bring back war and mayhem, along with forgotten ancient secrets/evils like the ones from the movies and the fillers. I didn't think about this in detail, mostly because with the way I planned Nagato's upheaval, I created a clean slate. There's no way at all for any event from Canon to happen here, so whoever was to write something like this would have to get infinitely creative. Let me know if you give it a shot. :P
With that, I bid you goodbye. I'll see you next week with Original Fiction, a Contest and P... Hmm.
Meinos Kaen out!