Meruin, Puchi, Sekisetsu, Hisakawa
Date: October 1, 2010
Meruin finds Puchi in distress and moves to help. Others arrive and conversation between spiders ensues.
"A Promise Made"
Kirigakure's Forested Caverns
Marvelous, strange and exciting. A literal forest domed right inside the large cliff face. Its walls spand high into the sky surrounding the entire area, high above there are large openings where light seeps in providing just the right amount of light to light up this area. The dome shaped area from within the caves is filled with life, trees and bushes. Some trees spanding 100 meters into the sky with thick green leaves. The area is heated, sun winding its way through the verdance, touching upon the young Okumo as Meruin moves through the verdance.
The little Okumo was alone, and had been alone for nearly a month. Her mother, a recent recruit to one of the tracking squads in the village was deployed, looking for one of the few shinobi who dare leave this land. Meanwhile, spring had cracked open the forests and new life began emerging. The buds of trees opened to their broad leaves, taking in the warmth of the mid day sun. However, there was something odd, a strange odor in the air. Suspended in a cocoon near the top of the canopy, lay Puchi. Spiders hovered around her feverishly, many entering her body and then coming out, engorged and falling off of her almost dead. A pool of spiders appeared to be almost swimming in an ooze that sept out of their body. The spiders would then move over to another tree that had a vine growing on it that was slowly being consumed by the spiders. Puchi, herself was unconscious.
It was the smell that caught Meruin, drawing him up short. It was… never a good thing. He paused, face unchanging and slightly detached as it was prone to be, as he drew himself up to his full height, slight as it was. "Puchi…"
The young Okumo leapt tree-wards, finding his way through the dense branches with ease, body moving with the precision of a spider. It was not long before he came upon the cocooned girl, havking tracked her by scent. The sight of her drew him up short.
Have to say. Nature just seemed to get cooler to Seki. It was weird. This place stuck out. A dome of trees, cleared out, the sun barely visible if not for the light that did seem to seep through. It was a really cool sight. She was still lost. She had been in this oasis for a matter of days. Whatever she killed, was dinner. That was what she was taught right? Being a kid from Kiri, you had to be tough, but as this may be read like it seemed a cool scenario, it really wasn't. Half the time, poor Seki, was terrified. What ever wild animal that managed to scare the bittles out of her, was incinerated, just because. She would, even now, be running into the clearing, screaming her head off, a lone rabbit seen chasing her.
Soon the girl would run into a nearby tree, only to come to a cartoonish stand, and just let loose all kind of flame on the poor bunny. It was kind of weird.. but it was what it had been. Seki's natural reaction to getting scared? Unleash flame on whatever was scary.
Puchi laid still in the cocoon, the specially woven web blocking all but the faintest light, yet open enough to allow every breeze that ruffled through the trees brush across the girl's body. It would not take a skilled medic to know she was sick, but just what would be wrong could remain a mystery. The colonies that took care of the girl for her mother worked at a feverish pace, paying little attention to the approaching Meruin and Sekisetsu. However, the squeal of aggravation from the subtle increase in temperature during her fiery outburst may be well heard in the surrounding area.
Hisakawa walked silently through the calm, peaceful wilderness. Well.. it was calm and peaceful until a rabbit exploded in flame. The tall swordswoman raised an eyebrow, glancing that direction. In the flickering flames, she finally sees the movement in the trees, spotting the two Okumo. She silently observes.. they always did act strange to her, but itis their way.
Meruin's nostrils flared as he rose, silk slipping from his poors as twining tendrils. He took a step off of the branch he was on and was held aloft by the spider silk on higher branches. It lifted him over to the airborne cocoon, the Okumo's hair wrapping around and winding with Puchi's tether, bringing him close.
His eyes flickered backwards at the sudden flare of light and heat nearby, seeming almost as if they had not registered them before he looked back to the small girl in front of him. His hand reached out, ignoring her spiders and letting his own pour from his arm onto hers. He, first, began to search for any obvious wounds that may have festered and caused her sickness.
A sudden chill goes through his spine and his gaze flickers towards Hisakawa. He inclines his head in politeness.
"Ha..ha..ha..", would be said as she would stare down at the burning remains of what had been infront of her. Seki would look to it, and sweatdrop. "Man.. I could have sworn it was bigger." She would look to the crumbling mess. She'd even crouch down to see if she hadn't fried the thing to dust. It would crumble upon touch. "Awwww… dammnnn. There goes lunch." She would look to the place and say, "Now where am I?!", before looking around the trees, and workings. She was on foot, and on the ground. Too lazy to climb up one of the trees around her, and lacking any walkings to make things easy, Seki seemed to be on her own a little while, until she would then stumble on what had been… the snooty woman? Yeah!! The really mean one with no personality!!
"Hey? Ain't you one of the Mitsuo-chan's friends?", looking up at the woman, and then following her eyes, to the spot where Meruin was sitting… with a next? "Hey Meruin? You lay eggs?? Whoa!! You're a girl!!!"
Meruin would fine no sores on the small Okumo's body, however, the moment his spider's touched her arm, a segment of spiders stopped what they were doing, facing his. Suddenly, a wave of chittering erupted from Puchi's brood as they moved in a cautious defensive manner. Finally, from deep within the small girl, emerged a large spider. This spider resembled a tarantula, though about the size of a softball, it was fairly large for the breed. The spider was covered in a fine white hair that covered everything except a few bare splotches of scarred gray skin. The eyes of the spider were red, but clouded over with damage and cataracts. The spider glared at the Meruin's brood, its longer thicker guard hairs standing up as the spider moved his body to prepare hurling the specialized hairs at them until it was confident that they meant no harm. The old grey spider then looked towards Meruin, despite being blind. For a moment, since the need for display was over, the age and health of the spider seemed to deteriorate before his eyes.
A soft chittering emerged from the spider, however, familiar with the language, Meruin himself would know what was being said. "I am Whisper, I have been the mother of her brood since shortly after the accident that has left her blind. Her body has been ravaged by poison. She, accidentally consumed some Rosary Peas. The brood and I have pulled most of the poison out of her system. Most of the older generations of her brood will be dying soon, succumbing to the poison. Her mother has not been to visit, and my scouts have not been able to locate her. When we pass, there will be little to protect the girl as her body regains strength after fighting off the poison." The old spider said calmly, stating the situation, but not requesting anything of the boy.
Hiasakawa looks down at the little fire-starter. "You need to speak with respect when addressing your superiors. And you need more control of your jutsus."
Meruin spared Sekisetsu only a glance and a nod, obviously more important things stealing his attention. He moved cautiously, well aware of the harm that the girl's brood could do. The sight of the larger spider, though, drew him completely still, recognizing something in the mother of Puchi's brood. The stillness was complete, preternatural, and held him in thrall with a grip of iron.
And then the moment was over and the spider had accepted his presence, seeming to sag with the release of tension. The eight year old listened with the gravity of one beyond his years, reacting in no way to the news. But after a few seconds, when Whisper's chittering conversation came to a close, his lips did part and sound did accompany.
"Is there no other general to take your place when you fail, Deadly One?"
Hisakawa watched from the distance. Whatever was going on in the tree between the two spider-nins was a clan issue and was none of her concern.
Whisper shook her head slightly, "Not really, the Father of the brood died earlier this morning. He took of the first of the poison into himself. Hoping to spare me from partaking of it as long as could be done. However, almost all that are left are small, most are just a handful of molts old. Juvenile, children not unlike Puchi herself. Before seeing them take their lives in the poison, I took it in me. Because of my size, I knew I could handle much more than they. I hoped you would come. Quite frankly, I was counting on it." The old spider said through its chirps and chitterlings. "However, I'm not sure what the elders would do to you if they knew you would harbor one such as this. It would be direct insubordination, knowing she was to be purged."
Meruin took this information in without action besides his response, his own chirps and clacking sounds flowing in cadence, his body exuding minute scents in the aid of complex conversation. "I am a… favored," started the boy, the meaning as clear as he could make it. "So long as I did not hide it from them, or am not caught hiding it from them, at least, they would… humor me, I suppose. They would expect me to make her into something they could use, but it would be preferable to death, would it not?"
He glanced down at Hisakawa, inclining his head, taking a moment as his mind switched from a baser language to normal speech. "…Excuse me, Swords Mistress. I will attend to you shortly."
He looked back to Whisper, posing the question, after another pause. "Have you already ingested enough of the poison to insure your death?"
Whisper slowly nodded her head, "Yes, we could sense your status the moment your brood stepped onto Puchi-chan. You are even more prized than her mother amongst the elders of the clan. Perhaps, there is some hope for Puchi to impress upon the elders. She has amazing sensory skills despite being blind and through this ordeal, she has shown at least a high tolerance to poison. I am not sure if you are familiar with the Rosary Pea. Its seeds has a toxin called Abrin, which attacks the ribosomes. The ribosomes are the builders of protein, without protein, the body cannot function. This, may prove to be something useful for the clan, especially if she can pass the resistance on to others at some time." she said, slowly laying her body down on Puchi's arm. "As for me, yes, I know I have consumed enough to die. The last time we ran counts on her Abrin level, it was very negligible and I am already feeling the effects of the poison on my body."
Meruin nodded slowly, eyes shifting as he attempted to determine a name for the poison in regular speech. "No. This poison has not come up in my studies…" He lets a breath out through his nose. "I am sorry to hear of your death, Elder Queen. I would have liked to have learned from you. You seem to know much."
His hands moved over towards Puchi's shoulder and chitin spread over his nail as a black talon. "I will do what I may to see that Puchi lives. The best I can do, now, is draw the rest of the poison myself so that more of your children may live. Your body will nourish them so that even if death, you give them life."
The staggered to her feet and walked towards him, acting in a slightly aggressive manner. "There is no need, for you to take into you any of the poison. The Abrin that remains is mostly denatured. Her body is strong enough to pull her through. That is, with support. Piercing her skin to draw it out now, would do little good, and actually leave her at risk of infection. Most of her white blood cell count has been depleted to fight off the poison, that leaves her with nothing to defend herself from bacteria. I know you mean well, but trust me in this." The old queen said as her body weakened. "For now, I'd suggest transporting her to the hospital. Set her up with ringer solution to nourish and hydrate her and an antibiotic to prevent infection. Apart from that, time is all she needs, the poison has run its course in her, she just needs to recover." With that, the old queen seemed to collapsed, but she appeared to remain alert as she breathed her shallow breathes.
Meruin arched a brow, the action containing a vaguely air of gently disapproval, as if asking if she thought that the eight year old knew so little. Yet and still, he acceded to her advice with an inclination of the head. "It will be so."
His hand flipped over, held palm up before the failing queen. "I will take her presently. Would you like to be with her to assure her safety? Would you live long enough to do so?"
Almost as concession, to comfort if the queen could not do so, the small boy added, "I may be trusted." Puchi would be brought to safety.
"I know I haven't much left, but I would not leave Puchi-chan. She has a small pouch around her neck, set me in there." She said, allowing the boy to scoop her into his hands and into the pouch. "I know, you can be trusted. I wouldn't be doing this if I thought you couldn't be." The spider said weakly. "At least, when I go, I know she will be safe. That was all I had hoped for."
Meruin did as commanded, deftly slipping Whisper into the pouch around Puchi's neck, letting her rest in the warm confines of the container. He pressed his light hand gently against the hidden spider's head and said, "It is well. You have done your duty and will do so with every breath Puchi takes."
The Okumo and the cocoon begin to lower, heading towards the ground. The silk that held Puchi was bolstered by Meruin's consciously stronger silk and he took the small bundle into his arms, landing lightly on the ground. He looked to Hisakawa, then, misted eyes swirling with dark colors.