Date: 27th March, 2010
Hinotori leads a mission to investigate the tower that rose mysteriously from the ground.
"Broken Memories Pt. 1 - Forget"
The River [Land of Fire]
It is afternoon on a warming, sunny spring day. The field of tall grass that lies just beyond the border of the Land of Wind's deserts is littered with boulders of various sizes. There is also a pillar of stone about 800 ft in diameter and a mile high that has torn itself up out of the ground and now stands still and silent. A tower can be distantly made out atop the pillar, but only if one stands in the pillar's shadow. The sun tends to make it hard to look straight up without being blinded.
Though the initial emergence of the tower and the pillar it rests upon was quite bothersome to the local wildlife, more than a week after its appearance birds have begun to fly about it, insects are beginning to crawl on it, and both thrill-seekers and miscreants have come to gawk at the pillar or to try to find some way to profit from it, respectively. There are also ninja. The elite ANBU Black Ops of later years will not come into their own for quite some time. Meanwhile, there are a few scout ninja that have been assigned to keep an eye on the area but not to do anything else unless there is a threat to the Leaf Village.
And now an official team has come to investigate directly. They will not be the first to have scaled the tower, but perhaps there are still secrets yet hidden that can be discovered.
Having been contacted directly by the Hokage, Uchiha Hinotori was asked to lead the team to find out more information about this mysterious tower. The team all had been picked out and with some preparation left the village to come to the site. Having full confidence in the team he was assigned with, Hinotori led the way to their destination. Having kept their pace moving pretty quickly, Hinotori wanted to have all the time they needed once they arrived at the tower.
Once at the tower Hinotori looked up, covering his eyes to keep from becoming fully blind by the sun, "Looks like we have a ways to go up, does everyone here know how to use tree walking?" he asks as he turns to look at his team. "If not, this will prove a bit difficult." he says. "Now as for our mission details, we are to find out how this tower came about and rose, as well as find out any other information we can about it's origin." he states. "Kuroji-san, would you be able to use your bugs to aid us as advance recon, and threat indicators?" he asks as he looks to Kuroji, hoping that he could. He looks to Yuzuna, "Yuzuna-san, I will need your help with also keeping an eye out for traps and other ninja who may be here doing the same thing we will be doing." he says to her. Feeling a bit nervous, but trying to push his nervousness away. "We need to investigate as much of this tower we can, then report our findings back to the Hokage-sama. Is everyone ready?" he asks.
Being assigned to the team, Kuroji had to find a replacement for his class at the Ninja Academy. He moved out with the team and watched as they arrived at the site, it had been a week since he had been here, since the Tower first shot up, when he was on this mission. Recalling what had happened last time he surveyed the area slowly, from behind his blue tinted shades. The cool wind blowing across him causing his black long coat and hair to rustle slightly, he watched as Hinotori surveyed the area and start to hand out assignments.
"Aye, I can use my insects in advanced Recon and threat indicators." he said slowly, as he brought his right hand up and a small bit of his swarm started to move around him, while another breed much larger started to burrow beneath him as they crawled out from his legs. "I am going to send some up and some underneath and around the surrounding area, they will relay information back to me and I will update you Hinotori." he said slowly, his face straight, his tone a bit different seeming more serious then normal.
Leaping to the last branch, Yuzuna focuses chakra into her hands as her palms and feet grip at the rough bark of the branch, momentum leaning her forward as she narrows her pale opal eyes slightly. Dressed in her usual dark gear for missions, her long ebony hair is wrapped up and out of the way, the material of a cloth mask unusually covering half of her face. Her keen pale eyes look over the face of the tower calculatingly for several silent moments, blinking idly before glancing down to the ground at Hinotori as he speaks her name. "It does not seem out of the ordinary, with the exception that it is in the middle of no where." she murmurs out loud. Narrowing her soft lavender eyes up at the tower again, not a moment passes before the pale, smooth skin along her temples bulge with veins and the intense gaze of the Byakugan.
Kuroji's kikaichu both fly up along the stone pillar and burrow into the ground. The ones in the ground pick up nothing in particular out of the ordinary… Except for faint traces of an energy not unlike Chakra. And it's in the dirt, not in any living thing in the area. The pillar has a greater amount of this Chakra-like energy in it, but it is still only traces, not a substantial enough amount to be used for anything.
When Yuzuna uses Byakugan, however, there is a different story. Not only are there traces of an energy that is similar to Chakra, and yet not quite, but it seems to be wormed throughout the pillar like little roots, and the higher up that she looks, the more dense the 'root' networks become. Eventually, it would become evident that there is a sort of 'white' energy that is permeating the pillar, and further, it is coming from the tower at the top. It's not Chakra. So… What is it?
Some other people in the area appear to just be on-lookers or travelers, and though they are also examining the pillar, they are standing at a distance, and don't look like ninja in the slightest. When they spot a real ninja team they begin moving off to the west, towards the Land of Wind.
Hinotori bows his head to each, "Alright, keep me advised." he says to each Kuroji and Yuzuna. Looking around the area for a moment he notices those people who were meandering about now leaving. "Lets get moving." he says as he leaps up along side of the pillar and begins running along it's surface. He glances back to make sure that both his members were following then he looks up. They had a long ways to go and while the two of them used their abilities Hinotori was going to take point. As they run along, he keeps his eyes scanning the area for any traps that may pop up.
With the sun shining down upon them Hinotori focused on a spot right below where the sun was shining so as not to blind himself. He didn't have any sunglasses that Kuroji wore so keeping an eye out for traps would be a bit difficult, but if Goh's report was correct, they may not find anything.
Kuroji continues to receive the constant influx of information of the area, weeding out the useful from the useless as the proceed to make their way up, "Hinotori, traces of something, similar to chakra is all my Kikaichus are finding. Its in the dirt… around the pillar.." he says slowly, as he continues to rub his chin, "They haven't noticed anything else." he says slowly as he sends his underground Kikaichus under the tower to see if they could find anything, his eyes moved across the area slowly, his blue reflective shades, protecting his eyes from the sun as he moved. "Yuzuna, do you see the weird chakra like energy my Kikaichus keep reporting?" he asks, his tone still serious and his face still straight.
Yuzuna frowns as she look over the tower for several long moments, her expression hidden behind the partial mask as she releases the chakra through her hands and idly slips over the side of the branch, falling for a brief moment before landing in a smooth crouch. Rising to her feet fluidly, she approaches the others at an even pace as lifts a hand, lightly curling a slender finger to pull down the cloth mask under her chin, intense Byakugan still on the tower. "This is… strange." Yuzuna murmurs thoughtfully. "Its something similar to chakra, though white. It laces upwards through it like thin veins, though the higher up it goes the more dense it becomes. Near the top, almost until it becomes something like… a core of energy. Or a heart." Her frown deepens slightly, "That sounds peculiar… an object like this, rising out of the ground for no reason, with a core of energy at its peak…"
As the three ninja begin to head up the pillar, there do not appear to be any traps or counter-measures of any kind. Or at least at this point there is nothing halting their progress. Which means they have a long way to run, and there do not appear to be any ledges or outcroppings to rest on. So by the time that the ninja reach the base of the tower, one mile above the ground, they may be a bit tired, depending on their overall levels of initial stamina. Tree Walking costs Chakra after all.
However, once they do reach the base of the tower, they would find some interesting facts. For one, the massive bricks that make up the tower are each about the size of a horse, and they must weigh quite a bit. For another, it would appear the bricks have been subjected to rather extreme temperatures. They are cracked and worn as though they had been heated greatly, but at present they are quite cold, with only the sun's light warming them slightly.
The same 'white' energy (as opposed to the blue-white of Chakra) that has been flowing from the tower into the pillar below remains present. It can even be felt vaguely, as a sort of static tingling in the air. There are large openings carved out of the tower's walls at regular intervals that might qualify as 'windows' (though there is no glass or frame).
Taking in the information that is being given by Kuroji, "Alright, keep me posted. Also if they can, find out how far this tower goes below ground and find out if there is anything directly below the tower supporting it." he calls back to Kuroji. Keeping his pace going and not trying to out run his team mates, he nods his head to Yuzuna, "Alright. It looks like we will find our answers further up." he says. "What could've made this come up and why now?" he asks to no one in particular but something must've triggered this tower come up.
Coming up to the lip of the tower, Hinotori slows a bit as they are now finally at the top. His eyes scanning the area, looking for any signs of ninja or possibly wardens of the tower standing around or milling about. Upon not seeing anything he turns to his team, "Take a breather but keep your eyes open." he says. Feeling a slight tingling sensation, Hinotori continues looking around, he moves to where the large openings, which looked to have been carved out. Checking to make sure they are not being targeted, Hinotori continues to survey the area. "Looks like this was done a long time ago." he says.
Kuroji continued to gather information, awaiting the report back from his Kikaichus on the depth the pillar tower goes or if there is anything beneath it underground. He slowly places his hand on the ground and a larger portion of his Kikaichus quickly move across the ground and scatter inside the tower, most just to do a general sweep, however a few are sent towards the source of the energy, moving through cracks and the likes, "Sending out a further recon team on the tower, Hinotori, still no word on the depth or if there is anything below the pillar." he says slowly, his hand moving as he rubs his goatee looking around at the area.
Kuroji slowly looked at his two teammate and nodded at the comment to take a breather, his hands moving into his pockets as he get various information from his swarm, scanning the area. He looks at the stones and the design and agrees with Hinotori, "Aye things do to appear to be older, I didn't get that good of a look at it, when it shot up in the air, was more focused on getting the VIP out in case something else happened. Though its odd." he stops slowly, "I was hoping it would explain something… but nothing yet…" he says looking around one more time, "They sent in a diversion to distract us from the Caravan with the VIP, then this shot up while the rest of the team was not close to the caravan…. what was the point…" he asks slowly, looking up at the tower.
At Hinotori's direction, Yuzuna slows to an eventually stop as she breathes deeply, catching her breath as her pale eyes narrow, glancing around still as her intense gaze continues to scan their surroundings for several long moments. When she does begin to breathe a bit more evenly, she turns her gaze to focus on the tower again, looking first to what is beneath her feet to then smoothly look upwards to the peek. Silent for several moments, she lifts a dark brow, "If this thing has something like chakra…" she murmurs softly, "that might suggest that it can use this… energy." Yuzuna turns her head slightly to look to her teammates. "Anyone else feel a little uneasy about the fact that we are standing on this thing?"
As the burrowing insects dig deeper into the ground, looking for the bottom of the pillar, or anything that may lie beneath the earth. The base of the pillar is apparently quite deep, as there is no sign of it so far. The entire pillar seems to be made up of granite and bedrock, taken from the deepest reaches of the earth and fused together somehow — possibly through extreme heat. If that is the case, then the tower itself was probably buried quite deeply as well.
The kikaichi that get into the cracks of the tower and start to look around find nothing that indicates a threat. The energy is more potent here, but it is also seemingly taking no action against the ninja. Hinotori's peek through one of the windows shows that the interior of the tower is quite spacious. There is a sort of 'ring' of stone that hugs the curve of the walls inside the tower, with a large open space that the platform is circling. The 'ground level' as it were, is where Hinotori is presently looking, and thus these 'rings' are above, on the second floor. And the floor above. And above that. And above that. It goes up quite a distance. But the first level of the tower is just a stone floor with some kind of machine at the center. It looks complicated, but it's built from stone and old-looking metal, not any of the 'modern' materials that technology uses in the present.
As Yuzuna voices her concerns, almost as if in response to her words, a *THRUM* passes through the tower as though the entire structure were vibrating. It slowly fades… And then a small chunk of stone hits the floor with a loud CRACK and then clatters for a few seconds before coming to a rest. That came from above…
Having seen the ring on this floor through the first window he was looking at. Hinotori was about to say something when an old machine catches his eyes. "I think I found something." he says. "Yeah." Hinotori says in response to Yuzuna. His raven black bangs slowly begins falling along the side of his face. As he turns back around to get a better view of the interior. Noting the ring in the room, he looks up and notices there are further floors above them. "This place…." he starts to say when the thrum is heard. "Watch Out!" he says as he looks to the others and looking around the platform where they are. As a part of the ceiling fall to the ground, Hinotori starts looking up watching for more cracks or any more of the ceiling falling down on them.
Once things stops, Hinotori looks to the others, "Umm… alright that was odd. Though I think I know what caused that. There is a machine here, also from what I saw this place goes up even further." he states to his two team mates. "Looks like we have quite a bit of work cut out for us." he says.
Kuroji continued to sort through the information, his face was starting to frown. "Meh.. it seems the pillar goes rather deep, still haven't found the end of it and I am pretty deep below the surface…" he says slowly, taking the information from the one searching the tower, "No threats found so far in the tower…" he says slowly, shaking his head, "This makes no sen.." he gets half way through as Yuzuna voices her concern and the vibrating starts followed by the crack and clatter from above. His eyes narrow behind his blue tinted shades. "Something isn't right.. do you feel it Hinotori? It a unease…." then a sudden bit of information comes and Kuroji's face looks stunned. He looking back up at the top of the tower, "Hinotori! We are not alone.. someone… or something… is up there. I am picking up actual chakra… that is not us… but It's huge… I mean its more then most Jounins' Chakra I have been exposed too." he says as he looks at the top of the tower, his hand moving up to redirect some of his Kikaichus out to find out the information.
The tower beneath their feet shudders, chunks of stone falling to the floor from within before it slowly settles into silence again. Yuzuna sharply narrows her eyes as she looks straight up the side of the tower with suspicion. "Great… now it is talking…" she murmurs to herself. Snapping her pale lavender eyes towards her teammates. She sees the chakra out of the corner of her eye the same moment that Kuroji looks towards the top of the tower. The Hyuuga kunoichi blinks in stunned surprise as her lips part, speechless. "That…" she whispers, "that chakra… is concentrated… There is something or someone else here." Shaking her dark head, Yuzuna glances back to Hinotori, "I recommend that we become stealthy from here on out. If there is something here, it would be best if they do not know we are as well."
As the kikaichu make their way up the tower, towards that Chakra source above, they encounter no resistance. The 'ceiling' is completely non-existent, except at the very top floor. It may take the insects a little while to fly or crawl up twelve stories, but they would eventually get there. And find that the Chakra source is ABOVE the ceiling. There's a stairwell in an alcove in one of the walls that leads up into a chamber on top of the tower, but since these particular kikaichu are blind, they may not realize there's another way to get to what they're detecting.
Those with normal eyes (or Byakugan eyes) would see this stairwell if they ever get up there. Along the way, however, they would see that each floor's 'ring' platform is lined with more stone-and-metal machines. Smaller versions of the large one on the ground floor. One of them has been tipped over, and appears to have been broken in its fall. A red crystal lies on the floor on the 8th floor, next to that fallen machine, and it glows intensely. It is clearly full of energy… Chakra or otherwise. But it's not the source that was detected.
Meanwhile, the insects in the ground more than a mile below have discovered where the bottom of the pillar is. There's a cavern that the tower and pillar were once resting inside of. There appears to be nothing special about it to the burrowing kikaichu senses. Whatever made the tower rise does not appear to have been inside the cavern itself.
Kuroji scofed a bit at himself, as he sent out a few Kikaichus towards the blind ones so that they could make it up the stairwell quietly and he could gain intel, before he looked at Hinotori, "Hnotori, the Tower and Pillar, came from a cavern underground, the means of bringing the tower and pillar, did not come from below also the source of the Chakra is located above the top ceiling, I have sent another wave to move up the stairwell and gather intel. he says softly, looking up, he rubs his goatee slowly, his instincts told him to bring out the rest of his hive, instead of the handful he has out, but the buzzing would make him noted, he shakes his head as he looks towards Hinotori for the next order.
Being a Hyuuga, Yuzuna sighs lightly before wordlessly and boldly slipping through the window, righting herself rightway again and relieving some of the stress that was put through her slender legs, releasing the chakra through her feet. Rising, she rolls her neck slightly before turning her intense pale eyes around the inside of the first floor of the tower, waiting long enough for Kuroji and Hinotori to follow her before placing her sole focus to her surroundings. She lifts her chin, turning her eyes upwards in a slight frown. "We will not find anything without moving forward…" Yuzuna murmurs absently. "So lets move forward…"
Looking down and feeling the wear of chakra usage, Hinotori follows in behind Yuzuna. Slipping in through the window next to Yuzuna he gestures for Kuroji to follow in and nods his head at the information that he relays to him. Keeping his voice lowered, "Alright we move. Kuroji-san thanks for the intel. If they can't find anything else beneath us, it's time to bring them above us." he states. Looking to Yuzuna as she speaks, "Lets move, and see if there are any other machines like this one." he points the machine. Taking a few moments to catch a second wind, Hinotori looks for a set of stairs that may be here and once found he would begin quietly walking up. He knew he didn't need to tell his team to be prepared, that should be automatic, they are Chuunin after all. Keeping his eyes peeled for anything, Hinotori keeps vigilant.
There are some stairs leading between the various levels. Making their way up silently should not be an issue, unless they do something dumb like knocking a stone off of one of the platforms. Eventually they would make it to the 8th floor, the one with the tipped-over machine and the glowing crystal. Unless they choose to pause there and investigate the crystal, the stairs continue on up to the twelfth floor. And then there's that alcove in the wall, with a separate stair case that leads into the chamber above… From the outside there is a metal dome capping the tower. So the chamber is likely inside of that dome.
The kikaichu that enter the chamber beforehand, though, would catch sight of a tall, human-looking figure standing inside a distance away. Detail is hard to make out due to some kind of dust or ash that is floating around in the air.
Kuroji slowly rubs his goatee as he moves inside following behind the other two. As more information is relayed back towards him he nods slowly, "Humanoid figure in the dome on the top, possible containments, not sure." he says slowly and softly to Hinotori with a small nod, "Can't make him out through the possible containments, could just be dust or something worse." he says slowly, looking up as the move reaching the 8th floor, he looks at Hinotori, with a look that asked if they where going to stop and wait or if they where going to take a closer look at it. During this, every so often a Kikaichu returns to the hive, as Kuroji no longer deems them needed for recon, though still keeping visual on the figure in the dome.
Yuzuna lowers her chin slightly in a subtle nod of acknowledgement to Hinotori, though is silent as she follows him slowly, steadily along the inclining stairs. Intense pale opal eyes narrow with hyperawareness, keeping her focus and attention in front of them as they move their way silently through each level of the imposing tower. Once at the eighth floor, she frowns some as she looks over the machine, snapping her eyes towards the glow of the red crystal glowing, evident energy source for the mechanism. Yuzuna presses her lips together for a brief moment before turning to approach the crystal of interest, kneeling slightly as she gives it another glance over. Pulling her knapsack over her shoulder, she slips it off of her slender arm to the ground, pulling at the strings and smoothly pulling out a spare rag.
Reaching out, she places the rag on top of the red crystal and carefully wraps it up in the rag, containing it before slipping it back in her knapsack, standing and straightening her back. Wordlessly she turns and approaches her companions again, following behind them upwards along the staircase once more. "I gathered the crystal that was near the fallen machine. We can take it back with us to the village for analyzing." Yuzuna lifts her chin, focuses her eyes upwards again with a frown. "You see that too, Kuroji-san?…"
Upon arriving at the 8th floor, Hinotori gestures for everyone to take a breather. As they did though he notices the broken machine and the crystal that was on the floor. He was about to walk towards it, but Yuzuna was already on the move. When Kuroji relays information about the figure above them, he looks to them both. "Keep up with our stealth." he says to them. "Yuzuna-san if you can keep more of a watch on him, and let me know of any movement he makes. Kuroji-san, have your bugs do the same. We are not going to engage unless attacked first." he says in a whisper. As Yuzuna comes back with the crystal he nods his head, his face serious. "Alright. I'll take point, Yuzuna behind me and Kuroji you got our backs." he says to them and once said he begins going up the stairs. Keeping his steps soft and quiet he be ascends towards the twelfth floor.
Yuzuna gathers the crystal without incident. It glows, and is slightly warm, but is not warm enough to be a concern. The kikaichu that Kuroji has in place, and Yuzuna's own Byakugan, would both see the same thing. Though the large Chakra source is hard to make out any details of, it is definitely shaped like a humanoid… And now it's moving. As Hinotori ascends the stairs and reaches the top, he would find himself in a very large circular room. A pedestal lies at the center of the room, with transparent tubes running down it, into and across the floor. The tubes that go across seem to reach to the walls and then travel upwards, to the ceiling. What their purpose is does not seem to be obvious.
The air is filled with particulate matter of some kind. Some grey-white flakes of something that float around in the air like snow. And standing about thirty feet away, with his back to Hinotori, is a giant of a man. He appears to be close to 8 feet tall, dressed in a black robe with red clouds on it. He is facing the empty pedestal, but he suddenly starts walking around it. The tall stranger then seems to spot Hinotori, as he lets out a deep, "Hnn?" of surprise or perhaps merely curiosity.
The man's face is not visible. Over it he is wearing a smooth black mask with a stylized red question mark on it. There is no evidence of eyeholes, yet he seems to be perfectly aware of Hinotori. "Hmm…" he hmmms. Then he points at the pedestal with one of his powerful-looking hands and asks in an almost inhumanly deep voice, "Would you happen to know what happened to a red sphere that was floating here?"
Carefully moving up the stairs, Hinotori kept as quiet a possible as he moved up, he didn't want to alert the figure. As he reaches the top of the stair, Hinotori scans the room, taking in the details, then he slowly brings his gaze upon the giant of a man. Taking in his size and calculating quickly in his mind of how fast he could possibly be. When the cloaked man notices Hinotori, the Uchiha Chuunin moves to his right giving the others enough room to come in and move around. Keeping tabs as to where Kuroji and Yuzuna was, Hinotori took a step or two forward. Once the cloaked man looks to him and speaks, Hinotori was already looking at the pedestal. Knowing that Yuzuna had already found a crystal, he wasn't about to let this man know that. "No. We've only arrived." he says in a monotone voice. Figuring this man may be here for the same reasons they were, he knew he and the others had to be cautious on what they say. Trying to place his clothing and mask, Hinotori draws a blank.
The moment the shape above them moves, Yuzuna slows with a brief pause, intense gaze narrowing with growing caution as she stares at the figure above them. "It is moving…" she murmurs lightly, just before Hinotori reaches the top in front of them. Her gaze flicks to the Uchiha as he leads them on to the peak of the tower, only to be met by a man in unusual robes. Yuzuna is silent as she studies the man for several long seconds before flicking up at him in surprise at the question, "Missing?" she murmurs lightly, only for the confused frown to form again. "I do not suppose you know anything about this tower, do you." the Hyuuga kunoichi asks lightly, though not holding her breath that he would divulge anything. Every once in a while she glances to his right hand, pausing there though her expression stoic, slender hands subtly tense at her sides.
Kuroji was silent again, simply watching the scene, standing back slightly, his hand lightly at his sides as the image of the cloaked man, reflecting in his blue tinted shades. He listens to the words being exchanged between Hinotori and the cloaked figure, slowly a few Kikaichus he sent out, move back and crawl up his legs as Yuzuna asks a few questions. His eyes, move slowly behind his sunglasses as he tucks his hands in his pockets, standing there silently his face devoid of emotion as he waits for the response from the cloaked figure.
The stranger hmmmms, but does not question Hinotori's answer. Yuzuna's question, however, gets him to tilt his head to the side a bit. "Haa… I know quite a bit about this tower. But I am more interested in what >was< here, not what is >still< here." He lifts a hand to stroke along the bottom edge of his mask, turning to look at the pedestal again. He does not appear to feel he is in danger at all from the ninja.
"…What a bother. I went through all the trouble of raising this tower just so someone else could take the Stone of Spirit before I arrive." He lowers his left hand to his side, and turns back to the three ninja. "Hmm? Are you still here?" He tilts his head again. "…Ah. I suppose I had best deal with you." Then he raises his right hand and points it at the trio. On his palm is the kanji for 'Memory'. The inkor whatever it isappears to move and crawl across his skin as though it were a living thing. To Yuzuna's vision there is a build-up of Chakra surging towards that right hand with an intensity not unlike staring at the sun.
As the stranger speaks about him having raised the tower, Hinotori's focuses more on the man. Filing away the name of the stone that the stranger was looking for. He didn't know if the one they found was this crystal but at least now they know that the tower was raised by this man and that he is looking for a crystal. "Why did you raise the tower?" he asks, but sees that asking that wasn't going to get an answer due to the stranger stating that he and his team were still here. Not liking the sound of him having to deal with them, Hinotori channels chakra to his eyes and activates his Sharingan. Moving into a stance, but noticing the man raising his hand towards him and his team, Hinotori readies himself. Noticing the ink due to the clarity that the Sharingan gives him, rise up on the mans arm, "What the…"
Yuzuna narrows her eyes hard as she watches the chakra building up in the unknown man's hand. "Kuso…" she swears darkly, scowling. Whatever this man had in mind must not be good, as the kanji for the word Memory was in his palm. He must have used this jutsu a lot in order for it to form the way it had in his hand. Thinking quickly, she reaches into her pouch at her side, pulling out rope and smokeballs. Without hesitating she throws them at the floor between the unknown man and her team, instantly igniting thick smoke into the air that her Byakugan still pierces through. With rope in hand, she laces her chakra through it as she throws one end outwards, extending it tautly in front of Hinotori and Kuroji, only to then yank it backwards. The intended result would have both of them falling backwards and down the staircase, if she calculated it right. Yuzuna doesn't even give the robed man a glance as she leaps through the hole in the floor as well, flying alongside the stairs before tucking and rolling along the floor just one floor down from the top.
The stranger hnn?s as Yuzuna throws down a smoke bomb. He lets it erupt into a dense cloud and block his vision, and even lets Yuzuna yank her allies down the stairs before jumping down as well. "…What a bother," he mutters. Then what little of his skin is visible (namely that of his hands) turns a dark-brown that is nearly black. He raises his left hand, clenches it in a fist, and…
Meanwhile, the three ninja successfully fall/leap down the stairs and make it to the 11th floor. Then the floor above them comes crashing down like the ceiling just exploded. The stranger almost seems to hang in the air for several seconds as everything moves in slow motion. He turns in mid-air, right arm extended. The ink on the man's palm finally settles into a solid shape. "Seal Technique:" The kanji for 'Forget' glows red on his skin briefly. Then he intones, "Lethe." A moment later the world seems to be being sucked into that symbol. Everything around is stretching without moving, turning into a tunnel of warped reality, until nothing else exists except for that symbol. And then…
…Hinotori, Yuzuna, and Kuroji are standing in the tower, on the 11th floor. The ceiling seems to have been damaged somehow, because there's a huge hole in it. Heavy stones lie strewn about, and ancient machinery is damaged or destroyed. A grey and white substance falls from the other side of the hole, raining down slowly like snow flakes. Stranger? What stranger? Was the ceiling always like this? What was just going on?
The stranger, meanwhile, slams into the earth a mile below, creating a crater from the impact. He stays where he is for a moment, and then rises to his feet. His skin turns back to its original coloration. He says nothing, and just walks away…
As the smoke bomb went off, Hinotori starts to back away, but as he does he feels a strong tug as something, a rope or something pulls him backwards along with Kuroji. Falling down the steps, Hinotori gets to his feet and as he does he he helps Kuroji get t his feet. But as the ceiling comes down and he looks up at the stranger, some weird things happen then
What the hell just happened? Looking around, then up as sunlight streams in from the ceiling, Hinotori quirks a brow. His vision still sharp, and a ting of red is seen. "Why did I…" he starts to ask as he deactivates the Sharingan. Rubbing the back of his head, he sees the damaged machine then looks over to his team. Noticing they were alright, he shakes his head and for a few moments as he watches some grey white substance fall to the ground. "Where are we?" he asks.