Date: September 20, 2010
The aftermath of the Sunagakure Siege on the side of the ones who laid siege, as opposed to its victims.
"Broken Memories Pt. 2 - Aftermath"
Tao Shih Safehouse - Land of Grass
The location is a safehouse in the middle of nowhere. Somewhere in the Land of Grass, it's just a large cabin-like building. Nothing special. There's some people living upstairs on the ground level that provide hospitality, directions, etc. to wear travellers or people who are lost. However, there are sometimes >other< kinds of people that stop by the cabin. People like Tomoyo. People like the >Tao Shih<. Hidden in the cellar, among the various boxes of supplies, the preserved and chilled food, and so forth, there is a wall that doesn't exist. It looks like it's there anyway, but it isn't really. Just walking towards it until one would run into it if it were a real wall reveal that it is an optical illusion. There's an open space — the corner of a hallway, that has been painted and designed to look like a wall from the front, and from any front-facing angles. Once inside the hall, and around the corner, there's another room. Nothing suspicious about it, other than the fact it was hidden in plain sight. But concealed security cameras — fairly high-tech for the time period — watch this room, and when an authorized individual is identified either by a systems operator or the automated recognition devices, then after exact thirteen seconds of standing in one place, the floor starts sinking and then descends down a shaft. The floor is an elevator, essentially.
At the bottom of the elevator is a much larger area — a cave — with various people working in it, and computers, and supply rooms, and guards, and so on. An entire secret facility right underneath some cabin in the middle of nowhere. That is where Tomoyo was sent after her help at the Sunagakure Siege mission. And it >should< be where she is now. Somewhere within, whether that be in a private room, or in her 'papa's quarters, or watching the technicians, or whatever else she may want to do.
After being sent away from the Land of Wind, not long after the start of the commotion that Papa had set into motion, Tomoyo had been told to seek out one of the safehouses that was located somewhere in the Land of Grass. This little trip encompassed a span of several days, moving at a moderate pace and only stopping for food, water and the restroom. And even then, she did so discreetly to avoid leaving an impression to the people around her. Of course, that was easy enough since she looked just like most everyone else! All the while, the girl was wondering just what was going on back in the direction she had come from and if it was really OK for her to just leave her Papa. She knew that he was a tough cookie, but even still, if something were to happen to him and she wasn't there to at least try and stop it. She's pretty sure she wouldn't be able to go on living without redeeming herself in some fashion.
After her trek into the Land of Grass, Tomoyo finally happened upon the unassuming little cottage that was the cover up for the true purpose of the facility. And that was to house Tao Shih operatives without drawing attention from the public eye. When she first showed up at the cabin, those who resided there welcomed her warmly and at first assumed that she was just another passerby. At least until she informed them of just who she was. The entrance to the underground facility, despite being in plain sight still warranted the girl to lead with a hand outstretched just in case she wandered into a wall instead. Nothing like walking confidently forward and then realizing the wall that shouldn't be there is actually there.
After locating the hallway that led to the elevator, Tomoyo was then granted access to the basement level where an assortment of people were busy at work with various instruments and such. This is where the girl's streak of boredom would begin. It only took a few days of pestering and overlooking all the workers before she began to feel an aura of annoyance from everyone that drove her off. Despite her station within the organization, she didn't like when people were displeased with her. This left Tomoyo to just wander around aimlessly, watching from afar. It didn't take long before she knew almost every nook and cranny of the place. Most of the things she came across were above her level of understanding.
Today! Today was the day where Tomoyo spent most of it laying around, so bored that it made her sleepy. She invited herself into the quarters where supposedly her Papa would use and made herself comfortable in the room and dozed the hours away. She was laying oddly in a chair, leaning back with her mouth wide open and a bit of snoring was going on while drool was dribbling down her cheek. At least she looked like she was sleeping easily. "Mmnnnaaaa… Paaapaaaa…" she muttered dreamily in her sleep.
Suddenly, there is an odd sound like the muffled noise of wind blowing down a pipe. Deep, low, mournful, and going even deeper in tone… In addition to this noise, there is a pinpoint of black that has appeared in Amuro's quarters, floating in the middle of the room. Then the point of black seems to >expand< and change into Amuro — or perhaps he is coming out of that dark pinhole somehow? Either way, there is a loud *CRACK* like a gunshot as the air that used to be where Amuro is standing is violently forced outwards, causing a rush of wind throughout the room that turns the pages of an open book, and flutters a tapestry on the wall.
Amuro lands on the floor, his boots striking the hardwood heavily. Then he wavers slightly, almost seeming to wobble, or be off-balance… But then he shakes his head and turns to walk slowly, but steadily, in the direction of a reclining chair. Only to find Tomoyo is in the room. He stops where he is to look at her. If she woke up from the loud noises, she should be aware of his presence now. Otherwise, she's still lying there asleep. Drooling.
The world about Tomoyo would be wrapped up in that of her dreams. For the most part, her sleep was dreamless, but sometimes bits and pieces of dreams would jump in. Most of these bits and pieces were of a time when the Hyuuga was younger, still learning things and eagerly expecting the return of her Papa. Not surprisingly, these dreams were of those times when Amuro-papa did visit her. This was probably why if anyone even bothered to check in on the slumbering visitor, they'd hear her talking in her sleep about it.
When that dark pinpoint of light appears in the room, it's obviously not noticed by the one sleeping in the room. At least not right away. It's only when the sound of Amuro-papa's arrival is made that Tomoyo is suddenly made aware. The loud gunshot like noise in a more or less silent room is enough to scare the daylights out of Tomoyo. She's literally startled out of sleep and has a bewildered expression on her face as her eyes are fighting to stay open to see. Her body was also shaken by this experience as she had somehow crawled ontop of the back of the recliner like a scared cat would comically cling to the ceiling when frightened.
Reaching up with an arm, she'd rub the sleep and subsequently the drool from her cheek as the sleep induced blurry vision faded and the looming presence of Amuro-papa was right there before her. It was almost like the dream she had! Maybe she was psychic?! A new, latent ability that Tomoyo had?? Unlikely.
"Papa!" the wary expression flashing to that of unbridled mirth. All in a single motion, Tomoyo proceeds to slide off the back of the chair, plant her feet on the ground and fling herself at Amuro in the span of seconds and attempt to wrap her arms around her Papa. "You're here! I knew you'd come back for me. But why did you have to send me away? I could have helped. Or what if you got hurt?!" she says, sounding almost angry.
After a few moments of silence, she's back to normal. "What are all those people out there doing anyways? I tried to figure it out, but they all seemed to get annoyed when I hovered behind them all day. After a while there was nothing to do, and I was so bored. There should be some books around here to read or something." yapping on and complaining about being left out of whatever had happened for the past week or so… she lost track of time after a little while with all that sleeping. Incidentally, she hadn't let go of Amuro just yet. It wasn't often she got to give hugs.
Amuro stands and accepts the hug. He is tired. His physical energy is vastly depleted. He has enough to continue doing some rather impressive things, but the fact remains that he is about half-empty. Such is the price of using the Stone of Body. On the one hand, the attempt at comforting him from his adopted daughter is appreciated. On the other, it makes him even more aware of just how far he has fallen from his original goal. The Sage Stones are too corrupting. He cannot afford to use either the Stone of Spirit OR the Stone of Body without a medium to eliminate the influence of the whispers.
It's too dangerous.
'Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.'
He heaves a deep sigh, and responds to Tomoyo. "I sent you away because it was very dangerous. I did not want or need you to 'help' in that particular way. You already helped by identifying who was a combatant and who was a civilian during the initial stages. Killing civilians would have made the combatants enraged, and they would have fought harder. Instead, they were caught off guard entirely because the villagers that went ahead of them were left unmolested."
He does not answer the other questions quite yet. "I am very tired, Tomo-chan. I need to sit down." Unless she doesn't let go of him, then he takes a single long stride towards the recliner, and seats himself heavily, sighing a bit as the pain of a century-old body flows through his form.
After a while, Tomoyo pretty much having milked that hug for all it was worth, she would relinquish her unyielding hold on her father and take a step back so that she wasn't standing directly in his way anymore. Even though she couldn't see his face, she could feel the wear and tear that had took its toll on Amuro. Her face contorting into that of worry now, all while Papa was standing there silently. And then there was that heavy sigh, confirming what she had felt in the first place.
As Amuro-papa finally speaks as to why he had sent her away, she wasn't overly happen about the reasons. They were flimsy at best. She was well aware that things could be dangerous. She was willing to put her life on the line for the only strong tie she has in the world! But she wouldn't tell him that much… he'd probably just scold her for wanting to recklessly endanger herself like that. With a forlorn little sigh, she just gives a nod to the reply she gets. "At least I got to help a little bit anyways…" she mumbles.
With the declaration that her father was in fact rather tired, she nods and moves to settle Amuro into the nice recliner that she has so thoughtfully warmed up for him! "Right! Take a seat and take a load off. You deserve it. Did everything go well? What happened? Is everyone safe?" she asks after having taken a seat on the edge of the bed that was in the room while Amuro claimed the recliner. Her lavender colored eyes looked quite lively and she was exuding quite a bit of excitement. Maybe Papa would take in some of that energy and perk up??
Amuro, however, is already asleep. Or appears to be. He is unresponsive and stationary. He must be really tired. But is it really that suprising? After all he has done, and his >age<… What is odd, however… Is that never before has Tomoyo or >anyone else< ever seen or heard of Amuro sleeping. Not once.