Jon, Shou (emitter)
Date: November 23, 2011
When the dead return to fulfill their last wish, Jon finds himself battling foes which shouldn't be around anymore.
"What If? Dead Rising - Criminal Intent"
Chaos has gripped Kumogakure. All over the village, those who were once dead are appearing again and walking amongst the living. It's not quite as bad as the typical horror-movie scenario of that description, because these dead aren't out to eat people's brains or anything. They do seem to have a purpose, though, or to be more accurate, each of them individually has a purpose. A lot of them are trying to find their families and express to them how much they loved them. Some are going to do things they always wanted to try, but never had the chance or the gumption to do in life. One guy even had the determination to visit his favorite ramen joint for a last bowl of soup.
This is all information which Saito Jon, investigating the strange occurrence, has managed to collect. It hasn't been easy; not only is the village in a panic over what many mistakenly believe to be a zombie attack, but the undead themselves are very difficult to distract from their goals. Jon's had to question several of them on the move, getting answers only insofar as they didn't seem to think talking detracted from their progress. He's seen a surprising number of them reach their destinations, too; they seem to have some uncanny sense drawing them toward the source of their satisfaction.
Jon steps out of the restaurant after interviewing the ramen guy, who contentedly returned to non-animation after slurping down the last of his soup bowl. "Well, I still have no idea what's causing this, but I'm pretty sure I've established a pattern on the behavior," Jon remarks to Scruvo, who was waiting outside. "They're strongly motivated by what were their thoughts and desires at their time of death. Anything they regretted not being able to do, people they wished they'd talked to more…it's like they're getting a second chance, really." Scruvo tilts his head. "Makes ya wondah if we really should stop it even if we figyah out 'ow, eh? Nothin' wrong with lettin' chaps 'ave their dyin' wish, unles…" Scruvo blinks. "Uh-oh. Er, Jonny-boy…'ow many chaps d'ya reckon 'ave gone to th'choppin' block sayin' somethin' like, 'I'll get ya fer this Saito, if it's th'last thing I do!'?" c.c; Jon gapes at Scruvo for a second, then sets his mouth in a grim line and starts running through the streets. "We need to get away from populated areas, fast." :/
It might be said that none of the undead are old. Those who died when their life was near its end, content, would not arise restlessly when there's little more they wish for. It's almost as if a strong desire to wrap something up left unfinished is the common factor. And Jon is right. A number of them have grudges to settle, and from other places in the village suddenly some of the undead would turn violent. Unfortunately for Jon, those who swore revenge were rather smart. They're already waiting outside, cutting off his escape route, and upon rounding a corner he'd see a number of very familiar--and undesired--men waiting for him. All with looks twisted with hatred or eagerness at settling their old score.
One shouts, "I told you I'll get you for my death Saito, if it's the last thing I do!" It's not him who attacks first however. There'd be a crunching, unearthing sound and a hand would pop out from behind to grab Jon's ankle. It'd be both force and chakra that would aim to yank Jon straight down into the ground up to his head. There's about five men in all, and two come howling forward, bumping into each a bit, but otherwise aiming at him slashing swords that they'd managed to pick up somewhere. More shouts are coming from behind as well, not there yet, but nearing.
Jon skids to a stop, eyes taking in and recognizing several faces in the mob awaiting him, even if he no longer recalls a name for each one. Hoo boy. o.O; Jon's hand goes up to his rod, and he looks about quickly to determine how many bystanders will be in peril in this -- whoa! #.# Jon finds himself yanked into the street. Okay, so apparently whatever causes this phenomenon not only leads individuals to their dying wish, but unites and organizes those who had a common goal. That could very well be a motive for all this -- mobilize a bunch of dead people to accomplish some end -- but Jon will have to investigate that when there isn't an angry pair of deceased felons with weapons bearing down on him.
Fortunately, they made the mistake of starting their attack with the element Jon is strongest against. Jon focuses, and with a muffled flash of lightning, the earth around him crumbles. Jon leaps free of the trap and draws his rod. "I dunno if there's any penalties in the book for breaking parole on a death sentence," *CLANG!*, "but you guys are definitely under arrest for assaulting an officer!" >( Jon blocks the blade slashes with deft movements of his rod, then counter-attacks with little regard for sparing his opponents. He doesn't even know if they can be killed, and if they can, these guys are prime subjects for the experiment, having aleady been sentenced to death. Besides, Jon can't afford to waste time -- there could be far worse enemies from his past appearing at any time…
"Gah!" the Doton user shouts in pain, as he's zapped by lightning. While he withdraws into the Earth again, the two sword wielders are buffeted back. Unfortunately, that still leaves half a horde intent on killing Jon. Dead or not dead, they still have plenty of killing intent, and it's all aimed at Jon in one murderous group! One shouts, "Idiot! He's strong against Earth, didn't you learn anything?" Okay, maybe not as great a group as can be. It's not like they were friends in life.
But they're smart. One holds a kusarigama that he spins over his head. Then, he sends the chained scythe hurtling at Jon to wrap around him and hold him in place. Another quickly makes seals to send out a long blade of wind spanning the whole street, making it harder for Jon to dodge. At the same time the Doton user having not learned his lesson, or perhaps thinking these attacks had created an opening, pops up again only to be hit by the wind. X.x
Jon eyes the scythe as it goes past him, but doesn't let it turn his head away from the foes in front of him. He's well aware that such a weapon is better dodged than blocked in general, and the same goes for the wind attack which follows. So with a chain whipping in from the side, wind sweeping in from the front and menacing the other side, and an unseen foe known to be somewhere below, where is there left to go? Up, naturally! Jon forms a quick handseal and suddenly blurs upward. Scruvo swoops by as Jon reaches the peak of his flickered jump. "Area's clear Jonny-boy, all the livin' folk 'ad th'sense t'clear out by now!" That's good, although Jon still cringes inwardly at the thought of the report he'll have to write later about the property damage he's about to cause. -.-; Still, it won't matter if he doesn't survive to write said report. Jon pulls a couple of special kunai with tags on them from his pouch and flings them down at the group of outlaws. It's an obvious attack which might well be avoided by enemies with any degree of ninja training, but at least it should serve to scatter them. *KABOOOM!*
The dazed Doton user suddenly finds a kunai right beside his head. "Ha," he cheers, "you miss--" BOOM. One down, six to go. Five of the remaining six manage to dodge, but the Wind user is not so lucky. When the chain wielder dodges, his weapon gets in the way of his partner's legs and trips him up. He curses the man, but is delayed in his dodge which ends up catching him in the front. He's hurled backwards by the explosion and gets up, alive but wounded. Well, "alive" as in still moving. The next attack is a huge frontal assault…but fortunately for Jon, the mob is jostling one another.
One snaps, "Fan out! Crescent formation!" They do so, giving each other adequate space. Well, that's eliminated a serious advantage for Jon, at least for now. By some unspoken agreement, the taijutsu users are the ones to attack again. A man firing a hundred senbon from a launcher at Jon. Followed up by two swordsmen, one slashing with a great sword, the other with a lightning enhanced katana. "Die Saito!" one advises.
Behind them, the Doton user gives one cry of futility and then blows into dust, swept away by the wind of the attacks.
Jon observes the effects of his attack as he drops back down to earth. Better than he'd hoped for, really. Although they look like they're regrouping pretty quickly, again likely thanks to whatever it is that's animating them. Jon hits the ground and twists his rod, causing it to spring out to bo length. He then jabs the end of it into the ground and sends an electrical current through it. The senbon are all pulled to the makeshift electromagnet. Jon flicks the accumulated mass of needles at the legs of the approaching attackers before parrying their sword strokes. He winces at the electrical shock which travels through his rod from the lightning katana. "Sorry, I don't think my wife would appreciate me leaving her behind," Jon grunts, then retaliates with lightning-imbued strikes of his own. Scruvo observes the fight from above. "Oi, that'n just got dusted, lit'rally! Keep it up, Jonny-boy, they kin be beaten!"
It's at that time that a few kunai are launched in Scruvo's direction. Jon wouldn't have much time to worry about him, from the person who's apparently firing out the senbon, shuriken, and kunai. The two advancing swordsmen seem fueled on reckless rage. After all, they can't really die again. One is smart enough to gather electricity and blast the needles away. The otherwise charges forward and becomes a pincushion. As he's crouching, shrieking on his knees, the other goes into a flurry of sword strikes aimed at Jon's neck and head.
BOOM. There's no warning to any of the two attacking Jon close range. A fireball explodes around them with no warning at all, burning the senbon-ridden man badly so now he's shrieking from fire, not just needles. The third jumps back, his eyebrows singed straight off. "Damnit, don't hit me!" he shouts. The fire user says, "You weren't hitting anything anyway! Get out of my way, you can't handle Saito!"
"You couldn't either!" The last man charges in but with a different level of skill than the others. He moves so fast he seems to wink from existence and appear behind Jon, aiming a deep kunai slash straight to his back.
Scruvo may not be exactly a ninja-trained combat animal, but he's been around enough situations with Jon to know how to watch out for danger and avoid it. "Crikey! I'm out fer now, Jonny-boy, they're stahtin' t'take pot-shots at me!" Scruvo flits away from the scene of battle, helping Jon the best way he can when things get too dicey -- by not being a liability. :P Meanwhile, Jon twirls his rod deftly to catch each incoming strike of the sword. He can keep up this sort of defense almost without paying attention, which is good because it allows him to notice another attack coming in -- with a quick hop backwards, Jon avoids the fireball.
Okay, it appears these guys have enough self-preservation instinct to get mad about being endangered even if it serves the goal of taking Jon down. c.c That's good, Jon can possibly use that. Say, here's another fact that would be useful to know -- do the undead have to really accomplish the goal they came back to do, or just think they did? 'Cause if they'll go back to being dead once their minds are satisfied, maybe he can trick them into doing that. All he needs is a convincing situation, something like -- oh hey, being stabbed in the back. x.x Jon falls forward onto his face…then *POOF*, there's a chunk of rubble from the earlier blasts in his place. Jon sticks to a nearby wall a little above casual line of sight, watching to see if any of the criminals drop dead from being briefly fooled.
Unfortunately, no one is reduced to dust at the illusion. Apparently it doesn't work that way, though a few are fooled into thinking he did die--they're the ones cheering. But one of them was fuming. "Saito's death was mine!" he says, chopping into his teammates. Thus a brief struggle ensues in which half are attacking each other, the other half saying, "It was just an illusion you darn--hey! Stop that!" In the end, four combatants remain, two now withering to dust at the hand of their own fellow murderers. Hopefully they thought they got their dying wish. One of the remaining ones say, "He's not dead till I say he's dead! Let me deal with this." He makes a few hand seals and sends out a roaring dragon of fire that would not only engulf the air, but also follow Jon. Another would throw an explosive tag where Jon lands. KAPLOOIE.
Huh. Okay, looks like they have to actually accomplish their goal to be deanimated. Too bad, although fooling some of them into thinking Jon was dead proved strangely effective in another way. c.c Besides reducing the enemy count, it gave Jon a minute to catch his breath and build up his chakra reserves. Good thing too, because things are starting to get really serious. Jon narrows his eyes at the incoming flame dragon. That's a powerful attack, but anything that big and flashy provides opportunity. The dragon obscures Jon from enemy view, and at the last second he dodges away -- in three different directions! Yay for clones! The dragon continues chasing the real Jon, but the explosive tag is intercepted by one of the clones, adding a BZZZT to the KAPLOOIE. Did we mention they're lightning clones? The remaining lightning clone releases a barrage of little lightning tendrils at the enemy from their flank. Meanwhile, Jon dashes through the smoke cloud left behind by the explosive and charges straight through the enemy group, leading the fire dragon into their midst.
The man with the kusarigawa sends his chain streaking towards the first Jon, and then whips it back to strike the second clone, breaking them both. Unfortunately, that sends an electrical current up the metal weapon and he's shocked badly. It slows him and he gets the full force of the dragon knocking him back into a pile of dust. The other men dodge out of the way easily, while the fire user near the back negates his own attack and sends out a more conservative attack. This time, triple mini fireballs are fired at Jon like cannons. One of the three men remaining is getting his bearings. But the next is already leaping towards Jon, punching at him. If Jon takes any of the blows he'll find they're not just normal attacks, but ones strengthened with wind. Of course, there's the usual shouts of 'Die Saito!' and 'You're mine!' coming from all of them. They all seem rushed, almost impatient to avenge themselves ahead of the other remaining men.
Half of them are gone, good. Probably the easier half, but Jon will take what he can get. Speaking of taking, let's simply take away whatever that fire guy's about to spit out, shall we? Jon pulls a seal from his pouch and holds it out in front of himself. When the fireballs come his way, he activates the seal, and the fire is sucked in. Probably a little unnecessary for an attack of that level, but it sure would've been easier than running around again if another of those fire dragons had shown up. :P That and it reduces collateral damage.
Next up, fisticuffs! …With wind chakra! o.O; Ow. Jon feels the sting after blocking the first couple blows with his bare arms. Jon hops backward to avoid further contact. Still outnumbered, still need to play these guys against each other to compensate for being on the defensive. :/ So Jon reaches out with a more subtle attack while continuing to evade the wind user. The other two start to experience a fading of color from the world, and Jon's voice starts to narrate the situation in their heads. "It was a sorry end to my career, scrambling for cover like a rat chased by a mutt. Of all the brilliant criminal minds and skilled assassins I'd faced off against, I was going to be taken down by this lucky punk who'd managed to catch me flat-footed. I could already hear him bragging in every seedy joint about how he and no other was the one who put the kebosh on the great detective Saito Jon." Gasp! Did the wind-user just flash the other two a sneer? :O …No, not really, but that's what they'll see if Jon has his way.
As Jon successfully repels all their attacks, the criminals start muttering about incompetent teammates. Jon's genjutsu only reinforces that anger, and suddenly the lot of them go from being trained assassins focused on their target to a mob who is, in many ways, completely brain dead. Howling, they come on, heedlessly slashing at the detective…and their supposedly sneering partner. In the struggle not only is Jon attacked, but the wind user is slashed down. "You…don't…it was…" BOOF! He blows apart into dust, leaving the last two coming at Jon with everything they have as far as hand to hand combat goes. For one, it's clear his principal field is in taijutsu. He handles the sword as if it's an extension of his arm, swinging his blade so fast it sings. The other aims long kicks in between the slashes, not the most skilled, but very effective to make their attack work in tandem. "Don't be fooled by his tricks!" "You won't get us anymore, Saito! Die!" Seems they've regained a semblance of teamwork.
Jon drops the genjutsu after the wind-user is taken out. Too bad he couldn't have also used the genjutsu to misdirect them as to his location for a bit too, but to make that convincing he'd have had to move the wind-user too and then they wouldn't have hit him. At least the one whose element is strong against Jon's has been eliminated, and Jon is confident he can deal with two of these guys. >)
Jon focuses on blocking the sword strikes with his rod. After establishing a pattern in the pair's attacks (which hurts a bit for not trying very hard to dodge the kicks, but Jon can take it), Jon plants his feet and braces himself against one last kick. Then he suddenly spins several times with his rod held outward, propelling himself with chakra from his soles. Whether the attack hits the crooks or not, it's bound to create some space between Jon and his opponents. Jon uses this space to send out another genjutsu. Thick iron bars shoot up from the ground, imprisoning them. "Like I was saying…you're under arrest."
It seems that there's a reason Jon was able to kill these guys in the first place. They're buffeted back by the attacks and, before they can recover they're tr@apped in prison, so to speak. "This is how he got me last time!" one of them says unhelpfully. While another is rattling the bars of the doors with his hands, trying to physically break out of the illusion. It's the third person who managed to dispel it just in time, and he throws a few shuriken at Jon to try and break up the illusion for his teammates. That, or simply to get in an opportune shot. Jon will have to do some quick moving to maintain his illusion. The man with the kunai says, Fools. Letting such a low level illusion get you, no wonder you died."
It seems that there's a reason Jon was able to kill these guys in the first place. They're buffeted back by the attacks and, before they can recover one is trapped in prison, so to speak. "This is how he got me last time!" JR says unhelpfully. hE is rattling the bars of the doors with his hands, trying to physically break out of the illusion. It's the second person who managed to dispel it just in time, and he throws a few shuriken at Jon to try and break up the illusion for his teammate. That, or simply to get in an opportune shot. Jon will have to do some quick moving to maintain his illusion. The man with the kunai says, "Fool. Letting such a low level illusion get you, no wonder you died."
Quick moving Jon can do, especially when he has plenty of chakra available for the purpose. He disappears from the shuriken's path in a blur, reappearing some distance behind the attacker. "No, he died because of the same mistake you all made," Jon remarks. Suddenly Jon blurs again and shows up next to the man with his arm pulled up across his chest. "You became criminals." Jon swings a heavy backfist strike at his enemy's face, then follows up with a lightning-augmented punch to the chest. Do these guys even have a heartbeat? Who knows, but it's worth a shot, plenty of other things that are lethal to regular people seem to work on them. Meanwhile, the illusion fades from the other crook.
As the one man is trying to break free from the illusion, the other sneers. "You jumped me, that's all," he says, though the truth is quite different. He ducks beneath Jon's swing and aims a fist of his own. His fist would smash into Jon's cheek, but in turn he'd take the lightning enhanced punch. He gasps, and falls back, clutching at his heart which he does have. He lies there twitching and writhing for a few moments before he dissolves into dust. The last man freed of the illusion looks wildly around. There was once a huge horde of his buddies beside him. Now, he's alone. But he doesn't back down. Some mad urge to kill Jon seems to be driving him as he lunges at him with a howl of rage. He's crackling with electricity and his tackle would be as explosive as a bomb if Jon met it head on.
Jon winces at the blow to his face, but he's had plenty worse. He gets worse during a good sparring match. :P Jon watches his opponent carefully until he starts blowing away, then turns toward the remaining criminal. Oh boy, he could blow out every window on the street like that if Jon stopped him forcefully. -.-; Fortunately, it seems like he's probably not very strong against genjutsu. Jon waits until the charging crook is almost on top of him, then whips forth and arm and points.
The charge halts and the lightning fizzles. Jon draws his rod. "Your parole is hereby revoked." The rod swings down hard.
There is a loud *PANG*, but it's not the sound of metal on skull; rather, it's metal on concrete, because the rod went straight through and hit the road. Jon winces again and shakes his hands while the already-dust criminal blows away. "Huh…" Jon lifts his head and shouts up toward the sky. "Scruvo?! You there?! I think it's safe to come back now!" After a moment, Scruvo drops down from above. "'Ey Jonny-boy, it's ovah! All th'dead chaps just went poof all of a sudden! I could see it 'appenin' like some kinda wave goin' through town!" Jon sighs and puts his rod away. "Well, that's a relief…although it'll make it a lot harder to figure out what caused this whole thing." Jon manages to catch a small dust sample in a bag before it's all dispersed. "Come on, let's get back to headquarters. The lab boys will have a field day with this."