Eddo Uudo and the Funerary Medallion


Rinako, Ruri, Kichiro, Shemri, Kara

Date: March 9th, 2010


After returning to Sunagakure, Kichiro, Ruri, and Rinako have their mission upgraded above C-level, and gain two additional members with which to complete their search for Eddo Uudo. They follow the map out into the desert, fight zombified mummies, rescue researchers, and then find themselves rescued by the very man they were sent to save!

"Eddo Uudo and the Funerary Medallion"

Desert Outside of Sunagakure

It's a couple hours after Kichiro, Rinako, and Ruri arrived back at Sunagakure and reported their findings to the authorities. It's confusing as to why it took so long before they received word on what to do next, but at least it gave them time to gather together into a full team, plus one. Apparently Shemri, Kara, Rinako, and Ruri were all members of an official team now. It was decided while the first mission was going on. So the four kunoichi, as well as Kichiro, should all be gathered or gathering and prepared/preparing to head out again.
There's at least one person out there that needs rescuing, and the weather is beginning to get unpleasant. Sure, it might be coolin down, but sandstorms are not something you want to go out into, and there is definitely a strong wind picking up. Ruri is pondering the orders they were given along with their mission briefing. 'Find Doctor Uudo and the other researchers, bring them back if possible, and deal with any threats you encounter.' The first two were rather expected. The last one made sense also, but given that this was a B-Rank mission, the danger level of the 'threats' could be pretty nasty.
Ruri looks around to see who is here and who isn't. "We need to hurry up. I don't want to be stuck out there in a storm."

'Find Doctor Uudo'. That much, at least, handn't changed since before the mission got upgraded, they were still charged with finding the archaeologist and returning him, or his corpse, to the village. Given how the other member of his crew was found, Rurohashi Rinako was not holding out high hopes on coming back with any living survivors in tow to the hospital.

Rinako was standing next to her sister, dressed for the weath by for once /not/ leaving her arms and midriff bared for the journey, wearing long sleeves and a full shirt, as well as a scarf wrapped around her head like a shemagh. (You know, one of those desert head-wrapping things.) With a grunt of displeased agreement, she casts a glance over at her younger twin.

"Storm or not, there's still enough dust kicking up to blind a camel. Was everyone briefed on the possible dangers of that dust-stuff found on that guy's corpse? It was like dehydration-juice or something. But in dust form. But was it a by-product, or the actual weapon?

She was hoping she wouldn't have to get a face-full of it to find out.

Shemri checks over her gear. It's so hard to be sure you've remembered of everything when you're suddenly interrupted by a mission summons while trying to keep a house in order despite the energetic shenanigans of a six-year-old girl. @.@ At least Megumi-chan gets a play-day at the ninja daycare out of the situation. Anyway…shuriken, kunai, little pictures of Fukanzen and Megumi…can't think of anything she's missing. Shemri glances down at Shiikaa, who looks back up quietly. She gives a nod. "We are ready."

Kichiro has been hanging around the entrance of the village, waiting on word of the mission upgrade. To pass the time he has been walking on his hands, balancing with astounding ease as he paces around with bounding moves. he cartwheels back up into a standing position, "we're going then? Oh.. looks fun out there" He dusts his hands off, "I'm ready if you still need me"

Rising up behind everyone is a dark shape! A dark shape with gleaming eyes set against shadowed features! And then a hand reaches out as a voice says, "YoooOOOooooUUUUU~!" Then the withered, near-skeletal hand lands on Shemri's shoulder, just as Kara puts her own hand on the other shoulder, and >shakes< Shemri! "You should have told me that you were the same woman I started teaching about Kugutsu no Jutsu all those many, many years ago, back when mudkips ruled the Earth! You look waaaay older than when we last met." She crosses her arms over her chest as she strides out into the middle of the gathering, nodding sagely. "I'll bet it's the stress of having a kid! It ages you prematurely. Well, at least you don't have wrinkles yet." She then peers at Shemri and points under the mother's left eye. "Except for right there."
Kara then turns her attention suddenly on Rinako as she spins to face the slightly younger woman. "So, I hear we're going after some researchers who may have been kidnapped, and we should trash anyone who gets in the way? And I suppose there may have been something about that dehydrating dust too, yes. But it's fine! I doubt whoever is responsible can handle a ninja team of >this< caliber." She gestures at everyone.
Meanwhile, there's still a mummified corpse standing behind Shemri with his hand on her right shoulder. Kara smiles confidently and asks, "Right, Ruri-san?" to Rinako. Then she turns to look at the mummy. "Pharoah-kun! Don't be shy! You can come over!" She gestures with one hand in a beckoning manner, and the mummy lurches out from behind Shemri and approaches Kara. She bends over to wrap him up in bandages to make for easier carrying.
When she finishes, she slings him onto her back via straps on her shoulders, and then peers out at the nasty-looking weather. "Hmm…"

Ruri stares at Kara and her mummy thing. "Uh." Then she just shakes her head. "Yes, that's mostly right. We were originally sent out to find a Doctor Eddo Uudo, but his camp was empty except for one corpse. So we have to rescue anyone who is still alive, in addition to the head researcher." She nods to Kichiro. "You're free to come. We can probably use the help." She has no delusions about being more than a match for the possible enemy or enemies. She has to assume that they're strong and a threat, even if they aren't, just so that they don't do anything foolish or incautious.
"Now let's get out there before the weather gets worse." She doesn't bother to correct Kara on Rinako's identity, assuming that her sister will handle that. Instead she dashes off towards where her copy of the mission map indicates there was supposed to be an archaeological dig site.

"Yyyyyyyyeah… That thing is so ugly." It's debateable if Rinako had even heard a word Kara had said, considering she spent the entire time staring at the mummy with a look that threatened to tear it's limbs off it tried to put it's moldy hands on /her/. Shaking her head, she pops out of her daydream of dismemberment. "Huh? Wait, what? Rinako. I'm Rinako. Ruri's the ones with the bad tattoos covering her body."

For emphasis, she point-points at her twin, then up at her own face. "I can also be recognized as the /pretty/ one."

But before she can begin to put up too much of a stink about mistaken identities, or indirectly tease her sibling too much more, Ruri begins moving. With a sigh, the elder twin pulls her scarf up over her nose and mouth, taking off after her mirror image in the typical, distance-eating ninja run across the desert and it's blowing sands. "Gonna be digging sand out of my clothes for weeks."

Shemri inhales sharply at the sudden shaking. o.O She almost grabs a kunai and lashes out, but the fact that her early-warning system (namely Shiikaa) didn't alert her of impending danger makes her pause. When she's had a moment to reorient and figure out who's talking to her, Shemri peers closely at Kara. Oh yes, there /was/ that girl she met in her travels that was so enthusiastic about puppet techniques. "Ah. Aha. You look different as well," Shemri remarks. "I do not believe your outfit was quite so outlandish then." Shemri glances at the hand on her shoulder which failed to move when Kara did, and pulls a face. "Hoi, only Fukanzen may rest his hand there," Shemri mutters, brushing it off. :P Then they're all off! *SHINOBI DASH*

Kichiro cartwheels idly around the group as he waits for everyone to pick up and head off, "Kara, Pharoah. Nice to see you two again." He gives a whoops sound and wheels to his feet again so he can get to running mode again. he leans far over forward as he runs, occassionally using hands and feet in the same running motion to keep from falling over. Despite his odd running motion he seems to be in complete control of his movements. his goofy grin never changing as they run

The tan-skinned woman pouts at Rinako's words. "Ugly? Poor Pharoah-kun! It's not his fault that he has a face only his mummy could love!" She purses her lips as though planning to kiss Pharoah, and leans in to make baby noises to the dead thing strapped to her back. Kara's easy-going and irreverent demeanor changes drastically at the mention of >that< name from Ruri. "…Uudo Eddo, you say? How…" She seems to be trying to think of a polite adjective to use to describe this situation. She eventually gives up and settles on, "…Yes, it is." Sighing, she hefts Pharoah on her back one more time, before glancing at Rinako with a hint of her previous smile. She doesn't otherwise acknowledge the correction on identification. Instead she begins running along with everyone else. She may be a Chuunin but she still probably only moves about as fast as the Genin due to the weight on her back.

Time Compression!
About a half hour later, they pass by the abandoned camp, now nearly destroyed by the wind, and now definitely picked over by bandits. None of the equipment that was there previously appears to be there now. Another fifteen minutes and the team is approaching the sixth dig-site. The wind has not worsened, but it has not lessened either. It howls across the desert, producing a hollow — almost wolf-like — noise, and blowing sand and dirt into the eyes and mouth of any who do not have proper protection.
As they close on their destination, the outline of dim shapes can be seen moving about relatively nearby. They're about 100 to 200 feet away, but there's not a proper sandstorm yet, so they're still visible. Ruri slows down. She has goggles over her eyes, and a scarf over her mouth and nose to keep sand out, thus she uses hand signs to indicate caution. She doesn't stop moving though.
The younger of the twins just hunkers down low to the ground as she runs more carefully, trying to work her way closer without revealing her presence. When she does get closer, there's no doubt about who — or rather WHAT — those shapes are. Still, she turns to the rest of the team as she finally stops where she is and crouches down. She gestures towards Shemri, and then points at her cat, before pointing towards the people wandering around aimlessly. She wants confirmation, just incase she made a mistake at this distance. A cat is less likely to be spotted than a human, after all.

For once Rinako was the height of preparedness! Getting neither dirt nor sand in her mouth or nose, nor her ears, she still has to squint to avoid getting it into her eyes, though. She passes the time mostly in silence, keeping an eye on her designated portion of their perimeter as they move, always on the alert… even if dry terrain was far from her area of expertise.

Would it have /killed/ the Creator to put a lake somewhere out here!?

As her sister slows down, so too does she, going into a crouch-run and maintaining the silence. She has trouble spotting the figures ahead, her eyes not being as good as her sibling's, but she can make out… /something/ up there. Keeping low behind the girl in the lead, she creeps foward, then looks back at the feline when it's pointed at. Good kitty, let's hope it could get the job done! Having it get injured would certainly be a less than optimal beginning to this adventure.

Shemri nods in response to Ruri, then kneels down. She puts her hand on Shiikaa's back, then gives a few pulses of chakra through her fingers to silently communicate the orders. Shiikaa slips off through the semi-solid haze to investigate. A few minutes tick by…then Shemri feels a familiar furry presence against her ankle. Shiikaa places a paw on her leg and gives his report with a similar chakra code. Shemri furrows her brow. "…I do not understand," she murmurs. "Shiikaa is saying they are ones who are dead and not dead. Whatever that means, I do not think it can be anything good. He also says there is a big hole with prisoners inside, and they cannot move."

Kichiro had been forced to slow his run long enough to pull a cloth out and tie it over his face and mouth to filter out the sand. He spends the remainder of the run in full four-footed movement mode which keeps his head lower that the rest of the ninja he travels with. he crouches low, in an almost animistic stance as the group stops, peering at the shapes in the distance. He looks to Shemri and the cat as the orders are given, then looks back to the shapes quietly. He is given the order to report back to the village what the group had found thus far and so he is off back into the desert.

Kara is not really that prepared for this weather, but she can improvise. She has bandages all over the place after all, so she just uses some of them as a make-shift mouth/nose protector and squints in the same manner as Rinako. She is focused on the mission, but she also has plenty of time on the way to the dig site to think about who they've set out to rescue. Uudo Eddo… Her father. She doesn't really like him that much, but she doesn't hate him per se. She is actually somewhat pleased by this situation. She can show her dad that she is an adult now, and that she is stronger and more capable than him too! If she rescues him from danger, he'll >have< to acknowledge she is prepared to use those Ancient Puppets that he found!
Behind the bandage mask, she smiles at the thought. But then a sudden motion appears in the corner of her eye and she notices that everyone is slowing down. She does the same, and crouches when everyone else stops. Hmm. She can make out the shapes in the distance too, but only barely. The way they lurch around is… Similar to how Pharoah moves when she makes him walk. Coincidence?
Probably not.
Kara watches the cat dash off into the sight-limiting psuedo-storm, and prepares for trouble. She keeps an eye on their rear, just incase they missed something, or there's a patrol out there that might be returning. One can't assume anything in a situation like this. When the message is relayed by the returned cat, Kara's lips tighten as her suspicions are confirmed. "Dead but not dead… Sounds like someone is messing around with puppets or… Something creepy. Dead things generally aren't too intelligent, as far as I know. If we take down the ones nearby quickly and quietly we shouldn't have to worry about them sounding an alarm, right?" She glances back over her shoulder at the rest of the team, nodding to Kichiro as he takes off.
She doesn't make a move to attack, though, unless she is told to.

Ruri listens intently to the report after Shiikaa returns. She also keeps her eyes glued to those things moving around. Kara's input is taken into account, but she tells Kichiro to report back to the Village that the missing people have been found, and that there are strange enemies wandering around that are 'dead but not dead'. She plans to proceed without reinforcements, but just incase something happens out here, she wants those in charge to know what happened so they can send a proper strikeforce to handle it if this team doesn't return.
"If they're puppets then whoever is controlling them would notice if they were taken out. Right, Kara-san?" She glances towards the Puppeteer for confirmation. "I don't think we have a choice either way if we want in, but we shouldn't assume that what we're facing isn't intelligent. We should treat each enemy as though it was a fully intelligent human being until we have evidence that says otherwise."
She looks down at the ground for a moment, before glancing towards Rinako. "Ranged attacks would be best here. We're currently undetected, and I'd like to keep it that way, but as soon as we attack the chance we will be discovered increases dramatically. So I want you, Shemri-san, and Shiikaa to get down to the prisoners if you can, and do whatever you can to get them out of there intact. Kara-san and I should try to eliminate these puppets or whatever that are guarding the dig site. We might need to draw them away if they don't go down easily, or if they respond aggressively. Everyone ready?"
She touches two fingers to one of the tattoos on her right arm, and if everyone says they're ready, she activates the Flesh Scroll tattoo. It glows red briefly before a 16 lb bowling ball-like sphere appears in the air in a puff of smoke. Ruri would then send it flying with a gesture, to try to hit one of the guards in the head. …And it takes the head right off. The body stays standing for a few seconds, even turning towards the source of the attack, before then stumbling and falling flat on the sand. "…." Ruri offers briefly, before noticing that the other four dead-but-not-dead things have started charging towards the group, arms helds out in front of them like creatures from a horror movie. They are even more dead-looking up close than they were at a distance. Ruri yells, "Go!" to the rescue team, as she starts activating other tattoos.

"Great, now we have to deal with the walking dead? What is this, a bad zombie movie?" Rinako's muttering doesn't sound in the least bit pleased as the report of 'dead things walking while not-dead' reach her ears. She waits impatiently as Kichiro is given his orders, and then departs, cracking her knuckles as she squints in the direction of the moving figures.

A little begrudged that she doesn't get to help take apart the enemies with her ninjutsu, Rinako immediately starts to crouch-run off to the side as her sister starts the attack on the walking dead. She aims wide, to circle around them as they are busy charging their attackers, trying not to be noticed amidst the swirling sand. She wasn't the greatest when it came to stealth, but perhaps she'd at least be ignored until she became an overt threat.

Should she reach the hole unmolested, the dark-haired kunoichi slides to it's edge on her knees, getting down on her stomach to peer into it, putting her hands to her eyes to see how deep it went, trying to keep her voice low.

"Psst! Psst! Anyone alive down there? Shemri, we might need rope! …Or I might have to grab your ankles." Plan Omega: Human Ladder.

Shemri nods. "Very well. We shall do this." Shemri hopes there won't be too much interference, getting a group of civilians to safety when they had to travel quite some time just to get /out/ here in the /middle of the desert/ isn't going to be a picnic. There's nowhere to hide and precious little shelter, so if anybody comes after them, swift and successful preemptive strike is about the only way to protect the hostages.
When Ruri gives the order, Shemri and Shiikaa are off on a wide loop around the whatever-they-ares. Using the sand dunes as cover, they make their way to the pit. Shemri crouches down beside Rinako and smirks. "Of course they are alive. Shiikaa would have told us if they were not." Shiikaa, being somewhat more familiar with the terrain from his scouting trip over here, jumps down into the pit. Shemri follows directly behind him to avoid landing anywhere unsafe, drawing a kunai to cut the prisoners' bonds. "Hoi, we are here to rescue you! Hold still!"

Kara nods to Ruri in answer. "Indeed, unless the puppets were being left unattended, the controller would notice when something he or she is connected to with Chakra Strings was no longer there — or at least not responding." When Ruri asks if everyone is ready, she responds with another nod, and quickly begins to unwrap her own puppet. Pharoah is uncovered just in time as the dead things start charging! "Pharoah-4: Plague of Blood!" she calls out as she tosses Pharoah off her back, and out in front of her. The mummy lands on both feet and its jaw drops open, exposing both its blackened teeth and… A nozzle in its throat? A jet of dark-red fluid blasts out of the nozzle towards one of the incoming zombies, hopefully striking it and rendering it all sticky and slippery and unable to move properly. Then she turns Pharoah towards a second creature, this one much closer, and activates another weapon. "Pharoah-1: Needle Cannon!" The nozzle slides back down the puppet's throat, and then a cannon drops down from the roof of his mouth. The cannon fires hundreds of shining, silvery senbon needles that attempt to shred the targetted zombie-thing or at least fill it full of needles! They're poisoned too, but that's unlikely to affect dead bodies.
"I wish we had more weapons that are effective against non-living targets, Pharoah-kun!" she complains.

Ruri has a more limited number of Stored Physical tattoos than Stored Sharp, so despite how effective that first attack was she doesn't want to waste them if there's going to be a need for more decapitation in the near future. Instead she sends out a windmill shuriken, spinning at one dead creature's throat, and then a drill-head kunai towards a second one's forehead. The first one keeps running for a few seconds after it loses its head, but then trips, falls, and lies still. The second zombie takes the kunai to the forehead, but unlike movie zombies, it doesn't 'die' due to destruction of the brain. Does it even HAVE a brain!?
"Tch!" Ruri tchs to herself as she touches another tattoo, and causes a metal buckler to appear in the air before her. This shield comes just in time to stop the zombie from getting into melee range. As it struggles to find a way around the shield that keeps moving in front of it each time it changes direction, Ruri is moving away from her original position, but keeping Kara within sight.
Kara's slippery blood attack stalls the advance of one of the creatures, making it get all tangled up in its own emaciated limbs. The needle attack is less effective, making the target pause for a moment as it is filled with poisoned needles. But then it just starts moving forward again, attacking Kara rather than the puppet that attacked it!
Meanwhile, Shemri and Shiikaa use the platforms and scaffoldings to leap down to 'ground level', some four levels BELOW actual ground level. Rinako is free to join them at any time, but she may notice that part of one of the dig's 'wall's appears to be crumbling. It's somewhat sheltered from the wind, so it's easier to see the movement down there. And that wall that's crumbling is BEHIND Shemri. Unless Shiikaa warns her, there's no way she'd notice during all the chaos of trying to rescue the prisoners.
Speaking of the prisoners, they all appear to be alive, though some are unconscious, and all are rather dehydrated. Still, they don't wait to receive water before they start preparing to escape. They don't go anywhere until the kunoichi with the cat says so, but one of them, a balding man with one lens of his glasses broken, points towards one of the wooden platforms, which seems to lead out of the dig via series of long metal plates that are used for catwalks and ramps.
Regardless of if Rinako warns Shemri or not, after three or four prisoners are rescued, the crumbling wall falls outwards, revealing a cavern behind it. A cavern filled with more of those zombies! The dead things waste no time in charging out of the darkness and towards the people in the center of the excavation site! It's a trap!

"Yeah, yeah, just checking." Rinako takes another look at their surroundings, ensuring they haven't been noticed or followed as the cat and the older woman jump down into the hole, scowling around at the twisting currents of sand. It only took one person to get the bonds cut, after all, and jumping back up here with something waiting with wide open arms certainly wouldn't be her idea of a good time. Not at all.

Noting that nothing was following them, Rinako begins to pick her way down, noticing the semi-crumbling wall with a grimace, at which point she begins to hurry down the hole at a greater pace, swinging from pipes and connection platforms. "We might have a cave-in soon, gotta hurry the hell up!" No sooner does she mention this than it happens! The wall falls outward, kicking up a blinding cloud of dust from which undead shapes emerge.

"Damn! If you can walk, grab someone who can't and GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!" Rinako shouts at the researchers. Shemri and her feline companion were trained shinobi, and she assumes they need no orders when faced with endangered hostages. The dark-haired girl begins running towards the leading zombie, rearing back her fist with a growl, giving a little hope and slamming it right for the ugly thing's face.

It wasn't pretty, it wasn't a move of finesse, but it packs a helluva whallop.

Shemri glances up at the indicated exit as she hurriedly slices through ropes. "Ah. Aha. Many thanks." Makes sense that there would be a way out, though it was also possible that whoever put the archaeologists down here would've destroyed it. Looks like they're lucky this time—uh-oh, but not that lucky! o.O; Shemri finds a couple of relatively able-bodied-looking people and presses kunai into their hands. "Free those who can move, quickly!" Just hope they're courageous and altruistic enough to stick around and help their fellows. Shemri dashes over on Rinako's side and leaps into the fray, punching, kicking, and swaying amongst the horde. On the other side, Shiikaa unleashes a loud roar, sending a shuddering wave of force through the undead ranks.

Kara blinks as the second dead thing doesn't fall over. It just stops moving… And then starts again! And it's running for >her<, not Pharoah! She thought these things targetted whoever attacked them! Or maybe it can only 'see' living things? Or smell them? Or something!? Oh, well. Worry about how it detects things later. Right now it's about to eat her face!
"Whoah, whoah, whoah," she offers as she attempts to dodge away from the zombie. She also moves her hands around such that the Chakra Strings attached to her fingers draw Pharoah to turn around and assail the undead monster with another deluge of blood-oil-stuff. "Plague of Blood!" she calls out as she leaps backwards to try to not be splashed by her own attack. If it works, then that's two zombies incapacitated. If not… Uhh… Better think of something else fast!
Assuming it >does< work, though, Kara turns with Pharoah and tries to look for more enemies. Then there's a rumble that shakes the ground and Kara gets a sinking feeling. She glances over to where Ruri is dancing with her last opponent, and then begins running towards the edge of the pit. When she arrives, it's just in time to see LOTS more undead swarming out of a recently revealed cave. And the ninja and researchers are not that far away! "…Eetooo~." She looks around for some way to help, and then notices that there is a box on a nearby platform that is marked in Japanese. The words basically say 'Dynamite'.
And then the Puppeteer had a WICKED idea. A wonderfully, awfully, WICKED idea! If Kara was capable of it, her hair would have turned up into a pair of devil horns just now. Instead she just wrings her hands and cackles as she and Pharoah leap down onto a scaffolding and from there head over to the box full of explosives.
"Here, Pharoah-kun! Start tossing these down by the cave~!" she orders even though it's her making the puppet move as she tosses sticks of dynamite to him. Pharoah does as told, obviously. Once about half a dozen sticks of dynamite have been strategically placed around the surging horde of undead baddies, she calls out, "EVERYONE WHAT CAN GET AWAY FROM THOSE ZOMBIES BETTER DO IT NOW, 'CAUSE THERE'S TROUBLE COMING, AND HER NAME IS THE MAD MIDNIGHT BOMBER WHAT BOMBS AT MIDNIGHT!" She then laughs insanely and gestures at Pharoah. "Pharoah-11: Pharoah's Decree!" Pharoah's mouth drops open and a metallic pipe gleams inside. The pipe suddenly clicks and a gas-fuelled flame ignites on the end of it. The flame then >shoots< out at the zombies towards the rear, so that it doesn't hurt any of the living people down there.
Hopefully the flaming zombies will set off the dynamite right next to them. And also hopefully no one will stay close and get blown up. Good thing the explosives were all towards the back, and not where Rinako is standing and punching the monsters.

The Chakra control over her Stored Shield only lasts six seconds after unsealing it, so she is now trying to stay at a distance from the zombie while fighting it at the same time. She doesn't bother yelling out attack names at a time like this, instead just sending out another pair of Stored Sharps. One to try to cripple the dead thing by cutting off a leg with a meat cleaver, the other to finish the job on the head with a bladed discus. The zombie finally goes down. There's still two more up here, but they're flopping around in a blood-like ooze. Ew. And where's Kara?
Ruri glances around and then hears Kara yelling something. She runs over to see what's going on. Meanwhile, Rinako punches one of the withered zombies in the face, and a disturbing cloud of grey dust spews from its ruined face. Disturbing because it might make Rinako think of another grey dust she saw today… But if she inhales it even slightly, it doesn't do anything to her, it seems. It just tastes like 'pure evil' (yes, it tastes like telemarketers) with a hint of 'disgusting'. The zombie is hurled backwards from the force of the punch, in addition to having its head collapsed, and lands on a couple other zombies.
But these aren't slow-moving hordes of movie zombies. Instead they can RUN. So by the time that the first punch is thrown, other undead are already surrounding Rinako and trying to claw at her with their sharp-boned fingers. Of course, the elder twin is a NINJA so it's not like she can't just jump out of the circle of dry, ugly, and rather hostile dead people, or do something else to protect herself.
Shika's own attacks are bit less effective than Rinako's, if only for the lesser degree of force behind them. Undead feel no pain, feel no fear, and cannot be knocked unconscious. Thus, when they are punched and kicked they may be knocked down, or hindered briefly, perhaps even falling back into their fellows. But they do not stop coming. Shiikaa's roar, on the other hand, rolls through the undead masses, knocking several down, which knocks down others, and so on, until the force is depleted, and those who retained their balance push the others back onto their feet. And looking back into the cave it does not appear as though there is any end to these creatures. How many dead people were buried here!?
Ruri spots the flamethrower being aimed into the midst of the zombies down below. "…Where'd they come from?" she mutters as she leaps over to join Kara. "Why aren't you down there help-" then the dynamite goes off! Boomboomboom! Boomboom! Boom! The explosions scatter fragments of dusty zombies everywhere, destabilize the wall the cave is located at the bottom of, and collapses the cave completely. There's still at least a few dozen of the undead on THIS side of the cave-in, but at least there aren't hundreds of them anymore! Ruri sighs and says, "Come on, let's get those researchers out of here fast-like. We'll worry about the zombies once they're saf-" then something bites into her right shoulder hard and deep, drawing blood from her flesh and a scream from her throat. "Aaaagghhh!" She struggles to get away from whatever has her, but it's not letting go. Ruri starts searching for a kunai with one hand while trying to force open the zombie's jaws with her other, but it's hard to focus on opening a tool pouch and retrieving a knife when something is EATING YOUR SHOULDER.
Meanwhile, the researchers are mostly on their way up the ramp to the desert. The explosions startled them, but if anything it just made them move more quickly to escape! There's no more tied up researchers, so it's time to get out of there!

The satisfaction of feeling that powdery head explode upon contact with her fist is short-lived, as the elder twin soon finds herself surrounded by the damned things! They bite and scratch and paw at her relentlessly, but the kunoichi is able to call on the power of the Other within her, pulling it's chakra forth, creating a nigh-invisible barrier over her skin which deflects most of the mundane attacks. Some of the particularly persistent ones get through, and Rurohashi Rinako gains a few scrapes and sores for her efforts.

Someone was shouting something up above, but between groaning, grunting zombie noises, and the blood pounding in her own ears, she has no clue what's going on with Kara until the explosions start, which blankets out all other sound and jars her senses enough to force her vision into a moment of pure white.

"GRAAAAH!" Even blind and deaf, Rinako continues to lash out, with an elbow to one's stomach, a knee to a face, her fist into a chest, each strike hitting like a truck, relying on overwhelming power to cover for the fact that she currently couldn't /aim/ her strikes very well.

At least no more were pouring forth to join thier comrades.

Shemri grits her teeth as the zombie horde presses in around her. She's used to fighting outnumbered, but she's also used to being able to even the odds with judicious dispensation of pain. >.<; Well, somebody mentioned that these things might not be too bright, right? Let's see if that can be taken advantage of. As the zombies start pressing down on her, Shemri does the handseals for a technique she usually doesn't rely on but would seem to be rather handy in this situation. *POOF!* <Candid Camera voice>We've replaced the zombies' beating target with one of their own number-let's see if they notice.</voice> Shemri straightens up in the space between the horde and the archaeologists, gingerly wiping off some of her bleeding scratches. Hope these things don't have any nasty diseases. XP
Shiikaa gives out another roar at the masses-might as well slow them down a bit, seems to work okay. Then there's the bang. Ah, the ironic helpfulness of having a crazy kunoichi on your team. c.c; Guess it /was/ a gambit worth taking under the circumstances, but man, that coulda had all kinds of unforeseen consequences. Shemri waits for the ringing in her ears to subside, and the first thing she manages to hear is Ruri's yell. Ouch, that doesn't sound good. Shemri spots the team leader and leaps at the biting zombie from behind, swiping a kunai with intent to decapitate.

Shemri grits her teeth as the zombie horde presses in around her. She's used to fighting outnumbered, but she's also used to being able to even the odds with judicious dispensation of pain. >.<; Well, somebody mentioned that these things might not be too bright, right? Let's see if that can be taken advantage of. As the zombies start pressing down on her, Shemri does the handseals for a technique she usually doesn't rely on but would seem to be rather handy in this situation. *POOF!* <Candid Camera voice>We've replaced the zombies' beating target with one of their own number-let's see if they notice.</voice> Shemri straightens up in the space between the horde and the archaeologists, gingerly wiping off some of her bleeding scratches. Hope these things don't have any nasty diseases. XP
Shiikaa gives out another roar at the masses-might as well slow them down a bit, seems to work okay. Then there's the bang. Ah, the ironic helpfulness of having a crazy kunoichi on your team. c.c; Guess it /was/ a gambit worth taking under the circumstances, but man, that coulda had all kinds of unforeseen consequences. Once the ringing in Shemri's ears subsides, she turns her attention back to the prisoners. Best work on hustling them up and out of here. Shemri cuts a few more bonds, then hoists one of the unconscious ones over her shoulder. "Hoi, everybody out!" Like they need any encouragement.

Kara isn't really crazy. She just gets carried away! When the zombie bites into Ruri, however, all silliness is tossed aside. Her head whips around and when she sees that monster attacking her team leader, she has a flicker of a flash back for a second - scattered images of a similar scene from her past. But rather than forcing everyone to endure it in full, Kara just brings her hands about, fingers twitching and Pharoah leaps at the zombie, trying to grab its head and lower jaw in seperate hands and pull them apart with all of its… Well… Pharoah doesn't really have any muscles. But he pulls anyway! If he succeeds in freeing Ruri, then Kara makes sure that Pharoah holds the undead monster in place until Ruri has been able to dispose of it properly with that kunai she was searching for.
Something is bugging Kara though. She doesn't want to get distracted while in a situation like this, but she hasn't seen or heard any sign of her father. Uudo Eddo is not the type of man to stay quiet or be easily captured. And so she wonders… Is he already dead? Did he escape earlier? Was he ever even here? She'll have to conduct a more thorough search once these others are safe. She doesn't really think her famous explorer father is dead. He has been through a lot of crazy things and survived. But still… The worry is there.

Ruri is freed from the zombie thanks to Kara and Pharoah, but that wound isn't going to stop hurting anytime soon. Blood gushing out of it… Ew! She does whip around with a kunai in hand and slash the zombie's throat when she is freed, however. It doesn't cut all the way through, because she is weak. So she slashes a second time and then kicks the old vertebrae to shatter them. Now even if the thing is still active it won't be able to move around. "Nnnggh. Come on, Kara-san. Let's get the people out of here before things get worse." She turns back to the pit and sees that most of the researchers are either out of it, or nearly so.
Then she sees her sister down there, fighting against swarms of undead. She is beating the stuffing out of them, for sure, as there are lots of mangled or destroyed corpses around her. But she doesn't look to be in very good condition either. So she channels Chakra to her feet, and runs down the side of the pit! Once she arrives near Rinako, she touches a Flesh Scroll tattoo on her left arm and it glows blue. Then…
"Stored Wall!" she yells out. A twelve-foot high brick wall falls down right inbetween Rinako and the remainder of the zombies. There's still one on the left and right, but they are already pretty messed up and don't look like they'll be able to give chase. "Rin-chan! Come on! Let's get out of here!" she calls as she runs up to her sister and tries to pull her away from the fight.
Meanwhile, Shemri's attempt to fool the zombies sort of works. They hesitate for a moment, but Shemri can't disguise her SMELL with just Henge no Jutsu. And she doesn't smell dead. So they then surge forward again! Just as Shiikaa roars again and knocks them back! Soon both cat and kunoichi are departing the pit, the latter with a researcher being carried. It really IS time to get out of there!

Punch! Kick! Headbutt! Kneestrike! …Punch again!

Rinako doesn't hold back, and there's very little style in her attacks, even as she begins to get some of her sight back, starbursts and dark spots dancing in her eyes. She still can't hear worth a damn, though, being in semi-enclosed area with an explosion tends to do that. When an enormous wall busts down, though, and her sister begins tugging on her arm, she turns.

She might not be able to hear, but she can feel the 'GTFO' vibes coming off of her twin well enough, sprinting out of the pit with her after a double-look around to make sure all the researchers were off of the ground floor. Using her feet to cling to the wall, she begins to hoof it up the side of the pit, running next to the scaffolding, though she pauses once she gets to the very top, wiping off a bit of blood from her eyebrow where a zombie nail had scored her. She waits patiently until the last of the research team has been pulled up.

Even as she lashes out at the structure with her fist, she shouts towards the others. "We need to dismantle this thing before the others dig their way out!"

Shemri brings up the rear of the hostage group. Needless to say, they aren't the quickest bunch around; being weakened by their mistreatment, and some of them carrying their fellows, they can't scale the four-story structure with much agility. The zombies start to climb up after them, closing the gap. Shiikaa stops and blasts them once more with a roar, which fortunately has a greater effect on the sloped ramps than it did before. One zombie on the edge of the crowd manages to be relatively unaffected, and breaks away with arms flailing at Shemri. Shemri turns and rams her free arm at the zombie's face, with results something like this: http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/8p22. After shaking off the remains, Shemri reaches down and lifts one end of the sheet of metal just below her in the walkway, tossing it aside. There, that oughta slow 'em down! Shemri and Shiikaa hustle the hostages onward to the top of the pit.

Kara nods, a bit concerned about Ruri's condition after that bite, evene though the other kunoichi is obviously able to fight still since she dealt with that zombie and then went to rescue Rinako. "Aren't corpses awfully unsanitary?" Then she looks over to Pharoah. "Oh, except for you, Pharoah-kun! Gomen nasai~!" Then her puppet climbs onto her back, and Kara runs along the ridge to get over to where everyone else is.
Once it is obvious that the scaffolding is being dismantled, she decides to help things along a bit. "Pharoah, it's time to use… THAT Jutsu!" The mummified corpse turns towards Kara and chatters its teeth a bit, letting out a raspy groan even though it (probably) doesn't have lungs or vocal cords. "Yes! The Jutsu that we don't have ye-Oh, wait. Dammit. Well, now what?" She ponders for a moment, one hand on her hip, the other with a finger to her lips. "Well, I suppose we'll just do that other thing." Pharoah turns away and cranes his head back at an unnatural angle, and then his jaws spread wide. "Pharoah-12: Plague of Hail-Fire!" A moment later, there is *PUFF* of smoke as something fires out of his throat. The canister arcs up into the air over the dig site, and then the canister cracks open and releases white vapor in jets, along with some kind of ugly-looking liquid. The result is that the liquid freezes nearly instantly as it emerges from the canister, turning into sharp shards of ice.
The ice shards rain down on the site, the zombies, and anything else underneath, like a rain of bullets (if bullets were invented yet). And then on top of that, the ice begins to MELT THINGS. No, the ice isn't melting. OTHER THINGS that touch the ICE are melting. Apparently the ice is made of some kind of acidic chemical.
"Oh-hohohoho~!" Kara laughs with a hand next to her mouth as the zombies presumably go all to pieces. Then she and Pharoah turn away to rejoin their team and the researchers as they find their way back up to the desert.

Ruri and Rinako run up the side of the cliff, and Rinako starts punching the scaffolding, bending metal bars and causing bolts that were quite solidly in place to go shooting OUT of place. Shemri's removal of one of the metal ramps does slow down the zombies further, but what makes sure they don't catch up is Kara's cryo-acid grenade thing. The ice shards punch right through everything below, and then start smoking as they melt through other things. The undead are no match for aerial bombardment, and though they have no fear, and no pain, they also don't have the brains to do anything about the situation. So they simply scramble to find a way up, even as they are cut down and melted into piles of mush.
Ruri puts one hand on her still-bleeding shoulder, and looks around at the researchers and her team mates. "Do we have everyone?" she asks, breathing a bit hard thanks to all this exertion. Or maybe it's due to the pain, since she is in pretty good condition otherwise… "Kara-san, is your dad among these others?" Ruri looks towards Kara, and then decides to speed things up a bit. "Is Doctor Uudo with you guys?" she calls out to the researchers. She also realizes belatedly from the looks of them that they could probably really use some water. "Everyone get out your canteens. These people need water or they'll never make it back to Sunagakure."
She starts to get her own water container just as the wind dies down. The shrieking of the wind just fades away so suddenly that he silence left behind is 'deafening' somehow. She pauses and looks around, the sand and dirt settling to the ground, though it will probably hang in the air for awhile yet. Then she jogs over to the researchers to give them some water.
One of those who can still speak despite the dryness of his mouth and throat croaks out, "I haven't seen Uudo since he made his escape. He said he was going to go get help. I thought you ladies WERE that help." Ruri shakes her head as she helps the man who spoke up to drink about a cup of water. She has to save some for the rest after all. "No, Doctor Uudo never arrived at the Village. That's why we came out looking originally. Then we found your camp, and the map, and came to investigate the last dig-site."

Once she's finished demolishing the upper reaches of the scaffolding, Rinako crawls out of the hole, unable to hear much else besides a steady, low ringing in her ears. She completely misses the order to distribute water, and instead goes for her sibling's shoulder, not looking around for the doctor, either.

What? She can't hear!

A roll of bandages and an anti-bacterial are yanked out of one of her pouches, standard ninja first aid! "HOLD STILL." Yes, she doesn't know she's shouting. If her sister protests as she begins dumping bruning liquid, they'll likely get into a slap-fight as Rinako attempts to bat away interfering hands while trying to bandage the wound.

Shemri carefully sets down her unaware burden and heaves a sigh. Phew…okay, now for their primary biological needs. Hmm, if food and water are primary, where does not-getting-ripped-apart-by-zombies rank? e.ea Ultimate? Oh well. Shemri uncorks her canteen and starts giving sips to those capable of taking them. Too bad the unconscious folk can't be force-watered, they probably need it the most. :P

Kara does as told. Sort of. "Pharoah-kun, they need water." She gestures towards the researchers, and the puppet that so-resembles the undead they just got done escaping from (only even more withered, and with the addition of ancient Egyptian adornments) jogs in a lurching manner over to the dehydrated men. He then opens his mouth and barfs out a couple bottles of water, along with a puff of smoke. The water is even cool!
If the scientists (as they likely will be) are displeased with this display, then Kara frowns and says, "What? It's sanitary! There's not even any gunk on it! You go ahead and try to get clean water without gunk on it from those zombies back there, and >then< you can complain about Pharoah! Some people are so ungrateful, I'll tell you what."
Then she glances around the crowd and shakes her head. "No, I haven't seen him anywhere around." At the part about him going for help, she snorts. "He probably got distracted by some new adventure and forgot about his buddies here," she suggests in a tone that is not entirely sarcastic. "Anyway, once they have water let's get out of here. We don't know if there's any more of those things around. Whatever made them get up and start going after people, is probably the same thing that kidnapped these guys and tied them up as bait. After all, have these zombies shown >any< signs of being smart enough to manipulate rope, or even think of the >concept< of a trap? Obviously someone else was in charge here. And I don't think this is a good time to confront him or her, whoever he or she is." Pharoah chatters his teeth. "…Yes, or I suppose the individual could be gender-neutral. After all, once you're a zombie, I highly doubt you care anymore what gender pronoun is used to refer to you." She shrugs.

The researchers glance amongst themselves at the news that Uudo never made it. They seem worried. But once they get water, they revive a bit. A couple men do blanch a bit at Pharoah, but water is water. They take what is offered, especially after being admonished by Kara, and guzzle it down. Ruri is preparing to answer Kara's inquiry about the intelligence level of the zombies, and the likelihood of there being some kind of 'leader zombie' or whatever, when her sister grabs her and start prodding at her shoulder and dumping battery acid on it or something. "Ow, ow! Careful, Rin-chan! That hurts!" She gets yelled at in the ear and now SHE can't hear. For a couple second anyway. "Ugh! Stop yelling!" She would ordinarily protest tending to injuries right now, but practically speaking, making sure infection doesn't set in right now will make sure she doesn't lose her arm later. Even so…
"Okay, okay. That's enough! We can do any other first-aid along the way. I want to get AWAY from this place before the leader Kara-san suggested exists shows up." Then there is a sudden gust of wind, and the sand and dirt in the air clears as though it were the Red Sea being parted. And standing there is a very tall man who is dressed like the other researchers, but with an odd medallion around his neck. And behind him are like forty-two-jillion zombies. Okay, maybe not that many, but there's a lot of them.
"!@#*ing !@#*." are the only words that leave Ruri's mouth. This is the part where the bad guy explains everything, right? Wrong. Instead his bloodshot eyes just widen and then he screams at everyone in some bizarre language that might not even be a language. One of the researchers says something that sounds like 'Akaga'. The man's name? No time for worrying about that because that's when the zombies all surge forward. With their backs to the pit, and civilians to protect, this is not an ideal situation by any means.
However, instead of dying here, that's when a male voice yells, "Hey, asshole!" Akaga or whoever he is turns to face the boorish cry, just as a white-and-black-haired man on a horse comes riding up, passing by the zombies, and cuts the zombie leader down with a pickaxe to the side of the head. Akaga staggers with the digging tool stuck in his skull, and then falls flat on his face in the sand. A few seconds later, all the zombies turn into columns of ash, that then vanish with a hollow wailing sound.
The man on the horse turns his mount around and trots over to the ninja and civilians. Some of the researchers cheer for their rescuer, but most are still too dry-throated to do anything other than smile or look weary. The unconscious researchers are starting to wake up. Then the man on the horse glances over the four female ninja and their cat. And he pauses as he spots something. Climbing quickly off the horse, he pats the animal on the side of its neck briefly, and then jogs up to Kara! "Well, well…" Yes, it's Doctor Uudo! And it's time for a tearful reunion with his daughter! "…That's a very interesting puppet. It looks like one of the ancient peoples I've researched, though there's some details wrong. I wonder who made it." …And he completely ignores Kara, who is standing right there.
Ruri pulls away from Rinako after making sure her sister is okay too. "Doctor Uudo?" she asks. "We've been sent to bring you and your companions back to Sunagakure safely. So I really hope you have no other business here, because the rest of us would really like to go home."

And there's the minor slapfight! Rinako frowns at her sister as she cinches the bandage on tight. It's not hard to ignore protests when one's ear can't be heard out of. Standing around, looking at everyone else, waiting for them all to start back towards the village or something, she eventually starts to notice that they're all looking rather worried, all in the same direction.

Turning around, she spots the zillion zombies, and their apparent leader, going into a half-crouch, preparing for the fight of her life. The horse-riding archaeologist puts an end to the situation quite, handily, however, and as the enemies crumble into dust and die, she rubs lightly at the back of her head, flicking off small trails of blood from her arms from where nails and teeth had gotten through her defenses.


Taking one of the injured researchers by the arm to help support him, the elder of the Rurohashi twins makes ready to depart.

Oh, this just isn't turning out to be a good day. XP "Shiikaa, I hope your throat is feeling strong," Shemri mutters, drawing two kunai. Shiikaa's back is arched and his fur fluffed out like it wouldn't seem possible, but he remains by his mistress's side. Shemri braces herself for an impossible fight, and-!


Shemri stares. That's it? It was as simple as knocking that lead guy's brains out? o.o Shoot, any of them coulda done that…although it might've been a little trickier without the advantage of <strike>narrative imperative</strike> surprise. Well, no matter, apparently the danger is past. Time to haul all these researchers to safety.

Kara wasn't pleased that she was right about the zombie leader, and was prepared to target that medallion around his neck, since that's the only thing different about him from the other researchers. Logically there was a reason why he was wearing it. Zombie control, maybe? But when he's slain, it appears the medallion needs a living wearer to use its powers.
Kara frowns at the 'rescue'. Or perhaps at the rescuer. She was so sure she could rescue her father for once, and yet he comes charging in and saving the day, just like always! Jerk! When he approaches her, she tenses and prepares to talk to him as politely as she can manage. And then he starts talking to no one in particular about HER puppet. And he says there's 'details wrong'!? What a double-jerk!
"I made it, of course!" She then mutters and doesn't even bother to mention who she is to her father, since he clearly doesn't recognize her. Well… It HAS been about six years since they last saw each other. But even so! She sighs and just says, "You're right. Let's get out of here." There will probably be an explanation on the way back. For now, it's time to go home.

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