Date: August 20, 2012
"What If? Final Performance - Justice is a dish…"
Justice is a dish…
As Taiki struggled to his feet, he looked at the group of people facing
him. They were powerful… so powerful. This was the Recluse, the core
group. He had spent years striking at them from the shadows, spilling
their blood in retribution for the pain they gave. His mother was the
first, but not the last. The Inuzuka Elder Council had it partly right,
they were after everyone Taiki cared for. That included the clan itself.
That came to a great surprise to Hanuko'sama as her blood spilled from her
mouth. He saw her eyes as he appeared, slaughtering the minions of Recluse
in front of them in a scream of lightning and the roar of ninken. He saw
the surprise, and finally the regret within them. She knew she was wrong,
and with her last breath gave him the apology that was at one time wanted,
Slowly, over time, he fought a war of attrition with the Recluse. A large
number of the Inuzuka Clan was now dead, hunted into extinction.
Ironically his original team survived, as did the students he eventually
taught. Ryo, Kagami… they would live on. He'd long made his peace with
Kagami, forgiven her for her attack upon Hitoshi. If Hitoshi didn't hold a
grudge, why should Taiki? They bore scars of the war, sure, but they would
live on. Naru… He would grieve for her most of all. Oh, she still lived,
but the pain he felt in his heart for having to sneak away, not telling
her where he was going, and knowing that he would not ever see her
again… That was almost too much for his heart to take. He knew she'd be
angry. A note saying, "I have to do this. Goodbye…" would only hurt
worse than anything else he could say. She knew how he felt about her.
They had finally admitted the truth. She tried everything she could to
hold him back, to keep him from leaving. She knew, as he did, this was a
suicide mission. But it had to be done. He felt sorry for the pain he had
caused her, and would cause her by his death, but everyone knew… this
"Do you understand now, Inuzuka Taiki? Great power causes great hate.
Great hate causes bloody, unnecessary wars. Yet you strove for that power.
You gave your heart to power. You have more blood on your hands than any
of us ever could. We operated by precision strikes, you slaughtered
everyone in your way. And you call us evil? Look in the mirror Inuzuka,
and see true evil," The leader taunted, his blue eyes dancing madly with a
assured grin. They both knew Taiki would not leave here alive.
"I have killed," Taiki answers as his both of his ninken, Shinobu and
Nozomi struggled to their feet. "But those I have killed were killers.
They were child abusers. They were the scum of the earth. They spread
terror and fear, not caring if their victims were six or sixty. And the
only way to stop them was to kill them. Yes, that includes you and your
minions. You, who through my uncles targeted me when I was six. You turned
families against each other, and nearly destroyed both my clan and Konoha
in the process. That is what drives me. You call me evil, and tell me to
look in the mirror? I have done none of these things. No, I am not evil. I
am what you made me: Justice. I may die this day. I knew that coming here.
But I will take you with me. For I am not evil. I am Justice. The souls of
the innocent cry out for Justice. The families left behind demand Justice
be served. The rulers of Konoha shout for Justice. I answer their call."
After a quick series of hand-seals he slams his hands down on the ground,
activating the seals around them. He doesn't have to donate the necessary
blood, he's been dripping on the activation seal all this time. Other
seals flare up around them, glowing an onimous red. "You have cornered
your doom," Taiki grins victoriously. "Now we will fight. If I kill you,
you die. But if you manage to kill me, you still die, as the seals will
finish it. You cannot escape. None of us leave this field alive today…
for I know I'm already dead. Make your peace with your gods, Recluse. For
here, today, Justice answers the call!"
There is no more need for words after that, for the Recluce were talented
enough in seals to know Taiki spoke the truth. The battle would be bloody
and vicious. Taiki would ask nor give quarter. First Nozomi went down in a
spray of blood. This caused the original dynamic duo to fight ever so much
harder. But they were out of their league… even Taiki knew it. Finally,
after feeling a thin line of fire across his neck, he looks up and spits
at his killer. One final act of defiance. One final stand. 'Naru would be
so proud…' he thought with an inner smile as his world faded to