Date: October 29, 2010
A charity haunted house event is set up to help cover the costs of both fixing up Sunagakure and taking care of its people. Day one concludes with a peaceful resolution, though some questions remain unanswered…
"First Suna Halloween - Stay Out Of The Basement"
Book Restoration Clinic/Temple of Terror - Sunagakure
Recap: It is still Day One of the First Annual Sunagakure Halloween Event. But things have become a bit more complicated than they were earlier. A child is missing. Yoko/Meimei has decided to go looking for her, and Risu and Itami are supposed to go alert those on the third floor, just incase more people are needed to find the girl. Meanwhile, Kara and Takumi are fleeing from a place bred of insanity and gorged with nightmares, as tendrils of grey flesh with saw-toothed mouths chase them up a flight of bloody stairs. Supposedly they are on the second floor. But physics say otherwise.
And for some reason, the lumpy-faced man that was guarding the basement entrance and sharpening a knife has gone missing…
"Right. I remember the three of them running past us when we left the haunted house…" Itami huffs. This was turning into something…well, not fun. Her eyes are set upon Risu as she was tasked with escorting Itami to the thrid floor where the adults lounged. A mission of sorts for her. The council woman might have been amused if the situation wasn't looking a little troubling at the moment. Yet, she manages a smile and says, "Well, I am ready when you are Risu-san. I will follow your lead to the third floor." She nods to her. "It appears we'll have to make haste. I'm unsure of where the girl might be and we'll need all the help we can get in finding her." She turns to look back at the house.
"You were pretty brave in there…" She offers in a thoughtful manner to Risu while she continues to look at the house and shakes her head lightly to remove herself from her thoughts. "Ah, right. So, let's go." She grins and gestures for Risu to lead the way with a slight bow.
Risu is a tad confused but… does her best to follow Yoko's orders. She snaps a little salute, kind of cute really, then looks to Itami, "I'll lead the way to make sure it's safe, you stay close behind!" She says to the Council woman, as if she really is taking part in a mission, doing her best to play the part. She glances around, as if making sure it is safe then nods to Yoko, "I'll do my best!" And with that to Itami says, "Let's go."
Risu heads back to the stairs, to try to lead the way to the third floor as instructed. She gets her bunt kunai out again, ready to take charge if it is needed, or at least trying to look brave, perhaps to impress Itami and Yoko.
Yoko is glad Risu went with Itami without question. She doesn't want to drag Risu someplace dangerous, but she also doesn't want her to be alone. But now Meimei is alone. She is headed back into the first floor area, planning to just sort of walk around and call out for the girl and check everywhere and behind everything. She wants to make sure this isn't some minor thing first before she goes door to door in the Village checking every single house. She notices that the lumpy-faced man is gone, but does not immediately think anything of it. At least not yet. For now, she is just looking for anything out of place. Anywhere a little girl might think was a good place to hide for no reason at all.
She hopes there's a simple, peaceful resolution to this. But after a life like hers, she doesn't expect such.
Kara runs. She runs up the stairs ahead of Takumi, making sure he is right behind her only by the sounds of his foot falls, as opposed to removing her vision from her escape route to look behind. Though, somehow, not knowing how far away those hungry mouths are is worse than actually checking and seeing them. They appeared to be silent in their movements and attacks, so really, they could have stopped chasing already, or be slowly ascending, or be inches from her neck. She doesn't know!
Kara keeps running, fear making her move faster and more surely than she ever thought possible. And yet… Those stairs are wet. Wet with what might be blood. She slips. She falls forward. And then she lands on the stairs on her hands and knees, right at the top of the staircase. She tries to crawl into the dark passage beyond, but this delay might be just what those tendrils need to sink their fangs into her and tear her apart. And what about Takumi? Will he be delayed by her clumisness too!? Is this the end of them both!?!
Takumi dashes up the stairs after Kara, trying his best to get away from the tentacle things. He does his best to keep his footing on the stairs, and holds up the bottom of his robe as he runs. He sees Kara go down in front of him, and quickly ducks, grabbing around her firmly and lifting her along with the strength of a man who has had to drag numerous unconcious bodies out of immediate danger. Sure she's still awake, but he can handle dead weight. He is trying his best to help her get to her feet, as opposed to just dragging her along the ground like a sack of shapely potatoes that someone wrapped in bandages for some odd culinary reason.
Takumi and Kara make it off the stairs and into that dark tunnel that brought them here. Takumi carrying Kara takes them both out of that tunnel without further incident. Though if either had bothered to look behind them, they would have found that the tentacles had NOT followed them. But who knows how long THAT would last? Then, suddenly, the two emerge from the darkness, back in the haunted house, and…!
Out of nowhere, Takumi, with Kara still likely being carried, nearly run right into Itami and Risu as they come up the stairs to the second floor! Behind Takumi and Kara, the moment they were out of that passage, the darkness turns into a dimly-lit dungeon-style hallway, with electric 'torches' in the walls, and so forth. It looks nothing like what they just emerged from.
The blood still coats them liberally, of course. But a close inspection would reveal it is not that warm at all, and is actually somewhat cold. Further it appears to be water mixed with red food coloring dye. It didn't feel like water before. It was warm, it was sticky, it was blood. But now it's not.
As Meimei goes looking for the missing little girl, she may find herself wandering close enough to where the mother with the missing daughter is questioning the other two little girls that she overhears something. "Where was she when she got lost?" "She wasn' lost!" the black cat protests. "Then where is she?" The girl shrugs. The pumpkin girl has been quiet all this time. When the mother of the missing girl turns on the pumpkin, she looks scared. "Where is Kuri?" "Exploring…" the pumpkin girl mutters. "WHERE?" she asks more urgently. "In the basement!" the pumpkin says agitatedly as she starts crying.
Itami is guided along by Risu up the stairs to get to the third floor and they appear to be making pretty good speed about it, but all that changes when Kara and Takumi come out of the haunted house on the second floor coated with blood, or a variant of it. Itami? She flips out since she just recently came out of the haunted house with things jumping out at her and it happens again, only this time, it's /not/ in the haunted house. "Why does everything jump out of nowhere!?" She calls out in frustration, though brings herself to calm down when she's able to see who the people were.
"M-My apologies…" She grumbles in slight embarrassment. "Are you two alright? You're covered in…what..looks like blood…" She looks at Takumi and Kara for some confirmation that they're alright. "Risu-san and I are on our way up to the third floor. You both are welcome to come along if you wish."
Risu's first reaction to this scene is… one of horror. She was playing brave up to this point but… well, the blood, or… fake blood, freaks her out a tad. She backs right into Itami, looking pale scared. She almost clings to Itami and slowly kind of tries to put Itami in front of her. It maybe fake blood but the lighting is bad and Risu is about out of bravery for the evening. Big black dog that likes booze? Okay. People covered in fake blood? Maybe a bit much for her. She doesn't say a word, only tries to use Itami as a bit of a shield suddenly, hiding behind the woman.
Meimei's specialty is seeing in the dark, not hearing conversations. But she IS close enough to hear this particular conversation. 'The basement,' she thinks. 'Where is the basement? Indoors?' She was wandering around outside, but now she goes dashing around to the front of the house and pushes past a family that is just entering, only barely bothering to say, "Out of the way! Emergency!" Then she starts frantically searching on the first floor, trying to lift up tarps and anything else to get to the parts of the room that were previously closed off. She has to find the basement. Maybe it's nothing. Maybe it's safe down there. But she doesn't recall the basement being part of the tour.
Kara is grabbed and dragged by Takumi until she can get back onto her feet. Which is difficult with the slippery floor and all. "Oh god oh god oh god did you see those things what the heck is going on this is the worst haunted house >ever< why the hell do they have Hell in a haunted house this is insane oh god oh god oh hi, Itami-san!" she finishes cheerfully as she looks up at Itami and the Tiniest, Most Adorable Kunoichi >Ever< that is hiding behind Itami, from her position on her rear on the floor. "Takumi-kun and I were just in Hell! It was pretty awful, but sure I'd love to come up to the third floor with you! Can't be any worse than what we've just been through, right? >RIGHT<!?" She yells a bit hysterically. Her red-soaked bandages that compose her costume don't look quite as 'sexy' now. And yet she still takes the time to go from hysterical to calm as she says to Takumi, "You can move your hand off of that now."
Takumi stops short of slamming him and his passenger into the the two new arrivals. He looks around very confused for a moment, and throws a look behind him. When he doesn't see hell tentacles he looks back in front of him and tries to give some sort of casual smile. At Kara's notificiation, he clears his throat and and releases her, putting his arms at his sides.
He manages to keep most of his composure as he remarks, "I have no idea what is up with this holiday, but I don't wish to go through any of THAT again!" When he sees the look of fear on the young one's face, he picks up part of his robe and bring it close to his face, sniffing at the stains on it. Whatever it was before, it isn't blood now. He then tries on a playful smile and says, "This isn't real blood, its just fake stuff from the maze." He coughs lightly and throws an uneasy glance over his shoulder before adding, "All in good fun."
No sign of hellish tunnels. No sign of hungry tendrils. No sign of fake blood back there either, really. Maybe it was further in? Regardless, things seem to be okay now, despite the frazzled state that Takumi and Kara are in. The staircase leading up to the third floor is still being guarded by a human-spider-costumed man. When Itami shows up he bows to her and looks towards between the other four present. "Everything alright? And where did you two come from? I've been here all day and don't remember seeing you even come up here!" he tells Takumi and Kara.
Meimei finds the basement entrance. It's a trapdoor with stairs leading down. And down. And down. Down into a very poorly-lit area under the 'Temple of Terror'. The smell of dust and books is prevalent. If Meimei goes down there, she'd find herself in a rather large basement — probably expanded or renovated somehow — full of books. Books everywhere, in stacks, on tables, in boxes, on bookshelves… A chopping block sits nearby with a gleaming butcher knife embedded in it.
Itami winces for a few moments. That didn't sound right at all. They were just in Hell? What? "…" She tries to process this, but she's distracted when she sees that Risu has disappeared, then more panic sets in because she thinks about what would happen if Risu went missing like the other girl and then what would come of it when Yoko finds out. She starts to look left and right, up and down until she turned around and saw Risu hiding behind her. "Whew…" She feels /so/ relieved right now. "Greetings, Kara-san, Takumi-san. I'm glad you both are safe and…not in Hell anymore." That still didn't sound right.
"But yes, we should go up to the 3rd floor. A young girl has gone missing and we're going to need help finding her. Yoko-san has already set off to look for her, so Risu-san has been a great help escorting me to the 3rd floor to go and recruit others." She looks behind her again and says, "It's alright, Risu-san. I didn't really expect that either, but all should be well now." She offers to her with a smile.
Upon reaching the door gaurded by spider man, she returns the bow to him in greeting and states what they're all there for, expecting him to open the door and let them in. A girl needed to be found and quickly. "We're fine, by the way. Or at least, I assume. We've all been met with some frights tonight, it seems…"
Risu is quiet now, she keeps behind and near Itami. Spooked is the word of the moment for the girl. She's right there. She stays near Itami as the group starts to move up to the third floor. Perhaps the big man guarding the third floor will miss Risu behind Itami, or not, but Risu is suddenly planning on staying here… unless. She frowns, "Yoko…." She mutters softly as she looks back down the stairs, cold fear gripping her as she suddenly realizes that most important of people could be in harm's way.
Taking a chance that Itami may be distracted by talking to the door person and the other two, and seeing that Itami made it to the third floor, mostly, Risu turns and tries to sneak back down to find Yoko, where ever she might be, some where in the house right?
Yoko stands at the entrance to the basement. She does not fear the dark. But fools rush blindly in where Kage fear to tread and all that. So she takes the stairs down with caution in mind. She has done some damage to the decorations in the process of finding this trapdoor, so it may be noticeable that one of the tarps that was previously taped down is now loose and fluttering in the breeze.
Meimei eventually makes her way down into a… Library? Book storage facility? She doesn't know what this house was eventually supposed to be. She just knows this is like 'bibliophile heaven' down here. She removed her goggles on the way down, so now her bright-violet eyes make the darkness as clear as day would be to someone without light-sensitive eyes. Where is the girl? This place is used regularly. She can see subtle signs here and there that this is not just abandoned storage space. Someone LIVES down here. But WHERE is the GIRL? She starts searching.
Kara gets to her feet, looking >very< frazzled and out of it. Takumi's reassurances to Risu seem to go in one ear and out the other for Kara. "What are you talking about? We walked in a straight line for five minutes, then down stairs for another five, and everything was >bleeding< and there were tentacles with >teeth< coming after us, and, and," she gestures wildly as she explains, as if Takumi hadn't been there, while following him and Itami and Risu—"and where'd the munchkin go?" She looks around in confusion. "Don't tell me that little girl wasn't really real >either<!?"
Takumi makes half-hearted warding movements with his arms as Kara gestures all about. "Yes, I was there, I saw it. I dislike tentacles as much as anyone." He tries to land a comforting hand on her shoulder before explaining, "Its entirely possible that was just genjutsu of some sort. This IS a ninja village." He isn't entirely sure thats what it was, but he figures it will help Kara out somehow. Leading her up the stairs, he suddenly looks about as she mentions the child. "Is she not still behind Itami? She did seem rather spooked at the sight of us in all this red. Maybe she ran up ahead of us to the third floor?"
Itami, Kara, and Takumi are now about to head up the stairs to the third floor, or may have already done so. If the latter, they would be treated to a spooky Halloween Party sort of atmosphere. Not really scary per se, but there are costumes in here that match the same theme as Kara's — namely, the 'sexy' theme. And they aren't all on women, either. Then again, some are just 'fun' costumes. A teacher dressed as an apple, a 'Reverse Zombie' that is 'super-alive' instead of 'undead' (think Richard Simmons), and so on. It's just a place for the adults to converse, relax, and have fun. Treats, punch, etc. A final set of stairs leads up to the attic, but no one is going up there right now, because Risu has vanished.
Takumi's suggestion maybe she went up the stairs ahead of them without being seen somehow appears to be incorrect. There is no sign of a tiny ninja anywhere. Risu, meanwhile, would likely pick up Yoko's trail fairly easily, given the damage to the decorations that the purple-haired kunoichi caused. And speaking of Meimei/Yoko, her investigation of the library would reveal that there is a tapestry that seems to be moving as though in an unfelt breeze… More special effects? No, this is a REAL draft. A cold, dry gusting that makes the tapestry float away from the wall a couple inches. If she were to move it aside and look, she would find a dark passage that seems to go deep underneath Sunagakure. An entrance to the Catacombs, perhaps? And one unsecured? That would be interesting indeed. But regardless of if Yoko examines it or not, she would likely hear something falling over nearby. A stack of books disrupted. And an investigation THERE would reveal a faerie princess, looking at a rather gruesome-appearing tome that seems to be bound in a disturbingly-pliable and leathery… Skin of some kind. Does the cover have a FACE on it!? The girl seems to be examining the book's contents in confusion, furrowing her brow and moving her lips unconsciously as she silently mouths the words she is trying to read.
There is no way that can be good.
Itami delivered the news of the missing girl to the rest of the adults that were up here on the third floor without losing her mind. She had to try and remain calm herself since Risu just disappeared without warning and may be another to add to the list next to the young fairy princess that's gone missing. Once she's given everyone information on the girl, or as much as was what gathered on such short notice, she begins to turn on her heel and exit the room. It was now time for Risu to be found and knowing her, she'd probably be going after Yoko.
It might not be so difficult to find her, maybe she could even catch up with the girl, but that just might be Itami being hopeful. She wants to find her before she gets to Yoko. This is not another thing she wants on her record, but more importantly, she doesn't want Risu to be harmed should anything come down to that.
Risu is trying her best to find Yoko quickly, and the path of destruction does little to comfort the rather freaked out girl. But she can easily imagine, for some reason, Yoko leaving a trail of destruction while she looks for another girl. So she follows, trying to track down Yoko. However, for good or bad, Itami catches up with Risu before she gets to Yoko. Risu is being cautious, while Yoko is being destructive, meaning Risu is going slower than Yoko. This allows Risu to be caught up to by Itami about the time she gets to the path that leads down into the basement. Since Yoko is already in said basement, Risu has yet to catch up. Risu in fact hesitates at the top of the entrance to the basement, not really knowing what to do from the looks of it. She's holding that blunt Kunai in her nervous hands as if it were a real weapon, as she peers down into the basement, one foot down the first step but that's it so far as she hesitates.
Meimei does indeed look at the tapestry for a moment, noticing the odd air current… But she has more important concerns. Like the missing girl. She'll look at the tapestry thing later maybe. Exploring secret passages is soooooo not something one does at her age. Some books topple over and suddenly her eyes shift to using up Chakra as she activated her Eye of Night reflexively. Her hands come up, ready to form seals, but… Nothing else happens. So she cautiously walks along the western side of the room, eyes picking up the tiniest details in this dark environment. And then she sees… A fairy princess reading a book made out of someone's face. And maybe some other skin.
Meimei clears her throat as she lowers her hands. "Your mother is looking for you and very worried, you know. And you probably shouldn't be 'exploring' places you're not allowed to be," she admonishes. Then she sighs and tries to guide the girl out of the room and towards the stairs, as her eyes return to 'normal'. Or as normal as any Onohara's eyes ever are. The sound of her voice would probably carry up the stairs, at the very least, so Risu would know Yoko can talk and that she doesn't sound angry or scared or hurt.
Assuming the princess acts like a princess and allows herself to be lead up the stairs and back to her waiting mother, all is well. If she's a brat, though, she'll be picked up and carried to safety.
Because, seriously, Yoko should not have to be playing baby-sitter—She pauses briefly as a horrible realization strikes her. She IS a baby-sitter. She is baby-sitting other people's kids AND teaching them advanced parts of life. She is practically a parent! And she volunteered for a teaching job!? Sighing, she gets moving again.
All's well that ends well. The adventure into Hell for Takumi and Kara will have to remain an unsolved mystery. The little girl is rescued and complies with being lead out of the basement. She put the tome back where she found it, and complained of the skin-cover book, "It smez like gwandma anywaysies!" Too adorable. Too adorable to live. The lumpy-faced man that was guarding the basement before steps out from behind the tapestry once Yoko and the princess are gone. He glares up at them unpleasantly, before reaching a hand up and tearing the skin from his face in strips by digging his fingers in and PULLING. Underneath is revealed a withered, decayed face, belonging to no living human being. In the aristocratic baritone that the Ghoul of the Desert possesses, Nai mutters, "I told them all to the stay out of the basement. And now look at this mess!" He looks around at displaced books and toppled piles of the same. Shaking his head, he regrets not simply putting up a sign that says, 'Abandon All Refunds Ye Who Enter Here'. People apparently value their lives less than their money.
Then he notices the book with the face on it. There is a latch on the book. The moment he touches the book, the latch snaps shut of its own accord. "…Hn. It has never opened before. I wonder why it chose to do so now…" Shrugging it off, he re-shelves the tome and starts cleaning up. This is only Day One after all, and his birthday is tommorow.