Date: October 28, 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 continues, but with some rather disturbing events added into the mix.
"First Suna Halloween - The Bad Place"
Book Restoration Clinic/Temple of Terror - Sunagakure
The trio resume their journey forward through the dark maze. A metal 'candle' with a special light bulb that uses electricity to cause a few small pieces of metal to flicker and glow like a candle's flame, rather than pieces of metal, sits on a small table to light the way as some guy behind one of the tarps drops a ghost down in the way from above, via the use of a rope and pulley, while making a 'Mwah-hahahahaaaa!' noise.
The 'ghost' looks like a sheet with a pair of eyes painted on it, over top of a large pillow or something, but still, it is a sudden ghosting, rather than just seeing it in advance.
Meanwhile, Kara and Takumi have their stamps, have approached the door of the Haunted House and can probably see the general maze-like set-up of the first floor from the entrance. There's the stairs to the right, just as there were for Toshiro, leading to the second floor, and then to the third floor beyond that via a seperate stair case. The black cat, pumpkin, and faerie princess from before try to squeeze by Takumi to attempt the maze a second time.
Itami winced. "Is…is that true?" She wondered. She wasn't sure if she wanted to continue on if that was going to be the outcome, but…the young girls made it out fine. Maybe they will too. They were running fast enough, after all. So, without further delay she continues on with Yoko and Risu through the maze. Trying to be prepared is a little difficult when you don't know what's going to happen--*DUCK* Itami lowered herself to the ground while the pulley ghost came out of nowhere…"Does everything come out of nowhere in here?" She inquires.
That is the essence of a haunted house. She was all smiles and fun until she started to see the pattern to all of this. This was fun?
Risu is only a kid, not even entirely sure of her own actual age but she's definately age appropriate for this part of the haunted house, maybe even the next. Either way she's having a good time. As the ghost pops out, something she did not expect, she also jumps, turning to 'defend' Itami and Yoko, yes um, defend! She tries to look brave, as she brandishes her blunt kunai against the sheet on a pully! Well, at least she doesn't cut it or harm it in any way. She laughs as she realizes it is just cloth, having a rather fun time of it. She glances back at Yoko, "You think so? I don't know if I wanna be a wolfman. Maybe a wolf girl though." She says, clearly trying to make a joke, "Still, bet all that fur gets too hot." She decides as she turns to continue leading the group onwards in search of the mysterious dogman/wolfman.
The thing dropping from above is unexpected, but Yoko is intentionally trying to 'tone down' her ninja reflexes and danger awareness. Before she met Risu, she probably would have not only noticed the thing above her, but also killed it five different ways before its operator knew what was going on. Paranoia at least keeps one alive in dangerous situations, usually. Still, she tries to leap back a bit, training telling her to at least AVOID the unexpected movement, even if she isn't armed to DEAL with it. She notes that it is just a sheet over a pillow with menacing eyes drawn on it at about head-height.
"…." she offers and then walks forward. So maybe Itami isn't the only jumpy one. But she knows it's all in fun, so she smiles soon after and turns to the other woman. "They don't HAVE to come out of nowhere, but the two so far have. The idea is to relax. Even if you're scared for a moment, no harm is done. It's rare one can feel that level of excitement in the life of a ninja when it is not a life-or-death situation. Out on a mission, if you are scared, then things have gone horribly wrong. Here… You can experience a mix of fear and joy and not have to worry what will happen tommorow. No consequences at all. Unless you gorge on candy. Then you might get fat."
She shrugs and grins at Risu finally. "Don't think I don't notice you! You're totally doing a kick-aaaa--" she remembers who she is speaking to and finishes with, "--aaawesome job! Yeah, that's right! Your doing such an awesome job at kicking the butts of these monsters!" Nice save, Meimei! "And yeah, a wolf girl would be better. Men are lame. But in the desert, fur is probably not going to be too helpful most of the time, so we'll just have to make sure you don't get bitten or scratched! You can just use your special Jutsu and take him down like THAT." She snaps her fingers to show how quick he would be taken down. "Fist Release: Punch Technique! Or maybe Kunai Release: Stab In The Foot!" She asides quietly to Itami, "And I wouldn't worry about the wolfman. There are myths about a half-man and half-wolf that can spread his condition like a disease, but no one can reliably confirm to have seen him or known anyone who was 'infected'. Folklore and superstition. But the point of Halloween is to dress up as various monsters and fantasy figures, so…"
Kara looks with a smile at the old lady fairy godmother at the admission booth when she finishes stamping her hand and starts doling out advice. She then looks down at her own prominent chest. Then she looks at the considerably less prominent chest of the fairy godmother. Cheerfully, she says, "Thanks for the advice! How many centuries ago was it that you were firm enough to learn that lesson? Did dinosaurs still roam the Eaaaaah! H-hey! I was still making fun of her Takumi-kunnn~!" she whines as she is dragged away by the strong but painless grip on her left hand by Osiris (aka Takumi).
She gets over it quickly, though, when they reach the Temple of Terror's front door. "Ooo, spooky!" she whispers in Takumi's ear playfully, and then starts heading up the stairs as three 6-year old girls try to wriggle through the space between the door frame and Takumi. This maze looks a bit weak for her tastes. If she wants fear, she'll have to go for the higher floors, it seems!
After making sure Kara doesn't turn this occasion of playful terror into one of true terror, Takumi steps into the entrance of the haunted house. He is about to make a comment when a small group of children try to squeeze by him and the doorframe, despite there being more room on the other side of him. He smirks to himself and moves out of the way, thinking to himself how small children are like cats sometimes. Seeing the children going onto this floor makes Takumi assume this area is for children, so he looks for a pathway to another area. He spots the stairway leading up and turns to Kara. "Shall we go up the stairs to the next area? This looks like a children's area of some sort." He smiles and extends a hand toward the stairway.
The ghost is stabbed by the brave Risu, and then raised back up towards the ceiling on its rope. The man behind the tarp makes no further noises, and probably does not even know he startled the adults more than the child. The way is clear again. This time, the path is a zig-zagging one, with glow-in-the-dark plastic skeletons hanging on the tarp walls, and stuffed bat toys dangling from the ceiling and so forth.
And then there is a low, menacing growl… That… Does not sound like some guy dressed in a wolfman costume. That sounds more like a REAL canine. The growl repeats, longer this time, along with the sound of sniffing the air and panting…
Just as Toshiro found when he went to the second floor, there is aother maze of sorts… But this one uses plenty of optical illusions, a fog-generator, and ambient noises played on a casette tape of scary noises that someone got from somewhere, to make a rather interestingly creepy graveyard. The passages are not linear, but rather divide into three paths. The one to the left is draped in spider webs. The one directly ahead is an oddly warm and moist doorway carved from stone that features a skull motif rather prominently. The path to the right appears to be a broken window with heavy, blood-red curtains being blown around somehow. A strong fan maybe? Lightning flashes through the 'window' as though it looked out onto a stormy countryside instead of the right side of the room.
A guard that appears to be a humanoid spider stands at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the 'adults' section. The third floor.
"Ah… I see. Well. That's helpful." Itami inhales deeply and sighs back out. Relaxing. It's a little difficult to maintain and she did have the urge to jump to action, but it was growing increasingly minimal the more things were explainedd to her. "I think I might enjoy some candy when we get out of here. It'll be a nice treat after this is all over." She nods and continues along with the group. That wolfman still bothers her, though. It's just folklore…
"You are doing a great job, Risu-san. I'm very grateful you're here to defend Yoko and I both." She offers. There might even be a hint of seriousness behind that. Soon, they're on some zig-zag path and all looks well until some growling comes from the darkness. Just like everything else. Alright, so maintain calm… Relax. No harm… "It appears we'll have to be even more careful up here…"
Risu pauses as she hears the sound of what might be a real beast. She glances back at Yoko, looking a tad unsure. After all, everything else was pretty fake looking, and easy to deal with. But… this sounds awfully real to her. She backs up a bit, in her pace, just so she can be a tad closer to Itami and Yoko, to defend them, yes… that is it, to help defend them, as she walks with them through the zigzag towards the sound of the panting and growling. She holds her kunai out in front of herself, like it could ward off evil as she peers around each corner, expecting to see something rather scary. She stays quiet herself, almost as if she's afraid talking would draw the attention of some monster.
Yoko knows the sound of an animal from a human being. She can also (usually) tell the difference between the real thing and a recording. This does not sound like a recording. She frowns, and moves forward with everyone else. She wants to reassure Risu that this is just a special effect or something, but she is not going to lie to her or tell her what might be false based on her hopes. She hopes there's nothing wrong here. But that doesn't mean there isn't. Still, if this IS nothing, then she doesn't want to upset Risu. And if Itami gets upset she might just start tearing stuff apart with her Crazy Woman no Jutsu.
So she pushes ahead, on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary, but not quite ready to break out the kung-fu. "That's probably just some guy who can mimic sounds or something…" she mutters to those nearby as she keeps on going.
Kara has witnessed some horrible things. A lot of them this year, but also before, when she was on an extended mission with her first ninja team -- Team Randi. Perhaps due to her early exposure to soul-scarring sights, she is a bit less prone to taking dangerous situations seriously. So she follows Takumi up the stairs to the 'scarier' part of the house, without any qualms whatsoever. Or she >startS< to follow before squeezing past him, well-aware of the physical contact that will result from this in such close quarters. Then she giggles and bounces up the steps ahead of the Ancient Egyptian 'God of the Underworld'.
Protip: Bandage thongs, though nice to look at, are not the height of comfort. But women will wear and do lots of crazy things when they want a guy to like them, and Kara being uncomfortable would not be the most fantasical of those crazy things. So yes, going up stairs with a wedgie = Not fun. But Takumi is right behind her. So that kind of makes up for it. <3
And then >those< fun thoughts are left in the dust as Kara sees the set-up on the second floor. She lets out a low whistle and spends some time checking out the three different options in terms of passages. "Hmmm…" She taps a finger on her chin. "Which do you think, Takumi-kun?"
Takumi makes his way up the stairs, but is then thrown a bit off balance by Kara squeezing by him with her squeezy parts. Coupled with the unfamiliar robe, the push causes the medic-nin to flail about a bit, trying to find someone to grab on to. Kara is still within reach at this point, but his reluctance to randomly latch onto her for balance leads to even more flailing and potential falling off of stairs. As the very inefficiently-wrapped mummy bounds up the stairway ahead of him, Takumi pauses, seemingly against the laws of physics, to watch for a moment. After the moment passes, he managed to regain his balance and catch up with her on the second floor.
Standing next to his date, Takumi taps his chin thoughtfully as he looks over the various entryways. Thoughts pass through his head. The left one looks too spidery. Spiders are bad. The one on the right looks like it goes outside during a storm. Storms are bad. The middle one is strangely moist and warm, while covered in skulls. Bodyparts and bones are the most familiar to the medic, and he suddenly thrusts his hand outward as a royal gesture. "We shall go in the center!"
A man's voice calls out in a heavy and unfamiliar accent, "Shush! Shush, Bite-Then-Bark!" When whomever or whatever he is speaking to fails to shush and instead amps up the growling further, the man begins talking rapidly and angrily in some foreign language. Loud barks follow soon after, just as Risu, Yoko, and Itami come around the corner into another 'clearing' in the room. There is an aging man with a large, bushy, stark-white beard on his face, and receding hair of the same hue on his head sitting in a lawn chair with a bottle of something next to him. There is also a HUGE BLACK DOG-WOLF that gets up from his spot on the ground and comes charging forward at the trio, barking and making all kinds of noise.
The man in the chair leaps up, grabbing up a latex mask of a puppy's face and trying to fit it over his head. At the same time he is yelling furiously at the wolf-dog in what would be recognizable to those well-travelled as 'Russian-accented-Japanese'. It is nearly unintelligible, and yet simultaneously very clear in its meaning. Generally, the man is yelling at the dog (wolf?) to stop barking and scaring people. Finally, he succeeds by knocking his bottle of vodka over with a misplaced foot, and spilling it on the floor. The noise alerts 'Bite-Then-Bark' who then stops barking and turns towards the rapidly spreading puddle of alcohol and begins lapping it up. "Nyet! Nyet! Iie! Iie! NO!" he finally says at the dog. The canine ignores him.
He finishes getting his mask of a puppy on and holds up his hands with fingers held in 'menacing' claws and makes growly noises at the trio. "Beware of the vulfman!" he intones. His beard is still sticking out the bottom of his mask.
The middle passage leads through the stone doorway and into a very dark tunnel. The only light comes from the electric lights behind Kara and Takumi. The heat and moisture increases the further forward they walk, and an odd smell starts to linger in the air. No, change that from 'odd' to 'bad'. It smells a bit like a mix of rotten eggs and foul smoke of some kind. Something wet and warm keeps on dripping on the two from the ceiling as they proceed. Eventually, it is too dark to see anything. They have been walking for a few minutes now… How big is the second floor, anyway? They have been walking in a straight line too. This place should NOT be that big…
Then a faint glow becomes noticeable, though only after another half a minute. It is such a slow, gradual increase in light level that it would not have been obvious right away. And then… A sudden LURCH as the next step that the one in the lead takes is apparently on a lower level from the floor that has been followed so far. As the light level increases, so does the heat. The smell grows worse and worse, and there are apparently a series of crudely molded (molded? As in from stone?) steps leading down. Did they get turned around somehow and wind up back at the stairs?
Unlikely. This is either an amazing optical illusion and mind-boggling theatrical effects… Or something is wrong here. In the current light level, the wetness that has been dripping from above becomes visible. It's red. Blood. A look at the walls and ceiling reveal that they appear to be made of living tissue, and they further appear to be bleeding.
Best Haunted House ever? Or worst?
Sound mimic? That good? Itami would be impressed if she wasn't trying to decipher if the sound was real or fake. Well, she figures it out when they go around and make it into the clearing. There's a guy and he's…yelling at a dog, but…which one was supposed to be the wolfman? There was a man…and a wolf and so far the dog was the only thing that was concerning Itami more since…she assumed that the dog was going to be attacking.
But, the guy looks as if he's had too much to drink and he ends up spilling it. The dog…"Eh?" Itami inquires in some confusion then turns to Yoko as if she can translate what's going on. "What…who is…which one?" She asks and then looks back to the guy who starts to creep towards them talking about a wolfman. She looks surprised, but then she begins to smile and chuckle. It was a little difficult to control until she realized that she had to act this out. So, she tries to cough it out and get 'serious'. "Uh, it's the wolfman!"
Risu blinks, not sure what to do at first. She takes in the situation, tilting her head this way and that, as if trying to figure out if she should flee or something. She frowns a tad then tries to jump in front of Yoko and Itami, brandishing… well, not her kunai, that would be bad. No, in one of her pouches she pulls out a stick! It was something she found on the ground earlier and thought looked cool and stuffed in a pouch. Around a land of sand a cool stick is a neat toy, after all.
Taking the stick in hand, Risu waves it to get the dog's attention then… throws it to the other side of the room! Let's see if the dog actually chases it! Risu is taking a chance but she's hopeful the wolf will still want to chase a stick thrown to the back of the room, rather than bark at strangers in strange costumes!
Meimei is not that big. This dog is WHOAH BIG. Like… Taller than Risu and almost as tall as Yoko. This is not a dog. This is a MONSTER DOG AAAAHHHHH. "HOLY--" she yells out, though thankfully the rest of what she is yelling is drowned out by the mix of yelling from the Russian guy and the barking of the wolf-dog. She doesn't exactly leap back or move to defend herself, per se. It is more like she turns her body sideways while continuing to face the Monster Dog and balances on one foot, with both arms held close to her body.
What can she say? She's scared of big dogs. And this is the biggest (MONSTER) dog she has ever seen. Only when the dog stops barking and goes over to lap up the spilled vodka does she even start to THINK about relaxing. Lowering herself back onto both feet, heart thudding rapidly in her chest, Yoko watches the wolf slurping up alcohol with abandon from the safety of behind Itami and Risu. She doesn't know why Risu wasn't scared by a giant wolf charging at her and barking, or why Itami did not react, but she's definitely keeping an eye on this… Devil-Dog! She can brush her reaction off later as 'playing along' if anyone dares to accuse her of being scared. "Needs to be stricter regulations for pets in this town," she mutters semi-audibly and pushes past, avoiding the growling man in the 'Pound Puppies' mask. If he tries to touch or otherwise interact with her she just swats at him or otherwise moves swiftly to evade any such interaction. "Come on." she grumbles out over her shoulder, apparently not amused anymore.
Kara follows Takumi into the tunnel but is quickly frowning in consternation. "What is this--What >is< this!? What is dripping on me!?" She shields her eyes as best she can with her hand and considers going back. But it's probably just warm water or something. "Ugh." She proceeds, as long as Takumi does the same, with the foul smell and the heat both building until she is no longer consternated but grossinated! "Gross!" she manages to get out through a pinched-shut nose.
"This is one weird house. I'd almost say we're not even >in< the house anymore…" That seems to be supported when there's that sudden step down. And then another. And lots more. A bunch of stone steps leading down… To what? To where? And where did these steps >come< from!? "…Takumi-kun, maybe we should go back." Maybe it's not 'brave' to suggest that, but she's just a woman after all. She doesn't technically >have< to be foolishly brave. That's for Takumi to do!
Also, Kara notices the odd walls and ceiling and the blood. She doesn't scream or freak out, but she is not in her happy place right now.
Takumi looks around at the bleeding fleshy walls, and his first instinct is to attempt to stop the bleeding, but he quickly realizes thats a silly thing to try. The mere presence of bleeding flesh doesn't freak him out too much, but the fact that it is very large and all around him causes him some issue. The dripping blood makes him reach reflexively for his face mask, but he is in costume, and thus without his usual gear. He then tries to pat Kara in a comforting manner through the darkness and says, "I really don't know what this is…I have an idea, but you said it was all in fun and fake, right? That means someone went through a lot of trouble to make this look real." He then mutters "hopefully" to himself. He then attempts to find her hand with his and continue down the stairs.
The man just waves off Yoko as she pushes past. "Dah, dah…" he mutters and goes back to his seat after bowing to Itami and pulling off his puppy mask again, due to how insufferably hot it is. The thrown stick makes the wolf-dog's head come up briefly from the clattering on the floor, but he seems more interested in licking up the vodka since its owner has picked up the mostly-empty bottle and moved it out of range. It must be hot to have all that fur, so maybe that is why the wolf is so thirsty.
The rest of the Temple of Terror's first floor is rather uneventful. A bathtub full of mannequin limbs that have been painted and 'augmented' with gross-looking but fully edible food stuffs, a strobe light… Simple things. A vampire-like man stands by the exit bidding the successful maze-adventurers farewell 'until this even-ing. Mwah-hahaha.'.
Yoko being in the lead, would get outside first. Just in time to hear some lady calling for her daughter. She looks annoyed right now, but also vaguely worried as she searches the crowds. Nothing big. A little girl that wanders off and is found later in less-than-dire-circumstances is probably nothing to worry about. But the mother is now asking people at random if they have seen her daughter. A little girl of about 6 years, dressed as a faerie princess and in the company of a black cat and a pumpkin of the same gender and approximately the same age. Odd that all three went missing, but if they're together, they are probably alright.
Proceeding down the steps results in the heat and the smell both getting worse. Now the smell of rotting meat is added into the stench of sulfur and smoke. Eventually, sounds other than the wet dripping of bloody flesh ceilings become audible. They sound like… Screams. Lots of them. The further that Kara and Takumi go, the louder and more numerous they are. Eventually, they come to the bottom of the stone stairs, which are slick with blood, and the heat is by now a furnace -- enough to be painful if attempts are made to push forward -- and the fetid stench enough to make one gag or get sick. Beyond the flesh archway, there is something awful.
A massive PIT, glowing red and yellow, and emitting swirls of green smoke and grey flames. It is as wide across as the largest of canyons, and there are THINGS moving on the walls. What they are exactly may be best not investigated. But they are screaming and moving and the farther down the pit they are, the more it seems they may be on fire. That would account for the screaming, at least.
Then, lengthy tendrils with saw-toothed mouths come rising up out of the pit and start biting into and peeling away the unfortunate creatures on the walls, pulling them down into the depths.
This is a Bad Place. Whatever is causing this… Special effects, Genjutsu, Ninjutsu… It is likely not very appealing right now. And perhaps not safe either. This last idea is reinforced when one of the tendrils seems to detect Kara and Takumi and starts arching its way towards them, leaning forward and trying to gets its mouth within range!
Itami nodded to the man and a smile passed across her face. Well, this wasn't all so bad after all! Now, it's time to leave. That was cetainly an experience that she won't be forgetting. "We better catch up. She's leaving us behind." She remarks to Risu, but she doesn't doubt that she'll be after Yoko faster than she ever would. So, if Risu heads out first, Itami would be close behind. "Yoko-san?" She calls wondering if she was alright. She looked pretty upset walking out of the place.
Though, she's distracted temporarily when a worried woman asks about three young girls. Ones that she saw earlier. They're missing? She imagines that it's easy to get lost in such an event. She hopes everything is going well. Wouldn't be good to have this event end on a sour or terrible note.
Risu is almost disappointed as the dog/beast ignores her stick. She frowns then turns to say something to Yoko, only to find she's already leaving. Risu now actually looks scared, the idea of being left behind by Yoko apparently far more scary than the barking dog to the girl. She hurries up, trying to catch up to Yoko, to be by her side, making sure Itami comes along too. As the group exits, and gets outside, Risu catches some fresh air. She doesn't notice the missing girl bit quiet yet. Her attention is more on Itami and Yoko. "That… wasn't so scary. Kinda strange though…" She says as she glances back, "That was a real strange dog thing. Hardly looked real." She says softly, then looks up to Yoko, "We gonna try more or?"
Yoko passes by the vampire guy as he bids her farewell. She just mutters, "Whatever, suckface." and continues on out. By that point, Risu and Itami would have caught up. Yoko hears the worried mother but doesn't really 'hear' her. It's a bit easier now to realize she was never in danger per se. She feels foolish. Embarassed. Big, bad Meimei--okay, so just bad--frightened of a dog. It probably just looked bigger than it was. No way could any dog be 4'2" or 4'6" or whatever it was. That's just ridiculous!
Looking at Risu, she allows the frown to slip half-way off her face, resulting in a lop-sided smile. "Sure. I just have problems with large dogs. You seemed to handle the first floor pretty well. You were braver than Itami-san and me in most cases. Think you want to try the second floor? It's supposed to be a lot scarier, apparently, but I don't know by how much. Or we can go get some candy…"
She trails off as she notices a pumpkin and a black cat standing by a table, licking fudge off their fingers. No fairy princess in sight. She turns her head to find the mother of the missing girl as she questions Itami. "…Hm. Those two little girls over there had a companion. She's gone now." She calls out to the mother, "Are those the two you're looking for?" and then points at the orange-costumed and black-costumed little girls. She feels something is a bit off here, but she's not sure what. Surely, steps were taken to make this place safe for everyone. But in this Village, with the structural damage… It only takes one little girl wandering off into an unstable building to spell tragedy.
"Risu," she starts off with. "I've got a mission for you. I need you to guard the Councilwoman and escort her up to the third floor. That's supposed to be for 'adults', but that probably means there's Chuunin and Jounin relaxing up there too. Big wigs, you know? People who can help Itami-san with making sure everyone is okay and safe. But if anything happens to Itami-san, they might not let you upstairs to tell them what's going on. So make sure she doesn't get lost in the dark and doesn't get hurt. Alright?"
She waits for confirmation, and if she gets it, she turns and starts to make her way back towards the house. If she does not get it, then she'll ask, "PLEASE, Risu-chan. This is important." And if that doesn't work… Well, she'll be at a loss.
Kara follows Takumi down the stairs, growing more and more reluctant the further down they go. This is just… Wrong. There is no way they can have gone this far down and still be in the same building. It has taken like 15 minutes just to get this far, and now they're standing here at the entrance to some kind of flaming pit of blood and screams and tentacles. Wait what.
She stares wide-eyed at the scene before her. Kara has seen terrible things. Many of them just in this last year. But this is a new one on her. "Takumi-kun… Let's get out of here--" she starts to whisper to him, when she notices one of those fanged tentacles coming at them both. Then she gasps and starts trying to pull Takumi up the stairs so he doesn't do something stupidly macho like try to fight it to protect her or something. This is not a good place to be, not at all.
Whatever is going on here, she wants no part of it.
Takumi gapes for a minute at the insane scene before him. Whatever is going on here seems to have strolled a teensy bit over the "good ol fun" boundary line. He grumbles to himself a little, thinking, "The one time someone convinces me to not go somewhere in full ninja garb, THIS happens."
Making sure Kara is behind him, he starts to back up and tells her, "Yes, we should go, now." Kara is already in the process of leaving as he turns all the way around and follows her up and away.