Date: July 20, 2010
Two members of Sunagakure's Team 01 meet at the training grounds, though they did not intend to do so. A discussion of Ruri's motivation in killing the bad guy on their last mission ensues.
"He Needed To Die"
Training Fields - Sunagakure
Shemri stands in the middle of the field, doing a rather unusual training exercise…she's juggling. Several little bags of sand flying up and down around Shemri. Well, not something a ninja typically has direct use for, but it's easy enough to see how it might help out dexterity, right? And in Shemri's case, it's not just regular dexterity she's working on; she's trying to improve her coordination with double sash-tails. It's pretty tricky, even for juggling, because the tails don't actually feel anything. :P Shemri's almost gotten to the point where she can handle alternating between hands and tails, but ideally she wants to be able to do it entirely with the tails. Behind her back, even.
*THUMP* One of the sandbags hits the ground. Shiikaa mrows and bats at it. Shemri scowls. "Shouldn't you be practicing something too?" :P
Ruri spent a lot of energy on that mission to recover the scroll. She had pushed herself well beyond where she was used to pushing herself. And at the very end, it had been up to the others to protect her, including her own sister. She didn't want to be protected. She wanted to be the one to safeguard the lives of others. Her family, her friends, her team… And if she was going to get tired out that easily, she couldn't do that. So she has been trying to build up her endurance since then.
Stamina training is where she's focusing her efforts. But that's not all… She has to learn more about that mysterious power she had tapped into previously. It had made her stronger, but it had clouded her judgement, and inhibited her common sense. It had added unstable emotions into her mind, and she could not afford that to happen again. What was that hidden power inside of her? Where had it come from? And how could she use it without the side-effects? Arriving at the training grounds, she checks to make sure no one is around, while taking the bandanna off her right eye — or where the eye used to be, at least.
Ruri stops, however, when she spots Shemri. Damn. Guess she won't be practicing with THAT today. It would probably gross her team mate out. Instead she replaces the bandanna and walks closer to Shemri while trying not to be distracting.
Shemri kneels down and scoops up the dropped sandbag. "You need to come up with something new with your wind abilities," Shemri remarks to Shiikaa as she resumes juggling. "Something that can do some real damage to these monsters we keep running into on our missions." Shiikaa scratches his ear. Yyyyeah…gonna need some direction on that one. ^e.e^ Cats do cunning, or clever, but not so much creative.
Hearing approaching footsteps, Shemri turns her head to see who it is. "Ah. Aha. Greetings, Ruri-san." Carefully, Shemri turns around to face Ruri, managing to keep the sandbags going as she does so. "I was wondering before whether I should have told you about my learning to move two tails of my sash," Shemri remarks. "I did not bring it up because I have not fully mastered it, but when we were being charged by that horde of zombies, it seemed a good time to pull out all the stops. Not that I really wound up using it in the end." X) Shemri jerks to the side suddenly to save a misthrown sandbag from falling. Phew…hard to say which is a better indicator of how she's doing, that she threw that one too hard or that she was able to recover from the error. "Anyhow, it seems trivial in comparison to the new abilities you displayed," Shemri continues. "This is merely getting better at what I already was doing—I do not recall ever seeing you grow things from your eye socket before. When did you learn this?"
Yeah, Shemri does think it's gross, but she's got a strong stomach and she doesn't like to beat around the bush. :P
Ruri stops a short distance away when she is greeted, nodding to Shemri. "Hello, Shemri-san." The explanation of using two 'tails' is listened to, but it doesn't lead Ruri along the mental path that Shemri probably expects. Instead, Ruri is thinking about the fact that her sister had displayed 'tails' of her own… Chakra so dense it was visible to the naked eye. It had been quite a powerful ability, whatever it was… But it had also seemed to take a lot out of Rinako when it wore off. Once again, Ruri hadn't been strong enough to keep her sister from having to use that MONSTER'S powers…
"Hm?" Her attentions comes back to Shemri. "…Oh. Yeah, good job. New abilities are great and all, but they tend to be harder to master BECAUSE of that newness. Having a solid understanding of existing skills lets you advance to stronger versions, while at the same time being familiar with what you are doing. There's less uncertainty about whether it will work or not." She then just looks at Shiikaa and stays quiet.
Seems she doesn't intend to answer the thing about her eye. "It was Sheex," she says. Oh, or maybe she will answer after all. "He left a piece of himself inside my head just before his Summoned Beast died. It was trying to take me over so he could then go on to attack Rinako again. I had to do something about it, so I sealed him up in such a way that I absorbed his memories, his personality, his powers… Everything that made him 'Sheex'. It all became mine. Instead of him possessing me… I possessed him. One of the side-effects of that is the space in my right eye socket is no longer just the inside of my head. It's an alternate spatial environment, where that regenerating Summoned Beast is stored. I'm able to spend Chakra to temporarily grow new tissue from it — like an eye."
Looking up at Shemri, Ruri continues with, "Also, it doesn't have to be the same eye each time. So I can put a Flesh Scroll tattoo on the surface of an eye, and then when I call it forth to the socket, I can use it to unseal whatever I stored in it. At the same time, I can grow a normal eye to see with that looks exactly the same as the eye I was born with. However…" She sighs. "…I had no idea I could grow more than one eye at a time. When I was low on energy, and NEEDED more to help everyone, I guess I reached deep inside of myself and found the power to keep going." She leaves out the fact that the 'power' she drew upon was not necessarily HERS. "And I guess that unlocked the ability to grow more than one eye… And to grow more than just eyes. After all, that Mountain of Flesh thing was able to grow all kinds of things. There's no reason why I can't do the same. But it hurts, and it uses Chakra. So I probably shouldn't use it too often."
Shemri's eyes follow the sandbags as Ruri explains. It's not that she isn't interested, after all, she did ask…it's just sash-eye coordination relies heavily on the eye aspect. c.c That and Shemri doesn't always understand the more complicated bits of explanations about magic ninja powers. She picks up that it's leftover from that annoying body-snatching ninja they faced in the Land of Waves, and it lets Ruri-san grow stuff from her eye socket, and Ruri-san plans to use it only when really necessary. Which, in their line of work, will probably be depressingly often. -.- "Ah. Aha. It sounds like a troublesome power to have," Shemri mutters. "Then again, I find myself wishing more and more often that I could do something significant against all those giant beasts we keep running into." :P
Ruri thinks over Shemri's words. "I suppose you could always work on your physical strength… If you're strong enough, it's possible to hurt almost any opponent, regardless of his, her, or its size. Or you could try to get ahold of some weapon or weapons that could give you an edge. Explosive tags, or something… Or maybe work on a Collaboration Technique with Shiikaa. Have him produce Wind Chakra and shroud a weapon or weapons that you are holding in that Chakra, then you can cleave through just about anything. And since it's two of you working together, it would be even stronger than normal."
Shemri nods thoughtfully. "Explosive tags could be a good step. I simply hope I can control them safely. They are not a tool to be used carelessly. The wind weapons could also be useful, though again, dangerous. Do you believe you could direct chakra like that without hurting my hands in the midst of battle, Shiikaa?" Shiikaa tilts his head and gives a shivering meow. That'd take a lot of practice to perfect. ^c.c^
Shemri glances to Ruri again. "I do not wish to stir up trouble, but why did you kill the old man during that last mission? True he deserved it and probably would have been executed anyway, and he caused us great danger and suffering, but he did not seem to be a great threat at the time."
Ruri starts to offer, "Well, one idea is to have Shiikaa leap up to one of your shoulders and stay there, and then combine his Chakra with your own… Then you allow it to 'flow' into the weapon. You focus on wielding it, and Shiikaa focuses on the shaping of the Wind aspect. By splitting the task, the burden is lightened—"
But then Shemri looks at her in a certain way, and she pauses, wondering what that glance was about. Then she finds out. "…Well, what you said covers most of it. He was going to be executed anyway for his crimes. I just expedited the process. But another reason is that we don't know how exactly he was mutating people into those… THINGS in the first place. We don't know if it required physical contact, or material components, or a lengthy ritual, or whatever else. Can you honestly say that we could safely transport him back to Sunagakure against who-knows-how-many miles without potentially becoming his newest victims instead of his captors? Not to mention that even with his ninja skills, he was not exactly the most physically capable codger on the planet. He would have taken forever to get across the desert on foot, and if you think for a second I would have let any one of us carry him, then you are out of your mind."
Ruri's tone, initially calm, has become a bit fierce. She is not necessarily angry at Shemri, but reliving the terror and the stress and the rage of that mission is probably not doing anything good to her emotional state. Taking a moment to look away, across the training grounds, Ruri calms herself down. "There's another reason. I don't understand this other reason at all, but it just felt like… He needed to die. NEEDED to. I felt there was no other option. He had to die, so I killed him. The possibility of him living never even entered my head until long after the mission was over and we were back here. I guess it's possible that I just felt that I had to do something to make up for my failures on that mission. I had to erase the one who had forced me to make the wrong choices in the first place. I almost lost my sister, my friends, and the entire team more than once while we were out there. I felt guilty about that. I felt I should have done a better job of protecting everyone."
Ruri pauses and shrugs. "Or maybe I'm putting too much thought into it. I DID feel guilty… But I wasn't really thinking of 'making myself look good' at the time I acted. I just… Knew he needed to die. He was an evil man. There is no justifying what he did or what he TRIED to do. He was going to be executed no matter what, unless he escaped somehow. And like I said, it's possible he could have turned the tables on us while we escorted him. That's all there was to it."
Hmmm. Ruri's answer is more complicated than Shemri had been expecting. c.c She would've settled for one or two of the rationalizations about the risk of keeping him alive or toting him all the way back to the village. The emotional stuff takes Shemri off guard, though maybe it shouldn't. Ruri /did/ seem a little unstable at the time, but weren't they all kinda shaky? They just got done with an extended horror-fest culminating in a fight with a giant zombie mash-up. :P
Shemri wonders whether she should follow her motherly instinct to offer Ruri some comfort. c.c She eventually decides against it, since Ruri outranks her (though she is a bit younger) and she doesn't seem /too/ upset at the moment. "I see," Shemri murmurs. "Well, I suppose it was for the best." Shemri clears her throat and glances down at Shiikaa. "I had not thought of Shiikaa putting his chakra straight into me. Would that be safe? We do it often enough with ordinary chakra, but I have never had wind chakra going through me."
Putting aside the matter of the zombies and the old man, Ruri tries to remember what she has read about Chakra Natures. "Well, it is more likely that you will simply 'turn over' your Chakra to Shiikaa. It will flow into HIM, and then he can change it into Wind-Natured Chakra. And since Wind is basically just air in motion, it would be a simple matter to control the air currents AROUND your body, so that they all comes together around your blade or blades. No reason to turn it into Wind Chakra and send it into your body, since it's not your body that is going to be using it, and you don't have that manipulation skill yourself. It's the weapons that need to be enhanced. Shiikaa will have the responsibility of molding the Wind Chakra and enhancing the weapons. You worry about the actual wielding of those weapons. Think of it as a partnership with Shiikaa, rather than a 'master/servant' or 'primary/secondary' relationship. Shiikaa is your partner, and you are his."
She shrugs. "I can't manipulate an element myself yet, so it might be harder than what I described. But based on logic, and the facts, it is definitely possible to do without any harm to either of you."
Ah. Shemri didn't understand /all/ of that, but it sounded like the concept had gone back to Shiikaa sending potentially dangerous chakra near Shemri's body again—flowing /along/ it, in fact. c.c Still, it's probably worth looking into. Maybe with the help of somebody more expert in the particular area, if Shemri could find such. "Ah. Aha. I shall try to find out more about this," Shemri says. "In the meantime, though, it is time I headed home. Dinner shall not cook itself, after all." Shemri gives a bow. "Farewell, Ruri-san. Enjoy your training." Shemri and Shiikaa head off, leaving Ruri the whole field to practice whatever dark and mysterious techniques she likes. :o