Date: November 26, 2010
With Datura's condition rapidly deteriorating and time running out, several members of the Tao Shih and Datura's arachnid allies race to find a solution in the form of kidnapping someone who knows the whereabouts of another who may be able to help. However, they soon discover that some things are just there for the asking…
"Infection - Appeals of Compassion"
Forest in the Land of Fire
It was a bright clear day in the thick forests of the Land of Fire. The sun shone little through the thick boughs overhead, but it was not a dark and gloomy place. The residual light reflecting off of virtually every surface bathed the forest in a soft, easy glow. The wind was cool without being chill, occasionally stirring up the leaves in a cacophony of sound. Animals chittered away all but unseen throughout the woodlands. But it was not a day that would end on a happy note.
Yamanaka Ryoko, known to all of her current associates as Datura, was failing. Her appearance, youthful and exuberant as Datura, and serene and regal as Lady Ryoko, was drawn and wane, haggard and rough. She was losing weight, having already been slim to start with, refusing to eat unless another was there to sit with her and remind her to take bites. Dark circles were etched around her eyes, making them look almost like the sunken in remnants of what a human skull should look like, proof that sleep had become a virtual impossibility for her. Fatigue weighed heavily upon her, despite the fact that she drove herself like a woman possesed, racing to the next destination. Her grip on her sanity could no longer be covered up, and the young woman was clearly in the hold of some deep, unknowable paranoia. No longer was whatever was taking her over waiting until she was alone. Now the blonde-haired runaway was plagued with horrific visions day and night, around others or not. She could be caught staring at things that were not there, screaming and attempting to flee. She would get violent when others tried to restrain her and prolonged periods of weeping were not uncommon, but it was eventually deemed necessary to have a guard on her at all times, if only to prevent her from clawing her own eyes out. An act she'd already tried twice.
In a word, Datura was dying.
But a single hope remained: a man named Uzumaki Mino. A Jounin male in his late thirties, Mino had developed several potent mind seals, one of which was hoped would allow them to combat Datura's infection. The only problem was: No one knew where Mino had gotten off to! He had been dispatched from the Land of Whirlpools on a heavily-classified mission, and not even Queen Nefura's contacts had been able to locate him. But they had located the next best thing.
Uzumaki Mino had a wife and daughter: Hyuga Takara and Uzumaki Nobiku.
Nobiku resided in the shinobi village in the Land of Whirlpools, and was thus practically untouchable without assaulting the village itself. But Takara was still, technically, in the employ of Konohagakure. Having retired from active duty to avoid conflicts of interest upon marrying her husband, an act which Hyuga leaders allowed in order to strengthen the alliance between villages, the dark-haired now acted as a secure message carrier, delivering sensitive correspondance across the nation's borders. And it was this very work that would give the group their chance to capture the former kunoichi. Once they had her, they could either divine Mino's whereabouts, or simply make him come to them.
The place of the ambush was a wide, well-traveled forest trail. Datura had to practically be forced away from the ambush group, waiting just under a mile away, along with two spiders-in-human-form to act as her bodyguards. The Yamanaka was convinced that she and her overseers were 'reinforcements' should things go astray or Takara not be found alone. In truth, it was simply necessary, with her progressive sickness making her increasingly unstable, to keep the young woman away from the ambush.
Kanami, regardless of what Datura might believe about her allegiances, was more than willing to just pack up and leave Kusagakure. After all, Amuro is still in the Tao Shih's base underneath the Village, and thus can perform the Scroll-based Summoning that each of the Tao Shih's core membership is set up for. She can be recalled more or less instantly to the Village. It took time to get to the Land of Fire, obviously. But her next match is against Mune, so requesting a brief leave of absence to attend to an 'ailing loved one', with Mune's permission, was permitted by the judges. She told them she would be back soon. Ish.
Kanami can tell how bad off Datura is. Mostly because she knows what kind of impact terror and sleep deprivation can have on an individual over an extend period of time. She has inflicted such on targets before, either through Genjutsu or just stalking them gradually, leaving them in a paranoid and delusional state where every shadow is a potential enemy. And yet… None of them managed to see the 'hit' coming when it happened. Funny how running on adrenaline 24/7 can actually make one MORE susceptible to unexpected attacks, rather than less.
The moral of the story is that Datura is broken. She needs to be fixed. And Kanami has no qualms at all about doing whatever it takes to fix her. Realness does not even weigh into it. Certain things are expected of her, and she in turn has expectations. One of those expectations is that a delightfully fun individual like Dat-chan will remain around for awhile yet. If that expectation is not met, Kanami would be very unhappy. And an unhappy Kanami is not one that is safe for anyone to be around. She is ready for the ambush. Where exactly she is in the immediate vicinity is unclear. But there is, for some reason, a decapitated deer suspended in the tree branches over the trail. Some vines and creepers are doing the suspending. When they're cut or released… A rather gruesome sight is in store for whomever is nearby.
With the dissappearance of Datura from Kusagakure, Shinjis appearance as one of her protectors was no longer needed. Having left the Daimyos palace and burned his disquised until there wasn't anything left. He knew of the secrect base and stayed there for the most part, doing whatever was needed to keep the place upkept, but also the martial artist in him made use of his time training. He hasn't known many of the members of Tao Shih long, often times when he did interact with them it was only during missions for brief periods of time at best. But the fact that Datura was gone was bad.
With a few days having gone by and still no word, it felt to Shinji things were getting a bit more stressful. Kanami and Mune had a match that was to start whenever, Shinji was already making plans to see it when he is notified of the situation with Datura. Seeing as he wasn't taking part in the tournament Shinji was told to of where he is needed and that was in the land of fire. He was to help in a capture operation. This isnt' something that is new for him, Shinji is a capable person even in situations that are alien to him. All that was told of the mission outside of capturing a currior is that it was to help Datura.
Shinji doesn't waste anytime in leaving and heading to the rendevous point. Upon getting there he does note that there were others, but he wasn't told who else was there. Taking up position within the ambush zone, Shinji lies hidden in wait.
Unlike the eldest and highest order of Fukaizan residents, or the direct descendants from the Spider Queen, Kimigumo has no ability to mimic a human form. He is not a human, and it is incredibly obvious. Despite being a bit of a humanophile, studying their culture, their languages, their fashions, their fighting styles, and their history, the enormous spider is a spider. Not even his fancy top-hat and monocle can conceal this fact, though they try valiantly.
Kimigumo is brown, furry, and has eight glistening black eyes set in a face that not even his mother loves. Though that is more due to the lack of love in most arachnid relationships than because of his appearance. Anyway, he waits behind a tree, concealed behind some bushes no more than two feet high despite his three and a half foot height, simply because he can lower his body by bending all eight of his 'knees' inwards -- towards his body. This has the result of not holding him as high off the ground.
Too Long, Didn't Read Version: He hides good.
Kimigumo is not unarmed on this mission. He had insisted on bringing along his best fencing sword. "It was custom-made for me by the General of the Land of Iron!" he had proclaimed proudly. "It took some doing, but he is a skilled blacksmith and was able to accomodate me. I am quite adept with the blade as well! This fencing sword was a reward for ending the threat-of-the-time from Itaizan, or 'Painful Mountain'.--Oh, Itaizan is the Hidden Village of the Wasps. You recall them, yes? They attacked during your first visit! Awfully inconvenient that was, but we drove them back. At any rate, I should start at the beginning of this tale! You see, about two centuries ago there was a new Queen of Itaizan and she was an exceptionally unhappy sort. So I thought I would cheer her up. Obviously the way to do this was to send her love letters!"
This tale had continued even if Datura had stopped paying attention. "Now I know what you are thinking, but I was not sending the love letters from >myself<! That would be idiotic! Wasps are one of our two primary predators, and that would have gone nowhere good. So clearly I had to make the letters appear to be someone else! Someone that a Wasp Queen could really sink her teeth into -- figuratively, speaking. Yes, exactly! I signed the letters with the name of the General of the Land of Iron, since they live right next door to Itaizan! It was really convenient placing. But for some reason the Queen was not that pleased with the love letters. I sent them every day, but still she--W-wait! Where are you going? Wait for me, please!"
And that is how they got to the present. Kimigumo is humming a tune to himself under his breath while making sure the custom-made fencing sword is equipped on his right foreleg properly. "o/` Hmm, hmm. Hmm hmmm hmmm hmmmmmm… Hm! Hm hm. Hmm--Oh, dear, is that >rust<!? I just inspected it before we left! How can there be--Oh. Oh, I see! It is just dirt. Well, then. o/` Hmm hmm hmmmmmm. o/`"
Much like Kanami, Mune was prepared to depart Kusagakure even with a match waiting, simply because they have a means of instant-recall. That and she wanted this task overwith sooner rather than later. Datura is not someone she is especially close to. A comrade, maybe. Someone she fights alongside and considers to be an ally. But they have never really been 'close'. Still, after seeing what Datura has become since the last time they talked, she decided that regardless of the match between herself and Kanami, she wanted to help Datura simply because she is a doctor. Life is precious. Even lives she does not care about overly. And seeing Datura suffering like this is more than enough impetus to lend her aid to healing her ally.
She would be a really terrible healer if she wasn't willing to heal.
So she's standing nearby, waiting for the signal to act. She is not sure why they need to use this round-about method of getting help for Datura from a Seals specialist when they have Amuro available, but no one has revealed the exact details on that aspect to her. For all she knows, Amuro wants some of the competition whittled down. Or maybe he wants a new copy-self that already knows Fuuinjutsu. She has no idea. But she is fully stocked with a variety of materials and substances that more or less make her a walking chemical-weapon laboratory. She has focused specifically on non-lethal chemicals for this mission, but she has plenty of whatever they might need.
The leaves rustle, the animals chirp and chitter… except around Kimigumo. The animals tend to be noticeably quieter in his area, almost as if they were avoiding him. But they couldn't possibly be avoiding a giant spider, could they? It was the same with Datura, though wherever she went, ambient animal noises shut off completely, for no reason that was visibly discernable, at least. Yet another reason the blonde was stationed away from the ambush group.
And then comes the sound of something that is NOT made by natural forest noises. It's quiet, almost too quiet to notice, especially at a distance. But it's the unmistakeable sound of someone traveling through the trees. Shinobi of all brands are practiced in the arts of stealth, and a conventional person likely wouldn't even hear a ninja's footsteps even if the ninja wasn't trying to be quiet. But those trained in the arts know what to listen for, and the sound is unmistakeable. Someone was coming their way. In a hurry.
Hyuga Takara was over five and a half feet tall, almost six. She was neither thick nor slim, lying somewhere in between. Her womanly figure was definitely feminine, but not overly so, and were it not for several key characteristics, she could have easily passed for androgynous. She wore a white kimono and an orange hakama, sandals on her feet as she leaps from tree-branch to tree-branch, her arms held out to her sides and behind her. No village insignia adorns her person and the only thing she carries is a satchel across her shoulder. Plain of face, aside from her squirrel-like agility through the trees, there really was nothing remarkable about the thirty-something woman.
Other than her eyes. Those were familiar with the pale-lavender gaze of the Hyuga clan would recognize instantly the trouble they could pose for any attempts at stealth.
Takara had been a Chuunin when she had ceased to be a proper shinobi. She had fought in the clan wars for over a decade, and she knew when something was wrong. And something felt wrong. Maybe it was that the animals were just a little too quiet here. Maybe it was that there was some small sign, an indent of a heel in the dirt below, a piece of bark missing. Or maybe the small hairs on the back of her neck were standing up due to a subconscious sensory organ long ago forgotten by conventional human evolution. The woman hops from one branch to another, moving forward, her knee-length hair flowing out behind her. She hops forward again, kneeling down on a stout branch. And then she hops to the ground, her hands held in front of her, as if ready to make a seal. Better safe than sorry.
"All right. Whoever you are, come out." As she says this, she's looking at a tree. Is it a tree someone is hiding behind or in? Maybe. Or maybe she's looking at one of the many, many trees that was hiding nothing! But if she activated her Byakugan, it wouldn't really matter WHAT she was looking at!
No sounds from Kanami answer the Hyuuga woman. Wherever Kanami even is. Though really, that deer corpse tucked away in the higher branches might be an indicator of where Kanami lies. She has to be nearby to maneuver the vines and such wrapped around the corpse, right? Not that Takara would necessarily know that there are any plans to do anything with any vines, or even that there is any corpse. There's the buzzing of flies in the area, but that's about it.
Kanami actually is nearby, though she is hoping to fool the target into thinking otherwise. She is sitting behind a tree directly across from where Takara is looking. Too close for comfort. Time to use Distraction A. She has a little 'helper' get to work on those vines… The vines tighten and tug, producing audible tension in the lines. And that is when the decapitated deer that was lying in the branches of one of the trees starts to move around. Whether it's the vines pulling the corpse or the deer somehow not being dead is left up to the imagination. But it would be very clear that there is movement nearby, and it is coming from this seemingly dead doe!
Having been trained in these ninja arts, Shinji was easily able to hear the approaching messenger. Parts of him hated that fact, but others parts of him knew he needed them. Making sure not to make any noise Shinji casts a glance to the Hyuuga woman, he is a few trees away from where the Hyuuga woman is. His eyes narrow as he takes in her form and starts guessing what her abilities are. From what he knows of the Hyuuga, they excell at taijutsu, but getting struck could be bad. Keeping quiet for now and waiting for the others to see what the plan is. Though as he waits, he crouches down and prepares his own distraction if need be.
Kimigumo hmms? to himself as he hears sounds of someone approaching. Stealthy-like. He is not ninja trained by a longshot, but he has his Spider Sense(tm), so he is aware someone is coming at least. And swiftly! When the target stops somewhere above and calls out, the previously combat-ready spider lifts his head a bit. Even as Kanami performs her maneuvers with the vines to pull the dead doe around -- the head removal was courteousy of Kimigumo. No reason to waste a good head! -- his spidery heart flutters a bit at the sound of a female voice! Regardless of how well Shinji has concealed himself, or whether Kanami's distraction works or not, Kimigumo comes scuttling out of hiding and directly into sight in the middle of the forest path.
He turns and leans back a bit so he can look up at the Hyuuga. It is not every day one sees a spider larger than most large dogs come skittering out of the underbrush. It is even rarer for him to remove his top hat and bow formally to one and then begin to speak. In human speech, even. "Good day to you, Hyuuga-san! You are Hyuuga Takara, correct? I do apologize for remaining in hiding, but many are rather startled by my appearance, so I thought it wise to avoid causing undue distress. My name is Kimigumo, and I am a member of the Spider Queen's court. I bring unfortunately dire news regarding your husband, Uzumaki Mino."
He folds his forelegs over each other after replacing his top hat on his head, and then asks, "Might we speak on this matter? I apologize for interrupting your duties but this is rather urgent." Way to go, Kimigumo. Well, if nothing else there is the distinct possibly Takara will just be so darn baffled she won't notice anything else until it's too late.
Mune is hiding somewhere around. Up in a tree, but not just sitting out in the open. She's concealed amongst the foliage, and has three medical cadavers dressed in Konoha ANBU garments situated at strategic locations around the area. Hopefully she won't have to use them, but planning for possibilities is something that was drilled into her head by Amuro after she accepted him as her teacher. She can't assume one thing or another will work. That's what back-up, back-up, back-up plans are for.
So when Kimigumo comes crawling out and making himself known, Mune closes her eyes and clenches a fist as an 'anger vein' pulses in her forehead. Good thing she has three or four back-up plans after all!
The slight sounds and movement of the doe are enough to draw the eyes of the dark-haired ex-kunoichi, whipping her head around in that direction. Instinctively, her fingers finish the seal she was making, completing whatever jutsu she had been preparing. It soon becomes apparent with the harshly-whispered word: "Byakugan!"
Naturally, the first thing her special sight latches on to is the enormous spider scuttling out of the underbrush to bow towards her! The former-Chuunin's legs tense, as if ready to leap away at a moment's notice. Whatever else she was about to do, the spider-being's words about her husband at least make her hesitate before she simply begins to either fight or flee. But he'd better hold her attention fast if he doesn't want her activated ocular power to soon begin detecting the others!
"Speak quickly, creature! What do you know of my husband?" She offers no threats, her eyes burning brightly as they bore into, and partly through, the arachnid before her. But her stance is calm, one of dimplomacy, but ready for action should Kimigumo turn hostile. Yet so far, she hasn't extended her range of vision to detect anything further, and so the others remain hidden.
Kanami is not quite pleased with Kimigumo's approach to ambushes. She thought spiders were supposed to be GOOD at surprise attacks! Her original plan will have to be shelved. For now, she just clasps her hands together and focuses her Chakra. Her stringy black hair and gaunt figure, with ragged white kimono, all change a moment later as she removes the mask she is wearing. She is once again Kanami, rather than the erratic creature that the Ju-On Mask makes her into. And then the Doujouji Mask is slipped on. The mask of a monstrous White Serpent fuses to the Mystic Noh-Men mask she was wearing beneath the previous one. her hair turns into a mass of white spikes like needles that trail down into her white kimono. The pattern of snake scales appears across said kimono. The Doujouji Mask appears to become ALIVE. Yellow, reptillian eyes stare out from the sockets, and the mouth works open and closed like a real mouth. The black tongue slips out to taste the air.
She was foolish to waste energy on a Genjutsu-based Mask against a Hyuuga… But there are multiple ambushers here. Maybe she can make up for it. First she will permit Kimigumo to keep their target's attention, and then she will act when the moment is right…
Keeping under his cover, Shinji watches as the large spider moves from cover to speak with the Hyuuga messenger. This isn't how a ambush happens, but seeing as none of them spoke before getting here and Kimigumo now keeping her attention on it and not them is a good thing. Shinji knows he is able to cover the distance needed to engage their target, but her skills in taijutsu is a concern, one that he knows that he can't allow the otehrs to engage her directly. For now he waits for his opening.
Kimigumo nods eagerly to Takara, trying to behave as respectful as possible. He lowers himself again, directing his head closer to the ground, though he can't really look at the ground, because of the multiple eyes and such. "He is being sought by two people. One requires his abilities with Mental Seals to aid a dying woman. The other wishes to keep Uzumaki-san from doing so. Despite the resources of my Queen, we have been unable to locate your husband to request his aid or to warn him of the plot to keep him away from the one needing aid. I was hoping you might at least be able to confirm whether you know of his location or not, so that you can be the one to pass along the message. You need not reveal him to me, but the need for his assistance is rather pressing. The woman--She… My friend's name is Datura. She is infected with something dark and wicked. It is not a disease of the flesh, but of the soul. It is impacting her health -- both physically and mentally. She needs help or she is going to die. Please, Hyuuga-san! Please help her! We only need your husband's aid! If you require payment, we will pay! If you require a secure meeting place, name the place! If I must be taken hostage to ensure that all is on the 'up and up', I will gladly turn myself over as your prisoner!"
He lowers himself as far as he can go, practically planting his face in the dirt. He completely abases himself. "Please. Despite my appearance, I am not a monster. I just want a human woman who I consider a friend to continue living. She has many years ahead of her still. She should not have to die."
Mune blinks a bit. Is Kimigumo seriously just going to ask for help? Well… That's one way of going about it. But what if she does not agree? Perhaps that is when the 'ambush' part kicks in. But best to wait and see. She feels kind of useless just sitting here and doing nothing. But… She can think. She can worry. Who is that spider referring to? Who wants to keep Datura ill? Was that just a bluff? Or does he somehow know about Amuro? How could he have found out? What else might the spiders know? She will have to remember to question Kimigumo closely when this is all over… And bring the results to Amuro himself.
But they aren't out of the woods yet. 'If she doesn't agree…' Mune thinks as she reaches into her coat and takes hold of a powerful anesthetic that can literally knock out an elephant with a single whiff.
The dark-haired woman studies the creature as he speaks, not just looking at him, but looking INTO him, seeing his chakra points, even his organs. She was no expert on spider-physiology, so it was impossible to verify the truth of his words based on breathing and heart-rate. Still, she pauses, looking surprised as he all but kowtows into the forest floor before her.
"My husband is on a mission of some urgency, Noble Spider. He can not simply be called away." The woman purses her lips in thought, before forming a seal once more, closing her eyes briefly. The veins begin to fade from around her lavender orbs, disappearing back into smooth skin around her temples. Her Byakugan fades away. She continues when she opens her eyes again. "Tell me about this friend of yours. How long does she have?"
"My husband is no doctor, but if you think he can help then you must bring her to Uzushiogakure in the Land of Whirlpools. I can promise nothing, but if I Mino can spare the time, I will see to it that he comes."
Kanami hears how it is to be. Well, diplomacy won the day after all. No reason to remain hidden now then. She smiles, and steps out of concealment. Her Serpent Clone that was controlling the vines falls apart into numerous serpents. Kanami calls out sibilantly, "I ssssee no ssssign of ambushersss, Kimigumo-sssan." as though she had just arrived, or had not been paying attention. Then she reaches up and removes the Doujouji Mask, revealing only a Noh-style theater mask of a woman's face underneath. Yes, she is not going to reveal her identity. Not right now. Not that it would matter much against the Byakugan. Her mask is nearly made out of concentrated Chakra itself.
Her hair has returned normal, along with her clothing. "I feel it is safe to show ourselves. We are companions of this noble spider's. We too seek to save our friend. We have few other options. The doctor in our group is unable to treat spiritual afflictions." She has no clue what exactly is wrong with Datura, but Kimigumo revealed some things that she can use. "It may be some sort of infectious Chakra… We do not know. We just know it needs to be isolated so it can be removed. She may have another month. She may have a few weeks. She may have until tommorow. But she does not sleep, she does not eat unless forced, and she is increasingly losing her 'sense of self' to this… Infection."
She bows to Takara and says, "I understand that you can promise nothing, but we appreciate even this much. We feared that ambushers might seek to stop this meeting. It appears they did not learn of your location."
Rubbing the front of his head, it seems things have gone from tense to relaxed. Upon seeing Kanami come out to announce herself then call out to the rest of the group, Shinji moves out from his hiding spot. He glances behind him, "No one on my end either." he says to help with ambusher story. He leans against the tree, with Kimigumo and Kanami given enough information to help with their story, the man just leans against the tree with his arms crossed. Watching Kanami and Kimigumo, he couldn't help but be impressed with the spider, granted he wouldn't turn his back on the arachnid, he could at least admire the diplomacy that was done here today.
Kimigumo raises his face from the dirt and then proceeds to bow repeatedly to Takara. "Thank you, Hyuuga-san! Thank you! Any aid you can offer will be greatly appreciated. We do not wish to impose upon you, but--" he pauses when Kanami steps out. And then nods to her. "This is one of those who seeks to cure my friend. We know that the one who wishes to prevent such a cure might have tried to stop us, as she has stated, so I felt it wise not to leave it up to chance. It would be absolutely terrible if by attempting to help Datura-san, we caused harm to those who would have gone on unknowing without my interference in their lives."
He then turns and waves a limb towards Mune's location. Or where he assumes she is. "Kishi-san! Hyuuga-san has agreed to do what she can. You may come out now. Infact, perhaps you could go seek out Datura-san and make sure she is doing well? I trust my people to keep her safe, but we are not 'medically inclined', so to speak."
Mune sighs as everyone pops out of their hiding places and Kimigumo calls out to her. No point now. She steps out and nods. "Greetings, Hyuuga-san. I am Kishi Mune. I am a Medical Ninja. And I can state for a fact that no matter what damages I might be able to repair… I can not stop the gradual wasting away being suffered by Datura. Maybe I am just not skilled enough. But it is something I have never encountered before. I do not know what your husband might or might not be able to do. I do not even know if he will be available to try. But we are seeking out all possible avenues of saving our friend. For the moment, however, I believe I can leave this matter to the rest of you." She turns to look at the other two Tao Shih. And one spider. "I am going to take your recommendation and go see if I can get Datura to eat and rest."
She then prepares to depart, unless stopped.
Hyuga Takara's eyes flick over towards Kanami's location as she steps out of hiding and the serpent clone falls apart. If she was surprised at the younger woman's appearance, she did a very good job of hiding it. Years of serving combat duty must have served her well in learning to keep her cool. Or she was simply a patient and reserved soul. Perhaps a mixture of both. Either way, those pale lavender orbs take in the Nogakujin as she elaborates more upon what Kimigumo has already stated.
Her mild frown next turns on Shinji as he, too, steps out of cover, looking equally unsurprised, but perhaps a bit more pensive. Her brows draw low, little frown-lines forming around the edges of her eyes and the corners of her mouth as she takes in the male's sudden appearance, and from a different angle! And then the spider is point out yet ANOTHER hidden person! She mentally berates herself for not expending chakra sooner to locate these people ahead of time.
"Well… This 'Datura' must be quite a woman, to engender the loyalty of so many to go to such extensive lengths to help her." What 'extensive lengths' was she referring to? She doesn't say. She nods respectfully, bowing slightly, as Mune turns to leave. "I take it she is nearby, then. Why do we all not go to see her? I must continue on to Konohagakure, but I will give you a missive that will allow your friend to be brought to the hospital at-"
The pale-eyed brunette cuts off as birds take flight from their nests, insects cease to buzz, and small rodents scurry to cover. Even the flies about the deer carcass have seemingly vanished. A moment of tense silence, the unnatural silence of a perfectly-still forest, hangs in the air before something distant can be heard. It may be difficult to make out at first, but a straining of the ears (or those with supernatural hearing) will eventually make out and place the grating sound: a woman screaming.
"We should investigate!"
The journey to the source is swift, an approximate mile covered in practically no time by swift shinobi and an enormous spider. What they see when they arrive is somewhat unorthodox, however. Datura is screaming, but not the cry of someone in pain or trouble. It's barely even human, piercing to the ears, so animalistic in it's volume and tone that those near it have to shout just to make themselves heard over it. She's thrashing violently, her eyes closed tightly, but it does her little good, held down as she was by two humanoids. One was thin, so thin that they appeared to be emaciated, it's form vaguely feminine. The other was fat, so fat that it appeared more a bloated tick than a human, but had somewhat masculine characteristics. The fat one held down the arms of the young blonde, while the reed-thin one held down the diva's kicking legs with seemingly little effort, despite the skinniness of her arms. Both were looking at each other across the Konoha runaway's body as if at a loss for what to do.
Takara stops a dozen or so meters away, at first ready to attack, figuring the pair were attacking the young woman. It soon becomes apparent that they're stopping Datura from doing more harm to herself than anything. "She is… a Yamanaka? Is this Datura, then? Why does her clan not aid her?"
Kanami furrows her brow behind her mask at the sudden silence followed by the disturbing screams. She wastes no time with words and moves swiftly to investigate with everyone else. Upon arrival, she stares at the sight before her with the blank white eyes that her normally yellow-brown eyes have become while her mask is in place. "This is Datura. As far as I know, she is no longer considered part of the Yamanaka Clan. She had to leave. I did not really even know her full name, so I am not privy to the details. I believe it was family related. Her sister died and she was unable to pursue the life of a ninja -- presumably out of grief. This may not have gone over very well. That is really all I know of her past before meeting her. I do know she was not like this when we first met… There may have been an incident in a certain cave, however…" Yes, Kanami has finally made the connection thanks to Kimigumo's mention of a spiritual illness.
"It was not a very healthy place to be. But we should do something about Datura right now. We can speak more later." She then turns towards Mune and indicates Datura. "Can you stop this for now?" she asks. The piercing screams are really beginning to grate.
…What? They are!
Hearing the insects stop buzzing and the rodents rushing from where they were, Shinji moves from the tree he was at. Turning and looking at the others as Takara states they should go investigate. Nodding his head, Shinji moves in behind the rest of the group as they all streak off towards the source. It doesn't take long and as they arrive on the scene, Shinji lands on a tree near where the two people trying to hold down Datura. His eyes narrowing because he thought they were assualting her as well, but then as he looks more closely, he frowns.
Shinji hadn't seen her since she left the palace and now as he looks at her worry etches his brow slightly. Now the mission has sunken in even more so for him. Looking towards Mune who is the doctor, but he remember she stating that she wasn't able to the waisting of Datura. Wincing as Datura's piercing screams reaches him. He doesn't look away, but listens as Kanami informs Takara in about Datura.
Mune arrives with everyone else and wastes no time with explanations. She immediately heads for Datura, ignoring the thrashing and screaming. She needs no gesture from Kanami. She just withdraws a bottle and a syringe, empty the air from the syringe and the excess fluid, and then attempts to give Datura an injection of something she knows won't be fought off in the other blonde's current condition. Maybe a very healthy ninja could fight it off for awhile before succumbing. Maybe Chakra or Jutsu might defeat it. But Datura is not healthy or in any state to be using jutsu.
If she can get the needle in and push the plunger Datura should be taking a nap.
The troubling display by the blonde-haired young woman seems to deeply disturb the Hyuga daughter, her expression a mixture of concern, compassion, and confusion. "I see. I will try to see if she has any family left when I reach the Hidden Leaf. Perhaps this is genetic?" Though her voice doesn't sound very hopeful considering she's been a full shinobi for twenty years and has never seen anything like this outside of genjutsu, torture, or interrogation.
The pair of not-quite-humans that are holding down the blonde try to keep her still for Mune's ministrations, knowing at least that the Kishi woman is Datura's preferred physician. It's hard to find a spot on the young Yamanaka that isn't thrashing around, but she is eventually given a shot in one of her arms, immobilized enough to be stable for needle penetration. The screams continue, going on and on as seconds crawl past before they finally begin to lessen, then suddenly stop. Datura is still, and the restraining spiders tentatively release their grip on her limbs. The blonde's form is quiet once more, her eyelids fluttering as if dreaming intensely, her breathing rapid and shallow, pulse racing.
"She was talking to someone named 'Riku'." The fat one explains. "She was saying 'no' a lot. Then the screaming. We did not know what to do."
But now Datura was asleep. Unfortunately, as would be found out many hours later, she wouldn't wake up.