Inner Workings


Sachiko, Meruin (emitter)

Date: April 30, 2013


Sachiko drinks a vial of serum that Meruin gave to her, with interesting results.

"Inner Workings"

Sachiko's hotel room in Kirigakure proper.

Sachiko had spent a day considering the vial — both literally looking it over and just thinking about it — before she decided to actually think about drinking it. And even once she did decide to do it, she waited a while, wandering around the village as normal rather than just holing herself up in her room so as to seem normal to anyone watching her.
Despite her normal careless behavior, she spent some time thinking of all the possible outcomes of this potion — a lot of time. Thus, it was much later than she originally intended when she finally uncorked it, gave it one last sniff, and shrugged, taking just a little sip to start with.

Bitter and smooth. Sweet and thick. Light and fresh. A suffusing warmth. Sachiko would experience the each of these in the serum's travel from tongue to stomach. The skin on her palms and feet would tingle… Her breath would quicken… The sway of the ocean sounds in the distance, her heartbeat it's undercurrent… and then it fades along with the feeling of warmth in her belly.

The Iga shivered at the reaction her body gave, taking a deep breath as it settled down. Raising an eyebrow, she decided it was almost like drinking a sweet, but immensely strong alcohol of some kind. Of course, there was a slightly unsettling feeling about the warmth in her belly, but it wasn't an entirely unpleasant experience overall… After a moment's hesitation, complete with squinting at the vial suspiciously, she decided to drink the rest of it. It wasn't as if she had much to lose, really.

Bitter and smooth, like a thin but potent medicine. Sweet and thick, like a syrup of melted pleasure. Light and fresh, invigoration, as though a mountain breeze sliding across the tongue and down the throat.
The feeling fades. Nothing replaces it. A few moments pass.
It grows in the pit of your stomach in a gentle rise, like the sun warming morning dew. From a superficial warmth, to a more depthful one.
Warmer now.
Warmer still.
As though you've just had a cup of hot cocoa, the liquid settled in your core.
Palms begin to tingle, subtle… then itchy… then as if tiny ants are roving across your skin. The soles of your feet soon follow suite.
You hear something, something in the distance… something…

Sachiko licked her lips a bit during the period of nothingness, considering standing to see if anything had been affected — her balance in particular — but then the heat rose back up, almost with a vengeance. She gulped, a shiver running up her spine from the sensation. The tingling caused her to start wiggling her fingers, trying to see if that would get rid of the feeling or heighten it, as if her hand had fallen asleep. Then she clenched her fists, rubbing her nails lightly at the skin. Then that sound… she listened, trying to focus on it out of instinct and curiosity.

The sound comes into clearer focus. Louder, now, if only a bit. Sussurous, like a long whisper…
The wind, perhaps…? Louder still. Clearer. Coming into focus.
Perhaps — The ocean.
Abruptly, the sound shifts into that of the surf sliding against the sand, the courting of sea and land in their quiet times.
The warmth spreads further.
Moving through your body. Hips, chest, thighs, shoulders — more intense now.
Flashes of something — always something — flicker in your visions.
Man? Beast? Shadow? None and each?
The heat is growing painful now…
You sweat.
So hot…
Darkness begins encroaching on the edges of your vision…

Sachiko attempted to focus on the noise even more once she recognized it — or thought she did, anyway. The heat was quick to distract her, though, once it spread. Her heart hammered in her chest, leaving her to gasp lightly for breath. Lightly at first, rather, though the stronger the sensation became, the heavier her breathing became. She attempted to focus on the flicker in her vision, without realizing that any eye she had created had already dispersed since her attention was now on whatever the liquid in the vial had done to her instead on keeping them active. Gritting her teeth, she tensed at the pain filling her form, the hair on the back of her neck attempting to stand on end out of the slight fear that came with pain. However, the sweat kept it from rising too much, sticking her hair to her neck. She would wonder about what was happening… if she weren't focused on it happening.

The world vanishes.
And then it returns.
The raises to a sudden inferno.
Burning. Scorching. Searing. Destroying. And then gone.
The world vanishes once more, any sight granted falling into darkness.
Weightlessness. Time unexisting. No sense of self, no sense of the world at large.
There is nothing.
Until you open your eyes. Suddenly, you are yourself again. Body whole — enjoying sight without the need to make more eyes, any discomfort gone.
You feel as though you were given a new body. In perfect health. Muscles responsive, full of energy, any sensation unique, as though it were the first time you experience it.
There is a door in front of you.
Floating. Unanchored. Wooden.
It will open, you know. Just will it to. It is as much a part of you as the body you live in. Tell it to open as you would tell your lungs to fill.
Words appear in front of it before the option to decide strikes you.
"The Most Important Person."

Although she wanted to cry out, she resisted. Fire or no fire, she wasn't that weak. At least she'd convinced herself of such a thing. The sensation of being weightless, of nothing at all was… addicting, really. Opening her eyes was like a curse in that sense, but being able to see was almost as delightful. She looked at her hands for a moment, examining what she could see of herself briefly before she focused on the door before her. She stared at it, regulating her breathing as she started to feel a little panicky yet excited.
She knew, but even the first letter starting to appear put dread inside her. Once the whole title revealed itself, she started to breath more heavily, emotions weighing heavy atop her. Even a new body could not hold such a weight as if it were nothing. "Mai," she whispered, pain riddling her voice and chest. But she bit back any tears that threatened to spill, staring at the door and fighting with whether it should be opened or left alone. Would it hurt even more to see him again? Or even hear him alone…
Her subconscious knew the possibility that it would not be him at all, but would be Shun. Shun, the sister that wanted nothing but the best for her… and likely felt the guilt of putting high expectations on the younger woman. Shun, who would sacrifice her own happiness or well-being for her sister's. But Sachiko didn't consider this an option… particularly after her last meeting with the older Iga.
'They'll take him away from you.'
Not the true words spoken by Shun at all, but what Sachiko remembered. Her clan /would/, certainly, try to remove the only reminders she had of Maikeru — his coat and the seal, more a tattoo now than anything, on her hip. The truth bit deep… and she hated her sister for speaking it. She hated her sister for being so perfect.
As her conscious and unconscious mind struggled with who could be behind the door, several tears escaped and slid down Sachiko's face. She wanted to see him again… She wanted that door to open.

And yet the door remains, stark and wooden, the words emblazoned upon it's surface as it stands defiant. Unopened.
To want and to will are near but separate. So close, but never enough.
"Make…" Your own voice.
"Make the choice."

Sachiko was confused at first — entirely, in fact, by both the unopened door and the voice she heard. She knew it was her own voice… she had no doubt of that… but what choice? She stood — or rather, existed — there, considering, thinking, trying to figure it all out. What could it possibly mean?
And then the memories came sweeping back. Shun, trying to pull her away from her delinquent lifestyle… by doing her best to satisfy Sachiko herself. By doing something the younger sister knew all too well had disturbed the older at first. Shun, who Sachiko knew cared more than she let on — the aloof older Iga always trying to keep her own emotions at bay. She realized, then, how much she must have hurt her sister the last they'd met. She clung desperately — stupidly — to someone long gone… that she could never have again. She still abhored the idea of losing him completely, but she didn't need physical reminders to remember him… did she?
Sachiko hung her head in shame as this all hit her. What had she done? Lifting her gaze slowly back to the door before her, knowing she didn't need to open it… What she needed to do was find Shun.
"I'm sorry," she whispered. In a sense, it was both to the door and to her sister, wherever she may be, as she closed her eyes and rather than will the door open, she willed herself away from it, back towards reality.

The words on the door begin chipping and falling off, as though someone were scraping the ink from it. Soon, the words are gone and the same happens to the door, as though someone were scraping it off of the walls of existence…
It's gone.
There is nothing. Nothing without. But you are still here.
From the darkness, the abyss, comes a sound…
A whisper…
"Do you hate me that much..?"
Your own voice. Soft. Filled with a quiet anguish.
"What have I done?"

It would seem she couldn't will herself back to reality, which seemed so sweet compared to this seemingly endless struggle with herself… And how true, she realized, the sound hitting her ears like the inferno that had brought her here in the first place. She considered the question before shaking her head.
She whispered back, as if afraid of her own voice. She'd failed her clan, even when she'd tried to live up to what they hoped for her. She'd failed so immensely throughout her life, she felt, that there was no forgiveness for her. It was only in her head, really… Yes, she had failed, but it was only because she'd failed herself. She even stopped trying at all. But the route she'd taken instead was all she knew now. She didn't want anything different.
It was easier to hate herself than struggle to be better… to do anything more than what she had decided to do so many years ago. When, exactly, had she decided to be this way, anyway? She couldn't truly remember. It didn't matter, though. The fact that she was this way was unchangeable. At least that's what she'd convinced herself of.

You feel a cool breath run across your face…
"You betrayed me, you know," comes your whisper.
The breath gains in power, now turning into a breeze in full, pushing against your face.
Faster, spreading along the whole of your body.
You're falling — you feel it now.
So fast — too fast, and to what?
The sound of the wind rushing past fills your ears and nostrils, taking you breath from you any time you open your mouth — but you feel no need for air.
Abruptly, you get the sensation of opening your eyes once more, and you can see.
The Sky…
You soar… So high above, you soar.
Clouds drift, light and sparse off in the distance, limned by the reds and purples and oranges of the sun's setting.
Down below, the ocean, so vast — a blue blanket for all the world, there with it since it was a toddler.
This free fall is like floating.
You are weightless here. It feels like nothing can hold you down.

Wind itself didn't bother her much. After all, she'd grown up in the Land of Wind, with dust storms constantly ravaging her and the rest of the village. But falling was different… It was intoxicating, yet terrifying. The ocean too, was scary, so vastly different from what she was used to. Still, the whole experience was different enough to be refreshing despite the fear. If only she really could fly… Sachiko wished she could, but knew — believed, at least — that it was impossible, even here… wherever "here" really was. Regardless, she simply watched the oncoming water, wondering how much pain an impact would inflict… if it even would here.

Down below, a dot appears in the distance.
Small. Tiny. Not something that'd draw any eye.
But it grows. And swiftly.
Faster than anything else approaches, you soon realize. Soon enough, the dot is big enough to be a noticable rectangular shape.
Brown. Wooden.
A door.
It's growing bigger and bigger. Fast. There are words on it's surface, but it's still too far away to make out.
Closer and closer it comes — farther and farther you fall. Your question, that of pain and impact could very well be answered if you don't get that door opened.
But what is it…?

To be continued…

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