Date: September 15, 2013
In Kirigakure, a tall building begins to collapse. The unsuspecting village reacts to try and prevent as much death and damage as possible.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
Midafternoon in Kirigakure, this day, sees itself as a pleasant one. While still cool, it is warm for the realm, the sun overhead that usually seems so weak through the misty veil that pervades this place shining just a bit brighter than usual, heralding of the summer that is making it's way nearer. But while nature speaks of pleasant seasons, the humanity within seems a bit tense. The people are a little less friendly, less talkative even amongst themselves. There is worry that there will be war yet again despite the missive that the Kage's Aide sent out in an obvious attempt to help stem the possibility. But there have been no visible preparations made for such a future, just yet. So people are keeping reserved, trying not to hope too much and trying not to hope too little, and it's bleeding into the rest of their actions, leaving the people of Kirigakure a little less animated than usual as they go about their lives, walking the streets, heading to the marketplace with wares, or going wherever their affairs lay.
The green-haired Touketsu appears walking toward the gate at a brisk pace. She's carrying a bag of something in her arms which she promptly hands off to the chuunin guards. From the smell of it, lunch. They express thanks to her with unusually subdued tones, their eyes not leaving the area beyond the village.
Renai doesn't leave after making her delivery, however. She emits a soft sigh and looks up to the sky, trying to discern exactly where the sun lies. She's pretty sure she's early for the appointment at the gate.
Waiting, she steps away from the guards and falls into a loose basic kata to loosen up her muscles. As if all her walking and running around time hadn't done so.
+ Minori was seated near the entrance to the village, easily within view-range of Renai's hurried appearance. The Tenjin had intended to leave the village and had scheduled another escort for her way back, however, the client had yet to show up. As he was two hours late, she did not feel that he would be arriving any time soon.
She takes a slow puff on her glass-pipe and blows the smoke into a ring while observing Renai. She recognized the girl from the other day, one of the few that had more or less rescued her from the bandits. Minori hadn't necessarily felt that she would not have survived, but her previous client likely would not have had it not been for their help. After another puff at her pipe, she gets up and makes her way to the girl performing her kata. "Hey, Green-haired one." She calls to her mid-approach.
A loud crack tears through the area and the village holds its breath…
Hundreds of eyes turn towards the building on the edge of the cobblestone road leading to Shippuu Avenue at the south. Six stories high, this circular building of stone rises through the mists as one of the numerous monoliths within the village of Kirigakure, but… leaning. The building is listing to the side from its second story, the stone there cracking and collapsing, a few of it's stone bricks falling to the street below. But there are matters to make circumstances worse.
This is Kiriko Inn.
There are people within every floor of that building, and if something isn't done very swiftly, there'll be one less on the fifth story. A heavyset man hangs from his window by bleeding hands, dazedly mouthing prayers and pleas as he dangles above a life ending drop, his eyes on nothing but the open window in front of him, wishing for the strength to pull himself up. But he looks to be much more fat than muscle. It comes as no surprise to any that this is when the screams begin from those on the ground.
Renai glances to Minori when she's greeted for the briefest second. Her head snaps at the crack and she inhales sharply. She glances to the two chuunin at the gate, both seeming reluctant to leave their post. It could all be a distraction after all to simply weaken the wall defenses.
The girl takes off in a sprint in the direction of the crack. She spots the leaning building and makes a beeline for it. The girl pauses a hundred feet of so at the base and looks up in horror. How did this happen? And what could she possibly do?
+ Minori turns at the loud crack, the green-haired girl suddenly unimportant as one of the larger buildings in the area suddenly decides to collapse. Several thoughts rush through Minori's head, the most obvious of which is that there is absolutely nothing she can do to help. She lets out a puff of smoke and quickly empties the pipe before returning it to the inside of her kimono. "Well… this is not good…" She walks towards the impending disaster, intent on assisting with clean up and rescue operations afterwards.
The overweight man attempted to pull himself up higher, strain clear in his every line as he shakes, legs straight and stiff as though trying to push off of the air. As a measure of inner strength or desperation, he actually managed to pull himself up until his head clears the under edge of the window. But it is here that the man, his legs now kicking at the wall in an attempt to find purchase to climb higher and make it back to safety, has his luck run further south. The building cracks a little further, falls a little further, sending the man falling back.
He manages to hold on somehow, jerking to a slight swing and bending the window frame with his weight, but his grip is failing. "HELP!" he screams down. "SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP!" And there are people moving to do so. Fearless people run into the building at its base as others come dashing out, trying to help the evacuation of the people higher up. The chuunin at the guard station agreed that one of them would man the post as the other went and dealt with the situation, and this one dashed towards the building now, shouting, "WE NEED EARTH NINJUTSUISTS!" There were bound to be shinobi coming in as well, the building and clamor noticable enough to garner attention from others.
Renai snaps out of her horror and rushes to the call of the chuunin guard shouting for earth ninjutsuists. "Hai!" She salutes him and lowers her hands quickly into a seal to focus her chakra. Perhaps she would normally be a little more polite, but well, there just really isn't time for it. She still has no clue what to do. If they could erect a pillar to stall the collapse maybe? The building is going to have to come down, but they need time to get everyone out. But something like that would likely kill her if done alone. She frowns, waiting for orders instead of taking an initiative that will put herself and everyone in more danger.
+ Minori slows down to a walk and looks up as the guard runs past her. Well, it was all well and good to be an earth natured-shinobi when there wasn't a thing you could do with it. She shakes her head and continues watching. The situation was getting more and more grim and there was little or nothing she could do about it right now. Rushing into the collapsing building was all well-and-good for some people, but Minori was not likely to put herself in such a risky situation.
Takeshi and Kazuo run up from the Mizukage's administrative dome section. After hearing something outside, both of them agreed to check it out, Kazuo even offered her assistance should something be up, considering they just discussed some politics to improve relations! They come running in now, halting while nearing the building. "Plunge, that thing's going down." She says, while putting a palm to the ground, her glove lighting up and then down again. "Yep.." She sighs and looks at Takeshi a bit worried.
"Want my help on this? I'm stronger than I look." She grins, before looking up at that man by the side of the building. "Well no earth affinity here, but I can do this.." She rushes up to the side of the building that's collapsing, placing both her palms against it, before suddenly rushing up, using her impact speed from the side to catch the fat man… Now however, she's midflight with a fat guy in her arms. She aimed for a clearing, before making handseals with her hands barely reaching, spewing a thick cloud of ash out in a clearing behind the building, after double checking nobody was there, before igniting it with a firm clasp of her teeth, using the force of the explosion to counteract their fall, now with decreased speed. The rest is her turning her back to take the rest of the hit, using her iron body technique to endure it. "Ow…" She says, while flailing now she's on the ground like that. With a fat guy on top of her. "Luckily the ground her is both soft and moist…" She muses, pushing the man so he rolls off of her!
The Chuunin guard looked at Renai as she answered his summons for an earth ninjutsuist. As far as he could hear, she was the only one that'd done it. The only one present right now. He curses. Hesitates. Put the little girl, probably just a new genin in the face of danger? Put her under a six story building with a compromised outer structure, perhaps just to get crushed as help doesn't arrive in time?
His decision? "There on the second floor," points the chuunin. "There's the weakness. It's losing bricks. Try and get whatever earth back up into there as you can. If we can right the building back up, one jutsu can rebuild it long enough for real repairs." For the village, Renai would be ordered into danger and possible death.
The chuunin gate guard continues off. That building was going to collapse across Shippuu Avenue and onto the buildings on the other end of the street. If he could get to where it would land, maybe… he could catch it. With help. "We've got to catch this thing!" he called out, not giving orders to anyone in particular but hoping more shinobi had arrived to help by now. And indeed he, could see some of them.
One, though, managed to get his attention. Not because he saw them at first but because they made a lot of noise. Or rather, the building made a lot of noise when they used the collapsing side to launch themselves. Immediately, whatever strength was left in it was overcome and the sound it made showed it. So the gate guard was greeted by the sound and sight of the building suddenly starting falling in full, with Kazuo and the man from the window flying to safety.
Well. The screaming guy was safe, at least. But that left all of the people still in those four stories coming down. A few handseals, and the man was on top of the building that Kiriko Inn would collapse onto, hands still stringing through seals. "Suiton: Waterspout!" He called out with a final handseal. The mists in the area vanished and a deluge of water burst from his mouth, forming a thin but tall tornado of nothing but water. The building swiftly met it's top, but the spray of water said that the stone would only push through it. "Anyone who can help catch this thing, get over here!" he called, desperation tingeing his voice.
Renai's eyes widen as she realizes she the only earth ninjutsuist to answer. A bead of sweat forms over her brow, but she doesn't hesitate. Those people are going to die! Could she live with herself if they do, knowing that she might be able to do anything to avert the situation?
She takes off without a question to dart inside the building. She flies up the trembling, creaking, cracking steps and turns to make her way to the weakened wall. She tunes out the screams of the people inside and the moaning of the structure. One purpose. One goal.
Her eyes move upward and over the gap and she immediately begins forming seals. Earth jerks free from the ground outside and lurches toward her, flattening, compressing, molding into fragments of her dome defense to start stacking on one another in chakra-infused "bricks" in her desperate attempt to reinforce the wall.
Kazuo finally frees herself from the fat guy laying on top of her, taking a moment to catch her breath. "All for a good cause Kazuo.." She gets up, glowing with renewed vigor, jumping up next to Renai. Her Konoha headband clearly visible. "Hi, help arrived." She says, flicking a thumbs up and a friendly smile. Before the jounin plants her metal plated gloves against the side of the building. Sending pulses of chakra to her arms and gloves to assist. She looks fairly small, but she's immensely strong for her size! The building should notably come to a halt or near halt from her assistance! "I can't stop individual parts from collapsing. Focus on reinforcing those." She gasps, beads of sweat forming on her forehead!
The chuunin guard's eyes lock onto Renai as earth seems to fall to the ground from the building in reverse, flying up into destroyed wall as Kazuo launches into the area. With her largely standing under the building, her efforts in getting it to stop result in no visible changes. The building continues falling, and as it does, bricks from the other end of it fall down, a cascade of hard stone falling from dangerous heights to the two shinobi first responders. And worse than that are the people who hadn't made it down from the upper floors yet, and had descended only to find that the third floor and the second floor were too far apart to jump between. There were three, in their fear, who tried anyway. Another two who looked to simply slide and fall out. Either way, their fates seemed like they would be the same.
The chuunin curses. He looks back up at the building. It was pushing through his waterspout and heading right towards him. Two more shinobi appear by his side. The both of them form handseals, one shooting a column of water up into the top of the building and another shooting a jet of air. "We've got to get this thing back upright so our earth ninjutsuists can get this taken care of," says the gate guard as he goes through more handseals before launching his own column. And it seems to be working. The building does halt its descent. And indeed, the force against it seems to be slowly lifting it back up. But the shinobi on the rooftop across the street are growing swiftly fatigued.
And worse than that, they'd never even get the chance to get too tired to continue. Never even buy that much time, because the loud crack of rending stone marks the end of theirs. They'd aimed all of their pressure too high, causing the top two stories to break off. People fell from the new wound like screaming yolk from an egg, as the lower portion fell faster, the top two stories now on top of it.
"This might be a bit risky. But if you want this thing upright. I say we go for it! Kazuo looks at Renai and nods. "Lets hope I don't overshoot it…" He chakra tech gloves change in form, the red stud pushed out as the technology begins charging with Kazuo's chakra bursting into it. She had amazing chakra control and a pool that sensory nin can feel from miles off if she wasn't hiding it like now. So she gave it her everything.
"There's a reason I put myself so low.." She explains with a grin, looking up at the collapsing building on her hands. She jumps up on a higher building so her hands are around the lower middle of the collapsed building. "I'm going to hit it with a pulse. Force it back upright." She explains, crunching her teeth as more chakra fills her gloves. She runs some quick calculations, but in the end it was an intelligent guess at best. "Anyone else got a better plan?" She asks, if there's silence, she proceeds to boost a dual pulse of chakra onto the side of the building to get it back upright. Praying that someone on the other side handles the falling people. "Renai, cover me with an earth dome, can't have a rock hitting me while I do this…"
Another pulse of chakra shoots out, this time stronger, then, she braces… "HYYHJHHAAAAHHHHH.." She jumps in cohesion with the pulse, counting on Renai to cover her from debris as Kazuo works on pushing the building back upright with a combined chakra pulse and iron body technique push!
Complete carnage. There's no way they can fix this. Then the screaming starts, not frightened, but hopeless and terrorized falling to their deaths. She has no idea what could fix this, no idea what could ever reverse it. This isn't what she's been trained for.
She does the only thing she can and forms the seals again, focusing every last bit of her energy into creating an earth dome. "Get in here if you want to live!" The kunoichi shouts at some random people running about. Some of them listen. Others run off like mad people. The dome forms around her and Kazuo, focusing on the top last so that Kazuo can work her jutsu. It's partial so, it does offer a shield, but it will close soon to keep them from dying under the weight of the crumbling structure, just in case it does manage to fully collapse.
The chakra pulse struck the building where it was desired. But with the building no longer being attached to it's base, the chakra served to tilt the center segment of the falling building, bringing the lower section above the upper. The sounds of further screams rang as people began falling towards that end when once they had been falling towards the other. Renai's thoughts had proved correct. There was no way to save the building. But perhaps the people could still be saved.
Shinobi took to the air near Renai, managing to catch and save three of the five that had fallen. Ironically enough, only those that jumped were saved. Almost. One that had held onto reason but slipped had falling to their death near the earth ninjutsuist genin. But the other had fallen onto her raised earth shield, able to survive the distance to the raised structure. Groaning, but fearful, that person pulled themselves up and over it, falling down in front of Renai, behind the barrier. "Thank you, thank you, thank you…" was their continued, shellshocked litany.
The chuunin from the buildings all began making handseals and soon there was water and air currents catching and sweeping people away, bringing some of those falling under the building to safety, though not always without injury, the job rushed and desperate as it was.
5 other shinobi had reached the scene, appearing under the falling building. Kazuo's tilting of it allowed them to vanish, reappearing just before it in an ascension, launching themselves right into the building. Kiriko Inn soon crashed into the entrance of Shippu Avenue, it's upper two stories crashing onto it's middle two just as soon as the five shinobi burst from them. two carried two in their arms. Another seemed to be towing along a bundle of four or five with ninja wire, two more in their arms. The last carried six in their six arms, numerous ropes of webbing as white as they were stemming from their back, holding onto another half dozen. Nay. 5. One was only an arm. He had obviously not accounted for a snag in his attempt to get them all from the falling building.
Dust and dirt and stone shrapnel shot out at horrified onlookers, pelting off of Renai's shield as the building finished it's collapse, four of its six stories settling onto the crushed cobblestone road. Shielded from view by the dust, the five shinobi who'd rushed through the falling building to save those they could landed a small ways past Renai in the ceilingless section of the building that still stood. They let their people down, the six armed Meruin controlling the webbing at his back like other arms, depositing them without any issues.
They all turned and looked to Renai. Then past. Four dashed off, heading back towards the wreckage to see if there were any survivors, leaving Meruin behind. The Okumo simply shook his head as the dust began to settle. A final glance to Renai and her captive. "If you are injured, get tended to and rest." he spoke. And then he was gone.
And while he was not to be found checking for survivors, there were many other shinobi who were. When the dust settled, they'd find the collapsed building to be a hive of activity, their shouts ringing out in a place that is otherwise silent in the face of such sudden, unexplained tragedy. Kirigakure shinobi searched, none believing that there would be even one alive to find. The citizens of the village merely watched on from a safe distance, knowing that there was too much lost for words this day.
Renai lowers her arms as the building finishes its collapse. The dome holds though, still propping pieces of debris away from any she managed to help. The girl just stands there, breathing heavily, sweating, tear filling the edge of her eyes. She snaps out of it when she's spoken to, time snapping back into place around her.
The girl looks down to herself for injuries and then just nods. She's a little scraped and bruised, but nothing major. She walks away from the wreckage, stepping over debris and bodies, her eyes trying to not focus on anything for too long. It's not until she's well-clear of it that she gets neatly sick behind a bush and collapses against the base of a still-intact building. She draws her knees to her chest, trembling, exhausted and fairly traumatized, and just numbly watches as everyone else runs to salvage what they can.