Date: January 29, 2015
Cleanup duty for an old foe of Michiko’s. The cabin that held the old crazy scientist is occupied, and now she and a small team have to exterminate the rest of the experiments for good.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Remains of the Scientist"
Land of Lightning
In the Land of Lightning, there was an abandoned house. This house used to house a man who experimented on many different creatures, turning them into mutants. Apparently, someone was messing around in the cabin, though. There was smoke coming from the chimney and strange sounds at night. As reports became increasingly worrisome, Michiko assigned a team of herself, Rise, and Yori to go and check out the house. Investigate and kill whatever it is that's there, then destroy the house completely. If there's someone there, capture them. That was the mission. Yori and Rise would both get messenger hawks that told them to meet at the mountain trail. The details of the mission were already given, so now it was a matter of meeting up and completing it. Michiko could be found already at the meeting site, reading a smaller book that she could carry around whilst traveling.
Yori had been working more on his tree walking when the hawk had come. It was good timing too because his neighbors were getting tired of him hanging out on the side of their buildings. After reading the mission assignment the boy returned to his own home to pack his stuff, let his aunt and uncle know he was going, and then head out. It didn't take him long to reach the spot and when he does he jogs up to Michiko and bows deeply to her, "Michiko-san." He says as way of greeting, hitching his backpack up a bit so it was settled more comfortably.
Rise would either be the last to arrive or second to that. It truly dependant upon the message demanding haste or simply a specific time frame. Regardless of what the case may be, the Shirokiri arrives confident that her preparation would suffice. That is, after some tweaking was made. The girl had only recently arrived back in the village, and had still been in the process of sorting through her gear when the hawk arrived. As thanks for its work Rise offered it food, but something about her made the bird quick to leave once it saw her read the message. Or maybe it had been something else.
A small absent-minded wave is given to Michiko and Yori both once the raven-haired berserker caught sight of the duo gathered ahead. Immediatly after, she inclined her head and idly rubbed at her chin, returning once more to troubled thoughts.
Michiko smiles and nods in greeting to both once they arrive. "Rise-san. Yori-san. I'm glad you two were able to make it." Pointed glance to Rise as she asks the Shirokiri, "I trust your travels went well?" Then she looks down the path, not bothering to wait for an answer as she sets off. "The house isn't too far. I've been there before as a genin with Hiro-san and Nariko-sensei… I didn't think things would still be happening there, though. The traps should all be disabled around it, so all we have to do is investigate what's been going on there," she explains. "I'm not too sure what we'll encounter outside of that…"
When someone else comes Yori turns to bow to her, then blinks and blushes a bit. Oh great, the one he tripped over himself in front of. "Hello Rise-san." He greets a little sheepishly. When Michiko starts off he turns to follow, jogging a few steps to catch up. "How long has it been abandoned Michiko-san?" This is followed by an even more interested sounding question, "Why were you there with Hiei-sama?"
Rise doesn't answer at all, or at least, not at first. Her brows grew furrowed as her thoughts deepened. However, the questions do eventually nudge its way to the forefront in time for her to realize Michiko and Yori were already moving along. A faint frown taint her features briefly before being overridden by a flat look as the woman moved to follow after them silently. Unless spoken to again the woman makes no effort to join in on the conversation or pay much apparent attention to it for that matter.
"/Hiro-san/," Michiko mildly corrects, "And a small team were sent to defeat giant mutant bunnies." Yes… Giant mutant rabbits. That was a thing. The girl glances back towards Rise to make sure the Shirokiri was actually following, then her attention is on Yori. "The cottage is about an hour's walk from this trail. Once we hit the ten minute walk, we'll start moving as fast as possible. We should get to the house in fifteen minutes at our top speed."
As they walk, they would see nothing unusual. Michiko was being perceptive of her surroundings, trying to see if there were any signs of the mutant bunnies she had seen so long ago. Fortunately (or unfortunately), there were none. That could mean a new threat or nothing at all…
Giant. Mutant. Rabbits. Yori's face brightens at the thought. That would be AWESOME! At the name correction the boy sticks a finger in his ear and squiggles it around a little. Must be getting hard of hearing or something. At such a young age. "Think there might be more of those mutant bunnies?" He asks as they go, giving a look back to Rise when he realizes the other person isn't joining in the conversation. Ever the smooth talker he just comes right out and asks, "You okay Rise-san?"
As if sensing Michiko's eyes upon her, Rise's gaze cuts to Michiko. Like her expression, her eyes reveal nothing regarding her mood or hints of a desire to mock Michiko's claim. If the bookworm said she fought giant mutant bunnies then it must be so. Case closed. While normally Rise may have mocked or bragged about reaching the cottage sooner, not a peep leaves her mouth then too. Weird…
Rise blinks at Yori, then states in a flat tone a simple, "Yes." before returning to her idle surveyance of the area. Subconsciously, the woman keeps towards the center of the trail as if expecting trouble.
Fastforwarding just a bit, the group would eventually reach the cottage with no dangerous encounters. Suspicious, but good. Michiko made them stay at the edges of some of the undergrowth. "Keep an eye out for anything suspicious," she tells them, focusing a bit of her chakra and sending a small pulse through the ground. Large footsteps from large animals… Not hopping, though. So not bunnies? And also smaller footsteps, likely a person. She tells the group the news.
Rise and Yori would both notice that there were movements within the house. For Rise, something lithe slinking around much like a cat. Its fur was golden-yellow. Yori would see something dark brown lumbering around. It was up to them to figure out just what it was…
Anything suspicious, like mutant bunnies? Well nothing quite that suspicious yet. Yori stops with the rest, looking at the around surrounding the cottage before looking at the building itself. "There's something inside." He reports softly, "Big and…brown? Bear maybe?" Kind of hard to tell from this far away. They'd need to get closer. But he waits for his orders before doing anything at this point. Rise's previous assurance just earned a nod from him. He doesn't really know her that well so maybe this is just how she is on missions?
Nothing.. Nothing.. and more nothing. Despite the setback — if it can even be considered one — Rise stays alert throughout the entirety of the trek, and well after. Following a small nod to Michiko, Rise sharpens her focus on the search for anything out of the ordinary, or would spell trouble. Rise starts to nod again upon hearing Michiko's assessment, but pauses midway. Movement from the house had attracted her attention. "Mountain Lion.. or something akin to it. Not something that would linger in the same area as a bear if can be helped." Rise looks to Michiko, awaiting the next set of orders. She could've mention the tactics of what she spotted, but without a closer look, her assessment could prove more fatal.
Michiko nods to the reports. It all lined up with what she was sensing, so that was good. Now all they had to do was get rid of the house and the animals inside. Simple as that! She makes a few handseals, and the earth comes roaring to life beneath the house, trapping all three occupants in its bog. "We have the element of surprise, now. The house's walls are made of stone, so I can't get rid of it easily. Yori-san, you take on the bear-thing. It's seems slow, but powerful. Rise-san, I'll leave you to the mountain lion. And I'll focus on capturing the man behind the curtain." With little time for people to question her, she slips underground to attack from below…
It was pretty obvious that Michiko had managed to suck all the targets down, especially from the roaring, yowling, and cursing. Only the cat could really sense her, but it also couldn't do anything from where it was stuck.
Yori watches the handseals then hears the sounds that follow from inside the cottage. Sneaky sneaky. The young Genin nods his agreement to Michiko before he jumps forward, running to the cottage to see what this bear thing is that he needs to face off against. And then he'll decide if he can just let it go or if it needs to be, you know, put down. He doesn't really want to, but if it's some kind of mutated bear bunny he might not have a choice.
Rise is much less indecesive then Yori. From the moment the order is given, Rise takes off running towards the house, passing up Yori easily. The only detour made is to enter through another entrance, and if possible, sneak up on her target. The cat may be bound, but that didn't mean its struggles wouldn't increase upon sensing her, hastening its freedom. Eventually if all went well, the Shirokiri would drop down from the ceiling, combat knife in hand and ready to plunge into the beast's neck.
The cottage holds a fairly normal person. As normal as one can look in a suit that implies the man is part of a hazmat division, at least. The bear is far from normal. It's teeth are longer and sharper. Its claws had a metallic glint. And it was… Probably half the size of a normal full-grown bear. Whether this is due to stunted growth or youth, it's a bit difficult to tell. However, it's pretty clear that it probably needs to be put down.
The mountain lion, for indeed that's what it was, is also out of the usual. While it had the same form, its legs looked more powerful, like someone mixed it with a bunny in terms of legs. It also had a tail that looked more like it should be used as a fin. Aquatic? Other modifications are much like the bear, though. Longer and sharper teeth, sharper looking claws… And glowing eyes… What the heck???
The cat was able to struggle enough that it loosened the mud's hold, meaning that Rise missed her intended mark. A nice long gash along the cat's side, though, was visible. To retaliate, its sharp claws whipped out at the Shirokiri's face several times.
Yori's indecision would cost him. The bear was able to break free, and now is attempting to trample the boy! It charges its whole body at the Saito, intending to knock him over. Michiko is well-hidden, and so the man can't attack her at the moment…. Bad luck for him.
Eek! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Yori decides fairly quickly that this thing isn't natural and definitely needs to be put down. When it breaks free and tries to trample him he rolls to one side, then the other, and then back again. The last time one of those metal claws grazes his shoulder however. He doesn't seem to notice as he jumps back to his feet and pulls out a pair of kunai to launch at the thing, trying to put some distance between them. Would help to know some ninjutsu about now…
Rise had miscalculated. Even so, blood is spilled, and she manages to hit the ground rolling, dodging the first swipe. Having focused so much of her attention on avoiding stabbing herself mid-roll, the woman comes out of it ill-prepared to handle the lion's pursuit. Even so, she rolls with the swipes as much as she could, and retreated as soon allowed to. Albiet, not without earning nasty gash along her arm in a haphazard attempt at throwing it up to block the claws.
Pain forces her to drop the weapon in hand in the process, and yet never shows on her face. She simply rose up from her crouched stance and stared blankly at the mutated beast. THough her attention never wavers, Rise was keeping her senses open to the rest of the team. But ultimately, it is the need to eliminate her target that pushes her to rush in again. Several shuriken are flung ahead of her. Each curving about in mid-air with the express purpose of taking its eyes out before the woman leaps in and tries to kick in its snout.
The bear seems to ignore the Kunai, only its fur getting cut by the weapons. Once again it barrels into Yori, sharp claws used again to try and slash at the boy. It seems Rise's injuries give the mountain lion some more confidence, which is likely where it failed. Rise is able to blind the cat, making it yowl in pain. Somehow its panicked thrashing allowed for it to avoid further injury. Of course, that doesn't mean it can do much in terms of attacking… It lashes out blindly, relying on its sense of hearing and smell to quite literally launch itself at Rise, claws outstretched.
Michiko handles herself by popping out of the ground at the same time as metallic ropes appear, slithering up the man to trap him in place. "So, then, mister… I hope you don't mind telling us what you're doing here? I'm sorry to say your experiments will have to go, but you don't mind, do you?" she says with a small smile, the girl perhaps being a bit /too/ pleasant.
Trying to dodge the bears attacks is not working out all that well. One nice little swipe opens up little blood rivlets across the boys chest and instead of dodging again he instead raises his arm, letting his sleeve fall back to reveal the metal vambrace beneath, and lets the claws rake that instead. A kunai is in his other hand and the boy gives a slice towards the bear before jumping and throwing the kunai down. On his way back down he closes his fist, letting the metal fall over his knuckles as he brings the entire thing down towards the creature.
The final strike fails. It is a set back, though one that did not worry her overly much. That was until the cat's seeming leap of faith bowels her over, pinning her briefly and knocking the wind out of her. Before it can disembowel her, Rise's second wind brings just enough clarity to note it raising up a claw. Mercilessly, Rise kicked.. and kicked.. and kept on kicking even well after being allowed room to get back onto her feet. Desperate violence transforms into a coordinated assault to keep the cat guessing as to where she would strike next, and whether or not it would be a foot or fist that meets it. Then, there came the final blow, a war cry accompany a straight punch to the nose.
The bear still seems unaffected by the kunai, but Yoru managed to get in a good strike with the vambraces that guard his arms. It recoils for a moment, giving Yori a small reprieve. Rise would find that all her kicking is actually somewhat effective. The cat ends up getting hit in the jaw and midsection, putting it down. It's very dazed when it falls, also not attacking any more. Michiko gets the wonderful pleasure of having to deal with a stubborn human… He doesn't even say anything. He just glares at her.
"Alright, I suppose if that's how you want to play it…" Michiko sighs, grabbing the man and disappearing into the ground with him… She reappears outside the house, the man still quite bound by the metal threads. "Stay here, please," she requests, going back into the house via underground and checking on how Yori and Rise are handling themselves.
Yori may not be the biggest or strongest but when you have metal like that behind your punches it's definitely going to hurt. After he comes down on the pair and it goes down the boy pulls out a kunai. He actually looks a little sad at having to kill an animal but, well, it's not natural and it's quite dangerous. Before it has a chance to get up again the young Saito moves forward and tries to end it quickly by slicing it's throat. Unless it, you know, moves.
Following the brutal assault, Rise pauses long enough to try and recall Michiko's words. If she recalled correctly, the chunnin left the matter of how the creatures were dealt with up to the individual. The joints in her hand pop noisly as she flexed them at her side, considering the downed cat's fate. On the one hand, the odds of the doctor returning them to their original state willingly was slim to none. On the other hand, if they were brought back, Kumogakure may yet benefit from studying the creature. Rise winces and places her hand close to her chest at the last thought.
True understanding escapes her, but… she agrees to do the merciful thing, if albeit still brutal. For an added bit of insurance, Rise pops a black pill into her mouth, enhancing her strength. With or without, the hammer fist delivered to its head would shatter its skull and crush its brain within one strike.
Apparently the bear isn't as finished as it makes itself out to be. When Yori comes into to slash its throat, the bear lashes out with its claws. Of course, it's close enough to the Saito that Yori's probably in a lot of danger. Fortunately Michiko is able to act fast enough that the claws just slice through earth instead of Yori. She finishes it off with three good bullets of mud aimed at its throat. The mountain lion that Rise is facing off against is dead as a doornail. Whatever was in its brain is now squished and probably all over Rise…
Michiko looks around. "… Alright. Good job, Rise-san. I suggest you get cleaned up a bit before we go back into town. Yori-san, you did alright, especially for your level. I hope you continue to strengthen yourself." She points outside. "The man is outside and trapped. We'll take him back to the village once we destroy this house thoroughly. …. I'll burn what's inside here. Rise-san, could you please destroy the house once everyone is out?"
Scrapped bear! That's what he gets for trying to kill it humanely! Yori raises up his arm quickly as the claws come, expecting to get hit again, but nothing happens. The boy blinks at the wall of earth that appeared before looking over at Michiko and giving her a wane smile. "Thank you Michiko-san." He says before looking back at the now dead bear. Well that's one way to do it. The kunai is put away and, after a glance around, the boy heads outside to let the other two do what they need to do in the cottage while he keeps an eye on the man.
There's plenty of lion on her face, hair, and well, most of her top as well. Luckily, the woman brought her jacket with her, so it was a simple matter of taking it off and wiping the rest of herself clean with it. She could've done the same with her hands as well, but the temptation to lick it clean proves too much. Even once caught in the act the girl merely pauses long enough to agree with Michiko's term with a firm nod before walking out and returning to work on the hand. By the time she is within a safe enough distance for Michiko to set the house ablaze, the hand is cleared of all juices.
"Yori, as soon as Michiko-san leaves the building, go to her, and ask that she erect a barrier for you two." Rise request in that dry yet.. husky(??) tone. The feral woman — for that is the state the drug she consumed often left her in — marches closer to the building and strikes a stance. She waits only long enough to see Michiko take her precautions (if any at all) before literally kicking up a tornado about her. It shapes itself along its top into the form of a dragon that quickly dives down and crashes into the face the house, shredding it to pieces. The blaze started by Michiko eventually transforms it into a burning avatar of destruction that finishes the job its previous form started before being smothered into the earth with one final dive.
Michiko sets off a blaze of destruction within the house. Then moves out and creates a dome of earth to surround herself and Yori. Let the man defend himself…. The girl waits until she can tell that Rise is done with destroying the house before grabbing their captive and making her way back up the trail. "Alright, let's go," she says, apparently glad the mission went over without too much of an issue.