Date: December 29, 2015
A team of Okumo-nin are dispatched to investigate reports of a rogue experiment now causing havoc, though when they find the subject it isn't that they had been lead to believe.
"Sentient Arachnid - First Contact"
Land of Water
Far to the north-eastern section of the Blood Marshes was a report of an arachnid the size of a modest shipping vessel along with dozens of additional reports of arachnids the sizes ranging from a child to the size of a adult. These reports of large creatures by themselves were not troubling, the fact these creatures were not known to the region and that they have been hunting beasts along with venturing further out to hunt within villages was. Currently with the lack of an official contract to exterminate the creature, the village was unlikely to act but within the Okumo clan there began whispers of who's experiments might of gotten loose rather than the curious question of where they came from.
An internal investigation would turn up very few facts, there were partial notes on experimenting to create soldier arachnids the size of hunting hounds with the strength to easily hunt horses but the experiment was listed as /Exterminated/. No reasons were given why, nor were names attached to the research reports. A team would be needed to investigate if it was in fact a continued experiment that had gotten out of control, before such a project's research was not in the clan's records and before anyone else learns that the Okumo might be the cause of the chaos.
Considering what the current situation was with the Okumo clan, this was one of the worst times it could happen. Someone's clean up got sloppy. Sei would eye the report with a thoughtful frown, then glance to one of the aides. There was that moment of quiet music from a harp and then they were gone. Sei finished up his short term work and started in the direction the reports were coming from. The aide, with the assistance of a messenger, would contact Naoya and Kiji. They were told that Sei had a mission and they were to meet him at the coordinates provided near where the rumors said the massive arachnids were at. Sei of course was early, his own brood reaching out around him. They were ever weary, if any of the spores seen from the island were around, the response would be immediate. It doesn't seem they have reached the homeland. yet.
Kiji received the summons and moved to meet Sei n the specified location. She had read one of he reports already but wasn't sure which exactly they would be dealing with. But she showed up prepared and ready to act. She nodded to Sei when she arrived, reaching out with her senses to see if they were in any immediate danger, though of course Si's brood was there as well and would also be aware of any issues.
Arriving within a short time after Kiji had though his brood was not over watching the area, almost seeming dormant in comparison to Sei's own. With a slight bow of his head, Naoya greets the pair silently before watching them, somewhat curious to their current findings. "Boars, blood deer, bog creatures flavored with chakra.. I haven't seen anything similar to the reports or trials this far out just yet. Lowering down to the ground, his nose flares faintly as he takes in several sudden but short breaths before exhaling steadily, trying to collect any sort of scent for the hidden brood to break down and study.
On the surface the trio was far from alone, though many creatures were wary of the outside threat a Kiji would be able to sense a few beginning to encircle them. They were still studying the outsiders though the chaos of thoughts sense showed not one was ready to commit to an assault. The spore that were sought were not noticed, though other fungus and natural spores could be detected even within the cooling temperatures. After searching for a short while, several members of Sei's brood would be able to find a partially cocooned husk, the silk wrapping itself was largely dissolved, revealing the contents to be a calf of a blood deer. The corpse itself was in largely preserved condition, very few signs of a enduring fight, not even a single broken bone. There was a distinct lack of chakra around the corpse, though Kiji might remember sensing these creatures before during a trial of the Chuunin Exam, the blood deer were usually flowing with chakra, even within their spilled blood.
Sei glanced to Naoya and gave a nod of his head in response. He waited. Kiji was searching by chakra, he simply searched via his brood. When they found the drained animal, Sei shifted on his feet to look that direction. A bit more of the brood was directed there, more eyes, more details. Finally Sei would give a whistle, glance to the other two and hand sign to follow before taking off in that direction. When they approached, Sei would hang back, guarding the trio while he'd let Kiji and Naoya do their thing for the search.
Kiji tilted her head as she located the blood deer. If there was a connection it would be with such an animal but the cakra was terribly low… She furrowed her brow. "A… blood deer but… It's…" She searched for a word, eyes hinting at a golden as she became more aware of what was going on and possible dangers. "It.. it's … dry..? Really dry. I don't know if it could survive with that level of chakra normally…" Of course it was in a sort of stasis, but Kiji doubted even if it's body was properly healed it would be able to recover properly.
Another tilt of her head and she looked up and around and opened her senses in the immediate area, searching for whatever would be feeding on such a thing.
"It's still alive, so it has to hold some level of chakra.. That's what you told me before, wasn't it?" Ignoring the creature that laid there, Naoya picks at some of the webbed remains only to put it into his mouth and eat it. Moving his mouth quickly, his body convulsed, not in pain but almost a stiff rejection that caused him to fight back a coughing fit. "This.. isn't from one of the local breeds. It's too strong, not breaking down.. It wasn't made from proteins but, something else." Turning his head to the side, the young man continued to cough again before spitting it out away from where they stood, leaving him stroking at his throat.
Studying the calf with more focus, Kiji would be able to tell that the creature still lived though from the deeper search it was clear it was likely never to recover, giving no sense of actual awareness left at this point. To the outer reaches of her senses from several kilometers away the young woman would be able to sense a small herd of blood deer in a panic and moving quickly almost angled in her direction while in another direction she would be able to feel what might be a villager, staying low to the ground, uninjured, likely doing work or collecting something. Sei would be able to see that the creatures that had begun to surround the group had a change of thoughts and were starting to vacate the surrounding area. This would normally be an improvement, though all the creatures began to flee simultaneously while the smaller creatures remained, especially the scavenging creatures which began to draw closer as if awaiting carcass to pick over. Even without enhanced senses, the thundering stampede of a herd forcing its way through the area was clear.
Sei watched impassively, a small nod was given to Naoya. They have a physical source that proves it's not an experiment now. Knocking that thought off the list, Sei's brood would sweep the area wider. When everything ran away, that was usually either because something even scarier was approaching, or something else was occurring. Sei glanced in the direction of the hooves. They would all hear it, so Sei would have his brood spread above, the webbing fast made with many spiders and once done, the carcass would get hauled up, lines offered to Naoya and Kiji both, the climbing ability of a shinobi assumed and the lines an extra assistance. Sei went up, gathering himself as he'd focus, wanting to know what caused the stampede now.
Kiji lifted her head, peering at Naoya as he tried to break down the webbing or whatever it was and ending up spitting it out. She wondered for a moment about the wisdom of putting random things in one's mouth to test it but she figured it hadn't killed him yet….. But then she turned, sensing the panic, the sudden vacating of most cretures around them.. the actions of the possible scavengers… "To the south. A herd of… deer by the sense of it.. they're stampeding. We should get off the….. ground." Sei was already ahead of her so she simply accepted the line and the help up off the ground. she opened her mind further, a less precise but a wider ranged sense, trying to figure out what was doing the chasing.
Turning away from the comatose creature and Kiji towards the round causes Naoya to arch a brow. Looking upwards Sei when the tendril webbed line is offered. Without questioning it he would jump up and grasp onto it before climbing higher along it just as Kiji's warning reaches his ears. "Exactly what's going on? I didn't smell any fresh kills around here, they shouldn't be coming for us. I can hardly smell the weak one that's out here anyways, they shouldn't be able to tell anything." Grumbling to himself, the young man anchors himself at the upper limits of the canopy. Turning back to Kiji he asks, "Exactly how many of them are there?"
Only moments after Kiji also clears the ground, the blood deer would charge into sight and continue to move on under the group, not paying them much mind. In the distance several sharp cries could be heard out as a pair of the blood deer became snared by something and turned from a panicked flight to desperate fighting mindset, their forms twisting with additional growth of barb and blade like additions form their heads. The source of the panic would be felt by Kiji though it was dim, not because it was weak but almost as if something was blocking sensing it, leaving it more dim to her senses. Sei's brood on the other hand would be able to notice it what exactly the creature was, an arachnid that was larger in body than most younger teenagers from the village. With the two creatures no longer fleeing, the arachnid began to act more oddly than a normal beast, while encircling the pair of blood deer it began to work on a barrier, caging them in with itself before its chakra presence steadily became less hidden while preparing to strike.
There. Sei stared in the direction that his brood was feeding him information from. Glancing to Naoya and Kiji, he made two signs, one of suppress power, the second of silence. With that given, Sei took higher into the branches, using his brood to guide him and the others if they could follow the smaller spiders for places to go and hide without giving away their presence. This was different. Something.. something big. They were hunting creatures. So Sei and the others would be hunting it now. He wanted to see what the brood was stating as well as allowing Kiji and Naoya to see it too.
Kiji nodded, pulling back her chakra, compressing it as best she could before creeping along, closer to the panicked creatures, trying to see what was going on, what was hunting them? She could sense the creature's shielding lower a bit and tilted her head curiously. Odd how it had that kind of ability to hide chakra… Perhaps this was an experiment after all. She creeped forward and then paused, watching, sensing…
Arching a brow at the signals from Sei, his eyes quickly drift to Kiji as of the three, he was the only on oblivious to sensing chakra in any meaningful way. Extending out a hand, Naoya shows his palm to Kiji expectantly, soon afterwards he uses his other hand to simulate writing the kanji for 'Speak' animatedly for her to notice. Looking back upwards, he waits for another signal though it would be then that the sound of several trees crashing could be heard stealing away his attention yet again.
What Kiji could feel was a significant chakra source, no weaker than a trained chuunin flare almost from the faint sensation. In an instant, the fighting nature of one of the blood deer disappears, along with much of its sensation while the other falls deeper into madness. What Sei could see from his distant eyes was that the arachnid, while once moving slowly rapidly increases its speed though controlled use of chakra, showing advanced knowledge of the more commonly called 'Body Flicker' tactics to tackle and pin the first of the pair of creatures, its fangs buried deep in the first deer's throat yet not killing it. The second blood deer charged in through even the bone blades along its skull were pointed and shaped to slash flesh messily, a direct ramming into the carapace left few notable wounds as the creature feasted on its victim's chakra.
Sei frowned, he'd get them close, but no closer. A glance at Naoya at his signing and Sei's brood went to work. Webbing strung between some branches would give the backdrop for those words to appear. Sei started with describing what the brood showed him. He didn't want to get closer, it was a potential of being spotted and something that can move that fast? This needed to be studied. A side note from the description of the fight would be off to the side. ~This is not any experiment. This is something else.~
With the team hovering just within sight, both Kiji and Sei could be able to feel the first of blood deers fade almost to that of a mouse in terms of chakra feeling. Upon careful inspection, when the arachnid releases its first victim, the puncture wounds were rapidly beginning to seal over to the point it would be soon hard to tell it was devastatingly wounded in the first place. When the mutated blood deer moves in for another ramming attempt, the creature didn't move, though its chitin changed tone as chakra flows thickly through it, hardening the material to a point the blood deer's boney blades couldn't pierce or even leave notable scratch marks against. In an instant, the second blood deer was tackled and pinned onto its side as the arachnid begins the process all over again, seemingly oblivious to its shinobi audience. Unless disturbed, when the arachnid finishes with its next meal, it would begin to work on binding and storing away the pair of victims within the reaches of a thicker tree for safe keeping or possibly later use.
Sei studies the archnid by proxy. Watching it's behavior. The physical description written by brood continues on so Naoya knows what Sei sees, as well as Kiji. Frowning, Sei would wait until it was done and 'packing up' as it were, before having some of his own brood attempt to make contact. They would get out in the open to try to interact with the larger spider. This could be interesting for a first contact, especially from something that could drain chakra.
Kiji reached up and poked at one of the spiders in her hair and signed to it silently, asking Sei if he wanted her closer, or if he wanted to see the thing's reaction to her or her blood. She could sense Sei's brood getting closer to it, trying to initiate cntact or interaction and rather than act on her own she simply focused her senses on the thing, trying to see if it was in fact intelligent or not.. Any information she gathered she sent to Naoya and Sei with those hand signs.
Canting his head to one side faintly, Naoya offers a nod as he begins to read what the other brood was beginning to display to him. Shifting his gaze to the side, he looks towards the direction of the creature patiently. His own brood only moving out of several burrows along his skin to scent the air more directly though not one would leave the host for very long. Lifting his right hand, he uses his finger to slowly trace in the air the word 'Control' before motioning in the direction of the creature, though his eyes were now onto Sei alone.
Even at a lesser level, Kiji could tell the mind of the creature was far more advanced than that of a blood deer, though it wouldn't be exactly how advanced it was until Sei's brood drew closer. The creature becomes stock still, interested in the small creature that held such a high concentration of chakra. No fangs were bared or aggressive mannerisms or scents displayed yet Sei would soon begin to feel a static like fog creep into his mind for a moment. The large spider was attempting to part some of his mind away, though the attempt was weak and unlikely to cause lasting effects though it would peak the creature's interest significantly when its attempts to control the smaller spiders failed.
Sei blinked at the attempt. The brood and his hive mind resistant. But it just.. tried to take them? Fascinating. Sei's brood paused in the writing when the attack on the hive mind occurred, all as one repelling it, not harshly, but definitely firmly. Sei glanced to Kiji and Naoya, gave a small shake of his head. The brood would act then in front of the spider, seeking to spell out words as a form of greeting to the larger spider, asking for permission to approach without attack.
Kiji let out a small sigh at Sei's insistence for her to stay back and glanced at Naoya, watching him and his brood for a moment before turning back to watch the ensuing encounter silently.
While Sei's brood began to attempt communication, the creature doesn't respond for a few moments though its chakra swells for a moment before extending out almost as if a pulse. Shifting its position, it circles around the smaller spiders until they were placed in between itself and the trio waiting in the distance. Swaying from side to side, silken webbing is carefully laid out behind itself though while it dd such the body of the creature rapidly began to twitch and its legs tap onto the ground forming vibrating patterns that sei would understand in concept rather than direct words through his brood. Tasty yet too small to eat. All the same and mindless, connected to another? Ah there, three? Two are tasty one smells tasteless.. This is my hunting ground.
Sei stared. Well.. the hive mind definitely came in handy now. More of Sei's brood would move forward. It'd take many to mirror the pattern of the one, but they could and did. We do not come to stop hunt. We come to observe and communicate. Do not attack three, three will not harm you. Meanwhile, another section of Sei's brood would start weaving that harp, several of them through the area to seek to start his own genjutsu for communication. Sei would glance to Naoya, a hand sign to hold back, he motions Kiji to follow and launches forward. It was one smooth motion that would take him from the tree to land behind his brood, more of his brood coming to circle around him, the source of connection it seems. Kiji would have her own line of Sei's brood between them and the spider, that sign of protection as Sei glanced to Kiji, whistled and motioned, asking for her to try her offering of blood.
Kiji caught the signals from Sei and jumped out as he did. She glanced down at the line of spiders between her and the creature, a sign of protection even as Sei motioned for her to offer a treat. She nodded once and lifted a hand, a tendril of blood came from her wrist, twisting and forming into a ball before floating over toward the spider to hover before it, a quiet offering.
Without thinking, one side of Naoya's upper lip twitches into a fleeting snarls, showing off the length of one of his fangs before his head lowers into a bowed position towards Sei, confirming his understanding. Shifting his position at the perch point, the young man moved higher along the way to try and same some vantage point to see with his own eyes more easily. Extending out a hand, he begins to allow several troops of spiders to follow along Sei and Kiji, though at a healthy distance away.
Lifting a hine leg, the creature runs it along the silken cords, mimicking several notes that Sei himself had just began to make. In turn a tickling feeling in the backs of both Kiji's and Sei's was clear, it was a similar form of genjutsu. «Your kind was said to of died out in this region.. The only ones that remained were far south of these grounds.» Turning its focus away from the smaller spiders, it fixates itself onto the sphere of blood, clearly wary of the display but not fearful. «Not one of your can could to that, not even a century ago..» Shifting its body sideways a sudden webbed net is projected, hastily ensnaring the offered sphere as a precaution before bringing it closer for inspection.
Sei was aware of Naoya's dislike of the position, but also felt it was better to be sure, than all be caught in the open. The brood that Naoya allowed to travel with them would get surrounded by Sei's own, it'd take a close look to realize they were helping the spiders to move with the swarm instead of all of them going together. A mask of brood, as it was. Sei would give a small half-bow to the large arachnid, Sei's brood tapping in their own response. Kiji-san is a recent adoption into the Okumo clan. She has proven herself many times over to be able to think like the ones we seek to mirror, the Arachnids. We do not seek to claim ownership, we are seeking to find out the ones who are attacking human-kin villages. You are welcome to the gift. If you agree to be non-hostile, we will call our third here. He is physically closer to Arachnids, while I, Sei, am mentally connected to my brood. As you felt.
Kiji did not flinch nor did she pull away from the creature's crude mindlink. She simply smiled at the spider as it looked at her blood offering warily. she allowed it to be caught and then made a point to cut off her connection to it. The web the creature had around it would keep it from spilling but she would no longer have a concentrated link to it. She wasn't sure f the thing could sense that link or not but she did not want to make the thing angry for no reason. It was clearly communicating with Sei, possibly Naoya, through those taps. She also dipped her head and let her arms fall to her sides, as if to show no hostility.
What Sei would quickly notice is that Naoya's brood as as skittish if not more so about others being near, let alone a swarm yet they did not try to flex or retaliate. Closing his eyes, for a moment a sensor would be able to notice a mild spike in his chakra use as he establishes a firmer connection with his brood, seeing through their eyes and senses over the greater distance. His body on the other hand leans back, picking through his pouch, going over a few different vials, evaluating them for the task at hand.
Lifting two of the near rearmost legs, the large arachnid begins to stroke the silken cords behind it, producing notes and continuing to broadcast its message towards the pair before it. «Those with tasty chakra are prey. If prey walks near your territory it will be eaten, that simple. It can be a beast like this or something else.. Why do you care? Your clan takes what it wishes no matter if it once belonged to another as long as it is allowed by your priests.» Using near front-most legs, the creature moves the heavily webbed sphere and brings it over its head and onto its back, as if a large egg for safe keeping. Mimicking Kiji's response, the creature was not raised up high, nor did any of its movements come to it quickly any more only slower movements yet rather watchful of the pair. «As for your third, he doesn't feel to have a good taste, I would ignore him either way and from how you sound he would taste bitter.»
Sei muses a moment, then whistles with a nod of agreement. The harps would be put to use, half of them put to music, allowing it to surround them for communication to Kiji and Naoya. The other half would be used for the vibrations needed to speak to the large arachnid. The Okumo clan of the past is not the same as now. Human-kin have formed groups together. We protect one another. The Okumo clan protects human-kin, in turn we are provided resources. A symbiotic relationship. Sei would focus a moment, allowing that genjutsu to reach Kiji and Naoya. Once established, he would put to words the information the arachnid gives, closing the loop so they know what's going on a bit better. Naoya-san is a hunter Okumo. I am a nester. We all have our own style. Sei glanced in Naoya's way, his own voice interweaved with the words that may come from the Arachnid. "Naoya-san, please join us. I believe I have established a base pattern for communication."
Kiji opened her mind a bit more and tilted her head curiously, her eyes shifting into a bright purple from gold. She was still prepared for battle but this large spider had struck a chord in her. One that tended to kill cats. she glanced over to Sei and the waited for naoya to come out or not. The creature was definitely interesting.
Rather than jumping over and following a trail the pair left behind normally, Naoya seemed to simply appear slightly crouched and poised as if in a dead sprint that was stopped suddenly. Standing a meter behind Kiji and Sei, the young man stood some what in the middle of them though once again the once growing chakra well within him had dimmed. "Not one of ours, yet not a beast.. We weren't contracted for a hunt" is admitted with some annoyance and a slightly furled brow as he began to try and figure out what was actually to be done.
For a fleeting moment the once pacified creature was tensing with Naoya's sudden arrival though this also sparked the creature's chakra to swell again but in a more familiar way. The chakra ping used echoed similar to a sensor's own at that range, the creature was now going through a more detailed and distant look for if there happened to be more approaching or poised to do such. «Rather than take you make agreements. Such a waste, boredom. As for different types.. that is a new development. And this third hardly feels the same as the ones I remember, not the same control.. not similar. A mutant? Either way.. if you want me not to bother your slaves you need to keep them away. I'm not known for being a picky eater.»
Sei turned slightly on his heel, looking back to Naoya. He would nod in greeting, then look back to the Arachnid. We will leave Naoya-san to communicate with you. He can communicate the same way. Please provide a pattern to show boarder of territory. We will make sure it is known crossing that boarder makes them fair game and will not hunt you for such crossing. We request a way to show we wish to meet for communication between us as well. Can this be worked out with Naoya-san and provided? Sei would motion for Kiji to fall back some, his brood shifting with him as he'd set up that last bit. "We are setting up Naoya to be the liaison. A standard to be created for boarders so both sides know where the line is as well as a way to communicate between us. We do not expect you to fail, Naoya-san. Kiji-san, you will stay in range to assist Naoya-san if necessary." Sei would look between them with a raised brow. "Any questions?"
Turning to glance towards Sei as he watches the brood begin to dance, yet no sound reaches his ears, watching the other man with some curiosity. Shaking his head gently from side to side before turning his attention back towards the creature before them. Opening his mouth, a weak hiss of rushed air escapes him before the sound of erratic chittering is made. "We.. I, will entertain.." Snarling his nose for a moment, Naoya takes in two sudden sniffs of air confirming, "..him until we can some to an agreement on boundaries, and prey." Closing his mouth and soon taking a stronger swallow, words would fail the young man and in their place sounds as well as a tempo of steps as he began to pace. We all all mutants. One shape or another, each one unique, each one continuing to evolve. The main difference is, unlike either of those two before me I feast as you do, as the brood within me can. We know of better prey, even some of those that are more honed with chakra, but not as strongly as Clan Leader.
The stroking of the cords of silk continue as Sei and Kiji remained near, poised to pluck additional words but that pauses at the display that the third began to put on. Shifting its position, its legs begin to vibrate at times before it responds in kind to Naoya to communicate beyond the musical illusion. Your kind really has changed over the last century. I have spoken with some like this, crude. You seem to understand it much better. What are these better meals that you speak of, within these lands or is it a trick to lure me to another set of islands? Speaking back and forth, the pair would speak on several matters over the course of several hours, limits of where to hunt, message of clans not aligned with Kirigakure, nor the governance of the Land of water along with exactly what the Okumo are today compared to the memories of a nearly forgotten past.