Date: May 8, 2012
On the way to rescue Hitoshi, the ninja must find themselves a ship. When they come into port, though, they find things are a little complicated…
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
"Shattered Memories - King Crab"
Kasu, a coastal village in the Land of Fire
It's been a long journey to the Land of Water, and there's a long journey to go yet. For the next leg of the trip, the Hitoshi Rescue Squad is going to charter a boat for some travel overseas. For that, they've travelled to the village of Kasu. It's not an overly pleasant town, though it has its own squalid charm. It's built more or less at the base of an ocean cliff. There is an extensive network of docks, and a good half of the village is simply shanties resting on posts above the water. The other half rests on ledges carved deeply into the cliffside. The buildings here are less shabby, though still quite old and somewhat run-down. Atsuro, Berii, Mugen, and Taiki, a little improvised team, have come ahead of the rest of the group to look around the village and see if they can get a good ship.
Atsuro leads the team down a narrow path on the cliff face into the village below. The streets seem oddly deserted. "Well," says Atsuro, "It /is/ a small village. I wasn't expecting many people anyway." He points to the docks. "We can probably find something down there," he adds, gesturing for everyone to follow. Also here is his nin-dog partner, Taizen, who immediately trots on after him.
Unfortunately, it seems that the docks, too, are deserted. There are many ships, big and small (and some in better condition than others). "I'll be damned," mutters Atsuro. "Well, too many smells here," he says, "Anyone see anything… or anyone?"
Not far behind Atsuro is Mugen. At the impromptu leaders notion he does a long, hard sweeping stare at his surroundings as he walks, "This doesn't look good, Atsuro-san." he says, slowing his walk a little bit as he points at the the docks and some of the ships, "Looks like they were damaged not too long ago, the docks too." he says, still walking but slowly now.
Taiki for the most part on this trip has been very quiet for this part of the trip. He's talked mainly when talked to, and even then he's only said more than a few words to Atsuro, Berii, or Naru. Daisuke got pretty much ignored outside of mission specific things, almost to the point of a cold shoulder. But he hasn't been hostile. He's been very focussed, very serious, and has maintained a "game face" pretty much the entire trip. Anyone coaxing those few words out of him would quickly discover he wants to get there… yesterday. Though there are times when he looks a bit… scary… when saying this.
As Atsuro more than likely pulled Taiki with him to keep an eye on him, something that Taiki understands (or thinks he understands) fully, he pretty much is all business and completely serious. "All save that big one near the center. The damage on that one doesn't seem recent at all. Looks almost like a derelict," he says says in a dry, even tone.
Berii had more or less trying to get few words out of Taiki as the trip went along, hoping that a few exchange in words would get him to lighten up a bit but… that doesn't really work. So Berii does what she does best, nothing. Until eventually coming up on a something of some interest, a possible village where they can actually rest.
The noticeable vacany makes her a bit uneasy though, despite Atsuro's words. "Um… thewe." Berii squints her eyes to a shop-like building, "I think someone's watching us fwom they'we…" It is then that her Sharingan activates as she tries to get a better idea of what's going on.
Well, everybody seems to have seen something. Atsuro looks at each in turn, nodding. "There's something up," he says simply, "Everyone be on your guard." He holds out a hand to Taizen, he passes him a ninjato from his vest. For the moment he keeps it sheathed. Not to be outdone by a group of kids, though, Atsuro notices something himself. "Dead body," he says, nodding in the direction of something floating in the harbor waters not far away. "Everyone /really/ be on your guard." It's not immediately obvious that it's a dead body, but maybe he has experience in this area?
He decides to follow up on Berii's discovery first. He gestures for everyone to move towards the building taking up positions near the door. It's larger than most of the others nearby, and has sustained some damage itself. While still mostly intact, a few windows are freshly broken, and the sign above the door now reads "m Bar," which isn't especially helpful. Atsuro knocks on the door firmly several times. "Who's in there?" he calls.
From inside comes the sounds of furniture being moved and hurried footsteps, then somebody opens the door a crack. "Arr!" he says, "Keep yer voice down. Loud 'nuff to wake the dead y'are."
Atsuro just points to the dead body. "Like that guy?" he asks drily. "Look, we just want a boat. We'll pay well. Twelve passengers, some dogs, some cargo, and no questions asked. You've probably worked with ninjas before, you know the deal."
The door opens further to reveal a grizzled man with an eyepatch and a scraggly white beard. The classic pirate. "Arr," he says, "Were that it could be. But I'm na' puttin' me life on the line for ye for all the gold in the seas."
Atsuro rolls his eyes, but the pirate seems to take no notice and continues, "'tis that thrice-damned monster," he says, "Ya oughta just be gettin' outta here. Find ye another boat in another harbor." With that, he slams the door shut.
"Helpful," says Atsuro. He looks around, "The next best village would delay us by three days."
The piratey fellow gets a once-over from Mugen before he turns to watch the teams back as Atsuro speaks to him. scanning the area again. After the captain relinquishes himself to the bar again he speaks up, "Monster? Do you think he meant an actual monster?" he asks, still looking for a moment before his gaze settles on the boat that Taiki pointed out, "A derelict? It looks like it's in the middle of the damage…" he says, thinking outloud it seems.
Taiki looks around, then up at the rooftop of the building Berii had pointed out and Atsuro was moving toward. Taiki hangs back a bit, close enough for it to be evident he is part of the group, but far enough back so he can keep an easier eye upward. "Odd…" Taiki says succinctly, apparently covering the entire situation in one word. "Fishermen tend to be… tough." Shinobu walks up beside him after having been slightly behind to cover their back trail. The dog looks up at Taiki, then over to Taizen, to see if either one of them is going to explain what is going on. "Be ready Shinobu," he says quietly, though his eyes glance toward Berii for a moment as he says this, as if silently echoing the same comment to her.
The mention of a dead body gets Berii to tense a bit, hands disappearing into her sleeves. While furniture is being moved about, Team Ten's Uchiha drifts a bit shuffling along only to pause when the door opens, she looks over her shoulder through the whole discussion. "Neh, a monstew?" Berii snorts, then abruptly covers her nose, a bit of a blush showing. "Uh, anyway. He kinda sounded like a sea dog…thing, anything big is a monstew to them, hnn. So it's n-" Berii starts walking towards the shore before suddenly pausing.
Her face goes a bit pale, and she blinks a few times, not believing her eyes. "Um… guys." One hand slowly raises up, pointing towards the boats earlier mentioned. "So… about monstehs…"
A few steps are taken back, she doesn't really delve into much more detail since she wasn't entirely sure what she was looking at. "A lot… of chakwa.." She wasn't planning on being the first to investigate that area any closer.
Atsuro doesn't like this one bit. "We're too far out from the rest," he says, "By the time we got back here with everybody there might be no more ships left." He sighs, irritated. "We're going to check this out," he decides, grudgingly, "But if I tell any of you to run, you get outta here, /now/. Got it? We've already got /one/ genin in need of rescue." He looks to all three of them, plus the nin-dogs, then leads the groups onward.
He leads them on a twisting path through the docks. Twisting, partly because the docks themselves are poorly laid out, having been built up and rearranged over time, and partly because parts of them are too damaged to walk on. Eventually, though, they've made their way to the derelict ship with the mysterious chakra beneath. Atsuro turns to face the group and presses a finger to its lips. He whispers, "If there actually is a monster— " He's cut off by a low rumble from beneath the docks. From beneath the water comes a giant… something. It's long and jointed, like a limb, and covered in a natural plate-like armor, like that of a crab. "Oh, f— " Atsuro's swear is cut off by the enormous crash of the limb smashing through the docks. A large portion of the docks break off and fall down into the water below. Atsuro and Taizen manage to escape, Taizen jumping out of the way, and Atsuro managing to grab a solid plank and pull himself up onto the undamaged part of the dock. Anyone who's observant enough to notice anything beyond the giant crab leg may spot something odd about the water in this area: it's faintly green-blue and milky.
And the less-than-sturdy dock beneath Mugen's feet all but disentigrates under his feet. He looks like he tried to move, but was nowhere near fast enough to escape a splash into the water. He sputters a bit, clinging to some driftwood before starting to climb back up on to the docks, "What the he— It /IS/ a monster!" he spews out as he tries to scramble back up to the dock and put some distance between him in the crab, "If I could get into it… maybe I could do something?" he calls out to the other people.
And Taiki is not fast enough to avoid both him and Shinobu from going down with the dock section and into the water. Thankfully his storage scrolls are all secured in waterproof containers, or he'd be cursing up a storm at the moment. As it is he's mentally calculating the amount of time he has on some of the kunai he has. Judging that he's going to have to use them before too long or they'll become useless, he takes out three kunai with explosive tags wrapped around their handles, and throws two of them, far off into the sea, before detonating them just as they enter the water in attempts to distract the monster. "I've got two more, where do you want them? Quickly… They won't last long…." Just then he notices something. "Yamanaka'san… there's a hole in that ship," he says, pointing toward the aft hull. "There's room for all three of us, and it can give us an even footing…."
"Hnn." Is all Berii says in response to Atsuro being ready to give the signal to run, she'd probably leave before that even happened. Especially since the closer they get, the more and more she realizes the actual size of whatever it is down there. Berii just stares down at the waters below, using the others paths for herself instead of actually paying attention to where she was going.
"Hey uh… sensei?" Berii's eyes focus a bit harder before she visibly tenses.
The sudden eruption of the limb shuts her up as it's pretty obvious to everyone now, that it's on the move. The whole event is spotted in slow motion as she quickly gets out, manging to land on a bit of dock work off to the side but, as she lands her right foot goes crashing through the worn wood, causing a moment of a slip up. With the help of panic, it takes her a moment to properly get her senses together. Since you know, giant crab is much more terrifying than humans with a sword… even if they can cause the world to flip with a few motions of their hand.
Once finally set, the explosions go off and Berii looks about and notices Mugen is somewhat close to her but, quick observation would see that, that part of the dock wouldn't support both of them very well. "Did they make this pwace outta papah?" She rolls her eyes and then with a flourish, summons a windmill shuriken with cloth wrapped about the blades.
For now, she studies the beast while gathering chakra and hoping the armored beast isn't all that tough to crack.
"Everyone all right?" Atsuro asks. The beast seems to have completely submerged again. The explosions from Taiki's tags cause it to rise up again briefly and lash out at another section of the docks. This time, it's easy to see that it is indeed a giant crab. Only part of it can be seen, but the boat seems to move along with it, apparently resting on its back. As the crab moves, more of the blue-green colouring comes out into the water, making big swirly clouds. It's not totally clear where it's coming from, but it seems to either be coming from the crab's back or the boat itself.
Hearing Taiki's mention of the hole beneath, Atsuro suggests, "Good idea. It might actually be the safest place right now." He glances over to Berii and Taizen. "Let's see if we can get in ourselves." He glances over at the deck. "Think you can jump it?" he asks Berii.
Mugen continues up the docks, going a bit higher up for a better vantage of the harbor area in general before calling out, "You guys get in the boat, try to get it to come completely out of the water!" he calls out, apparently under the impression that crabs don't speak people talk, "I can try to get in it's head, maybe find a way to drive it off or at least hold it still!" he adds, still yelling out.
Getting no answer about the other two, Taiki opts for another toss up and away from everyone. At least that way Mugen can try her jutsu when it comes up. He starts to make his way toward the hole, but he's not swimming all that well. "That's it, I /will/ learn water walking," he grumbles toward Shinobu, who seems to be doing just about as poorly as he is. "You too." He dare not use any ninjutsu at the moment, unless he particularly /wants/ to flash fry himself.
Berii perks an eyebrow up at Atsuro, "Neh? You sewious?" It seemed like a dangerous move but, in all truth it'd be a lot more safe to risk that than continue a crab battle. With a sigh, she grits her teeth and takes a few steps back for a running start, in a burst of speed she leaps forwards and hurls the large shuriken, hoping to lodge it into the beasts back.
Honestly, the thing just being around it would be enough as the leap is completed and Berii is now standing sideways on the side of the ship. Seeing the amount of people out in the water, she really wished she carried some sort of rope but, for now she can only hope to annoy the crab enough to get it out of the water for whatever Mugen had planned. A few handseals are formed and she takes a deep breath before unleashing a flame, apparently being carried along some sort of wire reaching all the way to the oil coated cloth on the weapon.
The fire would continue until it was obvious this wasn't working or… of course it worked.
Taizen makes his jump, and so does Atsuro… kinda. While Taizen lands on the deck of the ship, Atsuro lands on an edge, grabbing on to a railing. The plan was to simply pull himself up onto the deck, but the ship, of course, isn't in very good repair. There's a creak, then a crack, then an "Oh, arthrop— " Then there's a splash and Atsuro falls into the water. "Berii," Atsuro calls up, once he's managed to start treading water, "See if you can get down inside. Taizen, make sure she stays safe. Try and meet up with Taiki inside." He pauses. "Taiki and /me/," he corrects, then begins swimming for the hole in the hull.
Taiki, Shinobu, and Atsuro just barely have time to get inside before the last explosive tag and the commotion from up above disturb the crab once more. It rises up above the water to look around, the perfect opportunity for Mugen to use his jutsu. If he does, there's actually very little intelligible information he can get out of the crab. It seems to be in immense pain, as if something is stabbing into it. Berii's fiery shuriken can explain part of it, but it's actually just a drop in the ocean of pain.
Mugen performs a single handseal and holds it as the crab surfaces and *ZZOOOOOOMMMM* body snatcher technique a success. If there was any doubt, Mugen is motionless and the crab is skittering calmly up onto the shore as carefull as possible before moving its large claws over its body in order to try to dislodge anything that might be in it.
Taiki and Shinobu make to the side of the boat, and using tree walking exercise, the duo make their way up to the hole. Once by it, Taiki and Shinobu adopt an odd variation on the Four Legged Stance before Taiki runs through a series of hand signs before he says, "Raibunshin no Jutsu!" With that call two clones appear. One is of Taiki, the other is of Shinobu. The two look at each other and nod before Taiki calls out to Atsuro, "Get up here sensei! I have a plan." The moment Atsuro is near enough to the ship to be outside any danger, the clones leap and spin, forming a gatsuuga. The pair ride the technique all the way to the crab, slamming into it and discharging at the same time.
With a cough, she ends the blaze, the dramatics still all confusing. The resilient wire somehow still functioning as she gives it a hard tug, pulling it out of the crabs back and it comes zooming back her way… the girl barely catches it before following orders. Shoot, those shuriken are expensive, she wasn't leaving that behind.
Quickly slipping into the hole, she disappears into the darkness, peering around without anything of use being spotted all she knows is that Taiki was safe but… now he too was standing on the side of the ship and preparing an attack? Berii pokes her head outside of the ship, glaring up at the two, "Aye! Taiki, Shinobu! What do you th-" She is shut up by the two zipping off in a crackling mess of tooth claw and electricity. "Ah.. kay."
Berii shuts up and disappears back into the hole and shuffling closer to Taizen.
"It had better be a g— what the claw." Atsuro isn't super impressed with this plan as he watches Taiki's clones just smash into the crab's back and zap it. Thankfully, Mugen brought the crab up onto the shore, so things don't get too bad when the crab begins to writhe around wildly, even if it /is/ getting hard to maintain one's footing. "Think maybe you could've discussed it with me before you enacted it?" Atsuro asks Taiki, and starts heading into the crab area, past ages-old poop decks, starboard brigs, and scurvy lounges.
Taizen attempts to protect Berii during all the commotion, but just looks around the area once things have settled down, glancing at Berii every so often to see what she'll do.
The crab area is where the ship meets the crab. This place is ankle-deep with the blue liquid, which flows freely around on the crab's back… and from the crab's back. The crab has many injuries, only some of which have come from Taiki. The rest are areas where the ship itself has dug into its armor, then its flesh.
"It's a work in progress," Taiki says as even he frowns at the effect. Two C ranked attacks should have done more than that, he thinks to himself as he stands back. "I'm all out of explosive tags, I can hit it with lightning arc or more clones. But those will tire me out quickly. By the way, how did we get that crab up on shore?" Taiki asks as he starts to focus more chakra. Apparently that combo took a rather hefty chunk out of him. "Or better yet, how do we get the ship off that thing? I'm open to suggestions here!" He does have more explosive tags, of course, its just going to be time consuming to get at them.
Well now that everything seemed a bit more stable, Berii steps on out and takes one last look around. Things looked safe, well relative to what was going on so her Sharingan fades away. Berii glances to Taiki and shrugs, "To be honest with you, I dunno what's been going on fo' the past few mintues so… I'm not doing any bettew with this situation." She takes off and goes to inspect it closer, hoping the crab stayed stable. As she moves in closer and takes a few squealching steps in what may be blood, something hits her mentally
"Wait, what happened to that othe' guy?" Berii looks over to where Mugen was last seen, only to spot what may be a heap of him on the ground. Interest in the crab faultered now as she just takes off to go tend to him while the other two really take in what happened to the crab.
The attacks hurt, and Mugen knew that he'd be reeling once he left the massive body of the beast, but he did his best to hang on and stay still so the others could make their way through the ship.
If any of the group in the ship itself looked off towards the boy's body they'd notice that it hadn't moved an inch, like it was frozen in time.
"It was more that we have a Yamanaka doing his thing on this crab," Atsuro points out, "And whatever we do to the crab we do to him. Come on, even /I/ know that." He sniffs a little. "Guh, it stinks like carapace in here." Indeed, it does smell pretty bad. Like really old seafood. He glances over to Berii. "Oh," he says, "You two found us." Taizen barks something to him in reply. "Right. Okay, let's see." He turns to Taiki. "Well, unless Mugen lets go of it, it's probably better to try and get rid of the boat for now. So… we can either try to destroy the boat or dislodge it. Unless anyone has a better idea?" He glances between his two students.
Taiki sighs as he reaches behind him and opens one of his travel pouches. "I can get more explosive notes Sensei, but I need time to get the scroll out of the bag its in, then get them unsealed. I'd need about a minute, minute and a half tops. Unfortunately that's a very long time with the way that thing is moving. And no, I didn't know that, or what he was doing. I never saw Yamanaka jutsu in action. I'll apologize later. But that's about the best I can offer."
Berii squats over the boy's body somewhat tempted to poke around but, it looked like he had taken quite a beating, no point in trying to take care of this herself, she was no doctor. "Neh? I dunno if puwing it out is a good idea." Berii points at the damage Mugen had already taken. "Not suwe how this technique woiks but uh, he might get a hole in his back." Berii rests a hand on her stomach, momentarily going a little pale. "Ah… hmm but, if you think it won't huwt him. I can seal the boat." Berii pulls summons a large scroll out of a smaller scroll and rests it on her shoulder.
From the corner of Mugen's mouth there is a slight trickly of blood and his body appears to shake slightly spuradically as if he's having trouble maintaining the jutsu. The crab, for now, remains stationary however as Atsuro and Taiki try to formulate their next course of action.
Atsuro considers the two ideas that have been offered. "Let's see if Berii can seal it," he decides, "Blowing it up is more risky." He calls up to Berii. "Is Mugen okay?" he asks, "Can he hold the crab until you're in position to seal the boat, then let it go?" He turns to speak to Taiki and Taizen. "We don't wanna be in here when the boat gets sealed," he says, "Let's get to the beach." He gestures for them to follow him, leading back outside the boat, through the hole that they entered through earlier.
Taiki nods and puts the pouch back in his pouch, then closes it up. He gives a shrill whistle to Shinobu, who runs up to him. "Come on boy," Taiki says as he runs /up/ the side of the boat before leaping as hard as he can to increase the distance between him and the crab. Once he hits solid ground he continues to run toward Mugen while ensuring that Shinobu is following him. "Water walking, we learn that soon Shinobu," he says in a cool tone of voice. "Especially if we're going to fight more aquatic monsters." Once they reach Mugen, they'll crouch down and wait.
Berii looks the Yamanaka over one more time before giving a shrug and a sigh she mutters a sarcastic, "That's a nice technique, hnn." Noooot necessarily anything she'd want to copy, even if she could the drawbacks seemed harsh. So, the thoughts leave the girl with a bit of a frown on her face as she scans the boat, Sharingan activating as she does so. "Neh… I dunno." Her head cants to the side, "He's not doin' too good so I guess I shouwd do this quick!" She shouts back down to the group and while they jump away from the boat, Berii leaps toward it, sticking onto the side of the boat and climbing up to the top.
A few more scrolls are summoned from her sleeves inner markings as she gets the area one more sweep. Slowly lowering to a crouch she takes a deep breath in and leaps high into the air, twirling and flinging scrolls every which way. It all just looked like a mess, as if she was TPing the boat.
All until she rested the time slowing eyes on her hands, heavily focused on perfecting her seals as she burns through multiple handsigns, sealing multiple parts of the boat at a time and covering the area in summoning smoke.
There is nothing for quite some time. Just a blob of white smoke. Nothing for a while longer… then eventually a coughing fit from Berii, though… did she manage to seal the whole thing? The vision still wasn't clear.
Mugen waits until Berii begins her sealing techniques before finally zooming back into his own body. It's pretty fast and once safely tucked into his own skin again he collapses forward onto his hands and coughs a couple times before resting on his knees and wiping the blood from the corner of his mouth with his arm, "Did we get it?" he asks softly, his breathing heavy.
A strong gust of wind arises just in time to blow the smoke away, revealing… just a big crab. The boat is totally gone, and can now be summoned by Berii any time she wants an old, wrecked boat. Yay? In any case, the crab has sustained severe injuries, not just from the attacks just now, but the removal of the boat, which has totally opened its old wounds. The blue liquid that once seeped out now flows freely, leaking out from the cracks in the armor and dripping down its sides onto the sand. The crab itself — actually a hermit crab, now that it's been seen without its boat — lies unmoving on the sand.
That taken care of, Atsuro gathers up the team and leads them back to the rest of the group to report on the situation. Though the docks and ships here have sustained damage, there are still some boats in sailing condition, and the ninja should be able to commission one and get on with their travels, the gratitude of the sailors here providing a nice discount for them.
By the time they return with the remainder of the group, the streets of the town are lively and bustling. The tide has come in, and now covers the beach completely. The ninja are gone by the time it goes out again, revealing an empty beach.