Date: January 31, 2011
One last rescue must be attempted before the Tao Shih can pull out of Level 5. Shinji is lost. Will he remain so or will his life be saved? Will saving one life cost the lives of many more?
"Tao Shih Training Arc - Where The Silence Ends"
Level 5 - Location Unknown
After obtaining some special materials from the hidden room, after Tomoyo overloaded the Chakra generators that made the room hidden, Amuro escorted the four women to the secure area, gave instructions to the guards and then left them to get to safety on their own. Kanami was still recovering, Datura was injured, and Mune was unconscious. Tomoyo was covered in blood but was alright. However, she was also needed to keep the others safe. Only Amuro could do what needed to be done now.
So he ventures back into the darkness, the silence, and occasionally the disturbing noises and half-seen movements of the contaminated zone. Where is Shinji? Was he 'relocated' by the monstrous force that seems to be able to warp reality at will? Just like Tomoyo? Will it do the same to Amuro? He does not know. But he is going to find Shinji no matter what.
"Tajuu Kage Bunshin no Jutsu! <Multiple Shadow Clone Technique!>" Amuro calls out as he makes a certain hand seal. Then two Shadow Clones of himself appear and they split up to begin searching for the ex-mercenary…
Where is Shinji? Well, one moment he was in the hallway with Amuro, the next… He was somewhere else. Somewhere hot. A room? More like a cylinder. A cylinder with walls of rusted metal, dirt on the floor, and only one door. The door has a handle on it that needs to be twisted to open it. A metal bar is inserted through two 'loops' on the door. Apparently someone tried to keep the door shut against anyone who would want to break in. But where is that other person if that's the case? This cylindrical room is empty of anyone save Shinji. And it's hot enough to make one sweat. What the hell happened!?
Looking around the room, Shinji takes a few breaths, how he got here is something he doesn't understand, and his knowledge of advance jutsus are very under par of a true ninja. Allowing himself to take in what he sees, Shinji notes the heat but is able to keep calm, it wouldn't do him any good to panic and freak out. Feeling the glass still in his back and legs, he looks to the tweezers and just shakes his head. "Why the hell am I dressed like this?" he asks out loud. The cylindrical room is empty and well the door is the only viable option at this time. Granted it seems that is is barred, whatever is on the inside of that door, he has to brave through it to be able to get out of here.
Taking a few breaths he walks over to the door and examines the bar, he then attempts to pull the bar from the door. He wasn't going to allow his fears that are now starting to encroach upon him to rule or make him fear what is on the opposite side fo the door. He needed to get out and he will.
The bar is bent a bit as though something had tried to force the door open already, but the heavy iron portal held firm. The rust on the bar is more of an impediment to removing it than the bent nature of the bar itself. When the bar is pulled out, the door can be forced open with a few good pushes or one good shoulder-ram. On the other side is what appears to be a boiler room of some kind… Lots of rusty pipes, fat-bellied furnaces and boilers of various kinds, tubes and so forth everywhere, dials, and gauges, and so forth covered in dust… No wonder it was so hot in that room! But now it is even hotter. A rusted pathway leads straight from the room that Shinji was in down the middle of the boiler room, and into some other area ahead.
Noticing that the bar on the door is pretty much rusted where it is, Shinji continues to look it over. Noticing that the door looks like it could possibly be open, but it will take some effort. Not the one liking to be trapped, Shinji grabs at the bar and handle and after a few deep breaths, the light skinned man shoulder rams the door hard. Grunting with the exertion, he is able to get to the door to buckle and open. As he steps through the door, he sees a path way leading from the door, and now it looks like he's in a boiler room of sorts. Reaching up and wiping his brow as the sweat continues to bead up on his forhead. Sighing a little, Shinji examines the pipes that leads up somewhere, then he looks back to the pathway, he had to get back to the others and so he quickly begins moving down the pathway. Doing what he can to keep his foot falls soft and silent.
Shinji proceeds along the path without incident. Until a jet of scalding steam hisses out of one of the pipes right near his feet! It is hot and might hurt if it touches him, but the steam jet terminates after a few seconds. Some clattering noises come from up above, in the darkness. It might be the pipes. It might be some horrible creature climbing around. It's hard to tell, but it doesn't come closer.
At the end of the pathway, there is another area. A hallway with one wall made up of a mesh fence of some kind, with various generators on the other side. From the cobwebs strewn across the generators, and all the dust, this does not look like a place that is used often. The hall goes only one way, to Shinji's left, and only has two exits: the boiler room, and whatever lies at the other end of the hall.
Shinji jumps back a step, as the jet of scalding hot steam hisses near his feet. The area near his feet is hot and well he does feel the heat, cursing at himself, Shinjis attention jumps as something above clatters over his head. With all the craziness thats he's been going through lately, nothing is going to surprise him. Wary still, he walks down the walk way, as he comes to the mesh fence he sees the generators, looks like no one has been down here to clean them at all. Shaking his head, this is getting better and better now.
Looking to his left Shinji sees the walk way continue on, he had to press on so he turns left and continues, hoping to get out of here or come to a set of steps that lead up because most places like are at the bottom of a building, and well hoping this knowledge helps him he continues onwards.
As Shinji reaches the end of the hall, he would find there is a doorway to his right, that was just out of sight around part of the wall that was extending out from the hall. Also, the moment he is in sight of this doorway, some kind of hideous monster comes leaping out at him, trying to grab him and slam him against the hallway's wall! It appears to be some kind of eyeless, noseless, earless, horror. It has four muscular arms, a sharp-toothed mouth, and is about a foot taller than Shinji is. Its skin is bloody and burnt, and is hot enough to burn Shinji as well!
If its sudden ambush was successful then it struggles with him, trying to keep him pinned to the wall while its lower arms — each equipped with blades instead of hands — pull back in preparation to gut him! There'd only be a few moments to react! Of course, if Shinji evaded successfully, then the creature just slams into the wall and then turns to face him, prepared to chase him down if necessary!
Walking down the hall was like walking down a funhouse hall, not knowing what the hell is going to jump out at you. He is a bit jumpy, he didn't like feeling like this, especially without any damn clothes on underneath this STUPID MEDICAL GOWN! Face palming himself as he makes it to the end of the hall, what the hell was he thinking about? He doesn't even know, he only knows that he was going to a medical wing and well this is what……
Ready to approach the door, Shinji stops, then glancing behind him he sees something leaping in towards him. Dropping and rolling backwards trying to avoid the creature, he's partly successful, one of the bladed on the lower arms manage to cut him but not stab him. "Why the hell is it always me!" he sighs as he looks at the damn monster. His exit is so close, he has to get this thing to follow him then quickly ditch it and make it to the door.
"You want this, then come get some." he says as he starts backing away, trying to get the creature to follow him. "COme on, you waited this long, come and get me!" he calls to the creature.
The creature pauses for a moment as it turns to face Shinji while he moves backwards, down the hall and towards the boiler room. Then a clattering noise comes from the boiler room followed by a *THUMP*. Another creature similar or identical to the first comes charging out into the hallway behind Shinji. Now he's pinned between them. Crap.
Just then, as if on queue, the long-dead generators to Shinji's right, lining the side of the hallway beyond the mesh that has lots of 'Warning: High Voltage' signs on it, come to life. Things burst, sparks fly, and cables go flying around, hissing like serpents, only to hook into the metallic mesh. Trapped between two monsters and one side of the hallway is electrified. Double-crap.
Double crap is very, very right. Looking behind him as the other creature charge into view, then looking to his right as the sparking cables lash out towards the mesh fence. Shaking his head and nearly jumping out of his skin because well he really don't like snakes and the fact that the cable is moving like one kinda irritates him. "I was fine before joining this damn group." he says remembering briefly of his lazy days as a missing nin. But the roar of the creatures get his attention, "I'm getting the hell outta here." he says to himself.
Taking a few steps backwards and checking to see if that other creature was going to make a move, cautiously and slowly he moves, then turning his attention forward. Shinji takes a few breaths then darts forward, the man is very fast even without shoes on his feet and well ok he's fast but not too fast right now seeing as his foot is a little burned from earlier, but the need to get the hell out of this situation gives him a drive to reach safety. As he nears the creature standing between him and freedom possibly, he jumps up as high as he can, channeling what little bit of chakra he can manage to his feet and legs. As he goes up he notices that he will not make it over without hitting the creature. Bringing his knees up as high as he can to his chest, as he starts to clear the head, Shinji kicks backwards as hard as he can in towards the back of the creatures head, aiming to possibly snap his neck, crack it's skull and send it flying the way he just came from.
As Shinji lands he keeps running until he gets to the door and as he does he tries to open it and go through it.
As Shinji runs, the one behind him chases! Like a true predator, it is attracted to running prey instinctively. The one in front lowers itself a bit, jaws gaping open, all four limbs ready to 'scissor' closed and either pin or impale Shinji! But he leaps over the creature in a swan-dive and plants a foot in the back of its scalding-hot head, sending it lurging forward and impaling the other monster instead when it reflexively closes its limbs!
The second creature thrashes and screeches piercingly, like a cross between a mountain lion and a small elephant, and begins attacking the source of its pain — the first monster! During the resulting struggle, they crash into the electrified grating and crackle and sizzle for several seconds before they slides down to the ground and stop moving. Except for the occasional twitch, that is.
The doorway has no door in it. Just some steps leading up. Shinji can run up them fairly easily thanks to his physical condition. At the >top< of the stairs there is a door. It looks like a maintenance crew door — meaning that whatever is on the other side is probably more 'public'. No more boiler rooms for this wayward wanderer.
On the other side of the door, assuming Shinji opens it, there is a dark alcove that he finds himself in, and then around the corner is the large lobby area that he and the others passed through initially on their way to the hidden room. A Shadow Clone of Amuro is running through right at that moment.
Not stopping to look back behind him, Shinji quickly runs up the stairs. Stopping at the door, he had to be careful, even though it is a maintence door, he has to be careful. Taking a few moments to prepare, Shinji reaches up for the door and opens it. Looking around for a moment he actually realizes where he is, stepping out and closing the door behind him. As he does so he notices Amuro running through as he gathers himself. "Amuro-sama!" he calls out to thier leader. Shinji moves quickly to where Aumro is rushing, "Hold up!"
Amuro skids to a stop as soon as he hears Shinji's voice, but does not immediately move to return the greeting. He just stands and watches for a moment, until it is clear that it really is Shinji. Then he nods and says, "I thought I sensed your Chakra around here… It seemed as though you had stopped existing for awhile. Possibly you were displaced in—But enough of that. I can worry about that later." Looking around, Amuro makes sure nothing is preparing to jump on them and then says, "The others are already to safety. Follow me to a relatively secure location so I can cancel this jutsu. That will inform the original me that you have been found and we can all get out of here. I have what I need to place your Seal as well." Then he starts to head the opposite direction he was going before, back down the hall and towards the secure areas.
Nodding his head, he understood the caution in dealing with him, with all this crazy shit happening in this area, hell Shinji thought that it might be something else desquised as Amuro. But once the explains why he waited and explained what happend to him. "Well I was in the basment, boiler room area." he says. "I've met the monsters in the basement." he chuckles at the joke. But he then gets serious, "Alright you lead the way." he winces slightly, "Damn glass has dug in deeper." he says at the discomfort he was feeling. "Also I need some clothes." he tells Amuro as he follows the clone.
The Shadow Clone slows down when that heaviness comes back to the air again. A sort of 'pregnant silence'. Like everything is quiet >now< but soon… Something will come leaping out of the shadows gibbering, howling, and ready to tear out vital organs. Amuro's clone comes to a stop at a corner and scans the area with his senses. "We are only a short distance from safety," he whispers — more of a rumble than speech, thanks to his deep voice. "An ambush is prepared for us. I will equip you and then obtain the attention of my original self. He will meet you at the barricades. Just go around this corner and run. Do not stop for anything that gets in your way, though if you must kill things to keep moving you should feel no regret. The creatures here are not people anymore."
Then the Clone presses his right palm to the floor and mutters, "Summoning: Wardrobe." A cloud of smoke erupts from the floor, and then a clothes rack with a combat uniform, weapons, tools, etc. has appeared when the cloud clears. "Good luck. I will join you soon." Amuro holds up his right hand in one-handed seal and then cancels his jutsu. He vanishes in a cloud of smoke.
Turning around and looking about at the silence, this didn't seem right at all. It is too quiet and right now with all thats going on, Shinji feels that he is way under dressed to be doing anything fancy if a fight came to be. But as Amuro tells him what the plan is, Shinji moves to keep himself interposed with Amuro and the potential ambush that may come. As the wardrobe comes into view, Shinji looks in it and quickly picks out a few things. Quickly putting on the clothes and actually liking how they feel, he also grabs quite a few shuriken, kunais.
Stretching a moment, and nodding his head, "See you soon." he says in a whisper. Looking in the direction where Amuro told him to run, and as if on cue. When Amuro Shadow Clone goes into a puff of smoke, Shinji bolts off. Better equipped and with socks and tabi boots, his foot falls are quiet and his speed increase with each step, trying to reach where he is supposed to meet the others.
Things come out of doorways, out from hiding in holes in the ceiling, reaching up between floorboards, sometimes bursting through walls, and in one instance somehow warping the air into a hole that some kind of maggoty horror comes pouring out of. Thankfully, most of them are simply not fast enough or strong enough to stop Shinji if he keeps moving and attacks only when necessary. The maggot-covered thing can be ignored utterly given how slow it is. But it sure stinks.
The only real obstacle comes only about 100 feet away from the relative safety of the barricades. A duplicate of Shinji steps out from around a corner and stands right in his way. Whether it mimics his abilities or just his appearance is uncertain from looking at it, but at his current speed he is going to need to choose how to react to this thing sooner rather than later. The guards can see him and are hurrying to help, even! So close!
Seeing as creatures of all sorts were coming out of everywhere, Shinji couldn't stop and face them all and well Amuro told him not to stop and only kill when needed. Besides they weren't as fast as he was, jumping here and there but making sure side step when needed Shinji doesn't stop. Granted the maggot things are very stinky, but hell he will tolerate the stinkyness if it allows him to keep running. He launches a few shurikens to clear the overhanging arms that are bursting from the ceilings which hopefully will retract, but then again it most things seem not to recoil when struck.
Looking forward he sees another of him! "What!" he says a bit startled. He knows he doesn't have much time and getting into a long drawn out fight wouldn't help him. Shinji adds on more speed then quickly leaps in towards his fake self spinning rapidly and aiming the kick towards the fake Shinjis head, at the same time he takes a kunai from his holster slams the blade into the neck of the imposter as he lands hoping to kill it in those two blows and allow him to keep running.
The thing that Shinji attacks mimics his movements exactly! His attack is duplicated perfectly! It's like attacking a mirror! And then he smashes right through something that seems to be made of glass and… Blood? Veins? Something like that. Whatever it was it is now in fragments on the floor and bleeding from its glass-shard-vein-things. Shinji crunches it underfoot as he runs on ahead. The guards run up and provide cover fire in the form of poisonous senbon, kunai launchers, kunai bombs, and various low-level Elemental jutsu.
In the end, whenever Shinji >does< stop, if he looks behind him he'll find the hallways he was just in have been replaced with a crumbling and collapsing inferno, that is also drenched in acid, some lava, and is peppered with a variety of weapons. Of the monstrous hordes, there are only a few corpse-pieces remaining. Mostly severed limbs and scraps of burning flesh. Before the eyes of all gathered, even these seem to vanish.
Then a radio message causes the captain of the guard to yell, "Stand down! The commander is coming through!" Everyone clears the way seconds before Amuro comes lunging out of the smoke and skids to a stop on the fractured marble floor. He turns around and focuses on the 'dead hospital'. "Do not distract me or we are all going to die," Amuro says clearly and simply. Something is coming. Something horribly wrong and >bad<. The closer it comes, the more horrible it feels. Like being buried alive amongst millions of corpses. Like drowning in a sea of one's own blood. Like experiencing the loss of every friend, family member, and loved one, over and over and over, compressed into each and every second.
One soldier asks in a whisper, near Shinji, "Do you know what it feels like when all hope dies?" The thumping of a multitude of heavy feet makes all of Level 5 rumble. A soldier standing next to the one that spoke whispers back with tears streaming down his scarred face, "I do now."
Then Amuro calls out, "The Seal That Will Block The Way! The Gate That Will Not Open! The Lock That Holds The Will Of Gods And Demons!" Then as the noise becomes nearly deafening and a screaming roar echoes through the entire facility, sounding like, 'KkkREEEEEooOOW!' Amuro roars in respond, ">MUNASHIIGAN!<" Black and red starts to leech through everything, like physical boundaries no longer matter. The air is bleeding. The walls radiate hate. Up is down and down is up and in is out and out is in and there is no love, only hate hate hate so much hate so much malice so much HUNGER for the death of SOULS and there is no hope none at all and you'll all BURN for this you'll burn in the PIT that is my STOMACH and you will freeze as you burn and the sound of flutes will accompany you down into the DEEP DARK and that will be the end of all that will be the place where we all drown in the fire and ice and RAPID-EYE FOLLOWS THE CHAINS OF THOUGHT TO WHERE THE SILENCE ENDS—
And the insane, rambling voice that is overriding thoughts and sense of self suddenly fades and cuts out. The 'dead side' of Level 5 distorts, twists, warps, and falls away somehow, falling inwards into nothing. In its place is merely a vast empty cavern. Earth walls, no sign of rooms or buildings or horrors beyond mortal comprehension. Amuro manages to remain standing as everyone stares in shock. Then he slumps to his knees in exhaustion.
Shinji skids to a stop and does look back, he knew his attacks struck their target, but it did scare him that the fake him was able to react exactly like him. But still in the end he, the >Real< Shinji defeated his enemy. Watching as the inferno burned and destroyed all that was within it, Shinjis eyes narrow as Amuro erupts from within the blaze. Stepping aside as the man begins to work on the seals, whatever was coming, he felt it reach out to him, felt it draw upon his fears, but Shinji knew the loss of friends and family knew of lost in general, but this was too intense for him, but as he tries to focus on something else, the shaking and screaming stops.
Looking up like the others were doing, he saw just a earthen cavern, but before he could say anything he sees Amuro starting to drop and quickly he's at the mans side helping him up. "You talk about Kanami using a lot of chakra." he says as he supports Amuro, "You need to rest and thank you for saving us all." he tells the leader.