Date: May 16th, 2010
Sheex reveals a startling and horrible Jutsu… And Rinako is his target!
"Scars - The Bodysnatcher"
Land of Waves
"Relax. The fat bastard's dead. He's not going to hurt you anymore." As she moves around to the other side of the bed where the unconscious woman was still tied up, she doesn't quite turn her back on the younger of the pair. After all, there's no telling what kind of mental state the woman was in after her ordeal, and much like a powder keg with a fuse soaked in gasoline, it probably wouldn't take much to set her off.
"We need to dress your mother. It's over now, just find her clothes, and stay away from the door." The last thing Rinako needed was for her to open it and draw the attention of Kumo shinobi. "…And stay away from the window." She didn't need to be looking outside, either.
Once the knots on the older woman's wrists are untangled, the dark-haired kunoichi gets to work on her leg bindings, if there are any, before trying to gently shake her awake. And then perhaps give her a few soft, yet sharp, smacks to the face to test for a response of any kind. "She'll be fine. We just need to find out what she took. I doubt he'd have given her anything that'd kill her…" Unless he was into that. Shudder. "…But we need to be sure. Your mother needs you to be strong, okay?"
Shemri whips around with a gasp. Instinctively she reaches for a kunai, but of course her ninja pouch isn't there. Her eyes widen as the sharp bladepoint closes in—then whips away! Stunned, Shemri only watches for a moment. Shiikaa is a bit more proactive. He lets out a swift crossbreeze to blow the kunai off course. Oh, this is bad. Even if they manage to take this jerk down quick and quiet, those grave diggers are sure to report the disturbance soon. c.c;
Kara doesn't notice the blindfold guy at the back of the tent immediately. Instead she stands with hands foldly politely just below her belly, and waits as a simple civilian would in her circumstances. The 'Chuunin' that is escorting Kara has odd eyes… Black cracks and gouges trailing inwards to two white slits in his face. But other than that he looks like an appropriately Kumo-like ninja. He speaks up and says, "This woman had a question about if we had recruited a man with dark-skin, wearing a blindfold."
The dark-skinned woman in Ancient Egyptian garb notices Mister Blindfold at the back now, and her eyes widen a bit. The 'Chuunin' does not react except to say, "His name is Ranken. He may be using an alias, however… He looks a lot like that man right there." The ninja's arm whips up, as though being manipulated with strings rather than muscles, and then points at Ranken! Or so Kara is assuming him to be. There might be someone else who wears a blindfold with a hole in it.
She hopes this doesn't turn into a fight. Especially since it seems Ranken has already sided with Kumogakure, meaning they'd probably support him if it came down to a matter of crimes against Sunagakure.
The young woman doesn't seem inclined towards violence, but Rinako is still wise to take precautions. Stopping when she is only half-dressed, she runs over to the other side of the bed and tries to help Rinako by gathering her mother's clothes and standing by until the older woman is untied enough to start putting them on her. The young woman nods to the instructions of staying away from the window and door, and offers, "There was another man who came here. He sold the pills to… To that guy. He looked like a ninja. The one with the pills I mean. It was like… They were mind control pills or something. My mother — My mother did whatever he told her to after he forced her to take the pills. But when they wore off she just fell asleep. She's been asleep all day!" She is starting to get hysterical again, crying as she tugs the last of the clothes onto her mother, and trying to get out of the room with her.
The mother is unresponsive. And then the daughter screams for a moment before putting her hands over her mouth. She's staring out the window. Did she not follow instructions? Oh, nope. She's still nowhere near the window. It's just that she can see a blood-covered man with a blindfold climbing in through the window. "That's him!" she yells, pointing. "That's the one with the p—" she is interrupted as a shuriken buries itself in her forehead and she falls to the floor limply. Ranken's hand is still in the post-throwing position as he says to Rinako, "You shouldn't have interrupted my friend's playtime."
Despite initial appearances, it seems that the shuriken has NOT killed the daughter. Her eyes keep moving rapidly in all different directions as her fingers occasionally twitch or spasm. A green liquid mixes with the small amount of blood leaking out of the torn skin, turning red to black. Poison? A drug? Something else?
Ruri is just barely going to miss her dodge attempt and wind up with her throat cut, but then Shiikaa blows the kunai off course and it arcs upwards as well as sideways. It comes close to hitting her anyway, but instead it strikes her forehead protector. Ruri doesn't bother waiting around to make sure this is their quarry. This guy obviously has no intention of going along peacefully. So she reaches her arm across and activates a Stored Sharp tattoo, hurling a bladed discus at Ranken's face by propelling it with Chakra. Hopefully it will cut right through his head and go out the other side!
…Except that he ducks under it, scoops up a handful of dirt with one hand, and aims his other hand in a fist at Shiikaa. He squeezes his thumb on some kind of trigger, and a crossbow mounted on his forearm fires, sending a sharpened wooden bolt at the feline!
Meanwhile, the Kumogakure Chuunin escort that Kara has is pointing at… Nothing. The empty space where Ranken once stood. He vanished. The recruiter and a few others turn to look where the Chuunin is pointing, and then look back to Kara and the escort like they're crazy. But one of the guards says, "I saw him, sir! It was Sheex-sama." The recruiter's visage darkens. "What do you want with Sheex, woman? Who are you?" He eyes Kara suspiciously. That's not exactly a normal reaction. Who is this 'Sheex'? What's so special about him?
"She's likely just exhausted. …There."
Once the last of the clothes are in place, the Sunagakure kunoichi takes a step back and eyes the older woman critically, making sure all of her personal effects were in order. "C'mon, we'll take her and get out of-" But the scream cuts her off as she tosses a narrow-eyed glance towards the younger girl, the whirls in the direction she's staring at to find out just what had her so terrified. Only to find herself facing the /other/ miscreant they were searching for! Except he was bloody. Had he… somehow gotten through the rest of her team?
Speed was hardly ever on her side, and Rinako's not quick enough to even react before the shuriken has taken the younger girl down. Lamentable. With a throwing star embedded in her brain, the elder Rurohashi sibling considers the girl down for the count, with survival highly unlikely. Instead, her eyes focus on the male's with deadly clarity.
"And you should have gotten away while you had the chance."
And then she's moving, sprinting the small distance to the window, and the man currently occuping it's space. She was still in her swimsuit, which meant she had none of her tools with her. But she was always a hands-on kind of girl, anyway. She crouches, leg muscles coiling tightly like wound springs, before she makes her leap, leveling her body out as she moves to meet the male before he can finish entering the room, her forearms leading. Either they were about to take a very long fall, hopefully with him on the bottom…
…Or he was going to duck, which would make this little stunt a VERY bad idea.
Shiikaa rears up and leaps over the arrow. NO KITTY-KEBAB FOR U. :P Meanwhile, Shemri gathers her wits. In the wild, a hunter has to learn how to make use of the things in their environment, in case they lose their usual tools. So Shemri looks about quickly to see where she might obtain something to use as weapons…and the answer is, while very distasteful, blazingly obvious. It's a disgusting few moments, but when Shemri climbs back up out of the mass grave, she's several scavenged bits of sharp metal richer. She dashes at their attacker, hurling a shuriken. Meanwhile, Shiikaa attempts to come in low from the side, gripping the wooden stake in his teeth and aiming it at the bad guy's calf. Shemri goes for a flying kick synchronized with Shiikaa's stealth attack.
Kara looks blank for a moment. 'Sheex? Who is Sheex? Did I get the wrong guy?' Her Chuunin escort just stands there behind her. Then Kara smiles and says, "Why… I'm Sheex-kun's fiance! Uudo Kara, the daughter of the famous Doctor Uudo!" She strikes a pose. "So where did he go? I want to spend some quality time with my soon-to-be-husband." She gives her best big-eyed pleading look to the recruiter and anyone else who dares to look upon her.
She really needs to get out of this tent. "Nevermind, I'll go looking for him myself!" She turns and dashes out of the tent suddenly. The escort shrugs and moves to follow after her, yelling, "Hey, wait! You can't just roam wherever you want!" Hopefully she and the 'Chuunin' get out of the area and Kara can turn the escort back into Pharaoh. Cause she's going to need to do some searching. She knows enough about the guy and his Chakra now to identify him with Pharaoh's sensors.
Rinako's charge at Ranken results in him turning to the side to avoid it. "Whoosh," he says as the fist goes past his face. Then he does an odd sort of rapid back-step and a hop to put him closer to the bed and the mother. One hand snatches up the pill bottle from where it was left, and tucks it away, while the other hand throws another shuriken at Rinako, whether she has turned around yet or not. The shuriken flies swiftly and seems to be sparking with electricity… Electricity that links back to the hand that threw it.
Shemri's shuriken throw is countered with a kunai, parrying it. The crossbow bolt that Shiikaa carries successfully stabs into Ranken's leg, just as Shemri kicks the man in the face. Oddly, it is a female cry of pain that is heard as Ranken goes flying and hits the side of a building across the street from the mass grave. Ranken just sits with his back against the wall and snarls, as the sounds of a woman in distress underscores his words. "You can't stop me, you know. There's no harm you can inflict on this body that I won't survive." He doesn't even bother to yank the bolt out of his leg, just stands up a bit wobbly, even as another shriek of pain sounds from… Somewhere. It seems to be coming from Ranken, but his mouth didn't move to yell at all, and he is obviously a man.
Ruri suspects for a moment that she is being affected by Genjutsu. Is the man they're facing actually some woman? Are they attacking an innocent person? Or are screams and sobs the the illusion meant to make her question reality? "…I hate Genjutsu." she mutters. Then Ranken is suddenly engulfed in flames, and he appears to vanish into thin air, as the flames consume themselves. The flames reappear right next to Ruri as an arm reaches out of them, trying to stab the Team Leader with a kunai. She Flickers away, while activating a Stored Physical tattoo, and when she reappears a split-second later she launches a large stone statue of a lion at Ranken. It smashes into him as he emerges from his firey shield, and knocks him to the ground. He just laughs a bit as gasping noises echo from him. The statue is shoved aside, and some blood pours from his mouth. "You'll never kill me… Better to give up now!" He gets to his feet, and then makes hand seals, before spewing out several fireballs from his mouth, which in turn detonate over a wide area in front of him. Mostly he's aiming at the two ninja and the cat though.
Kara's attempts to track Sheex come up with some surprising results. He is at at least two different locations at once! One back at the hotel, and one to the south-east. There's also another location to the north too. The first two locations have a weaker version of Sheex's Chakra. The one to the north is stronger than the first two combined.
Well, that didn't work!
The bastard moves aside before Rinako can quite reach him, the kunoichi unconsciously noting that she /really/ needed to start doing windsprints or something, as catching people with her bare hands was almost always a losing battle. She just /barely/ manages to go flying out of the window once Ranken ducks off to the side, concentrating her chakra in her feet in order to stop from pitching headlong off of the sill. Of course, it still results in her having all but one foot out of the window, just kind of… hanging there for a moment.
It's right about then that the electrical shuriken strikes her… it manages to tear through the light barrier of chakra protecting her skin, slicing a nice gash along her foot that was anchoring her to the room, and sending a painful jolt into her system, though thankfully doesn't embed itself into her achilles tendon.
Her foot loses it's grip with the strike, beginning to drop Rinako towards the pavement below! Her hands grip the wall, her chakra sticking to it, the rest of her body continuing to fall around and over the fulcrum point until she slams rather painfully against the side of the building, about two stories below where she'd started from! Even as she begins to climb back up, her anger gets ahold of her, her skin taking on a familiar blue tint as her pupils change from orbs to vertical slits, allowing the first traces of the energy of her bijuu to come slipping out even as her hand, followed shortly by her head, comes peeking back up over the side of the sill and into the room.
Shemri and Shiikaa leap back to avoid the fireballs, although they turn out too intense to escape completely. Shemri sucks in breath between her teeth and glances down at her stinging skin and scorched dress. "Not here a day and already burned." >.<; Shiikaa glances sourly at his mistress. You think /you've/ got it bad, you'll heal in a few days, my fur will take /weeks/ to grow back. ^>.<^; Shemri narrows her eyes at 'Ranken'. "Shiikaa, I believe it is time we made proper introductions." Shiikaa responds by unleashing his trademark tiger roar technique at the masked miscreant. Meanwhile, Shemri takes careful aim with a shuriken to rip that one-holed blindfold off. Though if it took an ear or something as well, she wouldn't complain.
Kara has to scope out the entire town one section at a time, so it takes awhile. However, on her rooftop perch she does find the two southern Chakra signatures. Hmm! She starts to scope out the nearer one, by 'seeing' through Pharaoh's 'Lighthouse' device, but then a huge wave of Chakra blanks out that signature. "…Uh." She can still make out Sheex vaguely, but the much larger Chakra source is making it hard. She'll just have to assume that's Rinako and that she can handle the situation.
She then turns her attention on two other Chakra sources she's familiar with that are nearby the 'second' Sheex. Ruri and Shemri are clearly fighting, and so is the Sheex signature. There's something odd about this whole thing — other than there being multiples of the same person — but she can't quite put her finger on it. Well, she'll have to head over to help out sooner rather than later.
Strapping Pharaoh to her back, Kara leaps down from the rooftop and starts running towards the nearer of the two locations. She'll help Rinako and then the two of them can help Ruri and Shemri. She just hopes she arrives in time!
In the hotel room, Ranken has grabbed the mother and seems to be in the process of performing some kind of weird Jutsu. He takes his blindfold off his right eye, and a searing beam of light shoots out that bores through the woman's own right eye. When the light dies down, 'Ranken' is once again 'Garland'. Further, Garland is a mangled corpse on the floor, and the mother has transformed into Ranken! Ranken takes a deep breath and lets it out. "Inhabiting a dead body is rather unhealthy," he says to the empty room, with only a corpse and a catatonic young lady in it. And Rinako at the window. "It's so much more convenient when a living host is available," he continues as he adjusts his blindfold to cover his right eye.
"Don't you think, Three-Tails?" he adds on as he turns to face the window with a smirk. "It's too bad you're just a beast, and too stupid to suppress the host's consciousness. But that's why I'm going to kill your host now, and then I'm going to return to my duties." He holds out both hands, stretched out in front of him, and then says, "Goodbye, beast." The air currents in the room begin to spin harshly and then they form into a visible distortion in the air in front of his palms. The ball of wind launches at the window. It is likely going to pulverize the entire hotel wall and anything on the outside of it.
Elsewhere, the fireballs detonate all around. Ruri tries to perform a Replacement Technique to swap herself with one of the corpses down in the mass grave, but she can't move fast enough and the corpses are out of reach. So she gets burned rather badly and left with soot stains and smoke trailing from her. By this point the noise of the battle is clearly audible all over. Especially when Shiikaa roars like a tiger.
However, the roar seems to have no effect on Ranken. He just starts walking forward in a straight line, fire starting to flicker about near his lips. The thrown shuriken, though, takes off his blindfold and gouges along the side of his skull too. His right eye is a pit of burning, blinding light. It pools for a second, and then instantly crosses the distance between Ranken and Shemri. The body left behind is a woman with a crushed torso and blood leaking out of her in various places. She falls to the ground, but she's still alive.
Shemri is unlikely to have had time to react or guess what was about to happen. She could try, certainly… But then comes a distraction! Ruri began generating Chakra, making the small flames on the ground blow away from her as though a strong wind were pressing on them. That beam of light was headed right for Shemri's right eye. But Ruri had started her Chakra generation at the same moment the blindfold was lost, and so the lightbeam changes direction, making sharp, angular turns, and trying to blast into Ruri's right eye instead! Is it Chakra-seeking or something!?
Right as the hotel wall is about to go boom, Kara would arrive. What she does next is up to her, but the sounds of heavy combat are definitely audible from where she is.