Date: February 1, 2011
A failed Okumo experiment needed to be destroyed. A team was brought up to do so.
"The Fate of The Failure"
Kirigakure's Mist Lake
Meruin sat at the edge of the mist lake, fingers idly skimming across the surface of it. He was quiet and unassuming, simply a boy passing the time in relaxation. The world around him was much the same. Except that it was empty of people. The sun shined high in the sky behind the veil of mist that was rapidly gaining thickness, and the breeze was a mild one. Overall, though, was the quiet, the silence broken only by the gently shifting lake.
A few bubbles bubbling to the surface behind but not too far away from Meruin is the only warning before a figure bursts through the quiet surface of the lake in a large dramatic splash. The only thing that ruins the surprising effect is when this figure then collapses gasping for breath. "Ug…" Kataru mutters when hes able to speak again, "There's no way those Jonins manage that without cheating…" He slowly raises to his feet, then starts towards the water's edge, looking around to see if anyone else has already arrived. "Ah, Konichiwa Okumo-kun. Has the day been treating you well?"
Yuuka steps lightly on the soft sands of the lake as she quietly approaches the sitting Meruin from behind, the sun barely felt through the steadily growing mist as an eerie quiet settles over the area. She comes to pause silently beside Meruin a few feet away, bubbles disturbing the surface of the still water as a moment later, Kataru bursts from the lake itself. Yuuka blinks her bright eyes in some surprise, not quite sure what to make of Kataru's entrance.
Meruin stood up a few moments after Kataru burst from the lake, flowing to his feet in a single supple motion. He looks to Kataru before saying, "We have little time." He raised a hand, wiping a bit of water from his face as his clothing gave a sudden, stiff jerk, the air near to him on Kataru's side getting a thin spray of mist. "I was told that there would be three people who needed this mission that would come. But, we will have to make do without them. Do you two know the specifics of this mission?
"I was just instructed to be here. Far as I know this could just as easily just have been some lord that wishes to send some seashells to a cousin in some other country like my last mission." He looks around and finally sees Yuuka, "Ah, Yuuka-san. You are also part of this mission?" he asks rhetorically, "Well, now I don't mind this summons nearly as much."
Looking quietly between Meruin and Kataru as they talk, she looks back to Meruin and smiles gently, her hands quietly clasping each other in front of her. "Please explain what the mission is in detail, Meruin-kun." she asks politely.
Meruin nods in a general manner, answering both Kataru's comments and Yuuka's request in the same gesture. "The Okumo have been experimenting with their abilities in DNA manipulation, as they always have. Often times, the product of these experiments is unacceptable. At such a time they will take what lessons they've learned from it, destroy it, and move on. One of those failed experiments have been set into the forest about the Mist Lake. Our mission is to see it destroyed. I've been calling it to me for the past two hours, and so, this place has been evacuated. I have chosen here to complete the mission because our chances of success will be increased out in the open and it is two heavy with legs too short to spread it's weight out over the lake, to float. Meaning that it cannot go on top of it. So, if you have the ability to stand atop water, it should make for a safe place should you need one. Any questions?"
Abruptly, something left the forest line, nearly as big as the trees it'd come from. It was an abominable thing, a creature out of nightmares. At one point, it may have been a spider. However, it had far too many legs to be a natural one. Three times as many legs, sprouting from all sides. Amongst all of the stiff-bristled hairs covering it's carapace was a multitude of eyes, some of them bleeding a green fluid. At the sight of Meruin, the thing slammed the ground with four front feet and feinted forward in aggression, keening a challenge.
"Good. Let us begin, then."
"Huh." says Kataru. "That you don't see every day. Well… okay… I've never seen anything like it. Does blades even work against that exoskeleton??" He takes a few steps back on top of the lake, a safe distance from the shoreline as he fiddles with a chest pocket, drawing a scroll from it and dropping it into the water. Immediately after he starts to focus his chakra, keeping half and using the other half in a water clone jutsu that forms at his side.
As Meruin goes into further detail of the mission, Yuuka blinks her bright blue green eyes with some surprise, hearing that one of the experiments could be somewhere nearby. Her eyes lower to her feet as she clenches her fingers, her stomach twisting into a hard knot as she struggles to keep her breathing slow and shallow. She swallows and clenches her eyes, small hands tightening into fists as for a few moments, her surroundings are blurred and muted around her. Its only the crunch of trees nearby does Yuuka blink her eyes open again, looking around quickly to see the unnatural creature. Blinking in what seems to be a mixture of some surprise and confusion, Kataru is already set into motion to prepare killing it.
Takehiko approached calmly, his ice blue eyes gaze at the creature with no physical appearance of surprise. He would then slowly draw the short sword at his side only to ready it. "Who is mission leader incharge?" He asks calmly as he watches the creature intently, having only given the people about him a glance when his attention returned completely on the creature.
The once-spider spared little time in using the bottom-most of it's twenty four legs to throw itself in the direction of the four people by the mist lake, it's pincers and jaw clacking in agitation and bloodlust. It's speed was… impressive, much of the large distance it was crossing quickly being eaten away. Then those jaws and pincers opened wide, and it leaned backwards slightly as it ran. From it's mouth shot a large ball of webbing that arced in the groups directions. Before it travelled too far, it burst apart, and the single projectile turned into a sprayed wave of spiders as large as a man's foot and heading towards the group.
"If you are strong enough, steel of your sword will stand up to it," said Meruin as he stood up taller, turning to face the spider. "It is one of it's deficiencies." He set himself as the creature began charging in their direction, examining it as he spoke. A pause before he moved a little closer to Yuuka, eyes on the spider as it leaned back.
As the ball of webbing was shot in their direction, he mentioned, "Be wary… we did not know it could do that." And as the ball burst into a tide of spiders… "Or that. It should not have been able to reproduce. The mission rank has just increased from C to B. Take note of this and take proper precaution.
He lifted his hands, going swiftly through numerous handseals, calmly speaking as he did so, "Come close to me, all of you. New arrival, I am the mission leader. Please attempt to be more prompt in the future." A few moments later, the air around him abruptly jerked into motion, throwing itself into a protective dome some ten feet in diameter.
But the spiders hadn't all been taken care of. The air was in motion, sending most that hit the barrier streaking off to the side, many crushed by the impact. Some, though, managed to find small holes in the technique's defense, and get through to the Kirigakure ninja, and there were many spiders.
And by this time, the queen had almost reached Meruin's location.
Kataru hops out of the water with his clone. He rushes to the protective barrier only barely beating the rush of spiders fired from the mutant opponent. A quick movement sees both of him pull their scrolls from their backs and with incredible synchronization pull them open and make a hand seal. The rest is just a blur as a wide variety of kunai, shuriken and other bladed instruments are summoned and flung in the direction of the man-spider, cutting away a large swathe of the smaller spiders that were headed at Kataru. They are largely ineffective in the strong winds of Meruin's jutsu, but after a few seconds he gets the hang of it and sends them at the target with greater accuracy. "Okay, I am now officially creeped out…" both his clones say in unison. The real one also glances at Yuuka, slightly worried, but quickly returns to the task, his hands full with his scroll style jutsu.
Yuuka only stares at the giant spider-like creature in honest surprise as everything happens in motion around her, blinking as she hears Meruin as he admits that even he doesn't know everything about the experiment. Worry sets in her gentle features as she pulls out her Epigaea dagger, slender fingers tightening on the grip just as the creature opens its jaws and hurls an orb of webbing straight at them. Being closer to Meruin than she was a moment ago, the dome of air pulls protectively in front of them. With most of the spiders deflected, Yuuka lifts a hand and flicks the blade in front of her, swiping at the few that still fly menacingly at the shinobi. The pale blade slashes at the grotesque spiders and cleanly slices through them with smooth speed, her vivid aquamarine eyes flicking upwards at the huge creature again. "It has an advantage with long range attacks… we need to get closer to it where it can not defend itself…" Yuuka murmurs quietly to Meruin. "We are not going to get anywhere hiding behind a shield…" She doesn't hesitate to suddenly push off with speed, dodging around the shield that had protected them as she dashes across the lake's surface, straight for the monster.
Takehiko is hit by globs of web and baby spiders, driving the creature off of him and then readies his sword again, moving close before hurling his sword at the large spider, trying to aim for one of it's eyes. When he hears Yuuka's strategy, he nods and draws a kunai from a kunai holster, beginning to move in close with the rest of them.
The creature continue it's run around the lake, swiftly approaching the group. It was almost upon them. 20 seconds away, perhaps. It sent another screech, the sound of it piercing the air as it continued. Another ball of silken webbing was thrown in the direction of Meruin, this one again bursting to reveal a spray of large spiders the size of an adult foot sent towards them.
"Kataru. Fall back with me," calmly said Meruin as Takehiko took off after Yuuka. That done, he made an easy leap backwards away from the large spider and the incoming hurling of spiders. Unfortunately, the jump had been too easy, and two of the spiders landed on him, sinking their fangs into him at the shoulder and hip before he brushed them off of him, retreating further and simply watching.
Kataru grinds his teeth, seeing another projectile head towards him. "This is seriously gross…" he manages and grabs the next weapons from his scroll, namely a scythe and a set of claws. To his credit he only paused for a tenth of a second before he threw the badly weighted scythe at the incoming spiders, still managing to slice up a few. "Ah, screw this…" he then manages, taking cover behind his water clone who then proceeds to rush forward, absorbing in a literal sense the spiders that was headed at him. It is quickly overwhelmed and destroyed, but it served its purpose, with the real Kataru having fled to where Meruin is. "Whats the plan?" he asks Meruin, "I can't use my Uncontained Barrage while they fight him in close combat, not without hurting them too."
Yuuka tightens her fingers around her dagger as she narrows her gaze, her speed building as she moves across the surface of the lake towards the hideous creature. She didn't have much in a way of a plan, other than to keep close to it to avoid the long range attacks. With as many eyes and limbs as it has, there's very little chance that she can handicap or immoblize it. The only other way she can think of taking it down is through blood loss. Nearing the creature, Yuuka pushes off into a hard leap as she twists her wrist, her slash is smooth and quick as she slashes at nearby limbs and eyes, causing as much damage as she can before falling towards the lake again.
Takehiko raises his kunai and brings it to him, blocking the strike for him, while moving in. He then grunts as he tries to move close enough to the creature to regain his sword. "Those eyes are connect to it's brain, so If I cut a hole deep enough, we can kill it." He says as he grabs his sword and tries to dig through an eye with both sword and kunai.
It was only now that Kataru's explosion of tools reached the spider creature, and suddenly it was being attacked from three sides. Another screech went from it as the multitude of items slammed into it. Many of them simply bounced off of it's carapace in one place or another, but about a third of them managed to do some damage, landing onto an eye or partially sinking into it's skin. Due to the wide-spread manner of the attack, however, some could also hit the two who had approached.
Yuuka's attack is swift and sure, more attacks hitting an eye or managing to get past it's chitinous covering to strike at the flesh underneath. However, the spider-creature wasn't simply going to sit there and be attacked. As she began to fall back towards the lake, it lashed out with a pair of legs, aiming to slam into her.
Takehiko's sword had managed to sink into the armored experiment's side at some point during the barrage of items that had slammed into it, the individual attack lost to it in the tumult. It lurched away from the waters of the lake in response to Yuuka's attacks on it, Takehiko's attack on an eye doing nothing as the creature moved, making the sword and kunai slide off of it's chitin. But it responded, throwing a bleeding leg the chuunin's way. Blood that hissed and spat as it touched the ground.
And, of course, the spiders that had been release all ran along the ground, aiming to catch, take down, and bite any of those they could.
"Truth," said Meruin. "And they do not have the ability to simply brutalize the creature. Which is what they are trying to do." He shook his head and said, simply, "Fire again at the creature. Arc the projectiles up and onto it. And be wary of the spiders. They are still after us."
That said, he leapt away from the group of spiders that'd followed after him and Kataru his young voice calmy calling out as he avoided them. "Yuuka! Takehiko! Take out the legs on the bottom!" As he flew, so did his hands, though he went through the air and they went through handseals. The wind under the spider went into sudden rotation, moving so quickly it could cut. And then the circle closed, hopefully cutting through the legs under it.
Kataru sighs, nimbly sidestepping the multitudes of spiders who are still climbing on towards him. He clenches his fist as he attempts to do the mental arithmetic needed to calculate the arcs needed to not hit his teammates. With more of a pause than strictly needed, he pulls the second of his large scrolls from his back, another one marked with dozens upon dozens of sealed weapons. Within an instant weapons of all kinds start to appear, grabbed by Kataru then hurled up in an arc at the creature, "Heads up!" he shouts.
Yuuka snaps her eyes up, blazing blue green eyes on the pair of legs as they aim for her and narrowing as she tightens the grip on her dagger. As they near, she flicks the blade to both deflect them away from her, while also scoring large wounds along the length of both of them. Landing on top of the lake, her knees bending to absorb the impact through her slender legs as her kimono whips around her. Snapping her eyes upwards again at the creature, her eyes narrow on it for a moment before looking over her shoulder, hearing Meruin's orders as he tells her to take out the legs. Looking back to the monster, Yuuka pushes off again to skim across the surface of the lake, her Epigaea dagger gleaming as with every leg she passes, she slashes at each, cutting deep.
Takehiko tries to raise his weapons to block the attacks, however, both get through. The barrage of weapons make him drop his own kunai as weapons stick out of him, and hit with a bleeding leg, driving a few knives in. He grunts and takes a few steps back before reaching to pull out one of the tools stuck inside of him, ripping it out of his own body and deciding to use it and his sword to try and cut into the creature, this time aiming for the legs on the bottom, showing that he did hear the genin despite the flurry of damage, bringing his sword to slice away the spides from him, striking three times at the big one's legs.
The winds from Meruin's attack closed on the chitinous legs and simply broke on them, scattering into inefficient gusts of wind that the spider further ignored. Yuuka's strikes were mostly just as effective, striking a leg and simply bouncing off of it, though sometimes the leg shook some from the blow. Every thre strikes or so, however, her blade manages to cut deep into a leg, causing more of it's caustic blood to stream, hissing down it's leg as it hit the ground.
Takehiko, though, was the one that caused the most damage. All of his strikes managed to cut into the creature as he moved by his legs, one of them even being cut clean through caushing a gush of green ichor to fall. The spider screeched once more shaking it's many legs around in pain and panic. This caused a spray of that acidic blood to fly from it at anyone close enough to get hit.
Eyes on the fight further down, Meruin spent too little effort on the spiders nearby him, and two managed to latch onto him fang first. He tore them off, looking towards Kataru and saying, "If you have any other suinjutsu, use it to get rid of the smaller spiders."
That said, he took off, suddenly blurring across the way towards the giant spider. A black chitin matching the abominations spread over his body like a disease, leaving him able to ignore the acidic blood flying his way, letting it hiss as it slid off of his chitinous protection. From his fingers fell long strands and ropes of spider silk, covered with their own caustic poison. And he leapt and spun swiftly, the silk whipping out with blinding speed in a circle, lashing at the spider all throughout the time he spun, meant to hit the legs at the top, it's face, and the legs at the bottom in front.
Kataru instinctively reaches for a scroll in a pouch tied around his knee. "Of course, I have got one tha…" he immediately stops speaking… his hand then moving away from the scroll. Almost a second passes before he says, "No. I don't think that one will do." He moves, dodging and jumping between the spiders at the larger one, holding to the side of the lake where Yuuka is. A pained expression crosses his features as he sees the scratches and wounds caused by his jutsu on both her and Takehiko. "No more jutsu." A forceful statement as he proceeds to jump and attack the spider creature from above, driving his kunai into its thorax, ignoring the acid blood.
Takehiko moves from the spray of blood, and then leaps into the air as the spiders try to swarm him, landing on water. He then tries to run and leap ontop of the spider, pulling out another tool as he tries to slam down ontop of the spider, sending weapons down at it.
The webbing of Meruin's slammed into the legs on it's back, whipped across it's face, and bit into the legs at the bottom as it. Everywhere the webbing touched, if the speed of the attack hadn't cut through it by itself, left the chitin looking pale and translucent. It reeled and screeched at the attack was felt, staggering as Kataru and Takehiko both made their way on top of it. Kataru's blade only rebounded from the chitin with too little force behind it. The same happened to Takehiko, the one of his weapons managed to sink partway inside, a small amount of sickly green blood rising from the wound and coating the weapon. It lurched to the side, dazed…
"Retreat!" commanded Meruin as he he leaped backwards away from the spider, one of its large broodlings hitting the genin arm the arm after it launched himself at him — a glancing blow. He ignored it. "To the lake!" He put on a burst of speed and ran towards the waters, walking over it to get to a safe distance before he turned around.
Despite the adrenaline still flowing strongly in his blood, Kataru still has enough mind about him to retreat. He pushes off strongly against the creature, then proceeds to toss his kunai at it, aiming for the part of its thorax that Takehiko weakened. Kataru lands on the water of the lake, jumping back twice before turning to look in the direction of his enemy, one hand on a scroll just in case it still needs to be finished off.
Takehiko heard the order and leaps off of the spider, sheathing the sword in mid leap, pulling out two pieces of tools and hurls them both at the creature before moving to the lake, landing on his feet, waiting for more orders.
The spider staggered after the fleeing ninja, Kataru's kunai clinking harmlessly from it's chitinous frame as it turned after them. Takehiko's tools sunk into the spider-creature, one piercing it until it couldn't be seen anymore. It soon made it to the edge of the lake, spouting another scream of rage and challenge as it touched a few feeet to the water and found that they sunk straight in. It continued doing so until, suddenly, it's legs broke under their own weight, splintering into shredded gore.
The scream it gave that time was much louder, volume fueled by pain and a fear of life rather than a need to do harm. Here, it's main fault came into play. The acidic qualities of it's own blood were too strong for the chitin that protected it, so it had been slowly eroding with every moment that it bled. The ninja had only quickened the process, and focused it on it's bottom legs, so that it couldn't move about. Now, staying on the lake, the smaller spiders couldn't bother them either.
So, it would simply sit there, twitching it's now twelve upper bleeding legs, snapping it's pincing jaws, and letting out harsh, panicked and pained screams as it slowly corroded.
Meruin watched dispassionately as all of this went on, still in a manner no full human can mimic as he observed. He was the only one working, now. And he would until the spider's life was snuffed out. He couldn't keep his mind linked with another that wasn't there, afterall.
"We wait. It's brood will die when it does."
Kataru stands there and just stares at the creature dying for a while, but… something feels odd to him. "So… these kind of things common from the Okuma clan?" he asks, amid a burning sensation. He then realises the acid on his arm is still active and he releases the chakra that keeps him afloat, immediately diving in the water, swimming abit to clean himself off before breaking the surface again. "Ug, this is why I stick to logistics…" he mutters under his breath.