The Unknown Reflection - The Mirror Shatters


Nanashi (as Keiko), Sousa, Kuoroke, Kiyoshi, Arika

Date: September 18, 2015


Keiko has finally been tracked down and confronted… Again. This time by the First Kazekage and some other strong folk, including fellow Jinchuuriki. But is it enough to take Keiko down? Enough to bring her back?

"The Unknown Reflection - The Mirror Shatters"

Land of Water/Wind Border

With the coming of morning, the day of reckoning has at last come for the man who destroyed Keiko's life, not that there's much left of her conscious self left. It would seem that she's already taken to a rather strong strategy, having created more sand to top the island along with what was already on the beaches and such. Even the floors of the forest areas of the island and the village are now covered in sand. There's no mistaking her presence, not even attempted to hide from whatever Sensors may be coming as orbs of sand float over the island and rain down upon the populace without remorse.
The sounds of screams and bodies being broken ring out from the island, not one person being shown any mercy in the ravenous Jinchuuriki's search for her target. Each person who doesn't offer any useful information seems to suffer immediate disposal. Even those who take too long to answer are annihilated in an instant.
"Come out, come out wherever you are… This is it. There won't be a third sealing. This time you die! Even if I have to rip this island apart bit by bit and person by person, you can't hide from me and you can't escape!" she calls out, actually sounding rather gleeful in a demented sort of way. Her blackened eyes with yellow orbs screaming out in dark excitement search the island over as she feels out with her senses through the sand for any sign of the Uzumaki who's the true main target of her wrath… not that any of these other people seem to be spared in any way unless you consider a quick, if excruciatingly painful, death some sort of solace.

COMBAT: Keiko focuses 7037 stamina to turn it into 10000 usable chakra!

Sousa learned something recently. Well, he's learning things all the time, it's what he does, but he learned something relevant to the current situation. Miyako's sand-body technique apparently doesn't make her as invulnerable as she thought to psychotropic chemicals. -.-; Perhaps he should have examined her closely after that mission to the chemical lab. Something to remember for the next jinchuuriki of Shukaku, perhaps.
In the meantime, there's the issue of what to do with the current, rampaging host. It won't do to have a ninja associated with Sunagakure slaughtering people at (almost) random, and at this rate the One-Tails is bound to break free from his fleshly prison in the not-too-distant future. Capture and rehabilitation would be optimal, of course, but the probability of that even being possible at this juncture doesn't look nearly worth the risk of holding back. Most likely this will be a matter of subduing the jinchuuriki, whether lethally or no, then sealing away the bijuu…which should be lethal for the jinchuuriki regardless. Pity.
Toward that end, Sousa is leading in a small team consisting of himself, sealing expert Kuroki Kuoroke, and two other jinchuuriki, Miira Arika and Moto Kiyoshi of Kirigakure. Useful having allies. Sousa strides toward the epicenter of the carnage, gathering up his chakra for the coming clash. "Stealth is very unlikely to avail us here, her sand is all over and I believe she can sense movement some distance underground as well. Prepare for a decisive assault."

COMBAT: Sousa focuses 9285 stamina to turn it into 12599 usable chakra!

Arika had received a message about Miyako rampaging about near the Land of water. This caused her to dash off and find the one she believed could help her: Kiyoshi! The Chuunin also was a Jinchuuriki, so he was likely more qualified to handle this kind of situation. "Kiyo-nii-san…" she says worriedly. "I thought Miya-chan could keep Shukkun under control. How come she's going around like this?" If Kiyo allowed it, the young girl would be on his shoulders/back. Otherwise, she'd be walking close to his side and (tries) holding his hand.

Kuoroke walks ahead. Noteworthily, he arrived here without his cloak at all. Instead, a small pouch affixed to his belt on his back, holds the required sealing materials if they manage to subdue Keiko. "Of course, sir. I've faced her before, and we've studied her progress since she has joined us, but I fear she may still have a few nasty surprises up her sleeve." He answers. "I'm prepared for the worst. If we do manage to immobilise her, do you think you've any chance of fixing her?"

COMBAT: Arika focuses 5674 stamina to turn it into 9000 usable chakra!

Kiyoshi almost laughed off Arikas entreaties, believing it to be nothing more than some strange attempt at luring him away from Kiji side just to hang out. But the truth behind her tone and scent couldnt be denied out of hand, though it would not have mattered if he had made the effort. Once officials got involved he had to swallow the bitter truth. Since then, the Moto has been behaving more like a statue or golem, devoid of feeling, and yet silently pantomiming semblance of life. Even Arikas question goes ignored by the giant. But at the very least, the girl doesnt have to worry about any complaint about her clinging to him like some kind of monkey.
However, Kuoroke's question on the one hand did seem to spark something within the man. A glimmer of honest to goodness hope in eyes that is quickly suppressed as he forced himself to follow Sousa's order.

COMBAT: Kuoroke focuses 7924 stamina to turn it into 10000 usable chakra!
COMBAT: Kiyoshi focuses 6661 stamina to turn it into 8500 usable chakra!

As Keiko searches around, firing on one villager after another, a glimmer at last lights up her eyes as she feels a stronger chakra underground. She's gotten stronger and learned a new trick or two since they last did battle… And she won't make the mistakes she made last time. This time everything dies. "Found you! Now come out!" The ground beneath her feet begins to shake, threatening to clamp down upon the man.
Finally he bursts forth from the sand with a smirk upon his face as he watches his creation once again out of control… at least he thinks he's going to get all the way out. It seems she played possum just a bit in letting him get out of the sandy surface up to his ankles with his leap, as his ankles are where the sand suddenly clamps down with extreme force and shatters them, causing him to go down on his face. "Why you brat," he half cries out and half growls as he hits the ground with a hard thud, only to feel his hands being pulled back under and sealed around by sand so he can't utilize his seals. "So this is what you became… Can't say I'm not proud, even at this."
"Proud, huh?" Keiko asks as she looks down upon the man with her dark grin while stepping forward to approach him. "Don't get all sentimental. You're not my father. You're just the fool who created the very monster that's going to end up. I'd give you time for last words and all that or tell you some great story to make you feel bad about what you've done, but there are shinobi coming after me from Sunagakure. They won't get the opportunity to save you this time and use your abilities to recreate me again. This time it all dies with you."

RP: Keiko transforms into SHUKAKU-FULL-RELEASE.

"A chance? Certainly there's — well, this isn't a time to indulge in levity about the nature of probability. Suffice it to say that the chance of restoring enough sanity to Shukaku's host to reduce her threat level to acceptable parameters, let alone revert to the 'Miyako' persona, is small enough to be negligible." Sousa glances at Arika. "Remember the mission at the chemical lab, with the altered rats? Miyako-san got some of those chemicals inside her, and it changed her brain. She's not the person you knew anymore." Sousa turns to look his subordinates in the eyes just before they come within visual range of their target. "Unless I specifically say otherwise, your orders are to subdue the host of Shukaku so that Kuoroke-san can seal the bijuu. Do not hold back. Understood?"
Sousa directs the team to circle around and surround Keiko before attacking. Not that it'll be an ambush exactly, she probably already knows that they're here, but attacks from all angles are generally harder to fend off. Once everyone's in position, Sousa starts things off by silently and unceremoniously hulring a set of bolas with tags tied into the strings at Keiko. He doesn't wait for her to be done with her prey — after all, while he may well be a criminal as well, he's a lot less of a threat than Keiko, especially with his ankles crushed, and he may serve as a distraction at a useful moment.

Arika nods quietly, though she's deeply sobered by the whole explanation. "You shoulda been more careful!" she tells the former Kage angrily, tightening her grip on Kiyoshi in the process. "This wouldn't've happened if you didn't have us destroy the labs!" The girl's form suddenly has a dark purple cloud around it. ~Focus…~ rumbles Gyuki, the ox-topus none-too-happy that Shukaku was rampaging. It put a bad name to all Bijuu. Arika nods quietly and makes a handseal, shadow clone appearing and moving toward Keiko.

RP: Arika transforms into HACHIBI-CLOAK.
RP: Kuoroke transforms into TATTOO-TITAN.

As Kuoroke approaches, the tattoos on his body light up, brighter and brighter, bulge up and finally come off his body, each line splitting into two and unrolling into a luminous sheet of armour. That armour rises taller and taller, until the Kuroki towers over the buildings on the village. "KEIKO! I gave you friends! I gave you a HOME! I gave you PURPOSE!" the titan, at the heart of which Kuoroke is suspended, roars. "And you killed MINE!" As the form continues to inflate to gargantuan proportions, Kuoroke attacks from his very own angle: above. A fist, with flame-like lines much like Kuoroke's own tattoos, descends upon her form, bright in its fury.

RP: Kiyoshi transforms into BEAST-KING.

"A chance…." Kiyoshi murmurs quietly underbreath. The rest that is spoken all but gets tuned out by the giant. Even if the chance was a miniscule one, he had to take it for the sake of his fellow Jinchuuriki. But if it comes to down to otherwise…
"Understood, Sousa-sama." Moments later, Kiyoshi leaps away from the others, bringing along Arika if she didn't jump ship at some point along the way. Regardless of what the case may be, the giant scroll strapped to his lower back is released to unroll fully. In an explosion of smoke, sand, and even a few nearby trees, standing in Kiyoshi's place is not only Kokuo's giant of a form, but a cleaver to match his side. A weapon the beast had no problem bringing to bear the moment enough space is offered to do so. Well, either that or until patiences inevitably runs out.

COMBAT: Keiko defends against SEAL-TAG-CHAIN(64) attack from Sousa with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…83
COMBAT: Keiko defends against SHADOW-CLONE(55) attack from Arika with a SAND-REFORMATION…76
COMBAT: Keiko defends against ACID-PUNCH(70) attack from Kuoroke with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…95
COMBAT: Keiko defends against CLEAVE(68) attack from Kiyoshi with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…88

Of course one guy's gonna screw up and announce that Keiko's attackers are here, not that she wouldn't have known anyway since she's turned this island into her personal playground. She doesn't even look as Arika's clone goes straight through her without causing damage just before a platform of sand rips her off the ground to avoid the rest of the incoming attacks by simply moving above them as she folds her arms under her chest and chuckles.
"Ooh, look who came out to play, another idiot who thinks he's still talking to the person he knew," she says, almost cackling as she finally brings her hands into a seal again, causing a rather enormous amount of sand to come up from the ground and form dozens of orbs. "You even brought others like her, but do you think it's going to make a difference? LET'S FIND OUT!" With that dozens of sand orbs begin falling and flying to every living thing and even the non-living with intent to completely obliterate everything on this island. Were that not bad enough, each person pelted with these orbs would also feel their bodies being robbed of chakra.
The worst hit, most likely, would be the Uzumaki. With no one to reason for him and no way to defend himself, his body would be absolutely crushed by orb after orb to the point one can hear every exposed bone crunching and shattering under their weight. Seems she does not plan to be deterred from her final revenge on this man this time, even in this feral state that is probably only going to look for the next thing to destroy after the Uzumaki is gone.

RP: Sousa transforms into PSYCHOTROPIC-AUGMENT.
COMBAT: Sousa defends against DRAINING-SAND-BARRAGE(106) attack from Keiko with a INACCURATE-EVASION…126
COMBAT: Sousa successfully interrupts attack number 1: DRAINING-SAND-BARRAGE from Keiko against Arika with a roll of 113 vs 113.
COMBAT: Sousa defends against DRAINING-SAND-BARRAGE(113) attack from Keiko with a INACCURATE-EVASION…114

Oh, things are off to a grand start, aren't they? -.-; Their target is unphased by the initial round of attacks, and responded with something viciously difficult to defend against, if not as powerful as other things she might try. Well, this situation certainly seems to call for pulling out all the stops. Sousa casts a genjutsu on HIMSELF, turning his brain into a hyper-powered illusion-weaving machine. Then he warps Keiko's perception of his position and Arika's, protecting them both from the zipping sand balls. The others, Sousa hopes, can fend for themselves, but he really has to watch out for the little girl, especially since she'll release another monster if she gets killed. e.e
With defense accomplished for the moment, Sousa turns his attention back to offense. What incredibly powerful technique will the hopped-up First Kazekage pull now? :o Frying the errant jinchuuriki with a bolt of lightning from the heavens? Making her believe she's an earthworm? Sousa reaches into his ninja pouch, AND — ! …Pulls out a few glass orbs filled with some sort of acid, which he tosses at Keiko. c.c

RP: Arika transforms into HACHIBI-FULL-RELEASE.

Well, Arika is still on Kiyoshi's back! Or rather… on Kokuo's back. She squeaks a bit in surprise, then a bunch of sand-bullet thingies come at her and Kiyo. Arika squeezes her eyes shut as she braces for impact, but it never comes. Instead, she finds herself with a bunch of sand-cannons exploding around her. Phew! "Guess I should too…" she mumbles, letting go of Kiyoshi to fall to the ground below. She doesn't land too hard, either, a burst of wind escaping her and softening the landing.
The girl takes a breath, then taps into her reserves, prodding Gyuki a few times. He didn't need too much, though, as he wanted to stop Shukaku very badly. Arika's body is enshrouded with the purple chakra, and she ends up on all-fours, from the immediate pain of the transformation. It was something she still wasn't quite used to.
Suddenly, there is a life-sized version of the Hachibi. Its large trunk-like arms support its upper body, four horns escaping Arika's head to make her really look like the Chakra beast. The girl and the bijuu lash out together, chakra forming and trying to grab Keiko while a more solid version made completely of ink tries to fully bind Shukaku.

COMBAT: Kuoroke defends against DRAINING-SAND-BARRAGE(102) attack from Keiko with a TATTOO-TOWER…93
COMBAT: Kuoroke loses the roll and sustains 797 damage.

Under the onslaught of the falling orbs of sand, the luminous titan is deformed and dented, some of them getting through to his the Kuroki himself, despite his raising a shield to protect his head. It takes a moment for Kuoroke, and his expanded armour, to recover, but the next attack is just as global in nature: the Kuroki casts chains of tattoo off his enlarged body in loops after loop, creating a gigantic web which then suddenly draws together around Keiko, tightening to grab her.

COMBAT: Kiyoshi defends against DRAINING-SAND-BARRAGE(84) attack from Keiko with a HONED-ESSENCE…109

Sand orbs splatter off the dolphin-horse's form, shaving off hardened fur intentionally sacrificed in defense of the beast. With deep guttural growl, the remnants are shrugged off in a manner not unlike a dog drying its fur.
"Silence you insignificant, Parasite!" Kokuo yells out before transforming one of his tails into tendrils of chakra, seeking to strengthen the luminscient chains.

COMBAT: Keiko defends against MINI-ACID-BOMBS(37) attack from Sousa with a PRACTICED-SAND-REFORMATION…51
COMBAT: Keiko defends against MINI-ACID-BOMBS(32) attack from Sousa with a PRACTICED-SAND-REFORMATION…82
COMBAT: Keiko defends against MINI-ACID-BOMBS(37) attack from Sousa with a PRACTICED-SAND-REFORMATION…74
COMBAT: Keiko defends against BIJUU-CHAKRA-GRAPPLE(60) attack from Arika with a SAND-REFORMATION…87
COMBAT: Keiko defends against INK-BIND(70) attack from Arika with a SAND-REFORMATION…59
COMBAT: Keiko defends against TATTOO-CHAINS(91) attack from Kuoroke with a SAND-REFORMATION…88
COMBAT: Keiko loses the roll and sustains 741 damage.
COMBAT: Keiko defends against BIJUU-BRANCHING-ARMS(65) attack from Kiyoshi with a SAND-REFORMATION…69

Though Keiko is able to use her form to evade most of the attacks, it seems she gets a little overconfident against Arika and winds up bound by the ink and then the chains formed by Kuoroke. Despite the damage taken and what's likely about to come her way, she only grins at the shinobi and cackles as she locks eyes with Arika. "Yes, take it out on your friend's body. Can you do it? Knowing she's lost herself and is in the clutches of a disease that is using her to destroy everything in her path, can you, in fact, bring yourself to kill her?"
The feral beast is apparently not above bringing mind games into the mix, and neither of the two other Tailed Beasts mixed in this have received any word from Shukaku other than the maddening sounds of the war inside that shows he is far from in control at the moment in his natural state.

Well, that's a little better. Sousa forms some hand seals, and lightning crackles between his fingers. He lifts his arms and starts weaving an electrical charge into the air. "You've grown quite careless, haven't you?" Sousa remarks to the taunting jinchuuriki. "I fling containers of chemicals at you, and you absorb them into your sand. Have you forgotten what caused your current condition in the first place?" The static buildup in the air reaches a critical energy level, and a lightning bolt sears down at Keiko.

Arika/Gyuki keep their one hand around Miyako tightly clamped so that the others could attack. The other hand makes a sword, invisible, from wind chakra. Then the 'two' lash out with the wind-blade, trying to cut into the body somewhere sorta non-lethal. Just… y'know… A place that would make her go unconscious.

Kuoroke hesitates, keeping the chains that hold Keiko down under tension. Kuoroke remembers that he's grown to rather like Miyako, despite her former lives. He imagines the hardships the Beast's new hosts will likely face. It becomes very clear to him how much he doesn't want Keiko to die… but then, he remembers the broken Dome. The people she already killed, before and after he first captured her, and the hesitation evaporates. With an enraged expression, he brings down another fist, releasing the bonds.

Nothing. Not one single claw manages to find purchase! Both host and Bijuu find their fury's growing with failure, though the latter manages to reign it in by taking solace in the others' success. Then, Keiko — no, the 'parasite' just had to goad them further, taking some twisted pleasure in what would at worst hasten its destruction. Unless…
»Shall we waver now, Kiyoshi?«
In answer to the silent question, Kiyoshi took full control, gritted his teeth, then dropped the greatly oversized hunk of metal before falling back on his flank. »Hmph… So much for that« Kokuo spoke through the link as it settled in to watch the aftermath of what surely had to be the final blow by Kuoroke.

COMBAT Keiko is poisoned (5 rounds) and loses 98 health.
COMBAT: Keiko defends against JUDGEMENT-BOLT(69) attack from Sousa with a TENSE…15
COMBAT: Keiko loses the roll and sustains 3136 damage.
COMBAT: Keiko ESCAPES from Arika's stun!
COMBAT: Keiko defends against BLADE-OF-WIND(88) attack from Arika with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…117
COMBAT: Keiko defends against DISSOLVING-PALM(81) attack from Kuoroke with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…101

CRASH!!!! The giant bolt comes down on Keiko unforgivingly, causing her to actually cry out as her body is racked with pain. The bright flash would almost certainly mark the end of anything that strikes it, as once it fades she seems to be gone by the time the other attacks reach where she was… Except she now stands above them on a platform of sand with intense eyes staring down on the shinobi below.
"Not bad. Any more than that and I think I'd be a pile of glass," she says with a chuckle, seeming to actually find some glee here as she looks at the carnage below. The grin on her face widens as she notices the mangled body of her target below, which is only further damaged by the battle going on. There's something extremely satisfying about having finally settled that debt, even in this feral form… but she doesn't stop there. Bringing her hands into a seal, she causes the very ground beneath the shinobi's feet to turn against them, causing giant hands of sand mimicking those of Shukaku himself to rise from the ground with intent to yank each and every one of them underground for her next attack.

COMBAT: Sousa defends against SAND-DEMON-GRAVES(94) attack from Keiko with a INACCURATE-EVASION…98
COMBAT: Sousa failed to interrupt attack number 1: SAND-DEMON-GRAVES from Keiko against Arika with a roll of 94 vs 97.
COMBAT: Kiyoshi successfully interrupts attack number 1: SAND-DEMON-GRAVES from Keiko against Arika with a roll of 109 vs 97.

Sousa manages to make Keiko's sand hands miss him through genjutsu trickery again, although this time he can't include Arika in the illusion. >.<; Well, he's got something else he can do that might protect her and the others from further damage. "Whether you're glass or no, you should be starting to feel smashed right about now," Sousa chuckles. "That's one of the terms they use in heavy drinking circles, isn't it? Although in your case, you've absorbed something quite a bit stronger than mere alcohol." >) Sousa then projects one of his most powerful offensive genjutsu at Keiko, an illusion simulating a potent mix of mind-altering drugs.
…Yep, that's why Sousa bothered with those weak-sauce acid bombs earlier. Just a simple ploy to mask his genjutsu and make it a little more likely to slip past Keiko's defenses. Sometimes the simple tricks are the most effective.

COMBAT: Kuoroke defends against SAND-DEMON-GRAVES(121) attack from Keiko with a TENSE…15
COMBAT: Kuoroke loses the roll and sustains 2052 damage.

Arika squeaks as she's suddenly just getting shoved out of the way. Well, actually, she squeaks inwardly. The beast that she is just growls and turns its gaze to Kiyo-Kokuo. A small nod before its tentacle legs shoot out to try and grab Keiko again while the ink-arm shoots out to wrap around Keiko/Shukaku's form.

Kuoroke might be as tall a small hill, but a Bijuu's power is a considerable thing: the entirety of his light-forged body, up the chest piece wherein the Kuroki himself is embedded, is pulled down into the sand and crushes mercilessly. Kuoroke himself withstands this with stoic silence.

COMBAT: Kiyoshi defends against SAND-DEMON-GRAVES(105) attack from Keiko with a HONED-ESSENCE…88
COMBAT: Kiyoshi loses the roll and sustains 870 damage.
COMBAT: Kiyoshi defends against SAND-DEMON-GRAVES(97) attack from Keiko with a BLINK…96
COMBAT: Kiyoshi loses the roll and sustains 1376 damage.

Though the flash of lightning threatens to blind the transformed chuunin, he only turns away just enough to shield his eyes from the worst of it. Lingering blips dance in his vision well after, but they are but a minor distraction, completely incapable of holding the man's attention nearly as firmly as Keiko's voice. He's back on his feet in a hurry, glaring daggers until the wave of sandy hands began springing up about everyone.
Kiyoshi/Kokuo do not go down easily, not by a long shot. As those monstrous arms sought firm perches, the beast form shifted not unlike liquid metal, loosening and breaking holds long enough to get to Arika's side and shove her free of the assualt. Every ounce of strength afterwards goes into trying to at least keep his head above the ground.
No luck.

COMBAT Keiko is poisoned (4 rounds) and loses 98 health.

Keiko seems to almost succumb to what's being inflicted on her, doubling over and gripping her stomach as she cries out in pain. Just as it looks like Arika's blows will line her up for annihilation by the coming jutsu, she grins up and brings her hands into a seal, causing the Genjutsu to be broken before a platform of sand pulls her into the air again to avoid the coming attacks.
"Did you actually think it'd be that easy?" she asks with a loud cackle as she shifts the handseal. With two of them already in the ground from her attack, she figures it's as good a time as any to even up her odds a bit apparently as what comes next is another wave of sand attempting to topple over those still on top of the ground and implode on all of them to cause heavy damage to any caught in the disastrous jutsu.

RP: Sousa transforms into PSYCHOTROPIC-AUGMENT.
COMBAT: Sousa defends against SAND-WATERFALL-IMPERIAL-FUNERAL(84) attack from Keiko with a INACCURATE-EVASION…103
COMBAT: Sousa failed to interrupt attack number 1: SAND-WATERFALL-IMPERIAL-FUNERAL from Keiko against Arika with a roll of 81 vs 90.

Sousa's a slippery one to hit for Keiko. He misdirects her sand once again and shifts position to on top of a hut. "There was a sufficient probability of success to make the tactic worth the attempt," Sousa replies matter-of-factly while drawing out a long loop of wire with a small metal rod wound into it. "Unfortunately for you, the failure of that attempt means I shall next resort to more physically damaging means." Sousa casts out the wire loop, which snakes and coils in midair to surround Keiko and ensnare her with a buzzing, cutting electric line.

COMBAT: Arika defends against SAND-WATERFALL-IMPERIAL-FUNERAL(90) attack from Keiko with a VANISHING-GALE…93

Arika-Gyuki, despite their huge size, are extremely fast. Arika's ability to use wind coupled with Gyuki's knowledge of how to travel swiftly in this body allows for the two to suddenly vanish, appearing just a bit away from the spot they were just at. 'That was close, Hachijii!' Arika exclaims. ~We can't let up now,~ he warns, nudging the girl to bring her arm back and lash out with clawed fingers before the other hand attempts to grab Keiko. Both claws and hand are made of ink.

COMBAT: Keiko defends against BUZZ-WIRE(80) attack from Sousa with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…114
COMBAT: Keiko defends against INK-CLAW(53) attack from Arika with a SAND-REFORMATION…65
COMBAT: Keiko defends against INK-BIND(80) attack from Arika with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…91

"Ooh, I'm so scared," Keiko cackles out again as she soars over the attacks coming her way. Seems to be a pretty heavy stalemate thus far, except it's all them versus her, so she has to be careful with her energy. Bringing her hands into a seal, she creates dozens of orbs of sand that float into the air, once again launching to destroy anything and everything in sight and absorb chakra upon impact. There might not be much left of this island after this other than a sandy scape.

COMBAT: Sousa defends against DRAINING-SAND-BARRAGE(80) attack from Keiko with a DISTORTION-OF-REALITY…70
COMBAT: Sousa loses the roll and sustains 1233 damage.

Sousa finally takes a hit this time, having decided to chance a less forceful genjutsu defense. >.<; All this high-level combat is draining to him too, and while he's among the most skilled of ninja in the world, he's not the host of a giant chakra monster. Well, you crunch the numbers and make your strategic choices as best you can, and there's no garuantee it'll work out.
After getting back up from being hit by a sand ball, Sousa weaves some brief hand seals and projects his chakra at Keiko. "You should be scared, you're losing control of your own power." The illusion of Shukaku's head forming out of the sand appears. His maw opens wide, and the sand starts pulling Keiko toward the gaping mouth.

COMBAT: Arika defends against DRAINING-SAND-BARRAGE(82) attack from Keiko with a VANISHING-GALE…88

Arika is able to vanish completely, avoiding the sand-barrage once again. Phew. The girl/ox-topus growls a bit. It wasn't exactly sure what else to throw at Keiko, though… So another blade of wind is formed in the huge arm, then it's simply thrown at Keiko, seeking to pierce the sand and maybe provide a bit of a distraction.

COMBAT: Kiyoshi heals kiyoshi for 2611 with ADVANCED REGENERATION.

Kiyoshi/Kokuo were a determined bunch without a doubt. Even after being crushed and buried beneath tons of sand, the duo's never cease their struggle for survival. Pain only served to goad them forward until they dug themselves close enough to the surface that a final roar scattered the last obstacle to their path. Breathlessly, the titan climbs out of the depths fully, and spent the first few moments of freedom catching his breath, ignoring the jolts of pain from flesh and bone realigning itself.

COMBAT: Keiko defends against TREADMILL-ILLUSION(58) attack from Sousa with a GENJUTSU-KAI…81
COMBAT: Keiko defends against TREADMILL-ILLUSION(64) attack from Sousa with a GENJUTSU-KAI…62
COMBAT: Keiko defends against TREADMILL-ILLUSION(50) attack from Sousa with a GENJUTSU-KAI…62
COMBAT: Keiko defends against BLADE-OF-WIND(90) attack from Arika with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…86
COMBAT: Keiko loses the roll and sustains 2204 damage.

Kiyoshi is given a nice bit of time to recuperate while Keiko is tied up with Sousa and Arika. "That road got passed a long time ago, buddy!" she calls out with a chuckle as she brings her hands into a seal, keeping most of the coming strike against at her at bay, though it at last serves its purpose and causes her to move her platform back from the gaping maw of Shukaku that she sees and in turn doesn't give her much notice of the attack coming from Arika. As the blade strikes through her, blood actually flies for once to show that her sandy defense has been pierced thoroughly for the second time in this fight as she cries out in pain.
"Why you little," Keiko grows out as she brings her hands into a seal again, sending another giant wave of sand up into the sky and turning it into orb that crash down like enormous pieces of hail upon the shinobi and surface below.

COMBAT: Sousa defends against DRAINING-SAND-BARRAGE(102) attack from Keiko with a INACCURATE-EVASION…88
COMBAT: Sousa loses the roll and sustains 1300 damage.

Things are going downhill here for the crazy-jinchuu-response team. >.<; Sousa takes another sand-ball to the body, despite raising his defensive efforts back up to A-rank level. There's a glimmer of hope in Arika's successful strike, though. Sousa sweeps up his wire-loop weapon and casts it out again. "Keep up the assault, we're getting through!"

COMBAT: Arika defends against DRAINING-SAND-BARRAGE(99) attack from Keiko with a VANISHING-GALE…65
COMBAT: Arika loses the roll and sustains 1031 damage.

Arika is a victim of the sand, sadly, and the large towering version of Gyuki ends up falling over after getting hit by a lot of the sand-cannons. ~This… is far from pleasant…~ he growls, getting up and shaking his head a bit. ~One more time…~ he says, having Arika form the wind chakra needed to send another blade of cutting winds towards Keiko.

COMBAT: Kiyoshi defends against DRAINING-SAND-BARRAGE(81) attack from Keiko with a BLINK…109

With one last lungful of air, the Jinchuuriki is finally ready to reenter the fray. His full recovery could not have been timed more perfectly, because scarcely a moment later the titan find himself under attack once more. In the blink of an eye, Kiyoshi went from being underneath the hail to sliding behind Keiko unharmed. The moment his momentum stops finally bleeds out, he leaps forward horns first at Keiko's hopefully exposed backside!

COMBAT: Sousa left combat at 30.1 percent stamina.
COMBAT: Keiko defends against BUZZ-WIRE(72) attack from Sousa with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…113
COMBAT: Keiko defends against BLADE-OF-WIND(70) attack from Arika with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…102
COMBAT: Keiko defends against ABSOLUTE-PROGRESS(88) attack from Kiyoshi with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…72
COMBAT: Keiko loses the roll and sustains 1493 damage.
COMBAT: Keiko focuses 4070 stamina to turn it into 6000 usable chakra!
COMBAT: Keiko heals Keiko for 2458 with ADVANCED REGENERATION.

Though Keiko manages to avoid the attacks from Sousa and Arika by moving her sand platform, Kiyoshi manages to ram through her back with the horns and send her falling off the platform to crush to the ground with a hard thud. "Knew I should've killed you while you were down there," she grumbles as she struggles a bit, preparing more chakra for battle as Shukaku's chakra heals her a bit from the inside out. She doesn't bother to stand up just yet, apparently taking whatever reprieve she can get.

COMBAT: Arika focuses 3770 stamina to turn it into 6000 usable chakra!

Arika-Gyuki both take the brief opportunity that Miyako allowed for them to recover chakra she had drained. The Hachibi-figure then gathers chakra, summoning ink from somewhere (no one wants to know!) and forming it into the claw and hand before slicing and dicing Keiko with one while the other seeks to simply grab her.

Kiyoshi returns the sneer (or what amounted to that in this Jinchuuriki's book!) with a grim grin. "You say that as if you would've succeeded." Kokuo states flatly. Just as the beast began to stride toward the downed Jinchuuriki, seeing Keiko already quickly recovering gives him pause for a moment.
'I know already' Kiyoshi's conscious quickly interjects. Without further hesitation, another change overtakes the five-tails host. The process is… somewhat disturbing to look at, but the end results left the man in a hybrid state. Regardless of rather or not Arika-Gyuki succeed in their endeavours, the centaur races forward at blinding speeds, reaching out in passing to grab the face of the woman before sending her flying across the island. Despite his smaller size, the eight-tailed pair would be sent along for the ride if they choose to maintain their grip!

RP: Kuoroke transforms into TATTOO-TITAN.
COMBAT: Kuoroke focuses 7908 stamina to turn it into 10000 usable chakra!

Something under the ground lights up and stirs, and then an arm the size of a house shoots upwards from the sand, the arm of a full plate suit forged in light. Sending cascades of sand pouring down every plate forming up its titanic body, Kuoroke's enormous suit of armour drags its elf partially out of the sand. As soon as the waist has been, agonizingly, torn from the sand's grasp and Kuoroke has a decent look around, the Kuroki stops trying to free himself and merely strikes, swatting at Keiko.

COMBAT: Keiko defends against INK-CLAW(51) attack from Arika with a SAND-REFORMATION…79
COMBAT: Keiko defends against INK-BIND(66) attack from Arika with a SAND-REFORMATION…75
COMBAT: Keiko defends against FLING(80) attack from Kiyoshi with a SAND-REFORMATION…71
COMBAT: Keiko loses the roll and sustains 479 damage.
COMBAT: Keiko defends against ACID-PUNCH(79) attack from Kuoroke with a TENSE…21
COMBAT: Keiko loses the roll and sustains 1836 damage.
COMBAT: Keiko heals Keiko for 2436 with ADVANCED REGENERATION.

Arika's strikes go straight through Keiko's body, unable to bind her since she simply lets them pass through her. Kiyoshi, however, manages to grab her foot and send her flying directly into the swat of a giant tattoo hand that sends her flying and crashing back to the ground once again. Luckily she's already turned this whole top surface of the island to sand and sunk all the houses with her jutsu, but there's still the trees and other junk that she flies through and splatters around before she finally hits the ground.
Laying partially in a puddle of sand, Keiko grumbles a bit and then growls as she picks herself up on the ground. She'd dust herself off, but the sand itself is absorbed into her body as it repairs itself once again to be able to withstand more damage for the battle. While all good sense would say she should run at this point, the infection has spread too far with the rush of adrenaline, and those black and yellow eyes are all the more intense as she prepares for more.

Arika-Gyuki isn't really sure what else to do. Admittedly, fighting a body of sand is difficult, and there's only so many skills in their repertoire. As such, the girl simply forms another wind blade and thrusts it at Miyako

Kiyoshi eyes grow as wide as saucer as the titan of light not only sprung out from the ground, but in one heck of a timely fashion, smack Keiko out of the air. "That… Did that just—" Kiyoshi starts to say, only to be cut off by sharp tugging sensation from within, jarring his focus back on their target. It takes a few moments longer than the centaur would've prefered to actually see past all that sand kicked up from Keiko's impact, but eventually a figure emerges from it. The Kirryu did not know whether to stand there impressed, or scowl at the sand woman for being so durable.

Arika, incidently, made the decision for him by leaping into the fray first. Spured on by her courage (or perhaps just recklessness), Kiyoshi again turned meters into inches with how fast he closed the distance, aiming this time not just to pierce his hand through Keiko's body but also ram her closer to the sea.

The still half-burried giant knight places both arms on the ground around its waist and pushes down, the soil around its elbows and forearms cracking as it pulls itself further out of the sand. The first to get out is a knee, bursting from above the sand shortly in front of Keiko. A near miss, it seems, until it becomes apparent a blade, of corresponding proportions follows, rising from the sand in an attempt to bissect the Jinchuuriki. It's barely risen high enough to do serious damage when Kuoroke suddenly stops pulling himself out of the and and curls up, bringing his elbows together. A pair of blades jab out of them, trying to catch Keiko in a crossed stab - or force her to choose between the blade coming from his knee, or Kiyoshi's strike.

COMBAT Keiko is poisoned (5 rounds) and loses 138 health.
COMBAT: Keiko defends against BLADE-OF-WIND(74) attack from Arika with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…115
COMBAT: Keiko defends against ABSOLUTE-PROGRESS(89) attack from Kiyoshi with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…74
COMBAT: Keiko loses the roll and sustains 1543 damage.
COMBAT: Keiko defends against DOUBLE-JOINT-TATTOO-BLADES(82) attack from Kuoroke with a DESERT-SUSPENSION…82

As attacks start to rain toward her again, Keiko is launched into the air by another platform of sand to avoid Arika's attack and narrowly avoid Kuoroke's, except Kiyoshi manages to hit her agin and send her barreling toward the ground once again and toward the sea, where she falls into the water. "Woohoo, you got me wet!" she calls out sarcastically at the plan by the other Jinchuuriki as she stands back up. "Guess what, though… THERE'S MORE SAND OUT HERE!" With that giant hands of sand extend forward from the shore out of the waters and attempt to grab all three currently visible shinobi to pull them into the sand and underwater in it. Pulling someone who can use the enviroment to just drown you in what you're trying to use against her, maybe not the absolute best thought-through plan ever by this group.

RP: Keiko reverts to their normal state.
COMBAT: Kuoroke successfully interrupts attack number 1: SAND-DEMON-GRAVES from Keiko against Arika with a roll of 113 vs 97.

Well, technically Arika could easily move around in the water in this form, so she doesn't mind getting wet. The girl is all set to try and avoid that when she sees that Keiko's form is wavering. Rather than try to finish Keiko off (which would likely be best for everyone), the girl just tries to keep Keiko still, tugging her out of the water … or rather, throwing her up into the air and out of the water… »

COMBAT: Kiyoshi defends against SAND-DEMON-GRAVES(99) attack from Keiko with a HONED-ESSENCE…90
COMBAT: Kiyoshi loses the roll and sustains 578 damage.

Kiyoshi bit back a retort, and instead braced himself for the assault. Though bone like skin and an ever shifting form manages to slow the burial process, it was only a matter of time before the centaur found himself buried alive. Again! This did not mean the struggle ended there of course. Kiyoshi was one determined soul. Even the weakness spreading through his transformation coming undone does little to dissuade the swordsman from fighting against the current of sand.

RP: Kiyoshi reverts to their normal state.
COMBAT: Kuoroke defends against SAND-DEMON-GRAVES(127) attack from Keiko with a TATTOO-TOWER…76
COMBAT: Kuoroke loses the roll and sustains 783 damage.
COMBAT: Kuoroke defends against SAND-DEMON-GRAVES(97) attack from Keiko with a TATTOO-TOWER…77
COMBAT: Kuoroke loses the roll and sustains 646 damage.

Still partially stuck in the sand, Kuoroke tries to expand the chakra construct encapsulating him, using shield to block the grasping hands. To no avail: he is once again dragged underground, although he does manage to get in the way of those sand hands grasping for Arika.

COMBAT Keiko is poisoned (4 rounds) and loses 138 health.
COMBAT: Keiko defends against INK-BIND(78) attack from Arika with a INTUITIVE-ACTION…54
COMBAT: Keiko defends against BIJUU-CLOAK-EXTENSIONS(61) attack from Arika with a INTUITIVE-ACTION…44
COMBAT: Keiko loses the roll and sustains 906 damage.

With both Kuoroke and Kiyoshi captured, all that's left is Arika who Kuoroke manages to save from Keiko's wrath. Just when one might think that the woman's about to finish them all off, her chakra at last starts to wane… The massive amount of high-ranked jutsu she has been using throughout the battle, the poison from Kuoroke's strikes, the disease eating away at Keiko and Shukaku until at last it's finally started eating itself so that it isn't able to stand any longer against what it's gone through.
When the tails of the 8 Tails wrap around her, her eyes look over to Arika, and in that moment the ferality of what's infected her seems at last to fade away… For once an actual genuine smile touches her lips as the disease has started to lose its grip with the dying of her body. With her eyes locked on Arika, she is able to simply mouth 'Thank you' as she has finally been set free.
Within the mental realm, the true Keiko stands exhausted before a weakened Shukaku as they both seem to be in fatal state, Shukaku's eyes barely lidded as he looks down at her. "It looks like this is where we part ways… It's not been an easy road, but I think we've both been better for it, hmm? When I die, you're going to die for a while too and have to regenerate within whatever they seal you in. It won't be pleasant, but you'll finally be able to recover from everything you've been through with Tsun and me, so enjoy your road ahead."
As she turns away from him, the room begins to darken, her eyes staring ahead into the coming oblivion as the drums beat on. "These should go away for you too… I wonder if they'll stop when I close my eyes or if I'll finally be able to go visit my family… No matter. If the call to war follows me into the afterlife, I'm sure I'l find someone worth using that drive on like that Yuuma fellow…. So long, Shukaku."
Outside in the real world, just after her message is mouthed to Arika, Keiko's sandy body literally begins to fall apart into the water below, crumbling in Arika's grip as any sign of her chakra signature fades away. With her revenge finally taken and her last battle one that tested the mettle of those who would remain behind when she goes by pushing them to their limits and seeing them succeed, it seems she can at last find her peace to leave this world.

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