What The Sand Hides


Reina, Nanashi

Date: March 15, 2014


Reina and Nanashi are paid to scavenge the ruins of a vessel carrying a huge payload whose crew was taken by the sea when it ran aground.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"What The Sand Hides"

An Island out in the Ocean

Reina and Nanashi walk along a moonlit beach. It's early night, but the sky is clear and the moonlight is so strong that it is bright enough to see. The beach has an ominous beauty in the silver light that washes over it. Waves reach a little higher on the shore every minute. A lone gull gives a loud cry. Reina explains the job. "It hasn't been an hour," she says, "since our client heard of the shipwreck. The crew was attacked at sea, and eaten by a giant sea creature. The ship itself washed ashore. Our client could have sent his own men to take the cargo…but he doesn't want this traced back to him, by having his employees seen here. We need to quickly go in to take it."
They'd travel down the beach for another ten minutes when they see it. Washed up onshore is half a ship. It's a miracle it didn't sink immediately. The break in the ship is on the beach, making it easily accessible below and above decks. This is something that the men are taking advantage of…who are already there. A crew of five are in various places already pulling the boxes out, making a pile of them on the sand. Reina moves behind the shelf or rocks lining the far end of the beach.

A mission surrounded by sand? Someone's making this way too easy. Moving along the beach with Reina, Nanashi gives a nod. "We'll have to make good time to be sure we don't lose any of the spoils." As they come upon the wreckage, its eyes narrow as it spots a crew already there picking boxing out of the hold. "Well, this won't do," it says as it spots the men, examining their actions. Emitting a low 'hmm', it ponders a moment before pointing a hand up and firing an orb of sand from it that would fly on a collision course with the back of the head of the one keeping lookout to take him down first so the others can be caught by surprise.

The lookout is watchful, but Nanashi and Reina had concealed themselves well. So the lookout doesn't see the shot coming and it knocks him out. Unfortunately, the ship is slanted towards the sand. He falls and slowly rolls down the gentle slant… Reina is urging him to stop with her mind. And he almost does at the end…but not quite. He drops and lands on one of his comrades below. That seems to surprise everyone. Then shouts are risen, swords taken out, two of them are gathering chakra, and the emerging man is pushing his comrade off him.
Reina glares at Nanashi. Then, she chuckles. "Go out quickly, grab one of the smaller boxes, and run as if you're making off with just one. If two follow get out of range of the others and fight them. I'll ambush the other two. If four follow, run faster. And if it's three, do what you think is right. I'll be coming around." Then she's off. Quietly.

Nanashi smirks slightly as the man falls rather comically on his comrade. At Reina's words, it glances over at her and quirks an eyebrow. "Or I can do it the smarter way," it replies with a quirk of an eyebrow, and what would appear to be a pair of hooded figures would pop up out of the sand around the boat and grab a couple boxes to take off as Reina instructed. It waits patiently for the men to follow the clones, watching to see how many follow them before making its next move.

Reina shoots Nanashi a nasty look. "It's all sand," she realizes. Nanashi has miles of her element. She's going to make Reina look even worse with all her arsenal under everyone's feet. Intially when the men see the clones three go after it. But one of the shinobi shout, "Wait! Enishi, Takko, stay." Maybe he'd seen something. But they wait, all but one of the men who is tearing after the clones with almost comical desperation. Reina glares at Nanashi. "Your mess," she says. "I'll go after that one guy. You attack the rest since you're so confident. And hopefully get trounced for your recklessness." Then, she's tearing off in pursuit of the clones and the fourth man. She'd soon catch up with him and spring forward to attack.

Nanashi casts a glance at Reina as she speaks, offering a nod. "Is that your way of chickening out of a bigger fight?" it asks before turning and looking back at the men on and around the ship. Without so much as moving yet, Nanashi simply watches as the sand around and under the two men who were told to stay would start to move up in streams around them, growing thicker and thicker until forming a cocoon around each of them to keep them bound and out of the way for now. Once they are solidly bound, the being would step out calmly, saying, "If you would be so kind as to drop any goods you may have picked up from this vessel and leave, you will be allowed to go away unharmed. If not… I think it's pretty obvious you don't want to fight me here."

"No, you just seemed so sure you could attack everything and everyone. I bet your true form is a big ape." She smirks at the image of that. The man running after the clones doesn't seem to expect an attack from behind. And this time Reina's blows are aimed well. A sharp wind cuts him fiercely and knocks him off balance. A second later, he's consumed in fire and a smoking heap on the ground. Reina nudges him with a foot to check. And then she makes her way back. To her dismay, Nanashi has already destroyed two of them. Sadly, she doesn't hear Nanashi's words because a blazing inferno has already consumed the one free man. Now he's screaming and falling to the ground, which is very distracting. But Reina comes into the open and says, "We're even. I didn't chicken out, you ape."

As the last remaining man is scorched to death, Nanashi blinks and look over at Reina. Shrugging its shoulders, it waves a hand, sending the sand cocoons flying out into the ocean with them inside. "Coming in at the last second and nabbing the final blow, huh?" it asks with a glance at Reina. "How brave of you." Stepping forward, it starts looking the ship and valuables over. "We need to get some of this into a pile at least so we can have some of it done before the next wave of idiots gets here. I'm sure more are coming with a payload like this up for grabs."

"No worse than you," Reina retorts. "They might've as well have been trying to fight the beach." Then, he goes over to first one bandit and then the other, and knocks them out. She shrugs. "I dunno. I just don't like killing people after they're outta a fight. But we don't want them to go running for help, like ya said." And she'd call being wrapped in Nanashi's murderous sand pretty much out of the fight. She goes over to the pile and regards it. "One of us really needs to learn how to use storage scrolls," she complains. "Okay…" And then they come on them. Not from the beach but water walking and maneuvering around the ship. Reina gets slashed up. Badly. She stumbles back and stares at him.
It's six men, launching a sneak attack. "Our client's men!" she says. She recognizes some of them. They step out and look around. "Only four guys? We didn't need you to knock them out after all. Time for you to die." Seems the client doesn't plan to pay them a good amount.

"That wold probably help-" As Reina is suddenly attacked and stumbles back injured, Nanashi's eyes narrow. Its eyes focus on the man stepping out then glance around at where the others are trying to sneak attack from. Suddenly, a shell of sand surrounds Reina, obstructing her view and keeping her safe while keeping the others from attacking her while blades slash straight through Nanashi, only for it to reform instantly without so much as a drop of blood spilling. The thought of their client trying to kill them off and nearly succeeding with Reina seems to have ringtailed Nanashi off immensely, as some of its disguise wears off just slightly. Suddenly, there are extremely heavy black rings around its eyes, its right eye turning yellowing and resembling that of a raccoon. "… Bad choice… Now it's getting loud." With Reina unable to see what's going on around, Nanashi suddenly seems okay with showing a bit of its darker side, though she might hear some screams as giant arms of sand begin to spring up from the beach, sprouting off and intending to capture and squeeze each of the men to keep them from attacking or running away.

Reina is converting chakra as quickly as she can. They'd caught her off guard at a bad time. She'll pay them back double and besides even Nanashi can't handle six well trained men alone. Then, suddenly she's surrounded by blackness. At first she feels a cold lance of fear go down her spine. Then, she realizes this is Nanashi's doing. Reina hadn't felt any killing intent behind the sand trap to even give her a chance to escape from it. "You ape!" she says, and starts digging her way out only to find the sand is very, very hard. "Let me out! That's an order!" Because Nanashi has been obeying ALL Reina's orders during this mission. She goes down to start digging her way out…this sand is normal…when the sand starts stinging her cuts. Wow, she has quite a lot of cuts. Well, she'll just taken a moment. Reina starts tearing off strips of her cloak to wrap as impromptu bandages around her bleeding. But not without saying, "Let me out or else!" She has no specific threats, like she usually does. She's never found anything to exploit from the person who calls itself 'no one.'

Despite Reina's attempts, the orb of sand remains in tact. Inside it, as she starts to bind her wounds, a simple message would seem to carve itself on the wall: 'Pipe down.' Though some of the peons managed to escape the first strike, the arms do not stop sprouting one after another with intent to capture each and every last one of them, this being seeming impervious to their efforts as it merely reforms after every strike they make and is totally unharmed.

Reina binds her wounds and now she's ready to fight. She kneels back down but now even the floor is rock hard. Any shovel would break. It's too bad that since she's in a completely enclosed space it's pitch black so Reina can't see the message to pipe down. Not that she would pipe down even if she saw it. Inside Reina has taken out a kunai and is stabbing at the hardened sand, with little success. Then there's the sound of much kicking, and cursing. "You're not being brave at all! And this doesn't count towards our tie!" she says. Though from the sounds of screaming and agony, Nanashi is still very much alive.

The men aren't doing very well from the sound of it. And out in the open, it's the same. Four men are imprisoned by sand, struggling to break free. Two are free. One makes a few hand seals and a jet of water launches from the ocean, to strike at Nanashi. Another lunges forward in a flurry of lightning fast blows, trying to overcome Nanashi's rapid reformation.

The flurry is met only by rapid reformation from an almost disinterested-looking Nanashi, who then crumbles to pieces when struck by the jet of water. Just when they might think they're safe, though, another pair of arms jump up from the beach around them to try to grab the last of the men. Once all the men have been captured, the area would be surrounded by silence as the sand literally drags them all in and pulls them deep, deep underground where it would then proceed to crush them all at the same time, at least allowing them to die quickly. On the surface, however, the sand settles back into place as if it'd never been disturbed, and Nanashi's countenance returns to its normal state, no sign of struggle or rage. The orb would also finally fall away from Reina, who's presented with a scene that looks like nothing happened basically after she was blocked. "… They got away."

The sand falls away. Reina had been formulating a plan in her mind. Step 1: Help Nanashi. Step 2: Throttle Nanashi. And bake it with an inferno until it's heated glass. But what sweeps over her is the sight of…nothing? Reina blinks and looks around. She could've sworn she heard screaming. There's Nanashi. It's not wounded, that certainly wasn't its screams. She glances at the rocks, at the sand, and then towards the water. Maybe they'd run off across the ocean like they had.
"They…got away?" Reina says, so confused. "How?" But soon she's looking at the cargo, and she snaps her fingers. "I know!" she says. "Use your sand manipulation. Take the cargo and bury it underneath the sand, make it look as if it's not here. We'll transport it later when there's less chance of attack." She smirks to Nanashi, clever plan, huh?

"Maybe," Nanashi says, pondering a bit. "But I've got a better idea." With that, sand begins to pile up on the ship, forming the bits of its shell that have been lost. "Get this stuff reloaded… And make sure it's secure. We're not going by sea." With that, it would start grabbing boxes to carry back into the ship and reload the payload. "I guess we'll have to find another buyer since our last one tried to stiff us… Though I guess we should pay him a visit and collect our payment anyway for that one."

Reina looks horrified when Nanashi begins to reconstruct the ship. "You!" she says accusingly, "and your annoying sand." Her eyes narrow. "I'll find all your limits. Then I'll know exactly what your sand is capable of." She shakes her head. "It's not earth manipulation. It's not even sand manipulation, there's something about you that makes it better." She seems to calm down a bit after that, and adds ruefully, "And I didn't get to see it, did I? I'm weaker than you, not dumber." She waves a hand, dismissively. "Well whatever. We'll go with your plan, you insufferable wretch." They'd do just that, and Reina would be muttering the entire time, between complaining about her wounds, and cursing their buyer. She never thanks Nanashi for saving her life.

Nanashi seems to largely ignore Reina's plight, though it does chuckle a few times. The more Reina tries to figure out about Nanashi, it seems the less she knows. Once the boxes have been loaded and the ship repaired, what seems to be a platform of sand forms under the ship… and begins to lift it off the ground?! The ship actually starts to move up into the air, above where anyone should be able to attack as it begins to move out toward the ocean to find a decent place to hide out and sort the goods for sale.

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