Woes of the High Road


Onimitsu, Renai

Date: November 4, 2013


Onimitsu and Renai are commissioned with the task of seeing medicinal supplies are delivered to Kuomorite. A man by the name of Toshi buys his way onto the same delivery route. Trouble, as they say, really does like company. Or is that misery…?

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

"Woes of the High Road"

Coastal Road — Enroute to Koumorite Village

Coastal Road [Land of Water]

The Coastal Road's name is rather self-explanatory. The western coast of the Land of Water is primarily composed of wind-swept, rocky cliffs, with ocean waves crashing against those cliffs being a frequent thing. The roar of the ocean is constant. The level of the ground above the sea varies as one traverses the Coastal Road. There are high ridges and low "valleys", and everything in-between.

Steep slopes, series of ledges that act as "stairs", and simple inclines all make appearances along the way as one travels either north or south. The road is shorter than other routes through the Land of Water, but it is also far more difficult for the unprepared or those who travel with a wagon or other burden.

Rather than road signs, "guide posts" serve as markers of distance traveled as well as indicators that one is on the correct path. There are other trails that lead off the main path but none of these go anywhere especially important, and in some cases they go nowhere at all as they are not really "trails". The forest encroaches on the beaches here, causing the illusion of alternate routes with the mind-tricking method that forests have of simple openings between trees appearing to lead somewhere.

Once the arduous journey along the coast is completed, a curve in the Coastal Road can deposit one in Koumorite Village to the North-East, or at Black-Sands Beach to the South-East, depending on whether one was travelling north or south originally. A few beaches along the way also provide access to the so-called "Deadly Reef", but few choose to go into that open water and its lethally high population of aggressive sharks.


Clouds are dotted about the sky, keeping the heat in and making the air stiflingly hot. The only respite comes from a cool, gentle breeze blowing lightly from the southeast. It's still not enough to bring relief to those traveling along the coastal roads, least of all Onimitsu thanks to the mid-day sun bearing down on them too. Unfortunately, there is no turning back now for the Chuunin or his companion, a Touketsu from what he was informed early on — be it through the girl's introduction or the missive assigning the mission to them — and one who by the looks of her could be trusted. Time and Luck would tell on what is supposed to be a routine escort of medicine from Kirigakure, to the more reclusive Koumorite Clan. While it is fortunate that they only had to guard was the medicine boxes to the back of themselves and the a civilian who had wish to safe passage to their drop off point, and thus paid his way in. Todays task was not labeled a C-rank mission for no reason.
So far their luck has held and may very well hold all the way to the exchange point where their escort numbers will double for the remaining leg. Given that fact, Onimitsu finally starts to relax a little and regard Renai, hopefully still in loose formation at the other side of the civy. "Touketsu Renai, wasn't it? Is this your first foray to this part?"

Her introduction would have likely come from both a missive and a self-introduction upon arrival. She doesn't seem to be much for conversation during their walk for this mission which makes it all just a little awkward at times. Someone will say something.. And she'll just make a noise or something. It's hard to keep a conversation with that kind of friendly. That girl is a thinker. People can notice it in the way she sets her brows and the light movement of her lips when she's calculating something, usually risk.
Her eyes lift up to the sky when she is spoken to by her superior. They glance once around the area and then she lifts her shoulder in a shrug, "You know. I want to say I've been here before, maybe on the way to somewhere?" Looking ahead, she bites her lower lip and continues on. Ah, well, might as well make an effort. See, Renai. This is why no one talks to you. You just answer stuff and never ask. "What about you? I'd say you're more traveled, no?"

The civy (civie?) aka Toshi, a middle-age man who by looks of his physique has seen a bit battle in youth, was that someone who tried to strike up a conversation from time to time along the way, only to get little noise, curt nods or answers, or nothing at all. He got the message after awhile, grudgingly accepting that these shinobi just weren't the talking type. Go figure. He is so disgruntled in fact, that when they >do< actually seem to want to chatter, he starts muttering under-breath. Negative things most likely.
Onimitsu doesn't seem to give it much heed, except by way of frowning with his eye. A misleading action to Renai quite possibly since she still held the majority of his attention. "Hmm, I.. I see," He chuckles weakly as he turned his gaze back to the road before them. "Not often enough. Usually it was by Sea a ways out," He gestures half-haphazardly to the sea. Then, smiling with his eye he gestured up, "Or Sky."
"Puh, Ninja Magic defying everything," muttered their disgruntled client. Onimitsu sighs at that. "…. Was it a mission, or…?" He kind of trails of there, uncertain.

The Touketsu girl gives the old man her grumpiest teenager scowls when he mumbles at them which really just looks more like a cute pout, like the guy she's crushing on gave her a cold shoulder. As if she had time for that.. Puhlease! Well, regardless, she doesn't seem to like him much! Old people!
"'Or Sky?'" Renai stops walking rather abruptly, looking at her chuunin companion. "What? Like on a bird of something?" She has seen ninja do a lot of things, but flying is not one of them. Her steps pick up again and she continues on, stepping briskly for a few moments to regain her position. "Well, I guess it could be possible, maybe, if the bird was large enough to support both his body and that of a shinobi.. But taking into account the density of humans.. or let's say the average weight male" Her voice trails off as she calculates physics stuff aloud. Well, they made her talk, at least.

Onimitsu nods in a sagely manner, murmuring "I see, I see." with each nod. "Try not to overthink it though young one. Aannd the fact that by flight, I do not mean by bird." He says, holding back more chuckling but not all too successfully. Beneath their feet the path begins to slop steeply into one of the many "stairways" that riddled the coastal roads. Nuisances, but dangerous nuisances if one is not careful. One misstep and one can very well barrel down to face and off the cliff! Onimitsu manages to retain his balance despite the weight of the medicine box bearing more down upon him. Toshi is not quite so lucky.
His stumble down over the lip and subsequent attempt to recover causes only snowballs into his racing down the path, stubbornly quiet aside from his footfalls, then yelling for help. "Renai-san! Slow him down." Onimitsu calls out as he charged down after. He won't make it time however. Not without injuring himself in the process.

Renai takes on the stairs like a champ. She /is/ a ninja after all. This is nothing! .. yet. So far, so good. Everything is fine and these boxes aren't as heavy as she thought. And the world turns.
"Huh?" She jerks out of her mental daydreams and turns about. Running back down? No way! But she can't let him get hurt. The Touketsu girl lifts her hands to form seals. The earth rumbles up out of the ground a few steps below them and forms hard half dome to catch the stumbling man and possibly Oni if he doesn't be careful.
She blinks as she watches the effect and then looks about her surroundings. "Are you okay?" Seems she doesn't hate the man after all.

Tree Walking. More of a Shinobi's best friend then any other tool in his arsenal, or so Onimitsu considered it as since it made scaling down the road that much easier. His eye widens at the sight of the earth rising up in the runaway old man, then narrows from a wince after seeing how badly he smacked into it. That definitely was going to sting. Onimitsu breaks his momentum with a slide. Once in place at the side of the half-shell dome, he motions for Renai to proceed while he excavated their friend.
"Oooh, what.. what happened?"
The Chuunin doesn't respond immediately, too busy giving the old man a once over. Overall their client doesn't appear to be too worse for wear, except for perhaps suffering from a minor concussion. A better fate compared to what would've awaited him if neither of them had caught up in time. "C'mon, Toshi-san. That's it." Onimitsu murmurs, guiding the old man and keeping him steady until he could manage on his own.
"This one would prefer not to run into too many more of these… Renai-san," He glances up to the girl. "Scout ahead while I see Toshi-san." Even as he said it the old man is trying to ward off Onimitsu hands, but with little success.

Should Renai comply with the order she would note that path begins to split into three potential ones along the way. The main path that went around a bend, a lower and narrow one that ran further down the cliff side, and one rising up, smooth and narrow but not as much as the lower path.

The green-haired girl pauses on her step, waiting for them to make it back. She purses her lips at the old man. "I'm sorry I didn't have pillows equipped in that.." Renai frowns, feeling bad for stopping him in such a crude manner.
At Oni's command, the girl emits a short "Hai." She turns, her hair whipping around her. The girl's long legs start bounding up the steps, two at a time.
When she arrives at the paths she hesitates again and studies them. "Hm.." Renai turns to walk back down a few steps. "There are three paths ahead. Which one are we taking?" Now that they have overcome some sort of danger, she's much more alert and her eyes are focused on the tasks at hand. It seems that snapped her out of her head.

Toshi glares at her from between half-lidded eyes as left, giving her the old "Yeah, right." look until Onimitsu forces his gaze away from her. A warning glare from the one-eyed shinobi is given. Hopefully it will be enough.
"Three?" He calls out, still examining the old man. He pulls away and rub his chin thoughtfully for a few moments while he waited on a confirmation. Fearing a concussion without more thorough examination, Onimitsu makes a judgement causes his chest to ache. If only he had remembered to bring a map for this area. "Douro…. Renai-san, pick whichever one seems safest and scout further ahead." He starts to turn back to his work, then stops and leans out from the shelter of the dome. "And be careful. Dangerous though this road be, plenty of travelers still tread it." And where there's travelers theirs bound to be those bearing ill wills along the route despite the danger from patrols.

Renai's eyes go wide and she gets a comical sweatdrop on her forehead. "You want me.." She emits a soft sigh and nods. "Okay, whenever you come along, I'll be going down the one that leads down the cliff side. It seems a little harder to travel and maybe we won't meet as much opposition. Just be.. uh.. careful.. Yeah."
Commending her spirit to whatever out there, the girl turns and bounds off again to scout. When she reaches the path, she moves quickly, but is slower, looking for any possible potential threats..other than just landscape.

"Sure ya wanna leave little miss bush head to that?" says Toshi, only to be answered with silence in return.

The path chosen is more assuredly not one for the faint of heart. It's thin, hardly offering enough room for one person to tread. Thus, if they really must go down this way then it will only be in single file order. Aside form this the only other environmental hazards appear to stem from either the threat of the wind abruptly tearing the unwary off the path, the slickness to the stone walls, and — presumably if she travels more than a mere few meters — the bends, hiding potentially more hazards such as sudden drop offs and the like. Then there's the exposure by sea and the main path above. While in regards to the former they can see if anything is amiss, plus the height kept them free of the surf, they too were equally out in the open. Then there's above. The cliffside widens at odd intervals providing some cover from that point of view, but most of their trek would spent wondering what may rain above without notice.
Overall it is not the most environmentally friendly of paths to take, but it is up to Renai to make the call and keep a sharp eye (or ear) out for more.

This may have not been the best decision she's ever made. As the girl gets further down the path, she decides this is probably the worst by far. She doesn't have tree climbing yet, but the path isn't so difficult that she can't traverse it with care. She's sure Oni will have no problem, but their charge.. Renai sighs again. He may very well land up dead before the day is over. However, she chooses this one. If there are people attacking villagers, it is very unlikely they'll be here. With her limited skill set, this is very likely the safer choice.
She pauses briefly to form a hand seal. She forces her chakra into the ground and lets it feel out into the path ahead of her, hoping to pick up on any stray footsteps. The way the path is designed though is making it rather difficult to pick up on things.

In an idealistic world danger would show itself to those who merely glance. Fate is too fickle in this one to have it regarded at as such. Except possibly by mad prophets and fools. Thus, her choices are as so:
She either risks proceeding further to try and get a better read on the path.
Report what she has discovered so far.
In truth it may be safer to return given the goods she still carried on her back. Even if its weight has yet to get to her yet, it still posed a risk factor among other things. Regardless of whichever choice she makes, Onimitsu and Toshi will be waiting for her back at the connecting point for her. Both of which were becoming antsy, but Onimitsu most of all. If he had made a mistake and just placed that 'child' under too much danger… He narrowed his gaze, willing away the negative line of thought.

She pauses and turns her head. Biting her lip, she turns to head back. This is a decision she would rather not have on her head.
Renai arrives back on the scene shortly and looks between Oni and the old man. "That path is rather difficult, but I didn't pick up anyone on it. It might be better for us to take one of the others though. What do you think?" Her brown eyes turn up to the chuunin and all his infinite wisdom. Renai adjusts her pack as she awaits his answer, distributing the weight on a different set of muscles so maybe she won't wear herself out quite so quickly.

The look in the Oni's eye is one relief. His counter-part on the other hand… not so much. Regardless, she is back, safe and sound. The news she bring remains troubling. He glances at her in attempt to discern through her eyes something being omitted. A stiff price is paid for that, because with just one look she reminded him of the burden of leadership. Roughly eight years of being a chuunin — technically seven if one counts the trouble following the world ninja tournament — and still the burden felt no less heavy then before.
"It would be best to take the path known…" He trails off, a thoughtful look overcoming his eye before he closed it all together and turned away from them both. "But will take the high road. A tough climb, but safest and most straight-forward." Almost begs the question of why they didn't take that path in the first place. If Onimitsu is aware of any reason, he does not hint at such. He merely takes point with the expectation that Renai will take the tail end… Even if the old man does looks like he's looking for an excuse to bump heads. Any.
<Kirigakure> Meruin has connected.

Renai nods. Out of the two remaining paths, that would have been the one she had chosen. The girl follows behind the old man, keeping her ears alert. At some point, she uses her perception ability again to ensure no one is following them out of sight. "You better not be thinking about breaking wind.." She mumble to the old man once, trying to stay out of the direct wind direction of his bottom.
Occasionally, her eyes rest on Oni. Chuunin. Idly, she wonders if she'll ever make it to that rank and how much longer it will be. She wants the experience of leadership. To be able to make wise decisions and things like that. She likes it. Does this make him a new.. idol?

Toshi just snorts at her. "If I wanted to pass gas, I will." He states chidlishly with more conviction and pride than one should have given the topic. Onimitsu more or less just tries to tune out the bickering. So far it has only been light-hearted. The fact however remained that it was a distraction too. On a mission even the slightest of distraction can spell the doom of the shinobi. This much the masked man knew from more than one experience. Thoughtlessly, Onimitsu began to raise his hand to scratch at his cheek. Flesh meets ceramic, prompting him to pull the hand away and let it fall back to the wayside.
"Hah," He emits mirthlessly.
Steadily, the corridor to higher ground rises at an even pace, proving wrong any earlier presumptions. A lucky break as some would say but not one Onimitsu could consciously enjoy. There were eyes upon him. Leering, prodding… It had to be paranoia. Right? He glances back over his shoulder. Then sharply back forward. The look in the girl's eye was just… unnerving. Why did she stare at him like that?

Renai's eyes stare at him for a moment too long when he looks back. Then she glances away rather awkwardly. Oops!
Something catches her attention through the ninjutsu technique and she inhales a sharp little gasp. What is all that? "Onimitsu!" Renai calls ahead to him, but in a bit of a whispered tone with just enough urgency to get his attention. She would say his name two or three more times until he turned to look at her again. When.. if he finally does, Renai would point up at the ridge, her eyes wide with suspicion and panic. She can tell there's something there but not what it is. And there's something big. A bit paranoid, Renai rushes up to be closer to the old man in case she needs to defend him.

Onimitsu hears Renai the first time but after what happened last time he hesitates until the third call. Her entreaties earn her glance over the shoulder. One filled with confusion until he followed her line of sights. Narrowing his eye, he focused his vision until he too detected something. "Oh, no. Renai-san, protect Toshi and do not proceed before I return." He doesn't wait for a reply before detaching the medicine box. Then spring from one side of the passage to the other, climbing higher with each bound with only chakra at his feet to help provide greater purchase until he reached the top. There he sees three fellows trying to push what appeared to be boulders closer to the cliffside. Bandits? Most likely. They certianly looked rough enough. Regardless, they chose the wrong group to try and impede. "Stop." So caught off guard are they that they actually do comply. "I—"
"Keep pushing, I'll take care of him." It's the scrawnier of the bunch. What he lacks in power however he seems to make up in speed, indicated by how quickly the dagger at his belt was drawn and weaved through the air. An intimidation tactic to strike fear in the Oni as he got in closer… closer… then lunged for the gut.

Meanwhile Renai has her own trouble to deal with. Back down the way they had just come emerge two more 'bandits'. One male, the other female. Both have a blade of one type or another drawn as they charged up the path.
Just where had they been hiding all this time?!

Renai looks up ahead as Oni moves to the ridge. She turns quickly though and lifts her hands. Clones appear to deal with the bandits as she positions herself in front of the man. Their cuts hit the clones and meanwhile her hands slip into a seal again. She focuses, her eyes becoming intent on the two bandits nearest her. Chakra swirls within the small girl. She won't be able to last long without it. "Please stay near me so I can protect you, old man." Renai smiles lightly. Is she enjoying this? Maybe so? Maybe she has a trick up her sleeve. Her eyes gauge the two bandits, wondering how far their abilities extend.

The flurry was all too easy to read so he acted, trusting his instincts to guide him. He grew confident when he stops the blade. Too cocky. Before he knew he had to spring away before the 'knifey' could drive his blade in deeper into his side. If he had not drawn the Yoshimitsu into position in time…
A moment is all he is given to take a breath, calming down to better focus on the task at hand. When next he opens his eyes 'knifey' has finished gloating and charging at him. Onimitsu looks beyond him though and sees the others still pushing the boulder. Measure. He narrows his eyes, willing time to slow down so he could guess how much of it was left before they reached their destination and move on to the next boulder. 'Knifey' gives him no such chance. 'Knifey'… gets stabbed in passing, or so the chuunin hoped by meeting his charge.


A critical strike! Decimation! For an instant Renai's attacker think this, only to realize that when the smoke is cleared their enemy was still a ways ahead. Spitting mad now they attack again, this time in perfect unison albeit Renai is no longer their main target…
"Tch! Ain't no little lass gonna tell me what to do!" He says. Without further warning he shucks off his medicine box and limbers up during those few seconds left before their attackers are upon them.

The green-haired girl seems to appear still, forming her hand seals. But there's something about the space around her as though she's being pulled away by some unknown force. One attack misses her, but the other cuts across her leg regardless. She wasn't able to avoid both.
"Tch. She grits her teeth and forms another set of seals to create a complete dome over the old man. The last attack collides with the dirt structure, but it is unphased. Aannnd.. someone isn't getting in the way~ Renai changes her hand seals again and attempts the penetrate the minds of the bandits. If successful, the genjutsu would make them feel as though the weight of them is too heavy. Her goal is to put them on her knees and slow down their pursuits by draining them through the effort.

Blood hits the air. Onimitsu's blood. That brief reprieve seems to have costed him dearly. Now he had another wound to deal with. One that severely hampered his ability to strike at full power. "Grrr…" Gritting his teeth and pushing past beyond the pain he forced the arm skewered during the clash to rise and clasp the bandits own. "Wha—Hey! What gives! Let *groans* go! Let go you freak!" 'Kinfey' words fall on death ears. The most he rely on desperation to keep Onimitsu from hitting him with what amounted to a Vulcan nerve pinch with his free hand. A knock out blow though in this case.

"Hey! What gives!?" Something vaguely along those lines can be heard from within the dome though that too likely falls on death ears. :P The smile the female bandit wore after slicing into the green-haired girls leg soon becomes twisted from slamming into an earth barrier next. "Think that's gonna stop me." She says, drawing away and back off until she was next to her partner again. Said partner is still shaking his head, disoriented a little from the illusion. In unison they step forward… then again, blades rising up to parallel to the ground. Their gripe wavers for a moment. A sudden weight… their whole body was starting to feel heavy. The press on still, pushing out the illusion through sheer will power alone and luck, and try to pin Renai to her own dome.

The girl's body does that weird thing again. It's as if the tip of their knives are pulled away from the girl, sucked into some oblivion for only a moment as the scene in front of their eyes warps. It gives her time to take up a better position, one that doesn't leave her so close to them and with so little room to maneuver.
Renai's hands move into her earth ninjutsu seals once more. She didn't expect them to break through the genjutsu. Most bandit-types can't. So she needs a different tactic. The earth around the area cracks lightly and clumps of dirt lift around the bandits. She compresses the chakra, forcing the clumps to explode into clouds in an attempt to disorient the pair.

Onimitsu eye visibly widens from shock. Either by sheer luck or desperation, 'Knifey' actually caught his strike! Shock slows his movement, delaying his ability to react to being suddenly pulled forward and onto 'knifey' as he fell to his back, then kicked away with both legs. Onimitsu refused to make the same mistake twice. Acting quickly the swordsman slipped kunai into his hands and let them rain down upon the still prone bandit. Again, he left himself vulnerable because if he couldn't fully right himself into to stick the landing….

"How is she doing that!?" exclaimed the male 'bandit', searching to and fro until his partner pointed out the Renai's new location. There eyes aren't on her for long. Hearing the earth shift nearby they cast their gazes down, panicked, and tried to flee before the dirt bombs. If either of them succeeded, they intended to pay Renai back for the suprise attack with throwing knives. Between what remains of the debris cloud and the distance however, their aim won't be the best. Quantity over quality.

"Keep pushing… Aniki! We're almost… There." The duo pushing the boulders are close. Dangerously close in fact. At this rate they'll be over the lip with the boulder!

Renai quickly forms a clone to defend against the knife throw. The fake her goes poof when it hits, leaving the real Renai forming a set of seals to attack again. She leaves the one in the cloud, not bothering to help knock the opponent free. But the other comes under the same assault once more of dirt bombs, the substance flying everywhere and making the little clouds.
The small kunoichi narrows her eyes slightly. What could have possibly provoked this level of attack. Surely it isn't just the supplies. Renai presses a hand gingerly to the cut on her leg and eyes the earthen dome where the man is trapped. Something seems fishy to her.
Her attention jerks back to the scene, watching the assailants to see what happens next.

The boulder falls, starting a chain reaction as it shaved off and/or slammed into the sides of the corridor….
The way is gone.
The debris cloud clears…
The way is as good as shut.
Onimitsu doesn't so much as see, but feels this happening as he struggled to rising back to his feet. The padding of his clothing helped, but ultimately without the armor — his near constant companion before now — his weight is off, resulting in a rougher landing. He would rise again at a pain stakingly slow pace. Little by little. Back on his feet, Onimitsu immediately starts searching for 'knifey', and adversary that has thus far bested him at every turn. What he finds however is… nothing. The only traces that the man and his compatriots had even been along the ridge in the first place is torn piece of fabric pinned to the ground by his kunai. Hetero-chromatic eye narrows at the piece, disturbed… then wide eye in shock. "Renai-san." He dashes, pushing away the pain long enough to make to the rim and peer into its depths…

Mister bandit curses under breath. If it the 'witch' wasn't warping reality to suit her needs, then she was cloning herself, irritating the man to no end! Baleful dark eyes glare right back at the small kunoichi. A staring contest for all of five seconds. Then she makes her move, forcing him to flee even farther away from the girl. His center gravity shifts lower.
Is he going to charge again? Albeit virtually weaponless at this point?
Perhaps that would have been the case if not for what he saw falling behind Renai. "Next time." Then boulder and pieces of cliff-side descends, crashing, smashing, shattering, and erupting almost simultaneously upon hitting the ground, blanket all down along the path in a debris cloud. Slow to clear, it won't be for some time before Renai is able to see again. By which time the only remnants of her struggle is the unconscious form of the female bandit — knocked out or dead by first appearance from shrapnel — a few weapons scattered about, and the earth dome containing their client. Onimitsu is down there as well, though his attention seems solely devoted back down the path they came.

Seeing the look on the face of her opponent, Renai turns to see the debris. The girl's eyes widen and she backs up a few step, shielding her head from the rocks. What in the world?
"Onimitsu?" Renai coughs some of the dust out of her lungs and swats at the remnants of the cloud. Her eyes scan the area for the chuunin. She rubs at her nose, smudging dirt over it as she looks about, bewildered by what just happened. When she sees Onimitsu and the look in his eyes, the girl lets the dome crumble to reveal the unharmed client. "What's the plan, boss?" The girl coughs again, seeming relatively alright, just getting tired and a bit shaken.

The dust in the air is thick even once visibility has begun to return. And yet, Onimitsu doesn't seem to be visibly effected by it. Perhaps the one-eyed shinobi had some type of re-breather function installed in the mask. It matters little in the wake of this catastrophe.
"…." He turns back to look upon her. Gaze unreadable as he examined the extent of the damage wrought by the pair while he was away. Something flickers in his eye, too fast for most to get a bead on it before the Chuunin's gaze is inexplicably drawn back up the way he came. "Will rest here for now." At the first sound of the client being ready to argue Onimitsu head snaps toward him, piercing the man with eyes completely tainted by violet. A similar shade wafted around the naked blade he carried at his side.
"Those bandits… no, whoever it was that attacked us accomplished what they wish. Now is the time we recuperate. Nurse any wounds. In an hour I will take you both up the side of the cliff. From there—" The sound of a groaning throws Onimitsu off track for a second. Movement from the corner of his eyes draws him to the prone bandit woman. Swiftly and decisively, the woman is silence with a pressure point jab from the swordsman. "… From there we will decide our next course of action. Now rest." A command, not a suggestion. A command he knew would not be followed personally. There were wounds to bind. Things to be considered. A possibly… a prisoner and client to interrogate. If only he had just remain on the hospital duty roster today…

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