Wretched Wandering


Kuoroke (emitter), Arika, Zankaru

Date: August 6, 2015


Arika and Zankaru have been enlisted to search around a house’s collapsed basement. Sadly, in the shinobi world, things are not always so simple as they seem.

"Wretched Wandering"


The Council has been presented with a fairly urgent and unusual problem: someone in need of rescue in the heart of Sunagakure. They are sent to meet with the client at their place of business. Located among the smaller alleyways south of the village center, near the Dome itself, the building is one of the typical hemispherical dwellings that are plentiful in Sunagakure. The sign on the front of the building informs them that this building is a fishmonger's.
A worried woman in her mid-20s stands outside, in the shadow of the building, pacing back and forth worriedly. As soon as people with forehead protectors show up, she rushes towards them. "Are you the ones who are here to rescue my Soutah?"

Arika shows up, just happy to have something to do for once. The girl was restless since she's cooped up in Suna! "Hai! Ikitara Arika at yer service!" she greets cheerfully. "We'll rescue yer Soutah," she adds. The girl glances over to her teammate to make sure he's all set too before looking to the worried woman. "Ummm… What's he look like, anyways?"

Zankaru would show up only just a bit behind Arika. Those skates from the tattoos letting him go faster than most would anticipate. As he came close, he'd shift to that walk, coming to a stop near Arika as the woman rushed out. Glancing to Arika, he'd smirk slightly before looking to the woman with a small nod. Arika seemed to be handling the interaction just fine, so he was more than happy to let her do just that.

The woman casts a dubious glance from Arika's young face to her forehead protector. The latter seems to calm her down at least somewhat. "He's- well, he's, uh…" clearly, she is surprised by the question. "He's got dark hair, average built…" she opens her mouth as if to say something, then glances at Arika and decides not to. "He went to the basement and I heard all this noise and now there's rubble in the way and I think he might be hurt! I tried calling but he didn't answer!"

Arika nod nods at the description, then looks around for the house. "We c'n probably get him! I bet." She turns to Zankaru again. "Zan-kun, should we go down? I could probably send a clone in to make sure it's safe," she offers, chakra gathering so she has enough to actually make a shadow clone.

Zankaru smiled politely for the woman, then looked to Arika. He'd give a light nod. "Yes. Go ahead. Try not to make it any worse." He'd look to the woman. "Is there a secondary exit to the basement that he may of gotten out of? Or that we could use to try getting in? I'll need a clear line to be able to move the rubble if we're going to escavate him."

"Uh, no… just- this way!" She hurries inside, behind the counter and into a back room. There, there's a trap door - rather, there was a trap door. A section of the floor has collapsed, barring what used to be a set of stairs, which, themselves, seem to have partially collapsed into the darkness below. "He was down there! Honey! Ho-o-o-one-e-e-ey?!" She's clearly very worried as she shouts down.

Arika nods and makes a shadow clone, which appears with a *POOF*. The second Arika shows up, and she grins, wandering over to the entrance that looks pretty destroyed. Arika ponders this for a bit, then says, "I think I might be able to do something, but I feel better if no one's watching." The real Arika said that. The clone Arika actually henge-ed into a tiny lizard to try and slip through some of the cracks.

Zankaru followed the others into the backroom, a nod given to the lady. One entrance, one exit. While the clone would go to work, Zankaru would as well. A hand sign made as he'd gather his own chakra, he focused himself. His tattoos would pull away from his skin, becoming a sort of cloud of lines hovering about him. As Arika-lizard-clone made it's way inside the damaged area, the tattoos would reach out as well, seeking to latch onto the rocks and wood and the like that fell. Focusing himself, Zankaru would see what he could do about getting it pulled apart, trying to make a gap that the clone could lead the person out from.

The woman gives Arika a worried look. Leaving a small child to save her husband, alone in the back of her shop? After a few seconds of doubt, she nods, rapidly, several times, and half runs out. From outside, the two ninja hear sobbing. Meanwhile, Liz-rika crawls through the cracks in the stairs - and find they end rather abruptly, the light filtering through the cracks between the pieces of rubble showswalls and dust in the air, but no detectable floor. The rubble, however, is fairly easy to remove: even with whatever lay below torn away, the floor broke apart in just a few slabs and, with the aid of his ninjutsu, quite successfully removes starts moving the pieces away.

While her lizard-form goes exploring through the cracks, seeking out the kid in question, Arika makes a handseal to gather her chakra. Or rather, the Bijuu's chakra. A part of the cloak leaks out, but there's no tail. Maybe it's just a normal coating of chakra! Arika then uses said cloak to help Zankaru pick up debris and stuff and toss it away to get to the basement.

Zankaru was careful. Control his chakra, control the tattoos. The opening would get done, giving them a way in. He was fairly sure the clone was searching further ahead so Zan would give a nod to Arika and peer into the depths below. Shrugging, he'd grab a glow stick and flick it on, finally tossing it down the hole to see how far it goes and where it might hit the bottom. A civilian falling too far isn't going to survive anyways, right? "Be careful Arika-san. This may be bigger than initially suspected."

As the rubble is entirely removed, it becomes clear that either the basement is vast indeed, or it is gone entirely: al that the two see below is a darkness too deep to be illuminated by the one small window in the room. The walls, where they are illuminated, start in the same sandstone as the rest of the house, riddled in cracks from whatever cataclysm occurred below this house, but further down turn into raw, natural rock.

Arika-lizard grumbles and isn't quite sure what to do. "Let's go hop in!" the real Arika suggests, sitting down near the edge of the now-open basement and … She will totally jump in if Zankaru doesn't stop her. The lizard-form of her is a bit smarter in that it crawls its way down the walls to try and find the bottom.

Staring down the whole, he'd glance to Arika who dropped down ahead of him. Shaking his head slightly, Zankaru would shift forward, his tattoos holding spots in the rocks to help lower him down to the depths below without it simply being a free fall. if Arika looked like she wouldn't be safe dropping down, he'd catch her with the tattoos to help lower her down as well. Otherwise, apon reaching the bottom, Zankaru would look around alertly, seeking to know what was going on.

Staring down the whole, he'd glance to Arika who dropped down ahead of him. Shaking his head slightly, Zankaru would shift forward, his tattoos holding spots in the rocks to help lower him down to the depths below without it simply being a free fall. if Arika looked like she wouldn't be safe dropping down, he'd catch her with the tattoos to help lower her down as well. Otherwise, apon reaching the bottom, Zankaru would look around alertly, seeking to know what was going on.

As the two of them drop down, they find nobody.
Surrounding them, there is ancient worked stone. Arika, having been here before, recognises the architecture: these are the city's catacombs. Around them there is yet more rubble. The corridor continues two ways.

Arika would slow her descent by kicking a cushion of air below her, meaning she lands safely despite the rapid fall. "Hmmm!" she says aloud, looking around at the familiar-seeming place. "Let's go that way!" she decides, making a shadow clone to go the other way. "Dyou have any glowy things, Zankun? So we c'n see."

Zankaru looked up, then looked around. Frowning slightly, he'd look at Arika. "I'm.. not sure this is a good idea. This probably just got a lot bigger of a task than originally anticipated." He'd pull out two more of his glow sticks. "Last two I have on me. They last about two hours. After that they aren't bright enough to be worth anything. Before we start moving around, maybe we should look for foot prints or a clue as to where the target went?" Zan's tattoo would pick up the glow stick he had dropped, to sweep it about them slowly in a wide area, to see if any tracks could actually be found.

'Zan-kun' finds no tracks: the rocks that, formerly, made up this corridor's ceiling leave a small labyrinth and cast tricky, deceptive shadows. The choice whether to go North or South is a guess at best.

Arika takes a glow stick and hands it to her clone, who dashes southward. Arika drags Zankaru northward, keeping her eyes peeled and occasionally sending a bit of wind along the passageway for hints of things… Anything.

Zankaru would watch the clone take off with the other glow stick. Hmm.. and then there was one. Zankaru would keep his glow stick with him as Arika told them to take off for that north passage. That tattoo would hold the light over their head, trying to give as much of a view about them from the dim glow as possible. he was alert.. and hesitant to keep going, but well.. he let Arika be the lead so far, so in for a penny, in for a pound.. right?

The two of them follow the tunnel for quite a while. It turns to the right almost immediately, and then meanders a few times. Luckily, it has some alcoves and a few rooms attached to it, but any corridors branching off appear to be few and collapsed or long-unused where they do occur. After about five minutes of walking, they find a few torn spider webs: someone passed by here quite recently, it would appear. Their course appears to be correct. A bit later, the glowstick dies off… and then a bit further yet, they hear a clacking sound, like knives or large knitting needles tapping on rock.

Arika hmms and makes a handseal. The clone that was making its way south disappeared, and the glow stick clattered to the ground as it went out. "We're close!" Arika says. "Hello!!!!?????" she calls out.

What a time for the glow stick to die. Frowning, Zankaru would crack the other glow stick, getting it's light to flare up so it could be held up higher by his tattoo. The sound was getting to him. This was not a place they should be stalking about in. Especially without a light. "Arika-san.. I really think we should report back to let them know the floor dropped into the catacombs. People don't come down here for a reason."

They continue down the corridor, and the tapping seems to be closer. It's slow but persistent, and something about it sounds ominous… If they are to turn back at all, this maybe the last chance the young ninja will get.

"Yer glow thingies last two hours, right? We can explore fer another hour," Arika says, leading the way with little to no fear. She… also sent a shadow clone ahead of her to check things out, which means that she'll get a sense of what they might be dealing with soon.

Zankaru sighs softly. "Right.. two hours. You got a watch or something? I'm ready to go now.." It wasn't said with any venom or anything, more a resigned sense of dread. They would continue to travel, Zankaru reaching out with a tattoo line to draw a thin trail with a claw in the wall. Just enough for them to have a back track, although he wished he had done it sooner! "So what happens if whatever that is, tries to kill us huh? I'm not really ready to be entombed in the catacombs.."

"I dunno. We should probably kill it, right? And we should do it before we end up in the dark," she adds, the girl peering ahead… Or rather, her clone peers ahead. Arika just squints in the direction that her clone ran off. "We'll be fine. We're shinobi!"

The clone walks forward to find that the corridor is barred off, but there is a small chamber that -is- accessible. In it, there sits a dusty, somewhat bloodied human figure. The young man, or at least what appears to be a young man, is slowly and desperately beating a pile of rocks barring what used to be another doorway out of the chamber with a knife. Through the pile of rocks, the clone sees a few rays of sunlight.

Zankaru would walk into the room with Arika. Stopping as his light would show that glow from behind, to be almost as strong as that sunlight through the cracks. "Hmm. I'm guessing this is who we're here to try and help out? Hello? You fell down from the house, right? We can get you out if you come with us.." Of course, a teen in a cloak with floating black arms that had a light in one of them would probably not be the most gentlest thing to meet in the gloom of the catacombs..

"There's a light. Let's just smash the rocks and get it done with," Arika points out, gathering chakra. "And then we can get outta here without trying to find the way we came." She gives a small nod, glancing to her clone before it disappears. No need to keep it around when there wasn't any threat to explore.

The man turns around, looking at the others with a mix of fear and surprise. "I- y- you're real? I didn't think- I thought…" he looks into the corridors behind them with unimaginable terror. "I- I saw- yes. It all crashed down, and when- I saw the light here, and I thought nobody would-" He looks at Arika hopefully. "Can you- can you free me up?" Now that he's turned around, you can see that one side of his face is swollen, and the bloody mess of his shoulder seems to be broken. Whether or not his apparent disorientation is a consequence of head trauma, the pain of his injuries, or whatever it is in the corridor that appears to have terrified him beyond belief is unclear.

"Right." Sigh. Smash smash. Zankaru would eye the whole thing and motion for Arika to help the guy out of the way. Once out of the way, the tattoos would goto work. Where as smashing might cause more rubble to come down, the tattoos would be moving into the rocks, binding them and pulling them apart. It might be a tight hole, but it would be a hole big enough for them to get out into the sunlight. Zankaru would hold it until he himself was out, then would let it go.

"Uh-huh! We're here to help!" Arika tells the man, letting Zankaru take care of the rocks that block the passageway to freedom. "Just don't worry. We'll get it done. And sit down for a bit. You're hurt." Why has she still not finished those medic lessons? She instead gets a bunch of band aids from her pouch and tapes them onto the man. Because bandages fix everything.

The two ninja once again work through the rubble handily. As they break and pull away the rocks, the ceiling, previously supported by them, suddenly cracks. With a rumbling sound, the crack spreads throughout the ceiling and the corridor comes crashing down behind them, covering the cowering figure on the gorund in yet another layer of dust upon the dust already caked over the poor man. But they do get free, and before them they see the afternoon sun shine brightly over the desert.

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